Water Protector Descends From Water Drilling Rig After 4 Day Direct Action

Hundreds gathered in support of the fight for clean water, as Buck Johnston’s 4-day prayer atop the drill rig came to an end. Johnston began the nonviolent prayer action on March 14th at the site of the Midway well, located near Taos, New Mexico.

Johnston is one of many water protectors working to raise awareness over the Abeyta Settlement. The terms of the settlement stipulate that El Prado Water and Sanitation District must move some of its water pumping away from a religiously significant pasture at Taos Pueblo.

Water protectors worry the environmental impact of drilling into the aquifer may be underestimated. They are arguing for a more comprehensive environmental and cultural review of the settlement.

Buck Johnston climbed up the drill rig Thursday March 14 and came down on Sunday March 17 just before 10 a.m. to a circle of his family overseen by state police. State officials negotiated with Johnston and agreed to allow a cleansing ceremony with his loved ones when he came down. After the ceremony, cops arrested Buck.



Photo: “Coalescence” by Kevin Muncie is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0