Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment is not respected in North Dakota. Or maybe it got lost in the Second Amendment Shuffle. The right to bear arms is definitely allowed–well, as long as you’re a police officer or a member of a private security force or oil company executives. Can’t say for sure about oil company executives because they don’t show their faces in public and they’re definitely not heading out any time soon to lay any pipe themselves. Personally, I’d really like to see that dirty work in the field happen but that’s an entirely different issue. Oh, wait, there’s also some serious history of law authorities not being too fond of the Lakota/Sioux having weapons of any sort close at hand–so I suspect the Second Amendment is off-limits to them in North Dakota.
When in North Dakota:
Journalists Shall Not Report what is going on at Standing Rock or elsewhere regarding the defense of water and land under threat by a big oil pipeline. They will arrest you for this:
Citizens Shall Not Live-stream the actions of Police, the National Guard and Private Security Firms. They will arrest you for this.
Thou Shall Not Take Photographs which document Police, National Guard, and Private Security Firms which contradict their stated version of events involving peaceful Protectors.They will arrest you for this.
Thou Shall Not Reveal How the Police in North Dakota are doing the bidding of Energy Transfer Partners. They will arrest you for this.
If you think I’m joking just ask Deia Schlosberg, Unicorn Riot , Shailene Woodley, Madison WI City Alderman Rebecca Kemble and the Standing Rock Protectors who’ve been jailed for documenting what’s happened with North Dakota Police, ETP’s private security, and the National Guard.
If you do record and share such information you are an enemy of the state of North Dakota and its good buddies, Energy Transfer Partners and the big banks which are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline. (If you think ‘enemy’ is too strong a word then feel free to suggest other word choices. I’m open to suggestions.)
Wondering why I’m rambling on about the Freedom of the Press?
Things are going to get a tad interesting regarding the Freedom of the Press in North Dakota on Monday morning when Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman intends to turn herself in to authorities to deal with the charges made against her for doing her job.
UPDATE Regarding North Dakota Versus Amy Goodman Now it’s “riot” instead of “trespassing.”
I’m wondering if any mainstream media operations will cover this action. Will CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR show up for this confrontation regarding First Amendment festivities? How about Al Jazeera? CNN maybe? At the moment I’m betting they’ll all be no-shows, though they do like using Democracy Now!’s news footage from time to time. Those pesky independent journalists get to go to all the ‘fun’ hot spots television news anchors might not be able to find on a travel guide map. (Is that too harsh? I don’t think so, but one never knows.) By the way, if you don’t know who Amy Goodman is and you’ve never watched Democracy Now!’s Independent Global News well then it’s about time you considered expanding your news horizons. Be forewarned, there will be no hot blondes in tight dresses breathlessly spewing out sound bites in an effort to give you an anxiety attack about local events. The headlines are often delivered at a fast and furious speed in an effort to make the most of the time. The in-depth coverage might take you places and introduce you to people you never knew existed–and probably would never meet via mainstream news.
You might get angry. You might be offended. You might start wondering why mainstream media treats people like blithering idiots. Some of those interviewed such as Henry A. Giroux will share their thoughts on that last notion from time to time. If you have children in school you might want to pay close attention. (Damn all the teaching to the tests.)
So, if you’re a serious reader you might discover some new books. Said books may depress you with their reality checks. But so be it.
And then there are the discussions of films ET wouldn’t dare spotlight:
If you’ve read and watched so far you now have some idea of the nature of independent journalism as practiced by Amy Goodman and the rest of Democracy Now! It’s probably clear why Energy Transfer Partners and the authorities in North Dakota are none too keen on making Goodman or any other kind of journalist welcome to venture out to Standing Rock and other oil pipeline sites. Even from New York City, Democracy Now! has provided all kinds of ongoing intriguing issue raising coverage of #NoDAPL. Most of which puts the likes of PBS to shame for its depth and breadth.
Hence, come October 17, 2016 I wonder which journalists will be covering the story of Goodman turning herself in Mandan, North Dakota. There’s a chance there might only be the Democracy Now! crew and Standing Rock Protectors as witnesses. Let’s hope not. Let’s hope mainstream media can find its way to Mandan, Standing Rock and the Dakota Access Pipeline no one needs. Like Climate Change, which mainstream media has done a damn fine job of ignoring, the First Amendment impacts all of us. Ignorance is not bliss. You really do need to know what the hell is going on. That’s the purpose of having an independent news media.