Seacoast area lawyer Lincoln Soldati is reporting for InDepthNH.org from the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota where several thousand native Americans and others are gathered in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Editor’s note: Another New Hampshire lawyer Art Brennan, who is a former Superior Court judge, posted on Facebook that he is joining the water protectors. “Headed for Standing Rock. I think I’m gonna be off this grid for a while,” Brennan posted. Brennan, who lives in Weare, formerly worked in the International Human Rights Law Group and served as Gov. Judd Gregg’s legal counsel. Brennan was a former major, Infantry Airborne at U.S. Army Reserve and former 1st Lieutenant, Jumpmaster at 82d Airborne Division.
By Lincoln Soldati (dictated Dec. 3, 2016)
The veterans are beginning to arrive and we’ve got a number of interfaith clergy arriving as well. The veterans are going to march up to the bridge tomorrow.
The sun is shining and everyone is out and about. It’s about 34 degrees, much warmer than it’s been. The bridge is where the pipeline would cross the river. It’s where the main actions happen.
Monday it is supposed to be in the single digits and the same all next week.
We don’t really know what’s going to happen. Nobody knows what’s going to happen. The governor has weighed in, then backed off. There have been so many versions of what’s going to happen. The Elders’ view is nothing is going to happen.
One thing we’re doing is delivering blankets to the law enforcement people on the other side of the bridge. The sheriff’s office had put out a call to the community for hand-warmers for the deputies manning the gates so we delivered cases of hand-warmers to Bismarck, about an hour away, to the sheriff’s office.
I’ve heard anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 people. It’s sprawling here and the number changes a lot. Most people are here for a few days. Today at the morning orientation at 8 a.m., they asked how many people were new and 300 people put their hands up. Yesterday, there were 150 to 200. It’s like that on a daily basis.
We’re called water protectors. We’re here for the water. I hope they don’t put this pipeline in. It’s going to endanger the water no matter what.
Because they carry tar sands — it’s like (liquid) sandpaper. These pipes are going to leak. They have always leaked. When they have leaked, historically, the oil companies cover it up.
Lincoln Soldati’s Facebook post Friday, Dec. 2, 2016
The weather is about to get colder here. The vets are due to arrive Sunday. Estimates vary from 1500 to 4000. This is the talk of the camp. Everyone is wondering how the authorities will react.
Also on Sunday there is an interfaith prayer service with 150 “long robes” leading the service from a multitude of faith traditions.
Monday is the day the Army Corps of Engineers set as the end of certain activities at Oceti Sakowin Camp. The Council of Elders appear not be concerned. No one is leaving.
Today’s dose of irony: The governor said the camp had to close because of the cold, and concern over the health and safety of the camp inhabitants. He threatened to close the roads (didn’t happen). In the meantime the Sheriff asked for donations of hand warmers for the officers serving at Standing Rock. In response, a delegation from Oceti Sakowin Camp delivered cases of hand-warmers to Bismarck. Kill ’em with kindness as my mother used to say.
The next few days should be interesting. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks again to all for your support and encouragement.