The Army Corp of Engineers has issued an order to NoDAPL protesters requiring that they leave the lands they are occupying by December 5 or they will be charged with trespassing and removed.
The ongoing protest began in April of this year, and water protectors pledge to stay on the land that belongs to natives until the corporation agrees not to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline.
John W. Henderson, a district commander with the Corps issued this statement on Friday which claims that the new restrictions are for the public’s safety – sure.
“I am closing the portion of the Corps-managed federal property north of the Cannonball River to all public use and access effective December 5, 2016.
“This decision is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials that have occurred in this area, and to prevent death, illness, or serious injury to inhabitants of encampments due to the harsh North Dakota winter conditions.”
Though many noted celebrities and politicians have spoken out in favor of the water protectors, the President has refused to take decisive action.
Many believe that if the protesters can occupy the land until the new year, an expiring contract may cause the company to abandon their project. This effort to remove protesters less than a month before this deadline is clear collusion with the corporation to remove all human roadblocks.
Though many may be intimidated by the order, the hard-fought gains the water protectors have made will likely not be given up that easily.
The NoDAPL protest will continue on for as long as possible – after all, they are on treaty lands – how can the American government rule on lands that aren’t rightfully theirs?
You can read more about this new conflict at NPR.