By Ed Wiederstein, Bismarck Tribune, August 29, 2016
More than two weeks ago we saw the start of a public protest by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe begin to capture the media’s attention. After setting up a “Spirit Camp” back in early May these groups sought to protest the construction of the approved Dakota Access Pipeline at the crossing point of the Missouri River north of Cannon Ball.
But as the protest escalated, it could no longer be classified as an act of freedom of speech and assembly, instead it is an unlawful demonstration meant to physically block construction crews from performing their jobs. The protest has further devolved into dozens of arrests, a showdown with law enforcement, illegal occupation of private land and a blockade of a public highway.
In one word: Lawlessness. That is what has descended upon a small stretch of Morton County north of the Standing Rock Reservation — not on the Standing Rock Reservation as some accounts may have you believe.