We’re back home, and safe. As always happens when we’re back to camp, we wish we could simply dig in and stay. In the first two shots, you can see where the fire was set. (That night, the constant air surveillance mysteriously stopped about two hours prior, and no one responded to the numerous 911 calls about the fire.) There are always infiltrators in the camp, you can’t keep them all out, and then there are people like the man in a truck full of weapons, who wanted to put up a confederate flag. Security has tightened up within the camp, and at least one infiltrator was found and being detained as we were on our way to the action on Turtle Island. There were many new semi-permanent structures up, and many more in the process of going up. Lots of yurts popped up all over camp, too.
Back to the beginning. We loaded up with firewood and supplies, and took off. Things were mostly normal for about half the trip, then we started seeing cops everywhere. Right about when we hit the town of Solen, which is still many miles away from camp, we saw cops pull over a large U-haul truck, that was full of supplies and donations for the camps. Cops were pulling them over and making them take everything out of the trucks. When we got to the Cannonball pit stop, there was another large U-haul truck, many more trucks and vans, several large dumpsters, and piles of good all over the place. At the time, we didn’t know what that was all about. We had to pass through several large masses of cops and finally made it to camp. We headed straight for the main kitchen, to offload the firewood, but it was gone. We found a spot to stay in Oglala camp, then wandered off to try and figure out wtf. Calls were going out for the elderly and women with children to get to the Cannonball School across the river. Then there were calls to get out to Turtle Island, for the action there. (In the 5th photo, you can see the cops massing on top of the hill). We took off on the long walk (in the 8th photo, you can see where it starts – all the way to the left, there’s cops on the hill, and in the boat almost directly down). Warriors race by on horseback, going full speed with messages and information. Cars were driving on the small road non-stop, and foot traffic was thick.
A bridge had been built, and subsequently destroyed by cops. On the other side of the hill, DAPL was working, and once again, DA and ETP failed to report finding sacred sites and artifacts. Up on the hill, where the cops are, right by the tree, are the graves Alma Perkin and Matilda Gain. People wanted to protect this area. Cops showed up, in increasing numbers, armed to the teeth, saying they were asked by ACE to keep the land clear. A cop at the top of the hill kept shouting through a megaphone for everyone to take the protest back across the river, then they would leave. Right. You’ve seen some of those photos, there will be more to come. As always, surveillance was constant. There were three planes and two helicopters that day.
Later that day, we made it back into camp, and settled into the council fire area to hear the latest. Rick was working on more walking sticks, and I had the horse quilt with me. 500 ministers had descended, from all over the states, and burnt a copy of the Doctrine of Discovery in an act of ceremony and solidarity. We spoke with one minister, Vicki, from California, who was active in Indigenous affairs and actions local to her, and was still a bit blown away and dazed at being in the camp. There were visitors to the camp representing Amazon Indigenous peoples, and it was very moving, listening to them talk, through translators, about their own troubles with extractive industries, and the importance of unity in the fight to protect our earth. About that time, the wind was whipping up, so I retreated to the van to continue working on the quilt. I could still hear what was going on at council fire. There was an announcement that there would be trucks coming in, including a Veterans for Peace van, with all the stuff from the Cannonball pit stop. When the cops finished destroying the 1851 Treaty Camp, and arresting and/or injuring everyone there, apparently, they tossed everything they could find into four dumpsters and just left them at the pit stop. Volunteers had been out there for a couple of days, going through the dumpsters, and retrieving peoples’ goods, and many sacred items. Everything was being brought into the camp to be sorted, and to start the process of trying to return things to their rightful owners, especially all the sacred items which had been treated so disrespectfully by cops. Head over to the Sacred Stone Blog to read more about the 1851 Treaty Camp and what happened there. ICTMN has more on the police action which took place on Wednesday and Thursday. We’ll be going back out again next week, so things might be very slow on Affinity for a while.
Oh, it has been reported that two cops have turned in their badges over what they have been made to do lately. Here’s hoping more of them find their conscience.
© C. Ford, all rights reserved.