Anti-pipe­line graf­fiti de­faces World War II me­mo­rial in D.C.

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY VA­LERIE RICHARD­SON

The North Dakota pil­lar of the Na­tional World War II Me­mo­rial in Washington, D.C., has been spray-painted with anti-pipe­line graf­fiti, prompt­ing the state’s con­gress­man to call for the Stand­ing Rock Sioux tribe to de­nounce the van­dal­ism.

The hash­tag #NoDAPL was found writ­ten in black paint last week be­low the “North Dakota” in­scrip­tion on the me­mo­rial in Washington. The mes­sage refers to the Dakota Ac­cess pipe­line pro­ject.

The Stand­ing Rock Sioux, whose reser­va­tion strad­dles North and South Dakota, is lead­ing a protest with na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal groups against the Dakota Ac­cess oil pipe­line, which has drawn thou­sands of ac­tivists to the con­struc­tion site near Can­non Ball, North Dakota.

“Time for tribal lead­ers to de­nounce these law­less acts,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota Repub­li­can, said on Twit­ter.

Na­tional Park Ser­vice spokesman Mike Lit­terst said the van­dal­ism was dis­cov­ered last Mon­day and that U.S. Park Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

The graf­fiti has been treated once by the ser­vice’s preser­va­tion spe­cial­ists and will re­quire sev­eral more treat­ments, Mr. Lit­terst said.

“There are cur­rently no se­cu­rity cam­eras at the World War II Me­mo­rial,” Park Po­lice Sgt. Anna Rose said in a state­ment. “[Park Po­lice] per­son­nel are in the process of get­ting cam­eras in­stalled there, though not as a re­sult of this van­dal­ism.”

More than 400 peo­ple have been ar­rested, mainly for tres­pass­ing and ri­ot­ing on pri­vate land owned by the pipe­line com­pany, since the protest be­gan Aug. 10. An es­ti­mated 1,500 to 2,500 pro­test­ers are camping out near the site, in­clud­ing on Army Corps of Engi­neers land.

Pro­test­ers have called for the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion to stop the pipe­line, say­ing it en­dan­gers the tribe’s wa­ter qual­ity and sa­cred sites.

The pipe­line’s sup­port­ers ar­gue that such con­cerns were ad­dressed dur­ing the per­mit­ting process.

Con­struc­tion re­cently was com­pleted on the pipe­line lead­ing up to Lake Oahe, which falls under the corps’ ju­ris­dic­tion. The corps has said it will not re­lease the fi­nal per­mit un­til it com­pletes a re­view of the tribal con­sul­ta­tion process.

The Stand­ing Rock Sioux have made no public com­ment about the van­dal­ism.

“This is so un­for­tu­nate, and so un­nec­es­sary, and so be­yond any­thing hav­ing to do with a pipe­line,” said Rob Port, a North Dakota ra­dio talk show host and au­thor of the SayAny­thing blog.

The North Dakota Public Ser­vice Com­mis­sion an­nounced that it would pur­sue a $15,000 fine against Dakota Ac­cess LLC for fail­ing to no­tify the panel for 10 days af­ter dis­cov­er­ing rock stacks, or cairns, and other ar­ti­facts along the pipe­line route.

The con­struc­tion team did re­act to the dis­cov­ery by stop­ping work, no­ti­fy­ing the State His­toric Preser­va­tion Of­fice, bring­ing in an ar­chae­ol­o­gist, and devel­op­ing an al­ter­nate route to avoid the site, ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion.

The protest has drawn sup­port from celebri­ties such as the Rev. Jesse Jack­son, for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Al Gore and ac­tress Shai­lene Wood­ley.

Lo­cals have com­plained about fre­quent road­blocks, school clo­sures, fires and harm to live­stock stem­ming from the protests.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.