In recent days it seems that there has been a rising level of comity between North Dakota law enforcement officials and tribal leaders. Tensions had been escalating after protesters instigated multiple violent clashes with the cops, but over the last week it seems cooler heads are prevailing.
Cops are now getting cooperation from tribal elders in keeping the more extreme elements of the #NoDAPL movement in check, and Standing Rock Tribal Chairman David Archambault is asking non-Sioux protesters to leave the camps saying their continued presence would make things unsafe.
“I’m asking them to go,” Archambault told Reuters. “Their presence will only cause the environment to be unsafe.”
This is good news, and should have happened a while ago, though it’s not at all clear that the environmental extremists who have joined Standing Rock’s cause will listen. Case in point, this from a Bismarck Tribune reporter:
Here at #nodapl camp, no one I've spoken with is taking Army Corps order as a signal to go home. "It's a crumb," a man told me.
— Caroline Grueskin (@cgrueskin) December 5, 2016
Nor is this enough, frankly. Some of the protest camps continue to illegally occupy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, and the deadline for the protesters to leave those is today.
Regardless, it seems as though we may be moving to a more peaceful situation in Morton County, something which is sorely needed.
Though who knows what will happen in January once President-elect Trump takes office and, more than likely, clears away the obstructions to the completion of this pipeline that President Obama has put in place.
On that front, the Trump’s team isn’t saying what they’ll do about the pipeline, though they’re clear they support it. If they want to simply overturn Obama’s decision, it’s worth noting that in their statement the Corps made clear that they were not in any way saying that their previous review of the pipeline was inappropriate or illegal.