BISMARCK, Nov 30 — Not only do protesters trying to stop an oil pipeline in North Dakota have to battle a blizzard, they now are facing an eviction by order of the state’s governor.
Native American and environmental activists camped on federal property near the controversial pipeline project continuing their demonstration yesterday, despite an emergency evacuation handed down by the Governor. The evacuation, according to the order, is for the protesters own good given the harsh winter conditions that have hit the area.
But the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is remaining defiant in light of the governor’s decree.
“There are 7,000 people down there and they are hunkered in pretty good. They are staying there. They are not going to leave. And so, if force come — it’s not going to be good for anybody. And I don’t think the governor wants that on his hands and I don’t think the Corps of Engineers wants that.
Demonstrators are already facing a December 5th deadline to evacuate by the US Army Corp of Engineers. But the Army Corps says it has no plans to forcibly remove the protesters and is hoping for a “peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location.”
Activists have spent months protesting against the planned route of the nearly US$4 billion (RM22.3 billion) pipeline, which flows below a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. They say it not only threatens the tribe’s drinking water supply, but could desecrate holy ground. — Reuters