Next Mde Mada Ska Community Meeting Saturday; More DAPL Updates

The next round of community conversations around Mde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun) and the sacredness of water will be held this Saturday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,, at First Universalist Church, 3400 Dupont Ave. S. Lunch will be served.

This is the latest in a series of community conversations, but there is no need to have attended any of the previous conversations to participate. Teens welcome!

Roughly 50-75 residents had attended previous meetings in late 2015 and early 2016 to build relationships and brainstorm about what Mde Maka Ska could be to the world and how to tell the stories Mde Maka Ska holds. One of the ideas to emerge from this work a proposal for a “Mni Wakan: Decade of Water” Summit. (Mni Wakan means Sacred Water in Dakota.)

Come and join the conversation. For more background, here is our earlier blog on the meetings. Here is an article The Circle Newspaper ran on the Water Summit.

These sessions are facilitated by LeMoine LaPointe and his sons Wakinyan and Thorne LaPointe.

DAPL Updates

Update: CNN Reports the Morton County Sheriff will Block Access to Oceti Sakowin Campsite 

The CNN story: North Dakota Pipeline: Sheriff to block access to protest campsite, reports the following:

Law enforcement will begin Tuesday to block all people and supplies from coming to the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite, Morton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Maxine Herr told CNN.

North Dakota’s Governor has ordered protesters to vacate and sheriff’s deputies will enforce the order, Herr said.

That means there could be a clash with thousands of veterans who plan to go to the camp from Dec. 4-7 as a part of Veterans Stand for Standing Rock. (See item below.)

End update

Breaking: North Dakota Governor Says He Won’t Block Supplies Into Camp;

The Bismarck Tribune is reporting the following:

A spokesman for North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the governor has no intention of blocking food and supplies from coming into a camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access pipeline.

The Governor had issued an evacuation order, but said it was misconstrued by some to mean they would block food and supplies. Click on the link above for updates.

Class Action Suit Filed Against Morton County Sheriff for Excessive Force

The Bismarck Tribune also is reporting the following:

A National Lawyers Guild group has filed a class action lawsuit against Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, Morton County and other law enforcement agencies for bringing excessive force against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters earlier this month.

The suit was filed Monday. Click on the link above for the full story.

Numbers Swell for Veterans Stand for Standing Rock

We posted yesterday about hundreds of veterans who planned to go to the main Oceti Sakowin Camp Dec. 4-7 to support and protect the Water Protectors. The New York Times is now reporting that the number of veterans will be in the thousands.

In a story that ran today headlined: Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters, the Times reported:

As many as 2,000 veterans planned to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said.

The effort, called Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, is planned as a nonviolent intervention to defend the demonstrators from what the group calls “assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force.”

Sheriff: Corp of Engineers Decision to Boot Water Protectors From Federal Land More About Law Suits

An MPR story sheds some light on why the Army Corps of Engineers might have ordered the Water Protectors off of federal land at the Oceti Sakowin camp but not taken formal action to have them removed. The official reason was public safety (which makes little sense when you consider the public safety threats are not coming from the Water Protectors.)

The MPR story says:

A North Dakota sheriff on Monday dismissed a deadline from the Army Corps of Engineers as a meaningless move aimed only at reducing the government’s legal responsibility for hundreds of demonstrators.

The Corps “is basically kicking the can down the road, and all it is doing is taking the liability from the Corps and putting it on” the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said.

Army Corps of Engineers Statement Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline: Nov. 14, 2016

We are belatedly sharing a link to the full text of the Army Corps of Engineers Nov. 14 statement regarding the pipeline.

It makes at least three key points: First, it denies Energy Transfer Partners the right to drill under the Missouri River until further discussions take place. Second, it invites the Standing Rock Nation not only to suggest changes to the current plan, but to challenge “whether to grant an easement for the pipeline” at the current site. Third, it upholds the right to assemble and speak freely, and urges people to do so nonviolently.

Here is the full statement.

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