Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Larry Solov, Mercer family revealed as Breitbart owners

In what may be a first, Breitbart chief executive Larry Solov stated that he owns at least part of the conservative-leaning news website to Senate committee in order to secure press credentials Friday, Politico and BuzzFeed reported.

Solov, who has penned posts for a site that many have labeled as a white nationalist outlet among other accusations, gave testimony to the Standing Committee of the Senate Press Gallery and at first said he wanted to avoid questions about Breitbart’s ownership structure.

Republicans Are Making a Huge New Push to Block Essential Retirement Security

On February 15, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 231-193—one Texas Democrat voted for and three Republicans voted against—to take a step backward on retirement security. And, in the first weeks of March, the Senate will take up the question of whether to rescind a late-in-the-game Obama Department of Labor rule—“Savings Arrangements Established by States for Non-Governmental Employees”—that provides legal support to cities and states that enacted or are considering plans to provide retirement accounts to private-sector workers, the majority of whom do not have a retirement plan at work.

GOP Lawmakers Duck Town Halls, But Still Make Time to Meet with Campaign Donors

Many of the same congressional Republicans who are ducking their constituents by refusing to hold town hall events during this week’s recess are actively offering to meet with donors — for a fee.

The Intercept and the Center for Media and Democracy have obtained fundraiser invitations for a number of GOP lawmakers who rejected calls to meet with constituents.

‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood Would Really Screw Paul Ryan’s District

WASHINGTON― If House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) succeeds in his plan to “defund” Planned Parenthood while repealing the Affordable Care Act, his own district will be left unable to meet women’s health care needs.

Ryan and Republicans in Congress are aiming to pass legislation that blocks Medicaid recipients from choosing Planned Parenthood for health care and family planning services, including birth control, cancer screenings and sexually transmitted infection testing, because some of the provider’s clinics offer abortion.

'I was naive': after losing healthcare battle, factory workers fear next blow

Hard by the Hudson river about 14 miles north of Albany, the sprawling Momentive Performance Materials factory in Waterford has supplied generations of upstate New Yorkers with secure, well-paid, blue-collar jobs. Jobs that the US, and much of the industrialized world, has been losing and whose loss has set off a political time bomb. Now Momentive workers fear those jobs are gone.

Canada 150: what's for Indigenous people to "celebrate," exactly?

When I was in Grade 1, the entire country was celebrating 100 years of Confederation. Every school child was given a commemorative coin minted for the centennial.

School choirs perfected Bobby Gimby's Canada, or The Centennial Song, to mark Canada's 100th birthday and Expo 67, the World's Fair held in Montreal, which continued on as Man And His World until 1984.

We also memorized the words to the Canadian version of This Land Is Your Land, which was originally a protest song written by American folksinger Woody Guthrie. And, of course, we were still singing O Canada and God Save The Queen.

Standing Rock Lives on as a Model for Peaceful Resistance

Police have now taken full control of the Oceti Sakowin Camp, following an hours-long siege today at Standing Rock. A number of Water Protectors were forced to flee en masse across the Cannonball River to escape a running advance by heavily armed police. It is unclear at this time how many Water Protectors have been arrested.

Today's raid came on the heels of additional forced evacuations yesterday in Standing Rock. Around 150 police from several states mobilized against the Water Protectors yesterday on Highway 1806 in South Dakota and forced a large number of people to evacuate from Standing Rock, using the threat of force. Police also rushed the crowd on 1806, brutalizing at least one person, and carried out multiple "snatch and grab" arrests.

MPs Pay Rises To £76,000 After IPSA Approval

MPs have today been granted a pay increase to £76,000.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority - or Ipsa - approved the salary boost on Friday. It will take effect on 1 April.

MPs will see their pay rise by 1.4%, taking them from earning £74,962 to £76,011.

Turkey coup: 136 diplomats and relatives seek Germany asylum

Germany says it has received 136 asylum requests from Turks holding diplomatic passports since the July coup attempt against the Turkish president.

The figure is a total for the period August 2016 to January 2017, German media report.

