We have been supporting the encampments at Standing Rock since the founding of the Sacred Stone Camp on April 1, 2016. As the first water protectors were arrested in August 2016, our team built the online crowdfunding page for the Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. We immediately began to coordinate efforts to bail water protectors out of North Dakota jails who otherwise did not have the resources to do so. We lived in the encampments, working with the main legal team at camp, the Water Protector Legal Collective, until December 2016, when we moved our operations to Mandan in order to better serve arrestees. We remain a small team working on the ground in close collaboration with attorneys.
As of late January 2017, we have raised over $2.7 million and successfully bonded over 600 water protectors out of jail.
For security reasons, we kept a very low profile for months, and our work was focused on jail support. Then the legal defense effort increased in size and complexity, and the level of state repression escalated. Legal proceedings in the criminal cases against water protectors began. Many arrestees were confused about who was providing which aspects of legal support, what types of expenses were eligible for assistance from the legal defense fund, and how to access those funds. It became clear that we needed a more public presence, and a central place for arrestees to get information and communicate with us. In late January 2017, this website was born. We continue to work in coalition with the Water Protector Legal Collective, the Water Protector Anti-Repression Crew, and other allied groups and individuals to meet the many different legal needs of the movement. Learn more about our work here.