Showdown looms for protesters near site of Dakota Access pipeline

Chairman of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe speaks at Cornell

The Standing Rock Sioux Indian tribe sued to block the pipeline in late July, and the protesters moved in shortly after that, frustrating plans by Dakota Access to have the oil pipeline operating by the end of 2016.

Used by native people ceremonially since time immemorial to heal and to cleanse, demonstrators are setting ablaze their tents, tepees and other structures remaining from a protest encampment since last summer as they leave the camp under threat of arrest Wednesday.

"A lot of them are going to stay and they're not going to give up, no matter what army they bring in to make people back off", Lewis Grassrope, a leader at the camp, said in a telephone interview.

Law enforcement officers and first-responders were on hand from several states.

Today is the deadline for the few hundred remaining protesters at Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota. It is created to transport up to 570,000 barrels of crude oil a day from North Dakota to IL.

"The fight continues on as it has for over 500 some years of them trying to exterminate and eliminate us (Native Americans)", she said. Energy Transfer Partners calls the decision politically motivated and accuses President Barack Obama's administration of delaying the matter until he leaves office. Teepees and yurts, thousands of sheets of plywood and tents, kerosene and propane stoves, diesel and gasoline generators, food, clothing, cars and mountains of human waste lie in what was once a pristine floodplain that abutted the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.


As more people converged on the campsite protest, the once-peaceful demonstrations turned violent.

"There are certainly those that are planning to stay", Herr said. He says there have to be some protesters who don't want to be arrested and they'll get on the bus. I am living, I am living in the purist form I can.

January 24 - President Donald Trump signs executive actions to advance the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines.

He refused to comment on any law enforcement operations that might target the protesters who refuse to leave.

Earlier this month, the corps also ordered people to leave to prevent injuries and significant environmental damage in the event of flooding.

February 8 - The Army forgoes further study and grants an easement necessary to complete the pipeline and the company immediately begins drilling under Lake Oahe. He planned to move to another camp.

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