Monday, November 14, 2016

Action against Dakota Pipeline University of Denver Tuesday at 4

     For everyone in Colorado, this is an important action.  Some of the protest will begin at noon and continue....4 o'clock is the rally at Anderson Academic Commons:

What: Day of Action against the Dakota Access pipeline 
Where: University of Denver - Anderson Academic Common, 2150 E Evans Avenue, Denver
When: 4:00 PM-7 PM November 15, 2016 
University of Denver - Anderson Academic Common  2150 E Evans Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Host Contact Info:
Map data ©2016 Google
The movement to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline is growing stronger by the day, and it’s time for all of us to rise up and play a role in this fight.
Join us on Tuesday, November 15 for a solidarity action and rally at DU, where pipeline companies such as Transcanada, Enbridge and Michels (DAPL funders) are convening for a 2-day "Pipeline Leadership Conference". Students and non-students will make sure they know that they are not welcome and will call on the Obama Administration and the Corps of Engineers to revoke the permits for this dirty oil pipeline.
The Army Corps fast-tracked the Dakota Access Pipeline without proper consultation, and as a result, bulldozers are approaching Standing Rock as we speak. But with coordinated, massive demonstrations across the country, we’ll make it clear that this powerful movement will not allow the Obama administration or the incoming President to sacrifice Indigenous rights, our water, or our climate - they must reject this pipeline.
This day of action is one of many calls for solidarity actions targeting not only the Army Corps, but stakeholders at every level -- including the banks who are funding Dakota Access and the companies building the project.
Please bring a candle, art and posters/banners -- and be sure to share on social media with #NoDAPL. Here's the FB event page link: 
Some sample messages for art include:
  • People over Pipelines
  • #NoDAPL
  • In Solidarity with Standing Rock
  • Obama: Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline
Participating organizations: Native Student Alliance, Black Student Alliance, Divest DU, Sustainable International Development Initiatives, Multicultural Social Justice, Latino Student Alliance, unaffiliated students, Four Winds American Indian Council, American Indian Movement of Colorado, 350 Colorado, Earth Guardians, Greenpeace, Permaculture Action Network, Center for Biological Diversity, Food & Water Watch and many other national partners (Please email if your group would like to join in!)

Friday, November 11, 2016


I met Basho on the street this morning

There was no hotel to stay in

Ginsberg Waldman Corso DJ

No boarding house to stay in

curled with drink

met worndown womenchildren

High rises of the empty

no studio apartment

no forest paths

do not value art or life

or marijuana



bare sidewalktree

Smart shop

Or make a place even on pavement



in the brightcold

for poets

I met Basho on the street this morning

the smell of coffee

child with blind eyes

rousted by police


a keyboard


to rest

Saturday, November 5, 2016

My account of Standing Rock water-protectors in Greater Park Hill Community News

       The Greater Park Hill Community News, edited by Cara Degette,  has published since 1961.  Park Hill, a vibrant and pretty integrated community, is one where I lived for a long time.  2 longer articles of mine, emphasizing the importance of sacred stones and sacred land, appeared in the Daily Beast here and in Who.What.Why here.


