December 2017 Legal Update

Last Tuesday, December 12th, we were joined by our friends in the Water Protector Legal Collective at the Unitarian Universal Church, where the Church was holding a holiday toy drive for the Wakpala district in Standing Rock. We ate, prayed, and shared stories with one another. Representatives from the WPLC spoke at varying length about what brought them to Standing Rock, gave legal updates regarding the status of the body of cases against Water Protectors, and brought material to write letters to Water Protectors still incarcerated by the state.

Letters can be addressed to:

Red Fawn Fallis

3501 Westrac Drive

Fargo, ND 48103

 

Dion Ortiz #48266

Sandoval County Detention Center

1100 Montoya Road

Bernalillo, NM 87004

 

Michael “Little Feather” Giron

Heart of America Correction Center

110 Industrial Road

Rugby, ND 58368

 

If you would like to further support those facing state repression, more information can be found at

https://waterprotectorlegal.org/water-protector-prisoners/
Video Transcript:

“I participated in the encampment last year, and happened to experience all the beauty that happened; being called by the water, and getting to be with the people, and experience such amazing medicine out there. Out of it came a lot of not only beauty, spirituality, growth, and just true awareness not only for myself but all things around me; but also a lot of trauma that has happened in the past and been reoccurring, leading to a lot of arrests, and a lot of violence that was inflicted onto our people—ALL of our people out there because we stood as one front, and connected on so many different levels, which was such a gift, that I wish—I miss it everyday.

But I’m here to give a bit of an update about a lot of our people that suffered at the hands of the government, which on these charges that we are all dealing with we have about 6, maybe possibly 7 federal defendants that are all being deeply affected right now, including 3 that are in custody. Other than that we have our state cases, which in total we have 831 cases, 305 dismissals, 48 pretrial diversions, 110 plea agreements, 15 convicted at trial, 3 on appeal, and then we have the remaining 214 cases, which everybody’s working tirelessly on.

It means a lot. It’s really hard, being away from home. And we all deal with our own things back home, like Chaco Canyon, one of my sacred sites under attack, and Bears Ears, and a lot of great people out there suffering gives me a lot of strength to be here, and to stand up, and always fight for my family, all of you, and my relatives who deal with this and put their bodies out on the line, whether its Line 3, whether its out in New Mexico, wherever in the world—in Michigan, all these, Keystone pipeline, my family who got hit out there, it’s just—really motivates me to do better, and to try and open and spread that love and that gift of camp that we got to experience.”

“For those of us who attended the hearing with Red Fawn, you remember that Deputy Schultz said just 3 weeks ago he got called in by the State Attorney, and told to turn over his private cell phone video. That’s all come from the work we've all done to try to dig into this information that’s has been withheld already. So we’re working very hard on trying to be of assistance to getting as much information as we possibly can to make it available for all of the remaining 200 plus cases.

And of course as you know there are major efforts going on all around the country sending in petitions and letters to the State Attorney’s office demanding the dismissal of all of the charges, including dismissal of all of any of the cases that have been held where there’s any kind of continued restrictions on any of the defendants.

So that’s a small part of the contribution that we’re trying to make to the whole operation, but everybody’s working together and coordinating all of our efforts to bring justice to the situation, including establishing legals precedents that are available for other protesters and Water Protectors all around the country.”
“We've got already addressed envelopes to 3 people who are still being held. And we’ve done this before, and we are told that it’s a breath of fresh air, its a bit of spirit coming. So please, if you are willing to, take a few minutes. Thanks to everyone, thanks to all the chefs and cooks and hosts, and all of you for being here.”