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100-vehicle caravan traversed area roads Wednesday

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James White, of Fort Yates and now wanted on three felony warrants, from the Sacred Stones Overflow Camp in Morton County, stands along North Dakota Highway 6 at the entrance to St. Anthony in early October as motor vehicles filled with an estimated 150 protesters leave the area. Local law enforcement prevented the protesters from entering St. Anthony denying the protester caravan from driving through the Morton County town to go to a work site of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Pipeline opponents made an appearance around 1 p.m. Wednesday in downtown Bismarck.

Protesters stood outside the William L. Guy Federal Building and the First Presbyterian Church. Groups stood on sidewalks throughout the downtown area, stating they were there to spread the word about their cause.

Earlier Wednesday, emergency phone alerts warned residents in Mandan and Morton County of a 100-car caravan that appeared to be moving north from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps.

The alert was sent out because similar caravans tied to the protest have ignored traffic signal lights and created a hazard for motorists, said Rob Keller, spokesman for the Morton County Sheriff's Department.

The vehicles were traveling north on N.D. Highway 1806, according to law enforcement reports.

Law enforcement first blocked the caravan heading south on Highway 1806 around 11:40 a.m., Keller said. The protest group was given five to 10 minutes to pray before they were asked to disperse.

Keller said it is believed the caravan started from the camps, drove north on Highway 6, traveled east on County Road 138A, then moved south on Highway 1806, where law enforcement created a roadblock.

Fifteen protesters also were gathered at the Mandan Law Enforcement Center shortly before noon.

"We are monitoring the situation," Keller said.

(Reach LeAnn Eckroth at 701-250-8264 or leann.eckroth@bismarcktribune.com)

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