By Claire Lampen for News Mic – With just over a day to go before the evacuation deadline arrives at North Dakota’s Oceti Sakowin camp, protesters at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation have issued a plea: Come help — now. In a viral video shared by social justice journalist Shaun King on Monday, a group of indigenous women remind viewers that demonstrations against the Dakota Access pipeline are about much more than a single issue. They’re about clean water, police brutality, treaty rights and the rights of future generations, “In the history of colonization, they’ve always given us two options: Give up our land or go to jail. Give up our rights or go to jail,” one woman says in the video. “And now, give up our water or go to jail. We are not criminals.”
By Alleen Brown for The Intercept – UNDER ORDERS FROM President Donald Trump, the Army Corps of Engineers on February 7 approved a final easement allowing Energy Transfer Partners to drill under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Construction has restarted, and lawyers for the company say it could take as little as 30 days for oil to flow through the Dakota Access pipeline. While the Standing Rock Sioux and neighboring tribes attempt to halt the project in court, other opponents of the pipeline have launched what they’re calling a “last stand,” holding protests and disruptive actions across the U.S. In North Dakota, where it all began, a few hundred people continue to live at camps on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, using them as bases for prayer and for direct actions to block construction.
By Four Arrows for Truthout – Maybe something positive will result from the dangerously brazen antics of the Trump administration. Perhaps an awakening of consciousness is occuring that would not have happened without the obviousness of Trump’s inadequacies. We may be realizing just how wrong we are in how we are treating our planet and its creatures, including ourselves. It is no coincidence that the first showdown is going to be at Standing Rock. Indigenous people are on the front lines around the world, standing against those corporations coming into the last pristine places on Earth to mine or drill. Standing Rock, however, has captured public attention. What happens there might define the kind of resistance that will continue against the Trump administration’s wrong-headed policies. If the Corp, the BIA, DAPL security and the state militia do as they say on Feb 22, whatever happens, this could be our last beginning for a movement that can stop the destruction of Mother Earth.
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 Sam Levin for The Guardian – The FBI is investigating political activists campaigning against the Dakota Access pipeline, diverting agents charged with preventing terrorist attacks to instead focus their attention on indigenous activists and environmentalists. The Guardian has established that multiple officers within the FBI’s joint terrorism taskforce have attempted to contact at least three people tied to the Standing Rock “water protector” movement in North Dakota. The purpose of the officers’ inquiries into Standing Rock, and scope of the task force’s work, remains unknown. Agency officials declined to comment.
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 Sam Levin for The Guardian – Clarence Rowland returned to Standing Rock in the dark of night. The 26-year-old Oglala Sioux tribe member arrived to his solar-powered hut at 1.30am on Wednesday, knowing that within several hours, Dakota Access pipeline workers could start drilling. “I came back to stand for our people,” Rowland said, as he prepared a large stew inside his family’s wooden hut. Around him, young children took shelter from sub-zero temperatures outside. Rowland – who arrived at Standing Rock last August, but went home in January – is one of a number of Native Americans who rushed back this week to the camps in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, to fight the $3.7bn pipeline.
By Dahr Jamail for Truthout. What are your concerns with the Trump administration as to how much worse this could become, particularly after his recent executive order? Trump has been an investor in the pipeline. He says he’s decreased his investment, which I question. He’s made the construction of pipelines and general fossil fuel development a large part of his program. I think he’ll make Standing Rock a target. Instead of the Army Corps of Engineers having a new EIS [Environmental Impact Statement] done, as it is calling for, he’ll erase that, and tell the pipeline if they drill under the lake they won’t be prosecuted anyway. I fear that law enforcement will feel they have a free hand to use excessive, and possibly lethal, force on the Water Protectors.
By Michael Sainato for Counter Punch – On December 4, the Army Corps of Engineers and Obama Administration temporarily halted the Dakota Access Pipeline construction along its proposed route under Lake Oahe, which will threaten the drinking water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux. On January 24, President Trump signed an executive order resuming construction of the pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have denounced Trump’s order, calling for his administration to “honor our treaty rights and provide a fair and reasonable pipeline process,” Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archembault told the Guardian. On January 20, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council “unanimously voted to support the district of Cannon Ball in asking all Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to leave the area
By Ray Cook for Indian Country Media Network – On Monday morning I was visiting a friend who is on the Standing Stone Camp security force. We were in my truck rolling around looking at things in and around the camp. The night before I had been patrolling near the Turtle Island where the Morton County Sheriff deployed some of his soldiers. Bright lights, concertina wire was all in check. Nothing moved or changed. The scene had remained the same for weeks. Nothing to see here, so I decided to cruise around near the Cannon Ball ice river and on fields well suited for pasture, no rocks or obstructions. l was charging around testing the limits of my 4-wheel drive truck and its traction.
By Andy Campbell for Huffington Post. Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are taking aim at protesters with a handful of bills that would make another pipeline protest far more dangerous. The oil-friendly legislature argues that its constituents are frustrated over the protests, which led federal authorities to halt construction of the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline as thousands of protesters braved cold weather and violence for months. A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.
By Dan Aymar-Blair for Truth Dig – The rerouting of the Dakota Access pipeline was a much-needed victory for the rights of indigenous peoples and the sanctity of the environment. The stand at Standing Rock also proved to be a victory for a human right we don’t hear much about: the freedom of peaceful assembly. Peaceful assembly is the presence of individuals in a public forum as an expression of opinion. Often confused with free speech or other expressive human rights, assembly is expressed through presence, what I call the “body as voice.” Thus, when, where and how we make our presence known to others is fundamental to the expression of assembly.
By Stephanie Lacambra for EFF – One of the biggest protests of 2016 is still underway at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where Water Protectors and their allies are fighting Energy Transfer Partners’ plans to drill beneath contested Treaty land to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline. While the world has been watching law enforcement’s growing use of force to disrupt the protests, EFF has been tracking the effects of its surveillance technologies on water protectors’ communications and movement. Following several reports of potentially unlawful surveillance, EFF sent technologists and lawyers to North Dakota to investigate.
By Staff of Echo En LA – After so many days of preparation, and then the real thing, the aftermath of #NODAPLRoseParade is something overwhelming, something epic, something comforting, and something exhausting. Today Water Protectors held true to their commitments and buckled down for the long haul waking up before sunrise, some pulling all nighters to prep the float, others coordinating logistics, and when the time came for us all to march, march in solidarity we did. I have to say that the venue of the #RoseParade is probably the largest audience this group has seen. And for the most part, in the protests I’ve been a part of, they like to keep us away from the mainstream population