Western View: Protesting the Dakota Pipeline – Big Business!

Taylor Hillman General, Western View

The Dakota Pipeline protest became a popular cause for many people. But was it just a publicity stunt and business venture? It was Big Business and some people made big money from it.

Western View

According to the public record on the website GoFundMe, operators of the Sacred Stone Camp raised 3.1 million dollars just from one donation campaign. There were over 4,300 other GoFundMe campaigns, and those raised an additional $244,000. That’s 4,300 people who were soliciting funds in the name of the protest – and there were only 600 physically there. But in addition, the Freshet Collective raised an additional $2.876 million just for legal defense.

That’s over 6 million dollars, from the donations that are public record. It looks like there is much more.

North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner says that more than 30 environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Food and Water Watch, 350.org and Greenpeace, have backed the protest. The state is watching for 1099’s and W-2’s from these groups, to account for money paid to hired protesters. The state wants to collect their fair share of income tax to help pay for the cleanup of the damage done by the protesters.

Did I mention the protest looks ill advised?

The pipeline doesn’t cross reservation land. All but 1000 feet of it is on private property. It closely follows’ the route of 8 other pipelines that are already in service. The only segment that anyone could hope to stop, was that 1000 feet which would go under Lake Oahe on the Missouri River. The new pipeline would be 100 feet under the water. This is much deeper and thus safer than the existing pipelines.

And here’s the kicker. The Indians were protesting because they were worried about their water being polluted. According to the DAP records, Their water is coming from a new source as of this year, and that source is 70 miles away.

The moral of the story is, when folks are tugging on your heart to get into your wallet, look behind the curtain to see who is running the show.

I’m Len Wilcox and that’s the Western View from AgNet West.