Good morning all, I’ll start the day with a couple Standing Rock updates and then put what else I’m reading/watching in the comments. As we move into the time of year where I will have more free time and ability to be around these parts I’d appreciate if you visit Humphrey’s post below and add your thoughts, suggestions, complaints ideas, etc. You certainly won’t hurt my feelings with any critiques (I’m already my biggest critic and understand frustrations with the rate of progress around these parts), and I could certainly use any feedback in regards to what you do and do not like, what works and what does not, possible alternatives, etc etc. So yeah… would appreciate it and thanks for being here!
Now the news:
Judge rejects Standing Rock request to block Dakota Access pipeline drilling
A federal judge has rejected a request from indigenous tribes to block drilling of the Dakota Access pipeline, the latest blow to the Standing Rock Sioux after Donald Trump fast-tracked final permits for the last phase of construction.
The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes challenged the president’s decision last week to speed approvals for the last stretch of the $3.7bn pipeline under the Missouri river in North Dakota. But US district James Boasberg sided with the pipeline corporation at a Washington DC hearing on Monday afternoon and ruled to allow continued construction.
At Standing Rock – where activists known as water protectors have been camping since last spring – indigenous people said the court decision would not discourage them from continuing to fight the project on the ground.
“I don’t think this will stop the movement,” said Paulino Mejia, a 21-year-old who is Ch’orti’ Maya and returned to Standing Rock on Friday. “If anything, it might even make it stronger. I’m going to stay here indefinitely.”
Veterans at Standing Rock see police retribution after arrest and charges
Police have filed charges against two US veterans supporting Standing Rock, holding one in jail for several days, raising concerns that law enforcement is trying to prevent them from aiding activists at the Dakota Access pipeline.
Officers in North Dakota and South Dakota have pulled over and searched at least four veterans on their way to the camps at Standing Rock in recent days, charging two of them for medical cannabis. Police confiscated one veteran’s car and also seized what officials called “protester gear”, which included camping supplies.
The charges against two veterans, who said they use medical cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, come days after a veterans service organization announced it would be returning to Standing Rock to provide support. Indigenous activists, known as water protectors, have been fighting the $3.7bn pipeline since last spring and have continued to live at camps near the construction site as drilling has resumed.
“I’m honestly disgusted. It makes no sense to us,” said Mark Sanderson, executive director of VeteransRespond, the group coordinating the return to Standing Rock. “Why are you trying to attack a group of veterans doing nothing more than a humanitarian aid mission in North Dakota?”
News of the charges adds to growing concerns that law enforcement is aggressively monitoring, arresting and prosecuting people affiliated with the anti-pipeline movement. The Guardian recently reported that an FBI terrorism task force has attempted to contact at least three people tied to the demonstrations.
Everything else will go in the comments as usual! Have a great day!