Actor Rhys Coiro, who had recurring roles on the hit TV series Entourage and Graceland, made a surprise visit to the water protector camps near Standing Rock on Thanksgiving.
“We drove out here in our RV,” he told ICTMN, describing his trip from Los Angeles with in-laws Pete Eves and Gina Cunningham. They arrived prepared to deliver nearly $4,000 raised by Coiro and his wife Kat’s GoFundMe campaign.
“Many issues are bipartisan and opinion-based. This is a situation where the right and wrong is very clear,” Coiro said when asked about what inspired him to mobilize support for Standing Rock. “This private foreign oil company is in the wrong to put profit over people on land that they have no claim to. The fact that the police, who are supported by taxpayers, are standing up for the oil company made this cause a no brainer.”
Coiro and his in-laws delivered checks to the construction and legal efforts at the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Head of construction at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, Theron Y. Begay was happy to accept the funds Coiro raised.
Coiro also brought a family medicine physician, Dr. Mayasaa Alavi, along with him. Dr. Alavi remained at camp after he began Coiro began hi journey back to Los Angeles. Coiro’s short time at camp left him with a true sense of the resilience of the Native people holding their ground.
“Being at the camp I got a sense of real strength and resolve,” he said by phone from Los Angeles. “People draw courage from each other. I saw people peacefully holding their ground with genuine bravery, especially given the brutal and terrifying assault they weathered just two days earlier. And I got a real sense of optimism.“I The sense got from the people I talked to who have been there for months expressed satisfaction at the support that's steadily building.”