Tag Archives: Native Tribes

Bless The Water around the World on March 22 for World Water Day


 

Join us on World Water Day

in a Global Prayer for Water
Join us as we come together to Bless The Water around the World on March 22 for World Water Day.
Gather at your local water source, or home, and place good intentions and prayers into the water. Let’s stand in solidarity with the world’s Water Protectors and take the first step towards
cleaning and restoring the world’s water because #WATERisLIFE.
Register now to listen to the free LIVE AUDIO BROADCAST at 5pm Pacific from Unify, led by Chief Phil Lane Jr.
And to watch the FREE UPLIFT FILM, ‘WATER is LIFE’, featuring
Dr. Gerald Pollack, Mayan Elder Tata Pedro, Dr. Bruce Lipton,
Uqualla Medicine Man, Vandana Shiva and Whaia Whaea.

500,000 people are getting clean water access!

Want to help us make it 1 Million?

Last year, the Bless The Water campaign helped Waterbearers get clean water filters to 8 countries, and this year they are delivering their first systems on US soil, on World Water Day March 22!

Just $50 gets clean water access to 100 people for ten years!

Dakota protesters regroup, plot resistance to other pipelines


Sat Feb 25, 2017

A man warms up by a fire in Sacred Stone camp, one of the few remaining camps protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., February 24, 2017. REUTERS/Stephen Yang

By Terray Sylvester | CANNON BALL, N.D.

Opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline who were pushed out of their protest camp this week have vowed to keep up efforts to stop the multibillion-dollar project and take the fight to other pipelines as well.

The Oceti Sakowin camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, was cleared by law enforcement on Thursday and almost 50 people, many of them Native Americans and environmental activists, were arrested.

The number of demonstrators had dwindled from the thousands who poured into the camp starting in August to oppose the pipeline that critics say threatens the water resources and sacred land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The tribe has said it intends to fight the pipeline in court.

The 1,170-mile (1,885 km) line, built by Energy Transfer Partners LP, will move crude from the shale oilfields of North Dakota to Illinois en route to the Gulf of Mexico, where many U.S. refineries are located.

Tonya Olsen, 46, an Ihanktonwan Sioux from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who had lived at the camp for 3-1/2 months, said she was saddened by the eviction but proud of the protesters.

She has moved to another nearby camp on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, across the Cannon Ball River.

“A lot of people will take what they’ve learned from this movement and take it to another one,” Olsen said. She may join a protest if one forms against the Keystone XL pipeline near the Lower Brulé Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, she added.

Tom Goldtooth, a protest leader and executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said the demonstrators’ hearts were not defeated.

“The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning,” Goldtooth said in a statement on Thursday. “They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

Many hope their fight against the project will spur similar protests targeting pipelines across the United States and Canada, particularly those routed near Native American land.

“The embers are going to be carried all over the place,” said Forest Borie, 34, a protester from Tijuana, Mexico, who spent four months in North Dakota.

“This is going to be a revolutionary year,” he added.

NEXT TARGETS

Borie wants to go next to Canada to help the Unist’ot’en Native American Tribe in their long-running opposition to pipelines in British Columbia.

Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company constructing the Dakota Access pipeline, is already facing pushback from a diverse base of opposition in Louisiana, where it is planning to expand its Bayou Bridge pipeline.

Other projects mentioned by protesters as possible next stops include the Sabal Trail pipeline being built to transport natural gas from eastern Alabama to central Florida, and Energy Transfer Partners’ Trans-Pecos in West Texas. Sabal Trail is a joint project of Spectra Energy Corp, NextEra Energy Inc and Duke Energy Corp.

Another protest is focused on Plains All American Pipeline’s Diamond Pipeline, which will run from Cushing, Oklahoma, to Valero Energy Corp’s Memphis refinery in Tennessee.

Anthony Gazotti, 47, from Denver, said he will stay on reservation land until he is forced out. Despite construction resuming on the Dakota pipeline, he said the protest was a success because it had raised awareness of pipeline issues nationwide.

“It’s never been about just stopping that pipeline,” he said.

June Sapiel, a 47-year-old member of the Penobscot Tribe in Penobscot, Maine, also rejected the idea that the protesters in North Dakota had failed.

“It’s waking people up,” she said in front of a friend’s yurt where she has been staying. “We’re going to go out there and just keep doing it.”

