Next test for pipeline protesters: the North Dakota winter

pipeline-protest

CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) – So far, the protesters fighting the Dakota Access pipeline have shrugged off the heavy snow, icy winds and frigid temperatures that have swirled around their large encampment on the North Dakota grasslands.

But if they defy next week’s government deadline to abandon the camp, demonstrators know the real deep freeze lies ahead. That’s when the full weight of winter descends on their community of nylon tents and teepees. The season is bound to bring life-threatening wind chills and towering snow drifts.

The government has ordered protesters to leave federal land by Monday, but they insist they will stay for as long it takes to divert the $3.8 billion pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe believes it threatens sacred sites and a river that provides drinking water for millions of people.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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