Three out-of-towners spent time at the Osceti camp near Cannonball to bring encouragement to the fighters there who instead of protesters, call themselves water defenders.
They flew in from Canada, Los Angeles and Massachusetts Saturday, but their message has reached into western North Dakota to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock.
“I believe that the indigenous community here in the US but also across the globe have continued to be the people on the forefront fighting for really all of our lives,” says Patrisse Cullers, co-founder of Black Lives Matter.
Cullers says she can relate to the struggle of the campers near Cannonball, because she says clean water is an issue that affects us all.
“I watched the public education system not give a lot of resources to black students and really pushing us,” says Cullers.
And so does her friend Julius.
“I think that we are living under an oppressive system that values some life over others and values the voices and opinions of some people over others,” says Julius Jones, founder of Black Lives Matter- Woerster, Massachusetts.
“The implications of what we do now I think are going to have an impact for generations to come,” says Janaya Khan of Black Lives Matter – Toronto.
The word of their personal cause spread through social media and has grown to impact dozens of countries around the world in under three years.
“I think the biggest thing is that silence is violence,” says Jones.
Their life experiences inspiring them to make a change and overcome.
But they’ve found ways to recover through boxing through helping others, and through helping build communities.
“Our people who weren’t remarkable but they became remarkable in their struggle so it’s really a call that we become remarkable when we fight for freedom,” says Khan.