Between court challenges and cold weather, the conflicts around the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) are in a temporary lull. Still, the Water Protectors’ civil disobedience has stirred increased hostility toward Native Americans in the region. They are experiencing harassment and threats in the Mandan/Bismarck area, according to the group Nonviolent Peaceforce.
Nonviolent Peaceforce is responding with plans to send unarmed, nonviolent civilian protectors to try to open constructive dialogue. The group’s mission is to “protect civilians in violent conflicts through unarmed strategies,” and “build peace side by side with local communities,” according to its website. It has headquarters in Brussels and the Twin Cities.
Until now, Nonviolent Peaceforce only has worked in foreign countries. It currently has teams in the Philippines, South Sudan, Myanmar and the Middle East. Its work in North Dakota will be the first time it has a presence on U.S. soil.
According to an email announcement:
As our supporters, you have asked us many times, “When will [Nonviolent Peaceforce] start working in the US?” That time has come.