Ladonna Allard

DAPL Easement Denied, But The Fight's Not Over

Today at 4pm, the Obama Administration announced that the US Army Corps would not grant Dakota Access LLC the last remaining easement it needs to drill under the Missouri River at Lake Oahe and complete construction of the pipeline.  The US Army Corps statement implies they will conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the river crossing and explore possibilities for alternative routes.

The Obama Administration’s decision comes as thousands of veterans are arriving from across the country to stand with the water protectors and join the frontlines of resistance in the face of extreme and escalating violence at the hands of law enforcement.  

While this is clearly a victory, the battle is not “over”. A response statement from Energy Transfer Partners  and Sunoco Logistics said the corporations remain “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.”

The Trump administration could easily approve the project early next year. The Obama Administration has never guaranteed the water protectors or the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that they would use force to stop Dakota Access from drilling under the river without a permit, if necessary. The Army Corps has not yet agreed to pursue a full EIS for the entire length of the pipeline.

Organizers continue to call for every day of December to be “a day of #NoDAPL action” against the investors of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Over 100 solidarity actions worldwide have already been registered for the coming weeks as the encampment continues to stand their ground.

Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth says, “The original peoples of these lands fought with all of our hearts against injustice and won. We have been maced, tased, demeaned, hit with water cannons in below freezing temperatures, we stand with the strength of our ancestors before us. The inaction from the administration and media was answered by our refusal to back down. Let this send a message around the world: we are still here. We are empowered. We are not sacrifice zones. Mni wiconi, water is life.”

Eryn Wise of the International Indigenous Youth Council says, “We've been fighting this fight our whole lives and now there is no doubt in our minds that our generation can change the future. We know that the next presidency stands to jeopardize our work but we are by no means backing down. We will continue protecting everywhere we go and we will continue to stand for all our relations. We say Lila wopila to everyone who has supported the resurgence of indigenous nations. This is just the beginning.”

Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network says, “Today, the Obama Administration has told us they are not granting the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is not just an amazing victory for Standing Rock and the Oceti Sakowin  -- but also for the many other Tribal Nations, grassroots Indigenous communities and millions of Americans around the country who have stood in solidarity with us here in person, at rallies around the country, and through phone calls and letters. This is a victory for organizing, and it doesn't stop now. We are asking our supporters to keep up the pressure, because while President Obama has granted us a victory today, that victory isn't guaranteed in the next administration. More threats are likely in the year to come, and we cannot stop until this pipeline is completely and utterly defeated, and our water and climate are safe.”

LaDonna Allard, Director of the Sacred Stone Camp, says, “I was asked, “When do you consider this pipeline issue to be over?” I said, when every pipe is out of the ground and the earth is repaired across the United States. I am not negotiating, I am got backing down. I must stand for our grandchildren and for the water.”

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Here are the 10 questions we need to be asking in the days and weeks ahead:

1. Will the Army Corps actually conduct an Environmental Impact Statement? If so, on what portion of the project - just the river crossing, or the whole pipeline?  
2. What issues will the EIS take into account? (for example, will it include an analysis of spill risk? how about sacred sites? will it reassess the economic need for the pipeline now that the bakken is busting?)
3. Which alternative routes will be considered? Will a "no-build" option also be considered?
4. How long will the EIS take?
5. What input will the tribe have? What will the public participation process look like?
6. In what way(s) was the original Environmental Assessment prepared by the Army Corps deemed inadequate?
7. What was the result of the tribal consultation process exploring possible changes to the regulatory process for pipelines in general? have any changes been proposed?
8. How easily will these decisions be reversed by a Trump administration?
9. How will these decisions be affected by the outcomes of DAPL's lawsuit against the Army Corps, scheduled to be heard on Friday?
10. Is the US government prepared to use force to stop the company from drilling under the river without a permit, if necessary?

 

December: Every Day is a #NoDAPL Day of Action

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On November 20th the police and National Guard violently attacked peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, sound grenades, and sprayed them with water cannons in subfreezing conditions, hundreds of people were injured. You can read more about the what happened here.

On #NoBlackSnakeFriday, the Obama Administration issued an eviction notice to the Oceti Sakowin encampments at Standing Rock. The eviction notice came as a letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, informing them that on Dec. 5th, it will “close” all lands north of the Cannonball River, where the Oceti Sakowin encampment is located.

Take action

Solidarity Efforts are Needed Now More Than Ever

We call on all people of conscience, from all Nations, to join the encampments and stand with us by December 5 as we put our bodies in front of the machines.  

We call on allies across the world to take action EVERY DAY starting December 1.

