Oil Giant Allegedly Hired International Counter-Terrorist Military Group to Fight Natives

Conor Varela Handley – Water protectors were under constant surveillance and harassment from the perimeters of their camps, day and night.

‘The Intercept’ posts internal memos by TigerSwan, an international counter-terrorist military group, allegedly hired by Energy Transfer Partners

May 29, 2017

The revelations posted by the investigative-news website The Intercept on Saturday May 27 did not come as much of a surprise to water protectors who spent time on the front lines or at the camps near Standing Rock in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). In fact the allegations of intense surveillance by private contractor TigerSwan, as if water protectors were terroristic jihadists rather than peaceful, prayerful protesters upholding the right to clean water, validated the experience of those people on the ground last summer and fall.

“While in the #OcetiSakowin camps, we knew that these counter intelligence and movement disruption tactics were being used,” said Dallas Goldtooth, the Keep It in the Ground organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network, in a statement on Facebook. “Our devices would stop working for periods of time, hard drives would be cleared of information and footage, and from time to time camp security would identify infiltrators inside the camp who were working for Energy Transfer Partners.”

Over the course of the months-long protest, thousands of people descended upon land adjacent to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation to express their support for a change in route for the DAPL so that it would not pass within a half mile of the reservation or be routed through treaty land. Met with militarized police and private security forces, they were beset by dogs, shot with water cannons in subfreezing temperatures, and bombarded by rubber bullets and concussion grenades, some of which resulted in severe injuries.

Now, based on an exhaustive review of hundreds of documents, e-mails and reports, The Intercept alleges that TigerSwan, a private security company hired by DAPL builder Energy Transfer Partners, worked closely with authorities in several states, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies, to pursue ETP’s corporate agenda. Their goal was to not only stifle opposition but also infiltrate and discredit the movement, terming it dangerously religious.

“The leaked materials not only highlight TigerSwan’s militaristic approach to protecting its client’s interests but also the company’s profit-driven imperative to portray the nonviolent water protector movement as unpredictable and menacing enough to justify the continued need for extraordinary security measures,” reported Alleen Brown, Will Parrish and Alice Speri in The Intercept. The site alleges that internal TigerSwan documents were sent by a whistleblower. The trove of internal memos includes “detailed summaries of the previous day’s surveillance targeting pipeline opponents, intelligence on upcoming protests, and information harvested from social media. The documents also provide extensive evidence of aerial surveillance and radio eavesdropping, as well as infiltration of camps and activist circles.”

TigerSwan did not respond to requests for comment from ICMN. Energy Transfer Partners issued a terse statement to a request for a response.

“The safety of our employees and the communities in which we live and work is our top priority,” wrote ETP spokesperson Vicki Granado in a statement e-mailed to ICMN. “In order to ensure that, we do have security plans in place, and we do communicate with law enforcement agencies as appropriate. Beyond that we do not discuss details of our security efforts.”

Below are ten of the most shocking allegations from The Intercept, a website founded in 2013 by journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, after they helped bring forth disclosures by Edward Snowden, the National Security Administration (NSA) whistleblower, of extensive surveillance of individuals across the U.S. The Intercept’s full report contains much more, including links to downloadable originals of several of the documents cited. In addition, the story says, more coverage is in the works.

TigerSwan portrayed NoDAPL as a religious movement, akin to a jihad.

According to The Intercept, TigerSwan went so far as to compare water protectors with fundamentalist Muslims, calling the movement “an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component” and alluding to Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of tactics.

TigerSwan worked against the water protectors as if they were jihadists.

Although the water protectors were unarmed, TigerSwan used tactics more often deployed against suicide bombers and violent protesters. TigerSwan infiltrated the water protectors’ ranks, trolled social media accounts for information and conducted helicopter and drone surveillance of activity far from DAPL construction sites.

People of Middle Eastern descent at the camps were identified and tracked closely as potential links to international terrorism.

TigerSwan, according to documents obtained by The Intercept, paid special attention to water protectors of Middle Eastern descent, in particular Haithem El-Zabri, a Palestinian-American activist.

