Water Protectors at Standing Rock Camps Face Eviction in 24 Hours

By Yessenia Funes Feb 21, 2017

Those who have been camping out in Cannon Ball, North Dakota outside the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline have just 24 hours to finish their cleanup efforts, pack their things and leave.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed an executive order February 15 mandating the  February 22 evacuation of the land where the Oceti Sakowin and the Sacred Stone camps rest. The stated concern is how spring floods may impact the Missouri River.

The executive order states:

“[M]onths of accumulated debris, including human waste generated by the populations that have occupied the aforementioned areas of Morton and Sioux Counties pose a significant and increasing environmental threat to the waters of the Missouri River if cleanup and removal efforts are not quickly accelerated and completed before flooding begins.”

Water protectors have until 2 p.m. tomorrow (February 22) to leave.  Some, however, don’t have anywhere to go: LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, founder of the Sacred Stone Camp, lives on and owns part of that land. When officers with the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued her a trespass notice, she said, according to independent outlet Unicorn Riot: “I am standing on my home. I am standing on my river. I am standing where I grew up. Who has a right to take that from me?”

Pipeline opponents have taken to social media to demand more time because structures remain at the camp, and tomorrow’s deadline to remove all personal items and trash seems unlikely. Many have posted the phone numbers of the Army Corps of Engineers, Burgum’s office, and the White House, with requests for supporters to call in hopes of the state granting them more time.

Water protectors in North Dakota are also asking #NoDAPL supporters to join and stand in solidarity with them. They allege that military presence is steadily growing with state and tribal law enforcement surrounding the Oceti Sakowin Camp. The governor’s executive order doesn’t say that the state will forcibly remove anyone who remains at the camp, but a press release from state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem on February 17 said that the emergency evacuation would “become a law enforcement matter if those who have been ordered to leave refuse to do so. In that case, law enforcement will do what is necessary to protect public health and safety”.

The women of the camp created this video as a “final call.” Watch it above.

The 1,172-mile long Dakota Access Pipeline is nearly complete, with developer Energy Transfer Partners restarting construction on February 8 after the Army Corps of Engineers granted it the final easement needed to move forward the day before.