Authorities Must Protect Peaceful Protest Following Ruling on Dakota Access Pipeline

Press Release
September 9, 2016

Authorities Must Protect Peaceful Protest Following Ruling on Dakota Access Pipeline

While a federal court has ruled construction on a disputed pipeline in North Dakota can go forward, authorities must continue to protect the right to peaceful protest.

“Authorities have a duty to protect the rights of Indigenous peoples, including their right to peacefully protest,” said Tarah Demant, a senior director with Amnesty International USA. “It is the responsibility of the police to ensure the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression.”

Members of Indigenous communities from across the country have gathered in recent weeks at construction sites for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the border of North and South Dakota, close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Tribe intends to appeal today’s decision.

Following the Court’s ruling, the U.S. government announced that it would suspend construction in the area pending a review of the land in order to determine “whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws.”