On Monday, October 17, 2016, a judge dismissed charges against Amy Goodman. The host of Democracy Now! was charged with trespassing and rioting while covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protest on September 3, 2016.
The Dakota Access Pipeline Project is a pipeline under construction that will transport crude oil throughout North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois. The issue is the pipeline threatens burial sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Thousands of Native Americans are protesting at the site fearing if the pipeline is built, it will damage the grounds and water surrounding it if it ruptures.
Goodman filmed and posted a seven-minute video showing footage of protesters at the site which went viral attracting over 14 million views. Many big news stations such as CBS and NBC didn’t cover the protest until Goodman did. She helped bring light to the protest, and still isn’t backing down from the fight.
“[We] encourage all of the media to come here,” said Goodman at the Morton County courthouse. “We certainly will continue to cover this struggle.”
Goodman inspires me on so many levels. First of all, maybe she did trespass, but so did many others. She doesn’t deserve to be singled out and arrested just because she brought attention to the story. Secondly, it’s incredibly powerful to see her continue to fight even after experiencing a stressful situation like being arrested. I’m not sure if I could do the same.
I also think it’s a little extreme to arrest someone for simply doing their job. You wouldn’t arrest a firefighter for putting out a fire, so why arrest a journalist covering a story? I applaud Amy Goodman for taking a stand and bringing the protest to light. She inspires me to be strong and fight for the things you believe in.