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Officials Pull Water Supply as Dakota Access Protest Swells in Number and Spirit


This article comes from

Thousands join protest camp as supporters are holding a rally in Washington D.C. on Wednesday outside of Army Corps hearing

by Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams

Growing in number and spirit, the Standing Rock Sioux protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline is swiftly gaining strength ahead of a federal hearing on the controversial project. Support has spread across the country, and thousands have descended on the peaceful “prayer camps” in recent days, prompting state officials on Monday to remove the demonstrators’ drinking water supply.

North Dakota homeland security director Greg Wilz ordered the removal of state-owned trailers and water tanks from the protest encampment, despite the sweltering heat, because of alleged disorderly conduct, according to the Bismarck Tribune, including reports of laser pointers aimed at surveillance aircraft.

“People are getting overheated now already,” said Johnelle Leingang, the tribe’s emergency response coordinator, as temperatures hovered around 90º F on Monday. “It’s very hurtful.”

Tribal activists say the state’s response, which includes surveillance, road blockades with military checkpoints, and a state of emergency declaration, has been overly aggressive and manipulative.

“It is deeply ironic that the Governor would release emergency funds under the guise of public health and safety, but then remove the infrastructure that helps ensure health and safety in the camp,” said Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth.

The supplies were provided last week by the North Dakota Department of Health at the tribe’s request to support the roughly 2,500 people now gathered along the Standing Rock reservation’s border on the Cannonball River, near where the pipeline is slated to cross.

LaDonna Allard, director of one of the prayer camps, said, “The gathering here remains 100 percent peaceful and ceremonial, as it has from day one. We are standing together in prayer…Why is a gathering of Indians so inherently threatening and frightening to some people?”

“This is nothing but repression of our growing movement to protect our water and future generations,” Houska added.

Standing Rock spokesman Steven Sitting Bear said he’s received “notifications from tribes all over the country that have caravans in route, so it’s continuing to grow.”

On Wednesday, high profile activists and supporters are rallying in Washington D.C. outside the U.S. District Court, where members of the Standing Rock Sioux will argue that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted Energy Transfer Corporation approval for the 1,172-mile pipeline without tribal consent.

Read more here.


Shorty Dawkins



  1. This looks like a great opportunity for some organization to step up and lend a helping hand to a worthy cause.
    Someone should maybe organize a water collection and the needed logistics to get water to where it is needed.
    Looks like a wonderful opportunity to not only help this worthy cause, (and the thirsty people), but also a great chance to tick off the feds in the process.
    I have a truck and trailer, along with some time, that I would gladly donate to such a cause.
    How about it brothers and sisters, anyone else interested, or have any ideas?

  2. I don’t know enough about the oil pipeline topic in general, so my random thoughts/questions are:
    – I don’t trust the govt
    – I don’t’ trust the environmentalists
    – Americans want our energy independence and is this pipeline an effort toward that end?
    – America has pipelines already that have been safe 99% of the time, what’s different about this one that some people think it will not also be safe?
    – If the tribe(s) own the land and the govt did not get their permission, the govt is in the wrong and should cease and desist their actions until they receive permission from the land owner(s).

    1. The current mode to transfer the oil is by rail which carries a higher risk of accident than a buried pipeline and more importantly to oil companies is the pipeline is more economical. The question is will the pipeline be constructed well and not be a source of “accidents and spills” in the future. If you live near something dangerous, then the risk comes with it.

    2. “Support has spread across the country, and thousands have descended on the peaceful “prayer camps” in recent days, prompting state officials on Monday to remove the demonstrators’ drinking water supply.”

      How about we just start using the ones they have capped? Let’s not let those that serve within our governments and corporations DESTROY any more of OUR water supplies, okay – “… prompting state officials on Monday to remove the demonstrators’ drinking water supply”? Notice those that serve within our governments FIRST move was to steal the water that those people need? This is going to happen to you, me, that guy over there, that lady down the street, etc.

