How I Got Arrested While Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline

This post has been updated to reflect the easement granted to Dakota Access LLC by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that allows the energy company to complete construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.The morning after I was bonded out of the Morton County jail, I took to Twitter and posted a detail that I only could have known from actually being on the inside.
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“#MniWiconi is inscribed everywhere.” And it’s true. The signature slogan of the movement to try and stop the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has been scrawled, carved and etched throughout the jail—on cinderblock walls, paint-chipped tabletops, cold metal doors. In Lakota, it loosely translates to “Water is Life.”Since August, hundreds of protesters, known as water protectors, have passed through those cellblocks as a form of punishment for their unwavering commitment to protect the Missouri River from a potential oil spill. According to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, it has processed a total of 696 protest-related arrests.

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