On Nov. 1, the Standing Rock Tribal Council voted to set aside $200,000 for a class action lawsuit against law enforcement. The same tribe that has put the State of North Dakota almost $10 million in debt because of their actions now wants to target those trying to keep the peace.
Chairman Archambault and other members of the Standing Rock Tribal Council have pushed back on past assertions that they have lost control of those protesting in their name and maintain that all actions are “peaceful and prayerful.” The simple fact is that a growing number of these protests aren’t peaceful or prayerful, but rather serious and disruptive threats to a local community already on edge. This has only been made worse by the failure of tribal leaders to forcefully condemn violence and destruction of private property.
Most recently, protesters were caught illegally blocking a state highway, trespassing on private property, and vandalizing construction equipment at a Dakota Access worksite south of Mandan. When authorities arrived, protesters proceeded to slash the tires of several law enforcement vehicles and approach officers in a threatening manner.
Last week’s standoff is only the latest in a string of violent, destructive acts that have defined the month’s long protest and lead to over 400 arrests. Professional agitators have set fires, slaughtered livestock, fired at gun at law enforcement officers, burned a bridge, terrorized journalists, and repeatedly trespassed on private property. (All this in a ‘peaceful and prayerful manner of course.)
Now, instead of attempting to take corrective measures and regain control, tribal leadership wants to attack the same men and women who are putting their lives on the line to ensure the safety of all. With actions like this, it is no wonder that the credibility of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe rapidly eroding.