The battle between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Dakota Access Pipeline Company continues. In fact, mere hours after lawyers representing the tribe filed evidence in federal court revealing that some of the pipeline’s planned route would infiltrate a sacred burial site, the company shockingly began work there.
Bulldozers broke through the land as hundreds of Native Americans from a plethora of tribes feverishly fled to the scene as a means for protecting the sacred site-turned- construction zone.
The company’s security forces fought back, attacking the Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray. The tribe’s lawyer requested an emergency temporary restraining order in order to keep construction from commencing on the sacred site.
Jan Hasselman, staff attorney with Earthjustice, who is representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Federal Court, and Dave Archambault, the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, spoke with Democracy Now! regarding the situation.
You can read the transcript from Democracy Now, or watch the video below.
So, on Friday afternoon, we filed some very important evidence in the lawsuit about the discovery of some sacred and major culturally significant sites that were directly in the pipeline’s route. And it was miles away from where any construction was happening. And we filed this evidence with the court Friday afternoon in order to support our claim that there should be a timeout on construction until some of these legal issues can get resolved. We were stunned and shocked to hear that they took that information and, Saturday morning, over a holiday weekend, went out and bulldozed the entire site. We have a sworn declaration from one of the tribe’s cultural experts that describes some of these sites, multiple gravesites and burials, very important archaeological features of the kind that are not found commonly. And we put all that in front of the court. And the next morning, it was gone. The shock and anguish felt by tribal members at this, and this abuse of the legal process, is really hard to describe.
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