Army Corps Says Dakota Access Protestors Must Move by December 5

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has told Dakota Access pipeline protestors occupying (reclaiming?) the Oceti Sakowin Camp to move it or lose it. In an official letter yesterday to Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II, District Commander John W. Henderson says the federal land north of the Cannonball River in North Dakota will be off-limits to the public as of December 5:

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 [Colonel John W. Henderson, Corps of Engineers, letter to Chairman Dave Archambault II, 2016.11.25]….

Hmmm… the violent confrontations and serious injury appear to come largely from the state attacking peaceful protestors. The water protectors are doing a fair job of raising money and collecting provisions for their peaceful, prayerful, and practical winter camp; stop blasting them with water cannons in sub-freezing weather, and they’ll probably make it through the winter just fine. They don’t need the government to help them withstand harsh conditions to fight for what’s right… but if the government can mobilize hundreds of militarized law enforcement personnel from multiple states and millions of dollars to protect a pipeline, they could probably send a few truckloads of supplies to help the human beings on the ground. The government obviously has water trucks available….

Of course, Chariman Archambault proposes the surest way to protect all parties involved:

The best way to protect people during the winter, and reduce the risk of conflict between water protectors and militarized police, is to deny the easement for the Oahe crossing, and deny it now [Chairman Dave Archambault, public response to Corps of Engineers letter, 2016.11.25]

Colonel Henderson isn’t shutting the protest down; he’s just moving them off federal land to a “free speech zone” south of the river:

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 [Henderson to Archambault, 2016.11.25].

South of the Cannonball River takes the protestors farther away from where the Dakota Access pipeline will make its second crossing of the Missouri River.

Chairman Archambault calls on Americans to recover the supposed spirit of Thanksgiving, call the President, and appeal this decision:

It is both unfortunate and disrespectful that this announcement comes the day after this country celebrates Thanksgiving—a historic exchange of goodwill between Native Americans and the first immigrants from Europe. Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the mistreatment of our people. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stands united with more than 300 tribal nations and the water protectors who are here peacefully protesting the Dakota access pipeline to bolster indigenous people’s rights. We continue to fight for these rights, which continue to be eroded. Although we have suffered much, we still have hope that the President will act on his commitment to close the chapter of broken promises to our people and especially our children [Archambault, 2016.11.25].

Archambault and his allies are at best playing for time; come January 20, the new President and shameless stockholder in Dakota Access will undoubtedly order completion of the pipeline, without regard to treaty rights or water quality.

23 Responses to Army Corps Says Dakota Access Protestors Must Move by December 5

  1. mike from iowa

    Since white racists won’t be dealing with law breaking white racists here, what are the chances of significant gunfire coming from the ‘law abiding’ law men?

  2. Porter Lansing

    It’s about the Wašicun security thugs. They’re the ones that couldn’t take the pleasant prairie winters the tribes are so used to. Many times have we in CO been beseeched to send money to Pine Ridge to help buy propane for the residents, selfishly ignored by South Dakota Conservatives.

  3. Indian lawyers will note the equity&irony of CFR concerning “impairment&impeding purposes of the project” -safe drinking water! Noise Cannons too are specifically prohibited. Late December orders rendering Indians as “hostile” like Pres. Grant’s War Department&Indian Commissioner did after Crook&Custer were stopped in their tracks, are typical treaty violations.

  4. I’m a bit confused here. The land the camps are on, does it belong to the tribes or the corps?

  5. About time these law breaking protesters are given the boot. Hopefully the government will keep their word and remove these thugs. These people are a bunch of lawbreakers that do not respect the rights of others.

    Peaceful protesters they are not.

  6. mike from iowa

    Unfortunately, the protectors are exercising their 2nd amendment rights and packing enough firepower to protect themselves.

    If I remember right, wingnuts like Sam were thrilled that law breaking Bundys and scum of their ilk were hiding behind women on federal land in Nevada breaking the law. The government backed off and white racist wingnuts celebrated. Then the same s### occurred in Oregon and the law backed off while white racists did all kinds of damage to federal property and other white wingnuts cheered those lawbreakers. Of course when the Bundidos bandits were apprehended wingnts had a s### storm.

  7. mike from iowa

    are should be aren’t in first sentence.

  8. Porter Lansing

    Damn, Sam. Isn’t it hard to dance with that stick up your butt?

  9. Roger Cornelius

    Why doesn’t the Army wait to attack the protectors on December 29 to coincide with the anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre.