(Additional reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago and Liz Hampton in Houston; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Wells Fargo Issues Statement in Response to Dakota Access Pipeline Protests


Ryan Burns / Monday, Jan. 30

PREVIOUSLY:

Press release from Wells Fargo:

Wells Fargo understands the social and environmental concerns associated with projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). As a company committed to environmental sustainability and human rights, we respect all the differing opinions being expressed in this dispute. We are closely following the developments in this situation and are hopeful that all parties involved will work together for a peaceful and positive outcome.

Wells Fargo is one of 17 financial institutions involved in financing the DAPL. The loans we have provided represent less than 5% of the total. We remain committed to our obligations to serve our customers’ financial needs, and will continue to be respectful of the concerns being expressed by Tribal governments and communities, other groups and individuals.

Environment

Wells Fargo is committed to the responsible development of all forms of energy, and while we maintain a large conventional energy portfolio to support U.S. infrastructure, we are also a leader in the financing of renewable energy and clean technology. We have supported the evolution of energy markets toward cleaner forms of generation by investing more than $52 billion in environmentally sustainable businesses since 2012. In 2015, projects owned in whole or in part by Wells Fargo produced 10 percent of all solar photovoltaic and wind energy generated in the U.S.

Native American Communities

Wells Fargo has been serving Native American governments and communities  for more than 50 years, and today we provide capital and financial services to more than 200 tribal and native entities in 27 states, including tribal community development projects.

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Banks Financing Dakota Access Pipeline Decline Meeting with Tribal Leaders


One month after the pipeline was effectively put “on hold” by the Army Corps of Engineers, major commercial banks are still banking on the project — and losing thousands of customers a week as a result.

Standing Rock, ND – For the last six weeks, a global coalition has been pressuring banks providing project loans to the Dakota Access Pipeline to renegotiate or cancel their loans. In December, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Indigenous leaders requested that each of these banks meet with tribal representatives to hear their concerns.
The deadline for banks to respond to the Tribe’s meeting request was January 10, and as of this statement:

  • Four banks have declined: BayernLB, BNP Paribas, Mizuho Bank, and Suntrust
  • Six banks have not responded at all: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BBVA Compass, ICBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Seven banks have met or agreed to meet with the Tribe and its allies: Citi, Crédit Agricole, DNB, ING, Société Générale, TD, and Wells Fargo

In response, organizers are escalating their pressure on banks that refuse to engage. The Indigenous coalition at Standing Rock has a running billboard in Times Square asking millions of people to #DefundDAPL. Organizers continue a drumbeat of protests and bank occupations, along with brand-damaging campaigns that have already led to the closure of thousands of accounts worth a self-reported $46,314,727.18.
Protests have increased in fervor and frequency over the last few weeks, including multiple occupations of Wells Fargo, US Bank and Citibank branches, as well as a daring banner drop during a nationally televised Vikings/Bears NFL game at US Bank Stadium in protest of their bankrolling of DAPL project sponsors Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners.
Backed by hundreds of thousands of online signatures and commitments to #DefundDAPL, organizers from more than 25 grassroots groups vowed the campaign will continue and intensify in the coming weeks, building up to a planned “global week of action” unless all 17 of the banks act. The ask for the banks is to discontinue loan disbursements in consultation with Native leaders until outstanding issues are resolved, and Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous peoples is upheld.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said: “We are pleased that some of the banks behind DAPL are willing to engage Standing Rock Sioux leadership, but maintain that all 17 should not be helping a company who deliberately ignores our concerns. We call on the remaining banks to agree to a meeting with the Tribe. We know that they have heard Energy Transfer Partners’ side of the story, and they need to hear our perspective as well.”

Ladonna Bravebull Allard, Sacred Stone Camp said: “I want the banks to know that the power of their investment comes from the people, and the people are saying we have the right to water, and we will stand for the water. Stop investing in destruction of the earth.”

Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director, Honor the Earth said: “This movement has shown again and again that the power and strength of the people is incredible. Banks need our dollars to make their investments. We can and must hold these financial backers accountable for supporting destruction of our shared planet and futures. Move past dated fuels and justly transition to a green economy.”

Eryn Wise, International Indigenous Youth Council said: “What began as a protection of the earth has now become a reclamation of power. We are demanding that our interests as a prospering people be put before banks and their investments. We hold in our hands the ability to encourage divestment to the point of fruition and we will not back down.”

