Sheriff recruiting more law enforcement for #NoDAPL campsites

#NoDAPL resisters in North Dakota on September 8, 2016. Photo by Matika Wilbur

With a major court decision expected on Friday, authorities in North Dakota are doing their best to stir up fears about the #NoDAPL movement.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier -- who has repeatedly made unsubstantiated claims about lawlessness at the resistance campsites -- is planning to bring more law enforcement to the area in anticipation of the ruling, the Associated Press reports.

“We are preparing and planning for all scenarios that may occur in response to the federal court ruling,” Kirchmeier's department said in a statement quoted by the AP.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) -- who issued an emergency declaration last month as thousands of tribal citizens gathered at the camps -- is apparently bracing for something too.

A spokesperson told the AP that "the governor has always said the National Guard is an option."

Despite Kirchmeier's claims about violence, his officers failed to stop a skirmish between #NoDAPL resisters and security guards working for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. At the time of the September 3 incident, he said his deputies stayed back due to safety concerns as women and children were bitten by dogs and others were sprayed with mace.

Our direct action this morning has ended in a good way. We were blessed with so much rain, the earth so plentiful,...

Posted by Sacred Stone Camp on Thursday, September 8, 2016

No one on either side of the confrontation has been arrested or charged but Kirchmeier's office has repeatedly laid blame on the #NoDAPL resisters in posts on Facebook. One post described a security guard as an "officer" even though the private employees were not on duty as law enforcement. The post claims they were being threatened with "a wooden post" and a "metal post."

Kirchmeier repeated a similar line about safety in response to a September 6 incident involving Jill Stein, the Green Party's nominee for president. Rather than arrest her or anyone else at the time, his deputies stayed back.

Stein is now facing two minor charges of trespass and mischief -- both misdemeanors -- for allegedly damaging a Dakota Access bulldozer with spray-paint. But it unlikely she will ever be arrested or appear in court because the warrant against her is only valid in North Dakota, The New York Times reported. Her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, is facing the same charges, according to court records.

"I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: bulldozing sacred burial sites, unleashing vicious attack dogs, endangering drinking water and pushing us toward climate meltdown," Stein said on Facebook.

In issuing the emergency declaration, Dalrymple said he was taking action to protect the "health, safety and well-being of the general public and those involved in the protest." Days later, his administration withdrew water trailers, air-conditioned trailers and a command center vehicle from the #NoDAPL encampment. The North Dakota Highway Patrol also continues to restrict traffic to and from the site.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has asked for a preliminary injunction against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in hopes of stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline from proceeding. The agency has yet to issue a key easement for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River.

Judge James E. Boasberg, of the federal court in Washington, D.C., has promised to issue a decision by Friday

Read More on the Story:
Authorities to build up presence before oil pipeline ruling (AP 9/7)
Green Party’s Jill Stein charged with trespassing, mischief (AP 9/7)
Unions want governor to ensure safety (The Bismarck Tribune 9/8)
ND State Historic Preservation Office says no historical sites found along Dakota Access Pipeline route during review (KFYR 9/7)
Cultural sites remain in debate along pipeline route (The Bismarck Tribune 9/8)
Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate, Is Charged Over Role in Pipeline Protest (The New York Times 9/8)

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