“Protesters have escalated their blockade activity by moving hay bales, rocks, tree stumps and other items onto Highway 1806 to fortify a roadblock they created around 2:00 pm today,” a press release sent out by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department states.
According to the initial release (updated release below) protesters have set up both north and south barricades, prompting law enforcement to set up roadblocks of their own for the sake of traffic safety.
Meanwhile SAB readers alert me to large numbers of law enforcement on the state’s roads headed to the area of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“My son in law called and said he observed an extremely large amount of law enforcement heading west on I94 between Jamestown and Fargo this afternoon,” one reader told me. “Looks like something is coming to a head.”
“We’re driving east on 94 between Bismarck and Jamestown and we’ve now seen 4 separate highway patrol vehicles flying back west towards Bismarck,” another reader messaged.
“Now just saw a convoy of 7 Fargo Police vehicles just outside of Valley City, one hauling a trailer,” that same reader messaged a short time later.
A law enforcement source confirms that things are heating up.
“I am hearing we’re in the 150 range for weekend arrests,” my source told me. That would mean dozens more arrests today after some 83 arrests of #NoDAPL protesters yesterday.
UPDATE: The official arrest count from this weekend is 127 per Morton County. The overall arrest number is now 269.
Meanwhile the Red Warrior Camp – one of the more extreme factions of the #NoDAPL movement – is talking about ways to maximize the trouble and expense for law enforcement related to unlawful protest activities:
It's time to think about not bonding out. ND corporate puppets need $ to feed, medicate & house inmates. Morton co isn't very big. Attrition
— RedWarriorCamp (@RedWarriorCamp) October 22, 2016
Here’s video of one of the barricades
We are ready and standing our ground. Our sacred ground. Peace be with us all. #drone2bwild.
Posted by Dr0ne2bwild Photography & Video on Sunday, October 23, 2016
Here’s more video from on the ground, including North Dakota law enforcement very reasonably asking that the protesters clear the public highway:
Police have arrived at Standing Rock
Posted by The Anti-Media on Sunday, October 23, 2016
By the way, that drone video was taken by #NoDAPL activists (see their Facebook page here), and Morton County is reporting some serious incidents with protester-controlled drones including one where a drone threatened a helicopter.
UPDATE: Apparently law enforcement shot down a drone today as well.
UPDATE: “I’m curious if they know whose bales were used today in the protest,” a reader asks. “I doubt the protesters were out making hay this summer!”
UPDATE: Here’s a video provided by Morton County of law enforcement officers asking the protesters to clear the highway:
Here are photos of the protest incident today from Morton County, including a separate roadblock of what appears to be a bridge along a county road:
Here’s an updated press release from Morton County which details today’s incident, plus an update on yesterday’s protests telling us that two juveniles were taken into custody:
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