US Federal Court Strikes Down Prosecuting Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters - Rights Body

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th September, 2019) A US Federal court has prevented the enforcement of laws in the state of South Dakota that threatened protesters against the Keystone XL pipeline with up to a quarter century in prison, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a press release.

"A federal court today blocked enforcement of the unconstitutional provisions of several South Dakota laws, including the recently-enacted 'Riot Boosting' Act, that threaten activists... with fines, civil liabilities, and/or criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison," the release said on Thursday.

The ACLU and its South Dakota affiliate body filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Sierra Club, NDN Collective, Dakota Rural Action, the Indigenous Environmental Network and for activists Nick Tilsen and Dallas Goldtooth, the release explained.

"Imagine that if these riot boosting statutes were applied to the protests that took place in Birmingham, Alabama," Judge Lawrence Piersol wrote. "Dr. [Martin Luther] King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference could have been liable under an identical riot boosting law."

All the groups and individuals named are currently protesting or planning to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and encouraging others to do so, the ACLU said in the release.