North Dakota law enforcement officials say they are planning to pursue charges against Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein after she spray-painted “I approve this message” on a piece of construction equipment during a protest against the construction of an oil pipeline that a local Sioux tribe says will destroy “sacred and culturally significant sites,” according to The New York Times. As well as damage to sacred sites, protesters are also concerned that the $3.8 billion pipeline could affect the drinking water of the nearby Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation, according to NPR. The tribe is also challenging the pipeline, which is expected to go through four states, in federal court.
Stein, who is running on an anti-war, clean-energy platform joined a group of 150-200 protesters at the site, some of whom allegedly vandalized construction equipment and attached themselves to bulldozers. At an altercation at the site on Saturday, three private guards were injured. As a result, fearing a risk of further flare-ups, law enforcement did not enter the site on Tuesday, and to date, no arrests have been made, according to the Bismarck Tribune.
Stein responded to the allegations on twitter late on Tuesday, attacking the oil company in charge of the site for “razing sacred burial grounds.”
Also on Wednesday, Stein sent out a birthday tweet to Pink Floyd guitarist and prominent BDS activist Roger Waters, thanking him for “inspiring millions” and using the hashtag “Free Palestine.” Waters has long been a controversial figure, who has gained notoriety for attempting to pressure artists and bands into cancelling shows in Israel. According to her official platform, the Jill Stein campaign “supports actions of nonviolent resistance to the policies of the occupation and of the Israeli apartheid regime, including those of the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign”
According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, the Green Party candidate has never polled above five percent in this election cycle, and is currently on 3.2 percent.