Dakota Access Pipeline Protestors Face 110 Years in Prison

October 6, 2019 at 12:22 am

These two women face up to 110 years in prison for trying to stop the pipeline and “save the planet”

CREDIT: Joshua Smith

Activists Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek face a minimum of 10 years and up to 110 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for attempting to sabotage the construction of the largest oil pipeline in America.

The pair proudly confessed two years ago to torching holes along the length of the pipeline and setting fire to several pieces of heavy machinery used to construct it.

While some have characterized their destruction of property as violent acts of vandalism, the women point out that their actions were actually peaceful and non-violent acts of self-defense.

CREDIT: Joshua Smith

“Some may view these actions as violent, but … we acted from our hearts and never threatened human life nor personal property … What we did do is fight a private corporation that has run rampantly across our country seizing land and polluting our water supply,” Montoya said in a press conference before destroying a pipeline sign on live TV:

“I think that the oil being taken out of the ground and the machinery that does it … is violent, said Reznicek in a Democracy Now interview.

“We never at all threatened human life. Actually, we’re acting in an effort to save human life, to save our planet, to save our resources. And nothing at any point was ever done by Ruby nor I outside of peaceful, deliberate, and steady, loving hands.”

Their trial is set for December 2.

Civil liberties lawyers say the charges levied against the women are industry-inspired scare tactics meant to deter citizens from participating in direct-action protests or acts of sabotage against oil and gas companies.

The women told The Intercept they plan to use a “necessity defense” to argue that they had no choice but to act.

Since it started operating two years ago, the Dakota Access pipeline has already had 10 spills and now there are plans to nearly double the pipeline’s capacity.

A recent study indicated that current fossil fuel infrastructure leaves humanity with less than a 50 percent chance of avoiding unmanageable climate crises.

“They shouldn’t be prosecuted; they should be praised. They’re trying to stop the destruction of the human race,” said Bill Quigley, an attorney who previously represented the women.