“As indigenous people, Palestinians stand in solidarity with other indigenous people and their right to land, water, and sovereignty,” a shocked El-Zabri told The Intercept. “To insinuate that our assumed faith is a red flag for terrorist tactics is another example of willful ignorance and the establishment’s continued attempts to criminalize nonviolent protest and justify violence against it.”

They shadowed people of interest, from water protectors to at least one reporter.

An inkling of this seeped out when The Guardian reported earlier this year that counterterrorism experts had attempted to contact water protectors long after they had left Standing Rock. Upon reading The Intercept’s report, water protector Kandi Mossett, also of the Indigenous Environmental Network, posted photos of an alleged bugging device that had been found in a room of the Prairie Knights Hotel and Casino on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, where many water protectors were housed. TigerSwan was especially interested in activist Cody Hall, who was shadowed constantly and was the subject of much communication, according to the documents obtained and posted by The Intercept. And it was not lost on him.

“It was obvious—they were driving in trucks, SUVs, they would be right behind me, right next to me … it was like, damn, man, it’s like you’re getting an escort,” said Hall to The Intercept. “That was always the scary thing: How did they know that I was coming?”

The intense surveillance continued even after Hall’s September arrest and release on bail.

“In a deliberate show of force, four units surrounded my car. Each car had three to four officers to take me into custody,” Hall said in a statement last fall after spending a weekend in jail. “Their intimidation tactics continued when we arrived at the Morton County Jail. Eight officers were waiting for me when the elevator door opened.”

Security forces had infiltrators working for them.

Infiltrators, allegedly using fake names, were reported as trying to gain trust and insinuate themselves into positions of influence at the camps. The documents convey the sense that these agents reported back to TigerSwan regularly. One October 3 TigerSwan dispatch discusses ways to pit camp residents against one another along classic lines: native versus non-natives and protectors campaigning for peaceful action against those arguing for more aggressive actions. All such infiltrations were a part of “our effort to delegitimize the anti-DAPL movement.”

The effort extended beyond the water protector camps at Standing Rock, with monitoring of activity in all four states that the pipeline passes through.

The security contractor planted fake social media pushback on social media accounts.

As the U.S. was consumed by reports of “fake news,” TigerSwan put out some of its own, planting fake assertions on social media.

In keeping with the religious theme, TigerSwan saw the dispersal of the protectors as a diaspora that needs to be tracked and contained.

TigerSwan said the water protector movement had “generally followed the jihadist insurgency model while active,” and predicted that “we can expect the individuals who fought for and supported it to follow a post-insurgency model after its collapse.”

They think the NoDAPL movement has imploded, and that they were responsible.

“While we can expect to see the continued spread of the anti-DAPL diaspora … aggressive intelligence preparation of the battlefield and active coordination between intelligence and security elements are now a proven method of defeating pipeline insurgencies,” TigerSwan said in a memo quoted by The Intercept.

They refer to the water protector camps and associated movements in militaristic terms and display an unnerving level of hostility.

TigerSwan terms the camps “the battlespace” and characterizes the water protectors’ actions at DAPL construction sites as criminal and a national security threat.

They are still at it.

Even though the camps have dissipated, surveillance was still intense. As recently as May 4 an alleged internal memo “describes an effort to amass digital and ground intelligence,” The Intercept revealed.

Such revelations only corroborated the water protectors’ experience.

“Now the evidence of this is coming to bear,” said Goldtooth in his Facebook statement. “This proof also tells us more about the militarization of the police and the violence they imposed on Water Protectors. By comparing Indigenous Peoples and civilians to Jihadist Terrorists, police and security were essentially given permission to carry out war-like tactics on Water Protectors—and perpetrate ongoing suppression of peaceful voices dedicated to the defense of water.”

[SOURCE]

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Veterans for Standing Rock Head Evacuation Mission

A camper braces against high winds and a blizzard while walking inside the Oceti Sakowin camp as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball,

A camper braces against high winds and a blizzard while walking inside the Oceti Sakowin camp as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball,

By Esha Sarai | VOA News, Dec 06, 2016 

Hundreds of veterans who came to North Dakota to stand show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe were heading an evacuation mission Tuesday to help those stuck in a blizzard that immobilized most of the state.

