“[A] rogue group of some of the more aggressive elements of the protest camp have started to establish another illegal camp on private property in direct opposition to the wishes of the tribal council, district leaders and more peaceful elements of the protesters,” a press release from the North Dakota Joint Information Center states.
“As with any acts of criminal trespass, the rogue group could face arrest if they refuse to leave the private property or if they act in any aggressive or violent way toward law enforcement or employees of the commercial company that owns the property,” the release continues.
I don’t have a lot of information about this new camp, but there have been some hints about it on social media:
This is an unfortunate development as things have been going pretty smoothly down in southern Morton County in recent weeks. The old protest camps are being cleared out as the tribe, the feds, and the State of North Dakota have requested. The tribe has also made it clear that they don’t want new protesters coming to the area. While Standing Rock is still fighting the pipeline, they want that fight to happen in other venues such as the courts.
News yesterday is that the issuance of the easement ETP needs to drill the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Lake Oahe reservoir is “imminent.”
Some of the left wing extremist groups who co-opted Standing Rock’s fight against the pipeline have been dropping ominous press releases about their continued opposition to the project. I don’t think anyone, including the Standing Rock Tribe, wants a return to the violence and mayhem we saw last year.
But do these extremist groups really care what the tribe wants?
“In spite of the actions of this rogue group, we will strive to continue efforts on both sides to move forward and find common ground as steps are taken to ensure public safety and begin healing the relationships that are so important to the region and our state,” said Gov. Doug Burgum.
That’s exactly what the Governor should be saying, but it’s clear that actions like this could damage what has been a fragile truce in the pipeline war.
UPDATE: This just in from Morton County, the “rogue protesters” include former Democratic U.S. House candidate Chase Iron Eyes, and they’ve been given a deadline for closing down the illegal camp:
For Immediate Release
February 1, 2017
Contact: Morton County PIO (701) 426-1587 or 701-595-3596
Rogue Protesters Told to Vacate Illegal Camp on DAPL Property
Mandan, N.D. – In response to the actions of a rogue group of over 40 protesters who were attempting to establish another illegal camp on private property in southern Morton County, law enforcement officers warned them to vacate the area or face enforcement actions.
Morton County Sheriff’s Department officers met twice with a group representing the rogue camp, including Chase Iron Eyes, on the Backwater Bridge to discuss the situation. The group was told they were committing criminal trespass on private property and needed to leave immediately. The group was given a period of time to start dismantling the camp and leave. They did not show signs of starting to leave even after multiple warnings, and said they would not leave. This led to the decision to take action to enforce the law and evict the rogue group of protesters.
UPDATE: Here’s a live stream from Facebook of on-going protest activity and the law enforcement response:
The raid continues!!!!
Posted by Shiyé Bidzííl on Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Here’s the full press release from the state:
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