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Dozens Of Oil Pipeline Protesters Arrested During A Prayer Circle At North Dakota Mall

Police said they arrested the protesters for "criminal trespass" on private property.

Posted on November 25, 2016, at 5:51 p.m. ET

At least 33 people protesting the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline were arrested for "criminal trespass" at a shopping mall in Bismarck on Black Friday, police said.

Instagram: @andrewkimmel

A video posted on social media showed several protesters pinned to the ground at the mall and handcuffed by police.

One man in handcuffs chanted, "Water is life" — one of the rallying cries of the months-long protest to stop the construction of the $3.4 billion oil pipeline which Native American tribes and environmental activists leading the protests believe would contaminate the water supply and disturb sacred and historic sites.

Bismarck police said they responded to calls from Kirkwood Mall after about 100 protesters gathered there on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

BREAKING: Arrests of #StandingRock protesters at Kirkwood Mall in Bismarck, North Dakota. Via @MPRnews and @NPR

Mall management told police that they would not allow "any protest activities, nor any open prayer services" on their private property.

Police said that after protesters formed a prayer circle, they were "warned numerous times they had to leave or they would be arrested."

Facebook: video.php

Officers then arrested at least 33 people who refused to leave the property, police said.

Standing Rock protesters, called "water protectors," declared Black Friday as #NoBlackSnakeFriday, referring to the oil pipeline as a "black snake." They called on supporters to shut down banks and resist consumerism to stand in solidarity with protesters.

Facebook: CampOfTheSacredStone

Human rights group Amnesty International responded to the arrests by calling for police to "respect the right to peaceful protest."

Following arrests at a North Dakota mall today, we reiterate our demand for police to respect the right to peaceful… https://t.co/XenicYrcy8

Police actions at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation on Nov. 20 caused widespread outrage when officers deployed water cannons against peaceful protesters in freezing temperatures.

Jessica Naudziunas contributed to this report.

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