Today at 4 p.m. we’ll be out in the rain, standing on the Broad Street Bridge in Nevada City, holding signs that say “Support the Standing Rock Sioux,” “No DAPL,” and “Water is Life.” We are joining today’s worldwide day of emergency actions called by the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). These actions are a response to yesterday’s announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers of their intention to grant the easement for the pipeline to be installed under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock reservation, endangering their water and the water of millions downstream. This decision is an attempt to bypass the Environmental Impact Statement required by an earlier decision by the Army Corps under the Obama Administration.
People knew this could be coming. Although Trump has now sold his investments in DAPL, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, Kelsey Warren, gave over $100,000 to his campaign. One of Trump’s first actions as president was to sign executive orders attempting to streamline both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.
This is just one of the shocks coming down from the Trump Administration in its first weeks, shocks that have thrown the country and world into dangerous chaos, but have also triggered massive resistance. May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org said,
“Trump clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing. Indigenous peoples, landowners, and climate activists did everything in our power to stop Keystone XL and Dakota Access, and we’ll do it again. These orders will only reignite the widespread grassroots opposition to these pipelines and other dirty energy projects. Trump is about to meet the fossil fuel resistance head on.”
It is this resistance that gives me hope, even as we witness the spectacles of terror unfolding before us. I address this in a section of Shaking the Gates of Hell called In Resistance is the Secret of Joy:
“In resistance to the institutions and systems that destroy the earth and crush the life out of people, hope comes alive. As we withdraw our consent to these Powers, practicing noncooperation, finding or creating life-supporting alternatives, what has seemed impossible becomes possible because we are willing to pay the price to make it so. It is like the difference between being a spectator in the stands and being a player on the field. As Dorothee Soelle says, `Only when we ourselves enter the game and bind our own life inextricably to the game’s outcome does hope arrive.’”
I am proud to stand with my Indigenous brothers and sisters and with people of all or no faith traditions in this struggle for water and life. I myself seek to follow Jesus, who was tortured and killed by the ruling Power of his time. But death does not have the last word.
Together we rise.
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Find her previous blog postings about Standing Rock.