Peaceful Property Destruction
We must employ a variety of methods to ensure liveable and safe communities
Non Violent means non violent. The only real violence is when one creature hurts another.
But still when Activists Ruby Montoya, a preschool teacher in Boulder, Colorado. and Jessica Reznick, a veteran of Occupy New York and both members of the Catholic Workers, admitted to the sabotage by arson attacks and valve sabotage against the Dakota Access Pipeline, I still wasn’t on board with acetylene torches and gasoline mixed with motor oil as a tactic. It still seemed like it was too much. That was before I heard their interview with Sub/Media.
Before this interview I had seen last Monday’s Press Conference and it affirmed my suspicions about an article I was craving to be released. The_Intercept has called me days before asking if they could redact my name from the next docs to be released from a TigerSwan whistleblower. This round was concerning sabotage of the pipeline along with a “Whodoneit?” quest of comical proportions…that is, as long as you can giggle at an illegal mercenary team involved in unconstitutional surveillance of peaceful citizens expressing their constitutional right of freedom of speech in North Dakota and other states, mercenaries without the permit to work in those states.
The shot setup for the press release was filmed by Unicorn Riot in front of the Iowa Utilities Board. The board was established in 1878 and “regulates utilities to ensure that reasonably priced, reliable, environmentally responsible, and safe utility services are available to all Iowans.” You can hear one of the people behind the camera whine before they started “Well why don’t you just go ahead!” So they started.
“The Dakota Access Pipeline is an issue that affects this entire nation and the people that are subject to its rule. With DAPL we have seen incredible issues regarding the rule of law, indigenous sovereignty, land seizures, state sanctioned brutality, as well as corporate protections and pardons for their wrongdoings. To all those that continue to be subjected to the government’s injustices, we humbly stand with you, and we ask now that you stand with us.”
They’re not wrong. Incredible issues with the rule of law and indigenous sovereignty were found when the Dakota Access Pipeline parent company, Energy Transfer Partners, made a change to the pipeline route from north of Bismarck to south of Bismarck. Then there was the prostitute offered to Hughie Tweedy from a land agent in exchange for letting a pipeline cross his property. The talk consisted of “they go to St. Louis, where he can hire two or three 19-year-old women for $1,200. The man also mentions an escort service.” Of course there were no charges filed for the pipeline representative, not because it was immoral or unethical, but because “it’s obvious that no final agreement was reached, no offer made or acceptance.” according to Lee County Attorney Mike Short.
There was another time that the landowners publicly testified that didn’t want their pipeline to go across their lands, then had liens filed against their property. Either they were sued until they gave access to land surveyors or bullied. After all of these injustices, I don’t wonder at all why the citizens in these states were “leery” of the pipeline companies.
Then there was the propaganda as seen with Pamela Link, the Public Relations director of Laborers’ International Union of North America or LIUNA. LIUNA showed up to testify and serve lunch at a public hearing on the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. While the LIUNA and AFL-CIO both showed their support, the Service Employees International Union, United Nurses Union, CWA Committee on Human Rights, the Labor Coalition for Community Action stood with the landowners and citizens knowing that the jobs were temporary, harmful to those with the least amount of income or resources, and harmful to the environment when it spills, which the majority do. And this is just in North Dakota alone.
So Ms. Montoya and Ms. Reznick felt that “After having explored and exhausted all avenues of process” their only recourse was to enact peaceful direct action campaign. On election night, they decided to go to a Dakota Access construction site and burn at least five pieces of heavy machinery which cut down construction for a day. Then In March they began using “oxy-acetylene cutting torches to pierce through exposed, empty steel valves” and “successfully delaying completion of the pipeline for weeks.”. They wanted to stop the violence.
The oil industry itself is known to be violent. According to the data collected from the North Dakota’s Department of Health there has been “745 involved oil spills — that averages to a spill every 11 hours and 45 minutes.” and thats just in North Dakota from May 2016 to May 2017 alone. Each time an oil spill happens it kills untold amounts of animals and vegetation. Farmers have not been able to use their farmland in North Dakota after the last Tescoro oil spill resulting in over 840,000 gallons of oil in 2013. Because it still hasn’t been cleaned up. This is violence.
Over the last thirty years alone, over 8000 oil spills have occurred. This video below is a visual representation of the pipeline spills from 1986 to 2016.
This data is compiled from the Pipeline and Safety Hazardous Materials Agency. The fatalities from such incidents equals 512. Thats just humans. Injuries are at 2360 and property damage is $7 Billion dollars. And again thats only humans. This is also violence.
Then we have the animal casualties. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the oil “destroys the insulating ability of fur-bearing mammals, such as sea otters, and the water repellency of a bird’s feathers.”. If a these animals can’t repel water they die from hypothermia. Also, fur bearing mammals have the need to groom themselves and when they do, in an oil spill situation, they tend to ingest the oil. The more oil the animals swallows, the more often it results in lung, liver, and kidney damage which can lead to death. That to me again is violence.
During the interview with Sub/Media, they discussed that the industry is “destructive” and that “they(Oil Industry) are the destructive ones!” They clearly state they “never harmed anyone” or “threatened anyone.” These two brave people were willing to accept arrest and incarceration in order to protect the planet by enacting “Acts of civil disobedience and resistance.” They are also willing to give out the details that allow others to continue the work and inspire a new kind of non violent action against an intruding force on our planets landscape. Ms Montoya did admit that they “took some fire to metal, and that's peaceful.”
I would have to agree.
Ed Higgins of Medium.com