Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

May 15, 2019

'Water is Life' Political Prisoners Honored During International Human Rights Testimony

Leoyla Cowboy in Jamaica.
Photo by Brenda Norrell
International Human Rights Commission hears of NO DAPL Political Prisoners, with a Statement from Red Fawn, in Jamaica

"The only gun that was brought into camp was by Heath Harmon, an FBI informant." -- Red Fawn

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
French translation by Christine Prat

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Honoring the political prisoners who rose up to protect the water in the movement against Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, Leoyla Cowboy, Dine', called out their names, during a hearing of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Jamaica.
"I  am here to serve as a voice for the NO DAPL political prisoners because they are imprisoned and I consider each family," Leoyla told the Commission.
Saying the names of "Red Fawn Fallis, Michael Little Feather Giron, Michael Rattler Markus, Dion Ortiz and James Angry Bird White," Leoyla pointed out that they faced the most serious of the federal charges, after protecting the water in 2016 and 2017.
 "I am honored to be the wife of political  prisoner Little Feather Giron," Leoyla said of her husband, who is Chumash.
Leoyla described how these five Indigenous Water Protectors had no choice but to enter into non-cooperating plea agreements after their rights were denied by the U.S. federal courts.
Leoyla told the Commission how these Water Protectors were denied their rights of discovery and a change a venue. Further, the jury pool was tainted by a propaganda campaign that favored the oil companies in North Dakota, she testified.
Faced with this injustice, Red Fawn faced life in in prison, and the men each faced 15 years in prison, Leoyla said.
As a result, these Water Protectors served time in prison far from their families.
Leoyla read a statement from Red Fawn, who faced life in prison if convicted in a trial.
Red Fawn wrote that she was arrested three times at Standing Rock.
Describing the actions of peaceful Water Protectors and the massive arrests at Standing Rock, Red Fawn spoke of her mother.
Red Fawn said she was there at Standing Rock to honor the memory and lifework of her mother, Troy Lynn Star Yellowood, who passed to the Spirit World.
At the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock, Red Fawn said, "I found a place where I belonged."
Red Fawn said she worked with the elders  and youth at Oceti Sakown and was trained as a medic at camp.
Red Fawn said she was arrested three times. In August  of 2016, she was exercising her free speech rights against Dakota Access Pipeline when she was arrested.
The second time she was arrested, she was tying prayer ties to a fence.
In October, Red Fawn said, "I was tackled from behind and brutally arrested without probable cause and accused of having a gun."
In her statement, Red Fawn described the results of the FBI placing an informant in the camp.
"The only gun that was brought into camp was by Heath Harmon, an FBI informant."
"He started a dishonest relationship with me."
Red Fawn said in closing, "We understand our reciprocal relationship with water and all the life it supports."
"Water is life."
During the testimony on the criminalization of Indigenous Peoles by the United States government, Leoyla's testimony was joined by Water Protectors Casey Camp Horinek, Ponca, and Michelle Cook, Dine'. Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham, testified on the criminalization of O'odham by the U.S. in her homeland.

Copyright Brenda Norrell, Censored News.
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