Turkey has urged Germany not to grant asylum to any military officers. Some posted to Nato bases in Germany are thought to be among the group.

Banned From Jerusalem (for Trying to Pay Respects to My Grandmother)

“You have to sign this paper agreeing that you are not allowed to come to the old city of Jerusalem for 15 days. Do you understand?,” said the Israeli police officer.

“Yes, I understand,” I replied.

The offense I had committed was trying to enter the Western Wall area in possession of materials supporting Palestinian rights.

Big-Money Speculators Are Buying Up and Renting Out Farms, and Pricing Real Farmers out of the Market

John Steinbeck's novel "Grapes of Wrath." Woody Guthrie's ballad "Deportee." Edward R. Murrow's documentary "Harvest of Shame." Every decade or so, the public is shocked by yet another discovery that migrant farmworkers are being horribly abused by the wealthy masters of the corporate food system. And here we go again.

Last November, the New York Times reported that the workers who grow and harvest the cornucopia of fruit and veggies in the rich fields of California's Salinas Valley live in a constant crisis of poverty, malnutrition and homelessness. Toiling in America's salad bowl, they literally cannot afford to eat the fresh, nutritious edibles they produce.

Israel says no more visas for 'biased' HRW staff

Israeli has refused to issue a visa for a senior Human Rights Watch staff member, accusing the US-based rights group of pro-Palestinian bias and saying it will no longer grant visas to its staff.

HRW said on Friday that its Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir, a US citizen, had received a rejection letter on February 20, months after an application for the permit was submitted by the group on his behalf.

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked to distinguish between the genuine notes and the fake ones.

Some students discovered that they had a genius for the task. Out of twenty-five pairs of notes, they correctly identified the real one twenty-four times. Others discovered that they were hopeless. They identified the real note in only ten instances.

As is often the case with psychological studies, the whole setup was a put-on. Though half the notes were indeed genuine—they’d been obtained from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office—the scores were fictitious. The students who’d been told they were almost always right were, on average, no more discerning than those who had been told they were mostly wrong.

The Case for Tom Perez Makes No Sense

On Saturday, members of the Democratic National Committee will gather in Atlanta, Georgia, to choose their leader. With the party in shambles in statehouses across the country, and with Republicans firmly entrenched in the White House and Congress, the DNC race has been a highly charged and closely observed affair, drawing the attention of everyone from grassroots activists to former President Barack Obama. At stake is whether Democrats, humbled by their recent losses, are prepared to relinquish some control to the newly empowered progressive wing of the party—and underneath a veneer of unity, it looks like that’s the last thing they want to do.

'He's a liar': Why the Left Coast may be writing off Justin Trudeau

The man sitting at the head of the table has a face that should be on money.

It is calm, etched with wrinkle lines of infinite patience, utterly immune to honeyed words. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip has heard more vows than the parsons in Reno’s drive-thru wedding chapels — most of them destined to be broken by the politicians who made them. Yet behind the softness, the weary eyes suggest something else. These are undefeated eyes.

This is not what Putin planned as he cosied up to Trump

Anyone who tells you that they know what’s going on behind the Kremlin’s red battlements is lying. Those who speak don’t know, while those who know don’t speak. Moscow insiders with actual insight into what the Russian president thinks about the mess in America are keeping their counsel, thus leaving the uninformed and the hysterical to fill in the (very large) gaps. This is unfortunate, because it would be really useful to know what Putin thinks right now.

Philippines senator who branded President Duterte 'serial killer' arrested

The highest-profile critic of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal drug war was arrested on Friday on charges she said were meant to silence her, but she vowed to keep fighting the “sociopathic serial killer”.

Speaking to journalists minutes before armed police in flak jackets detained her, Senator Leila de Lima insisted she was innocent of the drug trafficking charges that could see her jailed for life.

Backlog in military pensions won't be cleared until end of year

It will be the end of the year before the enormous backlog of military pension payment files is cleared up, National Defence officials say, and it will likely be October before a similar stockpile of outstanding severance payment claims are rectified.

