Regardless of how one feels about the oil pipeline, it would seem at least questionable on top of the other “odd” law enforcement and court behaviors documented above, that a state would be borrowing upwards of $10 million to support a private enterprise. Yes, there is protest, and yes there is illegal activity by some, but the vast majority of protesters have not been destructive or violent. Since when does a state borrow that much money to serve the needs of a private company? How many other issues within ND have gone unfunded for far too long, yet a pipeline with questionable safety going forward is worth a single state’s massive spending to support. Where’s the equivalent for the far more destructive events in Portland, OR, this week (both in terms of funding and charges against protesters? If DAPL protesters had hauled a private citizen in favor of the pipeline out of his car and mercilessly beat him in ND, there would be no expense or effort spared to arrest and severely prosecute him. Contrast that with the non-response in Chicago’s similar case. As they say, follow the money….
Again – this is not a comment about the rightness or wrongness of the pipeline. It’s about massive government overreach and blatant illegal power displays, both at the state and federal level, in an issue that would seem to be out of proportion, given the many other pressing needs in the nation. Courts notifying defendents of actions immediately upon filing, resulting in destruction of evidence? Federal banning of any but law enforcement aircraft (even drones) in a small, out of the way area in one state, thereby stopping widespread media coverage of the largely peaceful protests? Borrowing of 7-digit money to shut down this single event, in a state that can ill-afford that kind of expenditure? Something’s really wrong here, even if one is for the pipeline. And remember: if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere the government doesn’t want you to do something – even protect your own rights.