BISMARCK – Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein finds herself in hot water, after authorities accuse her with alleged vandalism and or trespassing at the Dakota Access Pipeline work site Tuesday.
The Morton County Sheriff’s department is investigating Stein for spray painting construction equipment with graffiti, and trespassing at the pipeline construction site.
County officials saw a video of Stein spray painting “I approve this message,” on construction equipment, and another of Baraka painting “decolonization” and “We need decolonization.” The incident happened with hundreds of protesters and media present.
Stein stated her actions as “civil disobedience” in a release admitting to the accusations, and said she intended to protect American Indian burial sites and drinking water. “I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation… the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs,” she said.
Locals point out this may also be a publicity stunt for the presidential candidate, who is trailing in fourth place behind Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Libertarian Gary Johnson. The Green Party has barely any presence in North Dakota, and is awaiting results for ballot access in the state.
However, Stein is helping raise the national spotlight on the current situation at the Dakota Access Pipeline, in defense of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation’s cause.
“I hope they take action against the Dakota Access Pipeline company that is endangering drinking water not only for the Standing Rock Sioux, but for millions of people downstream of the reservation who depend on the Missouri River.”
The Morton County Sheriff’s Department issued arrest warrants for both Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, on Wednesday afternoon, charging the pair with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors.
[Filed by Piper Combs | Dakota Dispatch]