By Staff of Reporters Without Borders/Reporters sans frontières (RSF) – a non-profit organization defending freedom of the press and access to information, along with the organizations below, write to express deep concerns regarding charges against multiple journalists for their coverage of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The undersigned have collectively documented at least 10 journalists currently facing charges stemming from their reporting on the protests. Filmmaker Jahnny Lee is being charged with physical obstruction of a government function and is next due to appear in court for an arraignment on March 22. Myron Dewey, owner of Digital Smoke Signals
By Michael J. Sainato for Counter Punch – On March 3, MinnPost reported that four memos were pulled from the Department of the Interior website on the Army Corps of Engineers after Donald Trump took office, citing their removal signifies, “an attempt to make opaque some serious shortcomings in the Corps’ performance on DAPL that are little known and less understood.” The Dakota Access Pipeline, enabled by Barack Obama signing a bill in 2015 to lift a ban on U.S. Oil exports creating the demand for domestic pipelines to be built for oil export, emerged as a movement for indigenous rights and environmentalism
By Jihan Hafiz for The Intercept – IT WAS AN EMOTIONAL closing prayer in front of the sacred fire at Oceti Sakowin camp, near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, ground zero of the movement to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. For hundreds of people who lived here, Oceti Sakowin had become home. Equipped with medical facilities, kitchens, security posts, prayer lodges, a building supply depot, a school, and a town hall, Oceti was a Native-led community built by the NoDAPL movement. On Wednesday, as many walked out of Oceti for the last time, smoke filled the air. Spiritual leaders chose to burn Native religious structures instead of allowing the police to bulldoze them. The North Dakota police had given water protectors a 2 p.m. deadline to leave the camp. But more than 100 stayed behind, refusing to leave land they consider theirs. At 4 p.m., the police advanced, targeting both water protectors and journalists.
By Julian Brave NoiseCat for The Guardian. North Dakota – Just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, water protectors set their makeshift and traditional structures ablaze in a final act of prayer and defiance against Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline, sending columns of black smoke billowing into the winter sky above the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. The majority of the few hundred remaining protesters marched out, arm in arm ahead of the North Dakota authorities’ Wednesday eviction deadline. An estimated one hundred others refused the state’s order, choosing to remain in camp and face certain arrest in order to defend land and water promised to the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, in the long-broken Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851.
By Billy J. Stratton for History News Network. Resistance to colonial oppression has long been a way of life for Lakota and Dakota peoples living at Standing Rock. Their interactions have been defined to a large extent by conflict over land and resources, and through resistance to systematic efforts aimed at the destruction of their cultures and sense of identity through government policies such as allotment, termination, and relocation, along with their forced assimilation in boarding schools and the repression of Native spirituality and religion. Native peoples’ claims to the lands of the Northern Plains, expressed in the very names of North Dakota and South Dakota, have been systematically eroded over the past century and a half through the instruments of war, broken treaties, theft, and corruption.
By Staff of Unicorn Riot – The eviction force was comprised of a variety of agencies including the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Bismarck Police Department, the North Dakota National Guard, and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Out-of-state law enforcement from the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) was also deployed under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). [See our Nov. 26th report with WSP EMAC deployment and budget documents.] Just after 11 am, the combined eviction forces began their approach into the camp. Between a few dozen to a hundred water protectors were estimated remaining in camp at that time, with most having left the previous day but some having returned that morning by walking across the frozen Cannonball River. Bypassing the main entrance, two Bobcat-type skid steer loaders were used to clear a path down the snowy hill into the north end of Oceti Oyate. Bearcat and MRAP armored vehicles, accompanied by a large number of Humvees and sheriff’s deputies…
By Reed Lindsay for FAIR – As residents were evicted from the Oceti Sakowin Camp where they had gathered to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline, filmmaker and journalist Reed Lindsay posted this update on the continued assault on the First Amendment faced by independent journalists covering the #NODAPL struggle. Filmmaker Jahnny Lee working with the Sundance Institute was arrested yesterday by North Dakota police while filming a stand-off between police and water protectors. He was charged with “obstruction of a government function.” I can only surmise that the charge of “criminal trespass,” leveled at Jihan Hafiz and many other journalists while covering events of the Standing Rock resistance against the DAPL pipeline, could not be used against Jahnny because he was on State Highway 1806. (How can one trespass on a highway?)
