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How energy companies & allies are turning the law against protestors

Author: Nicholas Kusnetz, inside climate news, Published on: 22 August 2018

In at least 31 states, lawmakers and governors have introduced bills and orders since Standing Rock that target protests, particularly opposition to pipelines... Across the country, activists... are feeling increasingly under assault as energy companies and their allies in government have tried to turn the law—and law enforcement—against them... In Louisiana, which enacted a similar law in May, at least nine activists have been arrested under the new law since it went into effect on Aug. 1 [2018]... "The clear attempt there is to bring environmental justice, environmental advocacy organizations into a realm of criminal liability," said Pamela Spees, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents activists in Louisiana. "They're basically trying to silence and minimize the impact of environmental organizations."

... Anne Rolfes, an organizer of the [Bayou Bridge] pipeline resistance and founder of the advocacy group Louisiana Bucket Brigade, said activists also suspected they were being watched... Rolfes' group this year also obtained a handful of documents through a public records request that indicate state officials were tracking their efforts... Louisiana State Police declined to comment. Mike Steele, a spokesman for the state Homeland Security Department, rejected the notion that his agency spies on activists... Energy Transfer Partners spokeswoman Alexis Daniel issued a statement saying, "any claims that our company or our security contractors have inappropriately monitored protestors in false." 

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