A judge in Morton County, North Dakota, issued an arrest warrant for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the Associated Press reported on 7 September 2016.
Stein, along with her vice presidential candidate, Ajamu Baraka, was charged with misdemeanor trespassing and criminal mischief. According to the AP, Stein and Baraka are accused of spray painting on a bulldozer at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation during a protest against a planned oil pipeline.
The tribe opposes the pipeline because of fears it will destroy their sacred lands and contaminate their drinking water. On 6 September 2016, a federal judge sided with the Sioux, at least preliminarily, and granted their emergency request to halt construction on a segment of the pipeline in North Dakota.
According the New York Times, the protesters hail from Native American tribes across the country and have encamped a field belonging to the Army Corps of Engineers:
Each day, they march a mile up a highway to a construction site where preparatory work is being done for the pipeline. While the protesters say they are peaceful, there have been reports of heated confrontations with law enforcement officers and construction workers, and 20 people have been arrested. Construction on a road to the pipeline has stopped for the moment. The pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, has sued several protesters, claiming they have threatened and intimidated contractors and were blocking work at the site.
The AP reports that Stein spray painted the words, “I approve this message” in red paint, while Baraka painted the word “decolonization” on a piece of bulldozing equipment. Stein said in a statement before charges were filed against her that she hopes authorities “press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs.”
The crude oil pipeline would traverse four states and run through grounds the Standing Rock Sioux consider sacred (but are not protected as part of their reservation).