“There was some good communication going at a higher level between Standing Rock and our government and probably even the federal government,” a Bismarck law enforcement official told those #NoDAPL protesters who tried to establish a new protest camp on private property yesterday. “You pretty much ruined it today.”
Those comments are in a video released by Morton County summarizing yesterday’s events, and to the officer’s point, the video ends with law enforcement putting back in place barricades on the Backwater Bridge.
Negotiations between Governor Doug Burgum and tribal leaders had resulted in those barriers being taken down as Oceti Sakowin and other protest camps were cleared out and dismantled, but now they’re back. What a shame.
A Morton County release from yesterday said a total of 76 protesters were arrested, including prominent North Dakota Democrat Chase Iron Eyes, bringing the total since August to 696.
Meanwhile, this CNBC report from yesterday says a left wing veterans group is planning a return to North Dakota. But not mentioned in the one-sided, lightly researched article is that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been consistently asking protesters to clean up their camps and go home since early December.
“I’m asking them to go,” Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault told Reuters at the time. “Their presence will only cause the environment to be unsafe.”
In January Archambault said in an interview that the activists defying the tribe’s call to empty the camps were just sticking it out for money. “What I saw happen was something that was beautiful. Then I saw it just turn to where it’s ugly, where people are fabricating lies and doing whatever they can, and they’re driven by the wrong thing,” he told the University of Oregon’s Daily Emerald. “hat purpose does it have to have this camp down there? There are donations coming, so the purpose is the very same purpose for this pipeline; it’s money. The things that we learn from this camp — the things that were good, that people are doing whatever they can to hold onto — are slipping through their hands at this moment.”
Yesterday’s protest activities were not sanctioned by the tribe. Any new influx of activists to fight the pipeline would be contrary to the tribe’s wishes.
Standing Rock has said they want to continue their fight against the pipeline in the courts, not on the prairies of south central North Dakota.
But certain left wing interests seem intent on proving that their activism was never really about Standing Rock.