Both of these long-standing logjams have left an increasing number of newly retired military members in a financial lurch.

Guatemala army blocks Dutch boat offering abortions

The Guatemalan army says it will block the activities of a non-profit "abortion boat" docked on its shores.

The Dutch non-profit group, Women on Waves, offers free abortion services to women in countries where the procedure is banned.

It takes women in the early stages of pregnancy out to international waters, where the abortion is performed.

GOP Congressman: More Uninsured People Means More Freedom

As Republicans try to balance their promise to repeal Obamacare with the health law's increasing popularity, one GOP lawmaker employed a novel argument on Thursday: If fewer people are insured under the Republican replacement plan, that's simply a sign of greater freedom.

For one of the central policy fights facing Congress, health care reform won't get much discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual Republican confab held just outside Washington, DC. The topic was scheduled for just one short panel Thursday afternoon. But given the way that discussion went, it's understandable why organizers might not want to highlight the policy implications of their health care plans.

The Perennial GOP Tax Scam

There’s something about taxes that elected Republicans know, but most Americans are completely unaware of. It’s the reason we keep falling for the perennial GOP tax scam, and Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and their buddies in the White House are getting ready to run this ruse on American working people all over again.

Here it is in a nutshell: Tax cuts for truly wealthy people increase their income and wealth; tax cuts for working people actually decrease their income and wealth over time.

Appeals Court Says AR-15s Are Not Constitutionally Protected

AR-15s and other assault weapons with large magazines are not protected by the Second Amendment and can be lawfully banned, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday.

The federal appeals court – based in Richmond, Virginia, and known for its conservative bent – upheld a Maryland prohibition of assault weapons in unvarnished language, writing that "the banned assault weapons and large-capacity magazines are not constitutionally protected arms."

Myth of the “unbortion”: Anti-choice legislators push the lie that “abortion reversal” is possible

Make no mistake: There is no idea too ridiculous for anti-choice legislators, if they think there’s a chance to inject unnecessary confusion and misery into women’s lives. That’s why the Indiana legislature is considering a bill that would require doctors to tell women seeking abortion that they can — in a lie that begs you to laugh aloud at its silliness — “reverse” an abortion. Two other states, North Carolina and Utah, are considering similar bills.

These bills are based on model legislation created by Americans United for Life, which is the same organization behind the anti-science, anti-abortion law in Texas that was recently overturned by the Supreme Court.

Arizona Senate allows cops to seize assets from anyone who takes part in a protest that turns violent

The Republican-controlled Arizona Senate has passed a bill that would let law enforcement officials seize the assets of people who participate in protests that turn violent — even if those people had nothing to do with any violent incidents.

The Arizona Capital Times reports that the bill, which passed on Wednesday, “expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting,” while also redefining “what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.”

In the past decade, fracking caused nearly 2 spills a day in just these 4 states

Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and North Dakota saw more than 6,600 spills from fracking wells — or more than one spill for every five wells — from 2005 to 2014, according to a study released Wednesday by the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

The results suggest that the oil and gas industry needs to have stronger, more consistent reporting requirements for spills, which can include oil, chemical-laden water, and other substances, researchers said.

White populist feminism makes intersectionality nearly impossible

Over the past few years, populist politics have been on the rise across the western world. Few, however, have noticed the rise of populist feminism, a mainstream feminism that espouses to speak for and on behalf of all women, but essentially speaks for and on behalf of white, middle-class, cis-gendered and able-bodied women.

GOP Congressman: Getting Rich Will Solve That Whole Environment Thing

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) argued Tuesday that one of the best things the United States could do for the environment was grow the economy, because rich people like clean air and water.

Brat made the comments during a contentious town hall in Blackstone, Virginia, where he was heckled for a little over an hour. It was one of a number of similar events around the country in which constituents angrily confronted members of Congress in their home districts.

The Big Give: How Owners Got Rich, and Renters Didn’t

In 1984, the average Canadian who owned a home was about $104,000 richer than the average renter.

