Lakota People’s Law Project ~ Legal Update: Breaking Through [A]
Our momentum is at an all time high, and the wins are piling up as we enter the heart of the evidence gathering phase for my trial. Over the past weeks, your care and action have helped generate several important, new milestones at Standing Rock, and I thank you with all of my being for your continued support.
In May, Judge Christopherson ruled in our favor on 16 motions in 15 minutes. Then, last week, our team finally received the prosecution witness list. Each of their 27 witnesses must now participate in a videotaped, sworn deposition with our team. As Lakota People’s Law Project Chief Counsel Daniel Sheehan discusses in our new video, the information we’ve already gathered from deposing law enforcement officials is very encouraging. When people go under oath, they often stop lying.
At this crucial juncture, I ask you to give once again. We must raise $200,000 for expert witnesses, investigators, their travel, and the capacity to categorize all the evidence. As our nation’s leadership continues to show it cares little for Grandmother Earth and less for poor people of color, our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights has never been more important. We must protect those rights. Every contribution helps.
I want to give you more detail from our completed interviews, but the North Dakota prosecutor has filed an emergency motion demanding that all video recordings and written transcripts of these sworn depositions be sealed by the court. The opposition is afraid of the public discovering the truth of what really happened at Standing Rock. My attorneys are fighting this motion, of course, and we expect to win the argument.
It has become clear that law enforcement had no concept that all our NoDAPL actions happened on our own sacred treaty land — where we have the prerogative to practice our religion. We are now gathering expert witnesses that will attest to this, to the legitimacy of the “necessity defense,” to the violation of the Federal Civil Rights Act in moving the pipeline from Bismarck to Standing Rock, and to the siege on our First Amendment rights.
In addition to our legal team’s amazing work, we have talented private investigators in the field collecting more critical information. None of this comes cheap, but it will be well worth it in the end. As our opposition continues to try to cover up the truth, our arguments grow stronger by the day. We can achieve great things if we stand together as one, joined in solidarity for future generations.
Wopila — Thank you for your care and generosity! Please hold us in your hearts.
Chase Iron Eyes
Lakota People’s Law Project
P.S. Please contribute if you can. Our work depends upon your partnership and support. Mine is the only case at Standing Rock deposing 87 witnesses and digging deep to tell the real story. We need to link arms and shine a light on truth, for the sake of all future water and earth protectors and the constitutional rights of all Americans.
The Lakota People’s Law Project is a part of the 501(c)(3) Romero Institute, an interfaith law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.