Many other citizens have been charged for trespassing and participating in non-existent riots, including journalists.
One of the most renowned reporters who’s faced DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline)-related charges was Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Goodman’s team filmed dog attacks by DAPL contractors who lacked proper K9 licenses.
The contractors have also been accused of unethical surveillance, intimidation, and sabotaging the movement by attempting to make authorities believe the protesters have finally turned violent.
Other journalists, including documentarian Deia Schlosberg, face decades in prison for filming climate activists at a separate oil project. Journalists from the independent outlet Unicorn Riot, who recently reported use of a sound cannon on water protectors, have also been arrested.
Thousands of opponents to the pipeline have flooded Standing Rock to repel construction and police brutality. More still have taken to the internet, spreading information in the form of writing, video, photography, and art. Among the renegade tactics is using Facebook to “check-in” at Standing Rock.
According the Guardian, over a million people–even people I know–have joined the action.
It began with a Facebook post, disclosing that Morton County sheriffs are allegedly using Facebook check-ins to track protesters. “Checking in”–whether you’re at a friend’s, restaurant, or escalating resistance–pinpoints your location to a tee. Once you check in, a notification is sent out to, yes, your friends, but theoretically anyone who’s capable of watching.
It’s yet another tool in the bag of tricks authorities have deployed against civilians, and are likely utilizing in Standing Rock.
Some detractors have dismissed the social media action as a waste of time. An editor at The Fifth Column challenged these in a Facebook post, narrating a debate on the subject he’d had. Editor Justin King pointed out that even if the check-in’s wasted two minutes of time, multiplied by hundreds of thousands, that equates to two months of wasted police work.
Now imagine how ineffective the surveillance may be with millions continuously checking.
Morton County Sheriff’s, Guardian reports, called claims of police surveillance misguided “rumors”. Morton County, by their own account, isn’t “monitoring Facebook check-ins for the protest camp or any location for that matter.” Before you trust them, consider that Facebook access for water protectors was reported as “blocked’ during a military-style raid on a camp.
–Data Collection Nationwide–
Other police departments are similarly sketchy when pressured to speak on their surveillance technologies.
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