By Staff of Unicorn Riot – We spoke with an Indigenous elder in the late morning who talked about passively resisting the scheduled eviction, saying, We have no intentions on leaving, we are standing on our 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty rights, we are taking an 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty stance and we are legitimate 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty representatives. For my people out there, we stand for you, and water.” He further stated, This is a sacred site and we are protected by federal statutes … forcefully removing us from treaty territories is another violation. Again, we are here in peace and prayer, we are supposed to be protected and we’re not. We’re going to resist, and it’s passive resistance, we’re not going to fight them. At the same time, we’re going to be praying for them and their families for this water, that they need, that we all need.” With less than an hour before the set eviction time of 2 p.m., many water protectors marched south out of camp towards the Cannonball bridge as more fires burned.
By Lee Camp of Redacted Tonight. Are you invested in seeing justice for the Standing Rock Sioux and a halt to the build out of the Dakota Access Pipeline? Then you should get familiar with the name Tangerine Bolen. Bolen, a guest in the latest episode of Redacted Tonight VIP, is the founder and executive director of RevolutionTruth.org, an all volunteer organization dedicated to standing up for human rights and preserving civil liberties. Claiming a need for both environmental and racial justice, Bolen talks with host Lee Camp about her effort to bring forward lawsuits that could put an end to the Dakota Access Pipeline and protect the land and water of the Standing Rock Sioux. While so many people fight on the ground as Water Protectors in North Dakota, millions of others are helping out on social media or by donating money to the cause.
By Staff of Associated Press. A U.S. federal judge on Monday denied a request by Native American tribes seeking to halt construction of the final link in the Dakota Access Pipeline, the controversial project that has sparked months of protests by activists aimed at stopping the 1,170-mile line. At a hearing, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected the request from the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes, who argued that the project would prevent them from practicing religious ceremonies at a lake they contend is surrounded by sacred ground. With this decision, legal options for the tribes continue to narrow, as construction on the final uncompleted stretch is currently proceeding. Another hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27, as the tribes seek an injunction ordering the Army Corps to withdraw the easement. Lawyers for the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Standing Rock Sioux wanted Judge Boasberg to block construction with a temporary restraining order on the grounds that the pipeline would obstruct the free exercise of their religious practices. “We’re disappointed with today’s ruling denying a temporary restraining order against the Dakota Access Pipeline, but we are not surprised,” said Chase Iron Eye.
By Sam Levin for The Guardian. US veterans are returning to Standing Rock and pledging to shield indigenous activists from attacks by a militarized police force, another sign that the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is far from over. Army veterans from across the country have arrived in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, or are currently en route after the news that Donald Trump’s administration has allowed the oil corporation to finish drilling across the Missouri river. The growing group of military veterans could make it harder for police and government officials to try to remove hundreds of activists who remain camped near the construction site and, some hope, could limit use of excessive force by law enforcement during demonstrations. “We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force,” said Elizabeth Williams, a 34-year-old air force veteran, who arrived at Standing Rock with a group of vets late on Friday.
By Staff for #NoDAPL Solidarity Team. As you know, The Department of the Army has granted the final easement permit that is needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline! Drilling has begun! We need you now! We are calling all able bodied, prepared Water Protectors to the frontlines! Come to camp prepared! The conditions are hazardous and North Dakota State Legislature is passing laws that target Water Protectors! Be prepared for these conditions. Several contingents of US Veterans are on their way back to camp. Join us! We need you now! This is our last stand! Lastly, the NoDAPL Global Solidarity Campaign currently share access to our website, mailchimp, Zoom and Maestro systems with other amazing organizations.
By Phil Mckenna for Inside Climate News – The Army Corps of Engineers granted a final easement for the Dakota Access oil pipeline late Wednesday. The action overturned an earlier ruling by the Army Corps to halt construction until it conducted a more complete environmental assessment of the project’s Missouri River crossing. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation is a half-mile downstream from the crossing, says the pipeline threatens its water supply and sacred sites. Its opposition triggered months of protests. An environmental impact review initiated by the Army Corps in the final weeks of the Obama administration could have delayed the project for years. That review is now canceled.
By Mark Hand for DC Media Group – Washington, DC–A large crowd gathered at the White House on Feb. 8 to let President Donald Trump know they intend to keep fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on the same day the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted an easement to allow the project to be finished. The easement was the final permit that pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners needed for the 1,172-mile pipeline to be completed. The section approved by the Army Corps will run under North Dakota’s Lake Oahe, just upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. “No matter what happens in Standing Rock, we’re going to keep fighting.