The Unitarian Universalist Association’s public witness campaign Standing on the Side of Love is amplifying a call for religious leaders to join protesters next week at camps that are blocking construction of the contested Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. Police in riot gear arrested 141 activists at the Oceti Sakowin (Sioux Nation)–led protest on October 27, the same day the UUA issued its call.
“People of faith and conscience are being called to take immediate action and come to Standing Rock in solidarity,” writes the Rev. Karen Van Fossan, minister of the Bismarck-Mandan Unitarian Universalist Congregation, in the letter from Standing on the Side of Love. “Unarmed water protectors have been met with militarized responses at every step. There is an opportunity for us to show up and affirm this prayerful movement. A movement calling for direct action to center Indigenous communities’ autonomy, history and spirituality.”
The Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance is organizing bus trips to the camp from Minneapolis. UUA President Peter Morales plans to attend the Clergy Standing with Standing Rock public witness November 2–4.
Our earlier coverage: UUs support Standing Rock Sioux in water protection action (October 3).