By 2012, the average Canadian homeowner was worth $824,000—the average renter just $120,000 (in constant dollars). That’s a seven-fold increase in wealth gap between owners and renters over 28 years. It’s doubtless even wider five years later. In Vancouver, roughly half of households are in each camp.

Most Trump Voters Say The Media Is Their Enemy

A narrow majority of President Donald Trump’s supporters agree with him that the media is their enemy, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, although most Americans overall don’t feel similarly.

Trump tweeted last Friday that the media is “the enemy of the American People,” a statement that drew criticism from many reporters and disavowals even from some members of his party.

Fake News And Russian Propaganda Will Give Populists The Upper Hand If We Don’t Act Fast

BERLIN ― After the U.S. presidential elections, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was celebrated as the “leader of the free world,” and Germany fast became the last bastion of liberal democracy. But German society is not immune to illiberal forces. On the contrary, the fact that Berlin played a central role in rebuking Russian aggression in Ukraine makes it a target for propaganda and disinformation campaigns, especially from those who reject sanctions and strive to protect Russia’s “sphere of influence” in Eastern Europe. The chancellor has already expressed concern that Russia might interfere in this year’s election campaign. And the head of Germany’s intelligence agency, Bruno Kahl, warned, “This kind of pressure ... on public discourse and democracy ... is unacceptable.”

Article 50 Author Lord Kerr Warns Brexit Will Only Benefit ‘Bullingdon Boys’

The British peer who devised Article 50 - the formal procedure for leaving the EU - has warned Brexit risks hurting the poor while protecting the rich “Bullingdon boys”.

Lord Kerr said the country was still “in the dark” about what Theresa May’s plan for Britain outside the EU was.

Boris Johnson accused of bad taste for calling Brexit 'liberation'

Boris Johnson has been taken to task by a Swedish MEP who accused the UK foreign secretary of “bad taste” and political insensitivity after he repeatedly referred to Brexit as “a liberation”, in a spat caught on camera at the recent Munich security conference.

According to footage that emerged on Wednesday, Johnson was confronted about his choice of language by Anna Maria Corazza Bildt during a panel discussion on the future of the west.

The Milo Yiannopoulos Debacle Tells Us Some Terrible Truths About the Right

Roughly 48 hours after outrage erupted over his comments in defense of “cross-generational” relationships between “younger boys and older men,” Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News. On Tuesday afternoon, New York Times writer Michael M. Grynbaum tweeted a statement from Yiannopoulos announcing that he is “resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately.” Perhaps to quell rumblings that the right-wing provocateur was pressured to step down—including rumors that multiple Breitbart staffers planned to quit if he did not—Yiannopoulos noted, “This decision is mine alone.”

Why We Could Be on the Verge of a Constitutional Apocalypse

As Donald Trump vilifies the press, the courts, immigrants, Muslims, Democrats, protesters and anyone who disagrees with him, it isn't hard to imagine a modern-day Mussolini—or worse. But an even greater threat lies in Republicans' march toward full control of state government. If they get there, they will have the frightening power to amend the Constitution into their own authoritarian image...or Ayn Rand's.

Republicans now control 32 state legislatures and 33 governorships. They have majorities in both state legislative chambers as well as the governorships in 25 states. The Democrats have total control in only six states and legislative control in two more. (See here.)

Emmanuel Macron vows aggressive fight against far right on UK visit

Emmanuel Macron, the centrist candidate for the French presidency, has vowed his campaign will learn from the mistakes of David Cameron’s Brexit and Hillary Clinton’s failed election campaign by being boldly pro-liberal and pro-Europe.

Speaking after a meeting with Theresa May in Downing Street on Tuesday, Macron defended his decision to be unambiguous in his views as he fights a campaign against the far-right’s Marine Le Pen, saying: “In the current environment, if you are shy, you are dead.”

Fighting Cops and the Klan: The History and Future of Black Antifascism

"The fascists already have power," prison abolitionist and Black Panther Party member George Jackson said in 1971. "The point is that some way must be found to expose them and combat them."

