Despite what protestors may claim, their opposition is starting to put the lives of Americans at risk.
David Archambault and his fellow Standing Rock Sioux protestors have made repeated claims that their opposition is a peaceful one. According to Archambault, protestors “are a peaceful people and our tribal council is committed to nonviolence.” However, when that commitment is put to the test, SRST’s targets tell the real story.
Law enforcement officials were the first to take drastic steps to protect themselves and their families. According to members of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, officers were discouraged from wearing nametags after personal threats were made over social media toward officers and their families. According to a law enforcement spouse, who remained anonymous for obvious reasons, “our spouses and friends have been threatened, followed home, and people have gone as far as to take pictures of our homes and have records of our names. We have changed our names on social media to try and protect ourselves and our families.”
According to SRST, the protestors are the victims.
More recently, during CBS’ coverage of the Dakota Access protest, it became apparent that the threat of protest violence extends beyond law enforcement officials.
In an interview, LiUNA representative Steve Cortina explained that pipeline workers are also fearing for their safety.
Q: Have any of your workers quit because of safety concerns?
Cortina: We do have workers that fear for their lives, so they said “Can you put me on another project or away from here?”
Q: They’ve been transferred off this project?
Violent clashes with law enforcement are troubling enough, but threatening pipeline workers, who are simply trying to make a living doing what they do best simply crosses a line. As LiUNA previously stated, “While they may have the right to protest, we also have a right to do our jobs in a safe environment.”