Lakota Country Times: Oglala Sioux Tribe joins fight against pipeline

Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford and Scotti Clifford of Scatter Their Own were arrested during the Dakota Access Pipeline confrontation on August 15, 2016. Photo courtesy Arlo Iron Cloud.

Oglala Send 400 To Stop Pipeline
By Tom Crash
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

CANNONBALL, ND – On Monday, August 15, a herd of horses was used to disburse the line of police officers that guarded the entrance to the construction site used to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.

With the way cleared, a group of 12 defenders from the Sacred Stone Spiritual Camp replaced the police officers at the entrance of the construction site. They were arrested, handcuffed and taken away.

“This is about water and land,” said Juliana Brown Eyes-Clifford who along with her husband Scotti Clifford, both from the band Scatter Their Own, were arrested. "We have to take a stand to protect the water and land for generations to come.”

Another group of defenders jumped the fence and raced out into the construction area to block the way of a bull dozer, after impairing the path of the dozer, they ran back to the designated protest area. Monday night, the construction crew packed up their camp and left the area.

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters at the site of construction near Cannonball, North Dakota. Photo courtesy Arlo Iron Cloud

The stand to stop the construction of the pipeline started with a few defenders last week that grew to 500 on the weekend and numbers 1,500 as of last Monday. After a false start on Sunday, the OST finance committee approved taking $45,000 out of the Ramah settlement monies from the treaty line item to support tribal members traveling to Cannonball. Wounded Knee District and American Horse School contributed buses for the trip. Both Wounded Knee District School and the Wounded Knee executive board pledged to provide support for those wishing to attend the protests. A total of 341 tribal members signed up for the $100 compensation offered.

No this is not the KXL pipeline, it’s a $3.78 billion project to build a pipeline from Stanley, North Dakota, to Patoka, Illinois, 1,172 miles. Up to 4,000 workers are expected to construct the 346 miles of pipeline through North Dakota; two union contractors are constructing simultaneously at three sites. A report filed with the ND Public Utilities Commission at the end of July stated that 44 % had been completed, 152 miles had been completed with the North Dakota portion scheduled for completion by Oct. 31. When the overall pipeline is done, the pipeline is set to move 450,000 barrels a day through the pipeline.

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“We don’t have a fight with law enforcement,” said Joye Braun, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member who is coordinating the growing Sacred Stone Spiritual camp,.“We are here to stop the construction of the pipeline, this is a threat to our water, the route of the pipeline crosses the Missouri twice.”

In addition to tribal members from Pine Ridge, all of the tribes of the Oceti Sakowin had representatives including Sanding Rock chairman Dave Archambault and Brandon Sazue from Crow Creek. Council representatives from Pine Ridge included Rich Greenwald, Ellen Fills Pipe and CJ Clifford.

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