Police repression at Dakota Access protest camp
More than 140 were arrested Oct. 27 as over 300 police officers in riot gear—backed up with several armored vehicles and two helicopters—cleared the camp erected to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. North Dakota's Gov. Jack Dalrymple used emergency powers declared over the protests in August to bring in officers from neighboring states. The 1851 Treaty Camp was set up directly in the path of the pipeline, on private land recently purchased by Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline. But the land has been declared reclaimed as tribal territory by the Standing Rock Reservation under the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. The Morton County sheriff’s department said protesters torched several police vehicles, and that two officers were lightly wounded. Those arrested were not allowed to post bail. The sweep brought the total number arrested in the protests since August to 411. State officials have stated that they will no longer communicate with the protesters. (Native News Online, Bold Nebraska, NYT, Forum News Service, ICTMN, Sacred Stone Camp, Oct. 28; EcoWatch, Oct. 25)
The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, last month called on the United States to halt the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, saying it poses a significant risk to the drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and threatens to destroy their burial grounds and sacred sites. (OHCHR, Sept. 22)
The larger Sacred Stone Camp, on public lands near the construction site, still remains. Another, also on nearby public lands, is known as the Oceti Sakowin Camp, after the traditional name of the Lakota (Sioux) peoples.