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I’ve been on the road for three days in Greenpeace’s Without strong cell reception, it’s been hard to know what to expect when I arrive, so I’ve spent long days anxiously trying to imagine what it will be like at camp.
Every night we powwow — nations offering songs of thanks, resilience, and grief that we have to fight this pipeline at all.I wander back to my camp relatively early but the voices -- the prayers -- fill the night and begin early in the morning, greeting the sun as it rises.After a brief chat with some helpful camp security, we begin pulling our 13-ton truck down the avenue of flags representing the Indigenous nations who have lent their support.I will spend the next week working with the hundreds of people who have pledged to peacefully and prayerfully stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Each day, there are non-violent direct action or peace-keeper trainings designed to ground us all in the principles of camp and our purpose here. There is talk of what will happen when winter really hits, and protectors who have been here since last April recount how relentless the snow was last year. Some are coming back after a brief period away (many people stay for a week, tend to matters at home, and then return), still more are laying their eyes on Oceti Sakowin for the first time.I am struck by how unique this moment is — to be training with members of so many nations, with so many relatives from so many different places, and with so many people who have never before taken action on their principles in this way. Sometimes, late into the night, you can hear the cries welcoming the arriving nations.