Rev. Aaron McEmrys, senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, joined a contingent of 300 faith leaders from across the country who are gathered in North Dakota last week to show their solidarity and provide a protective witness with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they try to stop the Dakota Access pipeline.
The pipeline is to border their reservation and the construction would desecrate ancestral sacred land and threaten not only the tribal water supply, but the water supply of the entire region. Natives from across the U.S., Canada and Central America, along with thousands of supporters have gathered over the months in a series of encampments along the Cannonball River.
Peaceful demonstrations have been going on since spring but in the summer strong-arm tactics were deployed by law enforcement. Hundreds of people have been arrested and one horse belonging to the Natives had to be euthanized due to being shot by rubber bullets from law enforcement.
With heightened tensions, a call has been put out for faith leaders to come and show their solidarity and to provide a protective witness for the peaceful demonstrators. McErmys was there from Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Sunday, Nov. 6. To see McErmys’ announcement of his travel to Standing Rock, visit youtu.be/Urq8I-Ypew0.