2 Dakota Access Oil Pipeline Protesters Lose Appeals

The first people to be sent to jail for protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota have lost their appeals to the state's Supreme Court.

In this Nov. 2, 2016 file photo, protesters demonstrating against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline wade in cold creek waters confronting local police as remnants of pepper spray waft over the crowd near Cannon Ball, N.D. North Dakota is demanding $38 million from the federal government to reimburse the state for costs associated with policing large-scale and prolonged protests against the oil pipeline. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed an administrative claim Friday, July 20, 2018. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)
In this Nov. 2, 2016 file photo, protesters demonstrating against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline wade in cold creek waters confronting local police as remnants of pepper spray waft over the crowd near Cannon Ball, N.D. North Dakota is demanding $38 million from the federal government to reimburse the state for costs associated with policing large-scale and prolonged protests against the oil pipeline. North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed an administrative claim Friday, July 20, 2018. (AP Photo/John L. Mone)

The first people to be sent to jail for protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota have lost their appeals to the state's Supreme Court.

Mary Redway, of Providence, Rhode Island, and Alexander Simon, of Lamy, New Mexico, were convicted last October of disorderly conduct. Simon also was convicted of physical obstruction of a government function. Redway served four days in jail. Simon served 12 days.

Both appealed their convictions, citing a lack of evidence and arguing their participation in protests was constitutionally protected activity. Supreme Court justices rejected those arguments.

The Water Protector Legal Collective says the decision is "an ominous ruling for anyone who wishes to gather and express frustration with government or corporate action."

Pipeline protests resulted in 761 arrests in 2016 and 2017.

(Source: The Associated Press)

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