Dallas Goldtooth, Keep it in the Ground Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network said: “As a movement to stop this dirty Bakken oil pipeline, we are demonstrating the inherent power of organized communities and mobilized citizens. We are showing Big Oil and government leaders that we know the power of our capital, and as such we collectively choose to invest in life and water, not death and oil. As first peoples of the land and in defense of our Indigenous rights, we will continue to rise, resist, self-determine and divest until the Dakota Access pipeline is nothing but the defeated aspirations of a Energy Transfer Partners’ dream.”

Judith LeBlanc, Director, Native Organizers Alliance said: “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has a spiritual obligation to protect the Missouri River for all. The best way for the banks to meet their obligation to protect their investor’s interest is to meet with the Tribal leadership. Mother Earth and all of our ancestors deserve the opportunity for an exchange on our shared moral obligations to protect Mother Earth for generations to come.”

Sara Nelson, Executive Director, Romero Institute and the Lakota People’s Law Project said: “We are moving our financial accounts from Wells Fargo to a local bank that does not invest in companies who violate Indigenous rights and environmental impact requirements, and will not endanger clean water for millions of people. We want our money used to support positive solutions for our children’s future, not to float big companies who send oil overseas, make the American people pay for inevitable spills, and generate profits for banks and billion dollar global companies.”

Leila Salazar López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch said: “From Standing Rock to the Amazon, Indigenous peoples are defending their territories and providing a model for a fossil free world. It’s time banks listen to Indigenous peoples and their allies in our call to Keep It In The Ground.”

Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network said: “Investing in a project of Energy Transfer Partners, a company that has abused Indigenous and human rights, was a big mistake. These banks now have a chance to fix it by meeting with the Standing Rock Sioux, and upholding Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous peoples.”

Dr. Gabriela Lemus, President of Progressive Congress Action Fund said: “No bank should support poisoning communities’ land and water- yet too many banks still have investments in Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline. We call on these banks to divest completely. Families’ lives are at risk, and that should always take priority over profits. All banks have a responsibility not only to their shareholders and customers, but to the communities that are impacted by their investments. Don’t keep funding this dangerous project.”

Todd Larsen, Executive Co-Director of Green America said: “Banks need to end investments that harm the rights and lives of Indigenous peoples. We call on all banks to divest entirely from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Until these banks do so, all Americans should divest their money from any bank providing financing to this ruinous pipeline.”

Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth U.S. said: “The voices of Indigenous peoples have been ignored for too long – by the US government, corporations and big banks. By not acknowledging Indigenous peoples, or outright refusing to meet with them, these ten banks are perpetuating a pattern of colonialism and failing to respect Indigenous peoples’ rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.”

Johan Frijns, Director of BankTrack said: “The Dakota Access Pipeline project is supposed to be in compliance with the Equator Principles, and therefore guarantee Indigenous peoples’ rights to be properly consulted. The refusal of leading EP banks to meet with the Sioux Tribe not only makes a complete mockery of that commitment, but also poses a severe risk to the very credibility of the Equator Principles.”

Vanessa Green, Director of DivestInvest Individual said: “DAPL is simply the wrong kind of investment, and people don’t want their money behind it. With government mandates to scale up clean energy investments, a market increasingly supportive of a low carbon future, and unprecedented consumer and investor interest in moving money into climate and community solutions, the question now is which banks will lose the most in this historic energy transition.”

Mary Sweeters, Arctic Campaigner with Greenpeace USA, said: “People across the world have pledged their solidarity with the Indigenous communities who reject this dirty pipeline and the threat it poses to the water and climate. The banks must choose whether they want to continue to invest their money in yesterday or listen to the millions of people who stand with Standing Rock.”

Lena Moffitt, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Director, said, “People power can, does, and will continue to prevail over corporate polluters. The people will not stop until the banks financing these operations invest in our clean air and water — not fossil fuels.”

ACTION ON JANUARY 28th TO CARRY THE PRAYER FROM STANDING ROCK TO BANKS WORLDWIDE


Dear Global Family,

Thank you for your commitment to our collective future.
Standing Rock is still standing strong through freezing temperatures, bravely holding the prayer for our water, our earth and our children’s future – And they need our help.

