Standing firm @ Standing Rock

Tomorrow, December 5, is a watershed moment.

It’s the government-ordered deadline for the oil pipeline protesters to vacate the federal land where they have camped for water preservation since early 2016.

Today, the eve of the confrontation, several thousand U.S. military veterans are joining the protesters. So is a large group of religious leaders from around the country and world. Why? Because some moments are watershed moments, times when the watershed itself is in danger. Times when the earth cries out, as in the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Times like today when, according to the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, “our Mother Earth is wounded and the future of humanity is in danger.” The People’s conference document continues as follows.

We confront the terminal crisis of a civilizing model that is patriarchal and based on the submission and destruction of human beings and nature that accelerated since the industrial revolution.

The capitalist system has imposed on us a logic of competition, progress and limitless growth. This regime of production and consumption seeks profit without limits, separating human beings from nature and imposing a logic of domination upon nature, transforming everything into commodities: water, earth, the human genome, ancestral cultures, biodiversity, justice, ethics, the rights of peoples, and life itself.

Under capitalism, Mother Earth is converted into a source of raw materials, and human beings into consumers and a means of production, into people that are seen as valuable only for what they own, and not for what they are.

Capitalism requires a powerful military industry for its processes of accumulation and imposition of control over territories and natural resources, suppressing the resistance of the peoples. It is an imperialist system of colonization of the planet.

Tomorrow those who stand firm at Standing Rock face forcible removal, arrest, and violence. In this watershed moment, they will do what America’s First Peoples have always done. They will beat the drums and lift their voices in prayer to the Great Spirit, standing firm at Standing Rock to honor Mother Earth and future generations.

Today, tomorrow, and for years to come, Standing Rock will symbolize the necessary turn from a civilizing model that insists on “man over nature”. A time when we turned to believing we (the human species) are above nature.  A watershed moment when we came to see that water is us. We are water. We are nature. Nature is us.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, December 4, 2016.



6 thoughts on “Standing firm @ Standing Rock

  1. And today the Corps of Engineers and others have denyed them the route they wanted….. I will say that pipeline is needed – Gary Severson could explain some unthought of reason shy…… It just did not belong where the company that was building it wanted to go….. It has been something of a boondoggle.


  2. Sounds like good news from Standing Rock this afternoon. Thank God for all those who stood their ground alongside the tribe members in unity and justice.

    Dr D

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting timing. The result is that the immediate confrontation was eliminated. The folks from Standing Rock would have won that episode with national media coverage. The question of the location of the pipeline will now shift to the Trump administration. Not good. But today we celebrate a victory with those who stood their ground.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This issue us just complicated…… But then we do know that nothing is simple black and white – but this one has so many different layers. Powers that be that were not willing to talk and budge in the line of reason, misinformation all the way around., a huge tangled web.


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