Cannon Ball district requesting law enforcement aid in removing protesters
Red Power Media | Jan 21, 2017
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council supports the district of Cannon Ball in asking all Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to leave the area and not set up a winter camp nearby.
According to the Bismarck Tribune, “All the individuals at all the camps in and around Cannon Ball need to leave the district,” residents wrote in a 10-point resolution passed during an executive session of a district meeting Wednesday night. “The building of an alternative site for the camp(s) within the Cannon Ball District is not needed or wanted. If there is to be any kind of a ‘site’ for the commemoration of this historic event that took place with all the tribes, the people of Standing Rock need to vote on where, what and cost before any ‘shanty town is built.'”
The district asked the Standing Rock Tribal Council to assist them in implementing the resolution, and a meeting was scheduled for Friday morning, where the Tribal Council unanimously voted to support the district in asking all protesters to leave and canceling plans for the winter camp.
The resolution, approved by the full council, applies to all of the protest camps in the area: Oceti Sakowin, Rosebud and Sacred Stone.
Cody Two Bears, the Cannon Ball district representative to the tribal council, said the district is requesting federal law enforcement aid in removing protesters and setting up posts blocking those who do not live or work in the district from entering.
The resolution stemmed from residents’ frustrations over the continued closure of Backwater Bridge on N.D. Highway 1806, which is the primary route to work and hospital services. Repairs and cleaning are needed at the Cannon Ball gym, due to serving as an emergency shelter for protesters. Also, there’s concern over alcohol and drug use in the area believed to be tied to the camps.
“I understand there’s some good people out there and sometimes there’s a little bit of ones that are kinda out of control,” said Two Bears. “I think it’s come to that point now there are a few campers out there that have not been respectful to community, to the wishes of elders and wishes of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe … It’s doing more harm than good.”
Residents believe protest actions that continue to take place on the bridge are jeopardizing the chances of having it reopened.
The residents also contend that many of the strongest advocates have gone home and that part of the fight has been won in the courts.
The majority of those from the camps who spoke said they respected the council’s decision and shook hands with them.
Ed Blackcloud was the lone dissenter to stand up at the meeting to criticize the council’s actions.
“Very few people (at the camp) are the ones who agitate,” he said. “I do not think all these people should be asked to go home when they fought for you guys, they fought for me, fought for my children, fought for your guys’ children … I feel sending these people home is wrong.”
“Why are you guys attacking the bridge? What’s the bridge got to do with DAPL?,” Frank White Bull, the district representative from Kenel, asked in response. “Our people need that bridge … Who are you guys hurting? You’re hurting us because of you’re few bad eggs. So now it comes to us.”
Since the resolution, the move to a new winter camp from the Oceti Sakowin camp has been put on hold, according to Tom Goldtooth, director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, a organization that supports the camps and is helping to coordinate the move.
Sacred Stone camp founder LaDonna Allard does not plan to close down her camp. She said Thursday that she plans to turn it into an “eco-camp to teach people to live on the Earth again” by summer. She contends that her camp will not flood and that most of the problems experienced by residents come from the other camps. She was not present at the council meeting.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has told all protesters camping in flood zones that they need to pack up and move by Jan. 30, when they plan to bring in equipment to pack up waste and materials.
Source: Bismarck Tribune