In 2021’s nearly unrecognizable version of America, there exists two systems of “justice;” one for the far-left and another for nearly everyone else.

The lucky folks in the first group have an open invitation to riot, obstruct, occupy, trespass and shut down anything deemed necessary based on their cause du jour.

For everyone else, it’s straight to the gulag for a trial-free sentence of hard labor, or at least for now, extended solitary confinement in a D.C. jail.

By now, the American people have heard about the “January 6 Insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol ad nauseam from a rabid, partisan news media determined to milk that day for everything they believe it is worth. Even in November, it dominates “news” coverage on CNN, MSNBC and elsewhere, albeit at the cost of a shrinking audience.

Rhetoric from “progressive” Democrats in Congress and elsewhere has never ceased to be ridiculously emotional, not to mention divisive and destructive. House members such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claim to have been endangered that day and in need of extensive counselling to “recover” from the “breach” of the building, despite footage that repeatedly shows Capitol Police welcoming protesters inside, even removing barriers to entry.

This has led to the formation of an absurdly partisan congressional probe, causing former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) to ask, “Who thinks Nancy Pelosi’s ‘9/11-style commission’ to investigate what happened on Capitol Hill last January 6 is actually there to fact-find? Me, neither.”

To make the distinction clear, we need only look to the October 14 breach of the Interior Department by hundreds of “climate activists.” They were determined to shut down not only the building, but adjacent streets as well, in addition to climbing a flagpole at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office. According to the AP, at least one security officer was injured during scuffles with protesters, with other reports indicating several more hurt.

The five-day protest led by the far-left group “Build Back Fossil Free” also featured vandalism of the Andrew Jackson statue outside of the White House. Seventy-eight people were arrested for crowding or obstructing traffic and three were charged with assault.

Their aim was to force President Biden to declare a “climate change national emergency” and end all government projects that use fossil fuels. This agenda includes the shutdown of oil pipelines in America.

Did anyone in the media, or on Capitol Hill for that matter, label this an “insurrection”? Unlike on January 6, police didn’t open the gates for demonstrators to enter, the breaches were the result of physical force.

Most protesters, according to the Washington Post (which relegated their coverage to the “Local” section, effectively burying it) were handed $50 citations. Contrast that with January 6 detainees describing deplorable conditions while inexplicably forced to continue their unending confinement.

Officials with both the Interior Department and White House were quick to downplay and even sugar-coat the violence, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki going so far as to shower rioters with praise.

At a time when gas prices are surging, heating oil supplies dwindling ahead of a cold winter and a troubling renewed dependence on overseas fuel to keep the country moving, the destructive impact of shutting down North American pipelines would be impossible to calculate.

And activists know they’ve already lost this issue in the courts, leading them to believe violence is an acceptable next option. In August, the Minnesota Supreme Court effectively ruled against challenges to Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline by declining to hear the appeal of a lower court ruling. The 337-mile segment of Line 3 in that state is merely replacing an older one that has been running at a greatly reduced capacity due to its advanced age.

In addition, the proposal had already passed a thorough Minnesota Public Utilities Commission review and is subject to a myriad of federal regulations every step of the way. At a time when the domestic supply chain is breaking down, leading to a shortage of goods, we can’t afford to live without pipelines, which have a long track record of being safe and effective.

Can one group of demonstrators riot their way toward policy changes while another languishes in prison, not convicted of any crime? No matter the cause, all forms of illegal, violent protests that put the safety of first responders, bystanders, and protesters themselves at risk should be condemned. The double-standard involving language such as “insurrectionists” and “domestic terrorists” is ripping the country apart.

It’s time for a return to a uniform rule of law, instead of partisan political favouritism.

Brian Maloney is the co-founder of the Media Equality Project and publisher of Media Equalizer