For young activists, Standing Rock fight is “just the beginning”

Photo by Annabelle Marcovici


Lauren Howland’s wrist was already bandaged up – broken, she thinks, by cops hitting her with batons – when she headed back to the front lines of the #NODAPL struggle a few days before Halloween.

The 21-year-old, a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation in New Mexico, had been camping at Standing Rock since early August 2016, with thousands of others gathered in opposition to the Dakota Access oil pipeline (DAPL) and the threat it poses to the reservation’s water supply. A prayer march to sacred sites destroyed by pipeline construction the previous Saturday had been shut down by police, who surrounded the group as Lauren tried to get a young boy out of danger.

“I was trying to plead with the cops to let him go,” she remembers. “He was so scared for his life. All the guns were pointing at us. There was mace, there were riot shields and batons, and hundreds of police and armoured vehicles. I tried to get him out of there, and the police didn’t like it.” She says they started hitting her head and hands as she tried to protect herself. She was pulled back into the crowd by friends, and managed to escape, but others were charged with crimes including rioting, trespassing and resisting arrest.

For full story, go to Huck magazine.

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