Protecting law and order is everyone’s business

If you have been following the  Dakota Access pipeline protest and thinking “poor Morton County,” think again.

This fiasco is very much our problem here in Ward County. We pay state taxes too. And our law enforcement officers and National Guard members get sent to Cannon Ball to help keep the peace like residents of any other town in North Dakota. We are all helping to cover the expenses created by a bunch of out-of-state, professional hoodlums who hide behind masks and throw rocks at officers sworn to uphold the law. We are in no way removed from this tragedy that is escalating daily.

That being said, so far the riots staged near Cannon Ball and in Mandan and Bismarck have not been nearly as destructive or as violent as they could have been. Make no mistake, that is entirely to the credit of the good guys.

We don’t pretend to know how to end the standoff or even prevent it from festering further. But we do know that the governor needs some help. Part of the state’s congressional delegation have been doing what they can to make the case for federal help.

What’s been largely missing is input from the state Legislature. A show of force – verbal support at a public gathering – from state representatives and senators – a rally or counter-protest if you will – might go a long way in winning the fight being waged on television and social media outside the state.

We’re losing that battle horribly.

Many thousands of dollars are being raised online for these hoods and it’s coming from people who are being duped about what is transpiring in North Dakota today.

The Legislature needs to get in the fight now, and not just working behind the scenes.

Think about it. What would we expect of the rest of the state if this were happening in our county?

Stand up for Standing Rock? No, it’s time we stand up for ourselves. We are the victims – all of us who do not hide our faces and would never, ever throw a rock at a cop.