Recently, images of (mostly white) radicals engaging in "black bloc" tactics -- wherein groups of protesters dress in all black clothing and masks in order to conceal their identities -- have grabbed the attention of the US mainstream media, piquing the public's interest in antifascism, or "antifa" for short. Militant, left-wing opposition to fascist groups and ideas, oftentimes including the physical confrontation of fascists, is re-entering the American political imagination. But while many people think of white anarchists breaking windows and punching Nazis when they talk about antifa, Black folks in the Western hemisphere have essentially been doing antifascist work for centuries. It just hasn't been recognized as such.

I’m Bored Of Being Told Bigots Should Be Debated

I’m so bored of being told bigots and those that put people’s lives at risk should be defeated in open debate. It’s not true, and it’s not necessary. I’m quite happy to prioritise people’s safety over someone spouting ill-informed, hate-filled ‘alternative facts’. We seem sold on the whole idea that freedom of speech means we are obliged to amplify hate and give bigots a platform. We don’t owe bigots a platform. You are right, they’re free to say what they want but giving them a platform to the detriment and regression of others is irresponsible.

CETA To Cost Average Working Canadian $2,460 In Lost Income: Report

As Canada and the European Union reach the home stretch to an historic free trade deal, a new research report says the agreement was made on the basis of flawed, unrealistically optimistic economic models.

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), negotiated by the previous Conservative government and now championed by the Liberal government, will reduce employment throughout the trade area, depressing wages in Canada and Europe, the report warns.

Outside coastal cities an ‘other America’ has different values and challenges

Anthony Rice’s house in Youngstown, Ohio is a mile away from a river valley once filled with factories offering jobs. Many of those left in the 1980s, and with them, many residents.

His home is one of the few occupied on the street. Empty lots or boarded-up homes make up most of the block. He points to those remaining, listing his neighbors and their age. They are all over 70. “This neighborhood is okie-dokie, although not much goes down here”, he says. “Stores used to be all around here, but they mostly gone. The people left are either too old to move or waiting for someone to buy them out.”

‘No One Else To Blame’: Government Set To Miss Its Own Housing Target By 12 Years

Sajid Javid is set to miss one of his key housing targets by 12 years, according to figures released today by his own department.

In 2015 the Government vowed to sell enough public land to build 160,000 homes by 2020 – a pledge repeated by the Communities Secretary last month.

Yet a report from Javid’s department today shows that since that announcement, land for just 13,817 homes has been sold off – less than 9% of the promised amount

Over 70 Years Ago, Nazis Victimized This Community. They Still Struggle For Acceptance.

BERLIN ― They were demeaned, stripped of their rights, forced into labor, sent to extermination camps, murdered. Theirs is a story of the Holocaust that often goes untold, and even so many years later, this community remains socially marginalized.

The Roma, also known as Gypsies, a term some consider insulting, are believed to have come from India to Europe between the 8th and 10th centuries. Before the Second World War, it is estimated that there were nearly 1 million of them in Europe. The precise number who perished during the Holocaust remains unknown, but historians say about a quarter of the European Roma population was murdered by Germans and their allies, while the Council of Sinti and Roma suggest the figure is about half a million.

Liberals tack right, jettison progressive policy

When the Canada-Europe trade deal known as CETA came up for vote in the European parliament February 15, the Progressive Alliance Group opposed it: 254 members of the European parliament voted no; 33 abstained; and 408 voted yes.

While in Europe championing CETA, a deal fostered by Stephen Harper, Trudeau lined up with the conservative Christian Democrats -- not the Democrats, or Socialists, or Green Party members. On key issues such as Indigenous rights, climate change, and protection of the marine environment from fuel spills, Justin Trudeau has his party moving right, taking positions defended by the Conservatives. Why is he putting his progressive image at risk?

The GOP and ALEC's Brazen Plan to Sell Off America's Public Lands to the Fossil Fuel Industry

National parks, forests, refuges and other public lands have been important to Americans since the realization in the mid-19th-century that our wild places were disappearing. Today, these protected, shared lands are valued for their beauty, recreation and economic values as well as the clean air, water and wildlife habitat they provide.

