Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said she vandalized a bulldozer at an anti-oil protest earlier this week to show solidarity with those working to rescue the planet from global warming.
Stein told a crowd at the Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha campus Thursday that she had no other choice but to spray paint the words “I approve this message” on a bulldozer blade at the protest. She said she did it because the Native American protesters asked her to.
“I felt like it was the least I could do in front of these Indian leaders, as they were putting their lives and their bodies on the line,” Stein said.
The long-shot presidential candidate also said that the protesters are doing their level best to save “our climate and our planet” while, at the same time, “lifting up this incredible vision of community and forgiveness.”
Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka received misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief, which can result in brief jail time, but typically result in fines. North Dakota law enforcement officials issued an arrest warrant for Stein Tuesday
A group of 200 protesters including Stein and Baraka descended on a the construction site of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8 million project promising to shuttle oil from North Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Standing Rock Tribe’s lawyers are working to persuade a federal judge to withdraw permits for the 1,100-mile pipeline, which could shuttle nearly 500,000 barrels of Bakken shale oil throughout the Southwest.
Members of the tribe met outside the steps of the Washington, D.C., courthouse Aug. 25 to protest the construction of the pipeline, which they say would wreak havoc on their native lands and cause widespread water contamination.
Tribal preservation officer Tim Mentz cited court documents concluding that researchers found burial rock piles called cairns, as well as other areas deemed historically “significant” to Native Americans.
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