Suppression in The Land of Freedom – The North Dakota Pipeline Protests
The United States has always prided itself as being the pinnacle of freedom, free speech, and freedom of the press. These are principles the American Nation states it keeps in high regard above everything else. But as the nation’s demand for oil gets ever higher, the amount of oil worldwide gets ever smaller, so does the country’s desperation to get its hands on it, grows. The fastest and easiest solution to this problem can come in the form of the US citizens’ willingness and desire to renounce their dependence on oil as much as possible, but as it seems, this is not the trend that’s happening.
And what’s more, the average American’s attention is easily distracted, and the North Dakota Pipeline protests are always pushed to the sidelines of the media, as well as one’s thought. By making use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and attack dogs, the authorities are helping the company behind the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, to push on with the project, despite covering up its dangers and circumventing the law. What’s more, North Dakota’s state attorneys have been tirelessly working to intimidate journalists for covering and filming the protests.
One notable example here are two journalists and film-makers, Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel, are facing up to 45 years in prison for covering the events taking place in North Dakota, as we speak.
The two journalists were filming activist Ken Ward attempting to shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline, and they now face decades in prison for a felony burglary charge, a felony “criminal sabotage” charge and a misdemeanor trespass offense. There were a series of pipeline protests across the US on 11 October. Here is their documentary called: How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.
“Everyone needs to be afraid when our first amendment rights are in jeopardy,” Grayzel, 41, told the Guardian on Thursday before her criminal arraignment. “This is not just about me. This is not just about Carl. This is not about Amy Goodman … This is about the public’s right to know what is going on in this country.”
Furthermore, the company in charge of the pipeline’s construction have also targeted the region’s wildlife. A large herd of free roaming buffalos has been enclosed in a pen, surrounded by 8 foot deep trenches and razor wire. Current reports from the area claim that the buffaloes are being held without food or water for days. It has also been reported that the construction company building the pipeline has threatened to kill the buffaloes as they could “interfere” with the pipeline’s completion.