NoDAPL Protests Backed By Liberal Donors

D.C. NoDAPL Protests Backed By Liberal Donors

By Aly Nielsen

Dakota Access Pipeline opponents descended on the Washington D.C. mall for a four day protest in March 2017. What many people may be surprised to learn is that those protesters had the backing of several nonprofits — all funded by left-wing foundations.

The Native Nations March was organized by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Indigenous Environmental Network, The Huffington Post reported March 10. The Indigenous Environmental Network has been funded by $458,000 from the Tides Foundation, $625,000 from the Ford Foundation, $40,000 from the Marisla Foundation, and $18,000 from the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisers.

Other organizations also backed the Native Nations protest in D.C. The Lakota People’s Law Project (LPLP), a subsidiary of the Romero Institute, released an anti-DAPL TV commercial on the second day of the D.C. protests. LPLP claims its purpose is to return “thousands of children that were illegally taken from their families and tribes by creating foster care for Lakota, by Lakota.” How pipeline protests fit into that mission is a mystery.

Chase Iron Eyes, an attorney and LPLP board member reported the commercial “made its debut on television during the morning’s news shows in Washington, D.C., and our march on Friday [March 10] will put the exclamation point on its message,” Fusion reported.

Iron Eyes was one of 76 people arrested in early February for trying to “establish a new camp on private property,” according to the Bismarck Tribune. When interviewed by CBS Evening News, Iron Eyes called the protester evictions “ethnic cleansing.”

The Romero Institute — and by extension LPLP — was funded by the liberal Tides Foundation and other organizations. Tides gave at least $142,500 to Romero since 2006. According to Romero Institute tax returns, LPLP is its most expensive project, ranging from $425,000 to nearly $538,000 annually since 2011.

But LPLP was just one of Romero’s projects. It also funds the Green Power Project, which is dedicated to “growing a community-based movement to transition from greenhouse gas-emitting fuels to locally produced and controlled renewable energy.”

In early March, Romero hired Simon Consulting Services to lobby against the pipeline project, The Hill reported.