Cannon Ball, ND – On February 7th, 2017, the Army Corps of Engineers stated its intent to grant an easement to Dakota Access LLC, to cross Lake Oahe with the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The easement is north of the location where tens of thousands of people gathered to show their opposition to DAPL at a series of protest camps.
The indigenous led movement of Water Protectors saw hundreds of tribes come together to state their opposition to this fossil fuel project, and elevate the importance of clean drinking water for future generations. Once the easement is granted, which includes the Army Corps intent of waiving the EIS (Environmental Impact Statement), it’s estimated at sixty days until completion of the contested Lake Oahe crossing.
Before this announcement, tension in the area had increased as reports of officers from the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) joining active police forces in the area, and North Dakota National Guard now on the frontlines.
On February 1st, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, accompanied by the North Dakota National Guard, removed the barriers at the Backwater Bridge and moved on a newly established treaty camp, which to Morton county was on private land, and to the land defenders, fell within the boundaries of an 1851 Fort Laramie treaty.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) February 1, 2017
The camp called the “Last Child Camp” was surrounded by Sheriff’s deputies as National Guardsmen in riot gear formed a line at the entrance of the main camp. Seventy six arrests were recorded in the camp, including journalists.
Those arrested included journalist Jenni Monet who stated she was complying with police orders when arrested.
The arrests on February 1st bring the total number of arrests related to DAPL since August 2016, to over 700.
I'm free from jail, facing 5 years in prison. I love you all. Thank you to all water protectors who've sacrificed liberty for all. #NoDAPL
— Chase Iron Eyes (@ChaseIronEyes) February 3, 2017
Despite the recent granting of the easement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe announced its intent to legally challenge any reversal to the EIS process, which has already officially started.
On January 17, three days before the Trump administration took office, the Department of the Army, published in the Federal Register their formal intent to conduct a full Environmental Impact Statement regarding the DAPL easement to drill under the Missouri River.
“If and when the easement is granted, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe will vigorously pursue legal action. We have to this date received no formal notice that the EIS has been suspended or withdrawn. To abandon the EIS would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President’s personal views and, potentially, personal investments. Furthermore, the Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the preparation of the EIS and issue the easement.” – Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Recently, the BIA, accompanied by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council and members of the Army Corps, and staff from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), “assessed” parts of some of the camps around Oceti Oyate (formerly Oceti Sakowin). Specifically, they entered Rosebud and Sacred Stone camps as the authorities prepare for a February 22nd eviction date.
Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, founder and landowner of Sacred Stone Camp as well as a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, issued a statement denouncing the role that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s government, as well as tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II, have taken in assisting government actions against water protectors:
“Then they came for our Sacred Stone Camp, the original spirit camp we built to lay our prayers and our water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. But this time, they were accompanied by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council. They had no warrant, but they forced their way onto my private land, my family’s land, where I grew up on the banks of the Cannonball River. It was our own council members together with the Standing Rock Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the US Army Corps, all seeking to evict me from my homeland.
The world wants to stand with Standing Rock, but Standing Rock stands against us. Chairman Dave Archambault threw our people to the dogs when he said the camps’ actions “…do not represent the tribe nor the original intent of the water protectors.” He forgets that we at Sacred Stone Camp were the first to stand up for the water, and that we stand with all the camps who have joined our struggle…
Historically, our people’s resistance has been repressed with bloody battles and massacres — but also by the hands of Indian collaborators. Our relatives did not see who the enemy was, because it was their own relatives who turned against them, enabled by the same kind of lies from the same kind of corporate media.
Our traditional leaders were forced aside by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1936, when federal authorities forced the establishment of tribal councils on the reservations. This is a colonial system of government with no basis in Lakota/Dakota/Nakota culture or teachings. It is the same tactic they used with the Indian agents and the Hangs Around the Fort betrayals. They fabricate a leader that will allow them to take what they want from us. The hunger for power can divide a people…
Like Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, and the other “agency” Lakota who so quickly surrendered our lands and way of life while thousands fought back alongside Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, today our tribal council has misunderstood what is really at stake…” – Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, To Save the Water, We Must Break the Cycle of Colonial Trauma
Despite threats of eviction and an even more increased militarized force that has the BIA joining the policing of water protectors gathered to defend the Missouri River, some have sworn to stay to protect the water.
