Today’s show revisits Democracy Now! reports on the ongoing standoff at Standing Rock in North Dakota, where thousands of Native American water defenders are resisting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, over concerns a pipeline leak could contaminate the Missouri River, which provides water for millions of people. Their resistance has been met by increasing repression by hundreds of police officers from North Dakota and surrounding states, as well as by unlicensed pipeline security guards, who unleashed dogs and pepper spray against Native American protectors on September 3.
Five days after the Democracy Now! report on the attack went viral, Morton County issued an arrest warrant for Amy Goodman. The original charge against her was criminal trespass. Yet, on Friday, October 14, after Democracy Now! returned to North Dakota to challenge the charges and to continue covering the resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline, it was learned that the state’s attorney, Ladd Erickson, had dropped the criminal trespass charge for lack of evidence, but had filed a new charge: riot. Here’s part of the live broadcast from outside the Morton County Courthouse on the morning of October 17 as Amy waited to see whether Judge John Grinsteiner would approve the new riot charge. Guests are Tara Houska, national campaigns director for Honor the Earth, and Anishinaabe activist Winona LaDuke, co-founder of Honor the Earth.
Democracy Now! is a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program hosted by journalists Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.