from Facebook Hill, before this tablet dies:
At the beginning of this journey after landing in Sioux Falls to meet up with my brother, I crawled into his car and he turned to me and said: “We are going back to help a man named Seabird.”
This is why this is important. The mass of humans that seemingly have no separation from each other are in fact individuals and it is easy to forget this. In my short time here I have already gotten to know some incredible humans who are fighting as one in order to stop the construction of this pipeline. There has been talk of nefarious actions within the camp, however, such as possible tampering with generators (the other night a large number of new generators all stopped working). Because of possible infiltrators within the camp it is only that much more important to remain vigilant, but it also signifies that we are making some sort of an impact. Fear would be one of the few driving forces behind such intervention. I have also heard that some people have been asking odd questions (“How do you plan on stopping this pipeline?”), and whether they are just journalists or not remains to be seen.
The community is strong here, and when we first arrived long after the sun had taken away his light, the gatekeepers said to us, “welcome home.” We handed them a few homemade cookies because every act here is done to continue the cycle of community, reciprocity. This is a home to many (this is everyone’s home ultimately). In order to fend off the coming winter, some people have even been constructing permanent shelters, and there are communal sleeping areas for the blisteringly cold winter nights.
That first night of our arrival, we lined the back of my brother’s truck with an odd assortment of sleeping bags and blankets in order to insulate the car. He told me that when he stayed the night in one of the teepees the first time he was here they did the same. In weather that reached well below freezing, we were still able to remain toasty. In the morning, I woke to the sound of Indigenous song and the red sun rising along the horizon. There is a microphone in the camp near the sacred fire that the elders use during the day to make announcements. In the morning they also use the microphone to wake up the Protectors (my brother told me how one morning someone said, “It’s time to wake up. The sun is rising. This isn’t a vacation. It’s time to wake up.”).
Today we went into town to pick-up some more supplies and two fellow protectors joined us, Monique and Pebble. This had been the first time that Pebble had been back to ‘society’ since being here for the past three weeks. She expressed a feeling of complete alienation being surrounded by all of the humans who were so detached from what was happening only an hour away from them. I couldn’t help but think of my time in France when I was walking the Via Francigena and how in every town I felt the eyes of everyone around me peeling off my skin and judging me. The people in town most likely do not understand what it is that we are doing. Whether it is ignorance or callousness I could not say, but this is the time to be involved as our country reveals more and more its fascist nature.
As we were driving back to the reservation from town we saw a bright yellow Penske van pulled over. The van was filled with supplies, and the police were confiscating all of it. Pebble mentioned how this has been going on for awhile. The cops pull over vans going to the reservation and claim that the drivers are “conspiring to commit a felony.” There are so many powers at work against this movement, and so we must not stop fighting. The heart of these people is strong and you can feel it all around you. One older man who recently suffered from a stroke took his chair to the frontlines and sat facing the police in defiance. We are ready to die if we must, and we are not afraid.
Pebble mentioned how she wanted to put together an “Action Pack” to hand out to people going to the frontlines so that they can stay safe. If anyone is interested in helping put these together or donate some money for the supplies we would be eternally grateful. What we want to include in the bag is…:
- Wool blanket
- Gas Mask
- Ear Plugs
All of these things would protect us from the ammunition that the police have been using on the Protectors. We may update to include other items if we find that they are necessary.
I hope that the world will listen soon enough and pay attention long enough to put an end to all of this. It is still early here, but I wanted to post an update. I must return and do what I can to help.
p.s. If anyone wants to donate to us you can via paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org (I have received a few emails and so I wanted to put this out there)