Heavily Armed Sheriffs Raid New Camp at Standing Rock, North Dakota

Sheriffs approach "Last Child Camp" Photo Ryan Vizzions

Heavily armed police and sheriffs surrounded a camp at Standing Rock about noon Wednesday. The camp known as the “The Last Child's Camp", sits on top of a hill west of the main Oceti Sakown Camp, and south of the bridge on Highway 1806 that police have blockaded for the past three months.

Sheriff and police humvees on Hwy 1806, Standing Rock, Photo: Riley Redhorse

Police moved in mid-day with Humvees and armored vehicles, armed with automatic weapons, gas, clubs and shotguns. Live stream feeds on Facebook reported that the police say they will not enter the main camp of Oceti Sakowin, only the expansion camp on top of the hill. After removing the barricades on the bridge, the police moved directly outside the main gate to Oceti Sakown. At least 40 people were arrested including the lawyer, Chase Iron Eyes. (https://www.facebook.com/LakotaPeoplesLawProject/?fref=nf

Looking up hill to main gate to Oceti Sakowin, Sherrifs on ridge top and road, Photo: Riley Redhorse

The Sheriff of Morton County has refused to remove the blockade on the nearby bridge, despite pleas from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that it costs them millions of dollars in lost revenue for their businesses, and blocks the tribe’s access to the main hospital in Bismarck, ND 50 miles away.

The Sheriff will not allow anyone to walk onto the bridge. A new sign announces that standing on this public bridge is “Trespassing”. Loudspeakers mounted in Sheriff’s armored cars will instruct people to move away if they approach the concrete barricades. A camp on the hill just west of Highway 1806 would provide a clear view of that bridge and the police activity on the northern side.

Water Protectors face off against Sheriffs and police below new camp at Standing Rock. Photo: Riley Redhorse

The main camp, known as Oceti Sakowin, is just east of Highway 1806, below the hill where the new camp is located. People in Oceti Sakowin will have to move in order to avoid spring flooding from the Cannon Ball River. Any structures or tents left on the flat ground near the river risk being flooded when the ice in the river starts to thaw. As a result of the potential floods, camps have started to move to higher ground in the surrounding area.