North Dakota officials have detailed what enforcement methods they will use to evacuate thousands of Dakota Access Pipeline opponents. The state has decided against a physical blockade and, instead, chosen a financial one: fines.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple stated in the executive order he issued Monday (November 28) that groups must end services to people camped in the designated “emergency evacuation” zone, but yesterday (November 29), according to Al Jazeera, his team clarified that they will fine anyone bringing supplies (including food, shelter or clothing) to the encampments upwards of $1,000.
While this is more passive than physically blocking supplies, a supply deficit could prove dangerous with the season’s first snow already covering the camps. The area is also currently under blizzard warning until 6 p.m. CST tonight (November 30).
“Cutting off supplies and starving out the Indians is an old tactic, not at all surprised to see Morton County choosing to add that to their laundry list of complete disregard for our lives,” wrote Tara Houska, national campaigns director with Honor the Earth, on her Facebook page.
Still, water protectors on the frontlines are bracing for physical altercation with law enforcement on the eviction date of December 5. In the past, confrontations between the two parties have resulted in police conducting mass arrests and allegedly using excessive force. In a class action lawsuit filed by the National Lawyer’s Guild on November 28, water protectors are suing Morton County, its sheriff and others for their aggressive actions from November 20-21, which included spraying demonstrators with a water cannon in below-freezing temperatures.
In anticipation of any further show of force, Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, a group of 2,000 U.S. veterans who are in solidarity with the #NoDAPL movement, will be arriving to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on December 4 as an unarmed militia to “defend the water protectors from assault intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and [Dakota Access Pipeline] security,” according to the group’s GoFundMe, where they’ve raised more than $660,000 to accomplish their mission. They intend to stay until December 7.