Media Contact

Janna Farley, jfarley@aclu.org

June 10, 2019

Activists, water protectors, social justice organizations and others will be gathering in Rapid City ahead of the U.S. District Court hearing on the “riot boosting” case on Wednesday, June 12, for a Protect the Protectors March and Rally.

WHEN AND WHERE:

  • 11:30 a.m.: Poster making at NDN Collective, 317 Main St.
  • 12:30 p.m.: Formal gathering begins with pre-march prayers and drumming at NDN Collective
  • 1 p.m.: March from NDN Collective to the U.S. Courthouse
  • 1:15 p.m.: Rally begins at the U.S. Courthouse, 515 Ninth St., with speakers from each organization and a pre-hearing prayer
  • 2:15 p.m. – Start entering the courthouse prior to the 3 p.m. hearing

Additionally, NDN Collective will be hosting an art build/poster making session and potluck dinner from 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11.

ORGANIZTIONS INVOLVED:

  • Dakota Rural Action
  • NDN Collective
  • Black Hills Clean Water Alliance
  • Indigenous Environmental Network
  • Sierra Club South Dakota
  • ACLU of South Dakota

BACKGROUND:

The U.S. District Court in Rapid City will hear portions of the case brought by the ACLU that challenges three South Dakota laws, including the newly-enacted “Riot Boosting” Act, that threaten advocates who encourage or organize protests – like those against the Keystone XL pipeline or mining in the Black Hills – with fines, civil liabilities, and/or criminal penalties of up to 25 years in prison.

In the case, Dakota Rural Action v. Noem, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of South Dakota represent four organizations: Dakota Rural Action, Indigenous Environmental Network, NDN Collective and the Sierra Club; and two individuals: Nick Tilsen with NDN Collective and Dallas Goldtooth with Indigenous Environmental Network. All are planning to protest the Keystone XL pipeline and/or encourage others to do so.

Because the challenged laws expose the plaintiffs to immediate and irreparable harm, the plaintiffs are asking the court to block the state from enforcing the anti-protest laws as the case goes forward. The case asserts that the laws violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution by chilling protected speech and failing to adequately describe what speech or conduct could subject protesters and organizations to criminal and civil penalties.

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