Stacey Patel is #StandingWithStandingRock currently. We thank her for her time and activism, and invite you to read her account of her time there. We think you’ll be as touched by it as we were. Enjoy.

Last night, I laid down my head in Oceti Sakowin Camp, the massive overflow section of the Camp of the Sacred Stones. We slept atop Facebook Hill, a place not branded by a corporate sponsor but so-named because it’s the one place in camp where you might catch a single bar of 3G coverage if you’re lucky. Below us the drumbeat was as steady as the hearts of the people who have gathered here.

Behind us was the massive 12×20 tent your love pitched yesterday. In it slept Miwok activist Desiree Kane and Navajo protest artist Remy who have been organizing communications and art here at camp for the last six weeks. They will use the tent as a headquarters from which to share the story that will emerge here over the coming months.

I wish you could have been here as your tent went up. There were no instructions, but hearts gathered here found the way to make sure it stood strong despite heavy rain and driving prairie winds. Somehow the Universe sent us Cal, whose experience rigging sailboats proved invaluable. Desiree and I were both in tears as the tent took shape – and she gifted us this beautiful heart-shaped stone. It will likely become our most precious treasure from our time here, our very own sacred stone.

It is already cold here, and getting colder. We were fortunately able to purchase a wood stove to heat the tent, and we are hoping for at least one more to help ward off the sickness that comes with freezing temperatures. Wood stoves cost about $250; if you’re able to contribute to this & other winter supplies for camp, please do athttps://www.gofundme.com/FLNoDAPL. Already your gifts have purchased over $3000 worth of warmth, energy and comfort for the brave souls who are standing up for the people of Standing Rock and for all of us.

Last night, as we walked up to our temporary home, we were greeted by a light show from the Overpass Light Brigade who held the glowing message: PROTECT THE SACRED. Sanjay too lit up the night with his jacket that glows LOVE WATER.

I asked Desiree yesterday what she hoped would become of this effort – apart from stopping this pipeline. She hopes we learn, and that it inspires others to stand up for our planet and its people.

Me too.

Puja Datta
Puja Datta

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