Stay or go? Tribe gives conflicting messages to Standing Rock protest camp

dapl-standing-rock-camp-winter‘We are not in the clear,’ says one member of Standing Rock Sioux tribe

By Blake Nicholson, The Associated Press, December 8, 2016

For protesters fighting the Dakota Access pipeline, the messages from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation are confusing: the tribal chairman tells demonstrators that it’s time to leave their camp and go home. Another leader implores them to stay through the bitter North Dakota winter.

The conflicting requests show how the camp’s purpose has widened beyond the original intent of protecting the tribe’s drinking water and cultural sites into a broader stand for Native American rights.

Camp occupants are working through the confusion, said Jade Begay, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “The rest of the world just needs to hold tight and be patient,” he said.

Since August, the camp on federal land near the reservation and the pipeline route has been home to thousands of people protesting the four-state $3.8 billion pipeline designed to carry oil to a shipping point in Illinois.

After the camp endured two recent severe storms, Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault declared this week that it’s time for the demonstrators to disband.

Archambault said there’s no reason for people to put their lives at risk because no additional pipeline work is expected for months.

dapl-camps-map-1The company building the project, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Army Corps of Engineers are battling in court over permission to dig under the Missouri River reservoir that provides the tribe’s drinking water. It’s the last big unfinished segment of the 1,200-mile pipeline.

“We understand this fight is not over,” Archambault said. “But the fight is not here, at this moment.”

Tribe member says people should stay

Native American rights activist Chase Iron Eyes, an enrolled Standing Rock tribe member who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress this fall, implored pipeline opponents to stay in a social media post this week.

The camp rejoiced Sunday when the Army announced that it would not issue an easement for the pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe, but it’s unclear what might happen when pipeline supporter Donald Trump enters the White House in January. The dispute also could be decided by a federal judge.

“We are not in the clear by any means whatsoever,” Iron Eyes said. “This is not a time for celebration. If it’s a time for anything … it’s a time to honor all the sacrifices that have been made” by camp occupants.

More than 500 have been arrested since August.

The camp began as a peaceful, prayerful protest of the pipeline. It has since drawn in people who believe the dispute represents an overall stand for Native American rights.

Iron Eyes said protesters need to stand up for other tribes and treaty rights. “We don’t stand in a place to tell people to leave,” he said.

State Emergency Services spokeswoman Cecily Fong said the state isn’t surprised by the competing messages, noting the “different agendas” of people in camp.

Camp occupants are “working on finding a middle ground and some sort of compromise” through informal discussions, according to Begay, who lives in Tesuque, New Mexico.

“These kinds of decisions don’t happen in just a day or two,” she said. “We need to consider everybody’s safety, everybody’s goals, the different points of view.”

The Corps recently declared the camp area closed to public access and said those who remain are trespassing, but the agency is not issuing citations. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple has also called on camp occupants to leave, and Sen. John Hoeven issued a similar plea Wednesday from the floor of the Senate.

Iron Eyes said he believes the calls for people to leave the camp are aimed at limiting liability, and he said those who stay do so at their own risk. But he implored people “who understand the inherent risks of staying in a North Dakota winter to stand with us, because this pipeline is not finished, and we have to stand strong and stay vigilant.”

Archambault acknowledged the efforts of people who came from around the world to support the tribe. But, he said, “their purpose has been served.”


Posted on December 8, 2016, in Oil & Gas and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Why aren’t you reporting that ETP hasn’t left and instead has built barracks and brought in more troops? If you can’t tell the whole truth then say nothing. The only agenda is to protect the water

  2. And they told Chief Joseph I believe to turn back before he got to Canada and look what happened.

  3. Honest reporting.

  4. Chase Iron Eyes gives DAPL campers a lecture from comfort at home. Nice & warm.

  5. Constitutional Violations in regards to the DAPL actions:

    There are a vast number of Civil Rights violations against the Water Protectors and a myriad of groups and individuals opposing the pipeline that include every one of the clauses cited in the 1 st Amendment, clauses within the 4th, 5th , 6th, 8th, 9th and 14th Amendments.

    Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Religious rights are certainly being violated in numerous ways, including interfering with prayers and religious ceremonies where activist have been stopped, seized, beaten and arrested.
    Most certainly the freedom of speech in the right to air your opinions have been under constant attack with weapons used against those practising free speech.
    The freedom of the press has been violated numerous occasions, including the arrest of reporters on trumped up charges which has been thrown out in court, As well as incidents of violence against reporters doing their jobs.
    Absolutely the Right to Peaceful Assembly has been under constant attacks for months and weapons used against unarmed people, as well as hundreds of arrests for natives “trespassing?” on Tribal Lands granted under the Fort Laramie Treaty as they attempt to protect their lands, water, ceremonial and burial sites….
    The entire demonstration is certainly an exercise in the Right to Petition the Government for Grievances and such has been violated hundreds of times, including using weapons designed for war against those presenting the grievances.
    Every single clause of the 1st Amendment is in violation by the pipeline company and their “law enforcement?” enforcers which are protecting private business interest over the Rights of the People.

    Amendment IV
    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    There have been extreme violations of the 4th Amendment Rights as people have had the personal and religious items seized, including tools (such as drones) used to report and monitor the illegal actions of police and public officials. All of which are very well documented via live video, photos, hundreds of witnesses on site and tens of thousands watching live on Social Media.

    Amendment V
    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    The 5th Amendment is in clear violation as people are falsely arrested for felony charges with no prior Grand Jury proceedings and often time being arrested on multiple occasions for essential the same false criminal charges. They have had their lives put in jeopardy and limbs (including be attack dogs and “non-lethal?” weapons which in fact can be very lethal) injured by illegal police and private security actions which have not in fact had the required Grand Jury Proceedings. Properties have been seized and even when returned been badly damaged or destroyed.

    Amendment VI
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

    Countless arrest have been made and people taken into custody without being informed of their rights to legal counsel and in not case was a jury ever seated to try the cases. The vague charges brought against defendants (and usually dismissed by a presiding Judge) which have no basis in facts and no real charge that can stand up in court are even presented. Nor, in most cases at least, do the accused have witnesses in their favor, though many have witnessed the false arrests and illegal behavior of police, including acts of violence.

    Amendment VIII

    Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

    On many occasions arrest have been made and no bail place for days or weeks. The cruel and unusual punishments inflicted during and following arrest as more than well documented, including life threatening ones which have caused major harm to individuals.
    Attacks by uniformed officials have been endemic and clearly violate 8th Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Using weapons against unarmed people, including such said to be non-lethal ones such as tear gas, pepper spread, high caliper rubber bullets capable of inflicting major bodily harm and indeed dozens have required hospitalization, even having caused at least one heart attack. Spraying people with cold water in sub-freezing temperatures which can be fatal. Having used attack dogs against women and children…..

    Amendment IX

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The Ninth Amendment was James Madison’s attempt to ensure that the Bill of Rights was not seen as granting to the people of the United States only the specific rights it addressed. In recent years, some have interpreted it as affirming the existence of such “unenumerated” rights outside those expressly protected by the Bill of Rights.
    Such unenumerated rights most certainly include those guaranteed in the Treaty Rights of First Nations Peoples (Native Americans) for the preservation of their cultures and ways of life. The Right to Protect their sources of water certainly apply.

    Amendment XIV

    Section 1.

    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    With over 300 pipeline spills, from minor to major, in North & South Dakota alone over just the past two years it is patently a lie that there is no danger of spills occurring on the Dakota Access Pipe Line.

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