Nothing says protesting environmental destruction like setting 21 big ol’ smoke-belching fires and injuring two kids in the process.
Two children were burned, one of them severely, at the Dakota Access camp evacuation Wednesday after remaining activists set fire to about 20 shelters and a vehicle in what was described as a departure ceremony.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said a 17-year-old girl was airlifted to a hospital in Minneapolis, and that a seven-year-old boy was also hurt as most of the activists left the camp in compliance with a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers eviction order.
Most of those remaining at the camp left peacefully, but 10 protesters were arrested after making their way onto Highway 1806 and refusing to disperse.
“In the intentional burning of some of the buildings, which may have been ceremonial in nature … there was apparently either a fire out of control or an explosion,” said Mr. Burgum at a livestream press conference after the evacuation. “There was a 17-year-old woman who was severely burned.”
The North Dakota Joint Information Center reported at least two explosions at the Oceti Sakowin camp, the largest of the pipeline protest camps located on federal land in a floodplain near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
[Journalist Jenni] Monet said burning the tents was a way of cleansing the camp.
"For some Indigenous peoples, when traditional dwellings are erected they are not dismantled in a conventional way," Monet said. "They are taken apart in a ceremonial way and that ceremonial way is by burning."
Although you have to wonder why torching a guard shack at the camp after barricading it counted as a "ceremonial" dismantling of a "traditional dwelling."
The protesters–who at one time numbered in the thousands–claimed that the Dakota Access Pipeline, now 70 percent completed, could poison the water at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota where the demonstrators set up teepees and makeshift shacks for six months.
The Sioux tribes, backed by environmental activists, had been protesting since August against plans by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners to build a 1,170-mile pipeline that would transport 470,000 barrels of oil a day across their territory.
Arguing that an oil spill would contaminate the reservation's water supply and destroy sacred sites where their ancestors are buried, the Native Americans and their allies furiously opposed a pipeline proposal that was backed by the state's Republican leadership….
The Obama administration gave the Native Americans a short-lived victory on Dec. 4 with the announcement that it would not grant the energy company an easement to continue the construction….
But on his second day in office, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum giving the pipeline project the green light. And on Feb. 7, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, approved the easement.
The protest camp became notorious for the mountains of trash, garbage, abandoned vehicles, and human waste that the environmentally conscious protesters piled up there–to the point that the Army Corps felt constrained to evacuate the camp out of fear that melting snow would funnel that pollution into North Dakota's waterways.
The Daily Caller is running a "Caption This" contest for a photo of some of the black smoke–and also wondering how many carbon offsets the smoke will cost.