The news yesterday was that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has made the final approval for construction to move forward on the Dakota Access pipeline. The Republican administration has canceled the environmental impact study, and, despite being required by law, is skipping the two week notification of Congress. The conclusion is they don’t care what the environmental damage will be, and think they are above the law.
The first thing that comes to mind is the quote by John Trudell which appears at the beginning of the music video, “Love Letters to God” by Nahko and Medicine for the People. “No matter what they ever do to us, we must always act for the love of our people and the Earth. We must not react out of hatred against those who have no sense.” Logic, or appeals to justice, or for protection of the Earth for future generations will continue to fall on deaf ears, for “those who have no sense.”
I don’t know what to expect, next. The global environmental justice awakening will continue. The powerful rising of indigenous people around the world in support of the water protectors will likely continue to expand.
I fear for the safety of those at Standing Rock, including my friend Joshua Taflinger who is there now, and Alex Red Bear who planned to travel there later this week.
A number of Quakers at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) are exploring ways to bring some of these issues before Congress even now.
As a person of faith, I believe the spirit will continue to guide us. What are seen as setbacks are most often necessary steps on the path of justice.
One of my first thoughts was that I am now experiencing what indigenous people have experienced time and again. I have written of how the opportunity to spend time with Native Americans and others supporting #NoDAP and #NOKXL has significantly deepened my spiritual life. I am feeling some shared pain, shared strength, and hoping for some shared wisdom.
It is really important NOW to support the efforts to defund the pipeline. If the funding is jeopardized, that is what will stop the pipeline now. Please, talk to your family, friends and neighbors.