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN A GLOBAL SYNCHRONIZED PRAYER ACTION ON JANUARY 28th TO CARRY THE PRAYER FROM STANDING ROCK TO BANKS WORLDWIDE

The Global Prayer Action is carrying the prayer and request from Standing Rock to the steps of the Banks around the World who are funding Oil Pipelines, sending a clear message of solidarity and demand for change – The frontline is now everywhere. 

There will be a live prayer broadcast shared from Standing Rock camp – a prayer for all water, for all life – led by indigenous elders. You can join from wherever you are!
This is an opportunity to be a part of history by uniting our global community to support the water protectors at Standing Rock through local actions at banks.

“Let us put our hearts and minds together and
see what future we can make for our children.”
– Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate)

One week after inauguration we are taking this action to show that this is not over. 

Empowered as one, we can make change. 

We will stand, pray and meditate to elevate the consciousness of the financial institutions, administration and corporations funding oil extraction around the world by asking that they make the choice to invest in clean renewable energy and the future of our planet.

We are also looking at our own desires and choices for short-term gain over long term sustainability to heal this pattern within ourselves, to heal the earth. 

Through this prayer action we ask our governments to incentivize the banks to make long terms investments that benefit our grandchildren and our planet of corporate profits. 
We are connecting activists, advocates, actors, musicians, artists, media, environmental organizations, educators and prayerful people to join our Indigenous Leaders and Water Protectors.
The prayer will broadcast live from Standing Rock on January 28th as we simultaneously carry the prayer to the steps of banks worldwide.

Let your heart shine and our prayers be heard.

Click Here to Join: www.GlobalPrayerAction.com

You can join the prayer broadcast from wherever you are or find a prayer action happening at a local bank near you!
If there is no prayer action on the Global Prayer Action near you on the world-wide interactive map, please consider creating an event in your community.

Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are All Related

Mni Wiconi ~ Water is Life
On behalf of the Global Prayer Action campaign

At UNIFY we share virtual and in-person transformational experiences that support your most passionate, peaceful, purposeful, and amazing life.
We also organize global synchronized meditations and days of social action. We now have more than 7,500 organizers that bring their communities together for campaigns we launch on Peace Day, Earth Day, Water Day, and more.  Thank you for doing your part every day!

We must defend the victory at Standing Rock


We must defend the victory at Standing Rock

Get Involved
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Indigenous water protectors last month secured a major win for Standing Rock. Your actions helped. The Army Corps of Engineers was convinced to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline and conduct an Environmental Impact Statement review.
We need to stand with Standing Rock to ensure that the environmental review won’t be stopped by President-elect Trump.
Progress on the pipeline review is stalled. Although it’s been over a month, the Army Corps of Engineers hasn’t started the review yet. This review is a crucial step in ensuring that the government hears the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s concerns about the pipeline. If the review doesn’t start before President-elect Trump takes office, it could be easier for him to scrap it and ram through completion of the pipeline.
We can’t leave the Dakota Access Pipeline in Trump’s hands: call the Army Corps comment line right now and ask them to start the Environmental Impact Statement review immediately, before January 20th.
President-elect Trump has vowed to fast track the construction of pipelines within his first 100 days in office. We can’t let him ignore the serious human rights issues at play with the Dakota Access Pipeline.
I’ve been to Standing Rock and have spoken with the communities whose land, water and cultural sites are at stake. I’m worried for what might happen under a Trump Administration and what this might mean for the lives of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others that could be affected.
Make the call to the Army Corps right now. It’s easy, quick and can make a real impact. We’ll give you the number and a script for what to say.
The U.S. government must acknowledge that Indigenous people have the right to be involved in decisions that could impact their human rights.
Thank you for taking action.
Sincerely,
Zeke
Zeke Johnson
Individuals at Risk Program
Amnesty International USA

Take Action!

Amnesty International USA

Following blizzard-like conditions and plummeting temperatures at Standing Rock, Chairman David Archambault released a letter…


December 8, 2016

Indigenous Environmental Network Responds to Chairman Archambault’s Ask for Water Protectors to Return Home and Comments on the Fight Ahead

Press Contact:
Jade Begay, 505-699-4791, jade@ienearth.org

December 8, 2016 [Cannon Ball, ND] – Following blizzard-like conditions and plummeting temperatures at Standing Rock, Chairman David Archambault released a letter respectfully asking visiting Water Protectors to develop exit strategies and to return home once the current storm passes.

