On the same day seven defendants celebrated their acquittal in the armed takeover of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, law enforcement officers dressed in riot gear and firing bean bag rounds arrested nearly 150 oil pipeline protesters camped out in North Dakota. Previously dogs have been used attacking the protestors, blood on their noses and tongues. The pipeline threatens sacred burial sites and may even eventually pollute drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.
The sudden developments in the two protests drew an unsettling contrast for some between the treatment of mostly Native American citizens at an encampment near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the heavily armed occupiers who held the federal government at bay for weeks in the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.
But Texas-based Energy Exploitation Corporation, who is building the conduit from western North Dakota to Illinois, issued a press release saying that the Native American protestors are terrorists. "History has placed the Indian peoples as expendable. We're just following precedent."
"Those who say that there is a parallel between Ammon and Ryan Bundy who seized the refuge in Oregon, and Native Americans defending their ancestral lands and the clean drinking water for millions of people downstream commit the mistake of faulty comparison. Bundy and his followers were found innocent of any wrongdoing and, remember, they are white. But terrorist redskins aren't and they are guilty of obstructing Big Oil. That's a huge difference." states Exploitation Corp's press release.
"Besides, Bundy and his followers were armed to the teeth and the Indian protestors are made up of peaceful prayer groups. See the difference?" asked the Texas corporation spokesperson. "At least we're not committing genocide against Native Peoples the way our ancestors did," he concluded.