Water Protectors Rally Outside Dakota Access Attorneys' Offices in Bismarck
The Standing Rock water protectors took their civil actions to the source on Monday evening, sending a caravan of people to rally in front of the offices of the attorneys for Dakota Access LLC.
Bearing signs and witness, more than 300 people took a stand outside the offices of Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., a Minneapolis-based law firm with offices around the world, on Monday August 29.
The rally was organized by the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), one of many groups represented at three prayer camps near the Standing Rock Tribe’s reservation. The goal was to “inquire why they choose to represent a corporation that is knowingly threatening the water and lives of 18 million people downstream from the planned Dakota Access Pipeline,” IEN said. “Women and children from all over Turtle Island put their hands on the windows of the law offices and prayed that they would understand the actions they are taking and the severe consequences that threaten the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all people and life downstream from the proposed Missouri River crossing of the pipeline carrying dirty, hydro-fracked crude oil from the Bakken oil field.”
The $3.8 billion pipeline would stretch 1,172 miles through four states. The pipeline is also being challenged in Iowa, where residents are fighting the use of eminent domain across their land. Construction has begun in all four states, even though a few permits are still outstanding. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is seeking an injunction against pipeline construction on the grounds that the company did not adequately consult with them along the route.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II called for the road blockades be taken down that are impeding access to the reservation and the tribe’s casino and other businesses.
Travelers heading south from Bismarck toward the reservation and casino are detoured some 20 miles by state police on route 1806. Gov. Dalrymple declared a state of emergency last week despite no evidence of violence or weapons, and the Standing Rock Sioux want the barricades removed.
According to those on hand, the attorneys locked the doors and remained inside. They did not return calls from Indian Country Today Media Network seeking comment.
The water protectors in the prayer camps near the Dakota Access pipeline’s desired course under the Missouri River—dangerously close to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and its water supply—now number in the thousands.
“We are going to stay and resist until Dakota Access leaves,” said IEN founder Tom Goldtooth. “We have been here for generations, we are protecting water for all generations and all cultures, all people and all life.”
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