About 200 officers took part in the operation to arrest elderly peoples, veterans and peaceful women in prayer

 The final holdouts at the sprawling pipeline protest camp south of here were arrested Thursday, and the authorities began using heavy equipment to tear down the remaining structures and destroy tepees on the treaty land where thousands had lived in recent months.

The arrests, of 46 people, came a day after an evacuation deadline issued by Gov. Doug Burgum. Most protectors left Wednesday of their own volition, and others departed Thursday by crossing the frozen Cannonball River to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Those who remained at the main campsite were taken into custody.

Many activists have disputed the governor’s characterization of the site and criticized his evacuation order. Million of social media people condemned disgraceful actions on people in prayer while arrested

Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, which has been active here, said in a statement that the evacuation was a “violent and unnecessary infringement on the constitutional right of water protectors to peacefully protest and exercise their freedom of speech.”

“Our hearts are not defeated,” Mr. Goldtooth said. “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight. It is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

About an hour after the protest camp was cleared, Mr. Burgum signed into law four bills that had been passed largely as a result of the protests. They expand the scope of criminal trespassing laws, make it illegal to cover your face with a mask or hood while committing a crime, and increase the penalties for riot offenses.

The Last Stand

Camp is razed


Dustin Monroe held up an old Gatorade bottle filled with orange, oil-contaminated water and implored Montana legislators to approve a bill that would ban fossil fuel pipelines from crossing under rivers and lakes.

“How many of us in this room would drink this?” Monroe, CEO of Native Generational Change, asked the House Federal Relations, Energy and Telecommunications Committee during a hearing for House Bill 486 on Monday.

The measure would ban pipelines with a diameter of 10 inches or greater from going under navigable water bodies and establish construction requirements for them to cross above ground, including rules on casings and leak detection. The new regulations would apply to fossil fuels such as crude petroleum, coal and their products.

The bill’s introduction comes after several major spills into Montana rivers over the last decade, ranging from Glendive to Billings. And it comes as the nation debates the best methods to transport crude oil, what risk to water sources is acceptable, and how far tribal sovereignty extends when projects cross aboriginal lands that are no longer tribally owned, as was the case outside Standing Rock where thousands have gathered for months to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The decision by President Donald Trump in January to revive the Keystone XL pipeline project with a handful of executive actions drew a mixed response. As proposed, 284 miles of the 1,700-mile project would cut through Montana, crossing the Canadian border north of Malta and passing into South Dakota north of Ekalaka. It would cross the Missouri River near Fort Peck and the Yellowstone River south of Glendive. It would transport Canadian Tar Sands crude — argued to be more difficult or impossible to clean up because it is thicker than other oils — to southern U.S. refineries and ports.

The current industry standard for crossing streams, rivers and lakes is to use horizontal drilling — the same technology used in some oil exploration — to dig tunnels underneath them. Federal rules require pipelines to be at least four feet deeper than water bodies, but opponents of the bill said Monday most are now dug 20 to 60 feet deep, depending on geographic features.

Rep. George Kipp III said the bill, which he introduced, is as much about protecting underground aquifers from contamination as it is about rivers and streams.

“The further you get from the surface, the closer you get to the (aquifers) down there,” he said. “It’s not reasonable, it’s not rational to go between two fresh water sources with a major contaminant.”

The Heart Butte Democrat and Blackfeet tribal member said Montana needs to take a more hands-on approach to fulfilling the state constitution’s requirement for “a clean and healthful environment” by updating and expanding its oversight of how these products are transported across the state.

“It is time for the State of Montana and this legislative body to start structuring some sideboards and provide some controls…As we know, all manmade objects are designed to break at some point in time,” he said. “Ask yourself, how do you fix a leak 40 feet under the water? How do you protect the aquifer under it? How do you preserve that water for your grandchildren? I think going overhead is a simple fix that allows you to actually get to a line and fix it.”

When Ashley the pit bull was found starving and cold in an abandoned home, a firehouse in New York agreed to take her in until her rescuers could find her a family. 3 days later, they adopted her.

