Whether or not you were arrested at, wrongfully evicted from, or had a slanderous article written about you which defamed the purpose in which you came to Sacred Stone Camp, Oceti Sakowin Camp, Seventh Generation Camp, Sicangu/Rosebud, etc., you may have claim against the State of North Dakota, Energy Transfer Partners, a federal agency &/or other agencies or entities. Since September 2016 our organization, Wild Willpower, has been compiling the framework with which to help enforce treaty rights for the 1851 treaty, the water rights of tribes & downstream users, & the civil rights of Water Protectors through the federal courts (US Court of Federal Claims & North Dakota Federal District Courthouse primarily). Due to the fact that we are going to be seeking restitution as well as other forms of relief amongst this somewhat complex case, we’ve prepared a section of this website to help us all get our brains moving in the same direction concerning “what do we want“. This is known as a “list of reasonable demands”, or, as its essentially referred to within the First Amendment,
About Me & About This Case:
First off, my name (the person writing this) is Distance. I think its important for you to know who you’re engaging with. Me & my dear friend Kevin arrived to stand with Water Protectors September 20, 2016 following the release of attack dogs and the destruction of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota ancestral burial sites on September 3rd, 2016. You can read more about my case HERE. In summary, I was arrested on two charges, but thanks to having studied pro se litigation (representing yourself in court) for years, along with some procedural consultation from one of the members of Water Protector Legal Collective, I was able to get the case dismissed following my “motion to dismiss.” The case is not over however. The criminal case was “going on the defense”- but my rights were violated, so now it is time to “go on the offense”, but many Water Protectors do not know how to do this, so that why this webpage exists- to help everyone follow through with what we started. We’re not finished yet. What happened to me is a similar experience to what happened to other Water Protectors and to people everyday. I was a victim of something everyone should take a moment to read about:
Where the Case is at Now:
I’m currently in the process of finishing compiling the archive on this website, history section, and a simplified version of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure so that when we’re ready to file, everything can be made public including filming & broadcasting the court proceedings. In addition, www.ReUniteTheStates.org is being assembled so when we do file, instead of having to read through a bunch of confusing legalspeak only lawyers can read, everyone will know exactly what is going on. I’ve compiled extensive data on every so-called “Indian” & treaty-related case law, executive order, Act of Congress, & treaty violation relative to this case, which will be online in a navigable format, in context with certain federal protections, soon. The Redress of Grievances section is up publicly now so that you have time to comment, add your ideas, and so we can have plenty of time to “think together” instead of me moving forward on this without interaction with the people involved. My request is that if you comment on this site to please do so in a way that helps lift each other & our shared future up rather than tearing anyone down. I may not carry the same views as you at this time, so please don’t feel slighted if I compiled anything that isn’t to your taste or perspective. That said, at this time, the most important thing I can suggest that you do for your case and the case at large, is to Send Us a Copy of Your State’s Discovery and
Write Your Testimony:
Whether or not you were arrested, writing a thorough testimony can benefit your case, other peoples’ cases, and the case at large. It is very important to be honest – truthful in everything you write.
Questions Your Testimony Should Answer:
- Why did you came to Standing Rock? – i.e. “witnessed civil rights violations & was concerned”, “witnessed treaty rights being violated & came to advocate”, “came to pray & protect the water”, “saw burial sites being destroyed”, “was concerned about Native people & reports of abuse”, & so on. Your testimony. Your words.
- Which camp did you generally stay at?
- If you were arrested, what happened? What date? Where did the incident take place? Were you falsely accused of something? What were you really doing?
- Who were the arresting officer(s)? – this information can be found in your state’s discovery.
- Which North Dakota Century Code(s) were you accused of violating? – Typical codes Water Protectors were accused of violating include:
- 12.1-08-01. Physical obstruction of government function.
- 12.1-21-02. Endangering by fire or explosion.
- 12.1-21-05. Criminal mischief.
- 12.1-22-03. Criminal trespass – Noncriminal offense on posted property.
