If you’re thinking of going to Standing Rock: Commit to Civil Disobedience


From Solidariteam, a collective of trainers, @ Standing Rock Solidarity Network, from Sacred Stone Camp.

If You’re Thinking About Going to Standing Rock
First of all, thank you! The whole world has been moved and inspired by the water protectors at Standing Rock and many
people feel called to go there. It’s important to think through whether you will be able to contribute best by going in person or
by doing support work from home.
Good reasons to go:
• To commit civil disobedience blocking construction of the pipeline.
• To do needed physical labor
• To deliver supplies
• To bring a necessary skill
• To bring messages of support from your national or tribal group and share your traditional ceremony and culture
• To support the presence of young people or elders
• To provide media coverage and documentation
Not good enough reasons:
• To experience indigenous culture and wisdom
• Because it seems cool
• Curiosity
Do not go to Standing Rock “just to see.” Every person in camp needs to pull their weight and contribute in substantial
Important Notes:
• Elders and families with children are welcome. Families must see to the safety and wellbeing of their children.
• Currently (late October 2016), the main camp has moved north, closer to a major highway. Law enforcement has
made it clear that anyone at the new camp is risking arrest. If you are coming and arrest-able, camp at the new
camp. The leadership has implored supporters to be here and be ready to be a physical barrier to block the arrival
of the black snake making its way quick toward us with militaristic police presence at its head. If you cannot be
arrested, consider camping at the “old” camp, or south camp.
What is the best way for me to support Standing Rock?
There are many ways to support the water protectors at Standing Rock. If you are considering going there in person,
please read the document “Joining Camp Culture” to understand what’s expected of allies at the camps.
The situation at Standing Rock is constantly changing. Check with the websites and Facebook pages of the different camps
to determine whether you’re able to provide the specific kinds of support most needed:
Right now, in October-November, 2016, the most pressing needs are:
• People to commit civil disobedience to stop the pipeline, and be arrested. There are urgent calls for as many people
as possible to come and take part in direct non-violent actions.
• People who can help with the physical labor of preparing for the winter. This includes moving equipment and
supplies to the winter camp sites, building structures, sorting donations, and much more.
• Lawyers who can join the legal support team and be observers of police conduct.
• Media people who can document the water protectors’ peaceful prayers and resistance, and police conduct, and
can risk arrest.
This document was created by Solidariteam, a collective of trainers. Creative commons (cc) http://www.standingrocksolidaritynetwork.org/
• Skilled medical workers, especially with more advanced training, including EMTs, nurses and doctors.
If you can’t participate in any of these ways, assess what resources you have to offer and whether they will add more
resource to the camp than your presence will use up. Some other useful roles include artists who create banners and signs
for the actions, bodyworkers and other healers and people with construction skills.
Consider whether you would be more useful raising funds, organizing shipments of supplies, organizing support actions
such as die-ins, flashmobs, demonstrations, guerilla theater, and phone and email campaigns, doing media work, creating
and sharing art about Standing Rock, educating people around you, putting public pressure on investors, the Department of
Justice, Hillary Clinton, sheriff departments being mobilized to support the pipeline and North Dakota state officials. This
work is just as important as the work on site and may be a better fit for you.
Conditions at Standing Rock
• The weather is very, very cold and very windy. Be sure you are able to tolerate it, and make sure you are well
equipped with very warm clothing, a winter sleeping bag and shelter that can withstand the wind and the cold.
Sleeping bags must be rated for subzero temperatures. Tents must be heavy canvas or made for winter camping.
• You must bring all your own food plus food to share. You might be invited to meals, if you are it’s best to attend
but be prepared to eat what you are receiving. Think about food in the spirit of mutual nourishment. The camp
kitchens provide food for the indigenous community to stay. Help nourish others by bringing as much of your own
food as possible, and contributing cash to support the food supply. Bring cooking equipment (keeping in mind the
wind.) Bring food that doesn’t need to be cooked, or can be prepared by adding hot water. Protein bars, jerky,
canned sardines, ramen, instant soups, dried fruit and nuts, crackers and so on. In addition to the main volunteer
kitchen, there are smaller kitchens scattered throughout the camps. If you need food, don’t hesitate to ask. Mutual
aid is the spirit of the camp. But be prepared to contribute ingredients, money or labor—if not at that kitchen, then
at another.
• If you can travel to Standing Rock in a vans and campers, especially with heaters that can help to save camp
• There is a team of health care providers and many supplies have been donated so there is care available for minor
ailments, but the medic tent cannot handle serious medical conditions. Bring any medications you need with you
and be prepared to be medically self-sufficient.
If you are considering being arrested
• Conditions are constantly changing, so check websites (listed above) for the current situation for those arrested.
• Again, at this point, enforcement has made it clear that anyone camping at the North camp (new camp) is risking
• Remember that Standing Rock direct actions are a form of ceremony and prayer for the water and should be
approached with calm determination and without any form of violence.
• Training in non-violent direct action will be provided to every person going on an action.
• You will be given a form to fill out with all your relevant personal information.
• You’ll be told as best the leaders are able, what to expect.
• As of October, 2016, some water protectors are being sprayed with pepper spray, and arrestees are being strip
• The legal fund will NOT pay your bail. Bail is being set at $1600. Be prepared to spend at least the night in jail.
• Be prepared to request a public defender. Strategies constantly shift, but anything that strains local and statewide
legal system resources helps build pressure to end the pipeline.
• Try to take care of your business with the court right away, as there are no funds to pay for people to return for
court dates. You will have access to people to help you do this.