Photos by Christopher Francisco
Published November 7, 2016
CANNONBALL, NORTH DAKOTA —The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and water protectors continued to demonstrate its opposition against the Dakota Access Pipeline through peace, prayer and non-violent direct action through the weekend. With supporters continuing to arrive from all over the globe, camps were filled with inspiration, prayer, and unity as law enforcement continued in its militarization tactics overlooking camps.
Although confrontations with law enforcement have remained calm in comparison to the onslaught on October 27th where more than 140 people were arrested, a non-violent direct action on Sunday revealed law enforcement is still eager to respond to demonstrations with cruelty. Protectors gathered at the north end of the Oceti Sakowin camp to pray for the burial sites that are being continuously disturbed by law enforcement activity and were met with tear gas, but due to high winds its intention were not very effective. With recent confrontations often leading to arrests and people being hurt and traumatized, elders instructed water protectors to return to camp to avoid potential arrests and harm.
As many as 50 people were affected by the use of pepper spray, bringing ambulances to camps to ensure proper care on the site. The sight of ambulances at the Oceti Sakowin camp has been frequent in the past several weeks.
Some 40 miles north of camp, a walk of forgiveness of at least 400 people marched in unison in the City of Mandan with the intent to heal through unity from recent excessive police brutality from recent weeks. The procession’s intent was forgiveness and included invitations to local law enforcement to participate, but were only met with refusal.
Those who participated marched in peace and prayer and gathered at the Morton County Courthouse where some members who were previously arrested are still detained.
Elsewhere along the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa, landowners have raised concerns about workers and their disregard to clean up debris after construction. In addition, some reports indicate cattle have been released where construction has occurred and have not been notified.
“The Dakota Access Pipeline will continue harm to anyone and anything in its path,” expressed Standing Rock Tribal Member Phyllis Young. “That is why we are giving this all our might and prayer to stop this black snake that threatens our very existence.”