An increasing number of North Dakota residents are speaking out against the destructive Dakota Access Pipeline protests that continue to wreak havoc on otherwise peaceful communities. Flip to the opinion section of any Bismarck-area newspaper and it becomes abundantly clear that readers are tired of the chaos and tired of being ignored by the media.
“Fairy tales are alive and well in North Dakota,” wrote Jeremy Finch in a letter to the editor posted by the Grand Forks Herald. “Despite the facts, some media outlets spun the narrative into the realm of make believe,” he added.
Finch also pointed out that even members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, including Robert Fool Bear Sr., district chairman of Cannon Ball, are speaking out against the protest. “[Fool Bear] not only asks that “protesters go home” but criticizes the tribal chairman for refusing to demand this departure,” Finch wrote.
In a separate letter published by the Bismarck Tribune, reader Ray Daly scolded religious leaders for ignoring the reality on the ground and instead smearing local enforcement. “If you do not wish to practice what Scripture says, then that is your choice,” he wrote. “But, please do the citizens of North Dakota one big favor. Stop slapping our law enforcement agencies across the face. They do not deserve it.”
All of this comes as protesters admitted to the Williston Herald that grass fires were intentionally set as in an effort to obstruct authorities. The Herald also noted the little regard out-of-state activists have shown for farmers and ranchers who rely on their land to make a living.
“Many protesters have rallied around care of the environment, and it’s frustrating to us in the agriculture community when we look at how many examples of their activities have been anything but respectful of the environment,” said Julia Ellingson, vice president of the North Dakota Stockman’s Association.