The Other Side of the Story — Bumping Protester Numbers in North Dakota — by Trent Loos

first-amendment-1Apparently I misunderstood the U.S. Constitution when I read the 1st Amendment. I didn’t realize it only applied to those chosen by the Federal Government.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.  

When 12 individuals occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County OR, the Swat teams were called in. I personally spoke with FBI agents from every part of the country and they told me they were pulled to OR because it had become the FBI’s top priority. Locals estimate that there may have been as many as 500 FBI agents that arrived with an arsenal rivaling the military in Iraq. Included in their convoy were several MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles.

Let me remind you that their “top priority” amounted to never more than 50 people occupying the Refuge. Last week in court, the prosecution proudly displayed the 34 guns they confiscated when the occupation ended. If you remember, news accounts of the occupation had you believing that the “Freedom Fighters,” Bundy and his crew, were armed and ready for war. Of greater importance was the fact that not one neighbor of the Refuge ever felt threatened by the occupation until the FBI arrived. In fact, many locals assisted the men at the Refuge and routinely provide meals and other items for them.

Let’s switch gears to the “Peaceful Protest” that has been occurring for the past few months in Morton County, ND. The locals tell me that on a daily basis, there are in excess of 3000 protestors. The Morton County sheriff and other local peace officers are instructing Morton county residents arm to arm themselves and not drive on any county roads without a loaded firearm.

The kids are receiving police escorts to school and extracurricular activities. Daily raids through homesteads with parades of 50 plus vehicles are terrorizing Morton County residents. Fences are being destroyed. The construction equipment of the Dakota Access Pipeline is targeted regularly with destruction as the common theme. Vehicles driving down the road are stopped by mobs of people that hang on the sides and rock the vehicle, eliciting complete terror from the passengers.

While I am sure that FBI is present at some level, there is no visible presence. Instead of orders from the Obama administration to find a quick end to this violence, it appears the government is encouraging these activities. At every turn, from shutting down construction in certain areas to the Army Corp of Engineers allowing the protesters home camp to be on their property, there are higher powers allowing these actions. There is no permit, no permission and clearly no repercussions. In fact, just last week the following announcement came from Eileen Williamson to the Associated Press:

“We don’t have the physical ability to go out and evict people — it gives the appearance of not protecting free speech, our hands are tied really.”

Doug Hille is a rancher in the area and we visited about the terror that locals are living under day after day. The one thing that hits him the hardest is that their rural youth are seeing, feeling and hearing all of these things daily. How do we, as parents, continue to instruct them to look beyond the racism.

It is worth noting that the original four individuals to protest the pipeline construction were members of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. It is reported that since then, 85% of those who have been arrested are all from somewhere other than ND. People need to know that out of state and out of country interests are “investing” in civil unrest in the United States. Word on the street is that for $18/hour, you too could get a job as a protestor in North Dakota.

Folks, at this point we still live in a Representative Republic and the Federal Government can only get away with this if we allow them to do so. It has been happening at an increasing rate and who is addressing it? As always, the time is now to get equal treatment under the law no matter where you live or what your career path may be. Contact your Senators and Congressmen and tell them to shut down paid protesting and the terrorism of locals in this country by paid thugs! And, perhaps more importantly, shut down the people that are funding these actions.

Note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at

RANGE / RANGEFIRE! — Addressing Issues Facing the West / Spreading America’s Cowboy Spirit Beyond the Outback

1 thought on “The Other Side of the Story — Bumping Protester Numbers in North Dakota — by Trent Loos

  1. Thanks for this perspective. Few people seem to be tracking the different treatment of the North Dakota protest vs. Malheur. In ND, the federal goverment is giving the protestors, many of whom are likewise just outside pot-stirrers, a free pass, whereas in Oregon the federal government got its panties in a wad to the poin that it was willing to kill people to end the protest. What’s going on?

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