Trial dates are set, and it’s a critical hour for legal efforts on behalf of the Standing Rock water protectors. On August 13, Chase Iron Eyes will walk into a North Dakota courtroom and face prosecution for his alleged crimes. The charges? Trespassing on the Lakota’s own sacred land and inciting a riot — when a group of 74 unarmed water protectors peacefully withstood a raid of Last Child’s Camp and subsequent arrest at the hands of heavily armed law enforcement officials.
Thankfully, Chase has a dedicated team in his corner. Thousands stood with Standing Rock in its hour of need, have followed this story to the courts, and have taken repeated action to keep the fight for justice on track. Now, in order for that justice to be served, we need your financial support.
Our legal team must — and will — gather a staggering amount of evidence in the coming months. This includes more than 50 depositions, requiring travel to Texas and North Carolina to question, under oath, officials of Dakota Access pipeline parent company Energy Transfer Partners and their hired mercenary security firm, TigerSwan.
In preparation for this moment, the Lakota People’s Law Project staff has spent the past several decades combining investigation, litigation, education, and organizing to create solutions for social reform in the US. Once again, we’re ready to challenge injustice. This time, we are confronting racism and violations of the Federal Civil Rights Act and the Environmental Protection Act in support of our First Amendment rights under the Constitution.
There are several key distinctions about the Chase Iron Eyes case:
We are pursuing a potentially game-changing “necessity defense”;
73 other water protectors can use the evidence we gather in their own defenses;
We successfully petitioned the courts to replace an assigned judge with our preferred judge.
These landmark legal defenses can set precedents that will safeguard all future protectors of water and land, all those who stand in strength to tear down injustice. This case is being fought for all of us who care about indigenous rights, all of us who care about the First Amendment, and all of us who care about Mother Earth. Your support now can help Chase make history.
Wopila — we thank you!
Daniel Sheehan, Chief Counsel, Lakota People’s Law Project
- S. The upcoming trials — and surrounding public education — will not only exonerate our clients; they will expose the injustices perpetrated by state-sponsored private military operations. We will continue to provide updates to you as the team uncovers the truth and explores the extent of the rights violations at Standing Rock. With your continued aid, we will turn the tide in this country at its darkest hour. With your support, we will prevail.
Lakota People’s Law Project/Romero Institute
210 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
The Lakota people’s Law Project is part of the 501(c)(3) Romero Institute, an interfaith law and policy center. All donations are tax-deductible.