Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels across country in my mobile billboard truck as I attempt to engage in dialogue with people in hopes to wake us up and inspire action to change our country and communities and selves. And it is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society and life we want

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Black Snake KILLERS!!!

The ‘Indians’ said it best, warning us, centuries ago: “The white man speaks with forked tongue”. In this forked tongue season and time of lies, intentional highly skilled subterfuge, and mollifications we need to be even more vigilant in our sharp vision, clear thinking, and righteous speaking & actions.

Many have been posting the well-known meme “they came for the…. and then they came for me” most likely in an attempt to arouse non-native people into action.

The stark truth is, “they” never stopped coming for certain people: for Black people, for Native people, for brown people, womyn, poor folks. And "they” don’t intend to stop coming until they’ve dominated and consumed every ounce of life they can exploit on the Mother Earth.

Much to my chagrin, I tore myself away from Standing Rock forcing myself to head home for reinforcements the afternoon before the night “they” took aim at human beings with water cannons in 20 degree weather.

Like most people in this country who cling to some vestige of our constitution not to mention our humanity, I am still deeply deeply outraged at this anti-human choice police decided was something they should do.

I long to say I’m shocked but as a teenager, I witnessed the deplorable horror of police turning fire hoses on human beings – although not in sub-freezing weather which somehow adds a further inexplicable degree of inhumanity – and still I am outraged now as then.

The army corps of engineers, under the auspicious of President Obama, has promised they will “clear the camp” on December 5th.

Really? Clear hundreds if not thousands of people, tipis, yurts, sacred fires, solar and internet systems, kitchens, tents, healing centers, portapotties, winterized structures, lawyers, media, thriving communities? I list these things for those who haven’t seen with your own eyes the extent of the city (rumored to be the third largest in North Dakota) the army corps thinks it can shut down.

REALLY? Really President Obama? Really people of this country???

This threat is NOT a reason to give up, to stop supporting water protectors, to wring our hands in despair. Remember: the despair, the hopelessness, the powerlessness are all feelings stemming from the spell “they” are attempting to cast over us, feelings they want and NEED us to feel. It is a mighty, mighty spell but guess what? We have and are a much more powerful spell!

Furthermore, there are many more than one camp – the one the corps is directly threatening – making up the circle of water protectors’ camps at Standing Rock. The police, several weeks ago, have already removed one camp with mass arrests and mass destruction, and since then, Standing Rock grew stronger and larger.

But mostly remember, the people there are standing with their bodies, their lives, their beings on this front line and will not be deterred from their commitment of protecting the water.

Our counter spell, the spell we have to cast out over police, military, dapl contractors is this: we have life, the Mother Earth, the precious sacredness of existence on our planet. And we are BLACK SNAKE KILLERS!!!

It is time for ALL of us to head to Standing Rock, to Oceti Sakowin, to the Missouri River: for it is only our numbers, our bodies, our lives that will protect the water.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sloooooow boat home

It's taking me much longer to return home than I was hoping. I couldn’t run veggie oil all thru North & South Dakota & into Colorado - too cold w/no chance of making it into the 50's so the congealed veggie oil in lines could melt.

But I was able to run veggie oil from Denver thru Santa Fe to Albuquerque & then almost to the Arizona/New Mexico border where I am now, greeting the morning sun & waiting for her to warm the air.

I do not have the desire nor the funds to keep buying diesel - so it's the slooooow winter boat home!!!

Which means I get to engage & dialogue with many, many folks - some very uncomfortable, some very supportive, all curious to some degree!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Horror, pain and suffering, in North Dakota

I've driven the narrow 2 lane 'highway' south from Bismarck to the interstate so I can rest safely enough at the interstate's designated rest area, which is almost as deserted as the narrow road I just exited.

I think maybe one car passed me the whole 7 or 8 hours I drove, and maybe a car every 10 miles came from the other direction – which was to also be the case through South Dakota.

Trees are called 'oasis’s' here as they are so infrequent – but houses are even more scarce than oncoming traffic. Evidence of mega-farms abound with the huge round discs of wheat, cattle roaming in small bunches, and the occasional horses and even less occasional sheep.

Starkly desolate comes close. The 2 lane highway, despite the abundance of wide open land, doesn’t even have a shoulder – on either side – which is a fact I don’t dwell on as I’m driving, nor the fact that I haven’t seen evidence one gas station, one store, or even the lonely little ‘just-in-case’ red call box!

I rise before the sun, as is my habit, and longing to be still at Standing Rock, I check my facebook connection, which I finally have.

With rising horror, I read the accounts of the vicious attack on Water Protectors last night and I weep in rage and deep deep deep fury. Even though I have witnessed first hand the hatred of white people in North Dakota – first 47 years ago and these past couple of weeks on/towards the front lines, I’m still so shocked.

I’ve also as a teenager and young adult, witnessed decades ago, police using fire hoses on unarmed people – but in weather that is below freezing??? I quickly look up the temperature at Canon Ball and see it is 19 degrees, last night it was 22 degrees.

