Published November 3, 2016
CANNON BALL, NORTH DAKOTA — More than 500 members of clergy representing faiths from around the world gathered at the Oceti Sakowin camp to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Hundreds gathered at the Backwater Bridge on Highway 1806 north of camp to pray for water, police and the healing of those affected.
Leaders of various faiths voiced apologies for the centuries of atrocities committed on behalf of various churches including the oppression of religion, language, culture and rescinded the Doctrine of Discovery. The Doctrine of Discovery has been a key premise for European claims to legitimacy on and sovereignty over Indigenous lands and territories. It was used by former British colonies, specifically, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America and was a major influence in Manifest Destiny—a federal policy that legitimized taking of millions of acres of land from America’s first peoples.
Later in the afternoon, clergy and supporters continued in their support and traveled to the North Dakota State Capital building in Bismarck to meet with Governor Dalrymple to voice their opposition to the militarization of law enforcement only to be notified the that Governor was not in the building. 14 clergy locked themselves down inside the capital building and were arrested by police in riot gear. Their charges have not yet been shared with the public and will be shared when available.
Those who witnessed the arrests continued to march in song and prayer on Capitol grounds and were met with police resistance where more were arrested for trespassing where they were instructed to stay off State property.
Reports from the front line also indicate that at least 2 police officers have turned their badges in after witnessing how law enforcement has treated protesters near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Elsewhere, nearly 200 allies of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in Texas voiced their public opposition in a meeting this morning to the removal of Energy Transfers Partners CEO Kelcy Warren from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission. Security was heightened as a result of the planned attempt to protest and voice the removal of Warren, but no arrests were made.
As groups and peoples from all over the world continue to support the protests and the people of Standing Rock, prayer walks and events of solidarity are planned in locations throughout the world.