Dakota Access pipeline protest sparks up in Fort Wayne

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A spirited group of protesters gathered just outside the Allen County Courthouse on Wednesday to publicly oppose construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in southern North Dakota.

The group help signs that read “DEFEND THE SACRED” and “WATER IS LIFE #NoDAPL,” among others.

For months, American Indians and others have protested around the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in southern North Dakota, where Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners is working to complete a 1,200-mile pipeline that would pump oil through the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois. Tribes including the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux are fighting the project out of fear it would harm the drinking water and cultural sites.

The pipeline is nearly complete with the exception of a connection that would flow beneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir.

The protests at Standing Rock have garnered international attention as police work to evict the protesters from the land. This week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it had set an early December deadline for the protesters to leave an encampment.

They’ve pledged not to.