Saturday, November 5, 2016

500 Clergy Hold 'Historic' Mass Gathering for Standing Rock - Common Dreams

In a "historic" show of interfaith solidarity, 500 clergy members prayed along the banks of North Dakota's Cannonball River on Thursday in support of Indigenous peoples protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

During the day of prayer on November 03, the clergy members marched to the bridge over the Cannonball River and "ceremonially burned a copy of a 600-year-old document," AP reported. Known as the Doctrine of Discovery, "the document from the 1400s sanctioned the taking of land from Indigenous peoples."

According to the Episcopal News Service, "The interfaith group spent more than 5 hours on site, marching, singing hymns, sharing testimony, and calling others to join them in standing with the more than 200 tribes who have committed their support to the Sioux Nation as they protest the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)."

"It was very moving to be there in solidarity," said Philadelphia-based Bishop Dwayne Royster. "I wanted to be present as an African-American clergy person to let the people at Standing Rock understand that we as African Americans need them to know that we stand with them in their fight."

Similar acts of solidarity, particularly by people of faith, have grown in recent days. On Wednesday, 9 rabbis, rabbinical students, and Jewish community members were arrested in Philadelphia for staging a civil disobedience action at a downtown TD Bank, one of the biggest financiers of the pipeline project. Nearly 300 rabbis have signed a statement in opposition to Dakota Access.

The full article is available here