Standing Rock Pipeline Protesters Have No Intention of Leaving after Authorities Issue Ultimatum
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued an ultimatum on Friday to protesters at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota: vacate by December 5, or face charges for trespassing. In a letter to protest leaders, the corps said it will close access to federal land north of the Cannonball River where the protest site is located, mainly to keep spectators and the general public away from clashes that have escalated between protesters and law enforcement. In order for them to do that, the protesters need to vacate, the authorities said.
But the leaders of the protest have no intention of backing down. “We are staying here committed to our prayer,” Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, told Reuters. “Forced removal and state oppression? This is nothing new to us as native people.” There are smaller camps south of the river that won’t be restricted by the Army Corps, and the letter stated that a free speech zone would be established somewhere for protesters to gather.