It’s not the first time that award-winning journalist Amy Goodman has been arrested, and it might not be the last, but the mainstream media correspondent will present herself to the Morton County–Mandan Combined Law Enforcement and Corrections Center at 8:15 a.m. local time (CDT) on Monday for processing.
Goodman is the host of her own television show Democracy Now, and according to the show’s website, Goodman has been charged with criminal trespassing for “filming an attack on Native American-led pipeline protesters” at what is now known as the Dakota Access pipeline.
As The Free Thought Project reported, the mainstream media has instituted a virtual blackout of coverage over the atrocities being committed on sacred Native American lands, which have allegedly destroyed sacred shrines, and threatened tribal waters, all of which is funded by Wall Street investors. Undaunted by the presence of private security forces, which unleashed attack dogs on women and children, the affected Native American protesters are holding their ground for now. Impeding progress in the Dakota Access pipeline’s construction is the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and members of at least 200 other Native American nations.
Goodman, whose widespread fame as an accomplished journalist was achieved via her coverage of the East Timor Independence fight, is determined to do what others in her field have yet to do, bring attention to the conflict caused by the pipeline’s construction in North Dakota.
Goodman was present on 9/3 and documented the attack, which according to one source, left, “six people, including one child, were injured after being bitten by the security dogs.” According to Steve Sitting Bear, an eyewitness to the attacks, at least 30 people were also pepper-sprayed.
Goodman promised to keep up the fight, saying, “I will go back to North Dakota to fight this charge. It is a clear violation of the First Amendment…I was doing my job as a journalist, covering a violent attack on Native American protesters."
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As reported by Democracy Now, “On Saturday, September 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.”
As a result, it now appears Goodman was singled out for her constitutionally protected freedom of the press coverage of the graphic confrontation of security guards, mostly White, unleashing attack dogs and pepper spray on Native Americans. The whole scene may be reminiscent of the Trail of Tears abuses Native Americans suffered at the hands of the White Man and Uncle Sam.
The Committee to Protect Journalists spoke out against the charges Goodman is facing, calling the incident, "a transparent attempt to intimidate reporters from covering protests of significant public interest."
It’s unclear if the Morton County Police Department knows precisely how high of a profile Goodman shares as a world-class journalist. If the trespassing charge was meant to silence her and other journalists, the opposite will most likely occur.
More media attention will now be drawn to the pipeline’s construction which has allegedly already destroyed several sacred burial lands belonging to Native Americans, which were protected by federal treaties.