Published December 9, 2016
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — Journalists and supporters of #NODAPL have been targeted the past several days in a series of events where live videos and documentations have led to one person arrested by the Bismarck Police for two counts of terrorizing.
Owner of Digital Smoke Signals Myron Dewey, an independent communications organization specializing in drone operations and on the ground footage, streamed live via Facebook while driving south on North Dakota State Highway 6 towards the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to announce that snowmobiles were traveling at high speeds attempting to crash and intimidate vehicles while driving. “We have validated violence and scare tactics being used strategically by Dakota Access Pipeline mercenaries to intimidate not just water protectors but anyone who is traveling on highway 6,” he said.
“This, of course, is a safety concern and sends a message to any traveler that heading towards the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is unsafe,” said Dewey.
This isn’t Dewey’s first experience in being targeted for his journalism covering the events near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. With the recent decision by the US Army Corps of Engineers to deny the easement for the Energy Transfer Partners to dig under Lake Oahe, tensions have heightened between supporters and opposers of the pipeline.
The day prior, Dean Dedman, Jr., drone operator and owner of Dr0ne2bwild, streamed that he was being followed and targeted by several vehicles aggressively. While attempting to check in a Ramada Inn in Bismarck, masked men came out and threatened those in Dedman’s vehicle with violence and vulgar language. “We are being targeted because we are reporting the truth,” said Dedman.
“Threats continue to come in daily because we are exposing the truth of the activities by the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Dedman.
Efforts to report police were met with non-action, but due to the recording by a bystander, police began with an investigation that ultimately led to an arrest yesterday, Thursday, December 8. 33-year-old Jesse McLain from Bismarck was arrested for two counts of terror and was released on Thursday from the Burleigh County Jail on a $2,000 bond.
This is an ongoing story.
Darren Thompson (Ojibwe/Tohono O’odham) is a Native American flute player and writer from the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Reservation in Northern Wisconsin. He contributes to Native Peoples Magazine, Native News Online, Native Max Magazine and Powwows.com. For more information please visit www.darrenthompson.net. He can be reached at 605-545-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org