Judge Rejects Tribes’ Request for Emergency Injunction to Stop DAPL; NYC Mayor Considering DAPL Divestment; and More

A federal judge has rejected the request by the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Sioux tribes for a temporary injunction to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), according to a story on Minnesota Public Radio. The next opportunity to get a favorable ruling comes at a hearing in two week, Feb. 27

Why did the court reject the request?

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, in Washington, D.C., said that as long as the oil isn’t flowing through the pipeline, there is no immediate harm … Boasberg said the harm to the tribe apparently would come from the pipeline being turned on and the oil flowing through it, not from the pipeline’s mere presence.

While the court battle continues and Energy Transfer Partners starts its drilling, the longer-term movement to put financial pressure on institutions supporting projects continues.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio is considering pulling city pension fund investments with banks supporting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), a report in Politico says.

The Seattle City Council recently voted to end its contract with Wells Fargo, one of several banks helping finance the project. De Blasio, in an interview with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer, cited his “Seattle envy” and said he would consider the same.

“I think what’s happening with the Dakota Access pipeline is just plain wrong,” the mayor said in response to a question tweeted by a listener. “I think what the Trump administration did is wrong.”

Meanwhile, back in in Washington State, about a 100 DAPL protestors shut down the northbound lane of I-5 near Bellingham for about an hour on Saturday. Those at the front chained themselves together, according to a report by KIRO News. The protest backed up traffic for four miles and caused a multi-car crash and a rollover.

Vets Return to Standing Rock, Raising Stakes for Law Enforcement’s Response

Military Veterans are returning to the DAPL construction site with the intention of creating a human shield for the water protectors, according to a Saturday story from the Guardian. It’s unclear how many veterans will show up this time. According to the story:

The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations.

“We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” said Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock with a group of vets late on Friday.

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