Source: Unicorn Riot
Published: OCTOBER 17, 2016
Upon close examination, it may become obvious as to what is truly taking place in North Dakota at the pipeline. We have protectors and protesters standing between unconstitutional advancement of the pipeline project and an ever-increasing show of force by acting law enforcement who show multiple signs of compromised integrity.
Judging from the number of journalists arrested for simply reporting the story to the world (among the numerous mainstream sources that have remained completely silent), it seems very possible that the State Government of North Dakota has major issues with corruption. Yet despite these annoyances, these journalists have chosen to put their safety and freedom at risk for the sake of telling the true story of the Natives who are fighting to keep the Missouri River free of pollution which commonly results from oil pipelines. Yet for their hard labor and dedication, these reporters have been oppressed by an army of overly armed police, complete with armored vehicles.
These acting authorities have chosen to treat the Standing Rock Sioux—the rightful owners of this land—as though they are rioters and disorderly criminals even though these people are simply standing up for their right to exist. Many of the professional journalists have observed the direct and deliberate effort to intimidate and to punish journalists in particular. To any onlooker, it may go without saying that no one who believes they are in the right will go through so much trouble to hide their deeds in the way these acting authorities have. It is most likely that these seemingly compromised authorities know that they are outside of the law, and simply do not believe in the equality of all people.
We cannot say for certain as to why these acting authorities and the State of North Dakota have chosen to turn a blind eye to the American Constitutional, though money is likely to be a major factor. However, we can say that this type of inhumanity has no place in any country that considers itself to be free.
Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
Since April 1st, 2016, Unicorn Riot has been covering the Sacred Stone Spirit Camp, and the subsequent #NoDAPL movement, to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) underneath both the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
Over three hundred tribes have come together to say no to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We’ve lived in a camp alongside these nations, sharing their culture and traditions and standing united in what some have called the largest gathering of Native people since 1898.
Over the last month, various law enforcement agencies, private mercenary organizations, and other DAPL assets, have expanded their aerial surveillance, “information” checkpoints, and use of heavily armed riot police backed by MRAP‘s and Bearcat armored vehicles. Amidst the militarized crackdown on demonstrations against the pipeline, hundreds of people have been arrested, including four Unicorn Riot journalists.
The first two arrests of Unicorn Riot journalists covering the #NoDAPL movement were in North Dakota during a direct action on September 13th. The other two arrests occurred in Iowa, on October 7th and October 12th, while covering the Mississippi Stand direct action campaign against DAPL. All four Unicorn Riot journalists have been charged with criminal trespass, while documenting various actions taken by water protectors to stop pipeline construction. Our journalists were also strip-searched during their arrests.
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All four reporters currently facing charges were actively engaged in reporting breaking news at the time, and would have continued documenting and broadcasting if not directly prevented from doing so by their arrests.
Arrests in North Dakota
During a September 13th direct action at a DAPL construction site, two Unicorn Riot journalists were targeted and arrested while reporting during a live broadcast. Our reporters were both wearing their press passes and stating “I’m press” at the time of their arrests.
While they were held in the Morton county jail in Mandan, an individual who called to ask about the status of our reporters was told “we arrested them because they were with the protesters.” Below is a video of the arrests.
NEW(ER) VIDEO of ND Hwy Patrol targeting & arresting Unicorn Riot journalists covering #NoDAPL actions pic.twitter.com/hBAVHoYwnY
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) September 15, 2016
This was one of the first actions that featured such a large police response. Watch the video below spotlighting the reason for the action, the response to the action, and the arrest of two Unicorn Riot journalists:
Both journalists were released 10 hours later on a $250 bond. Both have pled not guilty; and trial dates have been set for December 23rd and January 12th.
Continue reading here: Unicornriot.ninja
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