In news from the ongoing standoff at Standing Rock in North Dakota, a federal appeals court has officially halted construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline within 20 miles on either side of Lake Oahe along the Missouri River.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals says this ruling will give the court more time to rule on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for an emergency injunction against construction over concerns it could destroy sacred sites and burial grounds.
The emergency injunction was filed by the tribe after a lower court rejected a request for an injunction the previous Friday. This latest ruling now makes mandatory the Obama administration’s request that Dakota Access voluntarily cease construction along that same 40-mile stretch.
In a separate legal development, a federal judge in Bismarck has dropped temporary restraining orders against Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault and other tribal leaders. The restraining orders were part of aSLAPP suit—a strategic lawsuit against public participation—filed by Dakota Access against leaders of the tribe in August over their participation in protests.
Meanwhile, a citizen journalist was arrested and jailed Sunday and charged with criminal trespass after she filmed portions of the pipeline under construction. A live video posted to Facebook shows Sara Long being asked by private security guards to leave a field near a public highway. She complies and returns to her vehicle, where she’s met by police.
Sara Long: “Unless I’m being detained, I don’t actually want to answer any questions.”
Police officer: “OK. You’re under arrest for criminal trespassing.”
Sara Long: “OK. Hear that, everybody? I am under arrest for criminal
Police officer: “It’s time to end the phone call.”
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