At the end I hope we might have a bit of a discussion about prayer (including of the apatheistic sort) that was prompted by a long comment that TarheelDem had made earlier, spiritual awareness, and whether or not both civil disobedience and direct action can be worthy tactics for either or both.
First, a press release from the Red Warrior Camp:
“Red Warrior Camp has left the Lands and Waters of Oceti Sakowin”
It’s long and I’ll copy liberally to bring what I believe is the overall sense of it.
“Grassroots leaders LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard, and Chase Iron Eyes from Standing Rock have also spoken and have made it abundantly clear that they want those equipped for the harsh North Dakota winter to stay and help stop DAPL, due to our current circumstance it is with great regret that we as Red Warrior cannot accept this heartfelt invitation. That is not to say we do not support this effort in fact is quite the opposite, we send our Warrior Salute and War Cry to the universe and the ancestors that their needs are met and they receive the love and support they need in the fight for clean water.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Chairman Dave Archambault has made it abundantly clear that a diversity of tactics in the battle against the Dakota Access Pipeline is not respected nor wanted. We have this to say: without the courage and the actions of those who actually put their minds, bodies, and spirits in harms way the pipeline would be built. Without the Warriors who locked down and took measures to put a stop to the work on DAPL, the black blood would already be flowing under the Missouri river. The encampment itself would not even be here right now. The hard work of the Warriors has cost ETP millions, we have struck the Black Snake a deadly blow.”
[‘body blow’ may be more accurate, at least so far.]
“The peace policing that was led by people who were for the most part self appointed used ceremony and spirituality as a weapon against us, they too have made it abundantly clear by their actions and their constant slinging of arrows that they are not ready to embrace a world view that upholds decolonization and revolution.” [long snip, but all of it is definitely worth reading their more radical perspective]
“We cannot stay and fight a battle for land and water that is heavily invested in neo-colonialism. We are so grateful to the grassroots people who have supported us while we have been here. It is not easy to say goodbye, we are deeply tied to this struggle and are not abandoning our post. This fight is not over yet, the pipeline is still being built, Energy Transfer Partners will push this pipe through unless there is a diversity of tactics that include direct action and no court ruling or legal manoeuvring will prevent that from happening alone; and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is heavily engaged in praying away a pipeline without action, this is in direct opposition to who we are as Warriors.
We are in a war to fight the greedy corporate whores who are pimping out our Mother for blood money and we say no more. Enough is enough, for over 500 years we have been brutalized and robbed, we are not victims looking for surcease we are Warriors fighting for our lives and the future. We cannot afford to allow our own corrupt leaders aid and abet this process, too many of our people are working for industry, too many of our people are selling out, we must remember the warrior blood that runs through our veins. We do a great disservice to ourselves and the People when we allow the values of white supremacist society to overshadow the knowledge of what it means to be a true human being.
Mother Earth is hurtin and she’s calling for backup.
Warriors rise up. FIGHT BACK!
In The Spirit Of Resistance,
Red Warrior Society”
They’ve vowed to recoup, and then take their actions any where on Turtle Island that they might be useful. (Cue Tom Joad’s goodbye speech to his mama…) You may remember a similar response from ‘Quebec Mohawk chief (Kanesatake Grand Chief Serge Simon) had vowed civil unrest if B.C. pipeline moves forward’, montrealgazette.com As in: ‘Direct action? Sure, I’ll support them.’
Second, ‘All Nations Camp Rises, Carrying on the Struggle’
Brenda Norrell, bless her, has created a bit of a transcript, but as it’s not open to copy paste, read it there or watch Chase Iron Eyes and other warriors speak to the changes. I’ll try to hit the key ideas. First, the Oceti Sakowin 7-Council fire was recent doused by a member who had lit the first one; Chase Iron Eyes noted that from events like that, new beginnings arise, and a new fire has been lit in the spirit of an ‘All Nations Camp’. He says that there are a lot of rumors bringing fear and confusion, such as that the tribe will prevent others from coming, and that the Army Corps means to flood the camp.
