A couple of days ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told #NoDAPL protesters they had until December 5 to remove themselves from Corps land they’ve been occupying without a permit for months.
The camps set up on that land have been a major headache for law enforcement authorities who say many of the violent and unlawful activities perpetrated by the #NoDAPL movement have originated from those camps.
Yesterday Congressman Kevin Cramer told me, in noting that the Obama administration had delayed this announcement from the Corps for months, said he doubted the feds would follow through. “I’m still skeptical they will follow through with it,” he told me.
It seems like Cramer nailed it.
In the Corps’ November 25 announcement they said “this means that no member of the general public, to include Dakota Access pipeline protesters, can be on these Corps’ lands.”
“Any person found to be on the Corps’ lands north of the Cannonball River after December 5, 2016, will be considered trespassing and may be subject to prosecution under, federal, state, and local laws,” the letter continues.
But in an update to that statement released this evening, the Corps seems to be backing down. In an updated statement (see it in full below) the Corps says protesters will not be forcibly removed.
“The Army Corps of Engineers is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location, and has no plans for forcible removal,” the new statement reads. “But those who choose to stay do so at their own risk as emergency, fire, medical, and law enforcement response cannot be adequately provided in these areas. Those who remain will be considered unauthorized and may be subject to citation under federal, state, or local laws.”
In other words, the Corps is kind of sort of urging protesters to move off the lands they’ve been using as a launching pad for attacks on pipeline workers, law enforcement, and North Dakota communities, but if the protesters stay there are no real consequences coming.
Which is utterly unhelpful in terms of trying to restore law and order to south central North Dakota which has been terrorized by these protesters.
Keep in mind that the protesters are flagrantly violating the Corps’ own policies in many ways, including building permanent structures on the land:
Allowing #NoDAPL protesters to run roughshod over the law is ironic given how everyone expects the supposedly evil pipeline company to adhere to every exacting regulation.
Shouldn’t there be equal treatment under the law?
Here’s the full statement: