- Date published:
2:33 pm, October 6th, 2016 - 25 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, climate change, disaster, Environment, farming, farming, global warming, human rights, Mining, peak oil, sustainability, us politics, water - Tags: #nodapl, #waterislife, indigenous activism, indigenous rights, standing rock
Standing Rock is an occupying protest at a proposed oil pipeline crossing native lands and putting the Missouri catchment at risk. It is organised by the water protectors of the Dakota Sioux. See here, here, and here for background.
This more than a local water issue, Standing Rock are calling on people all around the world to stand up for their own water too. Like Occupy and the Black Lives Matter movements, Standing Rock is at the forefront of direct action change, challenging the powers of corporate control in their own backyards, but presenting leadership and solidarity with the overall need to change everywhere. Like all great initiators of social change, these movements are happening outside of the establishment and without waiting for sanction from the powers that be. They are often poorly understood within the mainstream and tend to get minimal or biased coverage from the MSM.
Standing Rock is protecting water, but it’s also climate change activism. It’s saying that we have to change, we can no longer let money dictate whether life gets to survive, whether that be the Missouri watershed or the planet as a whole. We are no longer fast approaching a crisis point with regards to climate, water, and corporate control. We are already there. We now need to pick a side and choose whether we will do what it takes to change or not. No-one is coming to save us, it’s up to us.
In NZ at this time it’s not oil that brings the biggest threat (except), it’s industrial milk. But the dynamics are remarkably similar. Corporate interests wield power that damages the land without regard for communities or even the reality that we are all dependent on water and the greater biosphere. Protecting water is central to all of this, because water is life. It’s easier for us to relate with the river we used to swim in than with changes to the climate over decades. We need to protect water from oil, AGW, and industrial dairy i.e. all the extractive, last gasp initiatives of the fossil fuel age.
But beyond protecting what we hold dear and are utterly dependent upon, we also need to change ourselves. This isn’t just about protecting the Waimakariri or the (Ruataniwha) Makaroro and Tukituki catchments that run into Havelock North. Those things are all important, vital. But if we ourselves don’t change then we are sanctioning the Dakota Pipeline, the Candadian tar sands, the off shore oil drilling in NZ. We support the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the NZ Government setting national water quality standards at ‘swimmable’. Because as long as we all refuse to change unless someone does it for us first, we are the demand for the dangerous and risky extraction of fossil fuels and industrial dairying that is literally destroying the planet.
What would our own lives will be like without oil (or industrial milk)? How can we make that happen? We can decide if we will give up these things now while we still have time to do it in a good way, or whether we will stay hooked until the supply is gone and our demand has actively supported the very destruction of the world we need to live in.
This applies to dairy farming too. Maybe it’s time to boycott Fonterra. Perhaps we should be occupying our cherished swimming spots. Not because milk is wrong, but because how we are doing it is literally destroying the planet. We pollute the water and we create climate change. They’re now the same thing and they’re happening on our watch.
On the 8 – 10th October there will a be four International Days of Prayer and Action with Standing Rock. Ways to participate (most apply in NZ),
1. Organize a prayer or ceremony on one of those days
2. Boycott all gas stations (especially Phillips 66) for one or all days
3. Halt construction of a pipeline near you 😉
4. Organize a letter writing party to tribal, local or national officials
5. Close all accounts with the following banks on October 11 for the #DivestFromDAPL campaign: http://www.democracynow.org/2016/9/9/who_is_funding_the_dakota_access
6. Share the attached flyers
7. Pray by your local water source/mountains/sacred sites
8. Round dance in public places/demonstrate
9. March/Pilgrimage for Standing Rock and other local issues
10. Translate flyer to a foreign language you know: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18EwJqvO35ykljqw0E9OlgD2SE4eqSyVLfteyI4genF8/edit
For those four days I will put up a post on The Standard in solidarity with Standing Rock and with all the water protectors active in New Zealand. Please join in the comments with discussion of what is happening especially in NZ, what inspires us to change, where we are making progress and what we can do next.