Evidence suggests that an Ace Hardware near Cannon Ball, ND, is refusing to sell DAPL protestors life-saving goods - despite a company statement claiming otherwise.
As of writing this, it is approximately 29 degrees F in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, where thousands of "water protectors" are camped out in protest of the four-state Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). As True Activist previously reported, supporters of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe are in opposition of the pipeline because it threatens to uproot burial ground as well as contaminate the Missouri river in the event of a leak (which is proving to be entirely too common).
Thousands of protestors have visited the Sacred Stone camp since April, and thousands remain on the plains despite the frigid weather and threats by local militia. Not only have activist been maced, tased, shot with rubber bullets, and beaten with batons, they've endured being hosed down with water canons in sub-zero weather. Today, two thousand veterans joined the protestors, offering to exist as "human shields" in the event that conflict erupts once again.
In the past week, tension has escalated in monumental fashion. Not only did a lawyer guild sue Morton County for using excessive violence against protestors, the Morton County Sheriff's Department warned that individuals driving into the camp would be fined $1,000 for supplying protestors with life-saving goods. In addition, ACE Hardware is reportedly refusing to sell life-saving equipment to those who are braving the harsh North Dakota winter in order to stop the pipeline's construction.
Though the evidence is not entirely conclusive that ACE Hardware did, in fact, refuse to sell goods such as propane tanks, fuel, etc… to the protestors, an official statement by the company posted to Twitter seems to suggest that the Morton County Sheriff's Department requested the hardware store to stop supplying protestors with goods.
— Neko Case (@NekoCase) December 1, 2016
Shortly after that statement made rounds, a video was published to Facebook in which an ACE Hardware employee named Camillia used language similar to the email, saying that the company maintains its position to comply with law enforcement and refuse service to DAPL protestors:
Whether or not the store refused to assist DAPL protestors has not yet been proven. If it was a persistent issue, however, it no longer should be. On December 1, 2016, ACE Hardware released a statement denying that any ban was in place:
Update: As of Thursday, Dec. 1 at 10 a.m. local time, Ace Hardware stores in Bismarck, N. D., are in-stock and selling 1 lb. propane canisters.
At Ace, our local store owners take great pride in serving their neighbors and it is our policy to serve all customers without discrimination and to follow all laws in each respective community.
We understand the concerns that have been shared with us regarding product sales related to the recent protests in North Dakota and have been working very hard to gather all of the facts from our locally-owned Ace stores that operate in the area and local authorities. To be candid, we've been working feverishly to unearth all of the facts, which have been cloudy at times.
In an effort to clear any misunderstanding and/or misinformation, Ace Hardware can now confirm that there is no ban on the sale of products at our locally-owned Ace stores; customers should feel free to check with their local store for inventory availability.
There is not yet any update from activists on the grounds on whether or not Ace Hardware is presently refusing to sell goods to DAPL protestors. When this matter is updated, this article will be, as well.
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