Though the protesters claimed to be peaceful and prayerful, this was not the case for many. They also called North Dakota citizens hateful racists, but they were quite racist themselves. Their crime included theft, graffitti, online harassment, trespass, destruction of property, assault on law enforcement, inciting riots, poaching, and more. Some of the actions at the more violent incursions at Backwater Bridge could be considered domestic terrorism due to the use of incendiary devices (Molotove cocktails, propane tank bombs) used or intended to be used against law enforcement.
Backwater Bridge, a small bridge over the Cannonball River on ND Highway 1806, became an obsessed focal point for the protesters, because it was the only way they could access the private property where the drill pad was. The world saw dramatic footage, framed by protester PR to look as if it was a re-enactment of the civil rights era, of several incidents at the bridge. It looked as if law enforcement were attacking them, but if you review the frontline law enforcement video footage, you'll see that the protesters were the ones doing the attacking and flanking.
During the protest, the farmers and ranchers who lived near the camps saw heavy livestock losses, including cattle, horses, and buffalo. There were also many documented cases of protesters poaching wildlife, in some cases doing so inhumanely (e.g. dragging a deer swimming in the river onto the muddy shore and suffocating it in the mud to kill it). One character you'll notice pop up is David Kam. He is a Singaporean man who, in a radio interview with Trent Loos, admitted he'd never been to North Dakota and kept referring to the Mississippi River instead of the Missouri River. Kam has a reputation, despite being from a wealthy class, to meddling in North American indigenous rights movements. He began fund raising (because this protest was all about fund raising) to "save" buffalo and create a massive preserve in the middle of the Great Plains. The Fischers, ranchers near the protest camps, had already suffered many losses of their buffalo to protesters and seen their fences cut, animals slaughtered, and chased to their exhaustive deaths. Their yearly buffalo sale became a target for protesters who somehow felt they had a right to the animals.
The Red Warrior Society started out as the Red Warrior Camp. They were responsible for much of the direct action which led to increased police involvement and pulled the protest away from its original peaceful approach. They became such a problem that the tribe asked them to leave before they came to the decision to ask the protesters to leave in whole. Red Warrior Camp became Red Warrior Society, and promised to take their violent actions elsewhere to other protests and situations they deemed appropriate.