dakota access pipeline protests
All members of the public, including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, will not be allowed on the land currently being used to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline after Dec. 5, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Friday. Protesters will be able to move to a nearby "free speech zone," which the Corps said is easier for emergency services to access.
"This decision is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions," the Corps said in a statement. Anyone found in the area after the deadline date will be subject to arrest for trespassing.
"Our Tribe is deeply disappointed in this decision by the United States, but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever," replied Sioux Tribal Chairman Cave Archambault II. He added, "The best way to protect people during the winter, and reduce the risk of conflict between water protectors and militarized police, is to deny the easement for the Oahe crossing, and deny it now."