Judge Won't Let North Dakota Pipeline Company Bulldoze Sacred Native American Sites Just Yet
Won't someone think about the bulldozers?
Excellent if temporary news from North Dakota: a federal judge partly granted a request by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to temporarily stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which the tribe argued would run through multiple sacred sites. The partial stop to construction comes following violent attacks over the weekend in which pipeline security crews used pepper spray and attack dogs against protesters.
U.S. Judge James Boasberg said on Tuesday he granted in part and denied in part the temporary restraining order by agreement of the parties. The area in which Dakota Access agreed to halt activity until Friday represented some but not all of the area requested in the temporary restraining order.
The pipeline construction will be stopped on land controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, but the pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, will continue work on private land, regardless of whether it contains sacred sites identified by the Standing Rock Sioux and another tribe that had identified the sites in court documents filed last Friday. It's awfully nice of the company to only dig up sacred sites on private land, though it seems puzzled the tribe isn't delighted by its willingness to compromise. After all, it's like everything is sacred to those tribes.
The tribes wanted Dakota Access restrained from working on areas of “significant cultural and historic value,” pending Boasberg’s decision on an injunction they requested last month. It asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which approved the pipeline project in July, to withdraw permits for the project [...]
The agency said in a court document filed on Sunday that “the public interest would be served by preserving peace” until the judge issues a ruling on the injunction.
Judge Boasberg said Tuesday that he would definitely make a final decision on the injunction by Friday; an attorney for the tribe said it welcomed the partial stoppage, but was “disappointed that some of the important sacred sites that we had found and provided evidence for will not be protected.”
Yr Wonkette is looking forward to the judge deciding that any pipeline route that would destroy multiple sacred and historical sites can't go forward; should that happen, we will put a temporary hold on our own overwhelming cynicism until at least the end of the weekend. Two crowdsourcing campaigns have been set up to help the protestors: a GoFundMe to help protesters at the Sacred Stone Camp, and a legal defense fund to help cover legal costs.
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