Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

"On this day, and since the beginning, standing for the water: Joye Braun, Tania Aubid, Ladonna Allard," wrote the Indigenous Environmental Network. (Photo: Toni Cervantes via IEN/Twitter)

"On this day, and since the beginning, standing for the water: Joye Braun, Tania Aubid, Ladonna Allard," wrote the Indigenous Environmental Network. (Photo: Toni Cervantes via IEN/Twitter)

We Will 'Never Be Broken': Facing Imminent Eviction, Water Protectors Stand Their Ground

US Army Corps refuse to extend the Wednesday eviction deadline as Indigenous protectors plea for help

Lauren McCauley

Faced with an imminent evacuation deadline, Indigenous opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline are vowing to stand their ground despite threats of arrest and possible violence.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday refused to extend the Wednesday 2pm GMT deadline for the few hundred remaining water protectors to vacate the Oceti Sakowin camp, claiming that the camp is at risk of flooding. Representatives have asked for an extension, saying they can clear out without the Corps' help, but need more time.

Meanwhile, the activists say they are surrounded by law enforcement with reports of an increased presence of federal Bureau of Indian Affairs vehicles in the surrounding area.

"We have 48 hours before militarized law enforcement raid Oceti Sakowin camp. Elders and children need protection," states a video that was distributed on Monday by women from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

"After the deadline for February 22 at 2pm, we are all at risk of facing arrest, police brutality, federal charges and prison time," declares one of the women.

"In the history of colonization, they've always given us two options," said another. "Give up our land or go to jail, give up our rights or go to jail. And now, give up our water, or go to jail. We are not criminals."

The video concludes with a plea for other protectors and media to come to the camp before the forced evacuation, saying: "We need your help."

Throughout the months-long resistance effort, pipeline opponents have protested through legal channels as well as peaceful civil disobedience. In return, they have faced dog attacks, water cannons in subzero temperatures, and tear gas, in addition to arrest and trumped up charges.

But tensions have escalated since newly-elected President Donald Trump issued an executive order last month calling for the completion of the controversial pipeline, which the tribe says infringes on treaty rights, and threatens to pollute their water and that of 17 million Americans.

Many say that Wednesday could be the protectors' "last stand."

"They don't understand people are willing to die here," one 90-year-old woman told The Intercept, which on Tuesday published a separate video documenting the police build-up. "They don’t understand we will not back down. We have our ancestors with us and we are in prayer that Tunkashila (Great Spirit in Lakota) will guide us in our freedom."

Others described the situation on the ground as a "war zone," with police and snipers hovering on the perimeter of the camp.

In addition to the Indigenous protectors, U.S. military veterans have also returned to the camp and have vowed to "hold the line with our brothers and sisters in the spirit of peace and unity."

Updates on the unfolding situation are being shared with the hashtag #NoDAPL.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

House Progressives: 'When We Said These Two Bills Go Together, We Meant It'

"Moving the infrastructure bill forward without the popular Build Back Better Act risks leaving behind working people, families, and our communities."

Andrea Germanos ·


Wyden's New Billionaires Income Tax Plan Applauded as Step Toward Justice

"For too long, families have been denied basic supports... while billionaires evade taxes on obscene amounts of wealth. This dynamic is economically dangerous and morally unsustainable."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Tax Them All': Warren, Wyden Lead Push for Minimum Corporate Tax in Build Back Better Act

"Giant corporations have been exploiting tax loopholes for too long, and it's about time they pay their fair share to help run this country, just like everyone else," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Julia Conley ·


Brazil Senate Panel Backs Indictment of Bolsonaro for 'Terrifying' Covid-19 Crimes

"It is evident that the president of the republic is the main culprit for most of the more than 600,000 deaths."

Brett Wilkins ·


Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo