This week, we return to an important conversation about grand juries and state repression. Recently, Steve Martinez, an Indigenous and Chicano Water Protector who opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) on the Standing Rock reservation in 2016, was held on charges of civil contempt of court for his refusal to cooperate with a federal grand jury.
In order to learn more about Steve’s situation, Perilous Chronicle editor Ryan Fatica spoke with Lauren Regan, lead attorney and executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center in Oregon, who has dedicated her life to defending those facing charges for their participation in social movements. Last week, she laid out the fundamentals of Steve’s case by explaining his role in saving the life of Sophia Wilansky, and how he has been targeted due to his efforts. Lauren is representing Wilansky, a Standing Rock protestor who is suing law enforcement after officers injured her with grenade during a protest on the Backwater Bridge at Standing Rock in 2016.
We mentioned last week that Steve was released shortly after that interview was recorded. However, on March 3rd, Steve was taken back into custody and is being fined $50 for every day he refuses to collaborate. Red Fawn Fallis, who was imprisoned for her participation in the Standing Rock blockades, has finally completed her sentence today, March 5th, and her ankle monitor has been removed.
You can find Steve’s fundraiser here.