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On February 22, the Oceti Oyate camp, formerly known as Oceti Sakowin, as well as all other camps on treaty land claimed by the US Army Corps, were ordered to evacuate by 2pm. Hundreds flocked back to Standing Rock to pray as the company resumed drilling under the Missouri River following the granting of the final easement by the US Army Corps on February 7th.
Ten unarmed water protectors were arrested and one was badly injured in a violent crackdown. Several of those arrested were journalists and legal observers, clearly targeted for their role in documenting police violence and rights violations. One water protector was tazed
Fires kept law enforcement from entering the camps, but they continue to build presence at Standing Rock, preparing to forcibly remove water protectors from unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties as sovereign land of the Great Sioux Nation. A contingent of nearly two dozen National Park Service rangers and U.S. Park Police officers arrived at the request of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe with tactical gear ranging from gas masks and riot gear to rifles, protective vests, and night vision goggles.
The Sacred Stone Camp is standing ground, but raids on the remaining camps could happen at any moment.
If you witnessed an arrest today at Standing Rock, are arrested, or are concerned about the possible arrest of a relative or loved one, please call the legal jail support line: 605.519.8180.
With law enforcement preparing to advance, the legal teams are standing by (Freshet Collective and Water Protector Legal Collective - www.waterprotectorlegal.org ) and will continue to work around the clock to support and stand in solidarity with water protectors.
Over 700 water protectors are now fighting criminal cases, and North Dakota is handing down convictions. Six people face federal charges, which carry sentences of up to 15 years. At least one grand jury is active and issuing indictments. Federal agents are knocking on doors at the homes of water protectors and their families. Meanwhile, reactionary legislation targeting water protectors continues to advance through the North Dakota House and Senate. The legal defense of those needing support is going to take a long time, possibly years, and will be very expensive. Although our fundraising has been significant, we likely do not have sufficient resources to meet water protectors’ legal needs.
For more information about the legal defense effort and transparent accounting of how the money is being used, please visit freshetcollective.org . We are very grateful for your support.
The Sacred Stone Camp was established April 1, 2016 as a center of spiritual and cultural opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline, and is determined to stop construction through prayer and nonviolent direct action until adequate tribal consultation and environmental review are conducted. The spirit camp is located in between the pipeline’s proposed crossing of the Missouri River and the water intake valves for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, just over a mile downstream. The camp has an active facebook page and a crowdfunding page for general operating costs, but urgently needs separate legal defense funds to support the warriors resisting active construction. Funds raised on this page will only be used for the legal support for those involved in direct action. (To save us money on processing fees, send donation via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org)
On Friday, August 5, 2016, a group of Oceti Sakowin youth from different Dakota and Lakota nations arrived in Washington DC after running ~2000 miles by relay, in spiritual opposition to the pipeline. The runners delivered 140,000 petition signatures to the US Army Corps of Engineers and rallied at the White House to ask President Obama to pressure them to repeal the water crossing permits. Meanwhile, relatives back home set up a tipi and held demonstrations in front of North Dakota’s State Capitol Building during a 3-day special legislative session.
The Dakota Access pipeline is proposed to carry 450,000 barrels of fracked crude oil per day, from the Bakken fields of North Dakota, 1,172 miles to Patoka, Illinois. Though originally planned to cross the Missouri River upstream of Bismarck, the crossing was relocated just upstream of the Standing Rock Reservation. The threats this pipeline poses to the environment, public health, and tribal and human rights are strikingly similar to those posed by the Keystone XL.
We are not expendable. We have a right to live. Please stand with us as we protect our sacred lands. Water is life, mni wiconi.
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