Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Governor, Army Corps block deadline extension for Dakota pipeline protesters

Federal officials and North Dakota’s governor on Thursday refused to extend next week’s evacuation deadline for activists living in camps that have been a base for months for demonstrations against the multibillion-dollar Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Opponents of the 1,170-mile (1.882-km) line met with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officials representing Republican Governor Doug Burgum and the state Department of Transportation on Thursday morning, asking to be given more time to remove their belongings and waste from the camps.

In a statement on Thursday evening, Burgum and the Army Corps refused to extend next Wednesday’s deadline. Army Corps spokesman Ryan Hignight said contractors working for the agency would enter the camp as soon as they could.

“We’re not going to necessarily wait for the 22nd,” Hignight said.

Pipeline opponents say they fear fresh conflicts with law enforcement if Army Crops crews, including waste-removal personnel, are accompanied by police.

“It’s completely impossible to remove everything down there in that short of a time frame,” said Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “The people aren’t opposed to the help of the Army Corps, but it’s got to be without the presence of militarized law enforcement.”

The exchange came a day after Burgum ordered pipeline opponents to move off of land owned by the Army Corps, citing safety and environmental pollution concerns posed by spring snowmelt and rising water levels in the nearby Cannonball River.

Hignight warned that anyone still occupying Army Corps land after the deadline could face fines as high as $5,000 and six-month jail terms. About 700 pipeline opponents have been arrested since August 2016.

Environmentalists and Native Americans who have opposed the pipeline, saying it threatens water resources and sacred sites, have faced a series of setbacks since Republican President Donald Trump took office in January.

A federal judge on Monday denied a request by Native American tribes seeking to halt construction of the final link of the $3.8 billion pipeline after the Corps of Engineers granted a final easement to Energy Transfer Partners LP last week.

(Reporting by Terray Sylvester in Hood River, Ore.; Editing by Curtis Skinner and Peter Cooney)

Original Article
Author:  Reuters

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