Aho Mitakuye Oyasin! Jai Jagat!
Greetings beloved relatives, satyagrahis citizens of the world!
May this email find you aware of the tremendous force of radical love.
Disclaimer: I was wisely advised to write a one paragraph email/post to maximize the likelihood for people to actually read it. But my heart of hearts can’t do it. Not in these times where so much misinformation is floating around. Indeed, in times of deception, speaking truth is a (r)evolutionary act. For the sake of our children and our own planetary health, i invite you to go deep into the compassionate understanding and feeling of this humanitarian and Earth crisis happening at Standing Rock. It is a micro-cosmos of the greater picture we are facing as humanity. So, instead of a paragraph, now you have four:
c) Media/Support/Petitions and
d) The Heart of the Movement.
Am writing to you this [November 5th, 2016] as am joining the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota relatives (the Sioux people) and other water protectors in North Dakota. After ~7 months of the Standing Rock satyagraha –where violence and nonviolence are escalating more and more– this is the situation:
Yesterday’s fresh regenerating summary reminds us of the ongoing imperialism/colonialism and oppression that the Native American people have experienced for generations: from the largest genocide in the history of humanity; to disrespecting treaties; to rerouting irresponsible pipelines in the age of Global Warming; to illegally jamming their wireless network; to unleashing attacking dogs onto pregnant women and children; to medics been maced, tased and put in cages; to disrespecting and torturing women and other water protectors; to vicious crackdowns and horses and bison been shot by “law enforcement”; to militarized police using armor trucks, bulldozers, sound cannons –that can permanently damage a person’s hearing; to snippers pointing at water protectors armed with only eagle feathers, prayers, and love for the land and water. All this while our Sioux relatives are exercising their dignity and right to be in the land where they have been living in harmony for many generations. People might wonder why it requires militarized police from 7 different states and how far will they go to put this pipeline on the ground– including using the money of tax payers to compensate the National Guard and former Black Water personnel?
These days, there’s a poignant contrast between the violence of the State and corporations and the nonviolence of Water Protectors.
We don’t have a principled nonviolent movement but these signs are very encouraging: from the (nonviolent)victory you haven’t heard; to the growing gift-ecology feeling at the main camp; to very touching prayers –strong compassionate nonviolent statements– that include everyone; to the Standing Rock Medic + Healer Council; to the two brother police officers who recently returned their badges in solidarity with the water protectors; to the fierce love of the women at Standing Rock and their kinship and motherly love; to so many other inspiring efforts that are too powerful to be grasped over the electronland for most of them are behind the scenes and beyond the mind. It is our duty, honor and privilege, as responsible ancestors, to be accountable to future generations by not exacerbating the fractures of our society but to match this heinous violence with our unfathomable nonviolence, courage, compassion and love.
Few journalists have been continuously covering the movement –as the (on-the-ground)Unicorn Riot, MSNBC brother Lawrence O’ Donell, the amazing YES! Magazine family– and other independent media reporters have been arrested, maced and –like Democracy Now! sister Amy Goodman– threatened. Now even the United Nations (U.N.) has sent an observer to document the human right violations, after the call of brother David Archambault II, chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, who took the injustice to the U.N. in Geneva in the part of the Planet we call Switzerland. The heart of these stories have touched artists –like sister Shailene Woodley and brother Mark Ruffalo— to join and even be arrested in solidarity with the water protectors. And all these efforts have finally broke the ~7-month silence of the main stream media: LA Times, New York Times. After the strong satyagraha even brother Barack Obama has hinted a “re-route” of the pipeline. We re going to need more than these poor statements and double standards for humanity to overcome Global Warming with dignity. The One Earth Sangha puts it very clearly: it is a moral imperative. There are many ways you can support and also a few petitions around. One of the main website provides you with information to participate. Here’s how to contact the banks funding this irresponsible pipeline, and how to contact people who sent militarized police -including the Obama administration- to Standing Rock.
The Heart of the Movement
Elder LaDonna Bravebull Allard is the founder of the Standing Rock Camp and she says we cannot forget the context (like the Whitestone massacre): “We must remember we are part of a larger story. We are still here. We are still fighting for our lives on our own land.” In this other video you can feel the depth of the historical and present hurt, so as the intensity of the commitment to be responsible stewards of the land by our indigenous relatives who despite this ongoing physical and cultural genocide, they still are standing strong in love and truth.
Lastly, I leave you with this statement from our dearest brother Dallas Goldtooth from one of his most recent interviews in Democracy Now!:
“A lot of folks know the Ponca leader Casey Camp. She stood in defiance, in peaceful prayer, in front of an armored personnel carrier, because she loved the land and wanted to protect the Missouri River, not just for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, but for all nations and all people and the millions of people who depend on the Missouri River for drinking water. So this movement is not founded out of hate for the police officers or for the workers themselves, but out of love for the land and for all of us as human beings. That’s why we’re there. That’s not—our enemy is not the worker. Our enemy is not the police. It’s the corporations that are hell-bent on poisoning Mother Earth and disconnecting ourselves even further from the sacred integrity of the land and the water.”
Planetizing the movement of the ahimsa/satyagraha (R)evolution from some corner of our round borderless country…
undocumented and unafraid,
love you all! Jai Jagat!
Little Bull (aka pancho)
Standing Rock, North Dakota, Earth, November 5th, 2016
PS: A few months ago, a dear elder and teacher assigned me a spiritual animal that came with a hug, a little figure and a card. Not only i use this card like a bookmark –as am reading and enjoying every bit of sister Kim Wall Kimmerer’s book Braiding Sweetgrass (Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants) — but also am holding it right now as a powerful reminder of that moment and this movement. It starts with two words: Brave + Heart and it reads as follows:
Brave BISON Heart
Like you the bison is a reservoir of stored force that can be tapped anytime. His/her big shoulders are symbolic of a capacity to embrace and hold all life, its burdens and joys. He/she values the ordinary and the transcendent, honors the sacred and enters the storm grounded, and unafraid. Every part of his/her being he/she offers in the spirit of gift, manifesting the true spirit of abundance. As you do. May you graze always in the field of Truth.
So when in the middle of (militarized)police brutality using armor trucks, bulldozers, sound cannons –that can permanently damage a person’s hearing–, tear gas, paper spray, shooting rubber bullets– that shot at short rage could be fatal–, all this against water protectors, elders and medicine people… in the middle of all this, then a herd of bison relatives heard the prayers of people striving for the spark of life and showed up in solidarity. The brothers and sisters in riot/militarized gear had not other choice but to stop.
And even though later, the so called “law enforcement” shot at the bison in an attempt to diffuse the support of all life, this was a powerful reminder that we have cosmic companionship, that The Great Bison Spirit is around and that many of us are responding from this crucial call from all over the Planet, because we are not defending the Earth, we are the Earth defending herself. All the power to the people and love you all beloved relatives! Aho!
Update: When we arrived to Standing Rock, there was an ongoing ceremony to honor young (spirit)runners who just arrived –one of them all the way from Arizona. I walked around the circle in an attempt to find a familiar face. From all the thousands of people in the main camp, the very first people who i recognize was medicine man Jim Miller and medicine woman Alberta Miller! We met several years ago as the story of the Dakota 38+2 was told. Surrender to the mystery of all live and to radical love is going to be the way to flow, because Water Is Life, and All Life Is Sacred! Aho!