Amy Goodman Broadcasts From North Dakota Across From Court Where She Faces Riot Charge Today

UPDATE: On October 17, a North Dakota judge dismissed the “riot” charges against Amy Goodman for covering the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Also see: North Dakota’s War on the First Amendment Goes From Bad to Worse

We broadcast 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 September 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.

TRANSCRIPT:

AMY GOODMAN: We’re broadcasting live from Mandan, North Dakota, just across the street from the Morton County Courthouse, where more than a half-dozen people will be appearing in court today on charges related to the ongoing resistance to the construction of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. In total, dozens of people, who call themselves protectors, not protesters, have been arrested in recent months opposing the construction of the pipeline, including 14 people arrested Saturday amidst actions that delayed construction at multiple worksites. The pipeline has faced months of resistance from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and members of hundreds of other tribes from across Latin America, the United States and Canada. 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 me on September 8th, five days after Democracy Now! 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.

PROTESTER: These people are just threatening all of us with these dogs. And she, that woman over there, she was charging, and it bit somebody right in the face.

AMY GOODMAN: The dog has blood in its nose and its mouth.

PROTESTER: And she’s still standing here threatening us.

AMY GOODMAN: Why are you letting their — her dog go after the protesters? It’s covered in blood!

AMY GOODMAN: To see that full report, go to democracynow.org. The original charge against me was criminal trespass. Yet, on Friday, after we returned to North Dakota to challenge the charges and to continue covering the resistance to the Dakota Access pipeline, we learned that the state’s attorney, Ladd Erickson, had dropped the criminal trespass charge for lack of evidence, but had filed a new charge against me: riot. If Judge John Grinsteiner approves the new riot charge today, I’ll be appearing in court today at 1:30 p.m. North Dakota time to challenge it. For updates throughout the day, go to democracynow.org.