Water Protectors bring sage, prayer bundles, and song to the front line at the Backwater Bridge and police respond viciously. Photo by Rob Wilson Photography

Posted by Rob Wilson Photography on Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Rob Wilson Photography on Facebook: Night on the Backwater Bridge

Peter d'Errico: Defending tribal sovereignty in the post-DAPL era

An investigative series in The Intercept exposes the inner workings of the public and private security response to the #NoDAPL movement. Retired professor Peter d'Errico assesses the impacts on tribal sovereignty:
As documents assembled by The Intercept show, “the brutality of private security officers provoked widespread outrage concerning the pipeline project. On Labor Day weekend of 2016, Democracy Now! captured footage of pipeline security guards attacking peaceful protesters with dogs. In the aftermath of that incident, Energy Transfer Partners turned to TigerSwan to oversee the work of the other security companies contracted to protect the pipeline.”

TigerSwan presents a schizophrenic face to the world. On one hand, as in the public relations article quoted above, the CEO recommends “active, soft security solutions such as community engagement [that] are not only cost effective, [but] also enhance the corporate reputation of companies working overseas.” He adds, “By employing these best practices, you can change the perception of foreign business and establish goodwill in new communities. With minimal costs to you and your company, you can effectively establish rapport [and] support the community.” TigerSwan describes its logo as “two majestic animals…in a Yin-Yang symbol to show the range of operations [the] company would possess with grace, humility and strength.”

On the other hand, as demonstrated in its actions on the ground at Standing Rock, TigerSwan deploys “hard” military tactics and refers to the community as an armed conflict zone. In reports to its DAPL client, TigerSwan described the water protectors as “terrorists,” and the camps as a “battlefield,” and asserted TigerSwan could “develop and dictate the battlespace.” TigerSwan displayed frustration with local law enforcement officials who didn’t cooperate with the company’s agenda, including North Dakota’s Private Investigation and Security Board and county sheriffs.

Read More on the Story:
Peter d'Errico: The Cerebral Battle of DAPL: What if Standing Rock Retained TigerSwan? (Indian Country Media Network 6/5)

Series on Standing Rock / #NoDAPL:
Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to “Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies” (The Intercept 5/27)
Standing Rock Documents Expose Inner Workings of “Surveillance-Industrial Complex” (The Intercept 6/3)

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