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Costs of protests should be passed on to foundations

The left is destroying their own causes; as they frame themselves as selfless environmentalists, following their funding shows these radicals' true aims. Now, as North Dakota deals with the $33 million of costs associated with law enforcement and also damage that the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors have left behind, the corporations funding these ventures should be held accountable as well.

The Dakota Access protestors did not come out of nowhere, left-wing charities have been funding protests like these for years. Now in North Dakota, this same group is funding disorderly conduct and disrespect for the law.

Warren Buffett, a strict adversary of pipeline growth, has funneled well over $30 million dollars into the Tides Foundation, the group then disperse the funds among selected NGOs carrying out anti-pipeline campaigns.

The group primarily responsible for the rally behind the Dakota Access Pipeline is none other than the Indigenous Environmental Network, a pawn of the left.

Tom Shepstone explains in his Sept. 2016 analysis "A little research indicates one of the entities leading the charge is a group called Indigenous Environmental Network. Unsurprisingly, it has received funding from the usual fractivist funding suspects. They include the Earth Island Institute (funded, in turn, by the Rockefellers), the Tides Foundation, the Rose Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (funded by Tides and the Rockefeller Family Fund, among others)."

Shepstone explained, "Not only is the pipeline not on the reservation's land, it parallels an existing natural gas pipeline already built there in the '80's. The Indigenous Environmental Network is also part of something called the Sustainable World Coalition... It's not about the climate, the environment or Native Americans. It's all about the money and power, which is why Warren Buffett also invests in Tides and other groups to fund opposition to Dakota pipelines that would compete with his Burlington Northern railroad to haul oil. It's because of these people that groups such as the Indigenous Environmental Network even exist and why the debate over the Dakota Pipeline is such a fiasco."

Meanwhile, groups like the Indigenous Environmental Network claim to be led by "tribal grassroots members", despite their lucrative assistance.

It's not just in North Dakota, either. As Vivian Krause a frequent writer for the Financial Post about this engrained corporate corruption writes, the left-wing opposition to pipelines extended to the Canada oil sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. Wrote Krause, "A large part of Tides' funding comes from the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. These are The Big Five. They give away about $1.2 billion every year. If these foundations decide to undermine a foreign industry, they probably can."

That is exactly what they have done. Tides, with the help of big name charities and business men, has taken control of the debate on the pipelines and spun it into an indigenous issue. By Krause's calculations, Tides, a co-funder of the Rockefeller oil sands campaign, has distributed $19 million to anti-Keystone XL pipeline groups from 2008 to 2013 alone, including funding tribal groups like Idle No More. Overall, left-wing foundations have devoted more than $75 million to those operations, according to Krause.

The Tides Foundation for example, got its money's worth in 2014 when, as Toronto Sun reporter Ezra Levant explains, the left wing lobbying group based out of San Francisco wired $55,000 to the bank account of Allan Adam, from the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation chief in Northern Alberta, to oppose the construction of oil sands.

While these protestors fight their "environmentalist" aim, they have actually destroyed the environment of the area they claim to be eager to protect.

The protestors have burned tires, releasing toxic chemicals into the air; dug latrines in the flood plain, washing waste into the Cannonball River; and killed cows and bison, hardly environmentally appropriate at all. Altogether, the damage these protestors have caused runs a bill the state estimates will cost $33 million in damages.

The Tides Foundation and its affiliates are not just paying for protests, they are building a franchise of illegal and reckless activity. North Dakota should send them the bill.

With over 700 already arrested, 90 percent with previous records, these protestors have taken it to the next level of civil disobedience. Individuals have heckled police officers, tied themselves to construction equipment, and when forced to evacuate, set fire to their sites and became violent.

These were the same tactics used in Canada by local tribal groups with great effect, often leading to property damage and arrests, and indicate an international strategy by these foundations to destabilize an entire industry. It need not be tolerated. There is no First Amendment right to destroy property.

The foundations funding this protest can and should be held accountable to the entire state affected by this chaos. By creating a problem in South Dakota, these organizations have helped create a lawless area of senseless social justice advocacy which is costing the state millions. If Tides, Rockefeller and other foundations are willing to fund these protests, it is about time someone made them fund the cleanup.

Natalia Castro is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.