Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Feds say they won’t evict sprawling Dakota Access pipeline protest camp

The sprawling encampment that’s a living protest against the four-state Dakota Access pipeline has most everything it needs to be self-sustaining — food, firewood, fresh water and shelter. Everything, that is, except permission to be on the federal land in North Dakota. Federal officials say they won’t evict the Oceti Sakowin, or Seven Council Fires camp, due to free speech reasons, even though it’s on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near the confluence of the Missouri and Cannonball rivers that many Native Americans believe is still rightfully owned by the Standing Rock Sioux under a nearly 150-year-old treaty. “We’re not leaving until we defeat this big black snake,” camp spokesman Cody Hall said of the pipeline. But residents in the area have expressed feeling unsafe and frustrated with how the protest has swelled to scores of self-described “water protectors” who have joined the tribe’s fight, and Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer — North Dakota’s lone voice in the House — says the camp is illegal. He blames the agency for looking the other way. “If that camp was full of people advocating for fossil fuels, they would have been removed by now,” Cramer said. “There is some discretionary enforcement going on." The camp is the overflow from smaller private and permitted protest sites nearby and began growing in August. The gathering has been called the largest gathering of Native American tribes in a century, all there to protest Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners’ $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which tribal officials believe threatens sacred sites and a river that’s a source of water for millions. Corps spokeswoman Eileen Williamson said the agency is “encouraging” people to relocate to areas where there is a permit, such as a nearby smaller camp where demonstrators have been allowed to legally protest on federal lands managed by the agency. “We don’t have the physical ability to go out and evict people — it gives the appearance of not protecting free speech,” she said. “Our hands are really tied.” Cramer believes the “bigger problem” of the camp is “the illegal activity that may be orchestrated from there” — meaning a base to launch interference with pipeline construction miles away...more


Does any of this sound vaguely familiar to you? A group is protesting what they perceive as an injustice on federal land. They also dispute federal ownership of the property and have occupied the federal property to bring attention to these issues. The authorities express concern the illegal occupation could serve as a base for further protests.

It appears very similar to what occurred in Oregon, so one must ask:  Has the FBI been brought in?  Does law enforcement have an informant in the camp? Will these occupiers be charged with a conspiracy to impede federal officers and other such crimes? Will road blocks with heavily armed officers be set up to trap the occupants or their supporters?

Just asking. Let's see how this plays out. 

8 comments:

Sevon Villarreal said...

Interesting...

Sevon Villarreal said...

Interesting...

Dave Pickel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Pickel said...

Sorry Frank but there is no equivalency whatsoever. An armed mob occupies and takes control of a Federal facility on public ground vs. an unarmed mass of protestors defending burial grounds for starters. The Ammonites aim was not to turn Malheur back over to the Paiutes but to turn it over to like-minded folks as themselves. The frontier closed in 1890 like it or not and we all missed it.

Frank DuBois said...

They are both on federal land, both didn't have permission to be there, there were disputes over land ownership in both cases. Sorry Dave that you can't see this.

Dave Pickel said...

I know Native American claims to ground go back millenia. I'm sorry you can't see that Frank.

Anonymous said...

With a few notable exceptions, most bureaucrats and .gov employees on the public feed trough are like mr.pickle. They see nothing that doesn't continue their flow of tax payer based paychecks, retirement, and benefits; if it doesn't expand or enforce more parasite bureaucracies then they are against it . Constitution and rights is old paper in their way, unless it's Their rights ;)
And if you don't think there's firearms in those Americans camps, well try and think again. 1973 Wounded Knee. AIM.........
As a policeman once explained his Rule number 1: all Americans have guns it's their right.

Frank DuBois said...

Dave, you are the one who introduced "equivalency". I used similar and gave three examples. Now there four, as Anonymous was right - they are armed. See today's article.