— missmonet (@jennimonet) February 22, 2017
Protector efforts to thwart the development of the pipeline has been met with violence and surveillance by police. In order to track the Water Protectors, police and Energy Transfer Partners use helicopters, planes, and drones to photograph, monitor and harass. In some cases, the helicopters are used for more direct action against Water Protectors.
This nine-part series will illuminate the FAA’s complacency and the role the FAA’s concession played in the violence against Water Protectors. A listing of the other eight articles is at the bottom of this article.
The number of arrests surpassed 600 this week, as 16 were arrested Monday and Tuesday in confrontations near the camp.
The Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux also are fighting the pipeline work in court, with the next hearing set for Feb. 28. In the meantime, hundreds of pipeline opponents have continued to occupy a camp near the drilling site in North Dakota.
State and federal authorities have told the few hundred people remaining in the camp to leave by Wednesday (today). Authorities want the area cleaned and closed before spring floodwaters wash tons of trash and debris into nearby rivers, including the Missouri River, and cause an environmental disaster.
The tribe launched a cleanup effort in late January. The state and Corps were continuing Friday to try to line up additional contractors to speed up the work, according to Corps Capt. Ryan Hignight and Mike Nowatzki, spokesman for Gov. Doug Burgum.
“We’re running out of time,” Hignight said. “We need to ensure that the land is remediated as soon as possible.”
Some in camp think the flood fears are overblown and that authorities are trying to turn public sentiment against them.
“We’re all working hard to get the lower (flood-prone) grounds clear,” said Giovanni Sanchez, a Pennsylvania man who has been at the camp since November. “I think they’re just trying to find any reason to get us out of here.”
The latest spring flood outlook from the National Weather Service, issued Thursday, calls for minor flooding in the area. The outlook doesn’t include flood risks associated with river ice jams, which can’t be predicted.