      Show me in the US Constitution where we delegated ANY authority over water, food, land, air, our children, schools, etc to those that serve within our governments. It wasn’t delegated to them. You, me, others have been raised under this unlawful governmental and take their authority over things that are NOT WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION. They will withhold or even poison water you use. Think not? Go on and research how they have been lifting what is allowed in the peoples drinking water OVER AND OVER again. Now they have also lifted the amount of radiation we can receive in our water, in our food, in our air, in the stuff we use in our homes, etc – go research it. Our children are the first whose life expectancy has been deliberately shortened, they are not to live even as long as we will do/did..

      Before you say, yeah to the pipeline, there have been all kinds of leaks that are HIDDEN from us.

      They assist already in our destruction in too many ways for me to list here – but show me where any governmental agency or corporation has actually really cleaned up any area they destroyed. Go visit, they have NOT.

      The reservations belong to the tribes, NOT to those that serve within the federal governments, though they still retain control, still take what was given to them away. Educate yourself on these things. It is not just your life that hangs in the balance, but all of ours.

      Those that serve within our governments, the military particularly have done more damage, or allowed it to be done by corporations, with NO or very little repairing of the problems. You think my other comments here are long, if I started linking all of this (that has not been “cleaned” from the internet) this would run pages.

      NO. They may NOT take their water. They may NOT run the pipeline. They may not hide technology from us. These people are corrupt. Please, do the research, and if it is scrubbed, let me know as I and a few thousand others have that information.


        “In contrast, the only thing the mainstream media would accomplish by publicizing the growing tribal opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline would be to effectively kill the prospects of the pipeline. Providing ongoing coverage would likely inspire national outrage toward the oil company, Dakota Access LLC, and the government agencies currently trying to evict the indigenous people from their own ancestral lands…
        The second and more obvious reason why mainstream outlets have not focused on the situation in North Dakota is money — oil money, to be exact. “

  3. The Rising
    Connecting Human Health and Oil Operations

    What happens to people exposed to extreme oil operations? In a fight for basic human rights, ordinary people are rising to extraordinary circumstances in a struggle with the consequences of a grave and hidden threat to the American public.

    Starting with the 2010 BP disaster, the film exposes how unchecked corporate power and government collusion has resulted in public health being largely left out of the equation of America’s fossil fuel industry.

    A foreign corporation was allowed to spray millions of gallons of toxic dispersants over 200 million gallons of toxic crude oil. 6 years later, the burden of proof that this mixture was harmful has fallen upon thousands of exposed, sick and dying Americans.

    The Rising is a film and a solution to defend community health. The film is directed by Mark Manning, an oil field diver turned filmmaker, and it documents the spillworkers, health activists, and citizens in both the gulf and Washington DC who saw the devastation first-hand.

  4. Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline

    By running the relay, not only were we bringing awareness to the people, we were also bringing back unity and hope! At one point, we had 50 young people from Santee, Nebraska who ran and helped us cover 30 miles in a day! The power of prayers carried us at times we couldn’t run anymore, but something made us all get out there and keep running. We all understood that the sacrifice was much bigger than ourselves. We wanted people to hear us so we had to show them and bring the Dakota Access Pipeline issue to light to protect Unci Maka (Mother Earth).

    The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline can only be successful if we have your voice. Please sign your name to tell the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that the Dakota Access Pipeline Project is damaging to all life along the Missouri River. Let them know that we do not need oil to live, but we do need water, and water is a human right and not a privilege.

    Sign to stand with us and demand a stop to the Dakota Access Pipeline.


