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Eight Arrested After Water Protectors' Direct Action Against DAPL on Wednesday

Eight were arrested after disrupting construction of Dakota Access oil pipeline in nonviolent protest, with two chaining themselves to equipment.
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Eight people were arrested and charged on August 31 after disrupting a construction site for the Dakota Access pipeline. Two of them chained themselves to equipment, one of them for six hours.

Jeremiah IronRoad, 25, of Cannonball, ND, and Dale “Happy” American Horse Jr., 26, of Sioux Falls, were each charged with criminal trespass and obstructing government for chaining themselves to construction equipment, the Morton County Sheriff's Department said on August 31. American Horse was also charged with resisting arrest.

Photo: Courtesy Red Warrior Camp

Dale “Happy” American Horse Jr., 26, of Sioux Falls, chained himself to this bulldozer. He was one of eight people arrested.

In addition, Lisa Winter, 47, of St. Louis, Missouri, was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal trespass for standing on the equipment. Elizabeth Branham, 25, of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas; Maxfield Estela, 26, of Edmonds, Washington; James Ironeyes, 52, of Fort Yates, North Dakota; Wicahpiluta Candelaria, 34, of Sanleandro, California, and Leeann Eastman, 37, of Sisseton, South Dakota, were each charged with obstructing government function and disorderly conduct, the sheriff’s office said.

It was part of a 100-person protest by the Red Warrior Camp, water protectors trained in direct action who are camped along the Cannonball River.

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The Red Warrior Camp described the nonviolent action in which IronRoad and American Horse locked themselves to construction equipment that Precision Pipeline Co. was using to work on the pipeline corridor under contract with Dakota Access LLC. Workers “politely left the worksite upon the arrival of our action team and supporters,” Red Warrior said. “Within minutes a group of private security guards arrived, along with members of Precision Pipeline management.

One security guard handed out ‘media reference cards,’ and all workers were instructed to say ‘no comment’ when asked direct questions by media or concerned citizens.”

Authorities were called, and North Dakota state police blocked traffic to keep out further protesters, Red Warrior said.

“IronRoad warrior was removed safely from a large dump truck within an hour, but American Horse remained locked to the arm of a large excavator for nearly six hours, causing police and construction workers to bring in additional equipment to dismantle the machine. They were unsuccessful in this endeavor and eventually sawed off the ‘lock box,’ ” Red Warrior said. “Red Warrior Camp, Sacred Stone Camp, and allies from around the globe are committed to protecting our clean water sources.”

Photo: Courtesy Red Warrior Camp

It took six hours to detach Dale “Happy” American Horse Jr., 26, from Dakota Access pipeline construction equipment.