Tag Archives: Standing Rock Sioux

FBI Raid Home of Women Who Claimed Responsibility for DAPL Sabotage

By Black Powder | RPM Staff

Friday morning federal agents raided a Des Moines Catholic Worker House where two women who’ve claimed responsibility for vandalizing the Dakota Access Pipeline were staying.

Last month, during a press conference outside the Iowa Utilities Board headquarters, Catholic workers and activists, Jessica Reznicek, 36 and Ruby Montoya, 27, revealed they secretly carried out multiple acts of sabotage including burning millions of dollars in construction equipment at pipeline locations across Iowa and other states. The two were then arrested for damaging a sign outside the Iowa Utilities Board building.

“Using tires and gasoline-soaked rags we burned multiple valve sites, their electrical units, as well as heavy equipment located on DAPL easements throughout Iowa,” said Montoya.

A burned hole was discovered at a valve site in Iowa.

The Des Moines Register reports, about 30 law enforcement personnel, led by agents armed with guns who identified themselves as being from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, entered the catholic workers house just north of downtown Des Moines shortly after 6 a.m.

The agents left about 10:30 a.m. with boxes and sealed bags of property they had seized. There were no arrests or injuries during the raid.

Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya

Reznicek and Montoya were at the house on Friday.

According to KIWARadio.com, Alex Cohen, part of the “Mississippi Stand” group that sought to halt the pipeline’s extension from southeast Iowa across the river into Illinois, said the women told him that they were kept on the front porch of the house as the agents conducted the search inside.

Cohen says the women consider some of the materials seized during the raids to be protected by the attorney-client privilege and, now that it’s in the hands of federal authorities, it will hurt the chances at a fair trial.

Both women, who remain free on bond, say they were fighting a “private corporation” and “never threatened human life nor personal property” with their actions.

In the past, Reznicek has been arrested multiple times in various protests.

Montoya was most recently charged in a protest over a pipeline in Tennessee.


In 2014, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline developed by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. Months of demonstrations by thousands of opponents sought to halt construction of the four-state pipeline from North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois.

Family says Red Fawn Fallis, Innocent of Attempted Murder on Police at ND Pipeline Protest

The family of Red Fawn Fallis, the woman arrested during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests demand her release and say she is not guilty of all charges: Mark Boyle Denver7/Facebook

The family of Red Fawn Fallis, the woman arrested during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests demand her release and say she is not guilty of all charges: Mark Boyle Denver7 /Facebook

By Red Power Media, Staff | Nov 07, 2016

Red Fawn Fallis, was arrested along with 140 other protesters on Oct. 27, near the Standing Rocking Sioux reservation in North Dakota. When police closed in during a mass arrest to remove water protectors from private property, Fallis, allegedly pulled out a .38 revolver and fired at officers.

Fallis, a 37yr old, Native American woman from Denver, is being held at the Morton County jail on a $100,000 bond. Police claim she had a concealed gun and fired twice towards two Minnesota police officerswho were working at the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

Fallis, was formally charged with attempted murder of an officer on Oct 31.

The charge, could result in a 20-year prison sentence.

On Monday, her family spoke out for the first time since the incident.

According to the Denver Post, the family of Fallis said she didn’t have a gun and the officers, who considered her an instigator, unjustly targeted her for arrest.

“There is no evidence there was a gun,” said Glenn Morris, a leader in the American Indian Movement of Colorado, during a Monday morning news conference.

According to her arrest affidavit, the deputies were going to arrest Fallis because she was “being an instigator and acting disorderly.”

She struggled and they brought her to the ground. While they were trying to cuff her, two shots were fired. A deputy saw the gun in Fallis’ left hand and wrestled the gun away from her, according to the affidavit.

Fallis, an Oglala Lakota Sioux, is a American Indian Movement member with roots in the organization.

The family has a strong tradition of fighting for the rights of American Indians, Morris said.

