While the Dakota Pipeline Project was recently put under review, those against the project have not forgotten it.
According to Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) News, during the second quarter of Vikings football game on Sunday, January 1st, three individuals protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline were arrested; they hung a flag that included an image of the US Bank brand alongside the words, “DIVEST #NODAPL.” #NoDAPL is a popular tagline among those with an Anti-DPL perspective representing the words, “No Dakota Access Pipeline.” While the Anti-DAPL protestors certainly may have been a distraction to the crowd, the game continued as if no disruption had occurred.
Photos and video floating around social media revealed two individuals who were climbing a ladder towards the top of the stadium alongside images of a protestor dressed in Viking’s Jersey hanging off of the unfurled flag.
It was reported that first responders included off-duty officers who spotted Karl Mayo and Sen Holiday scaling a beam towards the roof of the stadium. They evacuated the area, and negotiators approached the protestors in attempts to convince them to come down.
Mayo and Holiday were both arrested after voluntarily coming down, but not until after the game concluded. The protestors were spoken to by negotiators and came down willingly after the game concluded.
It was later revealed that Carolyn Feldman, another protestor, was also arrested for obstructing the legal process. It was unclear what her exact involvement was.
MPR News indicated that police sources revealed this is an on-going investigation and, “the department will meet with the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, the Minnesota Vikings, Monterrey Security and SMG as the investigation continues.”
This isn’t the first pipeline protest to result in arrests since the call for analysis on the project, and according to KATC Lafayette News, it won’t be the last. KATC reported that Shreveport, an emerging activist group, is planning protest in Baton Rouge to combat the pipeline project in Louisiana. Just last month, it was disclosed by The Houston Chronicle that two protestors were arrested in Houston, Texas for protesting pipeline projects.
Not just through protests, but through social media, and other means as well, people across the country are standing up not only to protect their food and water but also to protect their religious freedom. “The proposed … nearly 1,200-mile pipeline runs through sites on the North Dakota prairie the tribe considers sacred” (Inside Energy). The project is one of four different pipeline constructions that are currently taking place across four different states. According to MPR, the project was announced in 2014 and is now estimated to cost roughly $3.8 billion. With the current situation of the United States deficit, the cost has added to many American’s frustrations with the project.
Many Anti-DAPL supporters became more concerned after 176,000 gallons of oil was spilled at the North Dakota Pipeline location (RT). Tensions have arisen over the project, and the possibility of further spills is causing a further threat to water supply.
Not only are the projects infringing on Native American basic and spiritual needs, but Inside Energy reported that tribes are also frustrated with a lack of communication and consultation regarding the projects. The upcoming inauguration of Donald Trump is unlikely to calm to protests, as The Washington Post revealed he is in favor of the pipeline projects.