Journalist Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! filmed a group of security guards attacking Native Americans protesting the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota, and now a warrant has been issued for her arrest.
“This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press. I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”
Goodman was covering the pipeline protest in North Dakota when private security guards attacked a group of Native American protestors with dogs and pepper spray; she filmed the event, and the video went viral. Now, a warrant has been issued for her arrest charging her with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor.
Amy Goodman is 100% innocent. Any charges against her are illegitimate on arrival. She deserves all of our support. https://t.co/ZIHe8tYpWR
— John Iadarola (@johniadarola) September 11, 2016
Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline, bulldozed over more than two dozen graves and other artifacts considered sacred by Native Americans last weekend. In response, protestors crossed a fire fence onto private property, where they were confronted by private security guards with dogs.
The ensuing chaos resulted with injuries on both sides and reports by protestors they were attacked by dogs, which Goodman documented in her video.
Police have also issued warrants for the arrest of Green Party candidate Jill Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka for their actions at the North Dakota pipeline protest.
Stein and Baraka were filmed spray-painting pipeline construction equipment and have been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief, according to a statement Stein released to The Hill. She plans to return to North Dakota to answer the charges.
“I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs.”
Stein didn’t dispute the account, but denied she committed any criminal activity and instead referred to her actions at the pipeline protest as civil disobedience, according to her campaign website.
“This would be another deadly blow to a climate teetering on the brink. It cannot be allowed to go forward.”
Native Americans have been protesting the construction of the Dakota Access for months and now thousands have gathered from tribes across America to face down police, security guards, and construction workers.
They argue the $3.7 billion pipeline, slated to run 1,100 miles through four states and across four large rivers, endangers their drinking water supply and the safety of millions of Americans living downstream. They’re also protesting the placement of the pipeline, which will cross land they consider to be sacred.
Last week, a federal judge denied a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to temporarily halt construction on the pipeline, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to support their claim it would harm the tribe.
The Army, along with the Departments of Justice and Interior, jumped into the fray almost immediately after the judge’s decision with an announcement they will order a halt to construction on federal land around Lake Oahe.
They also asked Dakota Access, the company building the pipeline, to voluntarily halt construction within 20 miles of the area in a statement released to Think Progress.
“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.”
Construction elsewhere on the pipeline, which is about 48 percent complete, will continue. It’s slated move 570,000 barrels of oil everyday in a clear comparison to the Keystone XL pipeline, which Obama vetoed.
North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple ordered National Guard troops to the Sacred Stone Camp Thursday.
Should journalists covering protests be charged with trespassing when they follow activists onto private property in order to cover the news?
(AP Photo/James MacPherson)