“The State of North Dakota remains committed to protecting citizens’ rights to lawfully assemble and protest,” Governor Jack Dalrymple said in a statement his afternoon, “but the unfortunate fact remains that unlawful acts associated with the protest near Cannon Ball have led to serious public safety concerns and property damage.”
The statement was announcing an executive order (see it below) declaring an emergency over the Dakota Access pipeline protests.
“This emergency declaration simply allows us to bring greater resources to bear if needed to help local officials address any further public safety concerns.”
The governor’s office is calling this a “restricted” emergency declaration. “The Governor’s executive order does not include activation of the North Dakota National Guard, but makes available other state resources for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and well-being of the general public and those involved in the protest,” the statement reads.
Standing Rock tribal chairman David Acrhambault has made a lot of noise calling for peaceful protests (though he himself has been arrested for disorderly conduct during a protest), and the protest organizers themselves insist that the protests have been peaceful.
But Dalrymple is referring to an on-going threat to public safety and property damage. His order is an acknowledge that the protests have become so unruly that local law enforcement simply can’t handle them any more.
Which, if true, is simply not acceptable.
Here’s the full executive order: