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article imageOp-Ed: Sheriff blocks supplies and access to Standing Rock demonstrators

By Karen Graham     Nov 30, 2016 in Environment
The Morton County Sheriff says they will block access and supplies to the Standing Rock encampment in N.D. The timing is perfect. Mainstream media has finally torn themselves away from the Trump Circus, realizing there is more going on in America.
Talk about an asinine order, but the Morton County Sheriff's Department has announced they will block access to the Standing Rock demonstrators encampment and stop the delivery of food, building materials and even portable bathrooms. I would guess that includes needed medical supplies, too.
Reuters is reporting that state officials said on Tuesday they would impose fines on anyone bringing prohibited items into the main protest camp following Governor Jack Dalrymple's "emergency evacuation" order on Monday. The governor had proposed a physical blockade of the road but backed off the idea.
Maxine Herr, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's department said law enforcement was going to play a more "passive role" in the enforcement of the blockade. "The governor is more interested in public safety than setting up a road block and turning people away," Herr told Reuters by telephone.
Earlier on Tuesday, Herr had said law enforcement would have a roadblock, stopping anyone from entering the encampment. She changed that announcement, saying anyone who enters the area does so at their own risk and will be subject to penalties.
Since last summer, thousands of people around the world have in spirit and unity stood with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in North Dakota in their demonstration against the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline that would move 470,000 barrels of crude oil a day across four states, and would affect its drinking water supply and place downstream communities at risk of contamination from potential oil spills.
Now, after being notified by the Army Corps of Engineers to vacate the site by Dec. 5, Governor Jack Dalrymple has ordered the water protectors to "clear out immediately," says CNN News. His reason? He cites the harsh winter weather.
In a statement, Dalrymple said the temporary dwellings have not been inspected and approved, and failure to do so created serious public safety concerns. He added that first responders would no longer be responsible for providing emergency services to those who remained.
In the first place, who the hell does he think he is, saying he will not let emergency crews into the encampment if they are needed? That is utterly wrong and even unlawful. Added to this is the fact that the governor or anyone else does not have the right to throw the Sioux tribe off lands that belong to them in the first place.
Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said, "You have a government agency trying to declare us trespassers on our own treaty land and threatening to penalize us, criminally charge us and possibly forcibly round us up if we don't return to the reservation."
This writer certainly hopes the threat of penalties will not keep veterans across America from getting to North Dakota to join with our brothers and sisters in their fight against big oil. With a President-elect who apparently doesn't give a hoot or a holler for the environment and the consequences of the oil pipeline, it is up to the rest of us to stand firm.
I need to interject a thought here and now. As one Standing Rock water protector wrote, many people have been showing up at the encampment, and that is a good thing. But everyone really needs to remember this is a peaceful and prayerful protest. So please follow his advice.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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