  10. Roger Cornelius

    Sam@ talks like every other redneck in South Dakota.
    They also believe that George Soros is paying the protectors $1400 a month to protest (according to comments on the Rapid City Journal comment section).

  11. To all you liberals who think the core is wrong visit the area the locals in the protest area will tell you these people are nothing more than a bunch of thugs. They brag how much they are getting paid while 99 percent are not from North Dakota.

    Is there any way we can start the Trump presidency early?

  12. Porter Lansing

    Who told you that, Sam?
    All Us Liberals

  13. mike from iowa

    Sam- you get yourself a video recorder or audio tape, drive your bad self out there and get some actual proof of the nonsense you spout.

    Getting propaganda from Fake Noize or dead Breitbart is bad for your mental health and general well being. It is a proven fact that Fake Noize and others of their ilk make your brain cells die because of sheer stoopidity. They make stuff up. They don’t give you news or truth. You are a perfect example of what I just said.

  14. private richard

    Sam@, may the Wizard some day grant you a new heart. Your words make clear yours is hardened.

  15. Paul Seamans

    There is some thought that the reason for this Corps letter is to protect the Corps from liability in case matters head south. Standing Rock Chairman Dave Archambault stated today that all Great Plains Tribes also received this notice from the Corps.

    Current estimates are that there are 8000 people at camp. What does the Corps have to gain by clearing out the camp? Where would 8000 prisoners be housed in North Dakota? I am willing to bet that this Corps letter will help increase the number of people moving to the camp.

  16. Roger Cornelius

    Paul Seamans,

    In reference to sam@ there is a persistent rumor that the protectors are being paid by George Soros or some other money man or organization.
    sam@ claims to have first hand knowledge of some protectors boasting about being paid $1400 a month to protest.
    Can you please give your response to sam2 and others that are repeating this story?
    Thank you

  17. Paul Seamans

    I am part of a group conversation from the Sacred Stone Camp and I have never even heard of such a rumor of protectors being paid by Soros. Sam is in a class of his own in rumor mongering.

    Sam refers to camp residents as a bunch of thugs. I suggest Sam spend a day or two in camp. The camp residents are about as friendly, respectful, courteous, prayerful, devoted bunch of people that you will ever find anywhere. Even Sam will be welcomed and treated with respect.

  18. mike from iowa

    Paul and Roger, the cavalry is coming to reinforce the water protectors from bully bad guys.

  19. Interesting, Mike! Leading that “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock” brigade is Army veteran Wes Clark Jr., son of the famed Kosovo War general and NATO commander. The veterans say they will assemble on December 4 (next Sunday) as a “peaceful, unarmed militia.” The group’s event page on Facebook says they have 2,100 rostered participants. They are raising money on GoFundMe but claim their team “is made up exclusively of volunteer Veteran and Civillian self organizers dedicated to our mission of service. Zero salaries, Zero marketing,” Sam. They say Hawaii Rep. (and potential Trump Sec. of State) Tulsi Gabbard will be there. And check out this advice and admonishment:

    Bring Body armor, gas masks, earplugs AND shooting mufflers (we may be facing a sound cannon) but no drugs, alcohol or weapons….

    IMPORTANT REMINDER: This event (and this event page) will not tolerate hate, violence or divisive behaivor of any kind. We’re doing this to support our country so lets do it with honor, working together. We can stop this savage injustice being committed right here at home. If not us, who? If not now, when? [Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, event page, retrieved 2016.11.27]

    Let’s see the Army Corps of Engineers remove those protestors.

  20. The Indians have drawn the line on climate change, and away from fossil fuel infrastructure for the next 40 years (the last 40 years of hand wringing started with the 70’s oil shortage), and it is at Cannon Ball, a part of the river impounded by USACO’s aggressive taking of Indian land to protect from flooding and support barge traffic. Hydro power is a result. So the United States is doing its part. Indians tell stories of watching black, foaming, tree and debris laden backwaters inundate their homes in the late 50s behind the new reserviors.

    meanwhile, in the rest of the world, higher ocean temperatures, means coral dies.

  21. Robert McTaggart

    Hydropower is fine as part of the mix to contribute to the baseload, and in essence is a major reason why charging electric cars could be cleaner in South Dakota than almost anywhere else, but you cannot ramp it up when the demand calls for it.

    That is a key cog in all of the clean energy discussions…consumers will want energy for what they want to do, when they want to do it.

    And if drought is more commonplace, you do not want to be caught relying too much on hydro for your electricity.

  22. Robert McTaggart

    It may be the case that hydropower has its own carbon footprint due to the methane from the decay of debris and vegetation that it collects.