Ayse Gursoz
Water protectors honored Robert F. Kennedy Jr. with song and gifts on his visit to the Oceti Sakowin camp opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Visits Standing Rock on #NoDAPL Day of Action

Sarah Sunshine Manning

CANNONBALL, North Dakota—Environmental attorney and activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., made a special visit to the Oceti Sakowin camp on Tuesday, November 15, to extend his support in the fight against Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL).

“What [Energy Transfer Partners] is doing is a real environmental crime,” said Kennedy, who serves as senior attorney and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit organization solely focused on the right to clean water.

Kennedy’s work protecting the environment spans decades, and his visit to Standing Rock and the Oceti Sakowin camp is a continuation of his efforts to help communities fight corporate polluters.

Kennedy was welcomed into the camp about 3:00 p.m. and addressed the crowd at a press conference on top of Media Hill. He was joined by a panel of other environmentalists, including Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, and Kandi Mossett and Joye Braun of the Indigenous Environmental Network.

In addition to speaking to the importance of protecting water, Kennedy also spoke about the need to invest in renewable energy while divesting from fossil fuels.

“There are many other technologies out there right now; solar and wind are the most versatile and the cheapest,” he said. “The market already knows that carbon is dead. The only thing keeping it alive is infrastructure.”

At the conclusion of the press conference, water protectors honored Kennedy with a song and gifts. Kennedy was then given an escorted tour of the camp, lead by a procession of eagle staffs, veterans and camp representatives. He stayed for hours after dark, addressing a crowd of hundreds of water protectors at the main fire.

“Robert Kennedy Jr. brought his family here, his wife and kids, and that says that he not only supports us, but that he also trusts us, and that’s huge,” said Mossett. “To have a Kennedy visit the camp was pretty epic.”

His visit to the Oceti Sakowin Camp also fell on the #NoDAPL National Day of Action, wherein hundreds of actions took place simultaneously across the globe.

Kennedy is among a growing list of high-profile supporters who stand with Standing Rock in the movement to protect water and indigenous sovereignty.

RELATED: Dakota Access: Stars From Hollywood to Washington Support Water Protectors

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