As law enforcement officials and members of the media have noted, the vast majority of Dakota Access protestors are not actually from North Dakota. The National Sheriffs’ Association, the law enforcement organization tasked with controlling the ongoing protest, have Recently released update numbers.
According to the Say Anything Blog, there have been “143 total arrests of people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. Most of these people are not from North or South Dakota, the two states which encompass the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. In fact just 43 of the arrests were of people from North or South Dakota. Most of the rest came from California (17) and 27 other states. There were also four protesters from Canada arrested.” Check out the heatmap below courtesy of Say Anything highlighting the various places protestors are traveling from.
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring expressed his concerns with the influx of out of state protestors’ intentions, “This is not an issue of anybody being on [Native American] land, although some have tried to make it that. It’s more about some of their grievances, but it’s bad people looking for a situation to be vocal and get their fifteen minutes of fame.”
In addition, Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier characterized what he has seen as “professional protestors.” “They’re paid to be here. They are organized in what they’re doing. But the whole point goes back to whether you’re for the pipeline or against the pipeline it doesn’t make the difference. The difference is the rule of law.”