Hundreds of cars poured into the Oceti Sakowin camp Sunday and Monday following the decision of the Army Corps of Engineers to deny an easement needed to route the Dakota Access Pipeline under a Missouri River reservoir near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. That section is the last major part of the pipeline that hasn’t been finished.

The Oceti Sakowin camp is seen as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Dec. 6, 2016.

The Oceti Sakowin camp is seen as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Dec. 6, 2016.

Security officials at the camp, however, have not let anyone leave, citing safety concerns. Thousands of protesters have been stuck since the blizzard began Monday.

“It’s mostly involving helping people get back on the roads … people who have slipped off the road, and getting people to Prairie King,” Iraq War veteran Johnathan Engle told VOA, referring to the casino about 15 kilometers from the Oceti Sakowin camp. Thousands of “water protectors” have been staying at the camp while they protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which they see as a threat to drinking water and cultural sites.

Veterans and "water protectors" from the Oceti Sakowin camp have been taking shelter in the nearby Prairie Knights Casino and Resort as a blizzard rages through North Dakota, Dec. 6, 2016. (Credit: D. Beckmann)

Veterans and “water protectors” from the Oceti Sakowin camp have been taking shelter in the nearby Prairie Knights Casino and Resort as a blizzard rages through North Dakota, Dec. 6, 2016. (Credit: D. Beckmann)

“[The casino] has a large open area” and has offered it as a place to stay, “so people are kind of spread out on the floor along the sides of the auditorium. They have their sleeping bags and other gear with them,” Johnathan said. The casino is the nearest establishment of any kind to the camp.

Though multiple news agencies have reported that Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman David Archambault II has asked the camp to disband, saying its mission is over, the message has not spread throughout the Oceti Sakowin camp, where many who are prepared with long-term tents and winter gear are planning to stay. Though the Army Corps announced its decision on the easement Sunday, many “water protectors” are wary that officials in the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump could reverse the decision after he is inaugurated in January.

“Between the tribal elders, communication is moving very slowly here,” Kevin Basl, another member of “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock,” told VOA. “Some people are very ready for this, and there are some people who were just coming for the weekend who weren’t so well-prepared. But the roads are closed, so no one will be leaving for now.”

Water protectors celebrate the decision of the Army Corps to deny the building of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline through their and sacred Sioux land (E. Sarai/VOA)

Water protectors celebrate the decision of the Army Corps to deny the building of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline through their and sacred Sioux land (E. Sarai/VOA)

The majority of interstate Highway 94, which runs across the state, has been closed, and the North Dakota Department of Transportation issued a “no travel” advisory for the majority of state highways, including all routes to and from the Standing Rock reservation.

Basl and Engle both came to the camp over the weekend, when activist and veteran Wesley Clark Jr. organized nearly 2,000 veterans to show their support for the water protectors at Standing Rock.

A woman makes coffee in a kitchen in the Oceti Sakowin camp as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Dec. 6, 2016.

A woman makes coffee in a kitchen in the Oceti Sakowin camp as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Dec. 6, 2016.

“We’ve all signed up to sacrifice our lives to help people,” Clark told VOA near the Standing Rock camp on Sunday. “I know a lot of veterans take the oath very seriously, like I do. I put the call out to vets, and everybody answered. It’s awesome,” he said, visibly emotional over the sheer number of veterans present.

A GoFundMe page set up to support veterans coming to Standing Rock this weekend raised over $1 million.

Clark, who spoke alongside U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on Sunday, cited both environmental concerns as well as a continuous history of mistreatment of the Native American people.

“The United States has broken every single treaty it’s ever signed with native peoples. Every one. And native peoples have broken no treaties with the federal government,” he said. “So it’s time this country actually starts living up to its word.”

A young Native American man on horseback watches veterans unfurl a flag near the Oceti Sakowin camp as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Dec. 4, 2016.

A young Native American man on horseback watches veterans unfurl a flag near the Oceti Sakowin camp as “water protectors” continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., Dec. 4, 2016.

