Standing Rock activist says she regrets the ultra-liberal protest eight years on: 'I thought I was a journalist... I wasn't'

A Free Press employee wrote about her radical past and what's changed for her The former NowThis News journalist regrets her promotion of the DAPL protestShe said 'white guilt' fueled her view of the radical climate change movement 

A former left-wing environmental activist, who now works for independent media company The Free Press, recently reflected on her time covering the Dakota Access Pipeline protests for progressive social media company NowThis News.

Lucy Biggers, 34, wrote for the outlet that she regrets fueling the intensely emotional flames of the DAPL protest with manipulative, single-sided videos that it was her job to create and promote.

'I called myself a journalist but really I was an early social media influencer, pushing a very specific point of view,' she wrote.

Now, she says she regrets helping an underdeveloped, leftist, view of the issue go viral.

The Dakota Access Pipeline protest lasted for nine months at the end of President Obama's second term. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of activists gathered in North Dakota to protest against the construction of a crude oil pipeline

The Dakota Access Pipeline protest lasted for nine months at the end of President Obama's second term. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands of activists gathered in North Dakota to protest against the construction of a crude oil pipeline

Former NowThis News social media journalist/influencer Lucy Biggers wrote for the Free Press about the regret she feels for helping the one-sided protest go viral

Former NowThis News social media journalist/influencer Lucy Biggers wrote for the Free Press about the regret she feels for helping the one-sided protest go viral

In late 2016, with mere weeks to go before the election that saw Hilary Clinton face off against Donald Trump, Biggers wrote that she took a video of actress Shailene Woodley speaking passionately about protest, edited together the most impactful lines of her speech, and set the whole thing to 'heartfelt' and 'somber' music.

The video collected millions of views in the subsequent weeks, bringing increased attention to the North Dakota protest site, which became known as Standing Rock.

'I'm calling out to everyone in this room tonight, show up. Don't just tweet about it. Don't just feed off of me being arrested. Go to Standing Rock. Go to Standing Rock,' said a glammed up and visually emotional Woodley.

She was flanked on either side by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members as she spoke as the Environmental Media Association award reception.

As the clip went viral, and then even more viral, Biggers said she began to feel a 'small pit of anxiety' in her stomach that 'maybe this issue wasn't as black and white as I framed it for our audience.'

The thought, she said, was largely quelled at the time by the belief that her 'side' was fueled by moral conviction, while the other side was fueled only by corporate greed.

'Thinking back on it, I can see now that the story played on the sense of “white guilt” that I had developed while working in such a left-leaning news environment,' wrote Biggers.

'By highlighting the marginalized voices of these Native American activists, I could make up for my privilege,' she added, further noting that she did not wish to alienate her progressive-minded viewers and followers, or her friends and colleagues by presenting any sort of opposing argument.

Biggers, now a wife and mother with a more 'realistic' perspective, says she felt a little bit of anxiety at the time presenting what she knew was a single-sided argument about the protestors and their cause

Biggers, now a wife and mother with a more 'realistic' perspective, says she felt a little bit of anxiety at the time presenting what she knew was a single-sided argument about the protestors and their cause

EXCLUSIVE: President Obama on Dakota Access Pipeline protests: “There's an obligation for authorities to show restraint" pic.twitter.com/UMOklVpldw

— NowThis Impact (@nowthisimpact) November 2, 2016

The DAPL protests went on for months, culminating in an announcement from the outgoing Obama administration that work on the pipeline would be halted

The DAPL protests went on for months, culminating in an announcement from the outgoing Obama administration that work on the pipeline would be halted

Actress Shailene Woodley became a celebrity face of the Standing Rock protest after spending many months involved in the issue and even getting arrested at one point

Actress Shailene Woodley became a celebrity face of the Standing Rock protest after spending many months involved in the issue and even getting arrested at one point

In December of 2016, outgoing President Barack Obama ordered that construction of the DAPL be stopped. which the protestors clocked as an obvious victory for their team.

Though, Donald Trump would soon be sworn into office and almost immediately order pipeline construction to start back up again.

But the protestors had already abandoned their camp by then, and left behind forty-eight million pounds of garbage that would cost North Dakotan taxpayers $1million to clean up, wrote Biggers.

She said that, at the time, she chose not to highlight the cleanup effort because she didn't wish to 'crush the illusion' of the protest that had 'inspired the world.'

Only after the young social-media journalist departed from her job at NowThis News and began consuming different sorts of news outlets and books about climate change did she come to realize that 'the environmental causes I had so breathlessly championed were much more complicated than good versus evil.'

The Dakota Access Pipeline has now been operating for years and has done significant good for its state of origin, and the rest of the country.

It carries more than half-a-million barrels of crude oil per day from North Dakota to an oil tank farm Illinois, where it can be stores and further distributed.

Furthermore, wrote Biggers, 'the chances of the pipeline despoiling Lake Oahe are exceedingly slim.'

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe initially took issue with the construction of the pipeline because it was slated to be routed under Lake Oahe, which the tribe considers to be sacred water.

Now, points out Biggers, several Native American tribes in North Dakota even rely upon the pipeline to transport oil that is drilled on their land.

Woodley rallied her fans and followers to join her at the protest site in North Dakota

Woodley rallied her fans and followers to join her at the protest site in North Dakota

By the time protestors left in February of 2017, they had abandoned 48 million pounds of garbage, which the taxpayers of North Dakota had to pay to clean up

By the time protestors left in February of 2017, they had abandoned 48 million pounds of garbage, which the taxpayers of North Dakota had to pay to clean up

Finally, Biggers says that now, as a wife and mother, she has come into a more 'realistic' understanding of 'the world we all share.'

'I’ve been hesitant to talk about my new, more complex views on energy, climate, and sustainability because I’ve been too afraid to face the inevitable backlash.

'I’ve watched these past few years as the climate movement has become increasingly radical, defacing famous pieces of art, blocking traffic and even ambulances, and cementing their hands to roads,' she wrote, adding too that climate activists have become focused on issues like 'freeing Palestine,' and 'tearing down capitalism,' which hardly seem related to conservation and the reduction of carbon emissions.

She closed her piece by saying that she has been reluctant to speak publicly about her newly-ish developed centrist views, but feels she cannot wait any longer, for fear, especially, that people 'with fewer radical ideas' may be having trouble countering the 'irrational, destructive goals' of noisy activists.

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