Protest by Proxy?
Everyone’s been following the news about the tree sitters on Yellow Finch this week, how they’ve been camped out high up in the trees as a protest against the pipeline. Bringing a pipeline through the mountains has generated a lot of negative sentiment in the area, and as citizens, it’s our right to register our protest and to invite others to protest with us.
But THIS protest feels just a little bit tainted. Where did the protester who was extracted yesterday come from? Was she protesting about the pipeline coming through her land, or land that was held by her family for generations? Or does she farm that land and not want her livelihood interrupted? Either of those would be reasonable cause for protest.
Traditionally protesting has been an act of sacrifice, taking time from your regular employment to drum up interest, register complaints with government officials, and/or to physically make a stand in public. Courts have recognized such sacrifice as evidence of sincerely held beliefs worthy of consideration. Is that the case with these protesters?
No, the young woman extracted yesterday is from VERMONT, and is apparently a paid protester. She was arrested in 2018 with some friends accused of stealing survey stakes from the Nexxus pipeline project in OHIO…
If these are paid protesters, the pay must be pretty good to be stuck up in the trees day and night like that, for weeks or months. That begs the question: who’s paying the protesters and why? Is this a local grassroots effort where area people hire the protesters to do what they can’t afford to do? Or is there another entity at work?
Something in this whole scenario smells very fishy…