Don’t Come To Standing Rock If You’re Going To Treat It Like Burning Man


Standing Rock has reportedly been overrun with white demonstrators trying to soak up the ‘cultural experience’

Demonstrators at North Dakota’s Pipeline protest have spoken out about the amount of white people who have turned up to “colonise” the camp.

The concerns have been raised by protestors in a series of tweets and Facebook posts. According to them, people have turned up to the Standing Rock demonstration to soak up the “cultural experience”, and are treating the camp like it is “Burning Man” festival or “The Rainbow Gathering”.

“They are coming in, taking food, clothing… and occupying space without any desire to participate in camp maintenance and without respect of tribal protocols,” said protestor Alicia Smith on Facebook. “I even witnessed several wandering in and out of camps comparing it to festivals. Waiting with big smiles expectantly for us to give them a necklace or an ‘indian’ name while our camp leader was speaking.”

She added that many protestors appeared to be living off the native Americans, and were taking full advantage of the donations that people had been sending in for the cause. This was a trend noticed by another Twitter user, who witnessed one protestor turn down tap water to spend donations on “fluoride free” water.

“They are literally subsisting entirely off of the generosity of the native people… who are fighting to protect their water just because they can,” Smith wrote. “Some literally will not even prepare food but will take food that is prepared, again, having not done anything else all day.”

The situation has reportedly got so bad that an open letter detailing the camp’s ground rules has started trending on Twitter. Responding to the new influx of support, it reminds demonstrators that the camp is “not a vacation.”  It also says that protestors should avoid drugs and alcohol, engage with the elders, and refrain from playing “guitar or drums” around the fires.

“This is not Burning Man or a festival. Do not bring your party at the expense of these peoples fighting or life or death”, it reads. “I know this may sound harsh but it’s what we are experiencing here. We need this to be very clear so take time to understand the traditions and Native ways before arrival.”

The construction of the 1,170-mile long pipeline has sparked protests for its potential effects on the Missouri River. The water, which is relied on by the area’s Standing Rock sioux tribe, could end up being contaminated with crude oil; threatening the livelihood of many native Americans.

Over the last few weeks, the protests have gained publicity from the amount of famous people who have chosen to speak out against it. This includes Grimes, Shailene Woodley, Bernie Sanders, Katy Perry, and Jaden and Willow Smith.

Sign the petition to stop the construction of the DAPL here, or donate to the Standing Rock tribe here.

By: Dominique Sisley  From: Dazed



  1. These are reasonable requests. In NA culture, there is a respectful code of conduct and a mutual sense of cooperation for the betterment of the whole. If you are going to NA country right now in a respectful way to help out, which I’m sure is appreciated when done in a respectful way, consider it to be akin to going to another country during one of its holiest times. For right now is truly a holy time for them, and outsider must understand that no matter what their personal thoughts about religion are. Water is sacred. The land is sacred. The 7th generation is sacred. Ancestors are sacred and spiritually are there. All of these sacred beliefs and hopes are converging into one place right now and making it an important and holy time for the people. This is not about protesting the right or wrong way. Nor is it about singling out any one person. It is about respect and following the leadership of the NA Elders. It is not a novelty or a fulfillment of dreams about hanging out with Native people. It is not about being in the right place to impress anyone. And it is certainly NOT a party. It is a grave and spiritual time, and many believe that Standing Rock is the manifestation of things prophesied 7 generations ago by Sitting Bull. It is a time for action, for sure, and also utter respect for all things and compliance to the direction that the NA Elders provide. There are people who have either left their families to join or have brought them with them, and they are facing the grave possibility of being killed each day. History has not shown them otherwise, nor have the militarized forces who have assembled there. Those who wish to protest in their own way can do so, just please not at this sacred place right now. The NA people and the Water Protectors have work to do, and they don’t have the resources or the time to amuse people looking for a party.

  2. You all just don’t get it instead of being humble you still come with no respect or how to listen!

  3. Hello Stiv,
    Thank you for bringing attention to the cause at Standing Rock in North Dakota.

    This article is a little bit unbelievable because you used a photo of Vermin Supreme at a totally different event that was held a long time ago. I also do not believe that prayer is going on 100% of the time.

    Many feel this article was written as a propaganda piece to actually deter more supporters from attending because of the Veterans coming and due to the most recent written notice to leave.

    Many people don’t feel comfortable helping prepare food especially if they don’t cook well. You can ask for help with dishes and other tasks and people will usually help. Requiring people to pray 100% of the time does not respect the fact that not everyone there is religious. Many are there to support the cause and don’t want to see a historical graveyard destroyed by a pipeline that does not need to go through an old cemetery. The price of the insurance premiums for clean up is sometimes cheaper than hiring skilled workers to maintain the lines and make sure no leaks happen. No one wants leaks.

    Vermin Supreme is there to help stop the police from hurting people. He has done that with other events such as when the NATO protests were being held in Chicago. Not everyone demonstrates in the same way but all are united because they share the belief that the pipeline should not mess up a thousand year old Native American burial area. They oil investers are destroying history. Some say it is a religious matter. Others see it as an environmental cause and historians see it as destruction of artifacts. All do not want the pipeline. They just express this in different ways. White people don’t always know the camp rules. If there are rules at the camp post them. If you want help with tasks at camp ask. If they won’t help ask someone else. Vermin Supreme (the guy with the boot on his head) is there to help stop people from getting hurt and stop them from being arrested. Please use his talents wisely and don’t let his skills go to waste out there. You have a protesting mastermind in your midst and all you post is an old photo of him.

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