POLITICS
06/01/2017 05:42 am ET Updated Jun 01, 2017

Thousands Fought Against The Dakota Access Pipeline. Now It's Set To Flow Oil.

The #NoDAPL movement drew worldwide attention as protestors and police descended on North Dakota.

In December, as authorities armed themselves with water cannons and rubber bullets, thousands of protestors camped near the site of a proposed oil conduit celebrated a historic victory: Federal authorities had halted construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pulled the plug on the $3.8 billion project following an extended campaign by the Standing Rock Sioux that garnered international media attention and drew thousands of activists to a small region of North Dakota.

“My hands go up to all the water protectors who have stood up to protect tribal treaty rights and to protect Mother Earth,” said Brian Cladoosby, president of the National Congress of American Indians, in a statement at the time. “Thank you for Standing For Standing Rock.”

However, just a few weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump signed an executive order in January to reopen the project. In February, the Army approved the pipeline’s construction and it expects to ship its first barrels of oil on Thursday.

Now, the protest camps are gone and, as environmentalists feared, the Dakota Access Pipeline has already leaked. Take a look at some images from the #NoDAPL protests as the pipeline goes into full operation.

  • Patty Sam Porter of the Colville tribe in Washington state was welcomed after traveling from the headwaters of the Missouri R
    Scott Olson via Getty Images
    Patty Sam Porter of the Colville tribe in Washington state was welcomed after traveling from the headwaters of the Missouri River in a dugout canoe to join activists.
  • Police use a water cannon on protesters near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Police use a water cannon on protesters near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
  • A protester stands on a concrete barricade at the "Blackwater Bridge" law enforcement blockade.
    Josh Morgan/HuffPost
    A protester stands on a concrete barricade at the "Blackwater Bridge" law enforcement blockade.
  • A camper is silhouetted behind a flag reading "Water Is Life" in the Oceti Sakowin camp.
    Stephen Yang / Reuters
    A camper is silhouetted behind a flag reading "Water Is Life" in the Oceti Sakowin camp.
  • Two people stand in the water of a river while police officers guard the shore.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Two people stand in the water of a river while police officers guard the shore.
  • A person pours a pepper spray antidote into a protester's eyes during a protest.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    A person pours a pepper spray antidote into a protester's eyes during a protest.
  • Police confront protesters with a rubber bullet gun.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Police confront protesters with a rubber bullet gun.
  • At times, hundreds or thousands of protestors were in North Dakota.
    Andrew Cullen / Reuters
    At times, hundreds or thousands of protestors were in North Dakota.
  • Water protectors face off against law enforcement.
    Josh Morgan/HuffPost
    Water protectors face off against law enforcement.
  • Vehicles and campsites fill the Oceti Sakowin camp.
    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
    Vehicles and campsites fill the Oceti Sakowin camp.
  • Some protesters left of their own volition during crackdowns, while authorities handcuffed dozens of others who’d ignor
    Josh Morgan/HuffPost
    Some protesters left of their own volition during crackdowns, while authorities handcuffed dozens of others who’d ignored orders to disperse.
  • Women hold a prayer ceremony.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Women hold a prayer ceremony.
  • Veterans have a confrontation with police on Backwater bridge.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Veterans have a confrontation with police on Backwater bridge.
  • Police stand guard during a prayer ceremony during a protest.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Police stand guard during a prayer ceremony during a protest.
  • Troy Fairbanks cheers after hearing that the US Army Corps of Engineers will no longer grant access to the Dakota Access Pipe
    Helen H. Richardson via Getty Images
    Troy Fairbanks cheers after hearing that the US Army Corps of Engineers will no longer grant access to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  • Chief Arvol Looking Horse of Green Grass South Dakota, who is the spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Sioux Nat
    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
    Chief Arvol Looking Horse of Green Grass South Dakota, who is the spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Sioux Nations listens to speakers inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp.
  • Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters confront bulldozers working on the oil pipeline.
    ROBYN BECK via Getty Images
    Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their supporters confront bulldozers working on the oil pipeline.
  • Police use a water cannon on those gathered during a protest.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Police use a water cannon on those gathered during a protest.
  • Protesters raise a banner on Turtle Island.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Protesters raise a banner on Turtle Island.
  • US Navy veteran John Gutekanst from Athens, Ohio, waves an American flag as an activist approaches the police barricade.
    JIM WATSON via Getty Images
    US Navy veteran John Gutekanst from Athens, Ohio, waves an American flag as an activist approaches the police barricade.
  • Police stand guard in a Dakota Access pipeline construction facility.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Police stand guard in a Dakota Access pipeline construction facility.
  • Steve Perry from the Odawa tribe displays his Army medal for the camera in Oceti Sakowin camp.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    Steve Perry from the Odawa tribe displays his Army medal for the camera in Oceti Sakowin camp.
  • Native Americans lift up their hands to celebrate their victory after the US Army Corps of Engineers shut down the
    Helen H. Richardson via Getty Images
    Native Americans lift up their hands to celebrate their victory after the US Army Corps of Engineers shut down the project.
  • A camper crosses "flag road" inside the Oceti Sakowin camp.
    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
    A camper crosses "flag road" inside the Oceti Sakowin camp.
  • Veterans march with activists near Backwater Bridge.
    Lucas Jackson / Reuters
    Veterans march with activists near Backwater Bridge.
  • A tipi is seen at sunrise at an encampment.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    A tipi is seen at sunrise at an encampment.
  • On the day of a government order to vacate the area, hundreds of United States military veterans vow to defend the Standing R
    Andrew Lichtenstein via Getty Images
    On the day of a government order to vacate the area, hundreds of United States military veterans vow to defend the Standing Rock protest camp.
  • A family from the Cheyenne River tribe plays together near Turtle Island during a protest.
    Stephanie Keith / Reuters
    A family from the Cheyenne River tribe plays together near Turtle Island during a protest.
  • The encampment at Oceti Sakowin camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation had grown to thousands of people.
    Helen H. Richardson via Getty Images
    The encampment at Oceti Sakowin camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation had grown to thousands of people.
  • Fireworks fill the night sky following the closure of the Dakota Access project.
    Scott Olson via Getty Images
    Fireworks fill the night sky following the closure of the Dakota Access project.
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