Dakota pipeline protesters are refusing to comply with a government order directing all activists to vacate makeshift campsites near the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
Demonstrators will not stand down in their desperate attempt to defeat the multi-billion-dollar DAPL supposedly desecrating tribal lands, activists told reporters Tuesday.
Standing rock activists Amos Cook and Phyllis Bald Eagle suggest they will stay hunkered down in one of the campsites until the pipeline is moved or discontinued. They will be joined by nearly 10,000 fellow demonstrators.
“We’re not planning on going nowhere until we accomplish what we came here to do,” Cook said.
Still others claim they are amassing a small, unarmed army to protect protesters if they are battered by police.
“We have created an entire military battalion in less than three weeks,” retired police officer Michael Wood Jr., who opposes the pipeline, told reporters.
“This is your fight that if you don’t take up and you don’t promote and stand up for it now, you end up saying, ‘Why am I being run through? Why do I have lead in my water? Why is my water poisoned? Why do I have to do move?’”
He said more than 2,500 unarmed vets are mobilizing to stand between police and protesters.
The Army Corps of Engineers directed Sunday environmental activists and American Indian groups to leave property near the Cannonball River in North Dakota by Dec. 5 or face arrest.
The Corps later clarified that it’s not planning to force the protesters from federal land. Rather, it is hoping for a “peaceful and orderly transition to a safer location.”
The Army Corps has not responded to questions from The Daily Caller News Foundation about what it will do if protesters refuse to leave federal land peacefully.
Standing Rock members spent several months demonstrating against the $3.7 billion project, arguing the pipeline’s construction would trample on tribal lands and destroy artifacts. They also believe it could potentially poison waterways, including rivers such as the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.
Much of the group’s concerns could be rendered moot, especially after the tribe orchestrated a months-long battle against the pipeline due in large part to worries about contamination of their primary water source.
The decision to place a water treatment plant several miles downwind of the pipeline’s location, environmental analysts argue, may dispel concerns associated with the project. The relocation was years in the making.
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