Bemidji, MN – Last week, the Intercept published an article revealing leaked documents that prove Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the parent company of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and law enforcement from five states were using counterterrorist tactics during the time the #NoDAPL camps were operating. A contractor who worked with TigerSwan, the security company hired by ETP, leaked over 100 internal documents revealing that “TigerSwan spearheaded a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and intrusive surveillance of protesters.” The documents also show that the security company compared the Water Protectors to jihadist fighters.
The following are statements from the Indigenous Environmental Network:
“The usage of counterterrorism tactics upon our No DAPL movement is not only extremely disturbing, but feeds into a historical narrative of oppression that Indigenous Peoples and People of Color have dealt with for generations. Many of our brothers and sisters incarcerated across the country for their activism are political prisoners as a result of such disruptive tactics used by companies like TigerSwan. This reminds us of the 1970s, during the Red Power American Indian Movement, where the FBI’s counterintelligence program sought to criminalize our Indigenous organizers and spiritual leaders. However, we will not let such repressive efforts to dissuade us from our moral and spiritual obligation to protect the sacred integrity of Mother Earth. We will continue to speak up for the dignity and rights of our Indigenous peoples, and we will resist any attempts to diminish that directive.”
“While we were working in the #NoDAPL camps, we knew that these tactics were being used. Our devices would stop working for periods of time, hard drives would be cleared of information and footage, and from time to time camp security would identity infiltrators inside the camp who were working for Energy Transfer Partners. Now we have the evidence. This proof also tells us more about the militarization of the police and the violence they imposed on Water Protectors. By comparing Indigenous Peoples and civilians to Jihadist fighters, police and security were essentially given permission to carry out war-like tactics on Water Protectors.”