| CANNON BALL, N.D.
CANNON BALL, N.D. Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline who were pushed out of their protest camp this week have vowed to keep up efforts to stop the multibillion-dollar project and take the fight to other pipelines as well.
The Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, was cleared by law enforcement on Thursday and almost 50 people, many of them Native Americans and environmental activists, were arrested.
The number of demonstrators had dwindled from the thousands who poured into the camp starting in August to oppose the pipeline that critics say threatens the water resources and sacred land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe has said it intends to fight the pipeline in court.
The 1,170-mile (1,885 km) line, built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, will move crude from the shale oilfields of North Dakota to Illinois en route to the Gulf of Mexico, where many U.S. refineries are located.
Tonya Olsen, 46, an Ihanktonwan Sioux from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who had lived at the camp for 3-1/2 months, said she was saddened by the eviction but proud of the protesters.
She has moved to another nearby camp on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, across the Cannon Ball River.
“A lot of people will take what they’ve learned from this movement and take it to another one,” Olsen said. She may join a protest if one forms against the Keystone XL pipeline near the Lower Brulé Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, she added.
Tom Goldtooth, a protest leader and executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said the demonstrators’ hearts were not defeated.
“The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning,” Goldtooth said in a statement on Thursday. “They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”
Many hope their fight against the project will spur similar protests targeting pipelines across the United States…