Police descend upon peaceful protesters at Standing Rock with tanks, guns, and riot gear.
On Wednesday, heavily armed police officers in riot gear arrived in tanks and arrested 76 unarmed and peaceful Water Protectors at Standing Rock.
CBC News reports the police raid occurred after opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) set up a new camp called “Last Child.” The Morton County Sheriff’s office insists the protesters have trespassed on private lands. Their spokesman, Rob Keller, also referred to those at Standing Rock as a “rogue group of protesters.”
But who’s going rogue here? For starters, the DAPL’s Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) doesn’t really own that land. The New York Times reports it belongs to the Sioux. At least it did until we broke our treaty with them.
The pipeline crosses disputed Sioux land that was promised to the tribe in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie but was later taken away.
Mother Jones also points out, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stopped DAPL back in December pending a new Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Although President Donald Trump demands — via executive order — that the Army Corps speed things up, they still haven’t issued the easement required to resume construction.
Oh, and then there’s the fact that ETP’s CEO Kelcy Warren shelled out $100,000 to get Donald Trump elected. Plus, the president hasn’t provided any proof that he really sold his $15,000-$50,000 worth of ETP stock.
Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began the protests because the DAPL will run under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River. A rupture in the line near this point would damage sacred sites and poison the Standing Rock Reservation’s main source of drinking water — as well as that of 18 Million people on the Missouri downriver and on its tributaries. It would also put the entire Ogallala Aquifer, which serves the “breadbasket” of our nation in danger. The area at risk here, in the middle of the country, raises most of our grain and much of the livestock to feed our nation.
Although the protesters at Standing Rock are unarmed and peaceful, MuckRock got hold of some seriously scary “resource requests” police across our nation received from the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). These included: A chemical munitions launcher, body armor and other riot gear, and cops with riot and active shooter training.
— MuckRock (@MuckRock) January 19, 2017
Meanwhile, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has vowed to pursue legal action against any attempt to resume construction before the EIS is done. In their statement, they say the Army Corps can’t just reverse their decision without due process.
The Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the EIS and issue the easement. The Corps must review the Presidential Memorandum, notify Congress, and actually grant the easement.We have not received formal notice that the EIS has been suspended or withdrawn.
Chase Iron Eyes, an activist, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe member, and a lawyer for the Lakota People’s Law Project, added:
“We have to ask ourselves: Is the traitor the one who’s trying to dig up and sell our national resources to foreign nations for private profit. Or is the traitor, or the patriot, those who are willing to stand up for all Americans’ right to clean drinking water.”
He was among the 76 people taken into police custody on Wednesday.
Trinity Chavez from RT notes that if you stand with Standing Rock, “this is the time to make your views heard.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is accepting public comments through Feb. 20. For more information on how to submit comments, click here.
WATCH: Police in riot gear raid Standing Rock protesters’ camp.
NOTE: Although RT (formerly Russia Today) is run by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, this video is a solid piece of reporting and among the first to come out. Other than the fact that they referred to the police raid as a “clean up” a couple times, they presented both sides accurately and fairly.