The financial footing of the Dakota Access Pipeline is in jeopardy if they do not complete the project by January 1st. If this deadline is missed, a majority of the stakeholders with contracts to ship oil through the pipeline will be able to renegotiate or cancel their contracts. This could be devastating to Energy Transfer Partners and the other pipeline companies behind DAPL.

We are calling for a month of solidarity beginning with a Global Day of Action on December 1st. We are asking people to target the banks funding Dakota Access Pipeline and the Sheriff Departments that have been brutalizing peaceful water protectors.

Locate a Target Near You

 

Take Action Against the Banks

We are calling for direct actions, demonstrations and other disruptions targeting the banks behind the pipeline. We also ask that people use this date to close their accounts with these banks. Here is a guide on how to close and switch your bank account.

In August, a group of banks agreed to lend $2.5 billion to Dakota Access. But $1.4 billion of this loan is still on hold until the Army Corps grants the final permits for the pipeline. This means that there is still time for the banks involved in this loan to cut their line of credit.

TD Bank and Citi Bank are two of the main banks on this loan, but we need to target all of the lenders involved:

 

If you are organizing a public action, please register it. Find targets in your area using our targets map.

Register Your Action

 

Pressure Sheriff Departments to Withdraw from Standing Rock

Sheriff Departments and Police Departments from across the Midwest have sent officers to violently attack and suppress Water Protectors.

We are calling on these Departments to permanently withdraw their officers from Standing Rock. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office withdrew after facing protests in Minneapolis.

Here is a list of Sheriff and Police Departments that have deployed at Standing Rock:

Morton County Sheriff Department
Mandan ND
701-667-3330

Michigan City Police Department
Michigan City, IN
(219) 874-3221

North Dakota Highway Patrol
Offices across North Dakota
(701) 328-2455

Hammond Police Department
Hammond, IN
219-852-2900

Munster Police Department
Munster, IN
(219) 836-6600

Griffith Police Department
Griffith, IN
(219) 924-7503

Anoka County Sheriff’s Office
Andover, MN
(763) 323-5000

Washington County Sheriff’s Office
Stillwater, MN
651-430-6000

Marathon County Sheriff’s Department
Wausau, WI
(715) 261-1200

La Porte County Sheriff’s Office
La Porte, IN
(219) 326-7700

Newton County Sheriff’s Office
Kentland, IN
219-474-3331

South Dakota Highway Patrol
Pierre, SD
605-773-3105

Jasper County Sheriff
Rensselaer, Indiana
219-866-7344

Lake County Sheriff Sheriff’s Department
Crown Point, IN
219-755-3333

Laramie County Sheriff’s Department
Cheyenne, WY
307-633-4700

Wyoming Highway Patrol
Cheyenne, WY
307-777-4301

Ohio State Highway Patrol
Columbus, Ohio
614-466-2660

Nebraska Emergency Management Agency
Lincoln, NE
(402) 471-7421

The U.S. Army Cannot Evict Us From Treaty Lands

Coalition Statement

On Friday, November 25, after the turkey was pardoned, the Obama Administration issued an eviction notice to the Oceti Sakowin encampments at Standing Rock.  We are a coalition of grassroots groups living and working at the encampments, and we will not be moved.  We stand united in defiance of the black snake and are committed to defense of water, our Mother Earth, and our rights as Indigenous people.  We call on all people of conscience, from all Nations, to join the encampments and stand with us as we put our bodies on the line.

The eviction notice came in a letter from the US Army Corps of Engineers to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, informing the tribe that on Dec. 5th, it will “close” all lands north of the Cannonball River, where the Oceti Sakowin encampment is located. It is no coincidence that the Army Corps of Engineers has chosen Dec 5th, General George Armstrong Custer's birthday, as the date it plans to evict people from the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Custer broke the treaty to dig for gold, the Army Corps is breaking the treaty over oil.

Photo by Adam Alexander Johansson

The Corps says its decision to clear the area is necessary to protect people from violent confrontations with law enforcement and to uphold the Corps’s land leases to private individuals for grazing and haying uses.  It has designated a ‘free speech zone’ south of the Cannonball River, and anyone outside that area will be considered trespassing and subject to forcible removal and prosecution. Anyone that chooses to remain at the encampment “does so at their own risk, and assumes any and all corresponding liabilities for their unlawful presence.”  

