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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is steaming with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want ALL to thrive in

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On the road again!

It is 2 degrees this morning and most of the action at the camp has not been not occurring inside the dome but outside where people are scrambling to complete last-minute preparations of the many dwellings for the mighty storm anticipated this weekend, plunging temps well below zero and heralding arctic winds.

I do not want to be here for that. Our sun is so very bright this early morning, winds slight, but temps frigid as cold seeps in through soles of heavy boots past three pairs of wool socks to freeze our toes.

So Liz and I are going to leave today – before noon I hope – and Silvia and Gloria are going to stay. More goodbyes.

We load the back of the truck with bags and bags of surplus donations and then find the 2-spirit camp to load the camper with even more bags – all to be delivered to various reservations near our beaten path south to El Paso, where the bloody EPT is raping and destroying the Mother Earth and where fierce, determined Water Protectors are gathering to stop the Black Snake.

I’m sad we cannot take more, before the harsh winter claims the items and renders them useless, and I entertain the idea , the hope really, of returning once more to Oceti after we drop off these supplies, if the weather holds one more day.

Again, I am sickened with the knowledge of the amount of ‘stuff’ we have in this country, ‘stuff’ those that have hoard and take from those that don’t have; not to mention the assuaging of guilt for those that will not cease consuming the many ‘luxuries’ the crude oil of the Black Snake provides, that will not share and provide for those with less, those who are stolen from

What kind of human will you be from now on?

This morning we are up before the sun, packing up our many belongings, revving up a very reluctant but hearty engine, hugging silent but heavily-laden goodbyes, swinging by the food co-op for our last treats before heading to Oceti and the dome for the morning gathering.

This time there are about 40- 50 people here with one stove burning fuel. We are late but John is again reiterating the call for folks that can survive arctic climes to come to camp, while those that are not able or fit to survive such climes should leave and will be found a way home, if they don’t have one.

We talk about what we want and need to bring back to our communities, as we are encouraged by Native elders to spread the Standing Rock values and ways of life.

For you cannot feed the Black Snake – or rather feed off the Black Snake – and then expect it to die.

So figuring out the ways in which we feed off the Black Snake is something we want to spread: whether it’s gas for vehicles, petroleum for plastic, for make-up, for perfume, clothing, gadgets, pipes –the list is endless, but it’s a list we are capable of severely shortening if not eliminating in our daily lives.

The other huge thing to bring back to our communities is the very idea of real community: not a place where one can hoard a multitude of not only Black Snake products but every horrific chemical including anti-food ‘food’, where one can and wants to strive to get more and more and more than anyone else on the block, in their family, at their work.

But community is a place where humans come together to help each other exist, to work together to abolish the empire, and work even harder to create the kind of life style we need and want to make just, loving, real communities whose base line existence is to protect and defend the sacred – which is all life on this planet.

And yet probably the greatest huge thing is the willingness and ability to follow the leadership and direction of First Nation peoples, Native peoples, Indian peoples – which is the most difficult, inconceivable, unfathomable for most white people. White people are sooooooo used to being in command, being seen as the smartest, knowing their ways are the right and only ways. And are so trained, ingrained and have internalized superiority hand-in-hand with delegating inferiority to everyone else, beginning with Natives.

Take the environmental movement or green movement or whatever you want to call it. When we think and acknowledge ‘environmentalists’, the majority are white males, white hippies, white tree-huggers. They talk about protecting the environment from the bad ways we’ve exploited her and are committed to “sustainable” ways to exploit the Mother.

Whereas Natives speak of all life as sacred and this sacredness is the reason to halt the pipeline, to stop our capitalist lifestyle, to end our exploitation of our Mother. Natives do not speak of finding new and better ways, kinder to the Mother, to support our lifestyles.

And even more, indigenous people here and around the world have been fighting to protect the Mother for decades, centuries, all their lives. And yet, when do you hear contemporary i.e. white ‘environmentalists’ recognizing the life-long work of Indigenous people, let alone acknowledging their work as the keystone of all environmental movements.

We are to take back to our communities the native ways of being mindful and respectful: of elders, of children, of the Mother Earth, of all life, of ceremony, of hearing every voice until no one has another thing to say.

Bottom line: we have been given the amazing opportunity through the work, prayers, and actions of the Water Protectors, of choosing what kind of humans we are going to be from now on.