Police, using militarized equipment, removed and arrested Dakota Access Pipeline protesters and members of the media from their main resistance camp near Standing Rock, North Dakota, on Feb. 22 and 23 (video below).
Protesters were ordered to leave on Feb. 22 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Republican North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, reports Democracy Now.
Before the police eviction started, protesters held a prayer service. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe believe the camp sits on their ancestral land, which they insist was not ceded to the U.S. government under the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.
Construction crews went back to work on the final part of the pipeline in February after the Trump administration reversed the Obama administration's orders and gave Energy Transfer Partners permission to drill beneath the Missouri River.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Native American with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said mostly journalists were arrested on Feb. 22:
So, at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, the people were given a 2:00 deadline to leave the camp. And we had like a small snowstorm that came in, and also rain. And right now, to get people out of the camps is almost impossible with the mud. Trucks are stuck in the mud.
People are trying their best to follow, but the weather has not been cooperating. So, at 2:00, we figured they would come in. We went on the hills to pray. And at 3:00, they still had not come in. And at 4:00, we got word that they were coming in.
Then, about 4:30 or so, they arrested some media people. And that was about 10 people that got arrested yesterday, mostly all media.
Forty-six people were arrested on Feb. 23, reports The Seattle Times, as North Dakota police and law enforcement officers from three other states continued to close down the camp.
Police used a helicopter, armored personnel carriers and an airplane, notes The Seattle Times.
Rob Keller of the Morton County Sheriff’s Office, said the closure was "a very smooth operation," but citizen journalist Unicorn Riot posted video on Twitter of police chasing people down in the snow in a chaotic scene.