A militarized police force is outside Oceti Entrance. Photo from Facebook
Published February 22, 2017
CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA — With snow falling near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, estimates ranged from 75 to 150 water protectors who remained at the Oceti Sakowin encampment just prior to the 2:00 p.m.- Central Time evacuation deadline on Wednesday, February 22, 2017.
Some people are refusing to leave the encampment. Tipis, yurt and temporary wooden structures still remain. Law enforcement have stated that people who refuse to leave will be arrested and items left behind will be bulldozed.
As the deadline came and went, police huddled on Highway 1806 to discuss strategies how to evacuate the encampment.
“They chased me. I heard them say that only North Dakota journalists could be in the pool they chose,” said Jenni Monet (Laguna Pueblo), an independent journalists who has been embedded at Standing Rock for several months. “I told them there was a man from New York in their pool, and then one of the police starting chasing me down the road.”
Several Facebook livestreams, including one by Monet, have been on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. As the afternoon progressed, police began to arrests some journalists. Monet was arrested on February 1, 2017 and said she doesn’t want to get arrested today. However, Monet simply wants to do her job as a journalist.
Prior to the evacuation 2pm deadline, some scattered controlled fires were set to burn down wooden structures that were erected to shield water protectors from the bitter cold North Dakota winds. The smoke from the fires rose to the cloud covered skies.
The site of the largest gathering on American Indians in recent history, the Oceti Sakowin swelled to over 10,000 people at some times during the past several months. American Indians from over 350 tribal nations and allies from several points of the globe came to Standing Rock to show solidarity in their opposition of the Dakota Access pipeline.
A strongly militarized police force is dressed in riot gear and touting weapons are standing outside the main entrance to Oceti Sakowin.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as developments warrant.