The Army Corps has no authority to evict us from these lands.  The Oceti Sakowin encampment is located on the ancestral homeland of the Lakota, Mandan, Arikara, and Northern Cheyenne - on territory never ceded to the U.S. government, and affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie as sovereign land belonging to the Great Sioux Nation.  The encampment is, in many respects, a reclamation of this stolen territory and the right to self-determination guaranteed in the treaties.  Our water protectors are not trespassers and can never be trespassers.  The Army Corps also has no authority to diminish our right to free speech - where in the Constitution does it establish zones for the right to free speech? Do corporations now decide whether the Constitution applies? We are not moving, and we will not be silenced.  

As the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe noted in its response to the Army Corps, this decision “continues the cycle of racism and oppression imposed on our people and our lands throughout history.” This is not the first time these lands have been destroyed at the behest of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The best of these lands were flooded by the Army Corps in the 1950s and 1960s - countless sacred sites were desecrated, the vast majority of the timber resources and wildlife destroyed, and thousands of people displaced.  We will not stand by while the federal government continues this destructive narrative.  

The Army Corps’s eviction notice is an aggressive threat to Indigenous peoples.  It further empowers and emboldens a militarized police force that has already injured hundreds of unarmed, peaceful water protectors, and continues to escalate its tactics of brutality against us.  It adds fuel to the fire of an ongoing human rights crisis.  

Photo by Rob Wilson

Photo by Rob Wilson

The extreme escalation of violence by law enforcement in recent weeks demands immediate action from the Obama administration to de-escalate and demilitarize the law enforcement response, not to further criminalize us.  As the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe pointed out in its response to the Army Corps, the only way to protect people is to deny the last outstanding easement required for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River.  

We call on the White House to deny the easement now, revoke the permits, remove the DAPL construction workers, and order a full Environmental Impact Statement in formal consultation with impacted tribal governments.  Put an end to the violence.  

In the meantime, we will stand our ground for the water and the unborn generations.  Our fight is not just about a pipeline project. It is about 500 years of colonization and oppression.  This is our moment, a chance to demand a future for our people and all people.  We ask you to join us.

Water Cannons Fired at Water Protectors in Freezing Temperatures Injure Hundreds

Water Cannons Fired at Water Protectors in Freezing Temperatures Injure Hundreds

Hundreds of water protectors were injured at the Standing Rock encampments when law enforcement blasted them with water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday evening.   The attacks came as water protectors used a semi-truck to remove burnt military vehicles that police had chained to concrete barriers weeks ago, blocking traffic on Highway 1806.  Water protectors’ efforts to clear the road and improve access to the camp for emergency services were met with tear gas, an LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device), stinger grenades, rubber bullets, and indiscriminate use of a water cannon with an air temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dakota Access is in Financial Jeopardy

On Wednesday, November 16, 2016, just hours after the arrival of the drill at Standing Rock, Dakota Access LLC filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for delaying its decision on the last required easement.  This desperation comes from the company’s January 1, 2017 deadline for completing the project.  Dakota Access has previously told the District Court that if they are not delivering oil by January 1, their shipper contracts will expire and the project will be in jeopardy.  A new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, and issued just as the company’s lawsuit was being filed on Wednesday, confirmed these weaknesses in the financing of the project and questioned its entire economic rationale. 

On Thursday, November 17, the largest bank in Norway, DNB Bank, announced that it would sell its assets in the project, in response to a groundswell of popular pressure asking them to divest.   They have yet to withdraw their loans from the project, which make up a substantial portion of the overall project financing, but have said they are considering doing so.

The project is clearly in financial jeopardy! #NoDAPL

We Cannot Negotiate for the Water

Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a statement offering to consult with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about ways to proceed with the Lake Oahe crossing. While this is a step in the right direction, this ignores the demands made by the tribes, the grassroots encampment, countless allied environmental organizations, and millions of people standing in solidarity across the globe.

Police from 5 States Escalate Violence, Shoot Horses to Clear 1851 Treaty Camp

Cannonball, ND - Over 300 police officers in riot gear, 8 ATVs, 5 armored vehicles, 2 helicopters, and numerous military-grade humvees showed up north of the newly formed frontline camp just east of Highway 1806.  The 1851 Treaty Camp was set up this past Sunday directly in the path of the pipeline, on land recently purchased by DAPL.  Today this camp, a reclamation of unceded Dakota territory affirmed as part of the Standing Rock Reservation in the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1851, was violently cleared.  Both blockades established this past weekend to enable that occupation were also cleared.  

In addition to pepper spray and concussion grenades, shotguns were fired into the crowd with less lethal ammunition and a sound cannon was used (see images below).  At least one person was tased and the barbed hook lodged in his face, just outside his eye. Another was hit in the face by a rubber bullet.

