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Green Party candidate says she’ll return to N.D. to face charges

Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein held a press conference at the Fine Arts Building on Friday morning. | Santiago Covarrubias/Sun-Times

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said during a stop Friday in the city that she plans to return to North Dakota, where a warrant has been issued for her arrest after she allegedly spray-painted a message on a bulldozer to protest a pipeline project.

“We will go back to face our charges and to have our day in court . . . again, scheduling is the issue,” Stein said, speaking to reporters at the Fine Arts Building on South Michigan.

But Stein also said she shouldn’t have been charged.

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“We think those warrants are misdirected,” she said. “Those warrants should be actually directed at the real criminals here, who are violating our water supplies, who are putting our climate at grave risk … .”

Stein denied her use of a spray can was a publicity stunt designed to boost poll numbers.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein prepares to spray-paint “I approve this message” in red paint on the blade of a bulldozer at a Tuesday protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in the area of Morton County, N.D.  | Alicia Ewen/KX News via A
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein prepares to spray-paint “I approve this message” in red paint on the blade of a bulldozer at a Tuesday protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in the area of Morton County, N.D. | Alicia Ewen/KX News via AP)

“I certainly didn’t go there intending to engage in civil disobedience,” she said. “I was asked by the people at the demonstration.”

Stein was charged Wednesday in Morton County with misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass and criminal mischief. She is accused of spray-painting construction equipment during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline.

Activists invited Stein to leave a message at the protest site near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation on Tuesday, and Stein allegedly sprayed “I approve this message” in red paint on the blade of a bulldozer.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is trying to stop construction of a section of the $3.8 billion four-state pipeline that tribal leaders say would violate sacred and culturally sensitive grounds and possibly pollute water.

Contributing: Associated Press