Morton County and North Dakota Highway Patrol officers have arrested 22 people this afternoon at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site, where two activists have locked themselves to construction equipment. One of the activists locked to equipment is Carlo Voli, an environmental activist with 350 Seattle.
Live video streamed from the site shows multiple officers wearing riot gear as the arrests took place. According to the Morton County Sheriff's Office, all the arrestees are being charged with criminal trespass, and the two people locked to the construction gear will be charged with disorderly conduct and hindering law enforcement.
The site of the lockdown is more than 80 miles from where a site sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux was desecrated by construction equipment several weeks ago. The Obama administration has temporarily halted pipeline construction under Lake Oahe, on the Missouri River, and in the 20 miles surrounding the area, but construction has continued on other parts of the 1,172-mile route.
The scene contrasts with the approach taken by law enforcement at a similar action last week, where multiple journalists were also present. (When I was there, I didn't witness any police in riot gear.) Several journalists left the Sacred Stone Camp, the center of the Standing Rock Sioux's resistance movement, after the Obama administration's decision to intervene last week.
Rob Keller, a spokesperson for the Morton County Sheriff's Office, says that more arrests are being processed at the site. Keller noted that 60 people have been arrested since the beginning of the Standing Rock Sioux resistance to pipeline construction, including those arrested today.