Two Avenger missile launchers were “deployed” at a critical work site near the Dakota Access pipeline. These are formidable weapons of war that “combine a Humvee truck chassis with a rotating turret that can be armed with eight Stinger missiles and a .50-caliber machine gun.” These have now been recalled, but the idea that they were ever used against peaceful protesters in these United States cuts deep into the heart of democracy.

A militarized police force and a state that uses federal troops against unarmed, peaceful protesters does not enhance our democracy or make anyone feel safe. Last month, police again fired tear gas, arresting 40 people, while dispersing a gathering of water protectors.

President Donald Trump’s efforts to allow the pipeline, in which he has a financial interest, not only speaks to his unconstitutional financial entanglements, but to his total disregard for the environment and the people of this land.

Marla Bottesch

Norridgewock

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