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Native Americans ‘disappointed’ at judge’s ruling on Dakota pipeline

Members of a Native American tribe are “disappointed” with a federal judge’s decision to temporarily stop work on some, but not all, of a portion of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Dave Archambault II, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said Tuesday that the decision by US District Judge James Boasberg puts his people’s sacred places “at further risk of ruin and desecration.”

Boasberg said Tuesday that there will be no work between North Dakota’s State Highway 1806 and 32 kilometers east of Lake Oahe, but he added that work will restart west of the highway on Friday.

He said he would make the final decision by Friday on whether to grant the tribes’ larger opposition to the pipeline, which would require the US Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw permits for the project.

“We’re disappointed that some of the important sacred sites that we had found and provided evidence for will not be protected,” said attorney Jan Hasselman with Earthjustice, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of the tribe.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and a neighboring Native American tribe on Sunday asked the US District Court for the District of Columbia for a temporary restraining order against Dakota Access following violent protests.

Protesters, pictured walking toward work being done on the pipeline, also fear the Dakota Access Pipeline will pollute their water. (AFP photo)

Clashes erupted between protesters and security officers near the construction site over the weekend after bulldozers destroyed sacred tribal sites whose locations had been identified in court documents filed on Friday.

When the demonstrators urged the construction team to cease their operations, security personnel from the Energy Transfer showed up and started to spray them with mace onto while attacking them by trained dogs.

At least six protesters were viciously bitten by the canines and over 30 others were pepper-sprayed in the face.

The 1,100-mile (1,770-km) pipeline is a $3.7-billion project which would be the first to transport crude oil from Bakken shale, a vast oil formation in North Dakota, to refineries in the US Gulf Coast.


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