Still thinking about casting a vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein? If so, perhaps one of the things you like about her is her well known opposition to fossil fuels, pipelines and, well… pretty much anything that keeps the lights on which doesn’t involved a windmill. She’s certainly dedicated to the cause, as she demonstrated (literally and figuratively) in North Dakota this week. But rather than simply voicing her displeasure with a local pipeline project, she decided to take it one step further and commit some vandalism. (Inforum)
More than 100 protesters gathered at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site Tuesday where two people bound themselves to bulldozers and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was meeting with pipeline opponents.
A woman and a man attached themselves to equipment east of State Highway 6 using the same type of casting material used by demonstrators last week. The gathering began about 10 a.m. Tuesday northwest of the main pipeline protest site. About 75 people remained by 12:30 p.m.
That report doesn’t really get into the vandalism aspect of the story, but there’s evidence available which leaves the question in little doubt. The video of Stein engaging in the spray painting is embedded in this tweet from a local news station.
— KX News (@KXMB) September 6, 2016
I suppose the video was too much for area law enforcement to ignore because local media is now reporting that Stein will face charges. (Bismarck Tribune)
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, who is accused of spray-painting equipment Tuesday at a Dakota Access Pipeline work site, will face charges for her action, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said in a press conference…
Though no arrests were made as a result of Tuesday’s actions, Kirchmeier said the sheriff’s department is “working up the information through the state’s attorney’s office to pursue charges (against Stein).” One possible charge could be for trespassing and another for vandalism, though it’s not yet known whether these would be felony or misdemeanor charges.
Let’s just leave the entire energy debate out of this for a moment here. So Jill Stein opposes the pipeline. Fine. (Even though it’s not even going through tribal land and has been signed off on for ecological concerns.) Protest all you like. Make a statement. But when you break out the spray paint and begin vandalizing a million dollar piece of machinery, haven’t we crossed some sort of line? Yes, I know… the “damage” to the machinery is entirely superficial and wouldn’t slow down production. Further, this is a PR win for Stein, who desperately needs to up her name recognition and will doubtless get a slap on the wrist for her offense. (They’re making noises about felony charges, but if we sent everyone to prison who ever broke out a spray can and started tagging private property we’d have no room left in the country for anything but jails.)
But we’re talking about someone who claims to be ready to be the President of the United States and is actually registering a measurable amount of the vote in the polls. She’s breaking the laws which she presumably plans to take an oath to uphold and enforce. Are you still going to take her seriously at this point?
In closing, I would simply note for any liberals who may have wandered across this column by accident that Stein’s crimes are still orders of magnitude less serious than Hillary Clinton’s. So if you were going to vote for Hillary, switching over to Jill remains a great idea. Go for it.