Native Americans and their allies fighting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline have scored a series of legal victories. The North Dakota Supreme Court partially granted a petition that will open the door for out-of-state lawyers to represent the more than 600 people who have been arrested amid the ongoing resistance. Also on Wednesday, a federal judge rejected an attempt by the Dakota Access pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, to block the Army Corps of Engineers from beginning a lengthy environmental impact statement on the section of the pipeline slated to cross the Missouri River. The ruling means the environmental impact study will now move forward, indefinitely halting construction of the pipeline. The legal victories came only hours before, late Wednesday night, water protectors say police deployed tear gas and rubber bullets against Native Americans trying to erect a tipi on Backwater Bridge, a site of frequent police attacks.
[See all of Democracy Now!'s coverage from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation, and related crude oil pipeline and Native American environmental justice coverage, here.]