The madness of white supremacy but the Native people are not going quietly into that goodnight. THIS WILL NOT END WELL.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a letter Friday announcing its plan to close land that has been the campsite for months-long protests against the North Dakota Access oil pipeline, according to Dave Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Protesters, or “water protectors,” were notified that land north of the Cannonball River will be closed on Dec. 5, in roughly 10 days, he said.
The Oceti Sakowin camp, which rests on the banks of the river, contains a loose collective of tribal nations and out-of-state supporters opposing the 1,172-mile pipeline. The camp is about 45 minutes south of Bismarck, the state capital.
The chairman said he was “deeply disappointed” by the Army Corps’ decision, “but our resolve to protect our water is stronger than ever.”
“It is both unfortunate and disrespectful that this announcement comes the day after this country celebrates Thanksgiving — a historic exchange of goodwill between Native Americans and the first immigrants from Europe,” Archambault wrote. “Although the news is saddening, it is not at all surprising given the last 500 years of the mistreatment of our people.”
The Army Corps did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its supporters have said the $3.7-billion pipeline threatens the reservation’s main water supply and cultural artifacts, all claims the company behind the project, Energy Transfer Partners, has denied.
Archambault said the Army Corps closed public access to the land over “safety concerns,” adding that the agency plans to allow a free-speech zone south of the Cannonball River.
Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, posted what appeared to be the Army Corps’ statement on Facebook.
The decision comes days after law enforcement deployed water hoses, rubber bullets and tear gas against hundreds of unarmed Standing Rock protesters. Camp organizers said more than 300 protesters were injured in Sunday’s standoff, and 26 were hospitalized.