When a pro-pipeline industry website writes to “expect the Dakota Access pipeline protest to grow and breathe new life into the American anti-energy infrastructure movement,” you know that people power is really working. And that’s exactly what happened this morning with the publication of a piece by Markham Hislop on the blog North American Energy News.
It was a bad idea to ignore the historical significance of the burial site they bulldozed.
Don’t take my word for it. Mark Trahant, a University of North Dakota journalism professor, has been covering the protest since the story erupted over the Labour Day weekend, when security guards set attack dogs on Standing Rock Sioux protestors angry that the construction company bulldozed a tribal burial site.
It was probably a bad idea to prosecute journalists covering the protests
Left-leaning journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now was arrested and charged with misdemeanor rioting, dropped on Monday by a North Dakota judge, for filming the dog attacks on the protestors. Other protestors have been charged with increasingly severe crimes. But “by increasing the criminal statute, it makes prosecution less feasible,” says Trahant. “For example, pulling a riot charge, if you’re able to get a conviction that certainly would be something that could dampen the enthusiasm. But already they’re losing on the criminal trespass so it’s even going to be more difficult to prove the more severe charges.”
The Energy Industry has no idea what it’s even dealing with
Industry has “a fundamental misunderstanding of civil disobedience. They keep seeing this is a First Amendment issue,” says Trahant. “They haven’t quite figured that out yet.”