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Pipeline Protestor Blocks Downtown Intersection

Nov 15, 2016

Credit wkbn.com

A protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline shut down traffic in downtown Columbus for over an hour,  after one man chained himself to a van parked in the intersection of Broad and 3rd Streets.

A group called Appalachian Resist says the protest was called as part of a nationwide demonstration against construction of the pipeline in North Dakota.  While an estimated 50 protestors gathered on the sidewalks,  some put down traffic flares and a man identified as 34-year old Peter Gibbons Ballew pulled a white van with a "No DAPL" sign into the intersection.  Columbus Police Sgt. Rich Weiner:

"He then got out and put his hands into a pipe, and secured himself under the vehicle.  We called the Columbus Fire division; they cut the axle off the vehicle and we removed the gentleman and he was charged." 

Weiner says Gibbons-Ballew is in custody faces three misdemeanor charges, including resisting arrest and inducing panic.

Last month, local protestors drew attention to the fact that the Ohio Highway Patrol has sent 37 troopers to support law enforcement in North Dakota.  Members of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and supporters have held months of protests at the construction site, arguing that the oil pipeline cross land sacred to the tribe, and poses a danger to water supplies.