Judge delivers blow to Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 17, 2017

Many protesters don't plan to leave the area.

A U.S. federal judge has rejected a last-ditch legal challenge from a Native American tribe to halt construction of the controversial North Dakota pipeline.

-Construction of the final stretch of the Dakota Access Pipeline will proceed as planned, a United States federal judge ruled Monday.

Boasberg on Monday refused, though he scheduled a February 27 hearing on a request by Cheyenne River to force the Army to withdraw its permission for the lake crossing. The motion asks the USA district court judge to reverse the Army's move to grant an easement to developer Energy Transfer Partners on an expedited schedule.

Members of the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes say the project will keep them from being able to practice religious ceremonies.

This pipeline, which is being built by energy transfer partners is expected to be complete in fewer than 30 days.

The Oglala Sioux are situated in South Dakota, one of the four states the 1,172-mile pipeline crosses.

Abandoned property used by people who temporarily occupied the Oceti Sakowin camp to protest the Dakota Access pipeline is piled in front of Dumpsters headed to the landfill. The Army Corps then elected not to undergo the additional environmental review and issued the permit last week.

Judge delivers blow to Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters
Judge delivers blow to Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters

The decision narrows the tribes' legal options in the three months before the pipeline becomes functional.

The peaceful demonstrations swelled in size and grewtense after the lawsuits. Hundreds were arrested and injured during recent protests and skirmishes.

President Trump, in contrast, on his second weekday in office signed a presidential memorandum toward advancing approval of the pipeline crossing, declaring that its completion was in the national interest. Weeks later, the Army announced it was approving work on the final part of the pipeline, overturning its December announcement.

Judge Boasberg says he won't issue a restraining order against the project, but promises to rule on the tribe's religious challenge to the pipeline before oil runs through it. "We continue to believe that both the tribes and the public should have meaningful input and participation in that process".

Protests at the Standing Rock reservation and elsewhere have continued in the wake of the Army Corps of Engineers' decision, and are taking many forms. The sheriff's department has accused demonstrators, who prefer to be called water protectors, of attacking officers.

On Sunday night, Paris Jackson spoke out against the pipeline at the Grammy Awards.

Mahmoud told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that protesters had "assaulted numerous pipeline personnel" and caused millions of dollars of damage.

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