Saturday, November 26, 2016

Eviction Deadline for Overflow Camp At Standing Rock: Dec. 5

Corps gives eviction notice to protest camp

By Lauren Donovan ~ Bismarck Tribune

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has set a deadline of Dec. 5 for those living in the Oceti Sakowin protest camp to vacate the corps-owned land. Anyone remaining after that date will be subject to trespassing charges.

In an email sent Friday to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, Col. John Henderson, Omaha district commander, said the corps is establishing a free speech zone on the south side of the Cannonball River; but the main overflow camp on the north side must be disbanded.

"Our tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever," said Archambault, who is asking pipeline opponents to continue to fight the pipeline's permitting process.

Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, said about 5,000 to 7,000 people are in the camp. That's a substantial increase since Sunday, when a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement led to many being treated for hypothermia after being sprayed with fire hoses. Others sought emergency hospital care, including a woman who suffered a serious arm injury and now is reportedly in satisfactory condition at a Minneapolis hospital.

The overflow camp was established in August, after the Dakota Access Pipeline crew moved toward its Missouri River/Lake Oahe crossing site just north of the reservation. The tribe is in federal court, claiming the corps failed to follow federal law and properly consult the tribe amid concerns the 570,000-barrel capacity pipeline could break and pollute a primary source of drinking water.

Goldtooth said there’s not enough land on the south side of the river where many are already camping; and a planned winter camp on 50 acres of reservation land near Cannon Ball is not yet ready, with groundbreaking set for next week.

“There’s no other space that can take people right now. This is a stupid, foolish act by the corps. I’m fairly sure that law enforcement would be just as concerned,” Goldtooth said.

People in the camp are living without electricity or running water in an array of teepees, tents, yurts and other structures.

Goldtooth said the eviction deadline is the day after more than 2,000 American war veterans are scheduled to arrive at the camp to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock.

Henderson said the decision was necessary to protect the general public from confrontations between protesters and law enforcement, and to prevent death or serious injuries to the protesters. He said the Oceti Sakowin camp is also on land leased for grazing.

“To be clear, this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, can be on these lands," said Henderson, who urged Archambault to encourage tribal members and supporters to move to the free speech zone or a more sustainable location for the winter.

“I am genuinely concerned for the safety and well-being of both the members of your tribe and the general public located at these encampments,” Henderson told the chairman.

The corps has been under pressure from state officials to move the protesters off its land.

Goldtooth said if the corps wants to “wash its hands” of the issue, it would be better to deny the easement for Dakota Access that’s currently preventing the company from boring underneath the Missouri River/Lake Oahe to connect the pipeline that’s mostly completed otherwise.

“They should deny the easement and look at the facts and order a full environmental impact statement. It’s ridiculous to order the eviction of 5,000 to 7,000 people who have moral and treaty rights to be there,” Goldtooth said.



OMAHA NE 68102-4901

November 25, 2016

District Commander

Chairman Dave Archambault II
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Bldg. #1, North Standing Rock Avenue
P.O. Box D

Fort Yates, North Dakota 58538

Dear Chairman Archambault:

Pursuant to 36 C.F.R. § 327.12, I am closing the portion of the Corps-managed federal  property north of the Cannonball River to all public use and access effective December 5, 2016. This decision is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between  protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions. The necessary emergency, medical, and fire response services, law enforcement, or sustainable facilities to protect people from these conditions on this property cannot be provided. I do not take this action lightly, but have decided that it is required due to the concern for public safety and the fact that much of this land is leased to private persons for grazing and/or haying purposes as part of the Corps’ land management practices. To be clear, this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access pipeline protestors, can be on these Corps’ lands.

The Corps of Engineers has established a free speech zone on land south of the Cannonball River for anyone wishing to peaceably protest the Dakota Access pipeline project, subject to the rules of 36 C.F.R. Part 327. In these areas, jurisdiction for police, fire, and medical response is  better defined making it a more sustainable area for visitors to endure the harsh North Dakota winter. For your reference, please find enclosed a map, marked as Exhibit A, which delineates this free speech zone area, as well as shows the Corps’ lands north of the Cannonball River that will be prohibited from public use. Any person found to be on the Corps’ lands north of the Cannonball River after December 5, 2016, will be considered trespassing and may be subject to  prosecution under federal, state, and local laws. Furthermore, any person who chooses to stay on these Corps’ lands north of the Cannonball River does so at their own risk, and assumes any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence and occupation of such lands. There currently are many Title 36 violations occurring on the Corps lands north of the Cannonball River, including, but not limited to, unauthorized structures, fires, improper disposal of waste, and camping. Additionally, any tribal government that sponsors such illegal activity is assuming the risk for those persons who remain on these lands.

See 36 C.F.R. § 327. As I have publically stated, I am asking you, as a Tribal leader, to encourage members of your Tribe, as well as any non-members who support you who are located in the encampments north of the Cannonball River on Corps’ lands to immediately and peacefully move to the free speech zone south of the Cannonball River or to a more sustainable location for the winter. I am genuinely concerned for the safety and well-being of both the members of your Tribe and the general public located at these encampments. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns regarding this information.

Sincerely, John W. Henderson, P.E. Colonel, Corps of Engineers District Commander


Video Source:

Synchronized prayer at 3 pm Central Standard Time on November 26th, 2016 for one hour (Check local time zones; 4 pm Eastern Standard Time at the Sirius Stone Circle Sanctuary in Shutesbury, Massachusetts USA) in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. ~ JDHWB-R ~

No comments:

Post a Comment