[News] Standing Rock Sioux Blasts Forcible Removal of Water Protectors

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 6 11:29:00 EST 2017


  Standing Rock Sioux Blasts Forcible Removal of Water Protectors

February 6, 2017

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is set to press on in its legal battle 
against the Dakota Access pipeline Monday after leaders issued 
statements over the weekend condemning recent violence against 
demonstrators and clarifying that they don’t want to see activists 
forcibly removed from the protest site.

They also have called on allies to join the tribe in demanding a fair 
legal review of the multi-billion dollar project that U.S. President 
Donald Trump plans to usher through to completion.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officers arrested 76 protesters 
who were camped on land owned by the Dakota Access pipeline’s developer, 
Energy Transfer Partners. While the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said 
leaders were working with federal authorities to stabilize the situation 
at the protest site, they indicated that they did not want protestors to 
be arrested or ousted from the spot by force.

“We want to stress that we are cleaning the camps, not clearing them. We 
do not support or endorse any ‘raids’. We have not asked for law 
enforcement to assist in clearing camps and in fact have repeatedly told 
them there will be no forcible removal,” the tribe noted in a statement 
posted on its Facebook page.

Last month, Trump gave the green light to the Army Corps of Engineers to 
expedite its review of Energy Transfer Partners’ application so the 
pipeline construction could move forward. Last week, officials indicated 
that they were quickening their review process, but had not yet come to 
a final conclusion.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials also clarified that while they will 
continue in their fight against the pipeline, protesters need to be more 
sensitive to nearby residents at the reservation.

“One of the key tenets of any movement is being considerate about how we 
treat the community in which we bring our voices and respect the places 
where we are visitors,” they stated. “The community of Cannonball has 
every right to choose how it wants people to help them. We are still 
focused on defeating DAPL on all fronts.”

The movement against the pipeline won a victory late last year when the 
Obama adminstration blocked the completion of Dakota Access along its 
current route, pending an environmental impact study — a review process 
that could take months if not years. But many activists noted at the 
time that the fight agains the controversial project, which has been 
slammed for desecrating sacred Indigenous sites and jeopardizing 
important water sources, was not over, particularly in light of 
anticipated pro-pipeline and anti-environment policy-making under the 
Trump administration.

Despite the challenging, the Standing Rock Sioux expressed optimism in 
recent statements, calling for solidarity to propel the movement.

“We are heartened by the successful legal challenge against the 
discriminatory travel ban overturned and sustained this weekend. We 
believe DAPL project requires the same legal scrutiny and 
consideration,” the tribe stated.

“We must stand together against actions and policies that unlawfully 
discriminate and hurt sovereign nations and Native Americans.”

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