How to Support the Water Protectors Right Now

Written by Emily Brewer

Last night, Sunday, the Water Protectors were attacked by militarized police and the National Guard with tear gas, sound grenades, rubber bullets, and water cannons. Our group watched the live feed as we sat together in the Church of All Nations outside of Minneapolis who offered us hospitality and a place to sleep on our way to Standing Rock.

The footage was alarming and sobering. Dozens of people were injured, and in the cold, the water cannons are particularly dangerous. Our commitment to going and sense of call to stand with the Water Protectors there has only deepened.

We go surrounded by the blessings and prayers of many people and communities. Yesterday, we were commissioned by Friendship Presbyterian Church in Chicago, who sent us with these words:

You are traveling to land that is not your own to accompany those who are bravely protecting their holy ground and sacred water. You are sent on behalf of God and the Church to stand in solidarity with the indigenous tribes who have come together to protect sacred water and holy ground. Go with the knowledge that God goes with you and that God is already there. As you come alongside these courageous people, open your hearts and become students of their movement. Offer yourself with humility and courage. Give your best self to the work that is needed. Take care of one another so no one on the ground has to take care of you. Surround all whom you encounter and care for with love.

One way that we can all surround the Water Protectors with love is by making calls to key stakeholders in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Even if you cannot go to Standing Rock or go to a Solidarity Action this week (there will be many with a Global Day of Action on Dec 1--we will update as we know more!), you can make calls or you can organize an action of your own.

  • To make calls to the North Dakota governor, call 701-328-2200 and tell him that peaceful protestors should not be treated with violence.
  • You can also call any of the Sheriff and Police Departments that have deployed at Standing Rock
  • To see locations of TD Bank and Citibank, visit the NoDAPL Solidarity website. These are two of the main banks who are funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, but there are others, including Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and others. You can organize an action at one of these banks and call to ask them to stop funding the Dakota Access Pipeline that threatens the land of Native Americans and clean water for millions.

Last night, we were received by the Church of All Nations with a warm meal and a smudging ceremony done by Brian John, a Native member of the church. He blessed our journey, and Pastor Jin prayed both for our safety and that we would also have the courage to take risks for the sake of the solidarity to which we are called.

We go surrounded by these prayers and blessings and those of so many others across the country. Thank you for your prayers and your actions of solidarity with the Water Protectors.