Jill Stein Charged over Pipeline Protest
The Green Party’s Jill Stein has been charged locally over her actions at an anti-pipeline protest in North Dakota.
The Hill reports:
Authorities in Morton County filed warrants Wednesday for the arrests of Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka, on charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors,the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The county sheriff’s department said Stein and Baraka vandalized equipment at a construction site for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in Morton County while trespassing at the site along with activists.
The warrant said law enforcement officers saw a video of Stein spray painting “I approve this message,” on construction equipment, and another of Baraka painting “decolonization” and “We need decolonization.”
Stein called her actions “civil disobedience” in a statement admitting to the accusations, and said she intended to protect American Indian burial sites and drinking water.
“I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs,” she said.
“I hope they take action against the Dakota Access Pipeline company that is endangering drinking water not only for the Standing Rock Sioux, but for millions of people downstream of the reservation who depend on the Missouri River.”
Environmentalists and American Indian tribes are trying through multiple means to get Dakota Access’s construction blocked, including challenging an Army Corps of Engineers permit its developer obtained.
They say it would pass through or near sensitive water bodies, risking the water quality, and the oil it would carry would be harmful to the climate.
The activists scored a victory Tuesday when a federal judge issued a temporary, limited order halting some of the project’s construction.
Photo credit: Moraih Ratner.