August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Friday, June 29, 2018

One Water Protector Found Not Guilty in First Felony Jury Trial for NoDAPL Cases

Photo (from left): Marcello Kills The Enemy, Lakota/Dine Water Protector and Defense Witness, Aaron Dorn and Burke Moore, Pro Hac Vice attorney.

Court Update: One Water Protector Found Not Guilty – First Felony Jury Trial for NoDAPL Cases

By Water Protector Legal Collective
Censored News

On Friday, June 29, Aaron Dorn was found not guilty of Reckless Endangerment (Felony C) and Preventing Arrest or Discharge of other Duties (Felony C) by a 12-person jury in Morton County before Judge David Nelson. Judge Nelson dismissed Dorn’s Physical Obstruction of a Government Function Charge with a Rule 29 Motion for a Judgement of Acquittal following the completion of the state’s presentation. Aaron’s trial lasted two and half days with the jury deliberation occurring for fewer than three hours before reaching a decision.
On November 24th, 2016, following an anti-colonial Thanksgiving Day demonstration in Mandan, ND, Dorn was brutally arrested by an unidentified law enforcement officer, who emerged from an unmarked vehicle. Dorn was hospitalized due to the injuries sustained by police during his arrest.
ND Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Arndt accused Dorn of driving recklessly towards him while in a caravan of Water Protectors. Law enforcement allowed him to remain for the entire demonstration before approaching and placing him under arrest as people were dispersing from the event.
Aaron was represented by WPLC Pro Hac Vice attorney Burke Moore. In addition to Dorn himself, the defense presented the testimony of one witness, Marcello Kills The Enemy from the Rosebud Sioux tribe who traveled to testify on Aaron’s behalf. Four officers testified for the state.
Asked for comment, Aaron and Burke said the following: “It’s a step in the right direction that two very privileged people can strike a blow like this, but it’s a small victory compared the struggle that lies ahead, particularly for those Water Protectors who are in federal custody. We declare our solidarity with Red Fawn, Little Feather and Dion Ortiz, and ask that everyone do all that they can to stand with them.”

Oglala Commemoration: Justice and Clemency for Leonard Peltier

(Above) Oglala Commemoration 2018
Photos by Jean Roach

Photo above by Jean Roach 2015 Remembering Oglala Commemoration in 2015
Jean Roach said, "Hehanni waste'! Its was a BEAUTIFUL day for the 15th annual Oglala Commemoration! We were BLESSED with so many relatives and friends in attendance to continue the Fight for Justice for Leonard Peltier!! The young people are representing the older generation, many who have made their journey, through their STRENGTH and ENERGY. A few youth I talked to have "family" who were Peltier supporters back in the day. Leonard called and asked people to HELP with his CLEMENCY CAMPAIGN ! He THANKED all of his supporters and was 'so excited' as he listened to the people as they hollered greetings and Elk Nation Drummers sang an Honor song for him on speaker phone! He still sounds the same full of jokes and then very serious almost all in one breath!! For 39 years Leonard endured Pain and Suffering and can still joke like 'old Times!' The Lakota Women I'm with in this pic are the STRENGTH and BACKBONE of Coming Generations. So THANKFUL to be part of their LEGACY!"
Jean said today, "Since this gathering in 2015, Wanda and Rosalyn Jumping Bull have gone to the Star Nation."
Oglala Commemoration: Justice and Clemency for Leonard Peltier

Oglala Commemoration Statement 2018

Greetings Relatives, Friends, and Supporters:

If Leonard were standing here today his words would be those of gratitude and love for the decades of prayers, ceremonies, walks for freedom, demonstrations, protests, hunger strikes, fundraisers, congressional lobbying, and the work of the last three clemency campaigns and most importantly for ALWAYS remembering him on this day that was embedded in history 43 years ago.
Forty-three years ago, today Leonard and many others made a stand for freedom, a stand for the Oglala Lakota homelands, water, and resources, and a stand for the next generation of Oglala Lakota to live as sovereign free people. That day, that moment in time - forever changed the course of Leonard’s life.
Over the past 43 years Leonard has been held in the most severely restricted maximum-security prisons in the United States. Over the past 43 years Leonard’s legal battle has been in federal district courts, appeals courts, and before the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva and New York every year from 1984- 2018. Over the past 43 years international political, justice, and religious leaders have actively written letters and contacted the past four sitting presidents demanding that Leonard be released from prison. Over the past 43 years Leonard has had to mourn the passing of his immediate family members and witness his children and grandchildren grow into adulthood without him from a prison cell.
Leonard has been on “lock-down” for approximately 30 days at Coleman U.S.P. - which means that every morning during the lockdown Leonard wakes up in isolation, spends his day in isolation, and goes to sleep in isolation from his legal team, family, friends, and the support of his defense committee staff and board. Which makes this day even more significant for Leonard, for the sacrifice of Joseph Stuntz for the sacrifice of thousands and thousands of Oglala Lakota people who gave their lives for the land so that the people may live…
If Leonard were here today he would ask each of you to never stop fighting the United States government and their genocidal policies, he would ask you to contact your elected tribal leaders and have them write a letter to the White House demanding Executive Clemency, he would ask each of you to contact every elected congressional and state representative demanding Executive Clemency, he would ask each of you to join with the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee’s newly launch media campaign for his freedom… And he would ask you to keep him in your heart and prayers so that one day he can return home to feel his feet on the land he gave his life for, see the relatives of the people he gave his life for, and most importantly so he can walk among the beauty of our Native life ways and ceremonies which he gave his life for… If Leonard were here today he would tell you he would do it all over again if need be because he loves his people more than life itself…

In the Spirit of Leonard Peltier and in the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

The International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
Board of Directors.

Selfie in jail: Defenders of migrant children jailed over Trump's genocide and torture of children at border

Eleanor Chavez said, "In the jail cell at State Police on Cerrillos in Santa Fe. Arrested at the governor's office."
"We are in jail -- but where are the children?"
The New Mexico Governor's office was occupied on Thursday in protest of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez' support of Trump separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

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