Missives from and ongoing Mission of Standing Rock

Because of course, the DAPL will continue, despite what the USG decreed. They’re operating under a deadline. Investors must be satisfied.

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Image: Episcopal Digital Network

Several people attempt to free a vehicle from the snow in the Prairie Knights Casino & Resort parking lot during a blizzard on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2016. Severe winter conditions severely impacted the ability for Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to get to the Oceti Sakowin campground.

Huffpost: Several people attempt to free a vehicle from the snow in the Prairie Knights Casino & Resort parking lot during a blizzard on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2016. Severe winter conditions severely impacted the ability for Dakota Access Pipeline protesters to get to the Oceti Sakowin campground.

What’s Next for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock

On a personal note, here’s a current fb post from a Zen Buddhist priest and friend of mine who walked for months to protest the Keystone Pipeline and who was present at Standing Rock just prior to last Sunday’s astonishing announcement:

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Rebecca Solnit offers perspective:

The light from Standing Rock: Beautiful struggle shows the power of protest

Excerpt:

There’s a lot to learn from the beautiful struggle at Standing Rock, though everyone will draw their own conclusions. Mine include the importance of knowing that we don’t know what will happen next and have to live on principles, hunches and lessons from history. False omniscience is a habit that makes people as politically destructive as they are personally annoying, and plenty of people made pronouncements about what was going to happen and what would never happen at Standing Rock that turned out to be wrong.

Another is standing up for what you believe in, even when victory seems remote to impossible. Sunday was the pipeline victory. Monday was the 61st anniversary of the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott. What did those black Americans living under Jim Crow hope for? Surely more than integrating the public transit system. They could hardly have expected that they would help launch a movement that not only changed the nation and led to national legislation, but offered a toolbox of nonviolent strategies and visions to the world, used in South Africa and Egypt, in Czechoslovakia and the Philippines. They bet that the future would be different than the past and did everything to make it so. This is a moment when the civil rights movement’s victories seem to be in jeopardy – but that is all the more reason to remember that they were victories, and they were achieved in blood and pain and dedication when victory was far from sight.

And that’s another thing that matters. Consequences are often indirect. The movement at Standing Rock may yet stop a pipeline. Whether it does or not, it has brought together perhaps the greatest single gathering of native North Americans (from Canada as well as the United States) ever, and that has been a profound and moving watershed for the affirmation of cultural identities and political rights. It has demonstrated yet again that the environmental movement and human rights campaigns are often inseparable, reminded us that worldwide, indigenous people are in the forefront of the climate movement. Many things we cannot foresee may come of this gathering and its vision, tactics and power.

In this moment of rightwing and white supremacist triumphalism, we are hearing a lot about hate crimes: beatings, insults, swastikas, threats and the rest. But also rising into view is another America: the people who stand up for racial justice, for the vulnerable, for women and LGBT people, for science, for nature and for democracy. Standing Rock prefigured and modeled those possibilities and was radiant with this beauty.

 

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2 Responses to Missives from and ongoing Mission of Standing Rock

  1. Zarah says:

    The first article you linked to says that Dave Archambault has asked people to leave the camp – but he has only asked those who are not in a condition to withstand the winter weather, like the old and infirm, and people with small children. The others will remain and keep up the protest since it is clear that the oil company will not stop their activities. They need all sorts of supplies and support to be able to continue. Here is a relatively new video update (Dec 7th): https://www.facebook.com/LakotaPeoplesLawProject/videos/10154184681512029/

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