ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – While thousands are chanting and making their voices heard, one local man is leading his own protest, in a way many couldn’t even fathom doing.
“It’s a little difficult to talk about these things. It’s an emotional time. I have family that live in the area,” said Jose Garza Rodriguez, Captain of the Azteca-Mexica Tradition and Spiritual Leader of Ayoyotes on the Ground.
He’s taking a stand a thousand miles away.
“I started fasting as part of that prayer,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is on his 12th day without food, quietly protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. He’s only allowing himself to drink water and juice.
Rodriguez has been living outside of his home with nothing but a tent and a fire.
“If I couldn’t physically be there, I would connect spiritually through the sacred fire,” said Rodriguez.
Like many others, Rodriguez isn’t able to be in Standing Rock all the time. So, he and the rest of the groups he’s a part of have been making supply runs to the camps in North Dakota.
“We’ve been running back and forth taking as much supplies as we can and doing everything that we can to support this effort,” said Rodriguez.
In September, they took a truck load of blankets. Before that, they delivered a water tank and a generator.
This weekend, they will be delivering firewood and food like deer meat, elk meat, organic beef and green chiles. They were able to do this with the help of the Pueblo Action Alliance.
Rodriguez will finally have the chance to eat while he’s feeding those at the camp but once he returns home, the hunger strike will continue until the pipeline protest is over.
He hopes the courts will rule a complete stop on construction that will quiet the protests before hunger pains become too loud.
Rodriguez even wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to stand with them against the pipeline. He says he’s only received an automatic response.
But right now, he says their biggest fear is that any action taken now will be overturned in January, once President Elect Donald Trump takes office.