Mandan, ND (NBC) — A welcome break on Thanksgiving day for protesters standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Not only did they get something to eat, they got to meet an Academy Award winning actress and pipeline opponent.
A day of music, food, and ceremony joined by well known Hollywood actress and advocate Jane Fonda.
“It’s been centuries since this many tribes have joined together in prayer in peace in non-violence to protect their sacred land and their water, said Fonda.”
She said she believes many of the actions throughout the past seven months were peaceful.
She traveled from Los Angeles Thursday to help serve a meal to a mixed crowd of mostly water protectors.
“I was serving for about three minutes and they said people can serve themselves,” said Fonda. “I’ve never had a job in such a short time. It’s fantastic that this happened.”
The main cook brought his crew in to serve 200 and that number changed after just a few hours.
“I think every good negotiation should start after the meal is finished, when people are fed and happy and ready to talk,” said chef Jeremy Stanton. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have invested or how much money you have to lose. These are human beings and today I’m here to feed them.”
He said love was the most important ingredient.
“This is a time when we need that,” said Fonda. “We need to stand together.”
Fonda had plans to visit Standing Rock on Thanksgiving but didn’t know there would be meals to serve.
She jumped at the opportunity to help.
About 2,500 attended the ceremony.