A new resistance camp, called L’eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life), opened over the weekend, on June 24. Based in southern Louisiana, the camp is against the 163-mile long Bayou Bridge Pipeline.
The camp, according to a press release emailed to Colorlines, is made up of indigenous and environmental justice communities. Described as a “floating camp,” it sits among Louisiana’s wetlands and contains numerous indigenous art structures that are on rafts. The camp’s name, L’eau Est La Vie, is in the indigenous-colonial Houma French language. The United Houma Nation is one of the tribes whose members are challenging the pipeline.
For these first two weeks, the camp will be full of prayerful ceremony, says Cherri Foytlin, state director of Bold Louisiana and an indigenous woman. “Someone is praying at all times at the camp for the next two weeks,” she said in a phone interview with Colorlines about the space which she considers a prayer and resistance camp.However, Foytlin says that campers are prepared to put their bodies on the line. If the Bayou Bridge gets the necessary permits to begin construction—one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one from the state’s Department of Natural Resources and another from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality—they will “use [their] bodies to protect [their] children.” The Department of Natural Resources already issued its permit on April 3.