As the Army Corps of Engineers forcibly evicted the last of the remaining water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin protest camp on Thursday, Indigenous opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) made it clear that their expulsion would not be the end of the fight.
"Our hearts are not defeated. The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning," said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).
Observing the the expulsion "is a continuation of a centuries old practice, where the U.S. government forcefully removes Indigenous people from our lands and territories," Goldtooth urged supporters to continue to resist through mass mobilizations, distributed actions, openly speaking out against treaty violations, and raising funds for litigation and grassroots organization.
Similarly, Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the environmental watchdog organization Food & Water Watch, said that while allies are "angered by the use of overwhelming force to clear peaceful water protectors from the Standing Rock camps...we are more determined than ever to provide solidarity and support to indigenous communities across the country that are resisting dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure projects near their homes."
"The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline will continue in the courts and in the streets," Hauter added. "And our fight against the dirty, polluting, profit-driven fossil fuel industry will continue to grow in strength and determination from coast to coast," she vowed.