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Friday, September 22, 2023

Environment watchdog reportedly targeted by fossil fuel industry spies

A recently leaked report from private security firm and exposed by the Intercept and Grist shows how leading global climate campaign group, 350.org was among organisations targeted by Tigerswan whilst campaigning against the Dakota access pipeline.

dakota access pipeline
Police confront a group people protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which will transport oil across 1,134 miles of Native prairie land, valuable farm land and critical waterways, including the Missouri River

The Dakota Access Pipeline Protests began in April 2016 as a grassroots opposition to the construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline in the northern United States and ended on February 23, 2017, when National Guard and law enforcement officers evicted the last remaining protesters.

350.org supported Indigenous led activists on the ground and provided resources to Indigenous-led groups including digital support, amplifying what was happening on the ground to a global audience and helping to organize distributed and solidarity actions.

Tigerswan was a private security firm hired by the pipeline’s parent company Energy Transfer Partners to infiltrate protests against the pipeline. Their role in the repression of the protests has since been subject to legal action.

The Tigerswan report seen by 350.org says: “350 dot orgs ability to bring global attention to the dapL protest via their network of supporters and their media concerns represents a significant concern for Tigerswan and their client. 350 dot orgs ability to mobilise large groups of people is also of significant concern.

“They are unlikely to remove themselves from the protestors groups because their goals align perfectly with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. They have a track record of success and should only be engaged after significant preparation.”

In response to the report May Boeve, Chief Executive of 350.org, said: “Across the globe we know that thousands of groups have been spied on by government and private security firms that are serving the interests of the fossil fuel industry. This represents an astonishing abuse of power and significant interference with the right to political freedom of thought and the right to protest. Ultimately it is a means for those who hold power to preserve the status quo and prevent action on the climate crisis and necessary social change.”

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