When the planned route for the Dakota Access Pipeline reached the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in 2016, thousands traveled to the Cannon Ball, ND construction site to protest. 300 people were injured and more than 400 were arrested during these protests, which brought attention to the pipeline's threat to water quality and burial grounds on Native American lands. According to The Progressive, the first person to face serious prison time for their role in the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline was sentenced to 36 months in prison on May 30, 2018.
Satellite imagery lets us watch the rise and fall of these crowds of protesters: the site is empty in May 2016, packed by November and well through February 2017, and vacant again by July. Close ups, too, deliver valuable insight. The first column shows the main camp set up by protesters; the second and third columns show secondary campsites. The fourth column shows the road in and out of these camp sites, and the police barricades that stood between protesters and emergency services.
This story is produced in partnership with the Pacific Institute's Water Conflict Chronology Map.