Loma Star Cleveland, who is the little sister of Red Fawn Fallis, joins others at press conference, at 4 Winds American Indian Council in Denver, to show support for Red Fawn, a Denver Native American woman arrested during pipeline protest in North Dakota, November 07, 2016. Red Fawn Fallis remains in jail in North Dakota after being arrested.

Loma Star Cleveland, who is the little sister of Red Fawn Fallis, joins others at press conference, at 4 Winds American Indian Council in Denver, to show support for Red Fawn, a Denver Native American woman arrested during pipeline protest in North Dakota, November 07, 2016.

Troy Lynn Yellow Wood, Fallis’ mother, was a member of the American Indian advocacy group AIM since the late 1970s and was at the group’s 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee in South Dakota.

Yellow Wood died a few weeks ago, said Loma Cleveland, Fallis’ younger sister.

Fallis has told her family not to worry because she is innocent, Cleveland said.

According to the Guardian, on Oct 22, when police arrested more than 120 people protesting against the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, Lauren Howland, was caught in the middle of the violence and chaos, and suffered a broken wrist when, she said, an officer attacked her.

Fallis, known as a mother to many of the youth at the Standing Rock protest, “personally came back into the frontlines and wheeled us all out”, Howland, 21, recalled. “She’s a protector.”

Supporters said she made a point of reminding youth activists to stay “peaceful and prayerful” and never resort to violence. She had a four-wheeler vehicle and often helped rescue protesters who needed medical attention during police confrontations.

Lauren Howland, with broken wrist suffered at the pipeline protest. Photograph: Sam Levin for the Guardian

Lauren Howland, with broken wrist suffered at the pipeline protest. Photograph: Sam Levin for the Guardian

Howland and other youth protesters said they were devastated to find out a week later that local police had arrested Fallis and charged her with attempted murder.

“Red Fawn has continually supported the youth council since its inception and is responsible for personally rescuing many of our members from the front lines after being brutalized by police.” – International Indigenous Youth Council

Fallis has been involved in the fight against the oil pipeline, which would run beneath the Missouri river near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, since demonstrations began.

Members of the tribe say the pipeline’s construction would trample on sacred lands, destroy artifacts and potentially poison waterways, including the Missouri river and Lake Oahe.

Since an escalating series of recent clashes between law enforcement and water protectors, the Morton County sheriff’s office has held up the charges against Fallis, as an example of what it says is the violent and illegal behavior of Native American protesters.

To some pipeline protesters, who described Fallis as a passionate activist dedicated to peaceful tactics, her detention is the latest sign that North Dakota police are aggressively targeting a growing movement and will go to great lengths to protect a powerful corporation threatening sacred tribal lands.

Red Fawn Fallis. ‘It doesn’t surprise me that they are targeting Red Fawn, because she’s definitely an asset to our community,’ said protester Eryn Wise. Photograph: Courtesy of Eryn Wise

Red Fawn Fallis. Photograph: Courtesy of Eryn Wise

On the same day the Morton County Sheriff’s Department announced the charges against Fallis, officials also stated Kyle Thompson, a contractor with the North Dakota Access pipeline company, would not face charges after being detained with an assault rifle.

Thompson was caught on video holding the rifle during an altercation with demonstrators.


The Morton County Sheriff’s Department said Thompson may have been the victim in the incident and an investigation is ongoing.

Fallis is the first demonstrator to be charged with an offense linked to the use of a firearm. In addition to the attempted murder charge, she is also facing one count of preventing arrest, a count of carrying a concealed weapon and a count of possession of marijuana.

Fallis’ family and supporters say the charges against her are false and she was picked out of a crowd because of her strong personality and opinions about water protection.

“They recognized her leadership as a young, indigenous woman who a lot of younger indigenous people looked to for example in leadership. So that identifies her as a target in their mind, I believe,”- Glenn Morris, AIM Colorado

On social media, many have supported Fallis with the hashtag #FreeRedFawn and some have compared her to Leonard Peltier, a native activist and former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of aiding in the killing of two FBI agents in 1975.

