Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sacred Water Protection Teach Ins at Pine Ridge September 26 and 27


Alex White Plume sent me the following announcement of teach ins at Pine Ridge September 26 and 27 to bar the destruction of waters and lands of the Trans-Canada XL pipeline. I went to one at University of Colorado at Denver last fall at which Warner Naziel and Freda Hudson, two members of the Wet'suwet'en tribe in British Columbia, spoke eloquently about the destruction wrought by tar sands production. See here.

Some 1,500 people were arrested doing civil disobedience in front of the White House against the XL pipeline. One of these was James Hansen, the leading government climatologist, forcibly silenced on behalf of oil company appointees in the Bush administration. He said that,with tar sands production, “game over for the climate.” This was a considerable effort of witness though it did not shut down Washington or disrupt government business (a mass nonviolent movement must aim to do these things, talk about how to advance and diversify tactics, surprise or shock the elite, keep them off-balance, force them to concede through mass non-cooperation – h/t Erica Chenoweth).

Still unlike Hillary Clinton’s State Department which wrote a dishonest survey of the pipeline's effects, not considering the impact on climate change, Obama did not approve it. See here and here. But he did the right thing only under further pressure. Tom Poor Bear, an elder of the Lakota, came to a demonstration at the University of Colorado of Denver and confronted Obama during a speech there. See here. This is striking, nonviolent action.

In Lincoln, Nebraska, Tom Osborne, the great football coach and now athletic manager, put up a sign for Transcanada and the XL pipeline at a football game. Half the crowd booed. He took down the sign.

The crowd was made up of white farmers, their children and relatives, and others who were worried about the poisoning of the Ogalalla Aquifer. Those who support indefinite exploitation of the worst gas resources – “natural” gas and “clean coal” in Barack’s misleading words – have not taken in the issue of climate change and militarism which are pretty rapidly – within imagining from here – within this century likely to make the earth uninhabitable for a large percentage of human beings. 7 billion people in 2100 - little chance without big changes.

Civil disobedience, including by local landowners, continues this past week against the renewed extension of part of the pipeline in Texas. See here. In their words,

"We don’t make the decision lightly. The fact is, other tactics – lobbying, petitioning, and packing public hearings – have failed to halt the pipeline. State authorities have bent to every TransCanada desire, and they show no signs of stopping now." See here.

The voices of the Lakota are wiser than those surrounding Obama, or paid for by TransCanada. They speak with indigenous people in Canada, with climate scientists, with environmentalist civil disobedients, with farmers in Nebraska and Texas. If we are so lucky as to have Obama for 4 more years (Romney will destroy the planet through war on Iran and being the oil companies), we will need mass civil disobedience against this project in the new year.

The Sacred Water Protection Teach Ins are well worth attending, heeding…

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“Sacred Water Protection Teach Ins” by Debra White Plume, Owe Aku (Bring Back the Way)

The precious drinking water supply of the Oglala Lakota people will be overlapped more than a few times if TransCanada gets its way and the US State Department approves its second attempt to get a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline will enter this big land in Montana, come south and skirt the Cheyenne River, Pine Ridge, Lower Brule, and Rosebud Reservations before it enters Nebraska.

Recently, TransCanada revealed its “new” route through the sandhills of Nebraska, keeping their budget in mind, they diverted a total of 20 miles. There is sandhills land on the Pine Ridge in the LaCreek District. The KXL pipeline will be buried into the Ogllala Aquifer, in numerous places when one digs a few feet down, water rises.

Our Lakota people, and people all over South Dakota, depend on the Rural Water Pipeline, or Lyman Jones as it is called off-reservation. It crosses the Lyman Jones in 43 places. It crosses our water pipeline to the Pine Ridge at least twice.

The KXL will carry dirty crude tarsands oil from the mines near the Ft McMurray area of Alberta, Canada. Much of the pristine Boreal Forest has been totally decimated, strip mined to bare dirt, to get at the tarsands oil deep in Mother Earth. The oil miners use 3 to 4 barrels of drinking water to produce one barrel of oil, and stores billions of gallons of waste water in huge waste water ponds. It is a secret what chemicals they use to dilute the heavy crude! However, a VietNam Veteran knew that some of the chemicals are the same as what was used in Agent Orange, revealed in a meeting with the US State Dept I attended last spring in Washington, DC. That VietNam Veteran is from here on the Pine Ridge. Maybe he will come and speak out!

Owe Aku is hosting a series of “Sacred Water Protection Teach Ins” across Lakota Territory, the first will be held at our own famous Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge Village on September 26, 2012 and at Kyle on September 27, 2012 at the Church Hall, both begin at 1pm. On both dates, there will be guest speakers and a lot of handouts to share FACTS on the tarsands oil mine, the KXL oil pipeline, and the historical and cultural Lakota land sites that TransCanada plans to cross. Tribal officials will be speak on these significant landsites, allied organizations who also work to protect drinking water and Mother Earth will be speaking, and we will have slideshows to share images from the tarsands oil mine and other water destruction mining and mining-related activities.

We will have handouts that describe how each Tribal Government plans to protect their Homelands, and we want to generate a discussion on how we can all work together to protect our sacred water, Mother Earth, and coming generations. We will share images of how people in Texas are protecting their ranches, farms and neighborhoods from TransCanada’s KXL oil pipeline, and from heavy haul trucks carrying equipment across our Homelands, as well the river hauls in BC Canada.

Info will be available regarding the impacts of oil mining using the hydrofracturing (fracking) method, a technique that is being banned around the world, yet is being practiced all over this big land. There is recent discussion on the Pine Ridge regarding fracking near our northern border and on the Reservation as well. Several tribal candidates are already discussing how the Oglala Sioux Tribe must prepare for oil ‘fracking’. We want to give folks an opportunity to voice their opinion on this crucial topic.

An update on the uranium case against Cameco, Inc. In Situ Leach uranium mine in Crawford Nebraska, as well Cameco’s plans for three new uranium mines will be discussed.

There will be time for Traditional Headsmen to speak regarding these mining issues and to lead the discussion on a statement from all those in attendance regarding the protection of our sacred water, Mother Earth and coming generations, after all, we protect this sacred water for them, it is their water. Mni wicozani, through water there is life.

Oglala musicians Scatter Their Own will share their awesome indigenous music, and a drum group will share their songs. A feed will follow, and there will be beverages and snacks all afternoon. The “Sacred Water Protection Teach In” is open to all people, everyone is encouraged to attend, learn what you can, share what you know, be part of the statement made on these dates! Bring your friends, relatives and neighbors.

For more info call Vic Camp at 605-407-7808 and Alex White Plume at 605-455-2155, or look up the “Sacred Water Protection Teach In” event page on Facebook.

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