Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Notes from Standing Rock

Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Notes from Standing Rock:

Notes from Standing Rock

We got to camp yesterday afternoon after driving hours through torrential rain storms. We drove in from the north (Bismarck), easily avoiding any roadblocks by taking Rte. 6 off of 94, to 24 and then east into camp.

By the time we arrived, the sky had broken and we got our first clear look at this stunning Missouri River valley rich in colors.  Clearly a land worth fighting for and keeping out of the clutches of oil-profiteers and polluters.

The dirt road into camp had turned to a river of mud. But that didn't seem to slow hundreds of new arrivals, now lined up along the side of 24 in cars, SUVs, pick-ups, and campers with license plates from seemingly every state, waiting to be guided past security and into the main camp. From up on the hill, the first sight of the main encampment is awesome. Thousands of supporters in tents, tipis, or just sleeping in sleeping bags on the ground or in cars. It's a beautiful collage of beloved, well-organized and self-run community and refugee camp. Tribes who, I'm told, haven't joined together in a hundred years or more now coming together with delegations of supporters.

Donated goods stack up at the food tent.
We parked and unloaded our food, warm clothing and feminine products at the donations center. We had stopped at a market in Jamestown to pick up more big cans of beans, diced tomatoes, pineapple chunks and whatever else they had on their shelves. No Costco in this part of N.D.

Teams of cooks and kitchen volunteers were serving meals 24/7. A free store offered clothing, toys and donated goods to whoever needed them. Tanker trucks brought in water for bathing and drinking. Horse corrals and lots and lots of of kids,

The first campers we met, a small group of Onondaga tribe members, had driven here non-stop Mike Klonsky's SmallTalk Blog: Notes from Standing Rock:

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