Feds to close Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp, say thousands must move

The Army Corps of Engineers said it will close access to the main pipeline protest camp for “safety reasons” on Dec. 5. Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault remained defiant, repeating his call for President Obama to stop the project.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is moving toward kicking protesters out of the main North Dakota camp they have used since last April to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Corps will close access to a parcel of land it owns near the Missouri River on Dec. 5, the agency announced Friday.

A letter to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe cited “safety reasons,” according to Dave Archambault, tribal chairman. A “free speech zone” south of the existing camp on the Cannonball River on Army Corps land will be provided, according to the Corps. But all access to the present camp on the north side of the river will be closed.

About the DAPL protest

Seattle Times reporter Lynda V. Mapes and photographer Alan Berner traveled to North Dakota to cover the protests against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. Here are recent stories to help you understand the conflict:

Unaffected is the Camp of the Sacred Stones, which is on private land a short distance south.

The tribe is fighting the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which it says will endanger the drinking water of the tribe and millions of people downstream. The tribe also says sacred sites have been destroyed in construction and remain at risk if the project continues.

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