Intent to grant easement statement below.Dakota-Access-Pipeline-Notification-Grijalva
To help our volunteer-operated, horizontally-organized, non-profit media collective please consider a tax-deductible donation: Below is Unicorn Riot's coverage of the [#NoDAPL] anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle from early summer 2016 to present: March - May 2016
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the "Toxic Tour," Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple's email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People's Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp
- November 1, #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally & Sit-In in Minneapolis Prods Sheriff into Removing Deputies
- November 1, DAPL Resistance Continues Despite Advancing Construction
- November 2, Police Attack Water Protectors Defending Sacred Sites
- November 5, DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
- November 6, Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery
- November 8, Dakota Access Announces Plan to Drill Under Missouri River Within Weeks
- November 11, Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested
- November 14, #NoDAPL Water Protectors March on ND State Capitol after Caravan Disrupts Construction
- November 14, Mississippi Stand Goes Inside Pipeline and Shuts Down DAPL Construction
- November 14, Army Corps Delays DAPL Easement
- November 15, "No More Stolen Sisters" Demonstration Blockades DAPL Man Camp; 25+ Arrests
- November 16, Despite Army Corps Statement, DAPL Moves Horizontal Drill to Missouri River Crossing
- November 17, Demonstration in Bismarck-Mandan, Cass County Deputies Beat Man Bloody
- November 20, Police Attack Unarmed Water Protectors w/ Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and Water Cannons; 300+ injured
- November 21, Land Defense & Water Protection Actions Ripple Across Turtle Island
- November 22, Hundreds Target U.S. Army Corps Building in St. Paul w #NoDAPL Message
- November 22, Anonymous DDOS Munitions Vendor After Sheriffs Attack #NoDAPL
- November 22, #NoDAPL Water Protector Faces Possible Loss Of Her Arm After Police Attack
- November 24, Water Protectors Bridge onto Turtle Island; Mandan Thanksgiving Street Feast
- November 25, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces Intent to Close Oceti Sakowin #NoDAPL Camp
- November 29, Excessive Force Lawsuit Filed Against Morton County Sheriff for November 20 Bridge Assault
- December 1, Direct Action Continues To Disrupt Dakota Access Pipeline Construction in Iowa
- December 3, Divest from DAPL; Three Wells Fargo Locations Targeted in Minneapolis, Eight People Locked Down and Two Arrested
- December 4, Army Corps Denies Dakota Access Pipeline Easement
- December 8, Veterans Apologize for Genocide & March to Backwater Bridge in Blizzard
- December 8, Nebraska Supplied State Troopers, Surveillance Aircraft to North Dakota Under EMAC
- December 12, #DivestFromDAPL Action Disrupts Wells Fargo Branch Grand Opening, Doors Secured with Bike Locks
- December 19, First Water Protector Trials Set for January as Another ND Pipeline Leaks
- January 2, Massive #DivestFromDAPL Banner Unfurled During Vikings Game at US Bank Stadium
- January 5, Interview: Water Protector who Scaled Vikings Stadium to Drop “US Bank DIVEST #NoDAPL” Banner
- January 15, Indigenous-Led Pipeline Resistance Camps Spread Across the USA
- January 24, Hundreds of Minnesotans Protest, Take to the Streets on Trump’s Inauguration
- January 25, Trump Pushes Forward DAPL & KXL Pipeline Approvals; Resistance Continues
- January 30, Denver Joins Global Prayer Action to #DefundDAPL
- February 7, Army Corps Grants Easement as Repression Continues at Standing Rock
- February 17, Eviction Threats Loom as Hundreds Remain at #NoDAPL Camps
- February 22, Militarized Force Executes Eviction of Main #NoDAPL Encampment
- February 23, North Dakota Dismantles #NoDAPL Oceti Camp
- February 27, Three Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Trial This Week From DAPL Coverage