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Archive for the tag “American Congress”

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responds to Energy Transfer Partners statement Tribe vows to explore all options to stop pipeline constrution (13.09.2016)

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North Dakota v. Amy Goodman: Arrest Warrant Issued After Pipeline Coverage (Youtube-Clip)

“In other Dakota Access pipeline news, last Thursday, Morton County, North Dakota, issued an arrest warrant for Amy Goodman. The charge: criminal trespass, a misdemeanor offense. The case, State of North Dakota v. Amy Goodman, stems from Democracy Now!’s coverage in North Dakota over the Labor Day weekend of the Native American-led protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. On Saturday, September 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the Dakota Access pipeline company using dogs and pepper spray to attack protesters” (Democracy Now, 2016)

Statement from Human Rights Observers incl. Kingi Snelgar, a Māori lawyer, at Ocheti Sakowin Camp on the ‘Dakota Access Pipeline’ (10.09.2016)

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Cheyenne River Sioux reacts to the D.C. Court Ruling today (09.09.2016)

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Joint Statement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior Regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (09.09.2016)

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Here the full text:

The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement regarding Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“We appreciate the District Court’s opinion on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act.  However, important issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other tribal nations and their members regarding the Dakota Access pipeline specifically, and pipeline-related decision-making generally, remain.  Therefore, the Department of the Army, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Interior will take the following steps.

The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can 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.  Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time.  The Army will move expeditiously to make this determination, as everyone involved — including the pipeline company and its workers — deserves a clear and timely resolution.  In the interim, we request that the pipeline company voluntarily pause all construction activity within 20 miles east or west of Lake Oahe.

“Furthermore, this case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes’ views on these types of infrastructure projects.  Therefore, this fall, we will invite tribes to formal, government-to-government consultations on two questions:  (1) within the existing statutory framework, what should the federal government do to better ensure meaningful tribal input into infrastructure-related reviews and decisions and the protection of tribal lands, resources, and treaty rights; and (2) should new legislation be proposed to Congress to alter that statutory framework and promote those goals.

“Finally, we fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely.  We urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.  Of course, anyone who commits violent or destructive acts may face criminal sanctions from federal, tribal, state, or local authorities.  The Departments of Justice and the Interior will continue to deploy resources to North Dakota to help state, local, and tribal authorities, and the communities they serve, better communicate, defuse tensions, support peaceful protest, and maintain public safety.

“In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites.  It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest.”

Press Release: Sarbanes Leads Nearly 100 Members of U.S. Congress in Calling for Hearings on Democracy Reform (21.04.2016)

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Members Highlight Bills That Would Repair and Restore Our Democracy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today lead close to 100 Members of Congress in calling on the Committee on House Administration and the House Judiciary Committee to hold hearings about reforms that will help restore American democracy and make the voices of everyday Americans heard in Congress.

“The two basic imperatives of a functioning democracy – the right to vote and the right to have your vote mean something – are under assault,” the Members wrote. “Spurred by the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder, partisan operatives in state legislatures are crafting new ways to limit Americans access to the ballot box. At the same time, the corrosive effect of big money on our political system – an effect exacerbated by the Citizens United decision – has left many Americans wondering whether their ballots can ever compete against the power of a privileged few.”

The Members asked the Chairmen of each committee to schedule hearings on the following bills:

  • The Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12)
  • The Government By the People Act (H.R. 20)
  • The Democracy for All Amendment (H.J.Res. 22)
  • The Automatic Voter Registration Act (H.R. 2694)
  • The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 (H.R. 2867)

The letter came shortly after thousands of people from all over the country joined each other on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress to fight big money in politics and return to a government of by and for the people.

A full copy of the letter can be viewed here.

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