Winnemucca Indian Colony Update: State of Nevada Drops Criminal Charges Against Winnemucca Indian Colony Land Defenders
Vermont National Lawyers Guild, Press Release – December 31, 2022
Paiute and Shoshone lands, Winnemucca, Nevada, U.S.A — On December 27, 2022, the Humboldt County District Attorney asked the Justice Court of Union Township to dismiss without prejudice all criminal charges against two settler-descendant land defenders who were targeted, profiled, arrested and prosecuted for their support of the Native Elders facing ongoing colonization in the form of eviction from their homes on the Winnemucca Indian Colony.
Defenders of Winnemucca Elders faced increasing repression and surveillance in the late months of 2021 and early months of 2022, amidst ongoing escalation from the Winnemucca Tribal Council seeking to evict Paiute and Shoshone Elders from their homes. Land defenders Honey and Epona had been monitored by law enforcement for months; they were known supporters of Elders on the Colony in their fight against eviction and displacement. In February of 2022, BIA officers followed, detained, and arrested Honey and Epona when the two were driving down a public roadway in the Colony. Since then, the State of Nevada has pursued baseless criminal trespass, evading arrest, and “license plate display” charges against them. The prosecution attempted to rush the cases forward without Honey and Epona having access to discovery, an attorney, or any meaningful way of obtaining a fair trial before being convicted of multiple fabricated offenses. But Honey and Epona pushed back against the repression and advocated for themselves until they found a pro bono attorney who slowed the process and fought for access to information regarding their detention and arrest. On December 27, 2022, the prosecution moved to dismiss the charges–just hours before a status conference where the defense planned to highlight the
prosecution’s failure to fulfill its Constitutional discovery obligations to the Defendants. The prosecution abruptly ended the case before this information could be exposed and before further attention could be drawn to the impropriety of these arrests.
“Newe Elders were being violently removed from intergenerational homes,” Says Land Defender Epona about the context of her arrest. “My interest in fighting this case was not about the false charges. It’s about reparations and keeping corrupt politics off sovereign land.”
Criminal prosecutions against Indigenous Elders and other Residents and Defenders are ongoing in the Winnemucca Indian Colony Tribal Court. The Winnemucca Elders’ eviction cases are also ongoing, with the motion for an emergency stay being denied on December 28th but the substantive appeal still pending at the Inter Tribal Court of Appeals of Nevada.
Honey shares these parting thoughts after the dismissal of their charges: “Union Justice Court Judge Jim Loveless tried to ram our trial through at our very first court appearance. We had not had the opportunity to find a lawyer or even to view the evidence against us. This type of corruption, unfortunately enough, however, has been a hallmark of the struggle for Paiute-Shoshone sovereignty in Winnemucca. Several of our comrades are still facing charges in tribal court, and the elders and residents are still embattled by impending eviction and home demolitions. As this frontline struggle continues to unfold, all I can say is –
Respect the Elders! Land Back! ALL EYES ON WINNEMUCCA!”
For past legal updates on the situation at Winnemucca please visit:
●December 7, 2022, Indigenous Elders Evicted and Banished from Winnemucca Indian Colony
●December 12, 2022, Winnemucca Indian Colony Update: Inter-Tribal Court of Appeals of
Nevada (ITCAN) Hearing Will Be Held Regarding Stay of Eviction Order on Thursday,
December 15, 2022
●December 16, 2022, Winnemucca Indian Colony Update: Oral Arguments Heard in Inter-Tribal
Court of Appeals of Nevada (ITCAN)
●December 29, 2022, Inter-tribal Court of Appeals of Nevada Denies Request for Stay
Requests for Assistance:
Donations to support Elders and Residents can be made to $defendWIC on Cashapp
Donations to support the ongoing Legal Observer presence at the Colony can be sent to VT NLG’s paypal
Attorneys interested in providing pro-bono representation for unrepresented residents impacted by Tribal
Court order pending appeal in ITCAN please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About Vermont NLG:
The Vermont Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is a collective of lawyers and legal workers
supporting movements for collective liberation in navigating the legal system.
O’odham Executed by Border Patrol: Statement by Raymond Mattia Family
Raymond Mattia of the Tohono O’odham Nation was executed by US border patrol agents on May 18th at his home. He was reportedly shot 38 times.
A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border
Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from
For more information please visit: https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2023/05/us-border-patrol-shoots-tohono-oodham.html
Statement by Mattia Raymond’s family:
We have been trying to find the strength to write this statement. This tragedy is so
grievous because it is apparent what had happened. Raymond called for help and, in turn, was
shot down at his doorstep. Raymond’s rights were violated by the authorities whom we trust to
protect our Nation. Improper and unprofessional actions of the agencies involved were witnessed
by family members present near the crime scene. Loved ones sat in agony, not knowing of
Raymond’s condition until they were told that he had passed hours later. Raymond lay in front of
his home for seven hours before a coroner from Tucson arrived.
In our eyes and hearts, we believe that Raymond was approached with excessive and
deadly force that took his life. He was a father, brother, uncle, friend, and an involved
community member. Raymond always fought for what was right, and he will continue to fight
even after his death. This is not an isolated incident, but it should bring awareness of the
oppression our people live through.
We want to thank so many of you for your condolences and support. A GoFundMe for
defense funds will be available soon. A peaceful gathering to support all victims of the
unmonitored violent actions of the Border Patrol and other agencies will be held at The Border Patrol Station in Why, Az, and Tucson on Golf Links Road this Saturday, May 27th, from 10:00am-Noon.
