Today, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg partially granted a temporary restraining order requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to cease construction and further desecration of recently surveyed sacred sites. The TRO issued does not protect all the sacred sites identified by archaeologist Tim Mentz in the tribe’s lawsuit amendment last Friday. Instead, it halts construction for approximately 2 linear miles, from Highway 1806 east to the Missouri River. It also extends an additional 20 miles east of the Missouri River, but the pipeline is already in the ground in that area. The judge ruled that the US District Court did not have jurisdiction to protect the sacred sites west of the highway.
Water protectors took matters into their own hands and stopped active construction on County Road 135 when two people locked themselves to heavy equipment, just east of Highway 6 where the previous lockdown action took place last week. Dozens climbed onto the equipment and hundreds gathered in solidarity as the company evacuated and law enforcement retreated. No arrests were made.
Also, attorneys representing the water protectors at the Standing Rock encampments delivered a cease and desist letter to Dakota Access today, citing human rights violations thru the excessive and unlawful use of force by Dakota Access, LLC, its security firm 10-Code Security, LLC, and attack dog contractor, Frost Kennels on Sept. 3, 2016. The letter concludes: “We demand that Dakota Access, LLC and its hired private security forces cease and desist the use of attack dogs, chemical agents, and other violence and threats of violence against those opposing the construction of the DAPL. We are prepared to take all appropriate legal action to prevent a re-occurrence of this unlawful conduct and seek redress for those who are injured.”
LaDonna Allard, Section 106 Historic Preservation Officer for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, says, “I am disappointed in the judge’s decision because it leaves our ancestors’ graves and ceremonial sites up for destruction by Dakota Access. We must protect our sites.”