Port: Glimpse behind the curtain as activists plan major escalation of Line 3 protests
From June 5 to 8, the group organizing the protests, called People covered by the treaties, is preparing for potentially thousands of protesters to descend into northern Minnesota. High level activists like Jane fonda will be set off (using the very type of petroleum products made possible by infrastructure like Line 3, ironically enough).
Treaty People also anticipates a significant amount of illegal activity, according to the organizational documents I have obtained. These protests are often described, by many in the media, as peaceful until cops come down and carry out mass arrests.
This is exactly the portrait that activists are looking for.
The truth, which doesn’t often cut through the propaganda noise machines that surround a political enterprise like this, is that these are well-organized operations aimed specifically at sowing chaos and causing arrests.
A “logistics guide” distributed to potential participants encourages them to participate in “direct action” activities that include interference with legal pipeline construction as well as tactics such as blocking roads.
The organizers are even running a training seminar on Sunday June 6 for those who will engage in these activities, and it is focused on the expectation that participants will be arrested, reassuring them that if this happens they will have support, until ‘payment of their legal fees and even clothes to wear in court.
“There is a high level of community support for the accused – no one goes through the legal process alone. From finding a lawyer to connecting with other defendants, paying for a lawyer or paying for clothes to wear in court, during office hours for those with legal matters, there is a resource for you. support, ”the document says.
Illustrating how totally irresponsible these activities are, the protest organizers encourage activists to organize themselves into “affinity groups” which will function as independent cells without oversight from the organizers themselves.
A recent Zoom meeting organized by dealing with people with hundreds of attendees included a slide with some sort of flowchart helping protesters understand what to do in the event of an arrest.
He includes contact details for legal coordination – including “low cost” or even “free” representation – and urges activists to fight their cases and refuse to cooperate with the government.
A slide from a recent Zoom meeting hosted for Line 3 opponents by Treaty People. It was provided by a meeting participant.
Another slide educates participants about dispersal orders and intrusion notifications and warns them not to speak to law enforcement.
These tactics are not new.
We saw them during the protracted and extremely violent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline here in North Dakota, where activists would commit acts of vandalism, protest and mass harassment, overwhelming local courts and ultimately costing local and state taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.
A slide from a recent Zoom meeting hosted by Treaty People for activists planning to engage in so-called “direct action” while attending Line 3 protests from June 5-8.
But, again, the popular narrative promoted by activists and often supported by gullible members of the media is that these protests are peaceful until the cops show up.
This is simply not true.
These organizations plan the arrests. They plan the activities that will lead to the arrests.
They put law enforcement in a dilemma, forced to choose between allowing activists to break in, harass and disrupt them with impunity, or carry out mass arrests that will almost certainly be portrayed negatively.
Legal and peaceful protests are an American tradition protected by the First Amendment. We should celebrate this kind of civic action, even when we don’t share the goals or views of those protesting. But what happened in south-central North Dakota during the DAPL protests, and what is planned for northern Minnesota and the Line 3 replacement project, is not a peaceful protest.
The organizers do not even foresee that it will be peaceful.
The public should be aware of this.
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Rob Port, Founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Contact him on Twitter at @robport or by email at [email protected]