Jane Fonda, on her birthday, and Winter Solstice as she prefers when someone referenced Christmas, withdrew her funds from Wells Fargo with us, the people, real people, there with her today. The rain was coming down pretty hard when we were scheduled to start and all the energy people put forth made for quite the event. Looking around I could tell it certainly was a different crowd than of late, perhaps because the event was taking place in Hollywood in the middle of the day, there were more people taking breaks from their jobs perhaps or more from the westside, I’m not sure but the crowd was mixed with old and new faces and of course some celebrity ones too.
The turn out wasn’t anything like Sunday with the #ImmigrantRightsMarch nor the #AntiTrumpRally but in the pouring rain I’d say we had a wonderful group of dedicated #Protectors. For me, I always get really wrapped up with nervous energy leading up to these things. I’m not sure what the turn out will be, who will be there, what it will look like, what if it’s too small, what if it’s too big, you know the nerves: they get to me. But I aways channel that energy into excitement and when it’s raining that somehow gets, well, muddy. I mean, when you bring signs that you work on and then don’t plan on the rain that’s disappointing for sure but I just remind myself of the impermanence of everything and then go back to being nervous and then the cycle repeats itself until that second when you see the group. That moment when you hear the drums. When you realize: No, you are not alone. There are people, great people just like you who are willing to brave the rain for great causes like #NODAPL and #DEFUNDDAPL in the middle of the work week and the holidays and they’re standing right in front of you!
To add to the excitement today there were guests, there was Jane Fonda who DID speak to everyone. There was also Lily Tomlin, Delores Huerta, Catherine Keener, Many Many Elders (Gloria Arellanes, Lydia Ponce, Gray Wolf, Aldo Seoane, James Villalobos, Nathlie Robeldo, Theresa Orteg, Jason Pinto, George Funmaker, Meno Martinez, Cathern Andez) whom we should always respect and honor by silencing when they speak and listening to their words even if we cannot hear them. Speaking of which, I was saddened when one of the elders was being held inside the bank and it was relayed out to us that they would not let her out. I was saddened also because two men chose to make a scene and started to threaten us because they said she COULD leave if she wanted to. For some reason this incensed them and since the crowd around was mostly female they were going to resort to physical violence right behind me, I’m glad that my native brothers are trained and gave them an outlet to voice their anger and they did not attack. And I was ready to defend as well.
That said, I was thrilled to find myself (since the media had pretty much boxed everyone out of any view) in the presence of Ellen Page herself! I have to tell you I becaome a part of her core crew by association because when righteousness is on your side and goodwill is in your heart you find yourself surrounded by brothers and sisters whether Native or Non-Native, and we are coming together to fight: We are Stronger together and we are showing it more than ever. Throughout the prayers, and songs, and solemnity there was also a moment of organic explosion of energy when the drums walked into the middle of the intersection between Sunset and Vine and we shut the street down. Jane Fonda and her friends danced in the streets with us in civil disobedience and we only stopped when the police sirens came and forced us out of the streets. I don’t know if I’m communicating it well but that was my favorite part, looking across to Jane Fonda in the middle of the street: it wasn’t full there weren’t many others there with us maybe just a hand full or so but we were holding it down (which by the way when you see that you run into the street and fill the gaps you don’t watch). I guess seeing her first hand, knowing she went to North Dakota and the frontline, she Divested today, hell we sang her Happy Birthday and ate cake and pizza together. Knowing that she marched in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in #StandingRock, knowing that there are people in the public eye who some look up to for other reasons who are willing to stop traffic with us in peaceful dance, well, it makes my heart full again.
Plus we’ve taken 28 MILLION DOLLARS from their banks! What we do matters, and we can do so so much. This Photo by Noha Momtaz was for Labor For Standing Rock:
These were from my story:
#DefundDAPL #BankExit #NODAPL #StopScottPruitt #ScottPruitt #EPA @EPA @EPAWATER @EllenPage @JaneFonda @LilyTomlin @DoloresHuerta @AIMSOCAL @gloriaarellanes @lydiaponce @graywolf @Aldoseoane @jamesvillalobos @nathlierobeldo @Theresaortega @jasonpinto @georgefunmaker @menomartinez @cathernandez #CatherineKeener @Frances_Fisher #MniWiconi #YouCantDrinkOil #WaterIsLife #UnitedAgainstHate #StopRexTillerson #Tillerson #RexTillerson #ExxonMobil #Shell #ETP #EnergyTransfer #EnergyTransferPipeline #StopSteveBannon #SteveBannon #Bannon #StopRichardSpencer #RichardSpencer #Antisemitic #AntiTrumpRallyLA #Protest #Liberal @HechoLosAngeles #AntiTrump #StillWithher #TrumpProtest #ImStillwithher #LoveTrumpsHate #NotMyPresident #AntiTrumpRally #Hillary #Bernie #Election2016 #PresidentialElection #USA #UnitedWeStandDividedWeFall #Obama #Clinton #PopularVote #Popular #ElectoralCollege #Liberals #WakeupAmerica #UnitedAgainstHate #RejectTrump #RejectThePresidentElect #NoTrump #TrumpPresident #LosAngeles #LAPD #SafetyPinArmy #PantsSuitNation @CBSLA @LATimes @LA_MAG @DeborahNetburn #ABC7Eyewitness @ABC7News @NBCLA @MSNBC @CNN @LATVives @ShaunKing @KTLA @LATimesCitybeat @TheDJTR @senschumer @naomiaklein @democracynow @themightybednar