Here’s what the media won’t tell you about all those anti-pipeline justice warriors: many of them have resorted to violence, sabotage, and even assault with a deadly weapon in their pursuit of environmental protection. In an ironic twist, some of the most high-profile gatherings in protest of oil pipeline construction have left piles of trash, potentially contaminated water sources, and even defenseless puppies in their wake.
Vice has dedicated coverage primarily to glorifying the tenacity of protesters who face “harsh police tactics” in their noble quest for land preservation. They even dedicated one of the time slots on their weekly HBO series to documenting “Native American-led protests against construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.” It’s true that some Native Americans have led protests against the pipeline, but that is not where the story of the oil protester ends. What goes underreported is that many of the protestors have little interest in protesting peacefully, and do not truly care about the land considered sacred by many Native Americans at all.
Outlets such as the Guardian have framed the police as instigators in violent protests at Standing Rock, the designated gathering spot for protestors of the DAPL. Their headlines say enough about whose side the Guardian shamelessly takes on the issue, completely disregarding the appearance of objectivity:
Other news outlets have been predictably silent, either reporting in a manner similar to the Guardian’s misleading, one-sided approach- or not at all. The reality is that many protesters of oil pipelines including DAPL have rationalized and embraced violence against property, police officers, and even residents of towns adjacent to the pipeline’s expanse. Meanwhile, the ‘activist community’ issues blanket praise of these protesters, turning a blind eye to the actions of many who are nothing short of anarchists.
One Wall Street Journal reporter gained access to two pipeline protesters, and they revealed a sentiment that many of their fellow protesters share: violence, if perpetrated under the umbrella of pipeline-protesting, is completely acceptable, if not necessary.
27-year-old Ruby Montoya and 35-year-old Jessica Reznicek were unabashedly proud of the criminal deeds they have routinely engaged in as soldiers of the environment. They recalled some of their finer moments:
Reznicek and Montoya ‘admitted they had engaged in election-night arson that destroyed several pieces of heavy machinery and caused as much as $2.5 million in damage. They also said they had repeatedly used oxyacetylene torches to cut through pipe, delaying construction for weeks.
And they claimed they had deployed gas-soaked rags and burning tires to destroy electrical units and construction equipment along the Iowa portion of the pipeline’s 1,172-mile route.’
Montoya, who maintained that the pair had “acted from our hearts and never threatened human life nor personal property,” considered their confession to be nothing short of inspirational to the many who share their sentiment regarding the pipeline:
‘Ms. Reznicek said she hopes her confession will “empower others to act boldly, with purity of heart,” and commit similar acts of vandalism.’
She apparently does not know that many have long been engaging in similar activities involving property destruction, and worse.
The 233-day Standing Rock protests in North Dakota came to an end in February, with little to show besides a trail of destruction and chaos. As many as 10,000 activists participated, and police quickly became overwhelmed, with North Dakota authorities calling for help from departments in neighboring states to control the chaos.
Make no mistake about it; chaos is a word which most accurately represents the scene caused by supposedly peaceful protesters, should you let the mainstream media tell the story.
Last October, one DAPL protestor is alleged to have fired a stolen handgun at a police officer who was in the process of arresting another protester. Rusty Schmidt, a deputy from South Dakota, recalls the incident, which could have caused him serious bodily injury or death:
‘“I still recall seeing somebody with a flex cuff, about to put it on her wrist, and—when I heard a couple of gunshots ring out,” Deputy Sheriff Rusty Schmidt from Pennington County, S.D., recounted to the court in December. “At that point I looked down, and there’s another gunshot rang out, and I could actually see the round impacting the ground right next to my knee.”’
Other DAPL protestors were witnessed unleashing Molotov cocktails, logs, and rocks at police officers. Yet it was not only police officers who were the targets of supposedly peaceful protesters. Reports of trespassing on private land were followed by allegations of slaughtered livestock and death threats issued to business owners in the area, presumed to be in support of the pipeline.
When the protests in South Dakota ended, the scene was the last sight you would expect from peaceful, environment-loving hippies supposedly risking their health to stand in solidarity with the land. After more than 600 arrests, millions of dollars in property damage incurred, and the sequestration of police officers from their routine duties, Standing Rock was left in shambles:
‘The self-proclaimed “water protectors” left behind 9.8 million pounds of garbage, including abandoned vehicles, tents, portable heaters and plastic tubs. North Dakota scrambled to clean up their detritus, fearing contaminated snow would melt and run off into the Missouri River. Some activists also abandoned their dogs, including several puppies, when they left their frigid protest camp.’
It is one of the most blatant cases of hypocrisy you will see outside of Washington, D.C. But the Standing Rock protestors are not a unique case when it comes to the pipeline-loathing population, who seemingly have time to skip out of work for days on end to commit acts of violence. These violent protesters inflicting their life’s rage upon pipelines and police officers are typified by James Leroy Marker, who took aim at the Sabal Trail Pipeline in Citrus County, Florida months ago:
‘After firing several rounds at the pipeline with a high-powered rifle, Marker led police on a chase that would end when he opened fire on the officers, Marker ending up shot to death as a result. Unsurprisingly, the pipeline “activist” community praised Marker for his martyrdom.’
This sort of criminal violence is not only accepted, but praised, by the increasingly radical segment of the American population unleashing their fire and fury upon the series of symbolic targets that are America’s oil pipelines. Police were again called to the Sabal Trail line when two protesters, apparently inspired by Marker’s ‘heroic acts,' lodged themselves inside the pipe, using locks, chicken wire, bolts, and other industrial tools to prevent the police from extracting them. When they were finally removed, it was discovered that one of the protestors had brought along diapers should the sleepover in the pipe necessitate such equipment.
While it is easy to see the tactics of these extreme, misguided ‘environmentalists’ as comical, the damage they cause through their reckless attempts at natural justice has a real cost. Having likely damaged the internal coating of the pipe, the company tasked with its upkeep had to spend $28,500 to replace that section of the pipeline. Surely, these demented activists see it as yet another victory against ‘The Man.’
Others see these zealots as the anarchists that they are, disregarding the personal security of everyone in order to get their uncompromising message- no new pipelines, ever – across to those who disagree:
‘Pipeline protesters also targeted Michigan’s attorney general, Bill Schuette, last summer… The protesters smeared chocolate syrup on Mr. Schuette’s driveway and windows, toilet-papered trees, dumped glitter and trampled the grass in his front yard, and pounded his door loudly, frightening his wife.’
In the minds of these anarchists, there is always a justification for tormenting people, even children, who have no connection to or say in the pipeline’s construction:
‘“If public officials continue to threaten our safety, then we will continue to threaten their security,” one protester proclaimed.’
It is environmentalism gone mad. It is hyperbolic false equivalencies used to justify invading others’ personal space and damaging their property, not to mention violating their sense of security.
It is anti-oil activism in 2017.