Red Fawn Fallis, remains in Morton County jail, as her family asks for support and, ultimately for her release.

Another Tear Gas Standoff With Police As Water Protectors Defend Sacred Land

"We need sincere action in order to stop this pipeline," said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. (Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)(Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)

“We need sincere action in order to stop this pipeline,” said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network. (Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)(Photo: Peg Hunter/flickr/cc)

Latest incident comes as reporting shows pipeline company failed to immediately inform state regulators it found artifacts during construction

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer | Common Dreams

Water protectors near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation continued to face violence and intimidation on Sunday, with police again firing tear gas as they attempted to defend their sacred ground.

According to reporting by Unicorn Riot, the Dakota Access Pipeline foes “crossed the Cantapeta Creek (an offshoot of the Cannonball river) to set up camp on the land formation now referred to as ‘Turtle Island.'” Both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Standing Rock Sioux lay claim to that land.

Video documentation by Unicorn Riot and photos on Twitter by those on the scene show a row of police on top the hill above where the water protectors had cross onto the island. The video footage shows tear gas landing near the protesters.

#NoDAPL Water Protectors Tear Gassed by Police During Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site from Unicorn Riot on Vimeo.

An image captured by film director and environmental activist Josh Fox shows one protester holding up a mirror to reflect back the brutality of the police tactics.

The creek is the same site where just days earlier another violent standoff took place between police and water protectors. One journalist was shot by police with a rubber bullet during that incident while she was conducting an interview.

The latest militarized police response to the protesters comes as North Dakota regulators are set to file a complaint against pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners “for failing to disclose the discovery of Native American artifacts in the path of construction,” the Guardian reported Saturday. The reporting continued:

The allegations mark the state’s first formal action against the corporation and add fuel to the claims of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has long argued that the $3.7bn pipeline threatens sacred lands and indigenous cultural heritage.

Julie Fedorchak, chair of the North Dakota public service commission, told the Guardian that on 17 October, pipeline officials found a group of stone cairns –symbolic rock piles that sometimes mark burial grounds – on a site where construction was planned.

The firm, however, failed to notify the commission, in violation of its permit, and only disclosed the findings 10 days later when government workers inquired about it, she said.

The standoff also comes a day after Steve Horn reported that

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has confirmed to DeSmog that Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, has ignored the Obama administration’s September 9 request to voluntarily halt construction in a disputed area, 20 miles east and west of Lake Oahe and the Missouri River.

Further, as Common Dreams reported last week,

An independent pipeline expert [commission by the Standing Rock Sioux] has concluded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ environmental assessment (EA) of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is insufficient and fails to account for the impact on tribal members, prompting the Standing Rock Sioux to demand that the federal agency “revisit” its approval of the controversial project.

With the feeling by some that now “time is running out,” native leaders are calling for a thousands-strong mobilization on Nov. 15 to take place at Army Corps of Engineers offices across the country.

“This is a call for all of our relatives who’ve been wanting to support,” said Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network in a media statement. “Whether you’ve come to the camp, whether you haven’t come to the camp. If you live near an Army Corps of Engineers office, we’re asking you to step up to mobilize. We’re asking you to come out in numbers and not only let the Army Corps of Engineers hear your voices, but let the Obama Administration hear your voice.”

“We need sincere action in order to stop this pipeline,” he continued.


Obama Steers Clear As North Dakota Pipeline Protests Veer Out Of Control


A person with a hand drum paces between law enforcement officers and a line of protesters along North Dakota Highway 6, south of St. Anthony, N.D., Oct. 10, 2016. Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP

Reader Submission:

The Washington Times – Oct 25, 2016

Having lent support to the North Dakota pipeline protesters, the Obama administration is stiff-arming requests for more federal assistance as the situation on the ground at the massive encampment grows increasingly volatile.

