The company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline is standing by its $3.78 billion project—and has turned to the courts to show it will not back down to protesters. On Monday (August 15), Dakota Access LLC filed a lawsuit against Chairman David Archambault II and others from the Oceti Sakowin, commonly known as the Sioux, for their days-long blockade of the pipeline’s construction.
An Associated Press report states that the company is “seeking restraining orders and unspecified monetary damages.” Members of the tribe have been blocking the construction of the 1,172-mile-long pipeline since Thursday, August 11 to prevent it from crossing their territories. Morton County Police Department arrested 12 protestors.
The company claims in its court papers, according to the AP, that “threats have been made to workers, and rocks and bottles have been thrown, and that Archambault excused tribal employees from work last week to protest the pipeline’s construction.” The chairman counters that he “was doing what everyone else was doing: demonstrating,” according to media reports of a conference call with reporters on Monday.
“The Dakota Access Pipeline project is harmful,” Archambault said during the call, according to Prairie Business Magazine. “It will not just be harmful to my people, but its intent and construction will harm the water of the Missouri River.”