Since losing on the general election ballot last year Chase Iron Eyes, who received the nomination of North Dakota Democrats to run for the U.S. House in 2016, has embedded himself in the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camps.
He’s been there urging protesters to stay in the camps, despite Standing Rock Sioux tribal leadership asking them to leave, and though he was quite moderate on the question of pipelines during his campaign (listen to my interview with him here) of late his social media messaging has turned dark.
So far this morning Iron Eyes hasn’t responded to news that the Trump administration will be approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, but as of last night he was promising “war” over the latter project.
Given how much violence has been perpetrated already by anti-pipeline activists since they began their protests last years you’d think Iron Eyes might recognize that this sort of rhetoric is unhelpful.
Last week the Standing Rock Tribal Council, reacting to a resolution passed by their Cannonball District (where the protests are occurring), asked the protesters, again, to clean up their camps and go home. The Cannonball District has made it clear that they not only want the protesters to move on from their existing camps, but they don’t want them to even establish new camps outside of spring flood zones.
They want the protesters gone.
For months now we’ve heard these protesters tell us they’re in North Dakota to “stand with Standing Rock.” They’ve told us how much the respect the tribe and its elders.
But the tribe is now asking them to leave. I guess that respect takes a back seat to extremist politics.