Local Sheriffs Deputies Pulled from ND; Amnesty, UN Observers at Pipeline Protest; Liability Questions Raised

sign-2Good News: Hennepin, Anoka, and Washington county sheriffs departments have pulled their deputies and equipment out of North Dakota, MPR reports. The deputies had participated in a heavily militarized response against those opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline

The counties had sent their deputies in response to request from the Morton County ND Sheriff’s Department, allowed as part of a mutual aid agreement. Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek’s decision to send deputies sparked local protests. Some state lawmakers spoke out against it, believing this was an inappropriate use of the mutual aid agreement. Some now say they will seek a change in the law next session. According to MPR:

A group of state legislators who met with Stanek say they think the emergency assistance protocols only apply to natural disasters or an attack on the scale of 9/11.

“We have an assignment that we’re going to go back and try and change a couple parts of the law that will make it clearer the distinction between different types of emergencies,” said Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, who met with Stanek, “so we don’t get ourselves in sort of a position again.”

U.N. Group, Amnesty International, Providing Outside Accountability for Law Enforcement Actions at DAPL Protests

More Good News: Outside observers are traveling to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota to monitor the situation and bring some accountability for the harsh military tactics used against the Water Protectors. Continue reading

Pipeline Updates: Native Youth Post Beautiful Video Opposing Dakota Access Pipeline; Sandpiper Pipeline Officially Scratched

A couple of quick updates on the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Sandpiper pipeline projects.

We have written several blogs on the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline that would cross under the Missouri River one mile from the fresh water intake for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation Reservation. (See here and here.) Standing Rock youth had the chance to meet President Obama in 2014, and they just posted a beautiful video asking him for help in stopping the project.

Here is the video link. (It only runs 90 seconds.)

Here is the post that went with their video:

In 2014, President Obama visited the Standing Rock Sioux Nation as an official visit to “Indian Country”, stopping at the small community of Cannon Ball, ND. While there he visited with Native youth and promised to help them in their time of need.

2 years later, this same community finds itself in the middle of a battle against the multi-billion dollar project called the Dakota Access pipeline.

Some of the Native youth who got to meet the President, and their friends, are now asking for him to keep his promise. Please support the campaign against #DakotaAccess pipeline! Please support #NativeYouth!

To any Native Youth, take a photo of yourself holding up a sign that says: #CanYouHearUs?#NoDAPL #KeepFossilFuelsInTheGround and send it to President Obama and his wife Michelle! Tweet – IG – FB! Let’s make sure they hear us!

#NoDAPL #KeepItInTheGround #GenI#IndigenousRising #WaterIsLife

Also, the Star Tribune just reported that Enbridge Energy is pulling the plug on the proposed Sandpiper Pipeline, which would have run from the Bakken fracking fields in North Dakota to Superior Wisconsin, via Northern Minnesota. This move does not come as a surprise, as Enbridge recently announced it had invested in a different pipeline project that does not cross Minnesota. According to the article:

Calgary-based Enbridge is withdrawing its application for the $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline and asking for the cessation of regulatory proceedings and an environmental impact statement, according to documents filed Thursday with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

For more details, read the full Star Tribune story, and see our Aug. 12 blog: Native and Environmental Activists Scuttle One Oil Pipeline Project through Northern Minnesota, Another Proposal Remains