Both Clark and Gabbard, who rose to popularity when she endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for president last year, spoke to what they said was a misrepresentation of the issue. They said oil companies — who say they support the pipeline for efficiency, safety and economic reasons — are not actually taking people’s lives into consideration.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii speaks to reporters after addressing veterans near the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota (E. Sarai/VOA)

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii speaks to reporters after addressing veterans near the Standing Rock camp in North Dakota (E. Sarai/VOA)

“Some who are talking about this issue are trying to pit two sides of our community and our country against each other — those who are choosing to support so-called economic development and jobs pitted against those who are standing for protecting water,” Gabbard said. “It’s a false narrative; it’s a false question. Unless we protect our water, there is no economy. There are no jobs. There is no life.”

http://www.voanews.com/a/blizzard-strands-protesters-at-standing-rock-despite-calls-to-disband/3625161.html

Dakota Access Pipeline Set To Begin Final Stretch, Mobilizing To Drill Under Missouri River

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and supporters confront bulldozers working on the Dakota Access pipeline in September. (AFP/Getty Images file photo)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and supporters confront bulldozers working on the Dakota Access pipeline in September. (AFP/Getty Images file photo)

Dakota Access preparing for tunneling under Missouri River within weeks

By Red Power Media, Staff | Nov 09, 2016

Energy Transfer Partners, the operator of the Dakota Access Pipeline, is reportedly preparing to start construction on the final stretch of the $3.7 billion pipeline project.

Dakota Access released a statement last night, saying construction is now complete on both sides of the Lake Oahe crossing. The pipeline operator is moving equipment to prepare for the tunneling under Lake Oahe — a dammed section of the Missouri River north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

According to the release, Dakota Access expects to have fully mobilized all equipment needed to drill under the Missouri River within 2 weeks.

Federal regulators have not yet given the company the green light to start construction work. The pipeline operator is still awaiting an easement for land next to the lake, but the company said it “remains confident that it will receive the easement for these two strips of land adjacent to Lake Oahe in a time frame that will not result in any significant delay.”

Dakota Access also refuted a comment reportedly given by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the company had agreed to slow construction.

Energy Transfer told Reuters that the Army Corps statement was a “mistake” and the Corps “intends to rescind it.”

In September, following protests by Environmentalists and Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the Army Corps asked Energy Transfer to voluntarily halt all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe. But the company ignored the request and pressed on toward the Missouri River, arguing that they had received all the necessary permits and approvals from the Army Corps and did not intend to stop.

Watch Drone Footage of Dakota Access Pipeline Approaching Missouri River:

https://vimeo.com/189876726%20

On October 31, President Barack Obama said the Army Corps is considering a reroute of the Dakota Access pipeline in this area and will let federal agency regulatory processes “play out” in the next several weeks. It remains unclear how the pipeline could be rerouted if construction is already occurring up to the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, has long argued that the Dakota Access pipeline threatens sacred lands, cultural artifacts and will pollute water supplies.

Today, Forum News Service reported, staff from the North Dakota Public Service Commission have proposed a $15,000 fine for Dakota Access for potential permit violations after the company failed to notify the commission about cultural artifacts discovered in the pipeline route in Morton County on Oct. 17.

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Map of the Dakota Access Pipeline Route

Lake Oahe, the body of water at the heart of the protests, straddles the border between North Dakota and South Dakota.

This last phase of construction will join the two already-completed sections of the pipeline.

On Nov. 7, Unicorn Riot documented active pipeline construction that could be seen from the main Oceti Sakowin encampment.

The Dakota Access pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

UPDATE:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers renewed its call Wednesday, Nov. 9, for Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to voluntarily stop construction near Lake Oahe, citing concerns for people involved with continued protests north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

“We are concerned over recent statements from DAPL regarding our request to voluntarily stop work, which are intended to diffuse tensions surrounding their operations near Corps-managed federal land until we have a clear path forward,” said Col. John W. Henderson, commander of the Omaha district, in a statement released late Wednesday.

Representatives from the Army Corps also have met recently with tribal officials and agreed to work proactively to defuse tensions between demonstrators and law enforcement, Henderson said.

