Last night in an update to my post about Governor Jack Dalrymple’s evacuation order for unpermitted #NoDAPL encampments on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land I quoted Department of Emergency Services PIO Cecily Fong as saying the order allows the state to block supplies for the camp.
“What this does is it gives us – because it’s a mandatory evacuation – certain powers under the law to include basically they’re on their own,” she said. She said that it warns protesters that the state will not send in first responders like ambulances if there is an emergency, and it also allows the state to block those bringing supplies to the camp. “If there are any kind of businesses that are delivering supplies to camp we can stop them from going there from the north,” she told me.
Today Reuters picks up on that part of the story as well:
Supplies, including food and building materials, will be blocked from entering the main camp following Governor Jack Dalrymple’s signing of an “emergency evacuation” order on Monday, Maxine Herr, a spokeswoman from the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, said.
The order was effective immediately. As of Tuesday morning, however, no vehicles carrying supplies had been turned back, said Cecily Fong, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.
The building materials intended for the site are a top priority because the camp is not zoned for permanent structures, Fong said. Propane tanks also will be blocked because they have been used in attacks against law enforcement, she said.
Last week when the Corps issued their statement to the camps asking them to leave the land by December 5 or face the potential of legal charges the question on everyone’s mind was whether or not authorities would forcibly remove the protesters.
The Corps later clarified that they would not, but I wonder if this tactic isn’t better. These are not lawful camps. The Corps does not want these protesters here, because they do not have a permit and they’re breaking the law by building permanent structures on the land. Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault has even commented on the mistreatment of the land by the protesters.
So why should authorities allow supplies – including building materials – to continue to flow into the camp?
Does the state even need this executive order from Dalrymple to block access to these unlawful camps?
Trying to force the protesters off the land would likely result and more violence and bloodshed given how the #NoDAPL has behaved itself in the past. But what about blocking off the camps so that fresh supplies and new people cannot enter them? So that people leaving cannot re-enter?
That sounds like a sound strategy to me.