Standing Rock Tribal Council Supports Cannon Ball Residents Asking Protesters to Leave

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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 district requests these actions be taken in the next 30 days.

“If there’s concern from our districts, from our members, we have to listen to them and that’s what we’re going to do,” Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said.

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 

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Tensions Rise Between Standing Rock Sioux and Pipeline Protesters

U.S. Military Veterans at Standing Rock to Mobilize to Flint for Water Crisis

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By Red Power Media, Staff | Dec 06, 2016

The battle may be over for U.S. veterans supporting the Dakota Access pipeline opposition near Standing Rock, North Dakota, but they say their fight isn’t finished and they have a new destination — Flint, Michigan, where the crisis over the city’s contaminated water is still raging.

A few days after veterans started to arrive at the Oceti Sakowin camp amid frigid cold to support Native Americans protesting against the oil pipeline project, the Army Corps of Engineers denied on Dec. 4, a permit to build the uncompleted stretch of pipeline set to run under Lake Oahe.

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On Monday, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Chairman Dave Archambault II, asked protesters to return home after the federal government ruled against the controversial pipeline, despite the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump reversing the decision after he takes office.

Thousands of environmental activists and supporters joined the Tribe’s fight against the 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access pipeline costing $3.8 billion.

USUncut.com reports, Wes Clark Jr., who organized a force of over 4,000 U.S. military veterans to mobilize for Standing Rock, said he’s planning a similar mobilization to help the people of Flint.

Flint resident Arthur Woodson, who is a veteran and a supporter of the Standing Rock protesters, said the veterans coming to Flint may help revive media attention on the community’s plight of tainted drinking water, and that the renewed public pressure could bring about an effective solution.

“All the media attention that was there brought more attention to Standing Rock. The government had a change of heart,” Woodson told the Journal.

U.S. military veterans arrive at Standing Rock to help battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

U.S. military veterans arrive at Standing Rock to help Native Americans in their battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

According to Fusion.net, Clark was on hand at Standing Rock this weekend when protesters received news that the Army Corps of Engineers had denied an easement necessary for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline along its current route—effectively, albeit temporarily, halting the project. Joining him there were thousands of vets who had traveled to Standing Rock, including several from Flint, who saw their participation in the NoDAPL protests as part of the larger struggle they have experienced in their hometown over the past year.

In a statement celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also linked the struggles at Standing Rock with those faced by the residents of Flint:

“Water is life; we cannot survive without it. Whether it’s the threat to essential water sources in this region, lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, the potential threat posed to our water by the Red Hill fuel storage facility on Oʻahu, or the many other threats to our water across our nation, we must act now to protect our precious water for current and future generations to come.

In Flint, drinking water was contaminated by lead seeping through pipes in 2014. City officials denied the leakage problem for months, causing a serious problem, NPR reported. High blood lead levels ensued as Flint residents drank the water, which was particularly harmful to children and pregnant women, causing learning disabilities in developing brains.

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President Obama declared a state of emergency earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the situation in Flint did not qualify for a major disaster declaration and was deemed a man-made disaster.

It is unclear when, and how, the veterans organized by Clark will make the trip to Flint.  

US Army Corps: Those Protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline Will Not Be Forcibly Removed

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Protesters block a highway during a protest in Mandan against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota, U.S. November 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Army Corps seeking peaceful transition to free speech zone

By Red Power Media, Staff | Nov 28, 2016

Water protectors protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota vowed Saturday to remain in their camp after the US Army Corps of Engineers told them to leave the federal land they’ve occupied.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday, Gov. Jack Dalrymple ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters seeking to block construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, but both the state and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said they have no plans for “forcible removal” of the protesters.

The Army Corps provided an update Sunday, on their plans to close off their land involved in protests against the Energy Transfer Partners LP, pipeline project.

According to Aljazeera, the Army Corps which manages the government land where the main camp protesting the Dakota Access pipeline is located, said last week it would close public access to the area on Dec 5.

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On Sunday, the Army Corps said it had no plans to “forcibly remove” anyone who remains, though a statement said that to do so was risky. The statement said anyone who remained would be considered unauthorized and could be subject to various citations.

Although the order said people who defy it could face legal consequences, officials said Monday the state also would not seek to forcibly remove people.

Citing increased violence between water protectors and law enforcement and the increasingly harsh winter conditions, on Friday the Army Corps said it decided to close its land to the protesters who have been there since early April.

The Corps, has established a free speech zone on land south of the Cannonball River and is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to the safer location.

This transition is also necessary to protect the general public from the dangerous confrontations between demonstrators and law enforcement officials which have occurred near this area. “Unfortunately, it is apparent that more dangerous groups have joined this protest and are provoking conflict in spite of the public pleas from Tribal leaders. We are working to transition those engaged in peaceful protest from this area and enable law enforcement authorities to address violent or illegal acts as appropriate to protect public safety,” said Omaha District Commander, Col. John Henderson.

Free Speech Area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

Free Speech Area. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

The Army Corps, asked the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, in a letter to tell members of his tribe, along with supporters there, to move to a free speech zone, — which is slightly more than 41 acres and provides clearer jurisdiction for police, fire and medical units.

MPR News reports, Oceti Sakowin is on federal land, but according to treaties cited by tribal leaders, the land and the rivers belonged to the Sioux Tribe.

Archambault II and other protest organizers made it clear that they planned to stay in the Oceti Sakowin camp — one of three camps near the pipeline construction site.

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Nick Tilsen with the Indigenous Peoples Power Project, pictured here on Nov. 26, 2016, says Native Americans are not going to move out of Oceti Sakowin Camp “unless it’s on our own terms because this is our treaty land.” Doualy Xaykaothao | MPR News

As news of the Army Corps’ intention to shut down the camp spread over the weekend, people like environmental activist Nick Tilsen expressed renewed resolve.

“Indigenous people are here to stay,” he said.

Tribal elders call the Standing Rock protest movement a spiritual war and rebirth for Native Americans everywhere.

An Oglala Sioux member from South Dakota, told The Associated Press on Saturday. “We have every right to be here to protect our land and to protect our water.”

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, believe the Dakota Access pipeline could contaminate their water source, the Missouri River, and desecrate the tribe’s sacred sites.