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North Dakota Supreme Court: Dismiss the charges faced by peaceful protestors at Standing Rock

North Dakota Supreme Court: Dismiss the charges faced by peaceful protestors at Standing Rock

1,229 have signed. Let's get to  2,000
1,229 Supporters


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This petition has been created by Ian E. and may not represent the views of the Avaaz community.
Ian E.
started this petition to
North Dakota Supreme Court
Nicole Schafenacker and Katriona Auerbach are putting out a call to individuals to write letters and sign this petition requesting that the charges they, and fellow water protectors, face be dismissed at their preliminary hearing in North Dakota on December 5th.

Take a look at the CBC News Article:


And this report of Grand Chief Edward John on his official visit to Standing Rock Oct. 28 – 31, 2016 carried out in his official capacity as an expert member of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues:


Nicole says, "We were arrested on October 27th while standing in prayer with members of the Greater Sioux Nation in peaceful resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The blanket charges that we (and 139 others) face are: criminal conspiracy to endanger by fire (felony); engaging in a riot (misdemeanour); maintaining a public nuisance (misdemeanour). We could be facing a 5+ year sentence. Katriona and I are graduate students at the University of Northern British Columbia and traveled to Standing Rock both as people, and as writers, committed to the protection of water and to decolonization. At the time of our arrest we were standing as allies with Elders in prayer. We feel deeply privileged to have stood in solidarity.

We welcome and are thankful for letters and petition signatures from everyone. Please share this widely."

Protecting the people who stood up for what they believe in at Standing Rock from trumped up charges is critical for many reasons including:
  • Standing up for indigenous self‐determination
  • Protecting communities' water security
  • There is a global climate crisis which has been acknowledged by many countries including the United States at the Paris Climate Agreement. As it stands, building more infrastructure to get oil to market is not consistent with Paris Agreement targets
  • The result of these charges will indicate whether the United States justice system is able to treat peaceful dissidents fairly

Below is a template letter that you can copy and paste into a document, adjust as you see fit and send to Nicole to be delivered to The North Dakota Supreme Court.

Your address (optional)
Date: _______________
Burleigh County District Court
514 E Thayer Ave
Bismarck, ND 58501, USA

Dear North Dakota Supreme Court and
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is ________________________ and I am ____________________________.

I am writing to request the charges laid against Nicole Schafenacker, Katriona Auerbach, and the 139 water protectors arrested on October 27th, 2016, be dismissed at the preliminary trial.

I understand these charges were made against those standing in peaceful solidarity and prayerful‐resistance with members of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and allies against the Dakota Access Pipeline; conspiracy to endanger with fire (felony), engaging in a riot (misdemeanor), and maintaining a public nuisance (misdemeanor).

Nicole and Katriona, both graduate students at the University of Northern British Columbia, are deeply invested in understanding and supporting healthy relationships between Indigenous and non‐Indigenous peoples. This support and understanding, enhanced by their academic work, strongly advocates engagement in current events representing historical patterns and an effort to change typical historical outcomes.

In these times, it is important the United States Government and its law enforcement agencies demonstrate to both Americans and people around the world that they stand for the values in the Constitution; particularly the rights of peaceful assembly, open dissent and free speech, and commitment to the protection and well‐being of all citizens and their home territories and treaty lands.

I strongly urge you to reconsider your actions and to release the detainees.

The world is watching—and we value the health of the people and the health of the land.

Once you have completer the letter, please send it to Nicole (on Facebook Nicole Marie Schafenacker) or by email nicole.schafenacker(at)gmail.com

As we stand with over 900 signatures the felony charges have been dropped! Let's press even harder and make sure that no criminal charges are laid and that we can feel safe standing up for what we believe in!

Nicole Says:
"Very happy to share that our felony charges have officially been DROPPED. Misdemeanours still stand at the moment but I'm visualizing them evaporating too. Your words, well wishes and signatures are walking this walk with us. Sending MUCH LOVE AND GRATITUDE and the knowledge that your goodness will be reflected back to you. Sending SO MUCH LOVE AND STRENGTH to my brothers and sisters on the ground who continue to do this in a good way."
Posted: 17 November 2016 (Updated: 27 November 2016)