He then names the three camps still housing about 2300 protectors: 1000 at All Nations, 1000 at Sacred Stone, and 300 at Rosebud. Some are leaving the camp; winter is harsh, but cleansing. What follows is a glorious crie de couer, beginning with an almost call-and response: “Who are we to abandon our struggle? Who are we to abandon our ancestors’ sacrifices?” (and much, much more).
Other protectors spoke, most interesting to me was what I’d teased about earlier: their need of Ghost Dancers. A mixed blood Paiute said he was there with a descendant of the Paiute Wovoka who’d created the Ghost Dance in the 1890s, and as per Wovoka’s Dream, if they continue together, keep their prayers strong, their ancestors will come back to help them.
Lakota Antone Edwards said “The other night, we those machines going all night; it’s not over, but we’ll stop it.”
Now some hard to read Dirty Laundry, but needs must, imo; from Susan Albuhawa of veteranstoday.com, ‘Chronicle Of Veterans At Standing Rock’, Dec. 11
It’s a very long chronicle, and distressing as all giddy-up to read, and tells a far more hideous story than even Diné Shiprock Chapter leader and veteran Chili Yazzie had led me to believe might lurk underneath his report. This is the prelude:
“North Dakota – At Standing Rock, so much was not what it seemed from the distance of news headlines and reports. Up close, one could see the ideological tension in romanticized groups where some are driven by moral imperatives and others by personal glory. A hidden truth about the rank and file of the U.S. military was also laid bare. There are many untold contradictions behind the drama that unfolded at Standing Rock. Although this remains a people’s struggle against the capitalist interests of a corporate military state, there are moral inconsistencies that bear telling.”
FUBAR might be the military equivalent of her chronicle, as with:
“While social media and news reports gave the impression of orchestrated marches by the veterans, the reality was far more chaotic, uncertain, and at times frightening. In fact, the conflicting instructions and lack of organization by the leadership of the veteran’s group prevented a large proportion of them from actually reaching the camp. Instead, they were shuffled by an absent leadership from one town to another, for training or events that never took place. We were housed in gymnasiums between Eagle Butte, Fort Yates, and Cannonball, and some of us had to be moved more than once in the span of three days. Most echoed the sentiments of Marine Sergeant Jessica Palmadessa who described the veteran’s deployment as “a dog and pony show.”
At least according to Albuhawa, Michael Woods and Wes Clark, Jr. were essentially…jerks who shirked their chosen command responsibilities; her narrative on the PTSD of the stranded veterans as they told their stories concerning what their times in the military were heart-rending. Her section on Redemption was inspirational.
Very sad news from Leonard Petier, Dec. 10: ‘Leonard Peltier on Passing of His Son [Medicine Shield]: Hard to be a Good Father from Prison’, via bbsnews.net
From Last Real Indians (Chase Iron Horse’s baby according to his estimable CV on ‘ironeyesforcongress.us) on twitter:
Now regarding prayer, including the drumming and singing sort, being central to the strong alliances and apparent sacred nature of the water protector camps, THD had mentioned that even since the Enlightenment, the fact that so many people still pray…indicated that ‘prayer works’, or something close to that. While not really a believer, I like to pray, especially in thanks…and for others, much in the way I’m apt to light sweet grass braids before sleep, and smudge a list of people I care about in absentia. While not directing those prayers to a deity, I send them up as one would praying inside a tipi or sweat lodge…up, up, up…into the planetary noosphere, or what Jung might have called ‘the collective conscious’, leading to jumps in evolutionary consciousness, sorely needed, especially now. Whales, for instance, seem to communicate their new songs up and down the coasts with seemingly miraculous speed; or think Hundredth Monkey theory/effect, where ideas can spread quickly once some tipping point in a group is reached. Paraphrased, one female water protector said, “My water speaks to their water; including to the water in the police.”