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On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, just over a week after the base was largely destroyed during Hurricane Michael.
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Six months since Hurricane Maria battered the island of Puerto Rico, the island is the site of a pitched battle between wealthy investors—particularly from the technology industry—and everyday Puerto Ricans fighting for a place in their island's future.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly. Climate change is expected to be high on the agenda at this year's gathering.
As the world leaders meet, another major storm—Hurricane Maria—is gaining strength in the Caribbean and following a similar path as Hurricane Irma. The current forecast shows Maria could hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm as early as Wednesday. The U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Irma, also appear to be in line to be hit by Maria.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Trump administration is considering staying in the Paris climate agreement, just months after the president vowed to pull out of it. The White House denied the report. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday signaled Trump may back away from the Paris accord, but National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster gave a different message on Fox News Sunday.
We speak with best-selling author Naomi Klein, a senior correspondent for The Intercept. Her most recent book, "No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump's Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need," has been longlisted for a National Book Award.
In the Caribbean, at least 10 people have died as the historic Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels across the Atlantic Ocean and toward the U.S. coast. Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean. On Barbuda, 90 percent of all structures were destroyed.
"This is a complete vindication of my right as a journalist to cover the attack on the protesters, and of the public's right to know what is happening with the Dakota Access Pipeline," said Goodman. "We will continue to report on this epic struggle of Native Americans and their non-Native allies taking on the fossil fuel industry and an increasingly militarized police in this time when climate change threatens the planet."
District Judge John Grinsteiner did not find probable cause to justify the charges filed on Friday, Oct. 14 by State's Attorney Ladd R Erickson. Those charges were presented after Erickson had withdrawn an earlier charge against Goodman of criminal trespass. Goodman had returned to North Dakota to turn herself in to the trespassing charge.
The charges in State of North Dakota v. Amy Goodman, stemmed from Democracy Now!'s coverage of protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Saturday, Sept. 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the pipeline company attacking protesters. The report showed guards unleashing dogs and using pepper spray and featured people with bite injuries and a dog with blood dripping from its mouth and nose.
Democracy Now!'s report went viral online and was viewed more than 14 million times on Facebook and was rebroadcast on many outlets, including CBS, NBC,NPR, CNN, MSNBCand the Huffington Post.
On Sept. 8, a criminal complaint and warrant was issued for Goodman's arrest on the trespassing charge.
"These shifting charges were a transparent attempt by the prosecutor to intimidate Amy Goodman and to silence coverage of the resistance to the pipeline," said Reed Brody, an attorney for Goodman. "Fortunately, these bully tactics didn't work and freedom of the press has prevailed."
The pipeline project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of more than 100 other tribes from across the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning public television/radio news program that airs on over 1,400 stations worldwide. Goodman has co-authored six New York Times bestsellers and won many of journalism's highest awards in more than three-decades working as a reporter.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Democracy Now!
[For the latest on this case, click here.]
North Dakota has charged journalist Amy Goodman and filmmaker Deia Schlosberg for doing their jobs: reporting and documenting the peaceful protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. This string of arrests constitutes nothing less than a war on journalism and a victory for fossil fuel interests that have banked on the pipeline.
We call on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to act to protect the first amendment rights of those attempting to tell the stories of the water protectors fighting the risky pipeline. The DOJ must investigate the arrests of Amy Goodman and Deia Schlosberg at the hands of North Dakota police.
The first amendment is not only a cornerstone of our bill of rights, but the right to free speech and freedom of the press is critical to addressing our climate chaos. We need brave journalists to tell the stories of injustice that are occurring at the hands of the banks and fossil fuel companies seeking to extract every last drop of fossil fuels for profit—no matter the cost.
We applaud Goodman and Schlosberg for courageously documenting the peaceful actions at Standing Rock and call upon Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate their arrests and act to protect the first amendment rights of those attempting to tell the stories of the water protectors fighting this risky pipeline.
On Saturday, hundreds of people temporarily stopped work at multiple construction sites at the site of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline. One person reportedly delayed work for up to six hours by locking to an excavator. At least 14 people were arrested.
Democracy Now! began covering the action just after dawn, from the main resistance camp in Cannon Ball, North Dakota. Watch here:
A federal appeals court recently rejected a bid by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to permanently halt construction on part of the Dakota Access pipeline, paving the way for the Dakota Access company to resume construction on private lands adjacent to Lake Oahe on the Missouri River.
A decision on whether the pipeline can proceed under the river rests with the Army Corps of Engineers. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe argued that construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline is destroying cultural artifacts and sacred sites, including a sacred tribal burial ground that was bulldozed on Sept. 3, Labor Day weekend, when Dakota Access pipeline's guards unleashed dogs and pepper spray on the Native Americans. Since then, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and others have set up a permanent encampment across the street from the bulldozed burial ground. They call it the Sacred Ground Camp and say they'll continue to fight the Dakota Access pipeline.
We are joined by Dave Archambault II, chair of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Watch here:
Democracy Now! is broadcasting live from Mandan, North Dakota, across the street from the Morton County Courthouse, where more than a half-dozen people will appear in court today on charges related to the ongoing resistance to the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. At least three people are due in court today on felony charges after locking themselves to heavy construction equipment.
Morton County also issued an arrest warrant for Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman on Sept. 8, five days after we released our on-the-ground video report from Labor Day weekend showing the Dakota Access pipeline company's security guards physically assaulting nonviolent, mostly Native American land protectors, pepper-spraying them and unleashing attack dogs, one of which was shown with blood dripping from its nose and mouth.
