October 3rd. (How bad or good is it that I have totally lost time being with nature? I had to go look up the date..haha.)
Okay….so I participated in yesterday’s protest of DAPL. I really didn’t know what to expect because of what had been happening to the folks here on other protests. I thought I was just going to come to lend my physical support and pray for them and for turning it around to live more sustainably.
Nope. I was given nudges here and there and had to once again step outside my comfort zone and at least give it a try.
And while I was waiting in line to begin our journey, I felt my Dad’s presence for a beautiful moment. He was happy I was going.
Now, you have to know my Dad to know how HUGE this was! My Dad, being a Republican, was a Nixon man, you see, and he would go on and on about the hippies during the 1960s. He and my brothers would get into arguments about long hair…even though their hair really wasn’t that long.
Anyway, I’m sitting there in my car, and my Dad’s spirit came to me with such warmth to let me know that protecting the water was important. He was letting me know he was proud of me.
I would have done it without Dad’s approval, but it was a special moment.
So, we pulled out onto the highway, and then began dirt roads in the country. Immediately, the yellow helicopter that zigzag wrote about in the prior posts was following us.
Back and Forth it went — from the front of the line clear to the back and side to side. It flew over my car several times. It has also flown over my tent in camp — circling two or three times.
We drove for an hour, and then headed back to camp. Apparently, there were five work sites and the workers were warned we were coming and that there were a lot of us. We counted 111 cars in the convoy.
I found out after we got back that just as we were leaving to return back to camp, there was a line of police cars headed our way. They were going to surround us and box us in.
I cannot state strongly enough how disappointed and depressed I am about the militarized actions here.
They have an “information point” between here and Mandan, a city about 30 miles north. This information point has cement barracades so that motorists must leave the right side of the highway, zig to the left, and then zag to the right to get around them.
It’s not just National Guard, either, as there are usually police and sheriff vehicles there. The guys there are usually friendly…but yeah, it is still intimidating.
On my way to Mandan this afternoon, there were two police cars at a veterans cemetary, and they both followed me into Mandan.
Two police cars for a nonthreatening, nonviolent grandmother.
On the other side of the encampment, towards the south, is a well-equipped communications RV (that looks like a media truck I recall during the Indiana Dept of Health clinic held in Marion, IND, for the hepatitis globulin clinic. It bugs me and I don’t understand why right now, but wanted to put it out there.). This communications RV had “United Command” painted in huge letters on its side. It sends chills down my spine.
So…we have police cars, SUVs, the helicopters flying over (sounds like Vietnam, folks)…for nonviolent protectors of our water.
Am I in Nazi Germany or what??
This isn’t just about North Dakota, either. Indiana puts 15 million pounds of toxins into the waterways every single year. They allow BP to put 2 pounds of mercury into Lake Michigan every year (but, c’mon, we know that they are most likely putting more in there). But no one in Indiana is willing to do what the Natives here are doing — putting their lives on the line.
The traditional Natives don’t look at the land or water as a commodity. It is a gift from the Creator.
And they see it as something they have to take care of to hand over to their children and grandchildren and their children…
So this grandmother is doing this for her children and grandchildren and the generations to come after that. We keep poisoning water and land and air telling ourselves that there is clean water, air, and land *over there*…but there is no *over there* any more.
As we came back from the protest yesterday, I saw a huge buffalo herd with moms and dads and babies enjoying the grass. And on the Cannonball River, a beautiful crane plunked its feet into the water. Horses bent their heads down to drink the water.
So much depends on water. Life depends on water.
God Bless all of us fighting the good fight. The Dark Side is hard at work here.