Order could have little effect on pipeline protest camp

Order could have little effect on pipeline protest camp

Order could have little effect on pipeline protest camp

The day before the US Army Corps of Engineers plans to close camps in North Dakota, as many as 2,00 military veterans are expected to stand in solidarity with the Native Americans and the protesters who have endured months of extreme weather, pepper spray, water cannons, as well as alleged use of grenades by police.

"The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location, and has no plans for forcible removal", read a news release issued on November 27.

"Any person who chooses to enter, reenter, or stay in the evacuation [area] does so at their own risk, and assumes any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence and occupation of the evacuation area", Dalrymple wrote in the order. The Corps says anyone on the property north of the Cannonball River after that date will be trespassing and subject to prosecution.

At a news conference on Saturday organizers for the demonstrators announced that the 5,000 camped out at the main protest site had no intention of moving.

A standing-room only crowd has filled a library in Bismarck, North Dakota, during a public forum about tribal opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.

Last night, Standing Rock chairman Dave Archambault II denounced Dalrymple's order as a "menacing action meant to cause fear", and accused the Republican governor of trying to "circumvent federal authority".

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Standing Rock tribal members believe the land in which the encampment is on is owned by the Sioux through a more than century-old treaty with the USA government.

"They don't need to be anxious about us in the winter", said Kandi Mossett, another network organizer.

Members of Catholic Justice and Peace groups will be joining peaceful protests in the City of London on Thursday, against banks which are funding the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline through the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, USA.

The companies say the pipeline would carry Bakken shale oil cheaply and safely from North Dakota to IL, en route to US Gulf Coast refineries. "Right now our land is to be left unprotected if we are to leave this space".

The Corps said last week in a letter that all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to the public for "safety concerns" starting December 5.

"Dakota Access has now completed construction of the pipeline on each side of Lake Oahe and is currently mobilizing horizontal drilling equipment to the drill box site in preparation for the tunneling under Lake Oahe".

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But later on Monday, Dalrymple issued his own "mandatory evacuation" for the camp "to safeguard against harsh winter conditions".

The corps, which has allowed the camp to grow for months, had said "safety reasons" prompted the notice on Friday.

The free speech zone the Army Corps has proposed south of the Cannonball River is slightly more than 41 acres and provides clearer jurisdiction for police, fire and medical units. USACE officials said their decision was aimed at protecting the general public from violent confrontations between protesters and law enforcement officials.

For more information see the Facebook event page.

Activists have reportedly destroyed construction equipment as part of the protests, and the Morton County, ND, Sheriff's Office said it has made more than 500 arrests in the past month.

"The next President of the United States must take serious action to ensure our Indigenous' lands and waters are protected and not cater to industry", Cameron said.

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