As North Dakota governor orders "emergency evacuation" at Standing Rock, Water Protectors ask court for an injunction

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I’m sure you’ve been filming everything for the arrests to come, Sheriff. Roll the tape.


Would it be unfair to characterize the demonstrations as NIMBY-protests?

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I’m pretty sure these guys don’t want the pipeline anywhere, so probably yeah. Whole point of NIMBY is “I want this garbage dump somewhere convenient, but my property values!”


Would that otherwise be their job? I thought they just did the engineering part.


Yes, but that doesn’t make their protest invalid.

One of the original plans was to run it north of Bismark, but Bismark was like NIBY.

That is the problem though. We need oil. A pipeline to process it will make everything faster and cheaper. But pipelines can leak, and you are going UNDER a major river…


Just to nitpick, it’s subzero Celsius, 20s Fahrenheit. So not too unpleasant-- except for the water cannons.


It’s the old “She blew herself up!” line, like “He shot himself in the back!” that we get from the police. I assume, that when the evidence comes out, it’ll turn, as it usually does, to, “An officer, not acting in accordance with department tactics…” (And the “rogue” cop won’t see any consequences, either.)


From what I have read, The ATF is investigating the incident. They have the evidence, including the clothing that Ms. Wilansky was wearing, the propane cylinders that the Sheriff has, and surely any footage taken by police. Hopefully, they will release some preliminary information, and we won’t have to choose between two sets of contradictory accounts.

That assumes the protesters want a pipeline at all. Plenty of Americans would be willing to go without further petrochemical infrastructure even if that means paying more for petroleum (which will happen sooner or later anyway as the supply continues to get used up).


They are the US Army. So they are specifically excluded from law enforcement duties inside the US, except in very specific circumstances, by the Insurrection Act.


Although I am firmly against the pipeline because it’s awful for the environment and we only have 100 years of oil left anyway and I’m against the horrible, possibly illegal, way the Standing Rock protestors are being treated, I feel I must point out that there are two sides to everything. In this case, it happens that The Sioux Tribe was contacted multiple times but refused to participate in the ground selection process. Now there may be a good reason to not participate in the process but it does cast the protest in a different light. What’s unclear to me is the exact legal nature of the situation. Whose land are they on? If the land belongs to the Tribe how were they granted a building permit without the Tribe’s explicit permission?

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Yes. Yes it would.


I’m guessing that the proposed removal might fall under the same legal provisions that allow the Army to forcibly prevent civilians from infiltrating an Army base or interfering with a training exercise. But I’m not clear on whether the Army Corps of Engineers has its own security division or if other soldiers are just assigned to protect them as needed or what.

My grandfather was a member of the USACE but he was one of the guys who went around carrying slide rules and surveying equipment instead of a semiautomatic rifle.


I think it’s not on the reservation, just right next to it.


Go on…

Well, you were able to find some information. Here’s the rest, acquired via cursory googling. This article is from September, so slightly out of date, but it covers the basic legal arguments.

The key bit:

Crucially, as well, federal agencies must approve projects in a
“government-to-government” way. A local tribe is not supposed to be
hustled in at the end for a rubber stamp, but included throughout the
process as a collaborative body.It is this right—the
right to be consulted—that the Standing Rock Sioux and their legal team
assert was infringed. The Army Corps of Engineers must approve and
permit any interstate pipeline. The tribe alleges that not only was the
permitting of Dakota Access rushed, but also that the tribe itself was
not included as partners through the historical surveying process. Only
near the end of the process, when approval seemed inevitable, did North
Dakota state authorities approach the tribe with a couple areas of
concern. They did not present plans for the pipeline at the beginning,
as government-to-government negotiations should entail.


From your source: “The tribe claims that the pipeline—which climate activists portray as a sequel to Keystone XL—could threaten their sole water source and that, more importantly, they were not consulted before the pipeline was approved.”

The last bit is only true because the Tribe never responded:

"MONTAGNE: You held - the North Dakota Public Service Commission held 30 hours of public hearings before the pipeline was approved. You didn’t - in all these 30 hours, you didn’t hear from members of the Standing Rock Sioux. But did you consult with them or attempt to get them to be part of these public hearings?

FEDORCHAK: That is true. The Standing Rock tribe did not participate in our public hearings or, quite honestly, at any point throughout our 13-month review process. Here’s the situation, though, we notified the tribes. We had a personal call go out to the tribes urging them to participate, and we had a hearing 45 minutes from Cannonball.

MONTAGNE: Cannonball, the area where the protests are, right.

FEDORCHAK: Correct. And they didn’t attend, nor did they proceed to provide us with any additional information after the fact about what their concerns are."

As to the legal status of the land, currently they are trespassing but they are only trespassing because treaties from 1851 were violated so if the treaties were upheld it would be their land.

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The point is no-one wants the pipeline anywhere near them. As noted upthread, the original proposed location was already turned down by another community.

What’s the point in “participating in a location selection” if your stance is “Fuck no!”? Pretty sure such committees do not allow the “we shouldn’t even be considering this” response.