Photo by Jonathon Klett

Photo by Jonathon Klett

A prayer circle of elders, including several women, was interrupted and all were arrested for standing peacefully on the public road.  A tipi was erected in the road and was recklessly dismantled, despite promises from law enforcement that they would merely mark the tipi with a yellow ribbon and ask its owners to retrieve it.  A group of water protectors was also dragged out of a ceremony in a sweat lodge erected in the path of the pipeline, wearing minimal clothing, thrown to the ground, and arrested.

Photo by Jonathon Klett

Photo by Jonathon Klett

A member of the International Indigenous Youth Council (IIYC) that had her wrist broken during a mass-arrest on October 22nd was hurt again after an officer gripped her visibly injured wrist and twisted it during an attempted arrest. At least six other members of the youth council verified that they had been maced up to five times and were also shot and hit with bean bags. In addition to being assaulted, an altar item and sacred staff was wrenched from the hands of an IIYC member by police. Several other sacred items were reported stolen, including a canupa (sacred tobacco pipe).

Two medics giving aid at front line were hit with batons and thrown off the car they were sitting on. Then police grabbed another medic, who was driving the car, out of the driver side while it was still in motion. Another water protector had to jump into the car to stop it from hitting other people.

Photo by Sara Lafleur-Vetter

Photo by Sara Lafleur-Vetter

Members of the horse nation herded around 100 buffalo from the west and southwest of the Cannonball Ranch onto the the DAPL easement. One rider was reportedly hit with up to four rubber bullets his horse was reported to be hit in the legs by live rounds. Another horse was shot and did not survive.

A confirmed DAPL private security guard was spotted among the protectors with an automatic rifle heading towards camp. Water protectors acted swiftly to stop the man who was attempting to flee the scene in his pickup. One protector stopped the assailant’s vehicle with their own before the security guard fled to nearby waters, weapon in hand. Bureau of Indian Affairs police arrived on scene and apprehended him.

Three water protectors locked themselves to a truck in the middle of the road and surrounded it with large logs.   After several hours of standoff, the police advanced in a sweep line and moved people approximately 1 mile back down the highway towards the main encampment on the Cannonball River.  Water protectors then retreated to the bridge over Highway 1806  and erected a large burning blockade that the police were unable to cross.   

Law enforcement from at least five states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wyoming, Nebraska) were present today through EMAC, the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.  This law was passed by the Bill Clinton administration and allows states to share law enforcement forces during emergencies.  It is intended for natural disasters and has only been used twice for protests; once in the summer of 2015 during the demonstrations in Baltimore and here on the Standing Rock Reservation. Over 100 were arrested today in total.   

Kandi Mossett, Indigenous Environmental Network stated, “I went to the frontline in prayer for protection of the Missouri River & found myself in what I can only describe as a war zone. I was sprayed in the face with pepper spray, the guy next to me was shot by something that didn't break the skin but appeared to have broken the ribs & another guy beside me was randomly snatched violently by police shoving me into the officers who held me off with batons then tried to grab me.  I'm still in shock & keep waiting to wake from what's surely a nightmare though this is my reality as a native woman in 2016 trying to defend the sacred.”

Ladonna Bravebull Allard of Sacred Stone Camp says, "My people stand for the water, and they attack us. My people stand up for the graves of our people, and they attack us. My people stand up for our sacred places, and they attack us. My people pray, and they stop us, dragging us from our prayer, and throw us in the dirt. I know this is America- this is the history of my people. America has always walked though the blood of my people.

How can we stand in the face of violence? Because I was born to this land, because the roots grow out of my feet, because I love this land and I honor the water. Have we not learned from history? I pray for each of the people who stand up. We can not live like this anymore. It has to stop- my grandchildren have a right to live. The world has a right to live. The water, the life blood of the world? has a right to live. Mni Wiconi, Water of Life. Pray for the water, pray for the people. Stop Dakota Access- killer of the world."

Eryn Wise of the International Indigenous Youth Council stated, “Today more than half of our youth council were attacked, injured or arrested. In addition to our brothers and sisters being hurt and incarcerated, we saw police steal our sacred staff. I have no words for what happened to any of us today. They are trying to again rewrite our narrative and we simply will not allow it. Our youth are watching and remember the faces of the officers that assaulted them. They pray for them.”

 

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Shotgun into the crowd: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BysUexxOGui6a3BXQ3NWdDJ5TTQ/view?usp=sharing

Peppersray: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BysUexxOGui6VFZJemhaMU9Iek0/view?usp=sharing

Prayer Circle: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BysUexxOGui6NUJodDVKZDAxLTA/view?usp=sharing