No sooner had Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Chairman David Archambault II gotten out of jail after being arrested for demonstrating against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, than the pipeline company sued him and other protesters for impeding the $3.8 billion project.
Dakota Access LLC’s lawsuit seeks “restraining orders and unspecified monetary damages,” according to the Associated Press.
Citing safety issues, the company charged in court papers that the protesters "have created and will continue to create a risk of bodily injury and harm to Dakota Access employees and contractors, as well as to law enforcement personnel and other individuals at the construction site," AP reported on August 16.
The demonstrations began last week after Energy Transfer, Dakota Access LLC’s parent company, gave 48-hour notice that construction would begin on Wednesday August 10. That’s when activity stepped up at the Sacred Stone Spiritual Camp on Standing Rock tribal member LaDonna Allard’s land along the banks of the Missouri River near Cannon Ball, where they have been since April.
The emphasis throughout has been on nonviolence.
“We have a voice, and we are here using it collectively in a respectful and peaceful manner,” Archambault said. “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is doing everything it can legally, through advocacy and by speaking directly to the powers that be who could have helped us before construction began.”
Part of that legal action is the lawsuit that the tribe filed against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the end of July for its approval of the project without a comprehensive environmental review.
Archambault and more than a dozen others were arrested on Thursday August 11 as they blocked the approach to the site, where pipeline workers were offloading heavy equipment.
Archambault’s arrest was caught on video, below.