Amidst the widespread controversy over Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest, Americans seem to have missed one that has been taking place right under our noses.
North Dakota’s Energy Transfer Partner planned to run a pipeline through sacred Native American burial grounds, within miles of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation’s drinking water source, according to Buzzfeed.
Most of the country has been oblivious to the outrage that has been taking place since the project’s approval in late July. Things took a dangerous turn when the protests became violent.
Energy Transfer Partner includes the following in their project mission statement:
“As an operating principle, Dakota Access Pipeline is committed to working with individual landowners to make accommodations, minimize disruptions, and achieve full restoration of impacted land. We will listen to and address questions from the community, landowners and other interested stakeholders about the project, proposed routes, landowner communications and more.”
However, their actions remain inconsistent.
“Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota reached a boiling point, with reports of violent attacks on protesters by security dogs and numerous instances of macing,” according to a report on MotherJones.com.
The people of the United States did not see this story on T.V., no one was talking about it on the radio and social media continued to buzz with reports on Kaepernick’s jersey being number one in sales.
It was not until Democracy Now!’s executive producer and host, Amy Goodman’s report went viral, did the people learn about what was going on in North Dakota. Goodman was able to film the horrific treatment the protestors underwent that Saturday. The video spread over social media like wildfire and continues to grow in shares.
Because of the public outcry, the construction has come to a halt by the Obama administration. However, a warrant has currently been issued for Goodman’s arrest.
“This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press,” said Amy Goodman in a statement. “I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”
How is this possible?
Goodman has been accused of trespassing, a misdemeanor offense.
According to North Dakota’s Century Code 12.1-22-03 criminal trespassing is defined as:
2. An individual is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if, knowing that that individual is not licensed or privileged to do so, the individual:
a. Enters or remains in or on any building, occupied structure, or storage structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.
b. Enters or remains in any place so enclosed as manifestly to exclude intruders.
3. An individual is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if, knowing that that individual is not licensed or privileged to do so, the individual enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by actual communication to the actor by the individual in charge of the premises or other authorized individual or by posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders. The name of the person posting the premises must appear on each sign in legible characters. An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a class A misdemeanor for the second or subsequent offense within a two-year period.
As a journalist, Goodman is entitled to cover a newsworthy event, which took place publicly.
The warrant poses serious implications in regards to our Freedom of the Press and is still under investigation.