BISMARCK, N.D., Dec. 30 (UPI) — Police in Morton County, N.D., called in a SWAT team to the site of a Dakota Access Pipeline protest for the first time in several weeks, arresting five people.
The Morton County Sheriff’s Office said officers fired nonlethal ammunition at a crowd of more than 100 protesters assembled on a bridge Thursday afternoon near a Department of Transportation construction site.
Police said some protesters tampered with construction barriers and stole a DOT sign. Five individuals were eventually arrested for trespassing.
Protests at the site of the controversial pipeline project have largely subsided in the wake of a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers to reroute the pipeline away from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and not grant a needed easement to run the pipeline under the Missouri River on Indian land.
Though the decision was considered a major victory for the hundreds of protesters who made camp at the site in rural North Dakota, many still remain at the site, arguing that continued construction of the pipeline remains a potential threat to the environment and tribal sovereignty.