Standing Rock Seeks TRO.

Tim Mentz.

Tim Mentz.

CANNON BALL, ND—The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed an emergency motion Sunday for a temporary restraining order to prevent further destruction of the Tribe’s sacred sites by Dakota Access Pipeline.

“On Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts,” Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said. “They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites. The desecration of these ancient places has already caused the Standing Rock Sioux irreparable harm. We’re asking the court to halt this path of destruction.”

After the initial destruction Saturday, Dakota Access Pipeline returned to the area and dug up additional grounds in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, Archambault said.

The motion seeks to prevent additional construction work on an area two miles west of North Dakota Highway 1806, and within 20 miles of Lake Oahe until a judge rules on the Tribe’s previous motion to stop construction.

That motion is based on the Standing Rock Sioux’s assertion that it was not properly consulted before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fast-tracked approval of the pipeline project.

A decision on the case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is expected by Sept. 9.

“Destroying the Tribe’s sacred places over a holiday weekend, while the judge is considering whether to block the pipeline, shows a flagrant disregard for the legal process,” said Jan Hasselman, attorney for the Standing Rock Sioux. “The Tribe has been seeking to vindicate its rights peacefully through the courts. But Dakota Access Pipeline used evidence submitted to the Court as their roadmap for what to bulldoze. That’s just wrong.”



  1. says

    So if they get a TRO does that mean it’s OK to hire private security to attack the guys operating the bulldozers? I bet blackwater’s too pricy but the name is so apposite.

  2. stellatree says

    I hope the TRO is issued, but I’m sick and sad for the loss that can not be made whole. Dakota Access is using disgusting tactics, I wish they had any sense of shame.

  3. rq says

    I hope the TRO is issued. I also hope that it will be enforced to the utmost, seeing as I don’t see the black snake wranglers being in any way decent enough to actually obey any kind of paperwork against their project. I don’t think they were home when shame was being shared out, as they say over here (Nebija mājās, kad kaunu dalīja.).

  4. says

    I think their tactic is clear: Just destroy the sacred grounds illegally so there is no longer any reason to protect them and just pay the fine (there’s probably a tax break in this somewhere).
    It’s a tactic often used when investors want some protected nature reserve: Just burn it down. After it’s been lost there’s no longer a reason not to build a golf course.

  5. says


    I think their tactic is clear: Just destroy the sacred grounds illegally so there is no longer any reason to protect them and just pay the fine (there’s probably a tax break in this somewhere).

    Yep. They did this the moment after the papers were filed, in an obvious attempt to remove one reason for the protest. I expect they thought people would just give up.

  6. Patricia Phillips says

    This is awful -- I am going to guess not illegal in ND? Is it possible the company(s) behind this bulldozing could even be fined?

  7. Crimson Clupeidae says

    In theory, Dakota access (which is a partnership of several companies) could be fined.

    That would entail enough people in the right places caring, though. I really really hope that all this bad press is enough to embarrass those with the political power to make a difference to actually step up and do so.

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