Over the past week, authorities have accelerated efforts to empty the Standing Rock encampment site of those who protest the $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline project. First, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ordered a camp clearing by December 5 under threat of prosecution for trespassing. Then authorities pushed the date up to Monday night with an emergency order, which cites harsh weather conditions, that went out with virtual sirens blaring.
Unsurprisingly, the water protectors have not left camp, and CNN now reveals that authorities will take the drastic measure of cutting off supply access and entry to the camp. In other words, no food or medical aid:
Law enforcement will begin Tuesday to block all people and supplies from coming to the Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsite, Morton County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Maxine Herr told CNN. North Dakota’s Governor has ordered protesters to vacate and sheriff’s deputies will enforce the order, Herr said.
Amid growing criticism over violent methods taken by authorities — including water cannons, rubber bullets, attack dogs and good, old-fashioned tear gas — law enforcement said last week (ironically, right after Thanksgiving) that force would not be used to clear the camp.
Yet the water protectors, who are protesting the almost inevitable future contamination of their water supply and the desecration of sacred ground, aren’t budging. They’ve largely winterized the camp, but without supplies, this showdown between law enforcement and activists may soon come to a head.