Unlawful' protest over oil pipeline is dangerous, Wrigley says
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley repeatedly called the protest over an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation “unlawful” Tuesday and called on tribal leaders to pull people out of what he described as an increasingly dangerous situation.
Wrigley, a former U.S. Attorney for North Dakota who was in Grand Forks for an unmanned aerial systems conference, provided an update on the state’s response to the protest Tuesday morning. His visit comes as the population of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite swelled to between 2,000 and 4,000 people, depending on various estimates taken Monday.
“I do think it’s very clear that (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman) Dave Archambault II is not in control of the entire unlawful protest, but we know that he can have influence with some segment of that unlawful protest,” Wrigley said. “I believe it would benefit all sides if all the tribal leadership of the tribes involved … would recognize there’s still opportunity to extract people from an unlawful protest and to do it in a peaceful, law-abiding way.”