UNBC Students Granted Bail
Prince George, B.C. – Two UNBC graduate students arrested last week at North Dakota’s Access oil pipeline protest have been granted bail.
Dr. Sarah de Leeuw, the pair’s Master’s research supervisor, says charges are pending against Nicole Schafenacker and Katriona Auerbach.
“I don’t know all of the contours of those charges, I gather a worst-case scenario might be a charge of conspiracy and that would be a very serious charge that would have a life altering effect on the trajectory of two, really amazing, outstanding social activists and engaged scholars.”
The two must be back in North Dakota to answer the charges in December but right now she’s just hoping they make it onto Canadian soil. She says they’ve been in touch via text messaging.
“They were in their words decompressing and processing and just trying to be together in an emotionally wrought time. They were given some unofficial legal guidance that even though they are out on bail with a series of charges pending, that they should still be able to cross into Canada.”
De Leeuw says the students were arrested Thursday and caged with multiple other people before being released Saturday afternoon.
She says both were arrested while participating in a prayer circle.
“It would be a tragic thing if because of peaceful protest done in good conscience they had charges pressed against them. We really hope that’s not the case.”
According to the Associated Press, the 1,172-mile pipeline runs close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
Protesters are worried it could have a negative impact on drinking water and would disturb native burial sites in the area.
*Because the two students are currently before the courts, 250News will not be allowing comments on this story*