By Evan Malmgreen, The Nation
To the west of the northern Nevada town of Orovada (population 155), State Route 293 cuts onto public lands near Thacker Pass, a section of high desert in the caldera of an extinct super-volcano. Around mile marker 20, an unassuming dirt road detours into the hills, where protesters have been camped out at the site of a proposed lithium mine for the past eight months. When I visited the camp in August, the air was thick with California wildfire smoke.
Within 10 minutes of my arrival, a group of Indigenous activists from the West Coast showed up with donated supplies. This was just one stop on their way up to Minnesota, where more than 700 demonstrators had recently been arrested for blocking traffic, chaining themselves to equipment, and other acts of civil disobedience aimed at stopping Enbridge Energy from replacing the Line 3 crude oil pipeline that runs from Alberta, Canada, to Wisconsin. After a round of pleasantries, campers and their visitors shuffled into a human chain to move food, medical supplies, and water into a storage tent.