Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Green Party vice presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka have both been charged with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief for protesting with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline, CBS News reports.
Arrest warrants for Stein and Baraka have been issued.
Stein and Baraka traveled to the Red Warrior resistance camp in North Dakota to stand with the water protectors of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other First Nations as they fight to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens to contaminate their water and further desecrate their lands.
Stein was captured on video spray-painting construction equipment with the words "I approve this message" in red paint.
As previously reported by The Root, protests at Standing Rock turned violent last Saturday when security officers attacked the land’s protectors with pepper spray and vicious dogs. According to Steve Sitting Bear, a spokesperson for the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, six people—including a pregnant woman and a small child—were bitten by security dogs. At least 30 people were reportedly pepper-sprayed.
The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior released a joint statement on Friday announcing the halt of the Dakota Access/Bakken Pipeline pending further review. The DOJ has not announced what consequences the owners of the Bakken-Dakota Access Pipeline Project—Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics Partners, MarEn Bakken and Phillips 66—will face if they do not heed the DOJ's "request" to "voluntarily" stop construction of the pipeline.
This isn't the first time Stein's activism has gotten her into trouble with the law. She was also arrested in 2012 while protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline.
During a town hall Wednesday at Souphanouvong University in Luang Prabang, Laos, an attendee asked President Barack Obama what he could do about the destruction of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe's “ancestral land, the supply of clean water and environmental justice as a whole.”
Instead of answering the question directly, Obama said he was not familiar with the status of the Dakota pipeline and focused on what he described as his administration's "investment" in building a relationship with the First Nations.
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about the pipeline in November 2015 and again Sept. 6.
Neither Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton nor Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has issued a statement.
Environmental racism is one of the most critical issues that we face, and it must be rooted out and eradicated wherever it thrives. To that end, the "#NoDAPL Global Weeks of Solidarity Action" will run Sept. 3-17. For more information, visit this website. Find out what items are needed at Red Warrior Camp here.