By Staff of Reporters Without Borders/Reporters sans frontières (RSF) – a non-profit organization defending freedom of the press and access to information, along with the organizations below, write to express deep concerns regarding charges against multiple journalists for their coverage of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The undersigned have collectively documented at least 10 journalists currently facing charges stemming from their reporting on the protests. Filmmaker Jahnny Lee is being charged with physical obstruction of a government function and is next due to appear in court for an arraignment on March 22. Myron Dewey, owner of Digital Smoke Signals
By Bruce K. Gagnon for Organizing Notes – The publication called Business Insider is carrying a story promoting a US first-strike attack on North Korea. The article includes a quote from the Wall Street Journal that reads, “An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country’s nuclear-weapons threat, people familiar with the process said, a prospect that has some U.S. allies in the region on edge.” The BI article also states: Military action against North Korea wouldn’t be pretty. Some number of civilians in South Korea, possibly Japan, and US forces stationed in the Pacific would be likely to die in the undertaking no matter how smoothly things went.
By Staff of Unicorn Riot – The eviction force was comprised of a variety of agencies including the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, North Dakota Highway Patrol, Bismarck Police Department, the North Dakota National Guard, and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Out-of-state law enforcement from the Wisconsin State Patrol (WSP) was also deployed under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). [See our Nov. 26th report with WSP EMAC deployment and budget documents.] Just after 11 am, the combined eviction forces began their approach into the camp. Between a few dozen to a hundred water protectors were estimated remaining in camp at that time, with most having left the previous day but some having returned that morning by walking across the frozen Cannonball River. Bypassing the main entrance, two Bobcat-type skid steer loaders were used to clear a path down the snowy hill into the north end of Oceti Oyate. Bearcat and MRAP armored vehicles, accompanied by a large number of Humvees and sheriff’s deputies…
By John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer for Senate and Congress – WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven issued the following statement after speaking today with Vice President Pence and Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer: “Today, the Acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer informed us that he has directed the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with the easement needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. This will enable the company to complete the project, which can and will be built with the necessary safety features to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others downstream. “Building new energy infrastructure with the latest safeguards and technology is the safest and most environmentally sound way to move energy from where it is produced to where people need it.
By Andy Campbell for Huffington Post. Republican lawmakers in North Dakota are taking aim at protesters with a handful of bills that would make another pipeline protest far more dangerous. The oil-friendly legislature argues that its constituents are frustrated over the protests, which led federal authorities to halt construction of the $3.8-billion Dakota Access Pipeline as thousands of protesters braved cold weather and violence for months. A bill that state GOP Rep. Keith Kempenich introduced would exempt drivers from liability if they accidentally hit a pedestrian, according to the Bismarck Tribune. House Bill 1203 was written up in direct response to groups of protesters blocking roadways, Kempenich told the paper. He claims protesters were seen jumping out in front of vehicles.
By David Kirby for Take Part – Environmentalists who oppose the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline have a message for the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the incoming Trump administration: When it comes to pumping oil across North Dakota, past is prologue, and that’s bad news for human health and the environment. An analysis released Wednesday by the Center for Biological Diversity found that pipelines in North Dakota have spilled crude oil and other hazardous liquids at least 85 times since 1996. Those spills—an average of four a year—caused more than $40 million in property damage, the center said, citing data from the United States Department of Transportation.
By Terray Sylvester for Reuters – North Dakota’s governor ordered the expulsion of thousands of Native American and environmental activists camped on federal property near an oil pipeline project they are trying to halt, citing hazards posed by harsh weather as a blizzard bore down on the area. The “emergency evacuation” order from Governor Jack Dalrymple came days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the site, set a Dec. 5 deadline for the demonstrators to vacate their encampment, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Bismarck, the state capital.
By Sam Levin and Nicky Woolf for The Guardian – Standing Rock tribal chairman Dave Archambault just released a statement. “Militarized law enforcement agencies moved in on water protectors with tanks and riot gear today,” the statement says. “We continue to pray for peace. We call on the state of North Dakota to oversee the actions of local law enforcement to, first and foremost, ensure everyone’s safety.”
By Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan for Truth Dig – Monday was a cold, windy, autumnal day in North Dakota. We arrived outside the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan to produce a live broadcast of the “Democracy Now!” news hour. Originally, the location was dictated by the schedule imposed upon us by the local authorities; one of us (Amy) had been charged with criminal trespass for “Democracy Now!“‘s reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline company’s violent attack on Native Americans who were attempting to block the destruction of sacred sites
By Trevor Timm for Freedom of the Press Foundation. North Dakota prosecutors have indicated they have dropped the trespassing charges against Amy Goodman, and instead will charge her with participating in a “riot.” “I came back to North Dakota to fight a trespass charge. They saw that they could never make that charge stick, so now they want to charge me with rioting,” Goodman said on Saturday. “I wasn’t trespassing, I wasn’t engaging in a riot, I was doing my job as a journalist by covering a violent attack on Native American protesters.” It couldn’t be more obvious that Ms. Goodman is being charged solely for her journalism and the impact it had on the oil pipeline debate. Here’s howDemocracy Now described its news coverage that led to the charges against Ms. Goodman: “On Saturday, September 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the pipeline company attacking protesters. The report showed guards unleashing dogs and using pepper spray and featured people with bite injuries and a dog with blood on its mouth and nose. Democracy Now!’s report went viral online . . .”
By Nick Visser for the Huffington Post. Deia Schlosberg, the producer of the upcoming documentary “How to Let Go of the World and Love All Things Climate Can’t Change,” was detained while filming a protest against TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. Activists at the event, associated with the group Climate Direct Action, shut down the pipeline, which carries oil from Canadian tar sands to the U.S, for about seven hours. Two of the protestors, Michael Foster and Samuel Jessup, were also charged and Schlosberg’s equipment and footage from the event was confiscated. Schlosberg said shortly after being released on bond that she couldn’t comment on her arrest until she spoke to a lawyer. She has been charged with three felonies: conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service. Together, the charges carry 45 years in maximum prison sentences.
By Staff of Last Real Indians – North Dakota continues to escalate repression of the people protecting sacred sites and waters from the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Tuesday, two more felony charges were sought for water protectors, bringing the total to seven. One of the we charges is against Dale “Happi” American Horse, the first person to lock to lock his body to active Dakota Access Pipeline construction equipment.
By Henry Austin for The Independent – Armed drones could be used by police in the US state of North Dakota after local lawmakers legalised their use. While they will be limited to “less than lethal” weapons, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray could all be used in theory by the remote controlled flying machines. In a classic case of unintended consequences, the original sponsor, Republican state representative Rick Becker said he was unhappy with the way legislation turned out.
By Staff of Billings Gazette – MANDAN, N.D. — Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Thursday morning he will activate the North Dakota National Guard ahead of a federal judge’s ruling on a request by the Standing Rock Sioux to stop the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. A handful of Guard members will help provide security at traffic checkpoints near the site of a large protest, Dalrymple said.