Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dakota Protesters Now Occupying Private Property, Citing 150 Year-Old Treaty

American Indians are occupying huge plots of private land near the Dakota Access Pipeline, claiming they own the property based on a nearly 165-year-old treaty. The company building the nearly 1,200 mile-long oil pipeline has purchased large tracts of land, relying on eminent domain to construct routes four states from North Dakota, to Iowa, to Illinois. It was not known who owns the occupied land. Protesters associated with the anti-oil protest told reporters Monday that the land is theirs under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. Tribes have challenged the treaty and others like it in court for not being honored. “We have never ceded this land. If Dakota Access Pipeline can go through and claim eminent domain on landowners and Native peoples on their own land, then we as sovereign nations can then declare eminent domain on our own aboriginal homeland,” Joye Braun, spokeswoman for the Indigenous Environmental Network, said in a press statement. Federal officials are not evicting protesters hunkered down at an encampment near the highly controversial Dakota Access Oil pipeline. They believe booting the protesters would harm free speech rights, despite the fact that the land is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Liberal activists and politicians’ decision to hold back criticism of the tribe’s occupation is unusual given the amount of publicity and criticisms they hurled at another group of land rights activists in Oregon...more

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