Fact Check: DC Clothesline

The protest surrounding the Dakota Access pipeline has generated a contentious back and forth between those for and against the $3.8 billion project. As this platform aims to champion, there have been numerous examples of misinformation taken at face-value.

One of the most recent and egregious examples can be found on the site D.C. Clothesline. The article, “Oil Company Takes Dozers on 20-Mile Detour to ‘Deliberately Destroy’ Ancient Native American Sites,” represents the breadth of misinformation currently being distributed by opposition groups including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The following are inaccurate or simply false claims made in the article:

  • “Following Saturday’s brutal attack on peaceful protesters by private security mercenaries and vicious guard dogs”
    • Fact: Protesters rushed police lines, threatenedand assaulted private security officers, and threw rocks and bottles at workers. This weekend’s protests and others like it have been anything but peaceful.
    • Fact: Reports of a young girl being attacked have made the rounds on social media, but were quickly proven false as the image used was from a 2012 incident.


  • “Crews likely chose the holiday weekend in order to avoid a court injunction.”
    • Fact: According to DAPL testimony based off of construction plans, “Construction staff works 6 days a week, with a normal day of construction commencing at 6:30 a.m. Construction was always planned for Saturday, September 3, 2016.”
  • “Protesters, advocates, and observers — suggested retributive, deliberate foul play on the part of the pipeline construction company in the decimation of these sacred sites, as he described the nearest active construction area being located some 20 miles away.”
    • Fact: The State Historic Preservation Office issued a “no significant sites affected” determination in February on the North Dakota segment of the pipeline, concurring with the findings of three cultural resource consulting firms.
      • “Our feeling is that due diligence under existing regulatory law and regulation was done,” Chief Archeologist Paul Picha told Forum News Service
    • Fact: The path overlaps the workspace used by the Northern Border Natural Gas pipeline, a project that received no protest upon its installation.