Standing Rock: Veterans And Storms

Above photo: From Johnny Dangers on Facebook. The Wind howls something fierce in our souls, the bitter cold chills the hairs on our necks and the Snow drifts where the ground was flat but we will not depart this sacred land. We will not quit fighting until the Black Snake is dead and gone. We Stand. We Stand. We Stand! Stand with Us. The Yurt Village in the middle of the blizzard at Sacred Stone Camp.

NOTE: The report below is compiled from posts made by Popular Resistance reporter Crystal Zevon (also of Searching for Occupy). Crystal was on the ground in the Oceti Sakowin Camp of Standing Rock in November and returned last week. Thousands of veterans and allies arrived over the weekend to be present for the possible eviction of the camp. On Monday, the light snowfall that was forecast turned into a dangerous blizzard. Temperatures dropped and many people sought refuge in Cannon Ball. Many people have gone home, but a solid group of people remain. We were there yesterday. They have a good supply of food. What are needed most are firewood, cold weather gear to protect skin from exposure, and winterization supplies. The camp will remain and the resistance to DAPL continues. If you plan to go, please bring more than you need so that you can share and bring firewood. Be prepared for subfreezing temperatures and strong winds.  – Margaret Flowers

December 5, Prairie Knight Casino, Cannon Ball, ND – Today at the casino a short distance from the Standing Rock Camps, Veterans for Standing Rock and Veterans for Peace came together with Lakota elders and chiefs in ceremony to acknowledge genocidal acts of the US military and ask for forgiveness. It was Powerful. Of course, the military gathered are exceptional. They are those who heard the call to honor, serve and protect the Indigenous of this country. A few of them (the clergy) declared that they take no side. Walking into the auditorium where the ceremony was to be held and after much trepidation (on my part) when a few gung-ho vets made macho remarks, the elders, chief and relatives entered and began immediately with prayer, song, history and directness in talking about the on-going genocidal actions of the US Military. The mood changed instantly and everyone stood in rapt attention. After the Lakota Sioux had offered prayers, song and speech, they asked what the soldiers wanted to say. This is what happened next (sorry for the poor video, but hear the words) when Wes Clark, Jr. approached the esteemed elders.

December 6, Prairie Knight Casino, Cannon Ball, ND: Shelter from the storm for many is happening at the Casino. We’re having a PowWow. Many elders and chiefs are here. The elders keep saying they cannot believe this coming together of people from all around the country. All around the world. The weather is brutal. Yet here we are. Under one tipi. Together for the water. Together for the earth. One of the VFP tents came down at 3am. They stayed in an unheated medic tent. The HQ tent blew down and the stove started a fire. But so far no serious injuries at Oceti Sakowin Camp. There is a reminder often repeated by the elders to the veterans here: a soldier follows orders, a warrior does what is right.