The following is a statement from the Indigenous Environmental Network responding to the Chairman’s request and about what the organization sees as the next steps for Standing Rock:
“We are at a critical moment in this fight against the Dakota Access pipeline. The Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to not grant the final easement to the pipeline company without further review was a tremendous victory, but it is a temporary one. With the pro-pipeline politics of the forthcoming Trump administration, the struggle to protect the Missouri River, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s drinking water and indigenous sovereignty will most certainly need to continue in the coming year and beyond.

In their response to the order to pause construction until further review, Energy Transfer Partners has made it clear that they will pursue completion of the pipeline. During this period of deescalated conflict, we will remain watchful of Energy Transfer Partners and the Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental impact study and fully expect to challenge any action the Trump administration aims to take in approving the final phase of DAPL construction.

This past week, we saw blizzard-like conditions that generated an immense burden upon camp and tribal resources and placed a number of unprepared campers at risk. Because of these challenges, along with the deescalated need for allies to be on the ground at Standing Rock while DAPL construction is paused, we now encourage allies to reevaluate staying or coming to Standing Rock. As such, we have decided to respect the Chairman’s request and begin the process of transitioning out of the Oceti Sakowin camp.

Since the beginning of this movement, thousands have come to Standing Rock to serve as true allies and guests of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the land and local communities. The support we, as visitors, received helped create a solid foundation of prayer and movement in the protection of Mother Earth and her lifeblood: the water. During this pause in action, we remain committed to supporting the grassroots leadership within the camp and will help facilitate the transition out of camp, prioritizing the safety of its individuals and ensuring that the land we’ve been using is left better than it was found.
Moving forward, IEN looks towards growing and furthering the momentum that has begun here at Standing Rock.

We will continue to ask our allies to divest from the financiers of the Dakota Access Pipeline and to take part in the Global Month of #NoDAPL Action . We also encourage Water Protectors to stand with communities across the nation who are resisting pipelines that threaten their water supplies and other Indigenous communities.

Three key dates we encourage the public stay updated on are:

Friday, December 9th, a hearing in the case is scheduled for Friday morning in Washington, D.C., U.S. District Court requested by Energy Transfer Partners to allow them to complete the project.

Sunday, January 1st, when suppliers for the pipeline construction will have an opportunity to re-negotiate their contracts with Energy Transfer Partners or back out.

And finally, the days after January 21st, when the specific challenges will be revealed from the new administration and what we will need to do to protect water and Indigenous rights.

We are not abandoning our relatives here in Standing Rock and this movement is far from over. In fact, it is escalating and the stakes are even higher. We are stronger than ever, filled with even more hope and more prayer, and no matter who is in the White House, we will continue to follow our original instructions as Indigenous Peoples to defend land and to protect water.”
For real time updates on the status of DAPL construction at Standing Rock, please follow Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Rising Media.

###

A STATEMENT FROM "ACE HARDWARE"


Victory: ACE Hardware commits to no ban on Standing Rock sales

 

“Melissa Byrne”

 

Victory! In the wee hours of yesterday morning Ace Hardware (1) affirmed that their stores near Standing Rock will continue selling propane and materials to the water protectors.

This is because you took action by joining to support their brave actions.

This is a long battle for justice. Please keep calling your Members of Congress and Senators with a strong #NoDAPL message. 

You can use 202-221-3121 to be conntected to your representative. 

Keep following on the ground organizers and stay ready to support them at a moments notice.

Together, we will defeat the pipleline by supporting Standing Rock.

– Melissa

1. http://newsroom.acehardware.com/ace-hardware-statement-on-north-dakota-protest-and-product-sales/

The US Army Corps of Engineers will not grant permission for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross Lake Oahe


 

The Department of the Army will not approve an easement that would allow the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota,” said a statement on the US Army website, citing the Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy.

According to Darcy, it was “clear” they needed to address concerns of tribal leaders who expressed concerns over the potential environmental impact of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and “the best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”
“The consideration of alternative routes would be best accomplished through an Environmental Impact Statement with full public input and analysis,” the Army statement said
.

Standing Rock Sioux chairman Dave Archambault II has issued a statement expressing his gratitude to the Obama administration for enabling the “historic decision” to re-reroute the pipeline.

“We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing,” he wrote.

The news is a massive win for the Sioux tribe that established the protest camp at the site in April and has gained huge support in recent weeks.

Military veterans joined activists, who call themselves water protectors, at Standing Rock this week, with more than 3,500 pledging to join the demonstration.

