Since the call for the Episcopal Church to stand in prayer with the people of Standing Rock, the Rev. John Floberg reports that more than 360 clergy representing 16 faith traditions, 10 of them Christian, have registered to offer their prayerful presence at the site this Thursday.
Others have offered their virtual presence, checking in on Facebook to stand in spirit with the people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).
One version of the check-in defines it as an attempt to thwart police intelligence efforts against the protesters. Snopes.com has investigated that claim:
The rumor had many facets: that police were using Facebook check-ins as an intelligence tool, that their doing so was beneficial to law enforcement operations at Standing Rock, that flooding social media with check-ins would disrupt police activity, that participating in the action was helpful to the protesters, and that it was possible to stealthily maintain the ruse.
The investigative site found that this claim was unproven; the Sheriff’s Department denied that it affected their policing of the protests in any way. While the Sacred Stone Camp organizers contacted by Snopes did believe that law enforcement agencies use social media to monitor communications, they said that the appeal for check-ins did not originate with them. They are pleased with the response, though:
There is no solid line between “organizers” and “others”- this is a movement, not an organization. There are many camps and points of contact, we can only verify that it did not originate from the Sacred Stone Camp FB page. We support the tactic, and think it is a great way to express solidarity.
They also offered tangible ways to contribute to their efforts, including a link to support their legal defense fund.
As people continue to gather and check in online and in person, the Rev. John Floberg described himself as “humbled” by the response to the call to stand with the people of Standing Rock.
Featured image: Presiding Bishop Michael Curry speaks to pipeline opponents (still) via ENS