In The Spot-Light // Standing Rock

In The Spot-Light // Standing Rock

from 10.00

I was standing up on highway 1806, looking across the bridge at the barricade. You could see silhouettes of armed men walking back and forth behind the wall. High powered spot lights from either side lit the highway and hillside. A few people walked across the "safety line", (a rope tied across the road that marked the safe distance from the rubber bullets) and walked onto the bridge to stand in silent protest. A very robotic voice came over a megaphone telling the people to back up and stay off the bridge. The voice said that standing on the bridge was act of aggression and threatened to have them arrested if they didn't leave. As I watched from the safety line, a woman came up beside me, who had just gotten to camp a hour or so before. She asked me what was going on and to herself said "I have to go there." She then proceeded to walk forward to the front of the bridge and knelt. A few minutes passed and the others started to head back to the safety line, where about 10-15 other people were watching as well. Soon enough, everyone started heading back to camp. I was about to do the same but then I looked back and noticed the woman still kneeling there. I couldn't leave her out there alone. I stepped forward slowly, my heart beating faster, I kept both hands visible as I slowly made my way to the woman kneeling on the road. There were at least a half a dozen armed men on the other side of those spotlights watching my every move. Fears tore through my head as I thought about what had happened at this exact spot only a week or two before when water protesters were sprayed with high powered water hoses in freezing temperatures, shot with rubber bullets, pepper sprayed, and fired upon with cushion grenades. I saw remnants and shrapnel of those events all around me. I made it to the woman and sat down beside her. The spotlights beat down on us leaving armed silhouettes lurking in the dark. We both sat in silence for a while just looking ahead, overwhelmed by it all. She started asking me if I thought they would let her go talk to them. She kept saying, “I wish I could just talk to them.” She then turned to me and asked what brought me out here. In a moment or two she learned I was a Christian like herself and she almost started crying Immediately. She grabbed my hands and asked if we could just start praying. We spent the next 10-20 minutes praying over the whole situation and everyone involved; pleading for justice and light to be shown in the darkness of individuals and the situation. We continued to pray until a man slowly walked up to us from the camp and said he respects what we are doing but that it was not safe out there and we have to head back to camp. It was moment I’ll never forget.


In purchasing these photos, you receive a unique part of history and culture into your home and/or workplace while contributing to my work of advocating for the stories and causes of others and shedding light into dark places. 10% of sales will go to help the people of the Standing Rock Reservation and environmental protection.


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