Human Rights

The entire nuclear fuel chain involves the release of radioactivity, contamination of the environment and damage to human health. Most often, communities of color, indigenous peoples or those of low-income are targeted to bear the brunt of these impacts, particularly the damaging health and environmental effects of uranium mining. The nuclear power industry inevitably violates human rights. While some of our human rights news can be found here, we also focus specifically on this area on out new platform, Beyond Nuclear International.



Friday: March with Standing Rock in DC

Action alert from Lydia Avila, Executive Director, Power Shift Network:

The powerful movement that young Indigenous people launched at Standing Rock was always about more than the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This movement is too big for the Trump administration or the fossil fuel industry to ignore—and they’re scared. They think that by evicting water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp in North Dakota, they can crush this incredible wave of people power. It’s time to prove them wrong.

That’s why the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Indigenous grassroots leaders are calling on allies to peacefully march on Washington DC. This Friday, March 10, thousands will rise in solidarity against the fossil fuel industry and defend Indigenous rights. Can you make it?

Join the “Native Nations Rising: Rise with Standing Rock” march this Friday, March 10 in DC to stand in solidarity with the leaders of the #noDAPL fight and with Indigenous communities across the continent.

This week, Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island (North America) are holding a tipi camp near the Washington Monument. The camp will culminate this Friday when thousands of Indigenous Peoples, including some of the young leaders from Standing Rock, and many allies will march through the streets of DC.

We will demand that Indigenous rights be respected, that tribal consent is given when any economic development happens on tribal land, and that President Trump meet with Tribal Leaders so he can be held accountable for the impact of his actions on Indigenous communities.

Here are the details for Friday’s march:

What: “Native Nations Rising: Rise with Standing Rock” march on Washington to resist fossil fuel extraction and defend Indigenous rights. Speakers will include youth leaders from Standing Rock and from other Indigenous communities at the front lines of pipeline resistance.

When: Friday, March 10 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: The march will start at the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters (443 G St NW) and will end at Lafayette Square (in front of the White House).

Join the Native Nations Rise march in DC this Friday and stand in solidarity with Indigenous leaders at this critical time. RSVP to the march on Facebook here.

The #noDAPL fight was always about more than just one pipeline—and it’s far from over. Indigenous leaders at Standing Rock and everywhere need your solidarity now more than ever.

On Friday, the movement that started with bold youth leadership at Standing Rock will take to the streets of DC to stand with all Indigenous communities who are fighting to defend their land, water, and rights.  

In the words of the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Tom Goldtooth: “No one can stop the fire that Standing Rock started. It burns within each of us. So let's rise, let's resist, let's thrive.” See you in the streets on Friday.

In solidarity,

Lydia Avila
Executive Director
Power Shift Network


UN official: Tribe not properly heard in pipeline dispute


Suppressed memo shows many failings in Corps review of Dakota Access plan


Federal Subpoena Dropped Against Grand Jury Resister Steve Martinez

February 28, 2017
Water Protector Legal Collective                          
Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Attorney for Steve Martinez: cell 347-248-6771
Jeff Haas, WPLC board member: cell 505-469-0714
Federal Subpoena Dropped Against Grand Jury Resister Steve Martinez

Political Targeting of Water Protectors Continues

Federal grand juries are panels of citizens investigating a federal crime. The proceedings are secret, and the grand jury has broad power to compel testimony on a range of issues even outside of, and unrelated to the ostensible focus of the investigation. They are therefore ripe for abuse; prosecutors often use them as “fishing expeditions” for gathering intelligence on individuals or groups whose activities or beliefs they perceive to be distasteful or politically undesirable. From the McCarthy era Red Scare of the mid-20th century, and liberation movements of the 1970s and ‘80s, to the environmental movements of the 1990s and today, politically-motivated grand juries have been in perpetual tension with the imperatives of the First Amendment.

Given this long history of grand jury abuse, Mr. Martinez refused to cooperate with the grand jury’s requests for information that could have been used against others. In a statement before his first appearance on January 4 he said, “I will in no way condone or cooperate with this attempt to repress the movement here at Standing Rock.”

The subpoena was withdrawn just as WPLC lawyers were moving to quash on First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment grounds, as well as on a statutory prohibition against propounding a subpoena on the basis of unlawful electronic surveillance. The office of the federal prosecutor declined to elaborate on the reasons for, or future implications of the decision to withdraw the subpoena.

WPLC considers this grand jury to be one piece of a broader effort to criminalize Water Protectors and to unfairly target individuals in an effort to divide the movement. This is a huge victory for Steve Martinez and for the Water Protector Legal Collective’s efforts to provide effective legal defense.

Moira Meltzer-Cohen stated, “It’s critical for people who are active in social movements to know and vigorously exercise their rights and stand up to government’s unconstitutional efforts to gather intelligence for the purpose of suppressing legally protected, and socially valuable activity.  When people recognize these state tactics and push back against them, they can be successful.”

Water Protectors who are contacted by law enforcement or served a subpoena are encouraged to contact the Water Protector Legal Collective for advice and representation.

Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC) provides on-the-ground legal representation and coordination for Water Protectors engaged in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, ND in partnership with the National Lawyers Guild (NLG). To support this work, please visit RedOwlLegal
Sarah K Hogarth
Communications Coordinator
Water Protector Legal Collective
P.O. Box 69
Mandan, ND 58554

Power Shift Network: Wednesday: strategy call on #noDAPL - what’s next?

Action alert from Akilah Sanders-Reed, Oil Free Organizer, Power Shift Network:

Last week, law enforcement came to Standing Rock with riot police and armored vehicles to evict the main Dakota Access Pipeline resistance camp. It was a painful reminder of this country’s long history of theft and violence against Native peoples, and of the lawless brutality still wielded by the oil companies and their purchased politicians.

But anyone who thinks that the fight against oil pipelines and the reckless corporations behind them is over is mistaken. In North Dakota, the water protectors’ first camp, Sacred Stone, remains—and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is continuing legal challenges to the project. And in every corner of the country, people are already standing up to fight many more pipelines in their communities.

On Wednesday at 8:00 PM EST, lead organizers from Standing Rock and pipeline fighters from across the country will lead a national call on what’s next for the national pipeline resistance movement. Click here to RSVP!

Here are the details for Wednesday’s call:

What: National call to hear from Standing Rock organizers and learn about other pipeline fights near you
When: Wednesday, March 1 at 8:00 PM EST
Where: Sign up to attend here and you’ll receive the call-in info
Who: Indigenous Environmental Network, Honor the Earth, Native Organizer’s Alliance, and many more

Ready to hear next steps from Standing Rock and plug into the growing pipeline resistance movement in your community? Click here to RSVP for Wednesday’s call.

The call will be a time to take an important pause to honor this special place where thousands came to stand in solidarity and put their bodies on the line to protect the land, water, and people who depend on it. The lessons and inspiration the fight at Standing Rock has given to our movement will live on forever.

It will also be a time to learn about powerful organizing happening to resist dirty oil and gas pipelines all over the country. We'll break out into regional groups, where you'll hear about a campaign to stop a fossil fuel project in your area and ways to get plugged in.

Ordinary people are fighting to protect their communities from the fossil fuel industry every day. Now is the time to join local and regional campaigns to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

In the powerful words of Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network: "The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

Let’s keep the fire from Standing Rock burning. Sign up to join the national organizing call on March 1 at 8:00PM EST to hear about what’s next for the #noDAPL movement, and get plugged into critical pipeline fights in your region.

Talk to you on Wednesday,

Akilah Sanders-Reed

Oil Free Organizer
Power Shift Network