How the fuck, how the hell, how in the name of any fragile fragment of humanity can one human being turn water hoses onto another human being in any weather but especially in this weather? I’m fuming, I’m gnashing my teeth, I want to head back.

In fact, I have to marshal all my will power to not fill up my tank and return as fast as I can to Standing Rock. I do NOT have the funds – nor the desire – to keep buying diesel, as my veggie oil is refusing to fuel my truck in this frigid weather.

There is no one to call even to share my anguish and anger with: I text people I know at the camps and my east coast chosen family but no one responds yet. It is too early to call the west coast.

So I proceed to head west and on to a freeway gas station that is the only light in the dark Dakota nite.

The white womon behind the counter at the gas station gets the range of my emotions and, thankfully, she has heard of the violence and shares my anguish and disbelief.

While we are commiserating, a Native man silently approaches us and joins in the conversation. He asks me to tell him about what the police are doing.

As I begin to recount the rubber bullets, the tear gas, the sound cannons, the tanks and militarized, weaponized white male bodies – and now the water cannons – he reminds me once again that none of this is new to his people: he and his people have been experiences these acts of violence, and even more acts, all his life.

As we talk and he shares his experiences, I think he must be around my age, in his 60’s. When I ask him, he astonishes me by saying he is 82!!!!

Ray tells me about the time the police arrested him, his daughter, and her boyfriend, and held them in jail for weeks. He saw his daughter being handcuffed and thrown to the ground many times, police jumping on her back, punching her in the face – their excuse for their violence? She had the nerve to ask about the welfare of her boyfriend, who was sent to another jail.

Ray tells me he was 5 when his mother died and he was sent to an orphanage and I immediately but silently know that she either died of a broken heart because her child was being wrenched from her or it was the lies of the forked-tongue people who stole all children at 5 years from their mothers and threw them into “Indian Schools”.

The sunrise is so intense, brilliant red streaks and long billowing fat rivers intermingling with red and black and grey curves and twists - by far the most stunning and immense sunrise I've been privy to since I've arrived here. It feels like Ray's words are being tossed into and painted onto the canvas of the dawn.

He peers intently into my eyes and tells me that when he was put into that boarding school, he spoke not a word of english but when he was let out, he spoke not a word of his own language, but could read every passage, every page of the bible.

Our tears slipped down our cheeks in unison.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Holding pro-tRump family accountable!

With great reluctance and will, I’ve finally been able to tear myself away from Standing Rock by promising to return quickly after I’ve winterized my camper.

Driving into Bismarck to stock up for my long trek home, I’m alerted and amused to see I’ve picked up a police escort a mile or so out of town – only one sheriff’s cruiser but I’m thinking in the future this could be a strategic action, especially if a couple more cars were added to make a small caravan. We could troll around the city, stopping at tactical locations like the capitol building, etc., diverting attention from the main action!!!

I pull into Dan’s Supermarket parking lot and lose the tail but gain an ally! A white womon hurries across the asphalt to me, introducing her San Francisco self, and letting me know her family saw my police tail and began to tail the police for me!!!

Then she told me that her family had been on their way to spending this coming week with her husband’s New England relatives but upon hearing they voted for tRump, she decided to cash their airplane tickets in and head for Standing Rock instead!

Now that’s holding family accountable!

She then contributed a much needed $40 to my rapidly diminished funds for getting home!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The bitter-sweet of Standing Rock communities

I traverse the immense camps of Standing Rock and marvel deeply at the energy, knowledge, resources heaped generously even ingeniously – and received with such graciousness – from within and outside these Indigenous communities.

The only other time I’ve seen community come together so intensely from nothing, and create a thriving community with so much love and talent and skill has been at Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.

It is really a miracle and a testament to the appeal that has touched the hearts and opened the generosity of so many – of course Indigenous peoples but I’m focusing here on non-Native, especially white and wealthy (not to be redundant) allies.

And, although I laud the actions and sharing of resources of white allies, I also deeply feel the pain of not just the lack of such sharing with Native folks by white folks pre-Standing Rock camps but their (white) actual hoarding of such resources and exploitation of Native resources resulting in the extreme poverty and despair of Native peoples.

I wonder how Native people must feel, seeing the piles of clothing, the abundance of food, the fresh water systems erected, Wifi  swiftly set up, Yurts of medics and legal and emotional support systems, let alone the $6000 dollar Yurts themselves and other temporary winterized structures that often far outshine what Native people have to go home to.

It must be so bitter sweet to witness all these resources freely given by and provided by whites for these encampments while many Native people have to walk far from their homes early in the morning to fetch water or consume ‘cheap’ unhealthy fast food or send their children to substandard schools.

Let alone survive the rubber bullets of alcoholism, police brutality, drugs and violence.

I know I’m torn between enormous stirrings of pride and amazement at this communities' accomplishments, and deep painful knowledge that white allies should have been dedicating their lives to doing this for the past 500 years.