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Human Rights

The entire nuclear fuel chain involves the release of radioactivity, contamination of the environment and damage to human health. Most often, communities of color, indigenous peoples or those of low-income are targeted to bear the brunt of these impacts, particularly the damaging health and environmental effects of uranium mining. The nuclear power industry inevitably violates human rights. While some of our human rights news can be found here, we also focus specifically on this area on out new platform, Beyond Nuclear International.

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Thursday
Feb232017

The Indigenous Environment Network Responds to Forced Evacuation of DAPL Resistance Camps

IEN press release:

Media Contacts:
Jade Begay, jade@ienearth.org, 505-699-4791
Nina Smith, nina@megaphonestrategies.com, 301-717-9006

We apologize for incorrectly identifying 7th Generation Camp as Four Bands camp and have made the correction in the text below.

CANNON BALL, N.D.-- At  2 pm CT on February 22, 2017, water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin camp were evicted by the Army Corps of Engineers. Despite efforts from camp leaders requesting more time to clean up the camp, the Army Corp remained firm with its plans to vacate the camp. The Army Corp claims jurisdiction of the land that the camp is located on even though the land is within the unceded Fort Laramie Treaty land and territories.

Individuals who voluntarily left camp prior to 2 o’clock had the choice to take a bus to be transported to an evacuation center, or relocate to other campsites outside of the eviction zone. Water protectors remaining in the camp now face risk of arrest.

There are three other campsites in the area for water protectors to relocate to: Sacred Stone, Cheyenne River, and 7th Generation camps.

Various law enforcement jurisdictions were on site including Morton County Sheriff's, North Dakota State Highway Patrol and the North Dakota National Guard and National Park Service Rangers. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement established a traffic checkpoint and barricade on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, on Highway 1806, to the south of the Cannonball River bridge.

The following is a statement by Tom Goldtooth, the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network:

"We are appalled by today’s forced evacuations of indigenous people at the Camp at Standing Rock, they are a violent and unnecessary infringement on the constitutional right of water protectors to peacefully protest and exercise their freedom of speech. It hinders the camp cleanup process and creates confusion and chaos that puts the Missouri River at risk of pollution from construction and camping debris.

“Today’s expulsion is a continuation of a centuries old practice, where the U.S. Government forcefully removes Indigenous people from our lands and territories. We urge supporters of the water protectors to continue to resist this travesty by organizing mass mobilizations, distributed actions, speaking out against the violations of the Treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation, and continuing to source up the capacity for litigation and grassroots organizing against the Dakota Access pipeline.

“Our hearts are not defeated. The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started. It burns within each of us. We will rise, we will resist, and we will thrive. We are sending loving thoughts to the water protectors along the banks of the Cannonball River, today. May everyone be as safe as can be. #noDAPL”

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Tuesday
Feb212017

Standing Rock: Water Protectors Face Feb. 22 Evacuation Deadline

As reported by Democracy Now! headline news:

In North Dakota, water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp are facing an evacuation deadline Wednesday, as the fight continues against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum ordered the evacuation. Water protectors are currently cleaning up the Oceti Sakowin camp, ahead of the anticipated seasonal flooding of the area. Some water protectors are asking for more time to continue the cleanup.

[See Democracy Now!'s regular reporting on DAPL and related matters, extending back many months.]

Monday
Feb202017

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: The EIS has been registered. Now we need your help!

[Feb. 9 update: although President Trump and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have arbitrarily cancelled the public comment proceeding on the Environmental Impact Statement, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and numerous environmental groups listed below are still gathering comments, likely with plans to deliver them, as best they can, to incalcitrant federal officials. As Democracy Now! reported on this morning's news headlines, a group of military veterans standing with Standing Rock hand delivered 200,000 comments to the U.S. Army Corps' Manhattan HQ yesterday, even after the Trump administration declared the EIS proceeding null and void! So yes indeed, please keep submitting comments, per the links and instructions below!]

On Jan. 23, 2017, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe issued the following action alert:

Dear Water Protectors:

On January 18th, the Department of the Army published in the Federal Register its Notice of Intent to require an Environmental Impact Statement.

This is another small victory in defeating the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline.

The fight, however, is still not over.

While the EIS is exactly what we called for, we must ensure that it fully takes into consideration tribal treaty rights, natural resources, cultural and sacred places, socio-economical concerns, and environmental justice.

We need your continued support as this process moves forward.

Submit a comment to the Civil Works Division, and help us show the Army that #MillionsStandWithStandingRock

Click HERE to submit a comment.

Thursday
Feb162017

Standing Rock Sioux Sue for Halt to Dakota Access Pipeline

As reported by Democracy Now! headline news:

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has filed a fresh legal challenge to the Dakota Access pipeline, asking a federal judge in Washington, D.C., to block an easement allowing construction on the final leg of the $3.8 billion project. Tuesday’s lawsuit came a day after a judge threw out a separate legal challenge calling for a temporary restraining order against construction. The legal fight came as a top executive with the company building the Dakota Access pipeline on Wednesday compared his opponents to terrorists. In a written statement submitted to Congress, Energy Transfer Partners Executive Vice President Joey Mahmoud accused water protectors of violence and blasted them for shutting down pipeline pumping stations. Mahmoud wrote, "Had these actions been undertaken by foreign nationals, they could only be described as acts of terrorism."

[See Democracy Now!'s regular reporting on DAPL and related matters, extending back many months.]

Monday
Feb132017

Standing Rock: Indigenous Women's Gathering Planned for Feb. 18-19

As reported by Democracy Now! headline news:

Water protectors are organizing an Indigenous Women’s Gathering for next weekend, February 18 and 19, at the main Oceti Sakowin resistance camp. Meanwhile, activists in Bellingham, Washington, shut down Interstate 5 on Saturday as a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline.

[See Democracy Now!'s regular reporting on DAPL and related matters, extending back many months.]