Was the Protest a Success?
It appears that the protest is over for the time being. The pipeline will not continue along the planned path. It was widely reported that the pipeline would pass through native American land even though most maps showed it slightly above the boundaries of their land. The biggest concern by most people was the belief that it would contaminate the water of the native Americans living near the area. There have been many debates on who really owns the property where the pipeline has been planned to go.
It is unclear on weather the protest really accomplished much of anything. The true status of the project is really that it is on hold more than cancelled. It is likely that the pipeline will still cross the river in some other location. There are also possible alternatives that may involve a deeper pipeline going under the river or a more conventional solution that simply trucks the oil across the river. Would any of those alternative be any better to the protesters? Will oil consumption in the USA really be any less simply because this one particular pipeline was stopped?
The image from AP.org above this commentary show a typical seen where the protesters are classing with police. Your opinion about the pipeline will most likely have an effect in the way you interpret the meaning of the picture. The police may be the aggressors trying to interfere with a peaceful protest, or the protesters may simply be criminals trespassing on land that belongs to someone else. The police appear to be wearing standard uniforms and riot helmets. At least one of the protesters appears to be wearing a helmet too. It is unclear how long the protesters have been in the water, but they seem to outnumber the police. It is unclear how much the protest is costing the tax payers or whether the pipeline owner will pay for any of the police service.