The deadline for leaving the Dakota Access Pipeline protests camps has arrived as of noon, January 22, 2017. The majority of the protesters have decided to leave peacefully. Others will stand firm in their protest to prove a point. The DAPL protesters, whether they move on or stay behind and risk arrest, remain united against the decision of Donald Trump to sign the executive order that allows for the completion of the pipeline.

Housing structures burned

Many of those who have been protesting the pipeline for the past six months have taken part in leaving ceremonies that include setting fire to the temporary housing including wooden shacks and tents.The burning of structures is representative of the sacred power of fire.

According to The Seattle Times, bulldozing or otherwise destroying these structures would be a sign of bad intentions, where fire is not. Part of the burning process involves offering cedar to the sacred fires.

Leaving the DAPL camp or staying behind

Earlier today around 150 people were seen marching down the highway, arm in arm, playing drums and signing as they left the protest camps. Others left earlier on buses sent by authorities to take them to Bismarck. There they received vouchers for lodging and food and fresh clothing. They could also find transportation to various other locations.

Not everyone is willing to leave of their own accord, though. According to Time, a small group of people are planning to stay and peacefully resist and risk getting arrested to show their dedication to their stance.

One protester at the DAPL camps, Charles Whalen said, “We are not going to do anything negative. It’s about prayer.” Those who stay risk being arrested and getting sentenced to up to six months in jail. They can also receive fines of as much as $5,000 if they did not leave the DAPL protest camps by the designated deadline. When the deadline came, the arrests began.

There has not been a report as of this time regarding how many have been arrested.

For some the pipeline protests will not end

Many of the protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline will simply move to higher ground. They will not give up and will hold their position from a different spot. Some will move on to the TransMountain pipeline in Canada where they can continue to show their unity in protesting for their land and clean drinking water.

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