“We again ask DAPL to voluntarily cease operations in this area as their absence will help reduce these tensions,” Henderson said.

Another Tear Gas Standoff With Police As Water Protectors Defend Sacred Land

"We need sincere action in order to stop this pipeline," said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. (Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)(Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)

“We need sincere action in order to stop this pipeline,” said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. (Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)(Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)

Latest incident comes as reporting shows pipeline company failed to immediately inform state regulators it found artifacts during construction

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer | Common Dreams

Water protectors near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation continued to face violence and intimidation on Sunday, with police again firing tear gas as they attempted to defend their sacred ground.

According to reporting by Unicorn Riot, the Dakota Access Pipeline foes “crossed the Cantapeta Creek (an offshoot of the Cannonball river) to set up camp on the land formation now referred to as ‘Turtle Island.'” Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux lay claim to that land.

Video documentation by Unicorn Riot and photos on Twitter by those on the scene show a row of police on top the hill above where the water protectors had cross onto the island. The video footage shows tear gas landing near the protesters.

#NoDAPL Water Protectors Tear Gassed by Police During Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.

An image captured by film director and environmental activist Josh Fox shows one protester holding up a mirror to reflect back the brutality of the police tactics.

The creek is the same site where just days earlier another violent standoff took place between police and water protectors. One journalist was shot by police with a rubber bullet during that incident while she was conducting an interview.

The latest militarized police response to the protesters comes as North Dakota regulators are set to file a complaint against pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners “for failing to disclose the discovery of Native American artifacts in the path of construction,” the Guardian reported Saturday. The reporting continued:

The allegations mark the state’s first formal action against the corporation and add fuel to the claims of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has long argued that the $3.7bn pipeline threatens sacred lands and indigenous cultural heritage.

Julie Fedorchak, chair of the North Dakota public service commission, told the Guardian that on 17 October, pipeline officials found a group of stone cairns –symbolic rock piles that sometimes mark burial grounds – on a site where construction was planned.

The firm, however, failed to notify the commission, in violation of its permit, and only disclosed the findings 10 days later when government workers inquired about it, she said.

The standoff also comes a day after Steve Horn reported that

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed to DeSmog that Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, has ignored the Obama administration’s September 9 request to voluntarily halt construction in a disputed area, 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe and the Missouri River.

Further, as Common Dreams reported last week,

An independent pipeline expert [commission by the Standing Rock Sioux] has concluded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental assessment (EA) of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is insufficient and fails to account for the impact on tribal members, prompting the Standing Rock Sioux to demand that the federal agency “revisit” its approval of the controversial project.

With the feeling by some that now “time is running out,” native leaders are calling for a thousands-strong mobilization on Nov. 15 to take place at Army Corps of Engineers offices across the country.

“This is a call for all of our relatives who’ve been wanting to support,” said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network in a media statement. “Whether you’ve come to the camp, whether you haven’t come to the camp. If you live near an Army Corps of Engineers office, we’re asking you to step up to mobilize. We’re asking you to come out in numbers and not only let the Army Corps of Engineers hear your voices, but let the Obama Administration hear your voice.”

“We need sincere action in order to stop this pipeline,” he continued.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/11/07/another-tear-gas-standoff-police-water-protectors-defend-sacred-land

Thousands In Toronto March Against Dakota Access Pipeline

Demonstrators gathered in front of Ontario's legislature in Toronto on Saturday, November 5. (Mathieu Simard/CBC/Radio-Canada)

Demonstrators gathered in front of Ontario’s legislature in Toronto on Saturday, November 5. (Mathieu Simard/CBC/Radio-Canada)

Peaceful demonstration meant to show solidarity with U.S. protesters

CBC News Posted: Nov 05, 2016

Thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in downtown Toronto on Saturday to show solidarity with protesters against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project in the U.S.

The march attracted at least 4,000 people, according to one organizer. It began in front of the Ontario legislature at Queen’s Park and included a stop at the U.S. consulate on University Avenue. It ended at Nathan Phillips Square in front of Toronto city hall.

Attendees said they wanted to show their counterparts in Standing Rock, North Dakota that Canadians are on their side.

