Hundreds of protesters blocked off the main access road to Mt. Rushmore Friday night just hours before President Trump’s scheduled speech at an Independence Day rally in front of the national monument.
According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, several Native American protesters gathered early Friday evening around Highway 16A near Keystone and parked several vans across the road in order to form a blockade.
Soon after the blockade was formed, local authorities declared the gathering an “unlawful assembly” over a megaphone and demanded that protesters disperse. The local outlet added that at least one arrest was made and that the National Guard was called in to help clear the crowd.
Reporting live from the scene, Right Side Broadcasting Network said that protesters had slashed the tires on several of the vehicles in order to make them more difficult to move.
Radical wing of protesters in Keystone South Dakota have blocked the main road leading to #MountRushmore… https://t.co/OnFmADNXLW
— wlctv.ca (@wlctv.ca)1593815452.0
The Argus Leader reported that at 7:30 p.m. ET, the National Guard “fired close range smoke shells on remaining protesters.” A little after 7:45 p.m. ET, the National Guard was seen moving in on the blockade wearing protective gear.
The Rapid City Journal posted a live feed of the protest here:
Warning: Video may contain graphic content.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information comes in.