In a press conference with the Morton County Sheriff’s Department yesterday, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple announced that he has requested deployment of the National Guard near the encampments resisting the Dakota Access pipeline on and near the Standing Rock Reservation. The decision comes in anticipation of today’s ruling in U.S. District Court on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s request for a preliminary injunction to temporarily halt construction of the pipeline while their lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is heard. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II has called for the protests to remain peaceful regardless of the decision.
Also yesterday,, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders introduced an amendment to a water infrastructure bill that would require the Army Corps to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement on the pipeline's Missouri River crossing before issuing the final easement.
Thousands remain gathered in Standing Rock just a half mile from the proposed route which would destroy sacred sites identified by archaeologist Tim Mentz in the tribe’s supplemental filing last Friday. The following day, Dakota Access intentionally destroyed several of those identified sites and injured peaceful protestors with attack dogs and mace when they intervened. On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge James E. Boasberg granted a partial temporary restraining order requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to cease construction, but the judge ruled the court lacked jurisdiction to protect the sacred sites west of the highway.
Attorneys representing the protectors at the Standing Rock encampments delivered a cease and desist letter to Dakota Access, 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 reoccurrence of this unlawful conduct and seek redress for those who are injured.
Winona Laduke, Executive Director of Honor the Earth, says, “You are not George Wallace and this is not Alabama. You do not have the right to block roads, deny people water, attack people with dogs, or deploy military forces on a peaceful prayerful encampment. We are done being treated like second class citizens.”
LaDonna Allard, Director of the Camp of the Sacred Stones, says, “I pray that everyone stays safe that the National Guard understands we are women and children on the ground trying to live our traditions. We are praying and standing our ground.”