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It's Outrageous That I'm Facing 45 Years in Prison for Filming a Climate Protest


It's Outrageous That I'm Facing 45 Years in Prison for Filming a Climate Protest

Deia Schlosberg

My name is Deia Schlosberg and I am an independent filmmaker and climate reporter. I was arrested while filming an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in North Dakota and I'm currently facing felony charges that I believe are unjust.


Looks like Deia has been thrown into the same category as Assange, Snowden and the other whistle blowers whom "the most transparent administration in history" is jailing or will jail when the opportunity arises.


"... I am asking you (the Press) to help in the tremendous task of Informing and Alerting the American People.

For I have complete confidence in the Response and Dedication of our Citizens whenever they are fully informed."

April 27, 1961


Are these federal charges? It seems like they're charges brought by North Dakota.


I think it's safe to say everyone here is with you, Deia, so there's no need to hype it all. The voice that's already had your story told here — and gives you this very venue — is exactly why you do not "face 45 years in prison." Your voice annoying them from behind bars is the last thing fossil fuels needs as the industry fades away.

I'm not criticizing; I wish I had the nerve and resources to take such action. But it would help if, especially in our own sites, we could deal in facts. You say you were "doing my job," but not who was paying you. You don't say how you knew to be there to film the unannounced action. Let's be honest, what your real job was that day was not making a movie, but being part of that action. That's fine. That's honorable. But it's not the same as "reporting."

Your charges, like Amy Goodman's, will be dropped. You haven't been and won't be indicted, and your own film will show you did not cut any chains or turn any valves, making the charges unprovable. So I'd appreciate hearing a little less outrage over your getting the result you expected to provoke, and a little more actual reporting about what's happened to the real heroes of the action, the old hippies who did the deeds.


Obama and the democratic party apparatus has been in total war with journalism at the level of principle for several years now. Most of these charges will get tossed eventually. The point is to deter others from going thru the intense aggravation.
Remember the guy who got 7 years or something like that for the "auction bid"? Has anyone tried that stunt since?
A dark, dark wind is blowing here. And we're losing the fight to stop it.


No one that I know of has seen her film yet. She hasn't reported, just become the subject of reports, taking attention away from the Climate Defense Action volunteers who actually cut the chains and turned the valve wheels on the pipelines. They carried out the brave actions, and we hear nothing of what's happened or will happen to them.


I don't know how they can drop charges for lack of evidence on Amy Goodman and throw the book at Deia Schlosberg for essentially the same thing. I hope the ND DA is exposed again for these foolish actions.


"They" haven't thrown any more book at Schlosberg than they did at Goodman. Her charges will be dropped in exactly the same way. But what happened to the people she was there to film?


We'll see. If they drop the charges, I will applaud.

I'll save my comments about the water protectors and their allies for stories directed to them. There will be plenty of opportunities.


What a pathetically nasty take on the excellent work this woman has done to expose the fossil fuel industry.

And what a ridiculously, hilariously backward take on her work to support the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies in resistance to the theft and violence of the fossil fuel industry.


Her first mistake was assuming We are a Free Country.


I get what you're saying (I think). The activists on the ground are the most vulnerable. But they would be even more so if there was no Amy Goodman or Deia Schlosberg there to film them. I've been on the ground in certain "shiftights" in the past. Journalists (real ones) are the only safety net you have. And charging journalists covering resistance should be of great concern. Yes, the charges in all likelihood won't stick. Now. Yet. But this is the start. The baby steps towards genuine (and effective) targeting and silencing of dissenting journos. We should be concerned. And maybe we need to just have each other's backs. Dismissing the work of those engaged, in whatever capacity, in the struggle to defend this poor planet is in-fighting. This is one of the tragic flaws of the left. We pick relentlessly away at each other for not being enough. The right doesn't do this. If you're good with "God," guns, forcing women to take pregnancies to term, and above all the Greed Creed, you're golden. If we're truly opposed to corporatism, to the destruction of other species and the earth, to war and human suffering, we need to offer each other respect. And we must support the incredibly courageous heroes at Standing Rock, as well as all those who stand with them, including the journalists willing to get out there and tell the truth.


I think you've been fortunate if you think "the right" is in happy solidarity. I worked for years through the PC(USA)'s struggle over LGBTQ ordination (which applies to lay leaders as well as ministers), and I've directly witnessed IRL confrontations that nearly came to physical blows when someone didn't follow the agreed tactics and strategy. The big difference I see is that, on the Left, we're all working more on passions (in the churches, we call it "calling") and principles rather than strategies for overcoming "enemies."

I'd also appreciate it if we'd quit conflating the actions of the pipeline intervenors with the Standing Rock Protectors. They are definitely related, but these were old White hippies, and they deserve their own attention, support, and day in court.


I wasn't conflating anything. I was simply addressing particular comments regarding journalists. (And I'm certainly not singing the praises of the right, lol! Happy solidarity are two words I would never apply to the right, actually, I believe they're opposed to both concepts.) Re: the "old white hippies" I'm assuming you're referring to the ten activists who were arrested for shutting down the tar sands pipelines from Canada, an action I respect enormously. I'm not sure if I'm getting this right, but it seems like if I voice support for something or someone, then the implication is I'm not supporting others. That's certainly not my intention. I value and respect allies, and try to work in a spirit of solidarity. At this point in the struggle, I'm just trying to keep my eye on (and save my energy for) the real enemies. Peace.


It's just that I'm not hearing anything about the "ten activists," only Schlosberg. I do respect them all, but Schlosberg was there to draw attention to their action, not to herself as this article, under her byline, does.


Yeah, I get that. Too often the people really putting themselves out there, simply because it's the right thing to do, motivated, as one of the activists said, by love, disappear. Unsung heroes.


Her film and camera were confiscated. She can bet on never seeing those again.


Why didn't she mention that in this, her "outraged" article to a sympathetic audience?

If they were confiscated, they will indeed be returned. The only justification for having them would be as evidence, and as noted, they could only demonstrate she was a bystander unless she went well beyond "filming.".


Yes, it is outrageous, just like it was outrageous for Pete Santilli to be jailed when he was reporting, and just like the Hamond men and Ammond Bundy and the people who were trying to explain State's Rights to the residents in Southwest Oregon are still in jail, or Cliven Bundy, the 62 years old patriarch of the family, who is in prison for a BLM overstep in Nevada two years ago when they finally had to back down from a citizen protest. But all of them are lucky when compared to LaVoy Finnicum who was assassinated by the FBI and Oregon State Police for also trying to inform citizens about their rights under the Constitution. So if you want to do something that matters, start supporting the organizations trying to strip the Federal Government of the power they have usurped, and return the power to the States, each of which was established with all of the powers to control runaway federal intervention. Start with the Constitutional Club and the writings of judge Anna Von Reitz.