An estimated 1,500 activists opposing the Dakota Access pipeline have settled in at a camp near the construction site for the pipeline’s Missouri River crossing. The Standing Rock Sioux have filed for an injunction against the pipeline, arguing that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued permits for the project without properly evaluating its impacts on water and sites of cultural or historical importance, or listening to the tribe’s concerns. Energy Transfer Partners, the pipeline’s Texas-based owner, has suspended construction at the contested site as both sides await the judge’s ruling, expected September 9. However, work continues elsewhere along the pipeline’s 1,172-mile length. When Joye Braun first got to North Dakota in early April, she found nothing but prairie wind howling over snow. An activist from the Cheyenne River Sioux who cut her teeth on the battles against the now-defunct Keystone XL pipeline, Braun had come with a handful of indigenous activists to attempt to block a different oil thoroughfare: the Dakota Access pipeline. The $3.78 billion project by Dallas, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) would cross the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in the north-central part of the state. That crossing would be a bare half mile upstream from Standing Rock’s water intake, and residents worried that a spill would threaten the water supply not only of the reservation, or the wider Great Sioux Nation, but of millions of people in the Missouri River drainage. Braun and her fellow activists had come to stay until the line was stopped. They dedicated a camp, called Camp of the Sacred Stones, and settled in to wait as the Sioux tried to convince the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has to permit pipelines crossing rivers, to deny permission to the Dakota Access pipeline. After the Corps approved the line in late July and heavy equipment began to move, the activists mobilized to block construction on August 11. But there were only about two dozen of them — far too few to block the road to the construction site effectively. “We needed people,” Braun told Mongabay. “We needed volume, we needed headlines.” Protesters — among them Standing Rock’s chairman, Dave Archambault II — crossed the police line guarding the construction site, which is located on private land not far from the Missouri crossing point. There they prayed and sang while local police arrested and led them away. North Dakota State Troopers take an oppenent of the Dakota Access pipeline into custody in mid August, 2016. Photo by Rob Wilson for Bold Alliance Photos of the arrests, mixed with striking videos of Indian horsemen wheeling in front of lines of North Dakota state troopers, blazed out over the social networks. People began pouring into the camp — from Standing Rock and the far-flung tribes of the Great Sioux Nation; from the white farms in the fracking country of the Midwest; from over 90 Indian nations, some as far away as Guatemala. Then on August 18 Energy Transfer Partners agreed to halt construction at the site while both sides await the results of a hearing in Washington. The Standing Rock Sioux, represented by the San Francisco-based environmental law firm Earthjustice, have filed for an injunction against the pipeline, arguing that the Army Corps of Engineers did not properly evaluate its impacts on water and sites of cultural or historical importance, or listen to the tribe’s concerns. (The Army Corps of Engineers did not respond to Mongabay’s request for comment.) Now things are at a low simmer as both sides wait for the judge’s ruling, expected in September. Meanwhile, activists report around 1,500 protesters at Camp of the Sacred Stones, and more continue to arrive. “It’s absolutely unprecedented,” Braun said.