Winnipeg vigil shows solidarity with Standing Rock
‘This affects everybody’ Karmen Omeasoo says
Candles were lit on the steps of the Manitoba Legislature Saturday night to show solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
The group answered a call from the camp set up by people opposed to the contentious Dakota Access pipeline in southern North Dakota.
"They put the call out for nations and countries everywhere at 9 p.m. tonight just to say a prayer and sing because they are doing that at the front lines tonight," said Karmen Omeasoo.
On Thursday, authorities in North Dakota used armoured vehicles, pepper-spray, sound cannons and rubber bullets to clear people trying to block construction of the pipeline. Much of the nearly six-hour police raid was broadcast live on social media by people on the scene, as dozens were arrested.
Since the raid, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people have been travelling to the camp. Omeasoo said he also wanted to do something so he quickly organized the gathering which saw a few dozen people come out last minute to show their support.
"Me and my wife wanted to do that and just bring some people together," he said.
"It should be important for everybody… because this affects everybody," he said.
Thousands of people have gone to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation since a group of young people from the community first stood up against the pipeline this past summer. There have also been more than 200 arrests in confrontations with police, which have escalated in recent weeks.
Omeasoo said there will be another vigil Sunday night at 7 p.m.