10 Arrested as Forced Evictions Begin at Standing Rock Camps

Today, February 22, the Oceti Oyate camp, formerly known as Oceti Sakowin, as well as all other camps on treaty land claimed by the US Army Corps, were ordered to evacuate by 2pm.

Ten unarmed water protectors were arrested today and one was badly injured in a violent crackdown. Several of those arrested were journalists and legal observers, clearly targeted for their role in documenting police violence and rights violations. 

Another water protector was tazed by Bureau of Indian Affair agents in the lobby of the Prairie Knights Casino.

Hundreds flocked back to Standing Rock to pray as the company resumed drilling under the Missouri River following the granting of the final easement by the US Army Corps on February 7th.

Fires kept law enforcement from entering the camps, but they continue to build presence at Standing Rock, preparing to forcibly remove water protectors from unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 and 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaties as sovereign land of the Great Sioux Nation. A contingent of nearly two dozen National Park Service rangers and U.S. Park Police officers arrived at the request of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe with tactical gear ranging from gas masks and riot gear to rifles, protective vests, and night vision goggles.

The Sacred Stone Camp is standing ground, but raids on the remaining camps could happen at any moment.

If you witnessed an arrest today at Standing Rock, are arrested, or are concerned about the possible arrest of a relative or loved one, please call the legal jail support line: 605.519.8180.

With law enforcement preparing to advance, the legal teams are standing by (Freshet Collective and Water Protector Legal Collective - www.waterprotectorlegal.org) and will continue to work around the clock to support and stand in solidarity with water protectors.

Over 700 water protectors are now fighting criminal cases, and North Dakota is handing down convictions.  Six people face federal charges, which carry sentences of up to 15 years.  At least one grand jury is active and issuing indictments.  Federal agents are knocking on doors at the homes of water protectors and their families.  Meanwhile, reactionary legislation targeting water protectors continues to advance through the North Dakota House and Senate. The legal defense of those needing support is going to take a long time, possibly years, and will be very expensive.  Although our fundraising has been significant, we likely do not have sufficient resources to meet water protectors’ legal needs.  Please support our work at www.fundrazr.com/sacredstone.

For more information about the legal defense effort and transparent accounting of how the money is being used, please visit freshetcollective.org.  We are very grateful for your support.

 Photo by Rob Wilson

Photo by Rob Wilson