North Dakota pressed charges Wednesday against presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running partner Ajamu Baraka for spray painting Dakota pipeline equipment, issuing warrants for their arrests.
Stein and Baraka of the Green Party ticket visited the site of months-long protests against the Dakota Access pipeline Monday to support the Native American-led resistance against its construction.
They and other high-profile figures have visited the camp to amplify the message that millions would have their drinking water contaminated when the pipeline breaks and that its path goes through treaty-protected sacred lands.
Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman was also issued an arrest warrant for covering the events.
"This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press," said Amy Goodman in a statement. "I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”
The charges, reported local KFYR, include trespassing and criminal mischief. The Army Corps of Engineers insists that it owns the land where the camps are being held, making their occupation illegal. The two spent the night there on Monday and spray painted a bulldozer—Stein wrote “I approve this message” and Baraka wrote "decolonization"—on the invitation of activists, reported KFYR.
"The media will use this opportunity to talk about how Jill and I being at the encampment was trespassing, but someone needs to hold corporations, politicians and yes those who support those politicians accountable too," wrote Baraka in a Facebook post Wednesday. "When construction on "private property" seeps into the waters of its inhabitants, exploits and pollute, it is our duty to resist."
6:47 p.m.: This article was updated after the two were charged and was updated to include Ajamu Baraka.