- 12.1-25-03. Engaging in a riot.
- 12.1-25-04. Disobedience of public safety orders under riot conditions.
- 12.1-31-01. Disorderly conduct.
- 54-23.4-01. “Criminally injurious conduct” including “terrorism”.
Other Questions Your Testimony Should Answer:
- What happened at your arraignment? – did you plead guilty or not guilty? Other?
- Did you take a plea deal? If so, why? If not, why?
- What happened at your court appearance(s)?
- If you missed your court appearance(s), what was the reason?
Things to Consider:
The below list explains an outline to help you write the most effective testimony possible. The testimony is will be used alongside a TORT CLAIM which we will have available in context with information you need as our work finishes getting stitched together.
1.) Why did you come to Standing Rock? Treaty? Water? Consultation not done with tribe? Civil rights violations? What drove you here & where did you come from. S hort, succinct, unbiased.
2.) What did you witness? Native people knowing their rights but not knowing how the law system operates or trusting it due to historic trauma while acting nonviolently to speak up for their water & treaty rights? Write about it.
3.) Don’t be condescending to officers or anyone. Write in such a manner that presents your case unbiased. Attempt to stay fact-oriented rather than emotionally-charged, even when it is difficult. If you experienced emotional trauma, have you received counseling? If so, keep your receipts & get a record of the professional help you received.
4.) Were you arrested or assaulted while “performing First Amendment activity“? What happened?
5.) Where is your case at now? Would you like to see as an outcome? Better regard to native tribes & respect for water & treaty rights & civil rights so that they know they are cared for & not disregarded as has been historically done? Write about it. Tell the world! Tell the court of record.
6.) What type of labor did you perform at the camps? Hours worked? How much did you donate & what did you purchase? Do you have receipts for your purchases? Organize what you can as best you can. Did you lose any property as a result of the forced evacuation? Make a list of all property you lost, as well as a price of how much each item would cost to replace if you had to purchase a replacement offline. Be honest.
7.) Write using Apache OpenOffice (or Word, etc), using Times New Roman, size 12-14 font. Once finished, send the testimony to [email protected] for grammar editing with EDIT MY TESTIMONY written in all capital letters in the subject line. We will send it back for your review, possibly with additional questions. Then you will print it out, & sign your Testimony alongside a Notary which will make it public record & prove that we did not forge your signature so that you attest to what is written: THEN you will scan the document & send it to us. We will not do anything without your consent. Part of the reason we are planning to file the case publicly is that we are working to inform others “how the system works” in a way that will help everyone; I will release documents as soon as they become filed so they are not leaked prematurely.
8.) EVEN IF YOU WERE NOT ARRESTED, PLEASE WRITE A TESTIMONY because you likely labored & may have suffered slander &/or you may have been witness to violations against others. Writing about it on Facebook is one thing, creating a meme is another: writing a testimony (“affidavit“) & filing it in court & following through with DUE PROCESS OF LAW is another. Even if you were not arrested you may have suffered a PERSONAL INJURY including but not limited to a wrongful eviction.
9.) BE TRUTHFUL. Never be manipulative (to anyone ever, for any reason ever).
10.) The system can’t prevent officers from violating peoples’ rights or officials from illegally approving projects, however the system is designed, in truth, to help those who have been hurt to get back on their feet, & for those who have been robbed or made destitute, the system is meant to help them back on their feet & to hold accountable even the system itself (including upgrading protocol for all officers, amending state constitutions, & so on) when the system violates people. Due to the design of the republic, however, government officials cannot reform any part of the system without the contractual demand authorized by the owners of the system- the people. It is my hope that by compiling www.ReUniteTheStates.org, officers and civilians can learn what the laws actually are so we can begin amending & thus upgrading the system to prevent the type of hurt experienced at Standing Rock or historically by Native people may never happen again. I personally view the “system” as a chainsaw- it is very dangerous until you know how it operates. You can hate the chainsaw & blame it & throw it in the fire because it cut someones’ finger off, or learn to use it as a tool. Historically when tribes or people were attacked & robbed, there was no “getting back on your feet”: there was only slavery, oppression, & poverty. We were not able to prevent crime, but we can respond to it & adjust, & people who walk away do not need to suffer because they dumped all their resources into this movement.
