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Pipeline Protesters Told To Leave North Dakota Camp By December 5

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Pipeline Protesters Told To Leave North Dakota Camp By December 5

Dakota pipeline protesters evicted

By Terray Sylvester

CANNON BALL, N.D. (Reuters) – Activists protesting plans to run an oil pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota said on Saturday they have no intention of leaving a protest camp after U.S. authorities warned it must be vacated by Dec. 5.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the federal land where the main camp protesting the Dakota Access pipeline is located, said it would close public access to the area north of the Cannonball River, including to protesters. It said this was partly to protect the general public from violent confrontations between protesters and law enforcement that have occurred in the area.

Those who stay could face prosecution for trespassing, the Corps said in a letter to tribal leaders on Friday.

Organizers told a news conference on Saturday at the main protest site where about 5,000 people are camped that they had no intention of moving.

“We are staying here committed to our prayer,” said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Forced removal and state oppression? This is nothing new to us as native people.”

There are smaller camps on land not subject to the planned restrictions, including an area south of the Cannonball River where the Corps said it was establishing a free-speech zone.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, a Republican, on Saturday said he supported the decision and the federal government, which allowed the protesters to become entrenched, must lead in the camp’s peaceful closure.

Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault said he received notice on Friday about the decision in a letter from Colonel John Henderson, an Army Corps district commander.

Archambault said the best thing the federal government could do for safety is deny the easement for the pipeline. “We have an escalating situation where safety is a concern for everybody.”

Archambault said he did not see the letter as a forced eviction and the tribe would continue to exercise its First Amendment rights to free speech. The tribe is working on a location on reservation land should people choose to go there, he said.

“I don’t think it will ever be an eviction where forces just come in and push people out,” Archambault said.

Demonstrators have protested for months against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners LP <ETP.N>, saying it poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites. The companies say the pipeline would carry Bakken shale oil more cheaply and safely from North Dakota to Illinois en route to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) project is mostly complete except for the segment planned to run under Lake Oahe less than half a mile north of Standing Rock.

The Obama administration in September postponed final approval of a permit required to allow tunneling beneath the lake, a move intended to give federal officials more time to consult with tribal leaders. But the delay also led to escalating tensions over the project.

Last weekend, police used water hoses in subfreezing weather in an attempt to disperse about 400 activists near the proposed tunnel excavation site.

Demonstrators plan a march at noon Sunday in Washington, from the Department of Justice to the Washington Monument.

(Writing by David Bailey; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrew Hay)

IMAGE: Protesters block highway 1806 in Mandan during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith



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  2. bojimbo26 November 27, 2016

    They`ve got to leave because Trumpys not getting his shares money back .

  3. Sand_Cat November 27, 2016

    So much for “religious freedom” and looking out for the little guy.

  4. larm007 November 27, 2016

    We should never risk contaminating water, ever again. Between the climate geoengineering that is disrupting normal weather patterns and causing the severe droughts, to the massive water contamination from fracking along with pipeline breaks and oil trains derailing, we are exhibiting, and the pursuit of corporate profits are exhibiting, a total disregard for the basic necessity of water for all living creatures. Then let’s not be blind to the fact that fossil fuels need to be left in the ground and alternative clean energy sources be aggressively pursued. There are sane solutions to all our problems, but the powers that be don’t seem to have the will.

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  5. grubshoe November 27, 2016

    This reminds me of Wounded Knee. With fires in west, fires in the east plus Israel on fire, the chances of civil war are great. If the Standing Rock people splinter and go underground, there could be fires everywhere.

    Before using violence, the parties should try to negotiate a resolution:
    Try the Coalition of Native Americans for a solution.


  6. Joan November 27, 2016

    The level of violence used against the protestors; water cannons, rubber bullets, mace, tear gas and attack dogs stands in stark contrast to the restraint shown by authorities against Bundy and crew. The speed, stealth and legal machinations used to gain approval and land for this project seem suspect to me. Why was this project given “fast track approval” considering the sensitive and important ecosystems it will impact? Something stinks and it is not the indigenous water protectors. I stand with Standing Rock. Let’s do our due diligence, let’s do the environmental impact studies. There is not currently an urgent need for more oil – we have more than adequate reserves and the price is low.

    1. Beethoven November 28, 2016

      You make a good point about a double standard. When dealing with white ranchers and state’s righters, the government treated them with kid gloves, bending over backwards to avoid violence. But with Native Americans, they have used the same tactics Birmingham, Alabama’s, Bull Connor used in the 1960s against civil rights marchers.


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