Protected forests and red rock lands in Nevada and Utah belong to vacationing families in Massachusetts and New Mexico. Parks and refuges in Montana and California belong to campers and birdwatchers from South Carolina and Illinois.

Nothing Seemed To Stop Milo Yiannopoulos — Until This

A platform of hatred. A plethora of racist, misogynistic and transphobic remarks. But through it all, many stood by far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos, often defending his right to free speech.

Over the weekend, however, the Breitbart editor finally crossed what may have seemed a non-existent line, sending the American Conservative Union, publishing house Simon & Schuster and others who once supported him running.

Gender Pay Gap ‘Will Take 62 Years To Erase’ After Government Dismisses Action Plan

The Government will fail to erase the gender pay gap without implementing an action plan it has just dismissed, MPs have said.

Ministers were accused of “dragging their heels” and failing to tackle “the root causes of the gender pay gap” for dismissing the Women and Equalities Committee’s recommendations.

These included making flexible work more available, encouraging more fathers to take time off work to look after children and creating a new scheme to help stop women over 40 working in jobs for which they are overqualified.
The pay gap will take more than 60 years to stomp out without these measures, campaigners warned.

Climate scepticism is a far-right badge of honour – even in sweltering Australia

It hits you in the face and clings to you. It makes tall buildings whine as their air conditioning plants struggle to cope. It makes the streets deserted and the ice-cold salons of corner pubs get crowded with people who don’t like beer. It is the Aussie heatwave: and it is no joke.

Temperatures in the western suburbs of Sydney, far from the upmarket beachside glamour, reached 47C (117F) last week, topping the 44C I experienced there the week before. For reference, if it reached 47C in the middle of the Sahara desert, that would be an unusually hot day.

Theresa May Eyeballs Lords As She Warns Them To Deliver ‘What The British People Want’ On Brexit

Theresa May “eyeballed” unelected peers today after she issued a stark warning to the House of Lords not to frustrate the British public’s decision to back Brexit.

As the Lords started discussing the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, the Prime Minister said that she didn’t want “anyone holding up what the British people want”.

Marine Le Pen's Front National headquarters raided by police

French police searched the headquarters of Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National on Monday evening as part of an official investigation into “fake” jobs involving the misuse of European Union funds to pay for a bodyguard and an assistant in Paris.

Brussels investigators claim Le Pen paid her bodyguard, Thierry Légier, more than €41,500 (£35,350) between October and December 2011, by falsely claiming he was an EU parliamentary assistant. She is also accused of paying nearly €298,000 between December 2010 and 2016 to her France-based assistant Catherine Griset.

Here We Go Again: Russia Accused Of Cyberattacks In Another Election

Just months after the U.S. intelligence community determined that the Russian government was behind cyberattacks during the American presidential campaign, the same thing appears to be happening in France.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault accused Russia of hacking activity in the country, calling it “unacceptable.”

Hundreds of Republican lawmakers aren’t holding town halls this recess

Congress is about to go into its first week-long recess since Trump’s inauguration. Normally, this is a time for lawmakers to return to their district and meet with constituents.

This year, most Republicans are opting out.

According to data gathered by Legistorm and reported by VICE, there are only about 90 in-person town halls scheduled this year for the about 290 Republicans serving in Congress (which is a bit in flux thanks to Trump’s cabinet appointments). That number also includes multiples from certain congresspeople — 35 of the scheduled in-person events, for example, are for Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R), according to VICE.

Governor, Army Corps block deadline extension for Dakota pipeline protesters

Federal officials and North Dakota’s governor on Thursday refused to extend next week’s evacuation deadline for activists living in camps that have been a base for months for demonstrations against the multibillion-dollar Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Opponents of the 1,170-mile (1.882-km) line met with officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, officials representing Republican Governor Doug Burgum and the state Department of Transportation on Thursday morning, asking to be given more time to remove their belongings and waste from the camps.