STANDING ROCK

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Published  November 2016

I’m writing to you from the Standing Rock protests in Cannonball, North Dakota. Indigenous tribes from all over North America have come here to join in prayer and stand in peaceful protest of the construction of an oil pipeline. The pipeline is being built through sacred Native American burial grounds, and precariously underneath the Missouri River. A police helicopter is flying particularly low this morning. It circles like a shark above the resistance camp and its people. There’s something foreboding in the air. The cold is fierce and no one has slept in months. People’s children have been maced while praying at the front lines. Peaceful protestors are being shot with rubber bullets and sandbags, arrested, and held in dog kennels. Their horses are being shot and tazed. There’s so much horror around me at the frontlines of this protest, but when I look into the eyes of the Water Defenders I see love and a steady burning fire. I’m thinking of you, New Orleans, of your bravery and strength. We are all up against the same wall: oil companies are threatening the health of our land and water, leaving us with no recourse. Please send that powerful love of yours to Standing Rock. We need all the prayers we can get. —Avery Leigh White

 

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