By now, we’ve all seen the photos of the damage caused by the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors, from burning piles of trash to abandoned cars (and pets). These self-proclaimed “water protectors” left nothing but destruction in their wake. But while a picture might be worth a thousand words, it’s actually much worse. In fact, the situation was so bad that the Sheriff’s office in Morton County, N.D., had to keep records about the impacts to the community from these environmental activists, many of whom flew in from out of state. Here are 11 of the most jaw-dropping facts.
1. Total Cost: Over $38 million – and taxpayers are footing the bill
From August 2016 to March 2017, the #NoDAPL protests and other illegal activities cost taxpayers of Morton County and the Bismarck region a whopping $38.2 million for public safety.
2. Authorities had to arrest over 700 protesters
Between August 10, 2016, and March 7, 2017, North Dakota authorities arrested 709 protesters. Nearly one-third of them (227) had prior criminal records.
3. And almost all of them came from out of state
According to the figures compiled by Morton County, 94% of the people arrested during the protests were from out of state.
4. 34 people arrested had a history of violence
Previous charges include domestic violence and child abuse.
5. #NoDAPL left dozens of abandoned vehicles
North Dakota Highway Patrol had to tow 44 abandoned vehicles from the Oceti camp, everything from cars and pick-up trucks to buses and motor homes. Hmm, wonder what filled their tanks to get into the camp in the first place…
6. Protestors cost farmers and ranchers millions of dollars in damages
544 households reported losses ranging from $15,000 to $20,000 each from crop losses and livestock that were injured, killed or missing. That’s over $8 million in total losses – on the low end. Weren’t these supposed to be protectors of the environment?!
7. Families lost their sense of security with vandalized homes, masked weirdos, and creepy photographers
Local families were also terrorized by protestors. The Morton County Sheriff’s information includes reports of “slaughtered, mutilated or missing livestock,” vandalized homes and equipment, and families living “in fear of leaving their homes and farmsteads” due to strangers taking photos or videotaping residents. They also documented masked protesters playing chicken with residents on county roads. Law enforcement had to escort buses filled with children to their schools.
8. To keep local families safe, police had to work nearly 40,000 hours of overtime
Rich celebrities and other fly-in professional protestors cost the North Dakota Highway Patrol over $4.4 million of taxpayer money for the 41,000+ regular working hours and 39,000+ hours of overtime.
9. Oh, and the National Guard also had to put in 35,000 hours
Over 1,400 members of the North Dakota National Guard put in over 35,000 hours at a cost of $8.8 million.
10. For over 700 National Guard members, spending time at the protest camps meant they couldn’t spend time with their children
Of the 1,421 called to active duty, 717 had to leave their children or other dependents, and 136 were college students that were forced to miss their courses. But at least Paris Jackson got to say “hashtag NoDAPL” at the Grammys.
11. Protestors raised $12.5 million, and they’re keeping it all for themselves
#NoDAPL protestors raised over $12.5 million through more than 300 online campaigns, but there is little to no evidence that they are using that money to clean up their mess. Nothing says “I care about the environment” quite like trashing it – and then taking millions of dollars from people who thought you were “water protectors.”