Young people from the Bay Area joined the fight against a controversial oil pipeline halfway in North Dakota earlier this week.
A Native American youth group from Berkeley said it was an experience they will never forget. Members went to North Dakota to offer a prayer closer to where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Sioux leaders say will destroy their sacred lands and pollute the Mississippi River, the source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux.
Students spent several days amidst demonstrators, not as activists, but for prayer, support, dance and blessings.
“It just really clarified what I’m supposed to do because the … power is in the people, so if one of us does something, it’ll maybe inspire somebody else to do something,” Isaac Tapia of Berkeley said.
They were back home by the time protesters clashed with police on Thursday, but say they saw aggression first-hand, although they were not physically harmed.
Now motivated, the group plans to return to North Dakota in December.