Editor’s note: Read Truthdig contributor Donald Kaufman’s additional firsthand accounts of the water protector movement here and here.

Over the last two days, demonstrators against the Dakota Access pipeline, known as water protectors, have held several solidarity events for arrested indigenous leader Red Fawn Fallis.

Fallis, 37, was arrested Oct. 27 when police raided a camp set up to oppose construction of the oil pipeline. She faces charges including attempted murder of a police officer.

Water protectors march in a show of support for Red Fawn Fallis. (Donald Kaufman)

Fallis, still in custody, has a history of nonviolent protest. Authorities allege she fired three shots at police. As seen in the video above, she was pinned to the ground by police when the shots were fired.

On Thursday demonstrators went to police headquarters in Mandan, N.D., to pray and call for the release of Fallis. The following day, women led a sit-in and prayer ceremony outside the Oceti Sakowin Camp at a bridge blockade near Cannon Ball, N.D. The bridge, which was closed off by tanks, trucks and police lines, leads to the pipeline. It is on land that was promised to the indigenous in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. Police could be heard announcing through a loudspeaker that the bridge is private property and the water protectors were trespassing.

Taking a stand by sitting: At the sit-in for Fallis outside the Oceti Sakowin Camp. (Donald Kaufman)

According to some of the demonstrators living in Oceti Sakowin Camp, Red Fawn Fallis is a longtime medic and activist for the #NODAPL movement. They believe authorities made her a target ahead of the protest because of her influence among the water protectors.

On Tuesday I saw officers spraying Mace on women as the water protectors peacefully returned to a car. On Thursday police arrested indigenous leader Little Feather as he was walking on a sidewalk. They said they had a warrant. A warrant no one on the ground knew about.

Marching for Red Fawn Fallis. (Donald Kaufman)


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