CANNON BALL, N.D. (Reuters) – Tribal leaders protesting the building of a controversial North Dakota pipeline vowed to fight U.S. President Donald Trump's order to revive the $3.8 billion project, calling his decision a "bad move."
Protesters have rallied for months against intends to route the Dakota Access pipeline within lake on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying it threatened water resources and sacred Native American sites.
The tribe, containing fought to quit the pipeline since last year, won a primary victory a few weeks ago as soon as the government denied Energy Transfer Partners LP the right to run the pipeline under Lake Oahe, a water source upstream from your reservation.
Trump's order instructed the Army as well as the Army Corps of Engineers to analyze it.
The Republican president also signed a purchase order reviving the C$8 billion ($6.1 billion) Keystone XL pipeline project, that was rejected in 2019 by then-President Obama.
As one small airplane circled over the main protest camp on the Dakota Access pipeline , the mood following White House's announcement was calm but defiant.
“I’m staying here,” Benjamin Buffalo, a 45-year-old Blackfeet tribal member from Browning, Montana, told a reporter. “I’m standing with the natives. This is our future.”
Buffalo is at the camp since August, when tensions did start to surface between authorities officers and protesters, who were backed by Fashion followers, veterans along with activists.
The tribe had recently essential protesters to depart right after the Army Corps of Engineers opted for an environmental review recently, saying the battle had moved beyond the camp and into your courts or back rooms for negotiations together with the government.
The tribe also warned that your camp itself might contaminate the stream if hit by heavy flooding in March, when waters are anticipated to raise.
On Tuesday, Standing Rock leaders said they would meet in the coming days to plan next steps. Some said they feared fresh violence after past clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials officers.
Dana Yellow Fat, Standing Rock Sioux tribal council member in particular, called Trump's order "a bad decision along with a bad move" and said he concerned with injuries if new violence broke out.
“Now you are likely to see both parties gear up for even more actions on the ground because you have a group of people that is definitely determined to stop that pipeline regardless,” he told Reuters.
Yellow Fat said he was unsure if thez tribe would retreat in the ask for protesters to exit the camping ground, but said Trump's order has prompted "a full re-evaluation of your recent actions."
Since the exit from the Standing Rock Sioux, the camp has been less organized, without the need of regular sunrise prayers and communal kitchens that now only serve food sporadically. Using some spots, tents are buried under snow in addition to being many as 60 cars have already been abandoned.
Tribal officials expect the cleanup within the site to take of a month.
The Morton County Sheriff's Department urged activists to keep peaceful in light of Trump's order and said we were looking at bracing for the possible resurgence in protests.
“We’re be prepared for anything that might come,” department spokeswoman Maxine Herr said. “We still monitor the circumstance.”
She declined to talk about whether additional officers will be sent to the protest site.
Morton County spokesman Rob Keller on Monday said police didn’t have intends to forcibly remove people from the campsite, where protesters now number 500 to 600, down through the nearly 10,000 once there.
Many in the camp, a variety of them individuals Native American tribes utilizing areas, had already planned to disregard the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's call to leave out, saying slowing the pipeline weren’t over.
Forest Borie, 33, of Magalia, California, said the protest will simply become more intense.
"Our struggle to protect planet earth is receiving more serious, and the stakes are becoming higher, said Borie, who have been with the camp since early November.