Whether or not you were arrested at or near, wrongfully evicted from, or had slanderous article written about you which defamed the purpose in which you came to Sacred Stone Camp, Oceti Sakowin Camp, Seventh Generation Camp, or Sicangu/Rosebud, you may have claim against the State of North Dakota, Energy Transfer Partners, a federal agency &/or other agencies or entities.
While we are in the process of compiling the archive on this website and finishing the behind-the-scenes groundwork for multiple class action lawsuits which arose from the circumstances ranging from 2017-2017, we (Wild Willpower PAC) are encouraging any Water Protectors who were present- whether you were arrested or not- to write a thorough testimony which describes why you came to a Water Protector Camp, which camp you generally stayed at, and, if you were arrested, what the circumstances involved were. Which statutes were you accused of violating? And so on. What happened at your arraignment? Court appearances? Everything you can compile in order. If you would like your testimony edited, simply email the PDF to Distance@WildWillpower.org with TESTIMONY FOR STANDING ROCK written in all capital letters in the subject line.
The below list explains an outline to help you write the most effective testimony possible. The testimony is will be used inside your CLAIM form which we will have available on this site soon.
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. Short, 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?
3.) Were you arrested while “performing First Amendment activity”? What happened?
4.) Where is your case at now? Would you like to see better regard to native tribes & respect for water & treaty rights & civil rights so they know they are cared for & not disregarded as historically done under color of law?
5.) 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.
6.) An OpenOffice (or Word, etc) document, using Times New Roman, size 12.5-13 font. Once finished, send the testimony to Distance@WilddWillpower.org for grammar editing, & send it back for your review, possibly with questions. Then you will print it out, & sign it alongside a Notary which will make it public record & prove that we did not forge your signature & that you attest to what is written: THEN you will scan the document (at library) & send it to us for use in filming the court case & public broadcasting to teach THE TRUTH while calling in witnesses to do another thing that has not been done on this planet, & we will do it peaceably & legally & expose “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.
7.) EVEN IF YOU WERE NOT ARRESTED, PLEASE WRITE A TESTIMONY because you likely labored & suffered slander, & you also are a witness to other water protectors’ violations against them. Writing about it on Facebook is one thing, creating a meme is another: writing a testimony & filing it in court & following through with this is another. Even if you were not arrested you likely suffered a PERSONAL INJURY (that’s a legal term) which is a non-physical injury to your rights &/or reputation, & also a wrongful eviction if that affected you; these are all TORT claims. Write a testimony & EXIST!
8.) BE TRUTHFUL. Never be manipulative ever (in life or beyond to anyone ever, for any reason).
9.) The system can’t prevent people from doing bad things, but its designed, in truth, to help those who have been hurt because history tells us people collude & bad things happens, & though at times we cannot predict crimes, we can address them when they happen… hopefully people begin learning the system more & that will prevent this type of hurt from ever happening again: a new era. 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; we must no longer be superstitious about “the system”; historically when tribes or people were attacked & robbed, there was no “getting back on your feet”: there was only slavery & oppression. The system, believe it or not, is designed to help those who have been wronged get back on their feet, & yes it can stop the pipeline peaceably & legally. 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. We have a food supply in place thank God/dess, & if you work on creating justice you will be accounted for.
10.) Show the world who cares. This is your opportunity to put it on record & it will sustain through time. Generations from now, people will read this. You will change the world just as Phyllis Wheatley & Olaudah Equiano’s firsthand testimonies regarding “the truth about the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” EXPOSED what was going on “behind the scenes”: their testimonies touched the public & they “got it” & demanded what is right & the trade was banned soon after under the pen of Thomas Jefferson in 1807, & by the British Parliament the same year. African American Reverend Peter Williams, jr. gave a beautiful, very moving speech in New York following this double-nation ban on the atrocity: the ban was difficult to enforce, however it was done, but there was backlash from the merchants involved but that is another history lesson for another time.
The Sawyer Decision was the first water-protecting law codified into US 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 quality was being badly damaged upstream. Today, we will cite that case in this class action; we CAN because people cared enough to organize in this way. We, too, must organize for the courts. Your testimony helps not only your case, but even if you were not arrested if helps exonerate & provide restitution for those suffering more charges than you. To write a bold, real, & wise testimony is to follow through with what we started. Let’s do that. Show you care & let’s set a precedent that no one will forget instead of becoming scattered & having people locked up unjustly & we all leave blaming the system. 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 yet ever had: all races united for truth & justice & A PATH FORWARD including ecological restoration & universal respect for civil rights. Officer accountability ON THE RISE.
Email to Distance@WildWillpower.org and in all caps letters (to make sure we see it) please write WATER PROTECTOR TESTIMONY.