On a day that saw a large police action involving armored, military vehicles, pepper spray, high-velocity bean bags and tear gas employed against water protectors who had gathered to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, owned by Energy Transfer Partners, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign officials issued a formal statement addressing the conflict. The announcement, made on October 27, was written as a response to a letter Native leaders had sent to Secretary Clinton asking for her help.
Charlie Galbraith, serving as a Clinton advisor, shared the campaign’s official statement in an e-mail to ICTMN: “We received a letter today from representatives of the tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. From the beginning of this campaign, Secretary Clinton has been clear that she thinks all voices should be heard and all views considered in federal infrastructure projects. Now, all of the parties involved—including the federal government, the pipeline company and contractors, the state of North Dakota, and the tribes—need to find a path forward that serves the broadest public interest. As that happens, it’s important that on the ground in North Dakota, everyone respects demonstrators’ rights to protest peacefully, and workers’ rights to do their jobs safely.”
As ICTMN contributor Sarah Sunshine Manning reported this afternoon from the Treaty Camp, the newest camp set up by the water protectors directly in the pipeline’s path along Highway 1806. The police massed and pressed the protectors south, using piercing sirens, armored cars, and ATVs, while low flying planes and helicopters circled above. “Within minutes,” Manning said, “a large force of police arrived on both sides of the camp and surrounded about 400 to 500 water protectors.”
The Treaty Camp is named in reference to the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, which designated the land as belonging to the Great Sioux Nation. Despite the order to halt construction by three federal agencies, DAPL construction has encroached approximately 17 miles into the 20-mile voluntary exclusion zone.