Alternative Media Specifically Targeted at Standing Rock Eviction

Law Enforcement Attempts to 'Take Out' Citizen Journalists as Eviction of Protesters Proceeds

As Wednesday’s 2pm deadline to vacate the Oceti Sakowin camp set by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and the Army Corps of Engineers passed without incident, a series of preliminary actions by specialist units within the multi agency task force assigned to the job of evicting the hundred or so protesters who had chosen to remain in the camp were carried out not long after 4pm, with what appears to have been the specific remit of targeting citizen journalists and the Alternative Media. A camera crew working as part of the Unicorn Riot news team, who have documented some of the most disturbing incidents engaged in by Morton County Sheriff’s Office and their partner agencies since the protests began, found themselves being charged by a group of State Troopers from the Wisconsin State Patrol, who specialize in riot tactics developed during the period of social unrest collectively referred to as ‘The Wisconsin Protests‘.

Among those who appear to have been specifically targeted were the Native American Journalist Jenni Monet, who, following her previous arrest earlier in the year, vowed that she would not stop reporting on Standing Rock in the wake of her release at the beginning of this month. In a particularly ugly and brutal incident, which did not appear to have been carried out in a fashion that could be reasonably described as a response to any kind of deliberate provocation, the livestreamer Eric Poemz is alleged to have had his hip broken after being taken down by a group apparently identified as Bismark and Fargo Police officers by members of the Unicorn Riot news team.

The principal motivation for this sudden and brutal physical attack on the Alternative and Indigenous Tribal Media is alleged to have been an attempt by certain vested interests, close to the Governor of North Dakota, to control media access to the eviction of protesters from the Oceti Sakowin camp. Footage shot by the Unicorn Riot news team appeared to show a group of embedded journalists, who, it was alleged, had been hand picked by Governor Burgum with a view to depicting those acting on behalf of the vested interests who are seeking to complete the pipeline, in a favorable light.

On Thursday, as the camp was cleared by a multi agency task force comprising, among various others, members of the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Agency, the US Customs Border and Protection Agency, Federal Marshals and FBI agents, all backed up by a Department of Homeland Security helicopter, in apparent breach of Indigenous Treaty Law, Kim Brown of TRNN interviewed independent journalist Jihan Hafiz, who is among those still on the ground. According to Hafiz, those who remain at Standing Rock are not just offering resistance to Energy Transfer Partners and its subsidiaries in relation to the pipeline. They are in fact asserting their native treaty rights; a fact that was likewise pointed out by the Unicorn Riot media team whilst the eviction was at its height.

One of Numerous Stand Offs Filmed by the Live Streamers whilst the Eviction was underway.


According to those elements within the Native American community who are openly hostile to Energy Transfer Partners, the site of the camp from which the protesters were evicted is on unceded land of the Great Sioux Nation, and is protected from what they claim is unlawful action by State and Federal agencies according to the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. If this should turn out to be the case then this is likely to put the Trump administration on a collision course with the United Nations

As Tim Schwartz of Inspire Bank Exits and a number of other independent live streamers risked life and limb to bring their viewers up to the minute footage of confrontations, between what some would describe as excessively overbearing law enforcement agents and peaceful non violent protesters, via the Antimedia website, another key point that was simultaneously being made by the Unicorn Riot news team is that President Trump has well established financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners. A fact that has been widely reported right the way across the Alternative and mainstream media in recent months. As well as the Guardian newspaper, the Ecology and Environment website Ecowatch has been swift to point out that President Trump may have between $500,000 and $1 million of his own personal fortune directly invested in the company. In addition to this the company’s Chief Executive is also alleged to have donated in excess of $100,000 in Campaign contributions to Trump’s Presidential Team.

According to Ecowatch, the results of a new poll released by the Pew Research Center on Wednesday show nearly half of Americans oppose building the pipeline. And, with the issues surrounding the pipeline closely linked to Global Warming, the new Republican administration is likely to find itself having major problems with the international community at large in relation to previously made agreements on Carbon Emissions that are going to be broken regardless of whether or not the North Dakota Access Pipeline does or does not go ahead.

Rupert Ferguson
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Rupert Ferguson

Journalist at Distract The Media
Rupert Ferguson is a published author, journalist and radical film maker with specialist interests in local government, politics, environmental issues and Traditional English and Scottish Folk Music. His academic work has been endorsed by the likes of Sir Melvyn Bragg, the late Sir James Watt KBE and the former head of Humanities at Bingley College in Yorkshire, England; James Reed.

Having begun his career as a junior researcher at Thames Television in London, he has written for a wide range of publications including 'The Brighton Reporter', 'Durham Town and Country', 'The Brighton and Hove People' and 'The New Celtic Review'. As an exhibited film maker he has been a regular contributor and award nominee at the Portobello Film Festival in London; and has seen his work shown at the annual London Film Makers' Convention at the prestigious Round House Theatre.

As well as receiving enthusiastic reviews from BBC Radio 4 and others for his book on Sir Walter Scott, his pioneering work as an Underground Film Maker on the fledgeling Goa Trance Scene has set him in a field of his own amongst many of his contemporaries; both in the UK, where he presently resides, and elsewhere. Current projects presently in hand include a book centred on his 'Legendary London' series of documentary films, which have stimulated an enthusiastic response from the likes of Glenda Jackson and others; and a novel set in France and Edinburgh during the eighteenth century Scottish Enlightenment.

For more about Rupert, his endorsements and points of contact please follow the link to his linked-in profile:
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