“We want to show the people at Standing Rock that there are thousands of North Americans that want to stand with them, that want to show our support,” said demonstrator Nicolas Haddad.

Others described the Toronto rally as part of a global campaign.

“It’s a really beautiful, empowering movement here, where you can see people from across the world coming together to stand for the same cause, and stand for the earth,” said Camille Koon.

Peaceful demonstrators marched down Toronto's University Avenue towards city hall. (Mathieu Simard/CBC/Radio-Canada)

Peaceful demonstrators marched down Toronto’s University Avenue towards city hall. (Mathieu Simard/CBC/Radio-Canada)

Cheri DiNovo, MPP for Parkdale-High Park, told CBC News the demonstration was also meant to grab the attention of Canadian political leaders.

“The simple reality is that we’re here to support [the Dakota Sioux], but also to send a very strong message to our own governments, both provincial and federal, that this is treaty land, that you have to deal with First Nations, and that we need to keep the oil in the soil,” said Dinovo.

Pipeline protests

The Dakota Access Pipeline project would carry oil for almost 1,900 kilometres across four U.S. states, from North Dakota’s Bakken oil formation to pipelines in Illinois. From there, the oil would go to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Protesters have made a stand near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, calling for the pipeline to be rerouted. They say the pipeline and construction process pose a risk to local water supplies and sacred sites.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/hundreds-march-against-dakota-access-222619649.html

North Dakota Pipeline Protest Turns Violent After Tribe’s Sacred Sites Destroyed

A Native American protester holds up his arms as he and other protesters are threatened by private security guards and guard dogs, at a work site for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. Hundreds of Native American protestors and their supporters, who fear the Dakota Access Pipeline will polluted their water, forced construction workers and security forces to retreat and work to stop. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images ROBYN BECK / AFP - Getty Images

A Native American protester holds up his arms as he and other protesters are threatened by private security guards and guard dogs, at a work site for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECKROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images ROBYN BECK / AFP – Getty Images

The Associated Press, Sept. 4, 2016

Standing Rock protesters confronted construction crews working on the Dakota Access pipeline on Saturday, after the demolition of American Indian burial and cultural sites.

BISMARCK, N.D. — A protest of a four-state, $3.8 billion oil pipeline turned violent after tribal officials say construction crews destroyed American Indian burial and cultural sites on private land in southern North Dakota.

Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Donnell Preskey said four private security guards and two guard dogs were injured after several hundred protesters confronted construction crews Saturday afternoon at the site just outside the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. One of the security officers was taken to a Bismarck hospital for undisclosed injuries. The two guard dogs were taken to a Bismarck veterinary clinic, Preskey said.

Tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear said protesters reported that six people had been bitten by security dogs, including a young child. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed, he said. Preskey said law enforcement authorities had no reports of protesters being injured.

There were no law enforcement personnel at the site when the incident occurred, Preskey said. The crowd dispersed when officers arrived and no one was arrested, she said.

The incident occurred within half a mile of an encampment where hundreds of people have gathered to join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s protest of the oil pipeline that is slated to cross the Missouri River nearby.

The tribe is challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant permits for Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline, which crosses the Dakotas and Iowa to Illinois, including near the reservation in southern North Dakota. A federal judge will rule before Sept. 9 whether construction can be halted on the Dakota Access pipeline.

Energy Transfer Partners did not return phone calls and emails from The Associated Press on Saturday seeking comment.

The tribe fears the project will disturb sacred sites and impact drinking water for thousands of tribal members on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and millions farther downstream.

The protest Saturday came one day after the tribe filed court papers saying it found several sites of “significant cultural and historic value” along the path of the proposed pipeline.

Tribal preservation officer Tim Mentz said in court documents that the tribe was only recently allowed to survey private land north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Mentz said researchers found burials rock piles called cairns and other sites of historic significance to Native Americans.

Standing Rock Sioux chairman David Archambault II said in a statement that construction crews removed topsoil across an area about 150 feet wide stretching for 2 miles.

