Standing Rock Sioux Ask Court to Halt Dakota Access Pipeline Construction

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has joined a motion filed Thursday by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe seeking a temporary restraining order to stop construction of the final section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which began earlier this week.

In a declaration filed with the motion, Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault, II, writes that it is "vitally important to our people that our rights be heard by this Court before Dakota Access drills under Lake Oahe."

He writes of the "terrible misdeeds and abuse" the Tribe has suffered in its dealings with the federal government," a pattern he says "continued with respect to the Dakota Access pipeline," until the Army, in the waning says of the Obama administration, determined that the tribe's concerns had merit and ordered an environmental impact statement that would explore alternative routes for the pipeline.

"That step suggested, perhaps for the first time ever, that the voices of the Tribe do matter and that the federal government was willing to at least consider, in a meaningful way, our rights," Archambault wrote. "The decision ... signified a recognition that we have a right to be heard."

On Wednesday, however, the Army Corps of Engineers granted an easement to the developer of the four-state crude oil project, allowing it to install the last stretch of the 1,172-mile pipeline. Part of this 1.25-mile section will run under Lake Oahe, just upstream of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. The Army also cancelled the environmental impact review.

The tribe's attorney, Jan Hasselman, told ABC News that the Corps' decision to grant the easement was a "bow to political pressure."

Whatever the names are on the lawsuit, Hasselman said, "this is about Trump's reversal of an action meant to protect the tribe."

President Trump signed a presidential memorandum aimed at advancing approval of the pipeline, on January 24th, declaring that its completion was in the national interest.

"I don't even think it was controversial," President Trump said of his decision during informal remarks at the White House earlier this week. He made no mention of the months of protests and legal challenges that have surrounded the pipeline project.

"I haven't had one call. Usually if I do something, it's like bedlam. I haven't had one call, from anybody," the president said. "I think everybody is going to be happy in the end."

But Archambault says in the new court filing, that the decision show the federal government is once again breaking promises and ignoring interests of Indigenous people, and he is asking the Court to step in.

"Having come this far, there will be a deep and harmful impact on us if we are told that, not only has the Army changed its mind, but that the Court will not hear us until after the drilling is done and the oil is flowing," Archambault writes. "If that happens, it would reinforce the deeply held understanding that the historic wrongs committed by the United States against us will continue and that our voices will not be heard in ways that matter by those who have the power to stop the harm to our people."

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which had previously joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s lawsuit against the pipeline, filed a motion Thursday morning at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a temporary restraining order "to halt construction and drilling" under and on either side of the land surrounding Lake Oahe. The tribe argued that the pipeline "will desecrate the waters upon which Cheyenne River Sioux tribal members rely for their most important religious practices and therefore substantially burden the free exercise of their religion," according to court documents obtained by ABC News.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, which is part of the Great Sioux Nation, requested that the judge immediately issue a temporary restraining order to stop construction, with a hearing to be held at the court’s earliest convenience.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe filed a separate motion seeking a preliminary injunction directing the Army Corps to withdraw the easement issued to the pipeline company Wednesday. The tribe alleges that the easement granted is “entirely unlawful” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, according to the court documents.

The joint motion from the tribes is scheduled to be heard Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

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Protests erupt from Boston to California as Confederate monument tensions boil over

Protests erupt from Boston to California as Confederate monument tensions boil overSpencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The weekend after a white nationalist rally collapsed into chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to the alleged murder of an anti-racism activist, protests erupted across the country against white supremacy, racism and the presence of Confederate monuments.

Boston, Massachusetts

Tens of thousands counterprotesting a rally purporting to be about free speech swarmed Boston on Saturday, leading to a few conflicts with police and widespread attention from traditional and social media.

A total of 33 arrests were made Saturday in Boston, primarily resulting from disorderly conduct and alleged assaults against police officers, the Boston Police Department said. Police indicated that some demonstrators were throwing rocks and bottles of urine, but that did not represent the majority of participants, according to Police Commissioner William Evans.

"99.9 percent of the people here were for the right reasons" and participated peacefully, Evans said.

Dallas, Texas

Thousands of demonstrators gathered around the area of Dallas City Hall Saturday at a rally calling for unity, according to ABC affiliate WFAA-TV.

More than a dozen activists, politicians and faith leaders spoke prior to a candlelight vigil, the affiliate reported.

Tensions were high near Confederate War Memorial Park, where calls have been growing to remove statues commemorating Civil War veterans who fought for the Confederacy, WFAA-TV reported.

Cotton candy and caramel apples for sale for $3 in the middle of this protest against Dallas' Confederate War Memorial.

— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) August 20, 2017

Monuments commemorating the Confederacy on public land "must be and will be removed," Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway said at a Friday press conference, which featured black members of Dallas's City Council, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Kevin Felder, one of the City Council members, said "taxpayer dollars should not support vestiges of racism and white supremacy," in reference to the statues, while speaking at Friday's press conference.

Five people were detained during Saturday’s rally and then released without charges, the Dallas Police Department told ABC News.

Memphis, Tennessee

Six demonstrators were arrested in Memphis following a rally to remove a monument to Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slavetrader and lieutenant general who served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, according to ABC affiliate WATN-TV.

The monument has become a flashpoint of tension between anti-racism activists, who covered it with anti-racist signs on Saturday, and those who seek to protect the history of the Confederacy.

Gene Andrews, a caretaker for Nathan Bedford Forrest's boyhood home and a participant in the white nationalist rally that took place in Charlottesville last week, told the Tennessean newspaper that tensions over the monuments were building.

"I think people have had enough," Andrews told the paper. "Somewhere there’s going to be a line drawn. And if it’s a war that’s coming, so be it."

Our beloved @tamisawyer and other activists calling on @MayorMemphis remove Confederate statues. #TakeEmDown901

— Broderick Greer (@BroderickGreer) August 16, 2017

Atlanta, Georgia

Hundreds of groups gathered in Centennial Olympic Park on Saturday in Atlanta to march against racism and hate, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

The march ended at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the affiliate reported.

Hundreds of anti-racism marchers quietly filing into Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta. #Charlottesville

— Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) August 20, 2017

Indianapolis, Indiana

Anthony Ventura, a 30-year-old man, was arrested after police said he damaged the Confederate statue with a hammer, according to ABC affiliate WRTV.

Laguna Beach, California

In Laguna Beach on Saturday, a group of about 300 demonstrators met for a pre-emptive response to a far-right rally planned for that day, the Los Angeles Times reported. At the rally, participants planned to call attention to victims of crimes committed by immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

Thank you to Saturday's rally at Main Beach for staying peaceful while expressing your First Amendment rights. #LagunaBeach

— Laguna Beach Police (@LagunaBeachPD) August 19, 2017

Saturday’s gathering of counterprotesters, which was set up to show solidarity and strength, was officially called “From Charlottesville to Laguna Beach: We Stand Together.” Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman helped organize the event and spoke to the crowd on Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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