A Day of Many Messages: DAPL’s Owners Vow to Fight On; Standing Rock Leader Says Time to Break Camp; Signs of Victory, Uncertainty, and Worry Abound

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Moon rise at Oceti Sakowin earlier this fall.

Native rights and environmental groups are sending out congratulatory emails today on the Dakota Access Pipeline. They are celebrating the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to deny an easement to Energy Transfer Partners to drill the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River. The Corps said it would explore alternative routes.

The question now is, What’s next?

The companies which own the Dakota Access Pipeline have sent out a blistering media release vowing to push head with the current project.

Standing Rock Tribal Chair Dave Archambault is telling the Water Protectors to break camp and go home for the winter, according to reports. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also set today as the deadline for people at the Oceti Sakowin Camp — which is on federal property — to leave

Yet many people at the camp don’t trust that the project will stop and are going to stay anyway.

Further, key pipeline players will change soon, both the Governor of North Dakota and the president of the United States. That throws everything up in the air.

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DAPL Updates: Water Cannons Used Against Water Protectors; First DAPL Divestment; UN Critical of Excessive Police Response; ND Cancels Tribal Speech; and More

sign-9-daplWe have a backlog of updates to report on Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). (The blog didn’t get much attention the past few days as Healing Minnesota Stories was participating in an incredibly powerful three-day Bearing Witness Retreat, an interfaith event organized by Clouds in Water Zen Center. It witnessed to Minnesota’s participation in the Native American genocide.

Here are DAPL updates from the past few days:

  • As tension escalates, a court decision on the pipeline might not come until 2017
  • Under freezing conditions, law enforcement uses water cannons against water protectors
  • Pressure on banks financing DAPL has first success
  • U.N. Human Rights expert denounces abuse of free assembly rights
  • North Dakota legislators cancel annual “State of the Tribes” address amid security concerns, damaging tribal relationships
  • Scores arrested nationwide in DAPL protests
  • Energy Transfer Partners CEO Can’t Promise Pipeline Won’t Leak
  • Water is Life: Drought kills 102 million trees in California

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Time to Amp Up Pressure on the Army Corps of Engineers to Stop DAPL

sign-2With the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) just days away from arriving at the Missouri River near Standing Rock, now is the time to increase public pressure on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

DAPL needs the Corps to issue an easement and a permit to bore under the Missouri River. Instead, the Corps should require more detailed environmental and cultural reviews of DAPL — which it should have done earlier.

In yesterday’s blog, we wrote about the importance of delaying DAPL construction to drive up costs. Today, we outline several key arguments for why more review is needed.

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#No DAPL Update: Shimmer of Hope: Construction Delays Possible; Bad News: Use of Rubber Bullets Inhumane, Unnecessary

The camp is filled with signs and flags, large and smallThe Indigenous Environmental Network has posted a video with hopeful news about efforts to delay — and eventually stop — the Dakota Access Pipeline. Meanwhile, the Water Protectors are facing rubber bullets, mace and concussion grenades. And Winona LaDuke sends an Open Letter to members of North Dakota’s law enforcement and National Guard appealing to their conscience. Continue reading

Native American Allies, Churches, and the United Nations Asked to Help Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

Native Americans and their allies are coming from across the country to support the Standing Rock Reservation’s efforts to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a 1,172 mile long pipeline that would carry crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken fields to Illinois for processing.

As tensions rise, they are asking for more help, from church people to the United Nations.

One of the key issues is that the pipeline will run under the Missouri River just one mile from Standing Rock Reservation’s drinking water intake. The pipeline threatens their drinking water and also will run through sacred sites, opponents say. (The reservation straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border towards the west.)

Several thousand people are estimated to have joined the growing protest at Standing Rock, called the “Camp of the Sacred Stones.” The gathering has triggered a strong reaction by the state. According to the Bismarck Tribune, in a story headlined: “State pulls relief resources from swelling Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp,”

North Dakota‚Äôs homeland security director ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite Monday, citing mounting reports of unlawful activity …

… the loss of their main drinking water supply came as a blow and sent local officials scrambling to find an alternative water source.

Those organizing the protests maintain they are peaceful.

The Indigenous Environmental Network has appealed for national and international human rights observers and church leaders to come and witness. Continue reading