The New York City Fire Department station, known as Fort Pitt, fell in love with Ashley from the first wag of her tail.

A beautiful sand-coloured pit bull, she has truly become part of the team, and even has her own seat in the firetruck. Ashley also has her own Instagram account where you can follow all of her firefighting adventures.

Ashley was rescued by No More Pain, a New Jersey organisation dedicated to saving and relocating animals left to die.

Ashley the pit bull was abandoned by her former owners, and found starving and cold. Her rescuers, Erica Mahnken and Michael Favor, brought her to a New York firehouse where they had friends

She was only supposed to stay until a permanent home for her was found… But 3 days after her arrival, Fort Pitt station decided to adopt Ashley. The crew fell in love with her from the first tail wag, and she connected with them right away as well.

Ashley even has her own seat on the firetruck, and accompanies the crew on short runs. Ashley was rescued by No More Pain, a New Jersey organisation dedicated to saving animals left to die

Armed police and military are now inside the Oceti Sakowin camp. Around 70 water protectors are still holding their ground.

Most protectors left peacefully Wednesday, when authorities closed the camp on Army Corps of Engineers land in advance of spring flooding, but some refused to go.

Eighteen National Guardsmen and dozens of law officers entered the camp from two directions shortly before midday Thursday, along with several law enforcement and military vehicles. A helicopter and airplane flew overhead.

Officers checked structures and began arresting people, putting them in vans to take to jail. About two dozen people were arrested in the first half hour of the operation, according to Levi Bachmeier, an adviser to Gov. Doug Burgum.

The operation began shortly after authorities said Corps officials had met with camp leaders. They didn't divulge the outcome of those talks.

American Indian elders have told police there are people willing to resort to drastic measures to stay in the camp, Iverson said. Similar sentiments have been expressed by protesters on social media, Iverson said.

"We're doing everything we can to avoid that kind of a situation," he said. "We don't want it to reach a flash point, but at some point, enough is enough."

At its peak, the camp was home to thousands of protesters. Burgum estimated Wednesday night that as many as 50 people remained in the camp. Police early Thursday said an additional 15 crossed a frozen river and entered the camp on foot.

 Militarized force continues to sweep camp & armed searches in Native structures

The people are unarmed, singing and praying in front of police with guns drawn

Grandmother arrested.

Law enforcement officer points a rifle at a Water Protector, while the Protector prays

This is a shot of Police chasing reporters. Via Rob Wilson.

Pics of some of the last to leave Oceti camp yesterday, they stayed till the end.

Desecration of sacred land

Burning sacred items

Elders lead people out of the DAPL resistance camps near Cannon Ball, North Dakota in a ceremonial retreat ahead of a police enforced eviction

Police push people off the road after the deadline of an Army Corp of Engineers eviction notice at the DAPL resistance camps near Cannon Ball

"By lighting them on fire we send their smoke up like prayers. By lighting them on fire we ensure these structures go out in dignity. "

Leading up to today Water Protectors and Indigenous Peoples at Oceti Sakowin/The Big Camp, have been lighting their traditional dwellings on fire.

This morning, Indigenous Rising spoke with Darren Begay who has been managing the Navajo style structures at Oceti.

He told Indigenous Rising Media that as this forced evacuation grew nearer, he consulted with elders from his ancestral lands and they all agreed that based on the behavior of the law enforcement in the past, who during raids have broken and thrown away sacred items and who have shown disregard and horrible disrespect to tipis and sacred dwellings, it is best to burn these sacred structures instead of having them desecrated by Morton County and North Dakota law enforcement.

"Lighting our dwellings on fire is a sign of respect for them. It's a sign of respect for the purpose they have served over these past few months."

They have been containers for prayer and for bringing people together. By lighting them on fire we send their smoke up like prayers. By lighting them on fire we ensure these structures go out in dignity. “Our hearts are not defeated. The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started. It burns within each of us. We will rise, we will resist, and we will thrive. We are sending loving thoughts to the water protectors along the banks of the Cannonball River, today. May everyone be as safe as can be." Indigenous Environmental Network.

Source: Indigenous Rising