11.) Show the world who cares. This is your opportunity to put it on record so that it will sustain through time. Generations from now, people will read this. We will either “enter something into the court record so that the system must adjust” or you will say nothing into the court of record & the system will continue on autopilot. Again, this has to do with the original design of the republic. Your testimony could change the world just as Phyllis Wheatley & Olaudah Equiano‘s firsthand testimonies regarding “the truth about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” helped expose what was going on “behind the scenes”: their testimonies touched the public who finally “got it” & then demanded the slave trade to be abolished, which finally occurred under the pen of Thomas Jefferson in 1807 and by the British Parliament that same year. Step one was that people worked hard to expose what was going on & step two was they brought it through the courts. Step three is that Congress enacted a law, & step four was that the President signed it into law. African American Reverend Peter Williams, jr. gave a beautiful, very moving speech in New York following this double-nation ban on the atrocity known as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The ban was difficult to enforce, however it was done, but there was backlash from the merchants involved but that is a history lesson for another day.
Will This Actually Work?
The Sawyer Decision was the first water-protecting law codified into U.S. law: citizens from Marysville, California compiled over 20,000 pages of testimony & got 2,000 witnesses ORGANIZED to come into court in a class action lawsuit because their water supply was being badly damaged by water cannons upstream that were blasting gold out of the mountains:
Above photo from article “Hydraulic mining leads to historic environmental decision” used in accordance with Fair Use.
Today, we will cite the case Woodruff vs. North Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company (you should really read about this case) as one of many Supreme Court Rulings we have lined up to cite in court for our upcoming case(s). The reason we can cite these cases is because people cared enough to organize like ants to institute a rule of law that was recently broken, which caused Water Protectors to come from around the world, either financially, through prayer, or in person, to the side of Native Americans to help change the future. We are not finished yet! Let’s use the system & win publicly & help the water & the people & this country get on track to what should have been & we have not had yet: all races united for truth & justice & A PATH FORWARD including ecological restoration & universal respect for civil rights for all people & a universal understanding of why rule of law exists. Officer accountability & sustainable living is on the RISE.
On that note, for now, we will leave you to the song “Have You Been to Jail for Justice?” by Anne Feeney. This one goes out to all you lovely Water Protectors!!
Thank You for Standing!
Would you like to Help Spread the Word about www.StandingRockClassAction.org?
Feel free to print out these cards on quality cardstock paper & hand them out:
: North Dakota Legislative Branch, North Dakota Century Code, CHAPTER 12.1-08 OBSTRUCTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT – ESCAPE. 12.1-08-01. Physical obstruction of government function: www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t12-1c08.pdf
“ ”, CHAPTER 12.1-21 DAMAGING PROPERTY OR PUBLIC SERVICES. 12.1-21-02. Endangering by fire or explosion and 12.1-21-05. Criminal mischief: www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t12-1c21.pdf
“ ”, CHAPTER 12.1-22 ROBBERY – BREAKING AND ENTERING OFFENSES. 12.1-22-03. Criminal trespass – Noncriminal offense on posted property: www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t12-1c22.pdf
“ ”, CHAPTER 12.1-25 RIOT. 12.1-25-03. Engaging in a riot and 12.1-25-04. Disobedience of public safety orders under riot conditions: www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t12-1c25.pdf
“ ”, CHAPTER 12.1-31 MISCELLANEOUS OFFENSES. 12.1-31-01. Disorderly conduct: www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t12-1c31.pdf
“ ”, CHAPTER 54-23.4 CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION. 54-23.4-01. “Criminally injurious conduct” including “terrorism”: www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t54c23-4.pdf
Read the History Section – brings case into context
This website is being compiled by Wild Willpower.
Special thanks to www.NoDAPLarchive.com for all your hard work helping to compile the archive.