Image: US-ENVIRONMENT-PROTEST

Protesters march toward private security guards and works as they retreat, on a work site for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) oil pipeline, near Cannonball, North Dakota, September 3, 2016. ROBYN BECK / AFP – Getty Images

“This demolition is devastating,” Archambault said. “These grounds are the resting places of our ancestors. The ancient cairns and stone prayer rings there cannot be replaced. In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.”

Preskey said the company filmed the confrontation by helicopter and turned the video over to authorities. Protesters also have posted some of the confrontation on social media.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a statement that “individuals crossed onto private property and accosted private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles.”

“Any suggestion that today’s event was a peaceful protest, is false,” his statement said.

[SOURCE]

Pipeline Fighters Arrested In North Dakota And Iowa After Disrupting Dakota Access Worksites (VIDEO)

Dakota Access Pipeline Fighters Arrested

By Black Powder Red Power Media, Staff, Aug 31, 2016

Arrests were made Wednesday at a Dakota Access pipeline worksite after demonstrators disrupted construction, west of the main protest site ― where hundreds of mostly Native Americans are camped out.

Construction has been stopped for days near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, while the Dakota Access company and those opposing its controversial oil pipeline await a court decision on Sept 9th. Dakota Access has agreed not to drill under the Missouri River; However, construction has continued elsewhere. And today, protesters targeted one of those spots.

Sheriff’s deputies spent all morning trying to get down Dale American Horse Jr, who is known as Happy, after he attached himself to heavy machinery at a Dakota Access construction site, near State Highway 6 south of St. Anthony, or about 20 miles west of the main protest site near Standing Rock. Problems in taking apart the equipment slowed his release into custody. The site had to shut down for the day.

The Grand Forks Herald‎ reports, Morton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Donnell Preskey said two protesters, using what appeared to be tape and PVC pipe or casting type of material, bound themselves to a piece of machinery that appeared in the video. Authorities called the Mandan Rural Fire Department to help cut the men free.

Around 11:15 a.m., Authorities pushed a group of protesters surrounding American Horse back 100 yards. At least two were taken into custody.

According to the Bismarck Tribune, Eight Dakota Access Pipeline protesters had been arrested as of 2:05 today

Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said today’s act to chain themselves to Dakota Access Pipeline equipment was done by members of the Red Warrior Camp.

Goldtooth said the Red Warrior Camp is made up of Dakota and Lakota people residing within the original Sacred Stone spirit camp on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The Sheriff’s Department arrested protesters for a variety of charges including suspicion of preventing arrest, disorderly conduct, trespassing, and obstruction to a government function.

The pipeline fighters in Standing Rock have so far succeeded in halting construction and the mainstream media has been criticized for lack of coverage on the Dakota Access pipeline protests. Much of today’s action by the Native American activists opposed to the pipeline, unfolded live on social media sites.

Julia Slocum of Ames, Iowa, is placed under arrest on trespassing charges by a member of the Boone County Sherrif's Department on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, in Boone, Iowa. People gathered to voice their opinion against the development of the Bakken Pipeline during a rally on four of the entrances to the pipeline construction site. The Des Moines Register via AP Bryon Houlgrave

Julia Slocum of Ames, Iowa, is placed under arrest on trespassing charges by a member of the Boone County Sherrif’s Department on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, in Boone, Iowa.

30 arrested in Iowa at the Bakken pipeline protest

Meanwhile, after a Judge denied a restraining order, pipeline fighters in Iowa at other end the Dakota Access, ―also known as the Bakken pipeline― met Wednesday morning to learn the techniques of peaceful civil disobedience. In the afternoon, more than 100 protesters converged on the Farm Progress grounds in Boone, and a few dozen blocked four entrances to the construction site grounds. Those who would not move to make way for vehicles coming in and out were arrested by law enforcement officials with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and Iowa State Patrol.

KCCI’s Mark Tauscheck reported the first arrest happened about 2:48 p.m.

30 arrested protesters were arrested and taken to the Boone County Jail on charges of trespassing, the sheriff’s department said.

