Sunday, December 4, 2016

And So It Begins [UPDATED: Pipeline Easement Denied!]

Mirrors on the prairie

I've read that there may be as many as 14,000 people in the Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota by now, and more are arriving minute by minute. They're coming from all over the country, some from all over the world. Expressions of solidarity and support are nearly universal.

And the dumbfukks of "law enforcement" lie and threaten and fantasize, discrediting and delegitimizing themselves as they hide in their armored cars behind their barricades, cannons at the ready, fearing... something. They always fear... something.

I've been trying to keep up with the progress of the veterans on their way to Standing Rock, but it's been kind of frustrating. There are plenty of stories, some of them based on false narratives developed in news rooms to "clarify" the situation, but for the most part, the mainstream media has avoided the story and really has no idea what's going on or why. To them it's just a bunch of Indians and trouble makers doing what they do to no particular object.

But then some of the news rooms start to see there really is something going on, something profound, and these Indians and trouble makers might actually have a point and are not just pissing into the freezing wind.

When serious and sincere American veterans of all persuasions essentially spontaneously decided to head to Standing Rock in the midst of a bitter winter to protect the Water Protectors from the violence of "law enforcement" it started becoming clear that a tipping point had been reached. A stop would be put to the violence used against the Water Protectors and the militarized response to the objections to the pipeline would be withdrawn... or else.

It's all very symbolic and spiritual. I'm all that worried about physical violence. I doubt there will be any -- at least not in this phase of the action. "Law enforcement" has been shamed and discredited about as thoroughly as I've ever seen it done in this country -- at least since the days of Bull Connor.

It's an epic reversal of fortune.

If the pipeline advocates and protectors have any sense at all, they will give up. It's not clear they do have any sense, but one can always hope.

I'm embedding an hour long recording of a Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council meeting from September of 2014 when DAPL representatives came before the Council to explain the plans and take questions about the pipeline. Kelsey Warren, the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the construction company for the pipeline, has lied and said there were no objections from the Tribe prior to the start of construction. Construction had not been approved and had not started at the time of the meeting more than two years ago. Though the recording is long, if you listen you will hear one solid objection to the pipeline after another, many of them the very same objections the Water Protectors make today about treaty rights, sacred sites and potentials for water fouling from pipeline leaks. THE SAME OBJECTIONS.

The DAPL reps don't even acknowledge these objections. Perhaps they never passed them on. But the pipeline and its construction next to the boundary of the Standing Rock Reservation and particularly crossing the Missouri River were strenuously objected to by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council throughout this meeting. It is absolutely and demonstrably false that there was no objection from the tribe prior to construction.

That is the underlying falsehood, piled upon so many other falsehoods going back to First Contact that has got us to this point.

Have enough people woken up yet? I don't know.

A Butterfly Effect got going some years back when the Occupy Movement arose. (still flapping its tiny wings, btw. You'd be surprised!) By opening the possibility of direct action in opposition to the malevolent forces surrounding us, by discommoding the comfortable, by shaming the powerful, by taking a stand and holding out against the odds, the neoliberal consensus began to shudder.

It hasn't come crashing down, not yet. But its shaking and shuddering is becoming chaotic. It's not sustainable.

The Indians and their allies in North Dakota and around the world are saying, "This is really where we need to take a stand and stop the madness." They are dealing with the basics, the fundamentals of survival. Water is Life. Mni Wiconi. It couldn't be simpler.

And so it begins.

Prelude: The Dark Reality


According to news reports, the pipeline easement under the Missouri River has been denied by the Army Corps of Engineers. Word was sent to the Standing Rock Tribal Council this afternoon, and news is just breaking.

Well deserved cheers. But something tells me this ain't over. Not by a long shot.

Much admiration for the strength and solidarity of spirit and purpose of the Water Protectors and their allies around the world. Many thanks to the Veterans who stand with Standing Rock. When duty called, they answered.

Everything I've seen of today's assembly at Oceti Sacowin tells me that it has been a beautiful day. A good day to win.


Michael Woods comments on the Twitter Machine:

Step one is right. The Army Corps is denying the easement pending further environmental review to find another route. Fight isn't over. Not yet.

The statement.

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