Or­der could have lit­tle ef­fect on pipeline protest camp

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - WEATHER - By James MacPherson

A govern­ment or­der for protesters of the Dakota Ac­cess pipeline to leave fed­eral land could have lit­tle im­me­di­ate ef­fect on the en­camp­ment where hun­dreds of peo­ple have been gath­ered for months to op­pose the $3.8 bil­lion project.

A North Dakota sher­iff says the dead­line is mean­ing­less and serves only to re­duce the govern­ment’s le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity for demon­stra­tors. The Corps says all fed­eral lands north of the Can­non­ball River will be closed for “safety con­cerns” start­ing Dec. 5. The or­der in­cludes the large en­camp­ment known as the Seven Coun­cil Fires camp.

The agency cited the ap­proach of winter and in­creas­ingly con­tentious clashes be­tween protesters and po­lice.

But the Corps says it has no plans to forcibly re­move any­one. Vi­o­la­tors could be pros­e­cuted for tres­pass­ing.

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