Standing in Solidarity With the Water Protectors at Standing RockNovember 22, 2016
Standing in Solidarity With the Water Protectors at Standing Rock
I’ve been fretting about this for weeks. Months.
I cannot get North Dakota off of my mind.
I’ve never been to ND, but what’s happening there is affecting me deeply.
If the words “Standing Rock” and “Dakota Access Pipeline” don’t mean anything to you, you’re the reason I’m writing this post.
Many people are still unaware of the massive struggle that’s happening and corporate mainstream media has been mostly silent.
I’m begging you to read this, watch the videos, and take action to help put an end to this madness.
A week ago I joined with thousands of other supporters in NYC, outside the offices of the Army Corps of Engineers, to stand in solidarity with the water protectors at Standing Rock and to convince the USACE to halt construction of the pipeline.
Who are the water protectors?
I think the best way for me to explain is to share this video with you from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, who began the protest.
Lest you think that you can’t make a difference – it was one woman, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, who founded the first resistance camp (Sacred Stone Camp) on her property. One woman.
Of one thing I’m certain – this is not just an issue limited to the water protectors at Standing Rock.
“Mni Wiconi! (pronounced “mini we-choh-nee)” meaning “Water is Life!” has become the symbolic chant of their protest.
Can you think of anything that is more essential to our survival than clean water?
“It becomes clear that the fight over the tribal land of Standing Rock is not only the primary battleground for indigenous sovereignty; it is the center of the fight for clean water, to fight climate change, and to ban hydraulic fracturing. At its base, this is a struggle between the people and a government corrupted by corporate power.” – Josh Fox
President Obama was at the Standing Rock Reservation in 2014. He has acknowledged the unconscionable brutal history our government has inflicted on Native Americans for hundreds of years and he has addressed the water protectors. But he has not done enough to put an end to this dangerous pipeline and the brutality that is happening.
And President-elect Trump is personally vested in the Dakota Access Pipeline.
“The Democratic and Republican love affair with fracking of all kinds represents a fundamental shift in American energy policy, away from conventional oil and gas and toward what should be called “extreme energy”—energy that is more dangerous, more expensive, and worse for the planet.” – Josh Fox
Someone dear to me, but with vastly different views, commented after the election how disturbed she was by the demonstrations, the anger, the anarchy.
Personally, I see no other way in the times we live in other than to raise our voices and take to the streets.
I cannot sit in my comfortable home and not care about what’s happening to other people who are more marginalized and threatened.
I just can’t.
Liberty and justice for all.
I did not come from a family of activists. But something has been stirred in me in this, my sixth decade of life.
I’m just one little voice, and it’s not so loud, but I will use whatever power I have to make it be heard.
The water protectors have gathered since April – unarmed and in peaceful prayer. They are there not only fighting for their own rights but for the millions of others whose clean source of water is the Missouri River.
And this is what is being done to them:
- Rubber bullets shot from high-powered weapons, causing pain, internal bleeding, etc. The are shooting not just people, but also horses
- Toxic chemicals are being sprayed from crop planes hovering over the camp at night
- High-powered water hoses (in the freezing temperatures)
- Tear gas from fire-extinguisher-sized canisters
- Arrested water protectors are detained in cages and fed tainted food
- Journalists and medics are especially being targeted
- Attack dogs
- Sound cannons
What kind of a country are we living in where law enforcement can unleash this kind of punishment on peaceful protestors rather than protect them?
What can we do to help?
I have to, of course, mention our beloved Mother Earth. Who has respected her more than the Native Americans and other indigenous people all over the world?
I’ve included links below to two recent documentaries about climate change. They are chilling but necessary to watch.
I don’t want to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. I don’t want to talk about turkey or mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie.
Not when I think of the Native Americans at Standing Rock being shot at with rubber bullets, maced, and otherwise abused and humiliated, all because of their peaceful attempts to protect water and their ancestral lands.
Mni Wiconi. Water is Life.
“Let us care about each other
See the Earth as our Mother
May we serve her with Love
and rise above
our hatred and greed
We shall fill the need
with our Love
We shall rise above
with our Love”
— Earth Prayer, Snatam Kaur