Two B.C. graduate students fighting the Dakota Access oil pipeline project in the U.S. hope to return to the province today, after they were arrested and charged for demonstrating on private land.
Katriona Auerbach and Nicole Schafenacker headed to North Dakota almost two weeks ago to join the throngs of Native American activists and supporters protesting against the pipeline project.
“They were simply totally motivated as concerned global citizens studying Indigenous well-being.”
The student’s supervisor, Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, says they were part of a violent mass arrest last week.
“Nicole mentioned being held in a cage with upwards of 35 other people and unfortunately that doesn’t sound incompatible with what we are hearing out of that area that these people were just rounded up as part of mass very aggressive very violent arrests.”
She says the students will try to make their back to B.C. on Monday.
“We don’t know precisely where the most strategic entrance will be, but we really hope they will be back in Canada today.”
She says the pair are facing trespassing and conspiracy charges.