The Morton County Sheriff Department has instructed Ace Hardware stores not to sell any incendiary device to the water protectors at Cannon Ball, North Dakota, in a bid to quash the movement in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
As temperatures reach subzero, this is terrible news for the Sioux tribe, who depend on life-saving propane tanks from Ace Hardware and other similar stores for heat to ward off the bitter chill.
Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier has claimed the protesters used explosives — which may have been caused by using propane cannisters — during its conflict with the police on Nov. 20, however, no proof has been produced for such a statement.
Activist Kevin Gilbertt, who exposed inhumane police tactics against the pipeline protesters, received an email explaining Ace Hardware’s new policy along with a customer service contact number.
The new policy was not well received by many Twitter users.
#acehardware You've received & r complying w/a request from Morton Co ND sheriff 2 deny propane sales in the dead of winter. R u depraved 2?— sam snow (@samsnow53) December 1, 2016
I will no longer be shopping at #acehardware.— Candie (@Misscandiego) December 1, 2016
Hey @AceHardware . What if it were white folks in Bismarck protecting their water? Would you sell supplies to them then?— steven pasquale (@StevePasquale) December 1, 2016
The move came after the sheriff department announced a ban on all incoming supplies, including food, to the Standing Rock camps. Although the government quickly reversed the plans, the sheriff department did not give up but instead modified the blockade by stating it would issue $1,000 fines to anyone who delivers equipment to the Sioux camps.
The move certainly seems racially motivated, particularly if you compare it to the Oregon standoff. Even though the “protesters” were heavily armed, had taken over a government building and were using its electricity, and cost the state $70,000 a day, no such measures were taken to thwart them.
Ace Hardware's sudden policy reversal is another cruel attempt of the sheriff to clear the camps of the Sioux but their determination to stay and weather the cold without the necessary heating equipment could be inviting tragedy — particularly since many in the camps are tribal elders, young children, pregnant women and even newly born babies.