We arrived the day following the brutal attacks on Water Protectors with water cannons laced with tear gas in below-freezing temperatures. Rubber bullets violated their bodies, but the spirit of those there seemed unconquerable, even when the very thing they were there to protect was used as a weapon against them. The collective was resolute, from elders to youth, to centralize love and forgiveness despite months of arrests, sound cannons, canine attacks, cavity searches, and days incarcerated in dog kennels for those arrested.
Love is the greatest shield, and no one was willing to put it down. It struck us, that after 524 years of consistent onslaught, the most marginalized of our society demand that all allies uphold prayer, presence, and non-violence as their only tools. In no circumstance was anyone to instigate the police. They spoke of the cops and the Dakota Access Pipeline workers with compassion and referred to them as relatives, prayed for them, called them brothers and sister who need to be reminded of their connection to everything.
And here it was, that moment when two stories confront one another. Which story will we give power to? Which story will we pass on to our children?