There Is Nothing Peaceful About Blocking Lawful Industry

Law enforcement had to be called to the confluence of the Missouri and Cannon Ball rivers today as workers on the Dakota Access Pipeline project were met with Native American protesters who blocked their path.

Unfortunately, this is being inaccurately described as a”peaceful” protest:

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Law enforcement officers have been called to southern North Dakota to keep the peace between American Indian protesters and developers of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois.

Native Americans have been staging a nonviolent protest for months at a “spirit camp” established by the Standing Rock Sioux at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers. …

Tribal member LaDonna Brave Bull Allard says about 45 construction vehicles were backed up on roads Wednesday afternoon. She says protesters have been peaceful.

To call this protest nonviolent would be accurate. Thankfully, nobody was physically harmed. Nobody was even arrested, according to the article.

But peaceful? Absolutely not. There is nothing peaceful about impeding lawful industry. The protesters shouldn’t be allowed to commit what amounts to economic vandalism – inflating the costs of a project they oppose by creating delays – and describe themselves as peaceful.

That’s horse puckey.

These tribal activists absolutely have the right to protest. They absolutely have the right to file lawsuits and write/say critical things about the pipeline project. But they no more have the right to block workers on their way to a job site than pro-life protesters have the right to block entrance to an abortion clinic.

You don’t have to like pipelines (or abortions, for that matter), but they’re legal. As such one citizen cannot lawfully block another from doing something legal.

It’s wrong, and if it continues, there absolutely should be arrests.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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