The standoff between law-enforcement officials and environmentalists determined to stall completion of the Dakota Access crude oil pipeline turned violent late Sunday night. About 400 protesters set two trucks on fire near Cannon Ball, South Dakota (which sits on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation), and when sheriff’s deputies moved in to quell the accelerating riot they were met with a rain of rocks and flaming logs. At least one officer was struck on the head.
All the mainstream media could do was point out that law enforcement used high-pressure water from fire trucks to push back the crowd, along with firing rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. Little was said in the MSM that the crowd had been given multiple orders to disperse as they were trespassing on private land and causing damage.
According to Rob Keller, a spokesman for the sheriff's department, “Protestors were given multiple orders to back up. But these agitators were a little more aggressive and did not back down, and that’s why there was [this] force used.” Keller added:
It’s the same 200 to 300 agitators. That leaves 1,600 in the camp that are peaceful and want to do it the right way.
The sheriff himself, Kyle Kirchmeier of Morton County, did his best to overcome the media’s characterization that his deputies “launched” an attack on those same protestors in early September:
Any suggestion that today’s event was a peaceful protest is false. This was more like a riot than a protest. Individuals crossed onto private property and accosted private security officers with wooden posts and flag poles.
The aggression and violence displayed here today is unlawful and should not be repeated. While no arrests were made at the scene, we are actively investigating the incident and the individuals who organized and participated in this unlawful event.
Keller said that of the 500 people who have already been arrested as the riots grew violent, only seven percent of them are from North Dakota. And those hard-core who remain intend to stay over the winter in a game of brinksmanship and patience, hoping to force the developer of the pipeline to give it up and either move the pipeline someplace else or cancel the project altogether.
But Kelcy Warren, chairman and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, said that concerns about the pipeline’s potential impact on the water supply were “unfounded,” adding that “multiple archaeological studies conducted with state historic preservation offices found no sacred items along the route.” Warren went further in his defense of his company’s project on PBS News Hour on November 15:
Well, first of all, I think this is well-known by now. We’re not on any Indian property at all, no Native American property. We’re on private lands. That’s number one. Number two, this pipeline is new steel pipe. We’re boring underneath Lake Oahe. It’s going to go 90 feet to 150 feet below the lake’s surface. It’s thick wall pipe, extra thick, by the way, more so than just the normal pipe that we lay.
Also, on each side of the lake, there are automated valves that, if in the very, very unlikely situation there were to be a leak, our control room shuts down the pipe, encapsulates that small section that could be in peril. So, that’s just not going to happen.
Number one, we’re not going to have a leak. I can’t promise that, of course, but that — no one would get on airplanes if they thought they were going to crash. And, number two, there is no way there would be any crude contaminate of their water supply. They’re 70 miles downstream.
Dakota Access pipeline will bring light sweet crude oil from the Bakken shale formation to refineries in Illinois, covering nearly 1,200 miles in the process. But the chance to shut down construction has drawn left-wing extremists and hard-core environmentalists from around the country to the site, building camps designed to shelter them from the winter weather now descending on the state.
The list of those with too much time on their hands begins, almost automatically, with the fraudulent “reverend” Jesse Jackson who called the development “the ripest case of environmental racism I have seen in a long time. The tribes of this country have sacrificed a lot so this great country could be built.… The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is standing up for their right to clean water.” Jackson’s twisted sense of justice is remembered with his support of Yasser Arafat, the head of the terrorist PLO, calling his “commitment to justice … an absolute one.” Or his celebration of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro as “the most honest, courageous politician I have ever met.”
Then there’s Alicia Garza, the self-described “queer” social-justice activist and Marxist founder of Black Lives Matter, who intoned over the “attack” by police on innocent protestors: “If you’re white, you can occupy federal property … and get found not guilty. No teargas, no tanks, no rubber bullets.… If you’re indigenous and fighting to protect our earth, and the water we depend on to survive, you get tear gassed, media blackouts, tanks and all that.”
It’s odd that Garza would have an opinion on the matter as the Sioux allegedly endangered by the pipeline aren’t black. According to Garza it’s only blacks who suffer, as they are “uniquely, systematically and savagely targeted by the state.” She doesn’t even cotton to anyone riffing on her “Black Lives Matter” slogan: “Stand with us in affirming Black lives. Not just all lives. Black lives. Please do not change the conversation by talking about how your life matters, too. It does, but we need less watered down unity and more active solidarities with us Black people in defense of our humanity.”
And there’s the socialist Bernie Sanders who found time to visit the site and encourage the protestors, saying that “the pipeline threatens the environment and water resources and exploits Native Americans.” This fits with Sanders’ cozy alliances with socialists and revolutionaries ever since he joined the Young Peoples Socialist League, a youth wing of the Socialist Party USA and worked with the United Packinghouse Workers Union, which had been infiltrated by communists years before.
Jill Stein and her Green Party running mate interrupted their presidential campaign to visit the folks at Cannon Ball and spray paint slogans on some of the company’s equipment. For their trouble they were arrested and charged with several counts of criminal trespass and mischief.
Stein, it will be remembered, opposed big banks, Wall Street, defense contractors, and the pharmaceutical industry during her campaign. Her cover was blown when the Daily Beast disclosed that her personal assets — between $3.8 million to $8.5 million — were invested “in the very industries that she maligned the most,” including companies such as Chevron, Exxon, Conoco Phillips, Duke Energy, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Raytheon.
Ultra-liberal journalist Amy Goodman, co-host of the anti-capitalist radio show Democracy Now!, joined in the fun as well, being charged with criminal trespass while filming the protests to bolster her own far-left ideology.
Even Raul Grijalva, the ranking Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee and member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, showed up, demanding that the Army Corps of Engineers withdraw its existing permits for the pipeline.
Like moths to a flame, leftists and environmentalist radicals flocked to Cannon Ball, South Dakota, to join their brothers and sisters in their campaign against the evil capitalists trying to bring crude oil from Bakken to refineries in Illinois. Using the environment, water safety, the potential raping of indigenous Indian burial grounds, and broken treaties as cover for their real intentions, they see the protests there as another opportunity to promote their anti-capitalist agenda, which includes keeping the oil in the ground “where it belongs.”
Photo is of an Indian protester locked to a piece of construction equipment