Some 26 activists were injured in a November 20 confrontation when police fired water cannon in below-freezing temperatures. Rubber bullets and tear gas were also reportedly used against the water protectors on site.

Around 564 people were arrested during the protests, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

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Additional Information:

Army denies Dakota pipeline permit, in victory for Native tribes

 

U.S. Climate Plan@usclimateplan 1h1 hour ago Pennsylvania, USA

#NoDAPL VICTORY! A powerful and humbling statement from @StandingRockST Chair. Thanks to @POTUS for decision to #StandWithStandingRock.

U.S. veterans build barracks for pipeline protesters in cold


By Ernest Scheyder and Terray Sylvester | CANNON BALL, N.D.

U.S. military veterans were building barracks on Friday at a protest camp in North Dakota to support thousands of activists who have squared off against authorities in frigid conditions to oppose a multibillion-dollar pipeline project near a Native American reservation.

Veterans volunteering to be human shields have been arriving at the Oceti Sakowin camp near the small town of Cannon Ball, where they will work with protesters who have spent months demonstrating against plans to route the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, organizers said.

The Native Americans and protesters say the $3.8 billion pipeline threatens water resources and sacred sites.

Some of the more than 2,100 veterans who signed up on the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock group’s Facebook page are at the camp, with hundreds more expected during the weekend. Tribal leaders asked the veterans, who aim to form a wall in front of police to protect the protesters, to avoid confrontation with authorities and not get arrested.

Wesley Clark Jr, a writer whose father is retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, met with law enforcement on Friday to tell them that potentially 3,500 veterans would join the protest and the demonstrations would be carried out peacefully, protest leaders said.

The plan is for veterans to gather in Eagle Butte, a few hours away, and then travel by bus to the main protest camp, organizers said, adding that a big procession is planned for Monday.

Protesters began setting up tents, tepees and other structures in April, and the numbers swelled in August at the main camp.

Joshua Tree, 42, from Los Angeles, who has been visiting the camp for weeks at a time since September, said he felt pulled to the protest.

“Destiny called me here,” he said at the main camp. “We’re committed.”

“GO HOME”

The protesters’ voices have also been heard by companies linked to the pipeline, including banks that protesters have targeted for their financing of the pipeline.

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) said in a Thursday letter it would meet with Standing Rock elders before Jan. 1 “to discuss their concerns related to Wells Fargo’s investment” in the project.

There have been violent confrontations near the route of the pipeline with state and local law enforcement, who used tear gas, rubber bullets and water hoses on the protesters, even in freezing weather.

The number of protesters in recent weeks has topped 1,000. State officials on Monday ordered them to leave the snowy camp, which is on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land, citing harsh weather, but on Wednesday they said they would not enforce the order.

“There is an element there of people protesting who are frightening,” North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said on Thursday. “It’s time for them to go home.”

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier spoke by phone on Friday with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, but assistance for law enforcement and a timeline for a resolution to the situation were not offered, the sheriff’s office said.

Lynch said in a statement that the U.S. Department of Justice has been in communication with all sides in an effort to reduce tensions and foster dialogue. She said senior department officials will be deployed to the region as needed.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday he supported the completion of the pipeline, and his transition team said he supported peaceful protests.

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple said on Wednesday it was “probably not feasible” to reroute the pipeline, but he would try to rebuild a relationship with Standing Rock Sioux leaders.

 

On Friday, Morton County Commission Chairman Cody Schulz said his office has been working in conjunction with the governor’s office to meet with tribal leaders soon.

FREEZING COLD

Since the start of demonstrations, 564 people have been arrested, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said.

State officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters, and Dalrymple said his evacuation order stemmed mainly from concerns about dangerously cold temperatures.

The temperature in Cannon Ball is expected to fall to 4 degrees Fahrenheit (-16 Celsius) by the middle of next week, according to Weather.com forecasts.

The 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline project, owned by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP (ETP.N), is mostly complete, except for a segment planned to run under Lake Oahe, a reservoir formed by a dam on the Missouri River.

Protesters, who refer to themselves as “water protectors,” have been gearing up for the winter while they await the Army Corps decision on whether to allow Energy Transfer to tunnel under the river. The Army Corps has twice delayed that decision.

(Additional reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago and David Gaffen in New York; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Leslie Adler)

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