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One of the most sacred freedoms Americans have is the right to protest. To publicly let our grievances be known when we see a perceived wrong.

However, there are times when the cure is worse than the disease. The Dakota Access Pipeline protest is a glaring example of what happens when protesting goes wrong.

What’s At Stake?

Clean water was at stake. A leaking oil pipeline and an Indian Reservation water supply don’t mix. A pipeline had been approved to go under the Missouri River near the tribe at Standing Rock in North Dakota.

Protestors took offense that this pipeline could be a possible threat to the tribe’s water supply and occupied the land for nearly a year in protest to try to stop the installation of the pipeline.

The Result Of The Protest

A Washington Post story is reporting that protesters left over 800 dumpsters of trash to be cleaned up by the Army Corps of Engineers at a cost of $1.1 million.

In addition, there is a serious need to get this done as soon as possible. Why you ask?Because when the ice and snow begin to melt in this area the trash could be washed into the Missouri River by rising water.

The very river the protesters were trying to keep clean and pristine. How ironic. The very body of water they were trying to preserve is put in danger by their own actions.

Some Final Thoughts

So if you were a Standing Rock protester and went home feeling that you fought the good fight to try to make a difference in the world — you did.

You cost taxpayers $1.1 million, put unneeded pressure on others to clean up your mess, and almost damaged what you thought your cause was protecting.

I hope future demonstrators learn from your ignorance and lack of consideration for others and do better in the future.

Many protests are just selfish acts of civil disobedience. My cause is the only cause and if it inconveniences someone so be it. The end result justifies any means.

I wonder how many people would have left trash behind if they had to share that $1.1 million out of their own pocket?

I guess we’ll never know.

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