ND senators tell pipeline protesters to vacate camp

ND senators tell pipeline protesters to vacate camp

North Dakota Sens. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenAir Force One is Trump’s new boardroom Overnight Finance: Trump strikes debt, spending deal with Dems | Deal shocks GOP | Fed’s No. 2 to resign | Trump keeps tax squeeze on red state Dems | House aims to pass budget next week Trump praises Dem senator during tax speech MORE (R) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampJustice Dept investigating Equifax stock sales: report Dem senator: Trump 'very serious' about infrastructure Trump steps up courtship of Dems MORE (D) are calling on protesters to leave federal lands where they have been encamped to demonstrate against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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"The well-being and property of ranchers, farmers and everyone else living in the region should not be threatened by protesters who are willing to commit acts of violence," Hoeven said in a statement on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Heitkamp struck a more conciliatory tone, but similarly blamed protesters for an “escalation of violence.”

“Safety must remain the top priority for everyone, and to help make that possible, it’s critical protestors peacefully and lawfully move off of the Corps land north of the Cannonball River and to the identified federal and tribal lands,” Heitkamp said in her own statement. 

“There has been an escalation of violence among some of the protestors that puts their lives, as well as the lives of law enforcement, residents, and land owners in jeopardy."

The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday told the leader of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that the federal lands that protesters are camped on will be closed over safety concerns posed by winter weather.