Contact for support: email@example.com
Xenophobic Title 42 Ends, Biden’s Immigration Reform Nowhere to Be Found
Indigenous Action recently supported @abolition.yumacounty (on Instagram) at the “US-Mexico” border. They are a crew of radical femme and queer folks who provide essential supplies to Indigenous people and other asylum seekers who are kept in holding with nothing but what they walked up to thousands of miles with. They also offer confidential pregnancy release support. Please $$$upport and volunteer if you’re in the “Yuma” area. Venmo: @ycabolition, Cash App: @YumaCountyAbolition
With Title 42 ending on May 11th, (a xenophobic policy that gave the government power to rapidly expel any migrant, without giving them a chance to make a case for crossing legally, including to seek asylum), Biden has made no attempt at immigration reform as he promised on the campaign trail, “I can only imagine what it’s like to see someone in your family deported. To me it’s all about family. Beginning, middle and end. That’s not going to happen in my administration. The idea you can’t even seek asylum on American soil. When did that happen? Trump. It’s wrong.”
These policies are well within Biden’s power to remedy, and yet, HE HASN’T. He’s had 2 years to prepare for the ending of Title 42 to introduce new policies that he claimed “offer hope and a safe haven to refugees.”
What we’re seeing now at the border is heinous. Shelters and detention centers at and near capacity. Hundreds of people turned away every day. Just last month, a fire at a detention center killed 40 people.
In 2022, more than 890 migrants died in border crossings, and that is only of the deaths that have been reported. To paint an even broader picture, since 2021, there have been 13,480 reports of murder, torture, kidnapping, rape and other violent attacks on migrants and asylum seekers blocked or expelled to Mexico under Title 42.
The time is now to stand up against xenophobia. Let us be free to roam and free to rage wherever we please!
The Intercept and Grist begin release of 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents
Article by Brenda Norrell, Censored News
Reprinted with permission.
April 14, 2023
The Intercept and Grist began releasing new TigerSwan spy documents in new coverage of the mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline. They now have 50,000 TigerSwan spy documents, and another 9,000 are held up in the court battle for now. The documents reveal TigerSwan spying on Water Protectors at Standing Rock in North Dakota, Bold Iowa, and at other locations.
Reporters Alleen Brown and Naveena Sadasivam expose the new spy documents in their article, After Spying on Standing Rock, TigerSwan Shopped Anti-Protest ‘Countinsurgency’ to Other Oil Companies.
The article follows an expensive court battle by The Intercept seeking the release of the documents. The North Dakota Supreme Court ordered the release after TigerSwan was found operating without a license in North Dakota.
“The released documents provide startling new details about how TigerSwan used social media monitoring, aerial surveillance, radio eavesdropping, undercover personnel, and subscription-based records databases to build watchlists and dossiers on Indigenous activists and environmental organizations,” The Intercept writes. Read the article at The Intercept: https://theintercept.com/2023/04/13/standing-rock-tigerswan-protests/
Paiute journalist, drone activist and filmmaker Myron Dewey was among those that TigerSwan spied on and stalked at Standing Rock 2016-2017, as revealed in the new documents that were ordered released by the court.
On Tuesday, the driver that killed Myron Dewey on an isolated road near his family’s home in Yomba, Nevada, entered a surprise plea bargain deal that was cut with a new prosecutor assigned to the case in Nye County, Nevada. John Walsh pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of vehicular manslaughter.
This TigerSwan spy document, showing TigerSwan stalking Myron Dewey and Prolific the Rapper at Standing Rock on Dec. 17, 2016, is from the new documents at The Intercept. Document link: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23773105-tigerswan-document-daily-intelligence-update-20161217
Below: From the TigerSwan spy files just released: The power of the global movement, with its heart in Standing Rock.
Below: The first flood of documents show how rattled DAPL was over the involvement of celebrities, the Standing Rock Chairman at the United Nations, Bernie Sanders, the Palestinian flag flying, and big orgs. The doc is from a pitch that TigerSwan made for more work, hustling another pipeline to spy on resistance.
|Above: TigerSwan surveillance used drones and helicopters.https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23773104-tigerswan-document-daily-intelligence-update-20161014|
Above: TigerSwan spy file at Bold Iowa. The mercenaries hired by the Dakota Access Pipeline called Bold Iowa Water Protectors “belligerents.” Document link:
TigerSwan spied on, and stalked the media, including Paiute journalist Myron Dewey, Amy Goodman at Democracy Now, and myself, publisher of Censored News, as revealed in the newly released documents by The Intercept and Grist. TigerSwan used its surveillance on the media in its pitches for more spy work to other oil and pipeline companies.
TigerSwan turned its surveillance at Standing Rock into a potential money maker, using it for powerpoints in its pitches to other oil and pipeline companies for spy work.
TigerSwan even stalked the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, in its high-stakes spying for dollars.
TigerSwan’s Opposition Model, shown below, was used as a potential maker in PowerPoints to other oil and pipeline companies.
The Intercept described the battle for these documents.
“A discovery request filed as part of the case forced thousands of new internal TigerSwan documents into the public record. Energy Transfer’s lawyers fought for nearly two years to keep the documents secret, until North Dakota’s Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that the material falls under the state’s open records statute,” The Intercept said.
“Because an arrangement between North Dakota and Energy Transfer allows the fossil fuel company to weigh in on which documents should be redacted, the state has yet to release over 9,000 disputed pages containing material that Energy Transfer is, for now at least, fighting to keep out of the public eye.”
TigerSwan spy documents on Water Protectors
Note: The documents show that TigerSwan spied on Censored News, as shown in today’s article at The Intercept.
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