The full moon rises. Another night of song and prayer. Howls echo into the night as mother moon reaches her maxim. Drums are the driving force. Fireworks burst in the night time sky.
All day there are chainsaws resounding across the camps. Groups of people chopping large woodpiles for their neighbors in preparation for the coming snows. Yurts and teepees going up filling every open space.
Daily actions drive out in caravans to disrupt DAPL’s construction. Those that return tell stories of great strength and peaceful resolve through extreme conflict. Armed DAPL workers that pull out their guns and threaten the Water Protectors. National guard lined up in riot gear. Water Protectors being jailed in dog kennels. Twenty hours spent imprisoned by a police force that is utterly disorganized in their attempt to control the will of the people.
At sunset, my uncles strip down and dive into the freezing waters of Cannonball River. They shout, “In the spirit of Crazy Horse! In the spirit of Sitting Bull!” as they resurface. The river reflects the purple-orange of northern heavens.
A somber note is in the Hayukka Camp. Clowns feel as much sadness as everyone else, if not more. They feel it all, whatever it is.
News that the pipeline is almost 100% complete in North Dakota has reached the front page of the Bismark Times. Everyone holds their breath that there will be a continued halt to construction as the Army Corps continues to not approve a permit for construction underneath the Missouri River.
The Bismark Times says the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is going to go ahead with construction anyway. They can afford to pay the fines. They even offer to pay the $10 million in expenses that Morton County has incurred arresting everyone.
This is where this country is these days. The only penalties banks and corporations face are monetary, and they have so much amassed wealth no fine is too much to stop them.
Where are the People to hold these tyrants accountable? You think politicians have any control of these bullies? When are the People going to rise up and demand change?
Iceland is a small island. And yet after the financial collapse they had millions in the streets. Within weeks the bankers that caused the collapse were in jail. A new government was in place. Now they are one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, with the Pirate Party making gains each election in Parliament.
It doesn’t take much for social change. It takes the people trusting their own power. It takes getting rid of cynicism and despair. It takes warriors investing in their hearts.
Standing Rock is where these warriors are born. It is where the wild people live. The last people willing to take risks to save the water where all life comes from. It is a native movement that has encouraged others wanting to find their roots to dig in deep.
Communication is key here. The white way of talking has ruled this country for far too long. Man comes up and tells Other Man what to do. Other Man responds by arguing a better way of action. Both Men spend more time arguing than doing anything.
Here that doesn’t happen. Nightly, the conversation over the fire is about letting go of this old way of talking. Letting go of this toxic masculinity. Listening and showing respect.
Grandfather walks up to the Sacred Fire. The fire goes quiet to listen. Grandfather taps the fire with his staff and says, “This fire. These rocks. This river. These have been here. A long time. These people. We come here to learn the old ways. The ways of our relatives. The ways of this earth. This ground. These stars. The people come to the earth. They ask for her lessons. This is the way it was told. This is what we find here.”
The youth lead the charge. The elders are there with them. The clowns provide distractions to disrupt the Black Snake, so that the rest can continue to take action. The rest learn how to live without the Black Snake’s influence.
Two nights ago, I dreamt of the Black Snake. He had all my relatives entangled in his long winding scales. But he was not invincible. He was not indestructible. In the dream, I was close to defeating him. Another swipe of my sword and he would have fallen.
Life, unfortunately, is destructible. And we must protect it or fail ourselves.