A year ago, we saw the extreme dark side of pipeline opponents. We knew that some of these folks cared passionately for their beliefs, but Danielle Friel Otten showed that some have more than just a personal opposition and more a willingness to say and/or do anything to further their cause.
Friel Otten’s comments elicited one of the darkest moments in history – comparing hardworking pipeline workers to Nazis. The Nazis attempted to eradicate entire groups of people just because they didn’t like them and thought that doing so would strengthen their power. They did this through some of the most gruesome tactics ever used.
Friel Otten was castigated for her comments by a bipartisan majority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro also called her out. The Anti-Defamation League criticized her poor judgement, saying, “It is offensive to use Nazi analogies in political disagreements. It trivializes the Holocaust…”
To date, Friel Otten has yet to apologize to the very workers she made the comparison about. The individuals she attacked are hardworking Pennsylvanians, many of which are also her constituents. This is an instance where passion went far beyond activism, a reality we have seen become all too common in the anti-pipeline movement.