Firsthand Account At Standing Rock


Efforts To Halt Oil Pipeline, And Destruction of Sacred Lands
By Alan Gilbert, Photos by Paula Bard, Special to the GPHN
On April 1, some 70 men and women from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles North and South Dakota, erected an encampment on private land owned by LaDonna Brave Bull Allard. They were there, on what they hold to be sacred land, to protest the poisoning of their water – water that they hold to be equally sacred.
11-16-standing-rock-111-16-standing-rock-camp11-16-standing-rock-bulldozers-211-16-standing-rock-bulldozers-111-16-standing-rock-marchingWithout consulting the Sioux tribes, a conglomerate oil company in Texas—Energy Transfer Partners—had gotten permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAP), an oil pipeline that would run near the reservation and beneath the Missouri River, the reservation’s sole source of water.
11-16-standing-rock-5The Dakota and Lakota tribes have long lived in this territory. Here, led by Sitting Bull and Red Cloud, they fought off the U.S. Army and were defeated after long battles. Here, on Sept. 3, 1863, the army committed the Whitestone Massacre of 300 men, women, and children. The tribes still hold treaty rights to this land. Their ancestors are buried here.
11-16-standing-rock-flagBut the Lakota were not consulted by the Army Corps of Engineers, either about their gravesites nor the waters, in the most recent plan to build an oil pipeline.
The pipeline was originally supposed to go above Bismarck, in territory mainly inhabited by whites. But the company shifted it to go south through Standing Rock, crossing under Lake Oahe (part of the Missouri River) and the Missouri twice.
The Sacred Land encampment is a vibrant, spiritual place. It had grown into a second camp of some 2,000 people on nearby public land by the time we arrived on Aug. 30. Over the weekend, the numbers swelled. According to news reports, some 3,000 to 4,000 protesters were encamped at the site.
Since April, word about protecting the waters has spread, and many indigenous peoples have sent support. As you enter Red Warrior camp, the flags of 154 tribes flutter along both sides of the road. People come locally and from as far away as Manitoba, Sasketchwan, California, Oklahoma, and Minnesota.
Here, water does not just give life. Water is an extension of the people. Mni Wiconi is the Lakota phrase: “Water is life.”
11-16-standing-rock-6We spent five days with the land protectors (they do not call themselves protesters, but protectors or defenders). We listened to drumming and prayer songs, sometimes late into the night. We met three Cheyenne and Arapaho women who had just driven 15 hours from Oklahoma, and a man from Minnesota who had been at Standing Rock for a week, gone away, and had just returned.
11-16-standing-rock-2We heard a Minnesota woman who lived near Lake Superior speak about how when she was growing up, you could catch and eat a fish every day. One day, her grandfather warned that there would be a fight over the purity of the water. This had seemed unimaginable to her, the water blue or gray, shifting with sun or clouds.
Now, the waters are murkier, and a pregnant woman may eat only one fish caught in the lake in nine months.
The Lakota is also a women’s culture, so there were two large circle prayer meetings of women while we were there. One went down to the river. The other lifted its voice to the pure waters in the sky. Women sought the maintenance of the Missouri and Lake Oahe for children, grandchildren, and seven generations to come.
In April, young Lakotas said they would not acquiesce to oil pipes under the water. At one evening gathering, a Pawnee counselor who had worked for 12 years to prevent teenage suicides told of the vibrancy and initiative of the runners who spoke to Congress about the DAP.
When the Lakota people pray and sing, they speak naturally of the earth, the mother. The water and the land are given by grandfather spirit—tunkashila in Lakota—to make the life of all tribes, animals, and humans good. Tim Mentz, an elder, spoke of the understandings and instructions, passed through the grandmothers, of 19 generations. And Dave Archambault, Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman, said that the prayers, which began in April, had yielded guidance, as the elders conjured a vision of a nonviolent resistance movement to protect the water.
Despite dispossession from the lands, the ethnic cleansing, the treaties broken by the U.S. government, and the associated trans-generational trauma, the people at the encampment display an immediate, rich sense of the continuity of their ancestors and the sacredness of the earth.
As 13-year-old Anna Lee Rain Yellowhammer put it in a petition: “Oil companies keep telling us that this is perfectly safe, but we’ve learned that that’s a lie: from 2012-2013 alone, there were 300 oil pipeline breaks in the state of North Dakota. With such a high chance that this pipeline will leak, I can only guess that the oil industry keeps pushing for it because they don’t care about our health and safety. It’s like they think our lives are more expendable than others.”
A substantial leak would poison the waters all the way down to where the Missouri flows into the Mississippi, all the way down to Mexico.
Many of us drink the Missouri’s water, and most of the country eats the crops grown in the region. This pipeline threatens every American.
Editor’s Note: Alan Gilbert is a Distinguished Professor of International Studies at the University of Denver. Paula Bard is a fine-art photographer. They traveled to the Sacred Stone encampment in North Dakota, where efforts are underway to save the waters of the Missouri and sacred gravesites from destruction by the Dakota Access Pipeline. A version of this account first appeared in the online magazine Who.What.Why. In late October, more than 100 protectors were arrested at a peaceful march after they were confronted by police in riot gear. Hundreds of defenders are getting ready to settle in for the winter.