Protests against North Dakota pipeline project continue through Thanksgiving Day

The September decision by the Obama administration to delay final approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline was intended to give federal officials more time to consult with Native American tribes that have faced dispossession from lands for decades. Photograph:( Getty )

Reuters Cannon Ball, ND, United States Nov 25, 2016, 03.32 PM (IST)

Protests continued through Thanksgiving Day near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Thursday  but remained peaceful despite growing tensions between law enforcement and those rallying against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Hundreds of protesters gathered on Turtle Island, where they unfurled a banner reading "Indigenous sovereignty protects water", and in Mandan, where they blocked an intersection for several hours.

The September decision by the Obama administration to delay final approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline was intended to give federal officials more time to consult with Native American tribes that have faced dispossession from lands for decades.

But the delays have also caused increased consternation among company officials and led to growing violence between law enforcement and protesters, with both sides decrying the actions of the other in recent days.

The most violent clashes took place over this past weekend. Police used water hoses in below-freezing temperatures to keep about 400 protesters at bay, a move criticized by activist groups, the American Civil Liberties Union and elected officials concerned about freedom of expression and the escalation of violence. 

 

(Reuters)