Bismarck mayor to DAPL protestors: 'It's time to go home'

Nov 23, 2016

Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary at a news conference 11/22/16.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary has a message for out of state people who are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline: "It's time to go home to your families."

Protestors have marched on the state Capitol building, the William Guy Federal Building and the Wells Fargo Bank in Bismarck – and have blocked intersections. Seminary told Bismarck reporters most of the more than 500 people arrested during the protest come from out of state.

"Which means most of you probably don't care what's left when you leave," Seminary said. "We understand that. You've come here to make a point. And you've don so effectively. But it's now time to go home. Enough is enough."

Seminary said he believes the event has caused some damaged relationships – which will need to be repaired.

Seminary also said a story that Bismarck-Mandan rejected a proposed northern route for the Dakota Access Pipeline is a fabrication.

Pipeline opponents have often said the northern route was rejected because Bismarck-Mandan was concerned about potential harm to the cities’ drinking water supply.

Seminary said when the pipeline was planned, the Corps of Engineers looked at a number of different routes for that pipeline.

"Bismarck has never, ever been involved in that discussion," Seminary told reporters. "Not one policy-maker, not one department head, not one city employees has ever been involved in a discussion with regards to a route north of Bismarck. Period."

Seminary called the story “nonsense.”