There’s been a change in the standoff over the previously stalled Dakota Access Pipeline but you wouldn’t be able to tell it from the actions of the protesters. This week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied a request from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe for a permanent injunction on additional construction on tribal lands. That’s not going to slow down the activities of the environmentalists camped out in the area to protest the project, however. They immediately released a statement indicating that the fight would go on and they won’t be leaving their illegal compound established on federal land. All of this was taking place well after earlier instances where armed protesters turned violent, breaking down fences and initiating confrontations where three pipeline security officers were injured.
By this point you may be wondering why federal authorities haven’t stepped in to bring the situation under control. After all, when a different group of protesters who were similarly armed took over some federal land in Oregon last year in support of the Bundys, the government began arresting people in a matter of weeks. What could be the difference? [links in original]Jazz Shaw then cites Ms. Alexander. From The Stream:
Last week, the administration said it would allow protesters of the Dakota Access oil pipeline to stay on federal lands. This decision was made despite clashes between armed activists and police authorities, and a request for assistance by a sheriff. Notably, the clashes and protests are taking place two years after the Army Corps of Engineers held nearly 400 meetings about the pipeline, and made nine requests for meetings with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe that were not attended by the Tribe.
This is the Tribe that is now protesting the pipeline, along with various environmental activists. [links in original]As Jazz and Ms. Alexander both point out, some pipeline protesters have been violent and have committed vandalism, whereas the Oregon protesters did neither. Both the pipeline protesters and the Oregon protesters have committed the crime of trespassing, some while being armed. Both groups have or had every right to make their views known. However, free speech under the First Amendment and the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment do not include the right to trespass.
Let me be clear. I do not condone trespassing, armed or not, by either group, or anyone else. I thought that what the Oregon protesters were doing was risky to the point of being reckless. But any action which is illegal when done by people on the right is no less illegal when done by people on the left. When such double standards are tolerated, we are not being governed, but being ruled.