Police in Morton County illegally blocked Highway 6 to keep protesters from reaching a DAPL site to demonstrate.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
October 15, 2016
Mandan, N. Dakota – On Saturday morning, a 300 vehicle convoy separated and went to three Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) front line sites near St. Anthony, but were blocked on public road and highway by Morton County Sheriff deputies and other officers. The illegal blocking of public roads and highways by authorities in Morton County is a strategic move to prevent access to protesters to DAPL sites. The ACLU-ND is considering filing a lawsuit against the Morton County Sheriff’s Office for illegal blocking of a public highway or road to prevent access for protesters to legally protest at a DAPL site.
Several protests were reported, some water protectors (protesters) locked down on equipment and law enforcement officers confiscated a Native American drum, 1 legal advisor was arrested and 9 others as well on Highway 6. The drum was later returned to Native Americans.
A United Nations observer was spotted at one of the police blackades, the Standing Stone Rising reported.
On Monday, a month long civil disobedience and non-violence plan of action will begin, according to water protectors. The Morton County Sheriff’s Office policy is to arrest none favorable credential news reporters to both DAPL/MCSO and charged them with criminal trespass and other charges.
The Red Warrior Camp occupants reported ongoing police harassment on the rise, illegal police drone surveillance, illegal cop highway blockades and public access roads intentionally blocked by local MCSO deputies and other officers.
So far, the MCSO has generated more than $70,000 in fines resulting from arrests and bonds posted by water protectors and journalists since August with more than 140 arrests.
DAPL is not a public utility service, but private corporate owned to move their profitable crude oil product. Eminent domain can not be justified to accommodate a private corporation to construct a crude oil pipeline (black snake) on private, public and Native American reservation land.
The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the N. Dakota Attorney General should launch an investigation into multiple illegal acts committed and the frivolous riot criminal charges against protesters and journalists arrested by the MCSO and Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, the chief operations officer for the MCSO on public safety and DAPL demonstrations.
None of the MCSO deputies and other assisting officers at DAPL demonstration sites are not required to wear body video cameras.
The U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), Department of Army (DOA) and the Department of Interior (DOI) released a second announcement on October 10 to reaffirm that no easements will be granted to DAPL by the DOA Corps of Engineers. In a joint statement, “In the interim, the Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe. We repeat our request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe,” the USDOJ, DOA and the DOI reaffirmed their position after a federal appeals court denied an injunction to halt DAPL construction on private land.
DAPL has failed to comply and pause construction voluntarily in private property with the 20 mile zone requested by the feds, according to protesters.
Currently, there are five active water protector camps in Sioux County with a combine population of more than 3,000 (during the Labor Day weekend at least 10,000 people populated the camps). The camps are, Sacred Stone Camp (Cannon Ball), Sacred Stones Spirit Camp (Cannon Ball), Oceti Sakowin Camp (Cannon Ball), the following camps are located near each other, Red Warrior Camp (Fort Yates), North Camp (Main camp, North of Cannon Ball River and the largest camp) and Sicangu Oyate Camp (across the Cannon Ball River).
In other news, Amy Goodman, an award winning journalist for Democracy Now will turn herself to the Morton County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, October 17 to face a new charged for rioting. Goodman on September 3 was covering a protest at a DAPL site when security used dogs to attack protesters. The news coverage by Goodman went viral on social media, which had more than 14M views and the mainstream media also reported her coverage.
Goodman was charged with criminal trespass by the MCSO, but it couldn’t stick so, the charge was dropped. N. Dakota State Attorney Ladd R. Erickson filed a new charge for rioting.
Goodman goes before Morton County Judge John Grinsteiner to review, if probable cause exists.
None of the DAPL private security guards who attacked protesters (Native Americans with vicious dogs have not been charged of a criminal act. Multiple people and a child were beaten by the dogs. The protesters claim that the MCSO is corrupt and is bought off by DAPL. It seems, the DAPL corruption extends to the N. Dakota Attorney General’s Office as well.
A large group of supporters and Native Americans are expected to gather at the Morton County courthouse on Monday around 1:30 p.m.
Goodman is expected to give a press conference at 1:45 p.m. in front of the Morton County courthouse concerning her case.
Video showing legal advisor getting arrested and drum confiscated by police from Native American near DAPL site http://bit.ly/2e6HvZR
Update: The Morton County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) confirmed that 14 protesters were arrested in three DAPL demonstration sites. The MCSO released the following statement, Officers arrested 14 people for illegal protest activity Saturday at three separate sites. “On going protests continue to violate the rights of our citizens and raise public safety concerns,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “They want to conduct commerce and feel safe while travelling on our local roadways. Overall public safety is my number one priority.”