Six states sent law enforcement support to the Dakota Access pipeline site after several law enforcement officers were hurt in last weekend’s clashes that saw 127 arrests, the shooting of a drone that buzzed a helicopter and the use of pepper spray against protesters who charged a police line.

Even so, the Justice Department said it has no plans to provide more resources. So far the agency has provided mediators to “facilitate communication, defuse tensions, support peaceful protests and maintain public safety,” said spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle.

“The department has also offered technical assistance and community policing resources to local law enforcement in support of these goals,” said Mr. Hornbuckle in a statement, adding that the agency is “taking the situation in North Dakota seriously.”

He also reiterated the Obama administration’s request for Energy Transfer Partners to stop work voluntarily on the pipeline project, which the company has declined to do, in order for the Army Corps of Engineers to review issues raised by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

For those living and working in Morton County, North Dakota, however, waiting for the administration to research a project already approved by state and federal regulators comes at a cost.

Cody Schulz, chairman of the Morton County Commission, said that the rural community has been roiled by the 10-week-old Dakota Access protest, which has prompted road closures and school lockdowns.

Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II ‘blasted law enforcement in a Monday statement for actions taken against “peaceful protests at Standing Rock.” But Mr. Schulz pointed out that the demonstrations are occurring in Morton County, not on the reservation.

“I would like to remind everyone here that the situation and illegal activity is actually happening in Morton County,” said Mr. Schulz at a Monday press conference. “It’s happening in the yards, driveways, pastures and fields of Morton County residents. It’s happening on the roads and near the schools where Morton County children are being educated.”

He called on Mr. Archambault to consider the rights of local residents as well as the rights of the protesters, who number between 1,500 and 2,500, camping within a few miles of the construction site.

“It’s disrupting the lives and injuring the economic well-being of everyone that lives in the area,” said Mr. Schulz. “I believe that the chairman’s statement demonstrates that he has little regard for the rights of Morton County citizens that have been routinely trampled on by this illegal activity.”

For example, Sunday the North Dakota Highway Patrol shut down portions of Highway 1806 after protesters set up blockades with vehicles, rocks, barbed wire and tree stumps. The activists later removed the debris at the request of law enforcement, but remained at the site and kept the items in nearby ditches.

“Basically they [protesters] are controlling that area by stopping traffic as it travels through, so it’s not safe for law enforcement to allow people to travel through that area,” said North Dakota Highway Patrol Capt. Bryan Niewind. “There’s people that commute back and forth through that area. It’s just not safe at this point to allow them to go through there.

Militarization of law enforcement

Requests for more Justice Department support have come from the North Dakota House and Senate members, who said in a letter last week that local sheriffs don’t have the budgets to keep up with the flood of out-of-state protesters.

Meanwhile, Mr. Archambault called Monday for the Justice Department to intervene against what he called “strong-arm tactics, abuses and unlawful arrests by law enforcement.”

The chairman blamed the rising tensions on “the militarization of local law enforcement and enlistment of multiple law enforcement agencies from neighboring states.”

“We do not condone reports of illegal actions, but believe the majority of peaceful protesters are reacting to strong-arm tactics and abuses by law enforcement,” Mr. Archambault said.

The tribe and national environmental groups launched the demonstration Aug. 10 in an effort to stop the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline, arguing that the project threatens water quality and sacred cultural and burial sites.

A federal judge rejected in September the tribe’s lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers, but the Obama administration announced afterward that it would not authorize construction on corps land bordering Lake Oahe pending the review.

The conflict shows signs of intensifying. Protesters set up tipis and tents Sunday in the path of the pipeline about two miles from the Cannon Ball River, declaring it “unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie as sovereign land under the control of the Oceti Sakowin.”

Negotiating with demonstrators has also been difficult because the tribe appears to have lost control of the protest. A group of about 200 to 300 activists is driving the lawbreaking, while the protest’s leadership is split among different camps, according to law enforcement.

“We’ve made numerous attempts and have talked to both different tribal leaders and camp leaders at times,” said Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier. “We’ve got to find someone who is a legitimate leader with the camps. Right now some parts are unorganized, and I think it’s very unorganized as far as who the leaders are.”

