Victory March to Backwater Bridge

Drums beat and 24 miles per hour winds howled as veterans and water protectors marched in victory of the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to decline the easement, deferring and rerouting construction of the Dakota Access pipeline until further investigation for an Environmental Impact Statement, Monday, December 5, 2016 (Photos by Rachel Jones)

Amber Cross, 30, sat atop a run-down military truck facing the barricade erected by Dakota Access pipeline security that cut off Backwater bridge, which was too enshrouded by falling snow to see, on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. 
Drums beat and 24 miles per hour winds howled as veterans and water protectors marched in victory of the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to decline the easement, deferring and rerouting construction of the Dakota Access pipeline until further investigation for an Environmental Impact Statement. 
Cross, from Oglala, S.D., and a member of the Pine Ridge Sioux Tribe has been at  more than a month. She is overwhelmed by the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision, but feels the government needs to do more to protect the people and water. She isn’t leaving until the police kick her out, she said.  Cross chanted, “Mni Waconi” and other water protectors all around chanted back, “Water is life!”
“The vets might have been the tipping point,” said Gray Harrison, 62, an army veteran from Fort Collins, Colo., regarding the Army Corps of Engineers decision to decline the easement. With veterans arriving by the thousands, Harrison said, “They knew the water protectors were not going to back down.”
Jim Berg, 62, and his son Mniluzahe Berg, 36, both Navy veterans, heard the call and came out to support. Mniluzahe served three tours in Iraq. “Its an amazing appalling thing to see congress and the federal government inactive for so long on issues of national importance,” Berg said.
The Army Corps of Engineers’ decision is welcome, but very late, he said, referring to the injuries caused to water protectors by Morton County Sheriff’s department from rubber bullets, concussion grenades and water canons in the interim of the decision.  Berg can’t believe the reaction of law enforcement officers and the government to the right to protest. 
As a Native American who has worked in “Indian country” all his life, to propose a pipeline for profit, Berg said, “That makes me furious.” 
“Most Indian country doesn’t even have pipelines for water,” Berg said.

Amber Cross, 30, sat atop a run-down military truck facing the barricade erected by Dakota Access pipeline security that cut off Backwater bridge, which was too enshrouded by falling snow to see, on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016. (Photo by Rachel Jones)

Water protector prays at Backwater Bridge amid celebration of Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to decline the easement for the continued construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, on Monday, December 5, 2016. (Photo by Rachel Jones)

Veterans and water protectors celebrate the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to decline the easement to continue DAPL construction. This follows the Victory March from Oceti Sakowin camp to Backwater Bridge on Monday, December 5, 2016, the date water protectors were ordered to evacuate. (Photo by Rachel Jones)

 

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Veterans arrive at Standing Rock to protect the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave

Veterans fly their colors on State Hwy. 1806 as they return to Oceti Sakowin Camp south of the barricade across Cannonball River on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

Veterans head north on State Hwy. 1806 in formation, as more amass in thousands to Oceti Sakowin Camp in support of water protectors, on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

Water protectors had encircled the Oceti Sakowin Camp in prayer when word spread from Sacred Fire that the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the continued construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on Sunday, December 4, 2016.

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Standing Rock – Dec 3, 2016

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Winter at Standing Rock Camp

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Winterization of Oceti Sakowin Camp

Joel Maurer, 40, from Willits, Calif., bought the materials from Lowe’s to build and donate this “tiny winter bunk house” complete with two bunks, a loft and wood stove, to house water protectors for the winter months.

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Women Walk In Prayer

Hundreds of women walk in silent prayer from Sacred Stone to the barricade on the bridge crossing Cannonball River on Sunday, November 27, 2016.

Six elders stood singing and praying with sage and cedar across barbed wire from armed security.

 

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Barbed Wire

November 26, 2016 – Turtle Island, Standing Rock – Barbed wire was put up at the top of Turtle Island and along the beach, with the camp’s canoes between them.

As per the United States Flag Code, Title 4, Chapter 1, “§ 8(a)The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.”

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Global Synchronized Prayer and Meditation with Standing Rock

Uqualla from the Habasuppai tribe in the Grand Canyon in Arizona, speaks to those gathered across the river from Turtle Island prior to the silent prayer on Saturday, November 26, 2016, as part of a global meditation with people participating in more than 400 locations.

November 26, 2016 – Tara Tippett, 39, offers tobacco to the Cannonball River for “for their healing and ours because they’re intertwined.”

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Turtle Island

Water protectors crossed Cannonball River to sacred burial site, Turtle Island, on Thursday, November 24, 2016.

Water protectors cross self-made bridge to sacred burial site, Turtle Island, on November 24, 2016.

Crossing to Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

Jumping Mouse, aka Georgie Lilgreen, age 50, of Tlingit descent, drove out from Stanwood, Wash. Jumping Mouse and another water protector pray at the base of Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

Water protectors sing as armed police encroach around Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

Praying at the base of Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

Water protectors sing, “Water heal my body. Water heal my soul. When I go down down to the water, by the water I feel whole,” at the base of Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

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Crossing to Turtle Island

While many Americans prepared their Thanksgiving dinner, on Thursday, November 24, 2016, water protectors from all over the country and world marched to Cannonball River, where they held prayer, built a bridge, and crossed the river to Turtle Island.

Water protectors sang at the base of sacred burial site Turtle Island, while armed police stood atop it. Prayer was held in peace.

Greg Sealion Cotten, 42, prays on the edge of Cannonball River on November 24, 2016.

Phanie, 26, stands in prayer with sage facing Turtle Island from across Cannonball River on November 24, 2016.

Water protector brings wood for bridge to Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

Water protectors build bridge to cross Cannonball River to Turtle Island on November 24, 2016.

Water protector holds sign saying “Water is Life,” facing Turtle Island, on November 24, 2016.

 

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