Oct 21, 2016 - Oil-funded Filmmakers Provoke Water Protectors at the Dakota Access Resistance Camps
Cannonball, ND – On October 18th, Phelim McAleer, a conservative climate-denial filmmaker was escorted from the premises of the Oceti Sakowin Dakota Access Resistance camp for filming children without parental consent, refusal to acquire a camp press badge, and documenting a ceremonial space designated as off-limits to photography, all serious infractions of Oceti Sakowin camp media protocols. Mr. McAleer was asked to show and delete any photos taken of children but refused to comply with requests by both a concerned family member and camp security.
McAleer, director of the pro-fracking film “FrackNation”, producer Magdalena Segieda and an unnamed local photographer, claimed that they were journalists, but when questioned they could not provide any credentials. McAleer is a known provocateur and has been previously funded by Oil & Gas interests, including Donors Capital and Donors Trust.
A camp security officer on site stated, “We had reports of them filming children and that they had images of our sacred fire. We asked for them to remove the images of our sacred fire and show us the images for the safety of our children, they became irate. We asked for their credentials and they refused. Once they refused we asked them to leave. They said they wouldn’t leave. At that time they began jumping their vehicle towards us. One of the security was hit. We feared for the safety of the campers and tried to make sure they were not predators and continued to ask for the images. That is when they called the police on us claiming that we were keeping them here. They left shortly after”
Footage released by the Morton County Sheriff department shows an altercation between a man and Mr. McAleer. This man is not a representative of camp security, rather he has since been identified as an uncle of one of the photographed children. The uncle was extremely disturbed by the situation and tried to take McAleers equipment. He was de-escalated by camp security and is currently under review by camp security, pending expulsion. For note: It is camp protocol for security to wear designated armbands for identification at all times.
Jake Alvarez, a witness to the altercation states, “The video the Sherriffs released make it seem that the family member was security. All the security guards have armbands to identify them, he wasn’t one. It is a shame that the uncle of the child did what he did but it’s terrible that this reporter was filming kids. Isn’t that illegal?”
McAleer released a video of himself calling police from his vehicle claiming he was prevented from leaving. McAleer claims that 30 water protectors surrounded his vehicle and began rocking it. You can clearly see that this is false and that no one was surrounding their vehicle. You can view this video here:
“These people, these oil funded provocateurs are not journalists. A journalist reports the news, they don’t create chaos for the purpose of media spin,” states Dallas Goldtooth, Organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Phelim McAleer wanted to provoke an issue and that’s exactly what he did. He hoped to slander our efforts as water protectors and discredit our movement after disingenuously entering our community and posing a threat to our children. The Oceti Sakowin camp will continue to maintain a high standard of expectation from all self-designated journalists, legitimate or not, to adhere to camp media protocols.”
No arrests were made and no questions by the Sheriff’s Department were asked.
Sacred Stone Camp released a statement on their Facebook page in regards to the situation:
“If anyone has footage of the filmmakers that entered camp yesterday and refused to follow camp rules, including refusal to display their media badge and filming children without parental permission, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joye Braun, email@example.com, 605-515-4792