Denver, CO – Upon his return to Denver from the construction site of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in early September, we sat down with Uŋpa Nuŋpa of the Zintkala Luzahan Camp to hear his story.
Drone footage courtesy of Dr0ne2bwild Photography & Video
Uŋpa first shared his eyewitness account of the women-led direct action that took place on August 15th which resulted in work stoppage. He said he thinks of the Oceti Sakowin camp, gathered in response to the pipeline issue, as an opportunity for all indigenous peoples in this hemisphere to begin addressing historical injustices and broader issues.
There’s nothing to negotiate. Either they build the pipeline or they don’t. You don’t negotiate half a pipeline. And either we stop this pipeline, or it gets built.” – Uŋpa Nuŋpa
He also talked about the attack that occurred on September 3rd, when the private security company for the pipeline unleashed dogs on the protesters. Six individuals were injured by the dogs, including Uŋpa’s daughter.
— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) September 4, 2016
In response to rumors and speculation regarding the events of September 3, Uŋpa said “I think all one has to do is look at the video footage and listen to the eyewitness accounts of our people to know what really happened.”
Uŋpa described the especially mystical and peaceful aspects of being in the camp, with everyone coming together as a community without the need for police, banks or jails. He stated he feels like a “true self-sovereign” there, and referenced the encampment as an opportunity for expression.
Living under a system like we do, like I’ve known my whole life, this is an opportunity for us to express our feelings about having to live under that system, this system, where everything is wrong, and everybody knows what’s wrong … and the earth, the environment being destroyed in the name of profit.” – Uŋpa Nuŋpa
We will continue to bring you updates of the Sacred Stone encampment as events unfold.
For a recap of our coverage to date, see below.
- Unicorn Riot once again arrived at Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- August 31st, a Non-Violent Direct Action Stops DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- Indigenous Water Protectors Swarm Dakota Access Pipeline Site, Stop Work
For our coverage earlier this spring of the Sacred Stone Camp, see May 27th report, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“; May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“; April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“; March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
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