Standing With Standing Rock, Toronto, November 05 2016.

On Saturday November 5th Torontonians gathered by the thousands to stand in solidarity and support of those brave people in North Dakota. 1-dsc_03521-dsc_03711-dsc_0395The gathering started at Queen’s Park and was ushered in with many prayers, much sage and sweetgrass. Instead of the customary big stage the speakers addressed the large crowd at eye level. The speakers included Grandmothers, Mothers and daughters and rather than rage or anger, shared with us the respect and love for the water and it’s life-giving force and the utmost importance of looking after it, not only for ourselves, but also the generations to come. 1-dsc_03641-dsc_03991-dsc_0376Surely oil can’t be worth enough to commit the violence currently happening to unarmed, brave protectors that have taken a stand. The march headed south filling up University Ave. .1-dsc_04831-dsc_04851-dsc_0503 As we got to the block that houses the US Consulate police tried to veer the march east to the northbound lanes when this wonderful young lady, named Cedar Smoke, slipped through and drew the entire group behind her.1-dsc_0488 The police quickly created a fence barricade in front of the Consulate but fortunately cooler heads did prevail. 1-dsc_04961-dsc_05121-dsc_0498I must say that the Toronto Police Services and Paramedics showed incredible respect and were shown the same.1-dsc_05191-dsc_0515 The crowd continued east on Queen to City Hall and unfolded into this incredible sea of humans with a common cause.1-dsc_0572-0011-dsc_05881-dsc_0593 Giant rings of people eventually folding into one huge swirling ribbon of solidarity. As the drums played and as the dancing and singing began I took these last few shots, put my camera away, found a place to sit and took in what was truly one of those events that can change a life.1-dsc_06031-dsc_0620-0011-dsc_0633 There is always a very real and palpable spine-tingling buzz one can feel when this many humans share a common goal. Hopefully the people in North Dakota will see and know that on November 5th, 2016 Toronto did indeed stand and march with Standing Rock. Thanks for standing up, we send our love and prayers.

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