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Scenes of Celebration at Standing Rock

Posted on Dec 5, 2016

By Michael Nigro

Editor’s note: Photojournalist Michael Nigro was at Oceti Sakowin Camp in Standing Rock, North Dakota, for Truthdig Sunday and captured images of the reactions of the “water protectors” to news that the Dakota Access pipeline will not pass through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and philosopher-activist Cornel West were among those who joined the protectors. See Truthdig’s ongoing coverage of the #NoDAPL protests here.

Awakened—not only to the fossil fuel industries’ ceaseless assaults for profit, but also to the centuries-long struggle of indigenous people in America. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

Over 2,000 veterans arrived at Oceti Sakowin Camp on a day that began with a playing of reveille. Other calls to action followed throughout the camp. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

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Many came prepared for nonviolent direct action, including 18-year-old Derrick Spencer, who drove up with his family from Salt Lake City, Utah, with a homemade gas mask fashioned from plastic bottles. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

At a noon press conference, veterans learned they would not participate in any direct action unless it was prayerful and approved by the elders of the camp. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

Wes Clark Jr. and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

“Unless we protect our water there is no economy,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

The news that the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit to the pipeline project left many skeptical until Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault spoke to a section of the camp. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

On the notorious Highway 1806, Dr. Cornel West reacts to the news of the halt on construction. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

One of the happiest women in Oceti Sakowin Camp. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

Veterans and camp security cheered the unexpected news. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

Song, prayer and celebrations continued throughout the day. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

Tribe members continued to occupy Highway 1806. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

Hundreds continued to arrive throughout the evening. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

What began months ago as a seven-woman protest on sacred Sioux grounds grew into a wide, historic movement. The estimated number of people at the camp at any given time recently well exceeds 10,000. (Michael Nigro / Truthdig)

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