Chase Iron Eyes among 76 arrested after DAPL protesters attempt to set up new camp on private land

Published: Feb. 1, 2017 at 6:24 PM CST
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Authorities arrested dozens of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters Wednesday, including a former Congressional candidate.

Many of those who had abandoned the old camp in the floodplain moved to higher ground, which happens to belong to the company building the pipeline.

Law enforcement converged on the new camp with humvees and front end loaders to push protesters back on Highway 1806.

The new camp, with seven tepee frames representing the seven tribes, was erected on a hill Wednesday morning a quarter mile from the original Oceti Sakowin Camp.

A group of activists who said they wanted to establish a more peaceful and prayerful protest presence built the new dwelling.

"We want to make it more spiritual, we want to make it a difference from the old Oceti. We want to call this camp the Last Child Camp," says Rance Sneed, protester.

This group of activists say the idea for the camp came in a vision about two weeks ago

This new encampment didn't go unnoticed by law enforcement who assembled a small force of vehicles and officers to raid it before more demonstrators could put down roots.

"It was then decided that we would move into the area and clear the protesters from that hill at which that was done on that private land," says Lt. Tom Iverson ND Highway Patrol.

"This is just what Crazy Horse went through when he took his last breath. He fought to his last breath, so we can be who we are, live our lives the way it was intended by the creator," says Julian Bearrunner, protester.

Before all the tepees were up, a convoy of humvees and heavy equipment pushed protesters who had gathered on Highway 1806 back to the entrance of the new protest camp.

"It's unfortunate that they decided to trespass on there and really forcing law enforcement in this situation to really having to move in to this area and clear them from the hill," says Iverson.

Officers made their way up the hill to the camp and threatened to arrest the occupants for trespassing.

When they refused to move, 76 of them were taken into custody, including former Democratic Congressional Candidate Chase Iron Eyes.