Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Dakota governor’s office ordered the North Dakota protesters to leave their massive camp site near Standing Rock Sioux reservation because they are on government land. Monday is the deadline.
The New York Times reported that thousands of the protesters living at the site are vowing not to go anywhere.
Lee Plenty Wolf, a Native American protester or “protector”, as they like to be called, has been there from the beginning and said, “I ain’t goin’ anywhere. We’re getting tired of being pushed for 500 years. They’ve been taking, taking, taking, and enough’s enough.” Wolf currently lives in a teepee at the campsite.
Their main camp, although sitting on Federal land, should belong to the Native Americans, according to Mr. Wolf.
With President Obama’s term about end shortly, a feeling of hope at actually stopping the progress of the Dakota Access pipeline is dwindling fast. Over the last several months, the fight attracted thousands of tribal members, activists, and even celebrities. They are there to voice their concerns about the environment and their clean-water that may be contaminated by the pipeline.
People are still showing up by the thousands and veteran groups are looking to bring 2,000 Native and non-Native veterans to Standing Rock over the weekend.
Standing Rock Sioux chairman, Dave Archambault II, has spoken with the Justice Department to investigate allegations of civil rights violations. He has been a critic of the police officers use of rubber bullets and spraying freezing water onto, “unarmed and peaceful “water protectors.”
“I’m worried about the next confrontation,” he said. “The escalation has continued to rise. They have concertina wire all over the place. They’re almost daring the water protectors. That’s not safe.”
Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier of Morton County, said that he would not go into the camps to remove the people and would write citations to the people for trespassing or other offenses.
As far as Archambault’s claim of police brutality, Sheriff Kirchmeier responded with, “I reject it all,” he said. “The protesters are forcing police and us into taking action. They’re committing criminal activities.”
Sheriff Kirchmeier reiterated that in the past, the protesters were shooting slingshots and throwing bottles at the police.
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