The original charge against Goodman was criminal trespass, but due to lack of evidence, State's Attorney Ladd Erickson has filed a new charge against Goodman: "riot." If Judge John Grinsteiner approves the new riot charge, she will be appearing in court today at 1:30 p.m. CT to challenge it. Watch here:
Reposted with permission from our media associate Democracy Now!
Award-winning journalist Amy Goodman, charged with criminal trespassing for filming an attack on Native American-led pipeline protesters, will turn herself in to North Dakota authorities on Oct. 17.
Amy Goodman will surrender to authorities at the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center at 8:15 a.m. local time (CDT).
"I will go back to North Dakota to fight this charge. It is a clear violation of the First Amendment," said Goodman. "I was doing my job as a journalist, covering a violent attack on Native American protesters."
The charge in State of North Dakota v. Amy Goodman stems from Democracy Now!'s coverage of the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline. On Sept. 3, Democracy Now! filmed security guards working for the pipeline company attacking protesters. The report showed guards unleashing dogs and using pepper spray and featured people with bite injuries and a dog with blood on its mouth and nose.
Democracy Now!'s report went viral online, was viewed more than 14 million times on Facebook and was rebroadcast on many outlets, including CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and the Huffington Post.
On Sept. 8, a criminal complaint and warrant was issued for Goodman's arrest.
Ironically, in the state's criminal complaint, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Lindsey Wohl, referencing the Democracy Now! video report in a sworn affidavit, stated, "Amy Goodman can be seen on the video identifying herself and interviewing protesters about their involvement in the protest." This is precisely the point: Goodman was doing the constitutionally protected work of a reporter.
The pipeline project has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of more than 200 other tribes from across the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has said that the warrant is "a transparent attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of significant public interest."
Steve Andrist, executive director of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, told The Bismarck Tribune, "It's regrettable that authorities chose to charge a reporter who was just doing her job."
Reposted with permission from our media associate Democracy Now!
By Andy Rowell
There is good news and bad news for those fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
Some of the most powerful footage of the incident was fronted by veteran Democracy Now! journalist, Amy Goodman, who had been on site to witness the despicable attacks.
Goodman opened her report by stating:
"On Saturday in Dakota, security guards working for the Dakota Access Pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they resisted the $3.8 billion pipeline's construction."
The footage went viral and lead to outrage from across the world including on CBS, NBC, NPR, CNN, MSNBC and Huffington Post. A colleague who has watched Goodman's reporting for decades said it was the most passionate they had ever seen her broadcasting live.
Well now in a travesty of American justice, Democracy Now! announced over the weekend that an arrest warrant had been issued in North Dakota for Goodman. She has been charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor offense.
It is totally outrageous that the U.S. authorities are trying to silence such a journalist as Goodman.
"This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press," Goodman said in a statement. "I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters."
Meanwhile, the day before, after an injunction by the Standing Rock Sioux was denied, the federal government stepped in immediately afterwards to halt construction of the pipeline.
For now at least.
The Department of Justice, the Department of the Army and the Department of the Interior issued the following statement:
"In recent days, we have seen thousands of demonstrators come together peacefully, with support from scores of sovereign tribal governments, to exercise their First Amendment rights and to voice heartfelt concerns about the environment and historic, sacred sites. It is now incumbent on all of us to develop a path forward that serves the broadest public interest."
"The Army will not authorize constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline on Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until it can determine whether it will need to reconsider any of its previous decisions regarding the Lake Oahe site under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) or other federal laws."
"Therefore, construction of the pipeline on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe will not go forward at this time ... This case has highlighted the need for a serious discussion on whether there should be nationwide reform with respect to considering tribes' views on these types of infrastructure projects."
Reaction was mixed on the ground as people poured over the fine print behind the headline news. Indeed, as usual, the devil is on the detail.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe replied that the announcement sets the "stage for a nationwide reform, establishing consultation with tribes regarding the need for meaningful tribal input for all pipeline projects in the future. This federal statement is a game changer for the tribe and we are acting immediately on our legal options, including filing an appeal and a temporary injunction to force DAPL to stop construction."
"The feeling on the ground is one of mixed emotion. People are very upset that the tribe's injunction motion was denied," said one of the leading female activists, Kandi Mossett, who pointed out that the request to stop construction near the contentious site, was just that: a request.
Indeed, as DesmogBlog pointed out, even though the government has requested that the pipeline be stopped: "The federal government can't stop Energy Transfer from proceeding to construct the Dakota Access Pipeline on private land, which is why it asked DAPL to voluntarily halt construction there."
The Red Warrior Camp was more dismissive and posted online: "Nothing has changed for the thousands of people who came from thousands of miles on prayers and fumes to stop this pipeline. Stay peaceful without backing down."
One blogger Kelly Hayes noted:
"Let's reflect on that for a moment: A company that recently sicced dogs on Water Protectors, including families, who stepped onto a sacred site to prevent its destruction, is being asked to voluntarily do the right thing … Right now, all that's being asked is that they play their part in a short term political performance aimed at letting the air out of a movement's tires."
"So what did the federal government do? Probably the smartest thing they could have: They gave us the illusion of victory … But if you raise a glass to Obama and declare this battle won, you are erasing a battle that isn't over yet. And by erasing an ongoing struggle, you're helping to build a pipeline."
So for now the struggle continues, and the protests are going global. There will be demonstrations across the U.S. Tuesday and solidarity ones across the globe, including in London at 6 p.m. For more details go here.