Tension is brewing within the Dakota Access protest as complaints grow about outside activists trashing the camps, mooching off donations, and treating the anti-pipeline demonstration like a Burning Man-style festival for hippies.
“Need to get something off my chest that I witnessed and found very disturbing in my brief time there that I believe many others have started to speak up about as well. White people colonizing the camps,” said Alicia Smith on Facebook.
“They are coming in, taking food, clothing etc and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols,” she said. “These people are treating it like it is Burning Man or The Rainbow Gathering and I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to those festivals.”
Her Nov. 14 post, now making the rounds on social media, said outsiders are “literally subsisting entirely off the generosity of native people (AND YOUR DONATIONS if you have been donating) who are fighting to protect their water just because they can.”
A local deputy who asked to remain anonymous told WDAY-AM’s Rob Port that most of the protesters are white, and that some have used racial slurs against black, Hispanic and Native American officers.