Dakota Access pipeline protest moves to ND State Capitol

Published: Aug. 18, 2016 at 6:37 PM CDT
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An attempt to build the Dakota Access Pipeline has brought protesters from around the country to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Most of that protesting has been focused near where the pipeline is scheduled to cross the Missouri River near Cannonball.

But Thursday night, protesters took their complaints to the state capitol.

Hundreds of protesters and busloads of police officers met at the south entrance of the capitol grounds. Protesters chanted, sang and prayed.

"We need water to survive. It's an everyday thing. We use it to cook, to clean, to shower. We use it to fish," says Bobbie Jean Three Legs, protester.

"What happens to the Missouri River happens to all of us, all human beings. Water is not limited to indigeounous people, water is limited to everyone. Indigenous people right now are the only ones protecting it," says Shaileene Woodley, Divergent series actress and protester.

The protest organizer says she didn't expect the blockade, but Bismarck Police did help her make sure everyone stayed safe.

"They've been very kind to me and very helpful. Other thank looking scary, they've been very nice," says Kelsch.

The only way you could describe this protest was North Dakota nice. In fact, one of the state troopers actually gave his megaphone to one of the protesters, in order to be able to have the protester's voice heard.

"I knew that people feel this way. Part of my agenda was to give people up here in Bismarck a platform for where they could come and speak out. Not everyone could go down to the Sacred Stone Camp," says Kirsten Kelsch, protest organizer.

The protest went off without incident and while the police showed up with zip ties and helmets, their dancing shoes were all they needed.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is set to take oil from the Bakken to Illinois.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members are concerned because the pipeline crosses the Missouri River just north of the reservation.

The tribe uses the river as their main source of water.


The only way to describe a Dakota Access Pipeline protest that took place in front of the North Dakota State Capitol is North Dakota nice.

Police officers came in their helmets, but only needed their dancing shoes. Several got involved for the last dance of evening after protesters formed a large drum circle in front of the capitol's south entrance.

Police blocked off traffic from 4th St. to 7th St. on Boulevard Ave. The protest's organizer said she worked with police to make sure the protest was safe for everyone.

Several Native American groups have been protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline for about a week, and have even delayed construction.

While protesters originally wanted to be on the capitol grounds, they didn't give staff enough notice to get a permit approved.

It was easier to get approved for city streets and sidewalks, however, so that's where the protesters were standing.

Most of the protesting has taken place in Morton County.