No Word Yet From White House on Dakota Access: Archambault
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II said on Sunday that he is unaware of whether the Obama Administration will make a decision on the Dakota Access Pipeline easement as early as this week.
“I haven’t heard anything from the White House,” he said during a press conference at the Oceti Sakowin camp. “I actually called the White House, and the message back to me was, ‘If you didn’t hear from us then it’s probably not true.’ So I just continue to be patient and wait.”
Rumors began to circulate after Politico ran a report that the Obama Administration would make a decision on the easement for the $3.7 billion pipeline as soon as Monday.
On Friday November 11, the website reported that an Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman had stated that “an announcement will come in the next few days” from the administration.
“Every time the White House took action [in the past] I had a call from them directly,” Archambault said. “Until I hear something from them I don’t take anything as true.”
On Saturday November 12, more than 100 water protectors lead a demonstration near the Mandan Landfill, an Energy Transfer Partners worksite, located an estimated 45 miles from the Oceti Sakowin camp.
Non–Native American allies held several lines, locked arm-in-arm, many wearing goggles, facemasks, and earplugs, while Native Americans smudged and prayed for the water, for water protectors, police and Dakota Access Pipeline workers.
By 10:30 a.m., an estimated 50 police in riot gear arrived and were stationed behind an armored vehicle at the bottom of a hill east of the water protectors.
By noon, water protectors were returning to their vehicles and heading back to camp. The purpose of this particular action, water protectors said, was to temporarily disrupt production of the pipeline and to reinforce the fact that they are peaceful and prayerful in their demonstrations.
They also said they didn’t want anyone to get arrested because they do not want to feed money back into the state by bonding out more water protectors.
No one was arrested on Saturday—including a man driving a truck who brandished a pistol, aimed it at water protectors, and fired seven shots into the air, according to reports.
Vana Louis, a member of the Tohono’O’odham tribe from Tucson, Arizona, said the man ran over her feet before fleeing the site.
“Yes, I got hurt,” she said. “Yes, I got (ran) over … but we’re not violent whatsoever. We come to bring good medicine. And we come to make sure that we hold what is sacred sacred, and that is our earth and that is the protection of humanity.”
Morton County Sheriffs said they are investigating the shooting incident, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
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