If you follow the national news, then you remember the major concerns that came with the Dakota Access oil pipeline. So many people wanted to prevent the construction of the pipeline that there were many cases of vandalism and other criminal acts.
A woman is facing a federal lawsuit after the pipeline developer filed a $1 billion federal racketeering lawsuit. She was among millions of people who also wanted to stop the construction of the pipeline, but her story is different. While she’s been charged with a crime and has admitted to vandalizing the pipeline in two states, her attorney states that the oil company isn’t able to prove that she is part of a criminal enterprise.
The attorney argues that the woman has a right to advocate for the protection of the climate and against the use of fossil fuels. As such, she does not believe that the RICO claim is valid.
The woman has previously admitted, alongside others, that she did damage valves on the pipeline and set fire to construction equipment that was located in South Dakota and Iowa. She was not criminally charged. Now, the woman is accused of being a spokeswoman for Mississippi Stand and being trained in eco-terrorist techniques, which is refuted by her defense.
Since the lawsuit is partially dependent on proving that the woman is part of an organization and that has yet to be done, the defense believes that the lawsuit isn’t valid and should be dismissed. This could be an important case to continue watching, as it may set the precedent for similar events in the future.