Family, friends of local pipeline protester arrested in North Dakota stand up to support her

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DENVER -- Family and friends of a Denver woman arrested for the attempted murder of a police officer in North Dakota spoke out Monday.

Supporters of Red Dawn Fallis are standing up for their daughter, cousin and niece because they say she is standing up for all of us.

The 37-year-old went to North Dakota to specifically protest a huge oil pipeline under construction which runs through Native American land when police accuse her of trying to kill a police officer.

She went to Morton County, N.D., to protect the water.

"She was up there on the front lines for all humans," her cousin Wanbli Williams said.

What started as a peaceful protest near the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline turned violent.

"We have a sad heart. It's a tough time for us," her uncle Rick Williams said.

Police accuse Fallis of firing a handgun twice while face down on the ground as two officers tried handcuffing her.

(Photo via KFYR-TV)

(Photo via KFYR-TV)

"The people who will be put on trial if they intend to put Red Fawn on trial are the people who invaded her people's homeland," said Glenn Morris of American Indian Movement of Colorado.

Fallis' supporters say a planned 1,100-mile oil pipeline travels through sacred Native American property in violation of two treaties signed in 1851 and 1868.

And many Standing Rock residents descended from Native Americans massacred at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.

"That is why they are fighting so hard. Why it's become a point in time, a point in place, because these people have suffered enough," Rick Williams said.

They say it also endangers lives if the pipeline ruptures or spills, poisoning their water and polluting their land.

“How long will it be until there is a catastrophic failure of the pipeline, like there was in Alabama, when a pipeline blew up last week?" Morris said.

"This is a human rights issue. There's no water on the moon. There's no water on Mars. We cannot go there to live. We can only live here," Wanbli said.

Her family prays in their native tongue to protect their Red Fawn.

Then, sing at the top of their lungs in solidarity that somehow they win this battle against big oil and all their money.

"We know if we don't act now, there will be no future," Rick Williams said.

The family feels the Morgan County Sheriff's Office is violating Fallis' constitutional rights to due process because they're trying the case on social media. But that issue didn't come up Monday.

She faces four charges. The most serious is attempted murder. The family has set up a fundraising page to help pay for her Fallis’ defense.