Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members and supporters face forced eviction from their Oceti Sakowin protest encampment site, protecting sacred ancestral land, water and wildlife habitat from destructive DAPL construction.
According to theindigenouspeoples.com, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced closure of long ago stolen Native American land, wrongfully called “federal property,” the portion north of the Cannonball River to be closed for public use and access, effective December 5, 2016.
Protesters must leave or face arrest, likely involving police state violence like days earlier. In a letter to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe chairman Dave Archambault II, Army Corps Col. John Henderson deceitfully called the decision “necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontation 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.”
A so-called “free speech zone” will be established south of the Cannonball River on US Army land. It’s way inadequate, Indigenous Environmental Network member Dallas Goldtooth explained. On Saturday, Archambault issued a statement, saying in part:
“Our Tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever.”
“We ask that all everyone who can appeal to President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to consider the future of our people and rescind all permits and deny the easement to cross the Missouri River just north of our Reservation and straight through our treaty lands.”
“When Dakota Access Pipeline chose this route, they did not consider our strong opposition. Our concerns were clearly articulated directly to them in a meeting on Sept. 30, 2014.”
“We ask that the United States stop the pipeline and move it outside our treaty lands.”
“Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the treatment of our people.”
“We have suffered much, but 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.”
In solidarity with Standing Rock protesters at the Oceti Sakowin camp site, Jane Fonda said she “rarely (ever) s(aw) so much love, gratitude, determination (and) resilience.”
According to Indian Country Today Media Network.com, hours after the eviction notice was issued, “crews (began) building dwellings meant to sustain the onslaught of a North Dakota winter.”
Years ago, I experienced its extreme cold firsthand – weather requiring careful protection from frostbite and hypothermia.
Hundreds die annually in America from exposure to harsh temperatures. Winterizing the Oceti Sakowin encampment or any other in the area is essential.
On Sunday, Sioux leaders responded to what they called a “direct and irresponsible threat to the water protectors,” saying they’re not leaving. Attempts to remove them will be met with nonviolent resistance, civil disobedience and prayer.
On December 4, around 2,000 US veterans are scheduled to arrive, offering support in solidarity.
Perhaps greater police state violence is coming than already – Standing Rock one of many US battlegrounds for justice, pitting monied interests against popular ones, deplorable results always turning out the same way.