Pipeline protesters are increasingly divided over tactics

Cousins Jessica and Michelle Decoteau, of Belcourt, both enrolled members in the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, don slogans opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Bismarck, N.D. The pair, who participated in a peaceful protest outside the North Dakota state capitol, say they stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)
Cousins Jessica and Michelle Decoteau, of Belcourt, both enrolled members in the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, don slogans opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Bismarck, N.D. The pair, who participated in a peaceful protest outside the North Dakota state capitol, say they stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Protesters at the demonstration against the Dakota Access pipeline are increasingly divided over how to stop the project, with militant younger activists seeking more aggressive tactics and an older crowd arguing for peaceful protest centered on prayer.

A member of the Stutsman County SWAT team who declined to give his name nor to be identifiable by badge stands guard by an armored personnel carrier equipped with an LRAD, or long range acoustic device, while deployed to watch protesters demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline encroaching the water source near the Stand Rock Sioux Reservation, in Cannon Ball, N.D., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)
A member of the Stutsman County SWAT team who declined to give his name nor to be identifiable by badge stands guard by an armored personnel carrier equipped with an LRAD, or long range acoustic device, while deployed to watch protesters demonstrating against the Dakota Access Pipeline encroaching the water source near the Stand Rock Sioux Reservation, in Cannon Ball, N.D., Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)

The differences came to a head last week after law enforcement officers in riot gear forced hundreds of protesters off an encampment on private property. In response, some demonstrators torched three vehicles on a bridge, creating a blockade that effectively cut off easy access to the pipeline construction zone and made it far harder for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and nearby residents to get to Bismarck for errands and medical appointments.

Many other protesters insist that their cause cannot resort to law breaking, and they support the threat of eviction that the main camp has issued against people who would cause problems.

“We don’t want people instigating things that are going to get out of hand. We don’t need them,” said Don Cuny, chief of security for the large camp near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers.

With the potential for more violence, tribal elders have asked that children be removed from the camp.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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