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dakota access

REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Two Dakota Access protesters say they purposely damaged the pipeline.

Today, outside offices of the Iowa Utilities Board, Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek cited several instances where they used torches to cut through empty pieces of pipeline and pipe valves and burned construction equipment. The pair’s activity started the night of November 8, Election Day.

After describing the vandalism, the pair began to remove letters from the Utilities Board sign and were arrested by state troopers. “To all those that continue to be subjected to the government’s injustices, we humbly stand with you,” Reznicek said. “And we ask now that you stand with us.”

An Iowa Sierra Club lawyer condemned their actions. Another activist thanked the two for their courage as they were carted away. And a spokesperson for a pro-pipeline group called them “violent criminals.” Opinions seem as mixed as those over the pipeline itself.

Both Reznicek and Montoya have been arrested before for involvement in protests. “The system is broken and it is up to us as individuals to take peaceful action and remedy it,” Montoya told reporters.