The largest Standing Rock camp near the Dakota Access Pipeline was cleared a day after a deadline to leave the area Feb. 22 2017. Under Trump’s new executive order to continue the Dakota Access Pipeline, protesters still present at the camp were arrested, and the authorities began using heavy equipment to tear down and clear the remaining structures on the federally owned land where thousands had lived in recent months, according to New York Times News.
Although, the protest camps have decreased this winter, many of the few hundred people who remain have pledged to stay and fight reported by CNN.
CNN also reported that North Dakota Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tom Iverson said authorities had given a group of protesters who agreed to be arrested an additional two hours to leave, but that group refused to do so. “We knew this day was going to come,” Iverson said, referring to the state deadline to close the camp.
Forty-six people were taken into custody on the evacuation date. Most protesters left days earlier for their own risk, and others appeared at the camp by crossing the frozen Cannonball River to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, according by CNN.
CNN also confirmed that Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law organization, filed a report on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe questioning the legality of the Trump administration’s decision to continue the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Jan Hasselman, Earthjustice lead attorney for the tribe, said the Obama administration found “the Tribe’s treaty rights needed to be acknowledged and protected,” and other locations for the pipeline should be granted by the Army before announcing the easement. “Trump’s reversal violated treaty rights,” he said. The tribe has said it plans to argue in court that the impact statement was wrongfully situated.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has not given up. They will continue to argue that the project threatens its water supply and sacred sites, reported the Los Angeles Times News.
For previous stories on the Pipeline read: http://highlandfling.helixcharter.net/775/news/standing-rock-dakota-access-pipeline/