The Standing Rock Sioux tribal council has voted to ask a camp known for its militant anti-pipeline protesters to pack their bags while also preparing for a possible lawsuit against law enforcement.
The minutes from the council’s Nov. 1 meeting posted online this week show that the panel voted 10-0 “to ask Red Warrior Camp to leave,” an apparent sign of the tribe’s uneasiness with the increasingly aggressive tactics used by some activists fighting the Dakota Access pipeline.
At the same time, the council voted to set aside $200,000 for a “possible class action lawsuit” and raise funds with the Oneida tribe for “possible civil litigation stemming from alleged law enforcement civil rights violations.”
Not known is whether the council has contacted the Red Warrior Camp, which has a reputation as the most confrontational of the four large makeshift gatherings of tents and tipis set up near Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
So far, the Red Warrior Camp has shown no sign of exiting, staying active on social media and crowdfunding sites.
The camp’s official GoFundMe page had raised about $192,000 as of late Tuesday, including contributions within the previous 24 hours from about 40 donors.
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The Red Warrior Camp, which uses the logo of a raised fist, described itself on YouTube as “a collective of folks who believe in meeting their prayers halfway through Nonviolent Direct Action to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
This isn’t the first time the tribe has confronted the camp. Former Red Warrior spokesman Cody Hall said he was asked to step down a day after an Oct. 27 melee during which protesters blocked roads, set fires along roads and bridges, and threw Molotov cocktails and debris at law enforcement.
Frank Archambault, part of the security team for the main Oceti Sakowin Camp, told Forum News Service last month that the elders had asked him to “get a grip” on the violence threatening to overwhelm the tribe’s call for a “peaceful and prayerful protest.”
“We are not condoning anything like that,” Mr. Archambault said. “We are trying to get a hold of the radicals and get them dismissed.”
Two days after the Oct. 27 clash, Standing Rock chairman David Archambault II said at a news conference that he was considering legal action in response to officers in riot gear using pepper spray, beanbag rounds and a “sound cannon” to disperse protesters blocking the pipeline route on private land.
“It’s just wrong to use that kind of force on innocent people,” Mr. Archambault said in the MintPress News.
About 500 arrests have been made since Aug. 10, including 25 on Tuesday after hundreds of activists blocked a train track with a car and debris, and then attempted to set the barricade on fire, according to the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.
As many as 2,500 protesters have answered the tribe’s call to “stand with Standing Rock” against the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline project over concerns about water quality and historic tribal relics.
The $3.8 billion pipeline, designed to transport about 500,000 barrels of oil each day from the Bakken Formation to Illinois, is finished in North Dakota except for a 1,100-foot stretch that is the subject of a dispute between the Obama administration and Energy Transfer Partners.