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As the remaining residents of Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota face evacuation, Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) has issued a call to action, urging people of faith to stand against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. In its statement, PEC says the pipeline desecrates God’s creation and poses significant threats on the Standing Rock Reservation.
The recent altercation between water protectors and law enforcement at Standing Rock proved the value of having professionals on site. Lawyers and medical personnel have been busy the past few days dealing with the legal and physical issues around Sunday night’s confrontation and the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons.
As many as 200 people are reported injured at Standing Rock, North Dakota following an incident with law enforcement at the site of the Dakota Access Pipeline construction overnight.
While the setting sun cast long shadows over the land, residents of the Sacred Stone Camp gathered near a community campfire as volunteers nearby prepared the evening meal. Children and a handful of dogs welcomed the night as if it were day, running and playing, oblivious to the changing weather and the cause that brought so many to the Missouri River in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.
Following an interfaith solidarity gathering of more than 500 clergy and lay people at the Oceti Sakowin camp on the northern border of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation near Cannon Ball, North Dakota last Thursday, a group of approximately 70 faith leaders and “water protector” activists traveled to Bismarck to stage a sit in at the Capitol building’s judicial wing.
While Presbyterians and more than 500 other clergy gathered in North Dakota in support of the Native American water protectors last Thursday, the Presbyterian Center in Louisville was the site of a prayer vigil held at the same time. The short vigil, organized by staff, allowed Presbyterians and others in and around Louisville to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.