Order could have little effect on pipeline protest camp

Calvin SaundersNov 29, 2016

On 26 November 2016, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, the Army Corps announced that hundreds of protesters, who have been at the campsite in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, would have to vacate the camp or face arrest (the protest site is on land managed by the Army Corps).

"The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location", the statement said. "Any action or inaction taken by any party which encourages persons to enter, reenter, or remain in the evacuation area will be subject to penalties as defined in law".

The Corps' letter, according to Archambault, said that those who stay on the land after December 5 may be prosecuted, and that there'll be a free speech zone south of the river.

Thousands have camped near the proposed site of the Dakota Access pipeline since April in an effort to peacefully protest the construction of the pipeline, which would disrupt traditional indigenous burial grounds and could pollute the area's water supply, protesters say.

The suit, which seeks a temporary restraining order against the Morton County and Statesman County sheriffs as well as the Mandan police department, claims that militarized police are using increasingly violent tactics against activists who engage in protest and prayer.

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Dakota Access says the pipeline would carry Bakken shale oil more cheaply and safely from North Dakota to IL en route to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

Standing Rock Sioux tribal chair Dave Archambault isn't anxious that the camp will be evicted. They also believe the land near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers is still rightfully owned by the Standing Rock Sioux under a almost 150-year-old treaty.

Saturday, two prominent North Dakota politicians said the onus was on the federal government to close the camps.

If built the 1,172-mile crude oil pipeline will carry 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day through North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and IL.

"This is a clear stretch of state emergency management authority and a further attempt to abuse and humiliate the water protectors", he said in a statement.

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The camp is located on a slice of land at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri Rivers, and is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

North Dakota U.S. Sen.

Dalrymple's evacuation order came Monday, citing safety concerns related to the region's harsh winter weather. "We will continue to work together in a bipartisan way to make sure the Corps' decision is adhered to and that all North Dakotans are protected".

Henderson said protesters can relocate to a "free speech zone" south of the river. According to Global News, Kirchmeir stated, "We are just not going to allow people to become unlawful". "Clearly the responsibility of clearing that land now lies primarily with the Corps". Medics with the group told the media that more than 160 people suffered hypothermia after being sprayed. He sees this letter as more of a warning that the tribe has to assume liability for anything that happens at the camp. 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. Under an 1851 treaty, the land belongs to the Sioux tribe.

He did consider rerouting the pipeline away from tribal land and the river they are protecting, but Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren, told Associated Press that they won't even consider that possibility.

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