A Civil Beat team arrived in North Dakota just in time for a dramatic announcement about the Dakota Access Pipeline, and departed just in time to avoid a blizzard.
They call themselves water protectors. Thousands of people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline were living in tents, teepees and other makeshift shelters at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, left, on a bank of the Cannonball River near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation.
The encampment included many Native Hawaiians who came here out of a sense of solidarity with other indigenous people.
One of them was Andre Perez, left, who said he traveled 3,500 miles to reciprocate for the help Native Americans provided last year to Native Hawaiians protesting construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea. He was among those arrested during the Big Island protests.
Another Hawaiian at Standing Rock was Leomana Turalde, right, a Marine Corps veteran from the Big Island who served in Iraq. He hugged a Vietnam veteran at the camp. They were among hundreds of vets who arrived to support the protest.
A protester prayed in front of a barricade at one of the spots near where police and demonstrators had clashed days earlier. The veterans said they had come to prevent any further harm to protesters.
At one point the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said it would cut off supplies to the encampment, prompting a party of protesters to drive an hour to the sheriff’s office in Mandan and deliver their own supplies to the officers.
After the delivery in Mandan, Mia Stevens, right, embraced another protester.
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, center, hugged Phyllis Young after Gabbard spoke to the assembled veterans.
The veterans hadn’t been on the scene at Standing Rock for long when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced it was halting the pipeline project to study alternative routes that would take it farther from the reservation’s water supply. One protester celebrated with a raised fist.
After the Army Corps announcement, a group of veterans and other protesters marched near a Highway 1806 bridge.
They prayed near a barrier along the highway.
A protester took in the scene as the sun set at Standing Rock on one of the last days before a blizzard hit.
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