  5. The Science & Environmental Health Network rejects the pipeline on the following grounds: “The commonwealth is the basis of the Iowa economy.[…] Approving the pipeline would be a violation of Iowa’s fiduciary and public trust responsibilities to the people of Iowa, because it harms the commons.[…] It is the citizen’s obligation to withdraw its consent from government actions that threaten the commonwealth and future generations.[…] Eminent domain is the unique power of government to move private property into the commons where it serves as a public good. It should not be used to privilege a private corporation that will destroy the commons.[…] When the pipeline leaks, Iowa will be left with the costs of cleanup. This is a violation of the Iowa St. Constitution which says: Credit not to be loaned. SECTION 1. The credit of the state shall not, in any manner, be given or loaned to, or in aid of, any individual, association, or corporation; and the state shall never assume, or become responsible for, the debts or liabilities of any individual, association, or corporation, unless incurred in time of war for the benefit of the state.”[44]

    Unclear has remained, what specifically happens when the pipeline inevitably leaks, how residents would know of a leak, why the company asks for a permanent easement of farmland when oil rights can only be obtained for 25 years at a time, who the majority shareholders of Dakota Access are and where Energy Transfer’s guarantee of liability for newly established Dakota Access, LLC is, if it is only required to have a $250,000 bond in case of damages.[26]

    Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI) has called the pipeline “all risk and no reward” and the $ 250,000 surety bond “fiscally irresponsible”. It has suggested raising it to at least $1 billion, indexed to inflation, would only match Alaska’s precautions of protection.[43] A $1 billion surety bond is sensible in terms of the cost of cleaning up the Mayflower Spill of the Pegasus pipeline in 2013 as well, costs for the cleanup of which have reached $60 million for a spill of between 130,000 and 200,000 gallons of crude. The Bakken pipeline is projected to be capable of carrying 1 million gallons of crude an hour; any leak that is not stopped within the hour could quickly result in hundreds of millions of dollars in property and irrevocable environmental damage.

  6. Jason Coppola, a filmmaker and journalist who has been covering the protests, explained in an interview with me that one of the most important aspects of this story is one that is age-old: The U.S. government is violating its treaty obligations to Native American tribes. According to Coppola, “The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 guaranteed complete and total access, undisturbed access, [of the land] to the Great Sioux Nation of the Oceti Sakowin [Seven Council Fires].” But that treaty has not been respected. The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration explains how-as a result of an expedition led in 1874 by Gen. George Armstrong Custer in search of gold on the Black Hills reservation in North Dakota-”[t]o this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.”

    Regardless, indigenous activists are determined to occupy their own land for as long as it takes to stop construction of the pipeline. If they succeed, it will be one small measure of justice in a line of injustices going back to the founding of this nation.

  7. I don’t trust the referenced website ‘change dog org’ which is posted in one of the comments here. They appear to be liars on all sides of the equation.

  8. Shorty,
    You are right and my apologies. I was speaking off-hand and strictly from the back of my memory based on several years of hearing and reading things from and about them. At this time, I no longer have research notes to go back to. However, looking at some of their ‘topics’ and ‘the people’ who support or associate with their endeavors, my perspective still stands. To me, some of their endeavors are bogus such as with the Trayvon incident and their purported environmental stance which seems to always favor the bogus emergency over normal weather variations as well as their associations with Amnesty Int’l, Dick Durbin and the Prez are definitely cause for distrust in my perspective.

    v/r, Linda…PS – my other comment has a typo and should read change dot (not change dog).

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks for adding something beside a blanket indictment. I posted this article because the mainstream news chose to ignore it. The Army Corps of Engineers ignored three other government agencies who wanted this project denied. It stinks of cronyism. Why is it big oil always seems to get their way? To say we need the oil does not justify trampling the rights of those in the path of the pipeline. The “greater good” is a Marxist dogma. Individuals matter. The “group” is composed of individuals.


  9. Hey, I am a founding member of Oathkeepers, and I have been tracking this story. It is officially getting particularly ugly and I would like to go and help. I would prefer to go with an OK’s team, and I am now looking for any OK chapters who are in planning to go and help at this event. Find me on facebook username glenbradley, I do not know if it will let me post an email here (even though I am not a spammer, an email address in comments looks like spam) but I’ll take a shot:

    I have a job in DC Sept 9 to Sept 11, I don’t even know if this will still be going on on the 12th but it looks like it will. If anyone is putting a group or a team together please contact me. Thanks!

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