I am not sure anyone who was not here at Standing Rock could fully grasp the magnitude of inhumanity perpetrated here a short time ago, much less comprehend the fortitude and bravery of those who endured the transgression. I was here and I have a hard time wrapping my head around it all.
Walking through the camp now all is in place. The fire is going with people praying, songs of gratitude are being sung, announcements are made, children are laughing and elders sit quietly absorbing it all. The constant buzzing and hammering of winter preparations and the constant hum of low flying planes as they circle overhead are part of the camp now. Woven into a tapestry of creative beauty, friendship and reconciliation, this place is home.
Regardless of stories being told by police, media and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) about how and who and when, there are these undeniable facts: At best count 400 people endured some form of torture in the form of water cannon spray, pepper and other unknown chemical sprays, far too many were targeted and hit with rubber bullets and the gruesome pictures surfacing on social media tell the truth of just how innocent these guns are.
While that should be enough to drop the jaw of every breathing American, the part that is most painful is the reality that this was done by human beings, ordered, yes, but ordered and executed by people with no regard for human life.
Our home last night became a war zone. And I wonder how the perpetrators cope with the knowledge of what they have done and of the lies they tell and read and willingly uphold about what occurred here.
Here is what I witnessed: while uniformed and masked men and women used guns, water cannons, chemical sprays and concussion grenades — all the while knowing the people were unarmed and meant them no ill will — there were human beings singing praises to God, brave medics working feverishly through the long night, driving injured and freezing people off the line and back to safety and for some, medical care at the hospital near-by. And there were security that maintained calm and order as they cleared the roads for ambulances and those being driven off the line to safety — this, is bravery.
Oh and about that bridge the water protectors attempted to clear