NBC finally covers the DAPL protests and interviews a local sheriff who says protesters are building pipe bombs, are trespassing and are causing violence — all of which are not true
The ongoing peaceful demonstrations by protesters at the Standing Rock reservation have amplified the local authorities’ use of pepper spray, batons and attacks dogs to scare off or inflict physical harm on protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.
Today, Sheriff Paul Laney of North Dakota told local NBC affiliate KFYR-TV that there were reports of pipe bombs being manufactured in the camps of the protesters, yet he is the only person who has made this claim thus far. He also said that protesters were lighting things on fire, and while there seems to have been some fires on the location, no word has come out yet as to who was responsible, or if the fires were intentional.
Laney claims he asked protesters to “get off the private property, let’s go back to your camps and talk,” however, protesters say he never said any such thing to them.
His full interview is below:
It’s important to note that Laney has a history of referring to himself and other police officers as “warriors” and that they are “being hunted”, according to Say Anything Blog’s Rob Port, despite 2015 being the safest years for police officers in the U.S.
Ongoing coverage of the protests today can be seen in the live FB feed from user Atsa E’sha Hoferer below:
Financial disclosure papers reveal Donald Trump invested in Energy Transfer Partners, operators of the controversial DAPL, while its CEO donated to Trump’s campaign
It just got harder to choose the lesser of two evils for most Americans on November 8th, and even worse for those in the progressive movement who were planning on voting Donald Trump to oust Hillary Clinton in the coming U.S. presidential election as Trump’s financial disclosure forms have revealed he has put his money where his mouth is on fossil fuels.
A growing movement against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has welcomed people from mostly progressive backgrounds to protest the construction site on the grounds that it violates the law governing the preservation of Native American land while also potentially damaging the local water supply and general environment in North Dakota. Despite the ongoing protest and a recommendation from the Department of Justice, the construction has continued as protesters are being rounded up, arrested or charged, amongst them actress Shaileen Woodley, journalist Amy Goodman, and none other than presidential candidate of the Green Party, Jill Stein.
But one thing many actors in the protest may not know is that they are also protesting against presidential candidate Donald Trump, who owns shares of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the operating company behind the construction. To make matters even more compelling for those who may have thought about voting Trump in protest against Clinton, Trump’s campaign in return has received over $100,000 in campaign contributions from ETP’s top executive, Kelcy Warren, who also tossed another $66k to the Republican National Committee.
The Guardian reports,
Trump is therefore indirectly linked to Dakota Access, a $3.8bn pipeline development that will funnel oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Trump has signaled his opposition to any restrictions on the development of oil, coal or gas, telling a crowd in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, last week that he would “lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks to allow these vital energy infrastructure projects to go ahead. We have roadblocks like you’ve never, ever seen – environmental blocks, structural blocks,” he said. “We are going to allow the Keystone pipeline and so many other things to move forwards. Tremendous numbers of jobs and good for our country.”
A North Dakota judge who oversaw the charges against Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman for participating in a riot at the DAPL protests threw out the case.
The veteran journalist has been reporting on issues
surrounding threatening American democracy for decades and has been no stranger to being arrested at demonstrations. However, as a journalist covering the protest of the Dakota Access Pipe Line construction in North Dakota the past two months, she was simply doing her job. Yet when police arrested a large array of protesters at the Native American land of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, they charged Goodman with “participating in a riot”. Today, however, the judge overseeing the case threw it out on grounds that it had no merit.
Goodman was not the only investigative reporter on the scene who had been arrested while covering the protest against the DAPL in North Dakota over the past month. Just a few days ago, a young documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg was arrested while filming demonstrators who shut down the tar sands pipelines in Wallhala, ND. Schlosberg is now facing three federal charges carrying a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison — just for doing her job.
Schlosberg is yet another journalist to be deprived of her right to freedom of the press at the now infamous Dakota Access Pipeline location in Walhalla, North Dakota where thousands of activists have been demonstrating.
On October 11, 2016, Schlosberg was arrested while filming protesters of the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. She was charged with conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service, which altogether carry a maximum of 45 years in prison.
Within two days, film director Josh Fox wrote an open letter to US President Barack Obama calling for her release, saying, “The actions of the North Dakota Police force are not just a violation of the climate, but a violation of the constitution.” The letter was co-signed by thirty celebrities, including Neil Young, Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, Frances Fisher, and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Fox also wrote that the young filmmaker had been held without access to a lawyer for 48 hours and had her footage taken by police as “evidence” in the fabricated case.
This event happened around the time that famed actress Shailene Woodley was also arrested, but a scarier event is the warrant out for the arrest of journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!. While Goodman isn’t a stranger to arrests during protests, the question surrounding the arrest of journalists remains clear: isn’t arresting a reporter who is simply recording an event as it unfolds the very definition of fascism? Ultimately, the objective is to shut down the reporting of the event, to suppress the reports of what really happened in order to control the information being consumed by the public. They did this in Nazi Germany in the 1940s and all throughout Eastern Europe in the first two thirds of the 20th century when communism got hold of the region.
Such actions by law enforcement come at a time when journalists all over are having trouble retaining their rights in order to do their job due to the strong influence wealthy politicians and corporations have over local police departments. The DAPL constructio, for example, not only has local law enforcement on their side, but private paramilitary police as well who have used attack dogs and pepper spray to deter protesters from stopping the pipeline from being built.
The construction of an oil pipeline across North Dakota’s Native American tribal land of Lake Oahe “will not go forward at this time”, according to a press release from the Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of Interior.
In a joint statement between the Department of Justice, Department of the Army and Department of Interior on Friday, the three offices of the United States government intervened in the Dakota Access pipeline fiasco. One federal judge had already failed to appeased the community, only upholding the decision to construct. However, the federal government said that it needs to evaluate “previous decisions” regarding the construction and that, in the meantime, all construction will be halted.
This hails as a victory for the scores of protesters who visited the site to show their support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota, whose lawsuit against the Corps of Engineers is responsible for today’s decision to halt construction. The tribe says that the Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consult it before granting permits that allowed construction of the pipeline that began earlier this summer about a half mile north of the tribe’s reservation in North Dakota. What’s more is that the pipeline could actually hurt the drinking water supply, yet the Dakota Access company said that it followed standard procedure and no harm has been intended.
The statement from the federal government explains that the three departments fully intend to include all Native American tribes in discussions regarding changes to the country’s infrastructure moving forward:
“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.”
One of the main issues regarding constructions like Dakota Access is that the corporations responsible for the constructions are using the often slow legal process to their advantage, continuing construction while lawsuits are in play, until ordered by a judge to cease construction either temporarily or permanently. This gives the corporation an advantage, where so much construction could have already taken place. At the same time, it doesn’t change the fact that there is a moral question at hand that is being ignored by corporate greed.