Posted on Categories Premium

In-Depth Interview: Standing Rock Report from 2 California Lawyers Who Just Returned

Free Preview Clip

Ford Greene and Larry Bragman, attorneys from Marin County, California, just returned from Standing Rock, ND and offer personal and legal insights into the struggle over the Dakota Access Pipeline.Ford Greene is an attorney and current mayor of San Anselmo, CA and Larry Bragman is an attorney and elected board member of the Marin Municipal Water District.  At the end of November, they travelled to North Dakota to support the water protectors who oppose the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Greene and Bragman describe the scene at Standing Rock and the militarized law enforcement presence and the intentional blockage of a bridge that requires a half hour detour to access the encampment.  Regarding the use of water cannons on protesters in subfreezing temperatures, Greene reports that the water stream may have included chemicals, as many of the people who were targeted reported symptoms; when asked who is in charge of the small army of local deputies and cops from 9 states, Bragman says it seems no one is in charge.

We discuss the legal problems faced by people arrested at Standing Rock and reports of denial of access to public defenders, and Bragman says there is a good legal team that has been assembled.

Bragman offers a thumbnail history of the treaties with the Sioux nation, and the recent history of the agreements and acts of Congress related to the creation of Lake Oahu by the Army Corps of Engineers.  He explains that he and Greene were discussing questions about the mineral rights held by the Sioux and got a copy of legislation from the 1990’s that protects their subsurface rights.