We heard about what was going on with the plight of the Indigenous people, as well as the environmental issues surrounding the Dakota Excess pipeline (yes, I said excess) at Standing Rock, and were drawn to go… to help…or just to Stand.
Once there, one immediately feels the cause and it’s all consuming. You might not know exactly your mission when you arrive, but when the morning wake up call goes out, your mission finds you. There’s something about being called a “relative” by people whom you have never met before…immediately tells you that, yes, we are all connected, we are in fact, all ONE. This was a gathering of humans like none other. Prayerful, peaceful, people who are willing to drop everything, and help one another, at a moment’s notice. They are genuinely fighting for all of humanity’s right to clean water. “If you drink water, we’re fighting for you!” is the battle cry. The black snake puts 17-million people’s fresh drinking water at risk.
The camp was much more organized than we had expected. Since people have been there since April of last year, there are regular meeting times and rules posted throughout. No alcohol. No drugs. People get ejected immediately for any shenanigans. A large information board greets you near the sacred fire. The kitchens, as well as medical tents (with an amazing array of botanically based medicinals) are well stocked, plenty of port-a-pots, there’s even a school. People naturally fall into roles whether that be medics, cooks, kitchen help, etc.…and everyone is eager to help. Is this some sort of utopian society?
The needs at Standing Rock are many…In general; more numbers of people is the main one. We have to be able to help hold the line and make a strong stand against the pipeline company. The bigger the numbers the better for that purpose.
For those who decide to make the journey, make sure to be ready for anything. Come as you are, but be self-sufficient. If you have forgotten something there seemed to be plenty of supplies with regard to donated clothes and food.
Winter is extremely harsh in North Dakota, and most of the needs are based on building temporary shelters, and keeping warm. Tools. Shovels. Propane. Military tents. Cots. Zero degree sleeping bags. Solar panels. Heavy-duty winter gear (think arctic conditions). Also, it would be nice for someone to bring down a huge set of reusable table ware and silverware (at least 100) so that there is less waste created by feeding all of those people.
For those who cannot make the journey, there’s still plenty you can do to help:
Make phone calls, sign every petition you see, cut the lifeline to the pipeline, by withdrawing all of your funds from the big banks (especially the ones who are funding this pipeline).
1. Make donations to the Northwest Denver led initiative building solar panel trailers for Standing Rock at: https://www.gofundme.com/standingrocksolartrailers
2. There’s a huge need for funds for the legal assistance of the water protectors who have unfortunately been arrested, and suffered at the hands of the highly militarized police force, as well as funds to build temporary shelters. http://standingrock.org/
3. Make 3 calls right away:
• Army Corp of Engineers to tell them to reverse the permit on the pipeline!
• The White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414. Tell President Obama to rescind the Army Corps of Engineers’ Permit for the Dakota Access Pipeline.
• Wells Fargo CEO Timothy J. Sloan. Tell him that their bank has had enough issues, and this could be one that is easy to rectify, and would do wonders for the banks reputation. 866-249-3302.
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