ND Backs Off Threats to Fine Those Supplying the Camp; Veterans and Religious Leaders Arriving Sunday to Show Support

North Dakota state government is reversing its decision on fining anyone bringing supplies to the Oceti Sakown Camp, the main camp of Water Protectors opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL.) It is hard to know if this was a humanitarian change of heart or a purely political one. Any enforcement action against the camp would create a high-profile conflict as thousands of veterans and clergy are arriving at the camp this Sunday in a show of support.

Minnesota Pubic Radio reports in the story: ND gov: We won’t block supplies to protesters, that:

[North Dakota Governor Jack] Dalrymple said blocking supplies of food and clothing would be a “huge mistake from a humanitarian” perspective, and he said his executive order issued Monday was meant to warn people about risks to their safety.

“This is the same method we used dealing with the flood threat,” Dalrymple said during a news conference. “We believe you are in a dangerous location, there’s a threat to your health and safety and we are advising you to leave that area.”

Had Dalrymple moved ahead with his plan, he would have had a public relations problem on his hands.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th Generation Keeper of White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle, has called People of Faith to Standing Rock for an Interfaith Gathering Sunday, Dec. 4, according to the United Church of Christ. Lookinghorse wrote:

We are asking the religious people to come and support our youth, to stand side by side with them, because they are standing in prayer. If you can find it in your heart, pray with them and stand beside them. The police department and national guard would listen to each and every one of you.

In addition to religious leaders, veterans are arriving the same day. Up to 2,000 veterans with the group Veterans Stand for Standing are expected to arrive Sunday to support the camp. They plan to stay through to Dec. 7. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who also is a major in the U.S. Army National Guard, plans to attend, according to a story in Honolulu’s Civil Beat. Other people of note planning to attend include “Wesley Clark Jr., the son of retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, and Michael Wood Jr., a former Baltimore police officer who has been outspoken about police practices, including the excessive use of force.”

The group is warning  attendees through Facebook, “to bring body armor, gas masks and earplugs so that they can protect themselves against police actions.”

In a related matter, today is a National Day of Action against the financial institutions financing DAPL, including Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank. Volunteers are encouraging bank customers to put pressure on the institutions to pull their funding. As one example, here is a livestream from Unicorn Riot from the Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Minneapolis.

 

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