ASHEVILLE, N.C. — A local restaurant owner has joined in the fight to stop the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Rosetta Buan, who owns Rosetta’s Kitchen in Asheville, got back from her second trip there a couple of days ago.
Her message is to spread what she’s calling the truth about what’s happening there.
Buan says they call themselves ‘water protectors’ resisting against the pipeline, not protesters.
Back in September with a 12-burner restaurant stove, a 40-gallon tilt kettle, stainless steel tables and army tents, Buan traveled 1,600 miles to support the indigenous people.
“This was not their fight. This was all of our fight. This is all of our water. This is all of our future,” Buan said. “We all need the clean water. I realized it was also my fight.”
Buan says they’re trying to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline to protect drinking water for 17 million people.
“The real goal is to keep that pipeline off of sacred burial lands but also to keep it from crossing both the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers,” Buan said.
Buan says their message has been buried by what’s happened as they try to achieve that goal, so she wants to set the record straight.
“(My son) participated in many peaceful prayer ceremonies. They’re being called protests by the rest of the media, but what is actively happening is a group of people are called with drums in the morning and they go out, they walk to these sites in open prairie, and they pray,” Buan said.
How law enforcement is responding is what Buan has a big problem with.
“It is the DAPL (Dakota Access pipeline) people and the sheriff of Morton County that have been instigators of all of the violence that you have seen,” Buan said.
Her 18-year-old son, Luka Rzany, has experienced it firsthand.
“He was laid on the ground and beaten with batons. He was then rounded up with 127 people that were rounded up that day in a huge mass arrest,” Buan said. “The police instigated violence, and this video footage is out there of them coming out and beginning to pepper spray people that are just standing. These are unarmed protesters. There were false allegations that they were shooting arrows at the police. That sounds like some pretty deep racism to me.”
Some of the images are too difficult for Buan to talk about as she prays for her son’s safety.
Buan is already preparing for another trip back next week with more supplies.