MINOT, N.D. — For years Americans have witnessed the energetic, and often illegal, demonstrations against the domestic energy industry.
The Dakota Access Pipeline in central North Dakota was built by workers operating amid brutal violence from political extremists who had no compunctions about vandalizing their equipment and putting them in danger.
The Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota was much the same story. Workers built that line in accordance with all the appropriate state and federal regulations while being harassed by thuggish, destructive demonstrators.
These events have been well covered, but they raise a question for which we don’t have a good answer: Where does the money come from to fund these activities?
The protesters who wave signs and chant, who vandalize and intimidate and provoke confrontations with law enforcement, are well-supported and supplied. They have legal defense funds, bail money, and lawyers. They have food and drink and money for travel. They have an army of professionals deploying sophisticated communications and marketing strategies that package their activities for easy consumption by the public and the press.