This week, two protesters were charged with attacking the Dakota Access Pipeline project. DAPL will provide oil supplies from the Bakken field in North Dakota to an oil tank in Illinois. In doing so, it has created thousands of jobs and offers the prospect of reduced energy bills.
The protesters don't agree.
Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya justified their acts, stating "that the system is broken, and it is up to us as a individuals to take peaceful action and remedy it, and this we did, out of necessity."
"Peaceful" is an interesting choice of word here. After all, consider what the protesters admit to doing.
They explain that "on election night 2016, we began our peaceful direct action campaign to a Dakota Access construction site and burned at least 5 pieces of heavy machinery in Buena Vista County, IA."
They continue: "We then began to research the tools necessary to pierce through 5/8 inch steel pipe, the material used for this pipeline. ... We began in Mahaska County, IA, using oxy-acetylene cutting torches to pierce through exposed, empty steel valves ... we began to use this tactic up and down the pipeline, throughout Iowa (and a part of South Dakota), moving from valve to valve until running out of supplies..."
As I say, "peaceful" is an interesting choice of word.
Reznicek and Montoya, however, were just getting started. Without any hesitation, they happily declare: "We then returned to arsonry as a tactic. Using tires and gasoline-soaked rags, we burned multiple valve sites, their electrical units, as well as additional heavy equipment located on DAPL easements throughout Iowa, further halting construction."
Now, you might have noticed that these two ladies haven't got that much attention. There's a simple reason for that. Namely, that while the protesters regard themselves as revolutionaries, they don't fit the media-reporting framework on DAPL. That narrative pretends all those opposing DAPL are decent, non-violent individuals who are simply worried about the environment. And that those behind DAPL are evil corporations.
It's a lie. Those behind the pipeline have had to navigate a minefield of regulations and government delays. In each case, they have cooperated. Yet, since DAPL's inception, workers and security officials on the project have been consistently attacked by violent criminals. They might not have killed anyone, but those responsible are employing politically-motivated violence in order to coerce behavior. That makes them low-level terrorists.
Of course, the vast majority of anti-DAPL protestors are peaceful. The problem is that the anti-DAPL movement is immoral.
As I've reported, one of the major forces opposing DAPL owns a casino that brings in $30 million a year. Nothing wrong there. Except that the casino's water treatment plant has previously discharged into natural water flows!
There are also the DAPL protesters' efforts to destroy thousands of well-paying jobs. Were they successful, they would also drive up energy costs for millions of families. We know this because of the energy price spikes that have been witnessed in blue anti-conventional energy states.
These considerations are overdue for attention. The freedom to protest is a sacred American right and the absolute entitlement of the anti-DAPL movement. But that movement must be challenged. Reznicek and Montoya's actions are just one piece of evidence showing why that's the case.