Activists gather in South Dakota to protest Keystone XL pipeline

Published: Apr. 11, 2017 at 8:10 PM CDT
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A year ago, the Sacred Stone camp to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline was established near Cannonball. That site grew from a handful of people to a population of thousands. Now, another small gathering of activists is occurring in South Dakota to voice their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

The ground work for another anti-oil movement is being laid in Eagle Butte, South Dakota. Only 15 to 20 people have pitched tents, but the camp is expected to grow.

"But I do think we will have a lot of people to come stand with us once we put the word out that our camp is there. Yes, I do believe there is a lot of people who will come stand with us," said Foxy Jackson, Oakland, Calif.

Many of the initial residents are prepared to duplicate the demonstrations that took place against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"We're planning it out, going by the books, planning strategy on how we're going about it so we're still establishing where the landmarks specifically are," said Kristopher James, Flagstaff, Ariz.

The protesters we talked to say they are determined to avoid the mistakes they say were made by protesters in North Dakota.

"We need to act, but we also need a plan. So we don't falter like in Standing Rock," said James.

Local law enforcement says they haven't had any complaints about the camp.

There are three members of the Dewey County Sheriff's Office, including Sheriff Mayer. If the camp moved to Bridger as planned any protests that occur there would be out of Sheriff Mayer's jurisdiction.

"We are actually hoping for the best. You always have to plan for the worst, but you hope for the best," said Sheriff Les Mayer, Dewey County.

Mayer has talked to law enforcement in surrounding counties and says the governor's office has been involved in those conversations.

The 1,200 mile pipeline runs from Canada to Nebraska and crosses South Dakota from north to south through the western portion of the state.