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Arrests made in planned protest event

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Eight Dakota Access Pipeline protesters have been arrested as of 2:05 p.m. today, and Highway 1806 has been temporarily re-opened as a result of a protest on Highway 6, which has been closed to through traffic.

Deputies spent hours removing one man, who is known as Happy and had bound himself to the construction equipment, from the work site. Problems in taking apart the equipment slowed his release into custody.

A protest organizer, Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said today's act by members of the Red Warrior Camp to chain themselves to Dakota Access Pipeline equipment fits with the theme of protest by nonviolent action.

“This was well thought out and fully planned. The whole purpose is to delay construction and stop the pipeline. We are committed to nonviolent direction action and that’s what we have been using with our demonstration on the bridge and our marches," he said.

“There is a belief that if someone is arrested that means it’s wrong, but we’re not seeing anything wrong with people using acts of civil disobedience as long as it’s thought through," he said.

Goldtooth said the Red Warrior Camp is made up of Dakota and Lakota people residing within the original Sacred Stone spirit camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The Morton County Sheriff's Department said a call came in at 7:22 a.m. of people crawling on construction equipment on the west side of Highway 6 south of St. Anthony.

Sheriff deputies reported about 50 protesters at the site, and two men were bound to construction equipment.

Among those arrested was a 47-year-old Missouri woman for preventing arrest, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and obstruction to a government function.

According to responding deputies, the woman was standing on equipment. She is in the custody of the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

A 25-year-old Cannonball man also was arrested for criminal trespass and obstruction to a government function, and he is also in custody of the sheriff's department.

Highway 6 is closed at the junction of Highway 6 and 138A and Highway 6 and 21. Traffic is temporarily being diverted to Highway 1806.

Morton County deputies, Burleigh County deputies, Mandan police, Bismarck police, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Parole and Probation officers and state parks officers are on scene at the protest.

Bismarck Tribune reporter Caroline Grueskin contributed to this report.


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