Letter: Standing Rock gratitide
I am very grateful for the elders of the Oceti Sakowin camp for holding joy and prayer in their hearts and thus in the heart of our nation, despite living in tents in the cold, snow, bitter winds and the buzzing of planes and drones all night and day. I am very grateful for their children who go out all day and all night to protect the water and joyfully accept the mace, being fired upon with bullets, water cannons and flash grenades, and facing dogs and state and private pipeline thugs.
I am grateful for the veterans who joined the peaceful protection because they changed the potential from prayerful acceptance to a possibility of armed confrontation when traumatic stress from being fired upon, maced, buzzed, dogged and flash grenaded becomes a factor, and thankfully governance recognized this.
I am grateful for the president-elect’s loud support of the pipeline and river crossing, that he is invested in, because it likely galvanized the Obama administration to call for a full NEPA process that may take two years to complete, relieving our indigenous people from the need to winter over in these intolerable conditions.
I am grateful for all the people, especially Carbondale folks, who traveled there to share the joy and prayer and give what they have. I am grateful that I could stay warm and comfortable and type out these few words of gratitude because these dedicated people used their bodies to help stop this incarnation of the XL pipeline.