Water Protectors have meticulously defended moral and ethical obligations on behalf of the greater good for years now. Today, we all watched and waited for what would be the symbolic #LastStand and collision between Militarized forces and Peaceful Protectors. Things are ending peacefully as many left the camps in anticipation of the forces that hovered but some remain and sing peacefully in the face of riot gear and weapons. They still remain, they continue to sing, they burn sage, they are women, they are men, their hearts are heavy, but they will continue to pray peacefully.
This battle began when the Bush administration laid the foundation for the project and gained permission from the Tribal Powers back then to build. What compounded the issue in present time, was the betrayal of the Tribal Council to allow the Police on the land who then brutally attacked the Native people as they stood in prayer militarizing the zone. Prayers were met with Industrial Water Hoses in negative degree winter weather for over 5 hours, rubber bullets were shot into people’s backs as they ran, Medical Aids were specifically targeted; and SiouxZ Dezbah was brought to the brink of blindness as they continued to shoot her while she was down, then they destroyed her sacred items and her medical resources because their actions were deliberate. The Private Police force hired by ETP used Concussion Grenades thrown within feet of targets tearing skin from flesh, and flesh from bone. Their sacred belongings destroyed, their lives at stake, and the #WaterProtectors did not fall.
Perseverance would not be handed over, nor was it handed over today. When the Police arrested hundreds of our strongest warriors and threw them into dog kennels, our warriors rose and their souls would not be quelled like the ceremonial flames that burn as we speak: they continued to rise. Nor do we forget you now as you stand in jail valiantly detained fighting for Mother Earth. When children were stolen from the streets, when women were abused by the man camps that came with the black snake, when girls disappeared and never came back: the youth and women united to stand EVERY SINGLE DAY IN THE FACE OF CERTAIN ADVERSITY AND THEY DID NOT FALTER.
Today is not a loss, it is a symbolic embodiment of WHY we are fighting. Standing Rock and #NODAPL represent something so much larger than any ONE of us. People have come from across the world to stand with the Sioux, by water, by land, by plane, from all over the world: ALL of the people are with us. Embodying everything that is WRONG with #Trump and the #ClimateChange deniers, the #WhiteSupremists and #Neonatzis that have taken office who spur hatred to distract us from our true mission, instead, Standing Rock has become our Battlecry and we will use it.
We must not focus on what hasn’t happened, on who hasn’t done enough. No. We absolutely must focus on what HAS happened. We raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in just days to help fund the Water Protectors when they needed transportation. We helped bring food and medical supplies when camp needed them. We helped get specialists to the injured and #SiouxZ regained vision in her eye something they said would never happen. We helped raise funds to try to release those who are imprisoned and for #RedFawn because we believe in the power of passion.
WE HAVE DEFUNDED $69 Million Dollars from Big Banks: just from the people alone. Seattle Divested over $3 BILLION Dollars from Wells Fargo! University of California Divested $250 Million and Santa Monica is in the process of Divesting as well. There is more that is coming and we are all uniting behind the battle cry #StandingRock #NoDAPL #WaterProtectors there is beauty where there is pain, there is glory in defeat, there can be a better tomorrow when we come together and commit to fight.
the days of 100% agreement or 100% understanding or 100% alliance are gone: but we can #UNITE over even the smallest amount of similarity. It may feel like history is repeating itself, but I challenge you: is History repeating itself? When has there ever been a time when non-Native and Native people came together and created a truly unifying movement? A movement where the strength has shown itself to force BILLIONS of Dollars to be ripped from the pockets of those who seek to unapologetically defile us? When has there ever been a time when the entire world came together and stood up even just in conversation and said what is happening to Natives is wrong? When in real time has anyone stood up for us, with us, linking arm and arm, holding hands in circle prayer with us?
My friends, my brothers and sisters: the answer is never. This is a new day, these are new times, this is a new world in which we are stronger together and we are unifying with our battlecry #NODAPL #StandingRock #NeverAgain #WeStand. We mustn’t forget all of our moments of solidarity.
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