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Sarah Lazare – Reckless Security Firm Hired to Protect Dakota Pipeline Company Has Dark Past in Palestine

When the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe mobilized thousands to protect their land and water in Cannon Ball, North Dakota from a proposed $3.8 billion crude-oil pipeline, they were met with national guard deployments [3], police crackdowns [4], an FBI investigation [5] and private security forces that attacked [6] them with dogs. A key firm hired during this time to provide security for the pipeline company, Dakota Access LLC, is the British multinational G4S—one of the largest private security corporations in the world targeted by a years-long global boycott campaign for profiting from the inhumane treatment of Palestinians in Israeli prisons, including the torture [7] of children.

G4S announced [8] in March that it plans to halt all of its business with Israel in the next 12 to 24 months, in what was hailed as a significant human rights victory, with international campaigners vowing to hold the company to its word. However, the corporation’s role in protecting the Dakota access pipeline indicates that G4S is profiting from a different colonial context, this time in North Dakota’s Indian country.

In an interview with AlterNet, G4S communications director Monica Lewman-Garcia confirmed that the company provided private security for the Dakota Access Pipeline for a two-week period, starting August 24. Lewman-Garcia claimed that the company “had no employees present during the incident on September 3” when protesters were attacked with dogs. However, she repeatedly declined to identify where the G4S employees were located during the contract, merely stating that they were dispatched to “remote locations” and “did not come into contact with protesters.”

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