A reader attending the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council today told me that a group of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters broke into the meeting and took over the stage, interrupting a presentation being given by Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms.
A photo of the protesters on the stage at the event is above. The reader told me that about five or six protesters were there in total.
On Monday NDPC spokeswoman Tessa Sandstrom told me that they had seen some social media chatter among protesters about disrupting the event but weren’t sure if an attempt would be made. There was a visible law enforcement presence at the meeting while I was there.
“Lynn was in the middle of his presentation and law enforcement was out dealing with protesters,” my reader told me. “They snuck in a back door of the hotel and then while law enforcement was dealing with protesters outside. That’s when the six protesters stormed the stage and did a two minute spiel.”
“They said things about protecting their children and how oil causes cancer and that was about it,” he added. “Law enforcement came and escorted them out. I don’t know if they arrested them.”
I’ll update as I get more information.
UPDATE: Video from Forum News Service reporter Amy Dalrymple. Here’s her report as well.
Local TV affiliate KMOT also has video of the incident:
A handful of protesters of the #DakotaAccessPipeline briefly interrupted DMR Director Lynn Helms today during the ND Petroleum Council conference in Minot. The group, who said they were elders of the Oglala Lakota Nation, addressed the crowd for a few minutes before being peacefully escorted from the building. #DAPL We will have team coverage of today's events at the conference on the Evening Report at 6, including speeches from Helms, MHA nation chairman Mark Fox, and gubernatorial candidate Marvin Nelson. http://bit.ly/2cKXUob
Posted by KMOT on Wednesday, September 21, 2016