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Today in Dakota Access Pipeline News
Protesting the Protestors
As the air chills in North Dakota the activity level of the DAPL Protestors increases. Locally, the new focus of the protestor’s efforts are financial institutions. The first targeting of a bank occurred yesterday as a crowd of protestors gathered at the Bank of North Dakota offices located just off Memorial Highway in Bismarck. Today’s target appears to be the Wells Fargo Bank offices in Bismarck and Mandan, ND. In a ploy made famous by the ACORN Organization before it fell out of favor due to questionable financial practices, the protestors are attempting to bring negative publicity to financial institutions in hopes of gaining attention and bullying their way into some concessions. In effect, they are employing tactics of extortion hoping that the financial institutions will give them something in return for moving on to other targets.
In the event held at the Bank of North Dakota, the anti-pipeline forces were confronted with North Dakota citizens, tired of the daily disruptions being caused in the communities surrounding the protest camp. Four arrests resulted as protestors entered the bank and refused to leave. The two groups exchanged verbal barrages and tensions were apparent on both sides.
In today’s protest, businesses were closed and streets shut down as protestors made their way into the Downtown Corridor and moved between the main Wells Fargo Branch and its drive-thru location two blocks away. The event resulted in eight arrests, with most being criminal trespass charges. The protestors want to stop Wells Fargo from funding Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access Pipeline, the principals in the pipeline development.
The pipeline itself is nearly completed in North Dakota with the segment that is to pass under the Missouri River yet to obtain permits. The now or never mentality is apparent on the faces of the protestors and the odds of violence continue to increase by the day as frustrations increase and opponents of the protestors become more visible and vocal. Stay tuned as things are about to get interesting.