Anti-pipeline activists and film-makers face prison, raising fears for free press

GR: The first tests of our constitution have begun. Will law prevail or will Trump’s handlers, the oligarchs achieve total control? Contests are for liberty and nature. Both, especially nature have lost inch by inch, but the days of incremental change are over. Now, we achieve all or we have nothing.

Where are our champions? Oh, right, I forgot, they are forming separate camps competing for recognition as being the most pure, having the most followers, and raising the most money. Aargh!

Steve Liptay faces trespassing and aiding and abetting charges in Minnesota. Photograph: Courtesy of Steve Liptay

“Climate change activists and film-makers who documented their anti-pipeline demonstrations are facing criminal charges and hefty prison sentences, with cases across the US that have raised concerns about press intimidation and the targeting of peaceful protesters.

“The slew of upcoming trials, beginning Monday in Washington state, stem from a series of coordinated actions on 11 October 2016 aimed at shutting down oil sands pipelines. Nine criminal cases include several filed against film-makers and live-streamers who recorded protesters closing the emergency valves on pipelines, but did not directly participate in the disruptions.

Lindsey Grayzel. Photograph: Ben Grayzel

“These activists are responding to a climate emergency,” said Steve Liptay, a film-maker facing trespassing and aiding and abetting charges in Minnesota, where he documented protesters shutting down two Enbridge pipelines. “As media, we have to tell their stories.”

“The court cases – also in North Dakota, Minnesota and Montana – come at a time of increasing anxiety for journalists and activists surrounding the arrest and aggressive prosecution of reporters and protesters critical of US government and powerful corporations.

“During protests of Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington DC, at least six journalists and film-makers were charged with felony rioting offenses, which could result in 10 years in prison. One case was later dropped. Lawmakers in multiple states have also recently pursued new laws aimed at restricting protests and making it easier for police to target demonstrators.

“The October #ShutItDown protests were organized in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe’s fight against the Dakota Access pipeline. Those demonstrations have also led to serious criminal charges, including a case against radio host Amy Goodman, which a judge eventually rejected.” –Sam Levin (More: Anti-pipeline activists and film-makers face prison, raising fears for free press | World news | The Guardian).

Here’s some more news of the day:

  1. “Trump’s Order Blocks Immigrants at Airports, Stoking Fear Around Globe,” The New York Times, January 28, 2017
  2. “Trump Is Reportedly Considering Reopening CIA “Black Site” Prisons,” Mother Jones, January 25, 2017

  3. “Donald Trump and the Order of the Pipelines,” The Atlantic, January 25, 2017

  4. “How Republicans came to support Trump’s wall,” CNN, January 28, 2017

  5. “Trump is at war with science and knowledge, and that should terrify you,” Los Angeles Times, January 26, 2017

  6. “On Day Two, Trump prayed, met the CIA and attacked the press,” CNN, January 21, 2017

  7. “Senate committee approves Tillerson for secretary of state,” CNN, January 23, 2017

  8. “Democrats delay vote on Sessions nomination,” The Hill, January 24, 2017

  9. “First Health Care Repeal Deadline Missed by Congress,” Roll Call, January 27, 2017

  10. “The Democratic Base Is Marching Right Past Its Leaders,” The Huffington Post, January 26, 2017

  11. “Trying to get a message to Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake? Good luck,” The Arizona Republic, January 24, 2017

  12. “GOP Congressman Leaves Meeting Early After Constituents Want to Talk Obamacare Repeal,” Time, January 15, 2017

2 thoughts on “Anti-pipeline activists and film-makers face prison, raising fears for free press

  1. Pingback: Anti-pipeline activists and film-makers face prison, raising fears for free press | GarryRogers Nature Conservation | AGR Daily News Service


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