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Winter is coming for Dakota Access protesters

Published by
World Pipelines,

Protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline project are settling in for winter, as the Standing Rock Sioux's tribal council agreed to make tribal land available and permanent structures to be built for protection against the cold.

On Tuesday 18 October, the Standing Rock Sioux's tribal council voted 8-5 to use the reservation land as a base for protesters of the US$3.8 billion crude oil pipeline to reside for the winter.

Tribal Chairman, Dave Archambault II, stated: "The cold is coming and the snow is coming. It makes sense to be proactive and not reactive."

Approximately 500 - 2000 people are camping on the tribal site at a time. And while many are determined to wait out the winter, some still have reservations.

Andy Kilchrist from South Louisiana said: “My circulation in my hands and my feet – in fact you can see it already it’s red – and there’s nothing I’m going to do to improve my circulation. So at some point soon, I’m going to have a slight case of frostbite. And when that happens, I leave.”

However, Protest Organiser and part of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in South Dakota, Cody Hall, explained: "Some people might move but I don't think the majority of them will.”

Kyle Kirchmeier, Morton County Sheriff, also supports moving the original pipeline camp to the tribal reservation, as protestors are currently trespassing on government land. He agreed: “It is a good move and gesture ... by the council to make that decision to try to get those individuals back onto tribal land.”

Eileen Williamson, Corps spokeswoman, showed support of the tribe’s choice to make the land open to those protesting the pipeline.

"We have been in communication with the chairman and he has expressed his concern for life, health and safety. If people chose not to move, they are there at their own risk."

Daphne Singingtree, Herbalist at the camp, concluded simply: “We are going to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline in this area. I’m confident in that. We all might go to [pipeline’s construction sites in] Iowa next.”

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