Protesters are arrested by Iowa State troopers as they march against the Dakota Access pipeline near Pilot Mound on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Protesters are arrested by Iowa State troopers as they march against the Dakota Access pipeline near Pilot Mound on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 31, 2016. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

For two years, activists in Iowa have been demonstrating against Dakota Access, which is placing 346 miles of pipeline in 18 Iowa counties, crossing the state on a diagonal from northwest to southeast. It’s part of the interstate route that starts in the Bakken fields of North Dakota, crosses part of South Dakota and the width of Iowa before ending at a distribution hub in Illinois.

Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline project has grown fierce as landowners, Indigenous people, farmers, and environmentalists have banded together in opposition.

A person sits in protest at the site of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in central North Dakota, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Authorities say that they have cut free the man who bound himself to construction equipment as part of a protest at a Dakota Access oil pipeline about 20 miles west of a main protest site in North Dakota. The Bismarck Tribune via AP Tom Stromme

Dale American Horse Jr, who is known as Happy, sits in protest at the site of construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Photo: The Bismarck Tribune via AP Tom Stromme

Amnesty International To Observe Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

Around 800 protesters have blocked construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. | Photo: Facebook / No Dakota Access in Treaty Territory - Camp of the Sacred Stones

Protesters have blocked construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. | Photo: Facebook / No Dakota Access in Treaty Territory – Camp of the Sacred Stones

By Red Power Media Staff, August 24, 2016

Amnesty USA to monitor law enforcement response to pipeline protests

As a federal court said Wednesday, that they would rule on the injunction to suspend construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Sept. 9th, Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) has sent a delegation of human rights observers to monitor the law enforcement response to protests by Indigenous communities in North Dakota.

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Thousands of people have gathered in recent weeks at the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline at the border of North and South Dakota, close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

The international human rights organization has been concerned about reports that the state of North Dakota took away water resources provided to a camp protesting construction of the pipeline under the Missouri River.

State law enforcement has removed state-owned water tanks that have served as the main supply of drinking water for the encampment, citing public safety concerns.

“We are concerned about the health and safety of protesters,” said Tarah Demant, a spokeswoman for the delegation.

AIUSA sent a letter today to the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Morton County Sheriff Department notifying them of the delegation and outlining how authorities are required to act in accordance with international human rights standards and the U.S. Constitution during the policing of protests.

“It is the legitimate right of people to peacefully express their opinion,” the letter reads. “Public assemblies should not be considered as the ‘enemy.’ The command hierarchy must convey a clear message to law enforcement officials that their task is to facilitate and not to restrict a peaceful public assembly.“

Amnesty International has history of monitoring protests and police conduct to ensure adherence to international standards for human rights. In the United States, AIUSA has deployed delegations of observers to Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore, MD, to monitor protests in the wake of police killings, as well as to Cleveland and Philadelphia to monitor the protests outside the Republican and Democratic National Conventions earlier this year.

AIUSA’s letters to authorities in North Dakota make clear:

  • The decision to disperse an assembly should be a last resort and should be communicated clearly and with ample time for people to comply. If a small minority tries to turn a peaceful assembly into a violent one, police should protect the peaceful protestors and not use isolated violence as a pretext to impede the rights of the majority of protestors.
  • Police should not use force against protestors simply for assembling; the decision to disperse an assembly should only be taken when there are no other means available to protect public order from an imminent risk of violence; and the type of equipment used to disperse an assembly must be carefully considered and used only when necessary, proportional and lawful.
  • Police should not selectively enforce laws against the media, legal observers, or protest organizers.
  • Arrest and detention should be carried out in accordance with the law and should not be used as a means to prevent peaceful protest or to intimidate or punish people for participating in a public assembly.
  • If people are arrested, police should not use restraints in an excessive manner; people who are arrested should have access to food and water, restrooms, medical attention, and legal counsel.

Meanwhile, North Dakota Highway Patrol Lt. Tom Iverson and Donnell Preskey, a spokeswoman for the Morton County Sheriff’s department, said they were not aware of any communications local enforcement has had with Amnesty International. The group’s arrival will not change anything about how the patrol approaches the protest, Iverson said.

“Our message remains the same,” he said. “We need to keep everybody safe and promote safety for everybody involved — protesters, workers, law enforcement and the motoring public,” he said.