2nd Silent Women’s March @ Standing Rock

Nov 27: We started the day with a women’s sweat at sunrise led by Lyla June so we can connect with the creator and cleanse ourselves before our big day. Something Starhawk said in the sweat really stuck to me. She said “We all have indigenous roots. If you trace your ancestors back you will find the roots that cared for the Earth. We don’t have to borrow from other cultures. We can own what is ours.”

After the sweat we had a non-violence training with Starhawk, Cheryl Angel, and poetry and song by Lyla June. This is the most prepared we’ve ever been for an action — spiritually and tactically. Because it is the time where we cultivate spiritual activism. As Cheryl says “We need to move beyond holding the pipe. We need to put action to our spirituality.”

We started the march from Sacred Stone camp, collecting people along the way. By the time we got to the bridge, I’d guess there were 600+ with us. Non-native women in front, protecting the native women, and the men in the back as our container. As women we wanted to take a stand together. We had the men stop behind us at the bridge while we marched forward to the front. The elders made their way to the barricade so that they were eye to eye with the police. Cheryl led us in song, in a 4 directions prayer — sending prayers to the police. Telling them that we love them. Telling them thank you because they are protectors too. Cheryl’s speaking voice doesn’t naturally project, but the entire bridge could hear her singing. Her prayers were a cry from her heart, an ask of forgiveness from the water. The police softened. Their spirit knew.

The police backed away. They gave us space as we gave them theirs. We stayed in our silence and prayers. If anyone spoke, we’d raise our hands above our heads, hands clasped like a bridge. We are bridges. We are bringing in a new world. We are showing the world that peace is a choice and can be done. It was only a week ago where the world witnessed violence and mayhem on this bridge. Now the world gets to witness Love.