BISMARCK, N.D. (AP)
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it has “no plans for forcible removal” of protesters who have been camping in North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
The Corps says in a statement Sunday that it “is seeking a peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location.”
The Corps notified tribal leaders Friday that all federal lands north of the Cannonball River will be closed to public access Dec. 5 for “safety concerns.”
The agency says those who choose to stay do so at their own risk. The Corps says anyone on the property north of the Cannonball River after that date will be trespassing and subject to prosecution.
The land to be closed includes the main protest camp, about 50 miles south of Bismarck.
Gov’t Will Not Forcibly Remove Pipeline Protesters
The Army Corps of Engineers said Sunday that it “has no plans for forcible removal” of protesters occupying land near the Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota, the Associated Press reported.
The statement comes after the Corps set a deadline of Dec. 5 earlier this week for the area to be cleared. Rather than shutting down the protesters’ camp, however, the Corps has said it wants a “peaceful and orderly transition” of demonstrators to a “safer location.”
Protesters have taken over tribal land surrounding the site of the $3.8 billion pipeline project, which it argues threatens sacred sites and drinking water of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Protests have turned increasingly violent in recent weeks, with clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators. (Other reports clearly state that the tribes have NOT been violent but passive, and that it is the ‘GOVERNMENT’ that has been VIOLENT against the tribes.)
On Saturday, protesters responded to the news that they were being ordered out by vowing to stay put, adding that the Corps’ order would only escalate tensions with police.