Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Nation so Conceived

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived…can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live.  But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.... the brave men, living and dead, (and the women and children) who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above out poor power to add or detract….

Quite often great writers don’t know what they’re writing.  Only with the passage of years does the meaning become plain.  Can a nation so conceived on the genocide of native peoples, men women and children long endure?

Now we are assembled on a great “battlefield,” Standing Rock. But to the Sioux it is not a “battlefield.” It is sacred ground, ground consecrated by the lives of their ancestors who lived and died and were buried there.

But it has drawn the white man’s battle lines once more, between brother who may be ordered to slay brother, as this youtube of Michael Wood, one of the veteran organizers of the veterans mobilization at Standing Rock makes plain.  In the video below, he describes on the Jimmy Dore show how the veterans plan to meet the order to disperse coming down tomorrow, December 5.

This war is not a war between men and men. This is a conflict between people and an inanimate set of pipe segments about to be laid beneath a water supply impacting millions downriver when (not if) it leaks. Because inanimate objects, like people, also leak. Because they are designed by people who leak.

If this pipeline is to be averted for good it will be because the veterans have finally understood: this is not a fight, not like the gladiator contest they were trained to “win.” This is  hallowing of sacred ground.  Until all men, all people, white and of color recognize the hallowing, the earth will not live eternal.  Only her hallowing can ever guarantee it.

Michael Wood is a former marine who with army vet Wesley Clark, Jr. put out the call for vets all over the country to stand with the water protectors of standing rock as UNARMED human shields.

Listening to these two youtubes is well worth your time this morning. Hear Michael Wood saying of these veterans “They’re really serving for the first time ever” because they feel that this is the first time they will be defending the American people. By serving in the U.S. armed forces they have been defending the interests of Standard Oil, of pipelines, “securing” (read stealing) resources for the interests of the United States oligarchy. Interestingly there is no command structure. In other words, as an alternative to hierarchy, the vets are proposing a horizontal structure, characterized by cooperation. So many vets applied, just in terms of logistics, and of quartermastering a cut-off of 2000 had to be established

Another realistic view of the danger of the situation unfolding, a pipeline whistleblower describes the scene at Standing Rock.

Meanwhile scores of people all over the country have been arrested protesting the Energy Transfer Partner’s Dakota Access Pipeline:

Tune in tomorrow. This is a historical event, unprecedented in the long, genocidal course of U.S. history, as recognized by Margaret Flowers writing in Popular Resistance today. “What is happening in Standing Rock is powerful on many levels. The resistance efforts are courageous and persistent. The solidarity is widespread. The struggle there has the potential to be a turning point in five hundred years of American Genocide, in the fight to protect the planet and to set the stage for years ahead.”


Boycott ACE hardware for refusing to sell propane to the water protectors at Standing Rock.

Call Resident Obama.  If you call early enough, you may get him out of bed:
Sample script: I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the water protectors defending their sacred land and water against the Dakota Access Pipeline. It is your job to take responsibility for protecting people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Rights against the attacks of law enforcement, and to reject a pipeline that imperils the water supply for millions of people downriver.

Lend support to the vets whose go-fund campaign for essential supplies and be sure to watch the video of Michael Wood speaking.

Nominate Gov. Dalrymple Hypocrite of the Year.


Saturday, December 17 from 3 to 4:30 PM
Redwood Gardens
2951 Derby St. @ Piedmont, Berkeley

Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 3 to 4:30 PM

Oakland Main Public Library
125 14th Street
(510) 238-3134

Book Launch: Cecile Pineda's Three Tides: Writing at the Edge of Being

Cecile Pineda touches on issues of displacement, personal, environmental and cultural, as she talks about 40 years of the writing life, the breakthroughs, the discouragements, and the daily practice. She will read and sign copies of Three Tides: Writing at the Edge of Being. Time will be set aside for questions and answers. 
Pineda is widely recognized as the winner of the Gold Medal from the California Commonwealth Club and nominee for the 2015 Neustadt International Prize.

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