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President Trump signed two executive orders last week to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects at a federal level, limiting states’ ability to regulate such projects. The move is intended in part to clear the way for permitting on the northeastern Constitution pipeline, which has stalled after New York invoked the Clean Water Act to reject the project on environmental grounds. This comes as climate activists have filed a federal lawsuit challenging three South Dakota laws, including the so-called Riot Boosting Act, that they say targets activists who encourage or organize protests, particularly against the Keystone XL pipeline. The laws give the state the authority to sue any individual or organization for encouraging a protest where acts of violence occur, whether or not the individual was involved in or had knowledge of the violent act. Organizers also can face criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison. The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit, asserts the laws violate First Amendment rights. We speak to Dallas Goldtooth, organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. He is also one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit.

Citations

[1]Trump vs. Mother Earth: Indigenous Activist Dallas Goldtooth Slams Trump’s Pipeline Executive Orders | Democracy Now! .... http://www.democracynow.org/2019/04/15/trump_vs_mother_earth_indigenous_activist