Violent Pipeline Protesters Are Obama-Approved. Peaceful Ranchers? Not So Much

prtstrsThe Obama administration has one standard for favored protesters vs. a harsher standard for protesters with whom it disagrees.

According to the U.S. Constitution, Americans are guaranteed equal treatment under the law. According to the Obama administration, the word “equal” has no bearing on its treatment of protesters — just their politics.

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 Engineersheld 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.

Compare this to another recent protest on federal land — the 2015 rancher protest in Oregon. Armed like many of the pipeline protesters, ranchers took over federal land in order to make a statement against increasing federal land grabs, in support of Cliven Bundy, who regularly trespassed on federal land laws in protest. In contrast to today’s protests, the ranchers engaged in no violence. Yet law enforcement agents began arresting them after just 24 days. The crackdown  resulted in the death of one rancher, Lavoy Finicum, when he left the wildlife refuge to drive to a nearby town. Although the ranchers were armed, they were peaceful, and Finicum was killed after police fired on him despite no dangerous actions by the rancher.

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

Comments are closed.