November 27, 2020
From Anarchist Black Cross Federation

Rattler (Michael Markus) is Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge, SD. He
is a descendant of the war chief Makpiya Luta, translated as Red Cloud.
Rattler’s Lakota name is Mato Tanka, meaning Big Bear. He is a Sundancer and
Canupa (sacred pipe) carrier.

​Rattler arrived at the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp as a Water
Protector in September 2016. On January 23, 2017 Rattler was charged for the
work he engaged in as Akicita to protect Land, Water, People, and Treaties
against militarized police and mercenaries working for the Dakota Access
Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL was illegally constructed to go through the Standing Rock
reservation in North Dakota, despite the damage done to sacred sites, Lakota
burial sites, Treaty lands of multiple indigenous Nations, risk to the Lakota
living on the reservation, and numerous violations of human and environmental
rights. He was charged with Civil Disorder, a charge that has only been applied
for movement work such as the American Indian Movement, Black Liberation
Movement, Vietnam protests, and to these 7 Water Protectors, as well as Using
Fire to Commit a Felony, a federal charge that most attorneys don’t know is on
the books.

​On October 27th, 2016 militarized police illegally raided 1851
Treaty Camp, which had gained more numbers of water protectors to block the
progression of DAPL from going across Highway 1806. Barricades were lit on HW
1806 and the 134 bridge to keep the militarized police from further endangering
our unarmed encampment as police had done for previous months. The only thing
lit on 134 bridge were logs; no property damage occurred there. Logs, hay, and
scrap wood were used as a barricade alongside donated vehicles on HW 1806. No
violence was inflicted on law enforcement in either location. The courts
refused to grant Rattler and 5 other water protectors a change of venue to have
trial outside of Bismarck, ND despite statistics given to the judge proving the
majority of the local population already considered them to be guilty before
trial even began. Rattler, Little Feather (Michael Giron, Akicita), Bravo
(Brennan Nastacio), Angry Bird (Jimmy White, Akicita) and Dion Ortiz were
all given the same charges, facing 15+ years in federal prison. Little Feather
and Rattler chose the better of two evils: a non-cooperating plea deal (as in
no cooperation with feds). Both received 3 years for nonviolent conduct as
Water Protectors keeping our people safe from violence, and stopping further
desecration of land and water. RedFawn Fallis also took a non-cooperating plea
deal of five years for a gun planted on her by an informant on Oct. 27th. Angry
Bird and Dion have also accepted non-cooperating plea deals for their work on
Oct. 27th. 

​Akicita is a traditional role among the Lakota Nation. Akicita is
a life commitment, living a life of service and accountability. Akicita are the
last to inflict violence, but they are the last to leave a battle. Akicita
leave no one behind. We must not let the sacrifices of these water protectors
be in vain. We thank all those around the world that committed themselves to be
in the NoDAPL camps with us long term, and we thank all those that continue to
support water protectors as the movement goes on into federal prisons.

Michael Markus  #06280-073
FCI Sandstone
PO Box 1000 
Sandstone, MN 55072 

Birthday: February 2

More information:  
This information came from NYC ABC’s Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners.
More PP addresses here.