Anti-pipeline protesters in North Dakota defy order to leave camp

November 27, 2016 8:30 am

The Oceti Sakowin camp is seen during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, , November 26, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Anti-pipeline protesters in North Dakota have said they would defy a federal order to leave their protest encampment.
On Friday, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said that the Army Corps of Engineers sent him a letter demanding that activists protesting in the area shut down the Oceti Sakowin camp, which is one of the three camps located near the construction site.
However, the tribe leader, Dave Archambault, and other protest organizers said Saturday they would stay there with nonviolent protests.
“We are wardens of this land. This is our land and they can’t remove us,” said protester Isaac Weston, who is an Oglala Sioux member from South Dakota. “We have every right to be here to protect our land and to protect our water.”
“We are staying here, committed to our prayer,” said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Forced removal and state oppression? This is nothing new to us as native people.”

Protesters make a smoky fire on Turtle Island on Thanksgiving Day during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, North Dakota. (Photo by Reuters)

Archambault said the federal government should deny the easement for the pipeline in order to provide safety.
“We have an escalating situation where safety is a concern for everybody,” Archambault said.
The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Native American tribes contend that the project will harm their drinking water and sacred sites.
However, pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners says the 1,885-km pipeline is safe and the fastest route to bring Bakken shale oil from North Dakota to oil refineries in the US Gulf Coast.
The project is mostly complete except for the section set to run under Lake Oahe, less than half a mile north of Standing Rock.
President Barack Obama said earlier this month that it would be possible to reroute the pipeline in that area, but Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, rejected the option and said the company would not consider it.

A protester is detained by police in Bismarck during a protest. (File photo by Reuters)

Protests against the pipeline have spread across the US with over 560 protesters arrested since August.
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