About 269 people have been arrested since the protests began, mainly for trespassing and rioting, but Capt. Niewind said law enforcement has actually shown remarkable restraint.

“If you think about all the incidents [that] happened since Aug. 10, we could have made 1,000 or more arrests for all the criminal acts that have occurred,” said Capt. Niewind. “And we haven’t done that because we’ve been patient and we’ve tried to work with the groups that are down there and let the court process work its way through.”

He said one officer was temporarily blinded at last weekend’s melee by pepper spray from a protester, while two other officers sustained minor injuries and another was spit on as he tried to free an activist who had chained himself to a vehicle.

Another protester shot in the direction of officers with a bow and arrow.

The six states sending law enforcement help are Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Rob Port, a North Dakota conservative radio talk show host who runs the Say Anything blog, warned that more federal involvement could come back to haunt the community.

“If the feds get involved, I hope it is to stand up for property rights and the rule of law, which have been trampled by the protesters,” Mr. Port said. “I’m afraid if they get involved, it will be to take up the cause of the tribe and protesters against state law enforcement, which would only further inflame this situation.”


Dakota Access Back In Court As Disputed Pipeline 87 Percent Complete In ND

Pipeline protesters standing on vandalized construction equipment in North Dakota. Photo source: Morton County

Pipeline protesters standing on vandalized construction equipment in North Dakota. Photo source: Morton County

Dakota Access pipeline 87 percent complete in North Dakota: report

By Red Power Media, Staff | Oct 6, 2016

On Wednesday a federal appeals court judge suggested the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota, is being forced on the Native American tribe opposing the project.

The Daily Caller reportsa three-judge panel pressed lawyers defending the Dakota Access Pipeline with sharp questions on why they think the project should continue before the government can review the project to ease concerns brought up by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

The $3.8 billion, four-state Dakota Access project has come under protest and scrutiny by activists and members of the Standing Rock Sioux who argue the pipeline’s construction would trample tribal lands, destroy artifacts and potentially poison waterways, including the Missouri River and Lake Oahe.

Judge Thomas B. Griffith questioned why the pipeline company wouldn’t halt work near the lake before seeing whether they get the government’s permission to continue construction on government land bordering and under the lake.

“It looks like you’re forcing their hand,” Griffith said.

The federal appeals court ―which halted the pipeline project last month, appealing a lower court’s ruling― has not indicated when it will rule, but lawyers representing the Sioux and environmentalists said they are pleased the court is upholding its temporary injuction on the project until a decision can be made.

The appeals court ordered Dakota Access to stop construction within 20 miles of the Missouri River at Lake Oahe.

Crews work on installing the Dakota Access Pipeline near Williston, N.D., on Friday, July 29, 2016. photo by Eric Hylden/Forum News Service

Crews work on installing the Dakota Access Pipeline near Williston, N.D., on Friday, July 29, 2016. photo by Eric Hylden/Forum News Service

Construction Report

According to Inforum.com, despite delays caused by protests, the North Dakota leg of the Dakota Access pipeline was 87 percent complete at the end of September, up from 68 percent in August, according to the monthly construction report filed with the state Public Service Commission late Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Construction began May 16 on the 346-mile, $1.4 billion North Dakota leg, which is being built simultaneously in three sections by two different contractors. Precision Pipeline LLC is building the segments from Stanley to Watford City and from Watford City to Lake Oahe, while Michels Corp. is constructing the pipeline from Lake Oahe to the state line, the report said.

An attorney for the pipeline company said at Wednesday’s hearing that if the court allowed it, the company would continue building up to the lake’s edge even before the easement decision, because each extra month of delay will cost the company more than $80 million, Reuters reported. The pipeline is slated to be in service by the end of the year, but it’s unclear how the delays at Lake Oahe will affect that schedule.

“Mechanical completion date is unknown,” the construction report states.