North Dakota Charges Pipeline Protesters With Felonies
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FEATURING DALLAS GOLDTOOTH – The Morton County Sheriff’s Department in North Dakota has begun charging activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline with felonies. Five people were charged this week with reckless endangerment, and two with conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment. It is the first time since the protests began that people are being charged with more than a misdemeanor. Many have actively risked their safety by chaining themselves to bulldozers to stop the pipeline construction.
Private security guards last week unleashed dogs on protesters resulting in several people being hospitalized for bite injuries. There have been no charges so far against the security guards for endangering and attacking protesters despite clear documentation of the confrontations.
The months-long protests began in April but only started receiving media attention in the past several weeks. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe has led the movement of what they called “Water protectors,” who seek to protect their collective water source, the Missouri River, from the pipeline.
Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In The Ground Campaign Organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network, and a member of the sketch comedy group, the 1491s.