2 sentenced to jail; convicted of misdemeanors for protesting Dakota Access Pipeline

Native Americans march to the site of a sacred burial ground that was disturbed by bulldozers building the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), near the encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's protest of the oil pipeline slated to cross the nearby Missouri River, September 4, 2016 near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Protestors were attacked by dogs and sprayed with an eye and respiratory irritant yesterday when they arrived at the site to protest after learning of the bulldozing work. / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

BISMARCK, North Dakota — A North Dakota man and a Rhode Island woman are the first people to be sent to jail for protesting the Dakota Access pipeline.

Sixty-four-year-old Mary Redway and 27-year-old Alexander Simon were convicted Oct. 19 of misdemeanor disorderly conduct during the protests in North Dakota.

Redway, of Providence, Rhode Island, was sentenced to four days in jail and Simon to 18 days. Simon comes from Fort Yates, North Dakota, but The Bismarck Tribune reports he’s teaching in New Mexico.

The Water Protector Legal Collective says the sentences show the judge’s bias because similar protest-related cases tried by other judges have resulted in suspended jail sentences or jail time offset by time served. The judge disputes that.

Protests against the pipeline resulted in 761 arrests from August 2016 to February 2017.