This afternoon North Dakota law enforcement officials are working to remove unlawful protesters from an illegal blockade of Highway 1806 as well as an unlawful camp on private land nearby.
As law enforcement advanced on the protesters, they lit on fire a pile of hay and tires producing a thick black smoke. Why did they do this? I don’t know.
Maybe it was intended as a sort of “you shall not pass” fire barrier to keep the cops back (they ultimately sprayed it apart with a fire hose). I think it was more likely a sort of stage prop. Window dressing for the protest. Because photos and video of rioters clashing with cops is more dramatic with thick black smoke in the background:
— Caroline Grueskin (@cgrueskin) October 27, 2016
Of course you look like rioters. That’s because you’re rioting.
And you know what? It’s actually illegal to burn stuff like tires in North Dakota. This is from 33-15-04-02 of the North Dakota Administrative Code:
Why is this sort of thing illegal?
Because burning tires and stuff is bad for the environment.
You’d think that would be the sort of thing a bunch of environmentalists would be sensitive to.
UPDATE: Here’s some photos from Morton County of a second, much larger bonfire set by the protesters.