Apparently, threats and taking hostages are all part of “peaceful” protesting, at least according to Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. Journalists Phelim McAleer and Magdalene Segieda learned that first hand after they were held hostage by protesters on Oct.18.
Protesters grabbed at the reporters’ equipment, leading the journalists to hide in their car. McAleer and Segieda “feared for our lives” as protesters shook the car and yelled, “If you don’t come out we can’t control what’s gonna happen next.”
McAleer and Segieda, creators of the FrackNation and Gosnell documentaries, received permission from the camp leader to interview protesters on Monday, Oct. 17. When they returned the next day to continue interviews, McAleer witnessed that many of the protesters drove oil-powered cars and trucks, despite claiming to be against the pipeline, oil, and fossil fuels. The protesters also slept in “tents made of plastic -- a product of oil.” When McAleer pointed this out, protesters responded violently.
A protester grabbed McAleer’s microphone and dragged him through the camp. When the journalists retreated to their car parked inside the camp, about 30 protesters surrounded them and shook the car, some holding sticks, some with dogs, and some wearing face masks.
Video footage showed protesters threatening, “We’ll never let you leave with the footage” and “The police is [sic] not coming.”
McAleer and Segieda were able to contact police who finally arrived after a 30-minutes standoff. Here is an extended video of the events.
Despite their self-proclaimed “peaceful procession,” this isn’t the first account of violence breaking out at the pipeline protests. Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier declared that “this protest is not peaceful or lawful.”
CNN reported on October 24 that the protests have led to “dozens of arrests and a temporary road closure.” These arrests included charges of reckless endangerment, engaging in a riot, assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest. According to CNN, other protesters have made “makeshift handcuffs to attach themselves to construction equipment and vehicles...Some cut holes in doors and put their arms through them covered in concrete cases, fusing their arms to the door.”