On Friday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dropped a holiday weekend surprise on the contentious battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline. The federal agency told protesters they have until December 5 to move off Corps land they’ve been camping on.

Those camps have been a major bone of contention throughout this process. They were established by the #NoDAPL activists without permits from the Corps and despite grazing rights leased by private citizens, and law enforcement officials have argued that the camps are the basis for many of the unlawful and violent actions which have made headlines across the country.

Many, including this observer, have argued that allowing the protesters to occupy that land has exacerbated an already ugly situation. Delays in moving the protesters off the land have only allowed them to further entrench.

And as it turns out, the Corps actually did want to move the protesters off that land weeks ago, but the move was delayed by the White House according to Congressman Kevin Cramer.

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