Seventy-six people were arrested as they tried to establish a new camp to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) according to a story today in the Bismarck Tribune. Among those arrested was Chase Iron Eyes, a former Congresssional candidate and legal counsel with the Lakota People’s Law Project. Those arrested have been spread out to five different North Dakota county jails.
The story said the arrests took place on private property located on the west side of N.D. Highway 1806, on top of a hill across from the main Oceti Sakowin camp.
A webinar organized by NoDAPL Solidarity.org provided additional details, including suggested actions and requests for donations to support those who were arrested.
In an email sent today by Iron Eyes today prior to his arrest, he said:
Early Wednesday morning, the acting secretary of the army—appointed two weeks ago by President Trump—ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to reverse course and grant the permits necessary for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be completed. Hours later, the barricades on Highway 1806 were taken down, possibly paving the way for a police raid of the Water Protectors’ camps. The moment for increased action is now.
Iron Eyes was on target. According to the Bismarck Tribune story, the barricade was removed to access the new camp, but the barriers already are back in place.
The news article referred to the short-lived camp as “Last Child Camp.” According to the webinar’s moderator, Iron Eyes named the camp for the “Last Child Warrior Society” in memory of Crazy Horse. Iron Eyes chose that name to declare that treaty rights covered that area — and to push a broader conversation around sovereignty. (Crazy Horse created the Last Child Warrior Society to honor the memory of his daughter and only child, who died young, according to one researcher.)
The police and state officials are dismissing the group that got arrested as “a rogue faction” but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
One webinar participant who witnessed today’s events said that requests starting coming over the radio to “go to the hill” around 3 p.m. A bunch of military vehicles had showed up. The water protectors responded by going back to ceremony, with prayer, drumming, and singing, he said.
In spite of the rumors, the Army Corps of Engineers has not granted any easement yet, the webinar moderator said. Since the Trump administration is putting a lot of pressure on the Army Corps of Engineers to force the easement, the best course of action is to mount counter pressure on the Corps, she said.
Comments are still open for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) begun during the Obama administration. Several organizations are making it easy for people to add their voices to the debate. Each of the following links lets you send comments to Army Corps regarding DAPL:
- Indigenous Rising
- Sierra Club (This site has suggested language, in case that is helpful.)
- Action Network
In his email, Iron Eyes said people also needed to call their elected officials to demand that the EIS be completed.
We’re also asking friends like you to contact their elected leaders and let them know we will not stand for this brazen, anti-democratic power grab. Please send a message to your representatives in the House and Senate and tell them that the Army must complete a full and thorough environmental review.
Organized labor is going to hold a webinar tomorrow, Thursday, to talk about how unions and working people can support Standing Rock. For details, see the Labor for Standing Rock Facebook page.
If you want to support the people who were arrested or those on the ground, the webinar organizers suggested the following:
Iron Eyes email included a request for people to donate to the Lakota People’s Law Project: “Let’s bury this pipeline once and for all!”