30 october 2016

Dakota Access

REUTERS/Terray Sylvester, Grist, October 28, 2016

An obscure disaster-relief law was used to clear the Dakota Access camp.

The 1996 Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) allows other states to send law enforcement and employees when a governor declares a state of emergency — or, according to its website, “whenever disaster strikes!”

The compact encompasses all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and some territories, including Puerto Rico. Big hurricane hit your state? EMAC facilitates another state sending over emergency personnel while taking samples back to their state’s lab to test for contamination.

But it is also being activated to quell dissent.

Riot-clad police arrested 141 people Thursday for what the local sheriff says is trespassing on private property near a local highway. As EcoWatch, DeSmog, and local outlets point out, North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple used EMAC to bring in law enforcement from six states to clear the encampment near construction for the Dakota Access pipeline.



Tribe vows to continue N. Dakota pipeline fight despite arrests

By Timothy Mclaughlin, Reuters, October 28, 2016

A Native American tribe and other activists opposed to a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project in North Dakota vowed on Friday to continue their fight through direct action, legal challenges and growing celebrity support, a day after police arrested 141 of their members.

Thursday's arrests came at the site of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline when dozens of riot police swept through a protester camp on private land using pepper spray, bean bag rounds and an audio cannon against demonstrators who refused to leave.

Some of the protesters set fire to roadblocks and threw rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails at the law enforcement officers, the local Morton County Sheriff's Department said.

Dallas Goldtooth, 33, an activist from the Indigenous Environmental Network, said on Friday the demonstrators were taking the day off to regroup and pray. He added there were still ample opportunities for them to stop the pipeline.

"They still have miles of construction to happen and that is miles of construction yet to be stopped," Goldtooth said via telephone from the protest site in North Dakota. "There are still windows of opportunity to disrupt construction."

The sheriff's department said in a statement Friday that it was maintaining a presence in the area and that a section of a state highway remained closed. Protesters were nonconfrontational, the department said, but still not cooperating with orders to leave a bridge that was damaged by a fire on Thursday. One additional protester was arrested on Friday morning, the department said.

The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline, being built by a group of companies led by Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP.N), would offer the fastest and most direct route to bring Bakken shale oil from North Dakota to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.



North Dakota pipeline activists say arrested protesters were kept in dog kennels

Sandy Tolan, LA Times. Ocrober 28, 2016

After a night of chaotic clashes with police on the front lines in a months-long protest, Native American activists complained about the force wielded to drive protesters from the path of a pipeline they contend will desecrate tribal lands and put their lone source of drinking water at risk.

Protesters said that those arrested in the confrontation had numbers written on their arms and were housed in what appeared to be dog kennels, without bedding or furniture. Others said advancing officers sprayed mace and pelted them with rubber bullets.

“It goes back to concentration camp days,” said Mekasi Camp-Horinek, a protest coordinator who said authorities wrote a number on his arm when he was housed in one of the mesh enclosures with his mother, Casey.

At least 141 people were arrested Thursday after hundreds of police officers in riot gear, flanked by military vehicles releasing high-pitched “sound cannon” blasts, moved slowly forward, firing clouds of pepper spray at activists who refused to move.
Demonstrators stand next to burning tires as armed soldiers and law enforcement officers assemble nearby.

Authorities claimed some protesters turned violent during the confrontation, setting fires, tossing Molotov cocktails and, in one instance, pulling out a gun and firing on officers.

Some of the activists claimed Friday that police had opened fire with rubber bullets on protesters and horses. One horse was euthanized after being shot in the leg, said Robby Romero, a Native American activist.

“They were shooting their rubber bullets at our horses,” he said. “We had to put one horse down,” he said.

Camp-Horinek said authorities entered the teepees that activists had erected in the path of the pipeline, a four-state, 1,200-mile conduit to carry oil from western North Dakota to Illinois.

“It looked like a scene from the 1800s, with the cavalry coming up to the doors of the teepees, and flipping open the canvas doors with automatic weapons,” he said.

Standing Rock Tribal Chairman David Archambault II called for a Justice Department investigation into the police tactics. Amnesty International announced Friday it was sending a human rights delegation to investigate and Sen. Bernie Sanders asked the White House to order the Army Corps of Engineers to temporarily halt construction of the pipeline.


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