BISMARCK, N.D. - Military veterans who have arrived at an encampment to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline walked into an area that has been blocked off by police and asked the officers standing guard there to lay down their arms.
A group of 15 to 20 veterans, some wearing camouflage jackets, staged the symbolic protest on Thursday evening to show their solidarity with opponents of the pipeline slated to carry oil from western North Dakota to Illinois.
Using a megaphone, police told the veterans to move away because they were trespassing. The veteran shouted back that they had served their country and had a right to be there.
The protest lasted about 40 minutes on a cold evening with snow on the ground, forcing the veterans to scramble over mounds of snow during the peaceful demonstration.
Military veterans plan to gather at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota next week to show their support for those camped in protest of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline.
Veterans Stand for Standing Rock says 2,000 veterans will gather Sunday in Fort Yates, which is on the reservation. The organization says they'll be bused to the protesters' main camp on Monday and spend most of Tuesday and Wednesday on the front lines.
The group has set up a page at GoFundMe.com to raise money for food, transportation and supplies. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had raised nearly $700,000 of its $1 million goal.
The pipeline is designed to carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Opponents, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, say it will harm drinking water and cultural sites.
A woman who has been on a hunger strike has been arrested after protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline at the Iowa Utilities Board building and demanding a meeting with the board's chairwoman.
The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/2gWjc2u ) that Jessica Reznicek was arrested Wednesday on a trespassing charge after refusing police orders to leave the building.
Reznicek and other supporters entered the building around 9 a.m. Wednesday. They want the board to revoke construction permits for the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline in Iowa. Reznicek and another man have been on a hunger strike outside the building.
The pipeline is designed to carry oil 1,200 miles from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point at Patoka, Illinois.
Opponents, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota, fear it will harm drinking water and cultural sites.
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has re-emphasized his state has no intention of blocking food and supplies from coming into a large encampment where people have gathered to protest the four-state Dakota Access pipeline.
Dalrymple issued a "mandatory evacuation" Monday for the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires camp, on federal land "to safeguard against harsh winter conditions."
Dalrymple said Wednesday that the order created a misunderstanding after some state officials said delivering supplies to the camp could be subject to a $1,000 fine.
The Republican says the state "is not going to have roadblocks and we are not going to be stopping people" because it would be a "huge mistake from a humanitarian viewpoint."
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently said all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to public access Dec. 5, including the camp.
North Dakota leaders will borrow an additional $7 million to cover the cost of law enforcement related to the ongoing protest of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline.
The state's Emergency Commission voted Wednesday to borrow the funds from the state-owned Bank of North Dakota. The commission is headed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
The group earlier approved $10 million in emergency spending.
Officials say the new loan should cover the state's cost of policing protests over the $3.8 billion pipeline through December.
Dalrymple says requests for reimbursement from the federal government have been unsuccessful.
Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners says it made an offer to reimburse the state for policing costs. Dalrymple says he is not aware of an offer and it's unclear whether the state could legally accept it.