Will you donate $5 to help reveal the truth about Standing Rock?

Dakota Access pipeline opponents were attacked with dogs, tear gas, and rubber bullets. We've obtained documents from pipeline owner Energy Transfer that may finally show how this brutal crackdown happened, but first we have to dig through over 50,000 files.

After a two-year courtroom battle with a massive energy conglomerate, The Intercept has finally obtained tens of thousands of documents that could reveal the truth about the brutal crackdown on protests against the Dakota Access pipeline led by the Standing Rock Sioux.

The Intercept has broken numerous stories on TigerSwan, the private security firm hired by Dakota Access pipeline owner Energy Transfer. Now, with Energy Transfer’s documents in hand, we may finally learn how this brutal crackdown happened and who was responsible — but first we have to dig through 20 gigabytes of data containing more than 50,000 files.

This kind of reporting... is exactly what The Intercept was founded to do. But excavating the truth from this massive tranche of data will be time-consuming and expensive — and we’ve already spent over $100,000 in legal fees to get the documents in the first place.

As a nonprofit news outlet, we don’t have shareholders to please or advertisers bankrolling this coverage. Our newsroom depends on the support of readers like you to continue this vital reporting.

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When members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe led protests against the 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access pipeline in 2016, thousands of people traveled to North Dakota from across the country in a historic display of solidarity.

Then came the crackdown. Pipeline opponents were attacked with dogs, tear gas, and rubber bullets. At one point, protesters were shot with a water cannon in freezing cold weather, sending people to be treated for hypothermia and other injuries.

Dakota Access owner Energy Transfer hired TigerSwan, a private security firm led by a former commander of the elite Army unit Delta Force. That firm conducted aerial surveillance, monitored communications, infiltrated activist circles, and coordinated with law enforcement agencies.

The Intercept sued under state open records laws to gain access to thousands of pages of documents that could shed light on TigerSwan’s activities, but Energy Transfer’s aggressive Trump-connected law firm fought us every step of the way.

Thanks to the support of our readers, we were able to keep fighting this case for two years — and eventually we won. But it’s not time for a victory lap yet.

Our team is hard at work pouring through these documents, but finding the needle in this haystack won’t be easy. After our grueling court case, we need your support more than ever to help the truth about Standing Rock see the light of day.

Will you make a donation today?


Thank you, The Intercept team

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