Saturday, December 10, 2016

Stephen Dinan: Why Standing Rock is Important for All of Humanity

I experience Standing Rock as the epicenter for the Great Awakening that is pushing humankind from our adolescence into the wholeness of our full 
potential as a species. These are amazing times in which to live. Bless us all on our journeys ~ Molly

 By Stephen Dinan
The news of the first victory from this weekend at Standing Rock marks an important moment of celebration, but also an opportunity for reflecting on what is next.
The danger is to have our attention divert elsewhere even though the struggle of Standing Rock will almost surely continue.
The most lasting victory, I believe, still lies in the future.
That’s because drilling for the pipeline is very likely to continue. Energy Transfer Partners can pay only $29M or so in fines for ignoring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denial of permit — a pittance for a multi-billion dollar pipeline.
Those in the know assure me that this is NOT the time to turn our attention elsewhere as we are now likely to see an escalation and most likely the illegal activity of drilling without a permit. The company is operating with the assumption that a Trump administration will strongly support the completion of the pipeline, endangering key water sources and despoiling sacred Native lands.
For those not tracking Standing Rock as closely, here’s my perspective on why this struggle is so important and why we need to focus on the longer-term victory rather than short-term gains.
First, the context: for many months now, thousands of courageous souls, led by Lakotas, Native Americans from across the country, indigenous allies from around the world, veterans, people of faith, and environmentalists, have been standing up in a truly awe-inspiring way.
They have been standing up to water cannons in sub-freezing weather, rubber bullets, pepper spray and more to protect and defend their water supplies from the DAPL oil pipeline. They are standing up to power. To greed. To oppression.
And they are doing it powered mainly by prayer.
While it might seem that Standing Rock is a local issue, this is actually a fight for the future of humanity. Understanding why is important for all of us.
I do not use the word fight lightly; as someone committed to non-violence, fight can take us too easily into violent means. And yet, to stand up to a $3.8 billion dollar corporation, supported by troops from multiple states, the only word that does justice to the courage, conviction and fortitude required is fight.
This is ultimately a fight for our most sacred and precious resource, the one thing that every human being requires and the most essential prerequisite for our civilization: water.
Water is sacred. It is the blood of life.
When we pollute our water, we poison our children and destroy life for future generations.
It has taken the bravery of our Native American allies to wake us up to the extreme danger into which we are putting life on planet earth with the pipelines that have begun crisscrossing the world.
These pipelines are carrying poison and they are, each and every week, creating leaks that damage our precious water supplies. Just since 2006, in the United States alone, there have been 3032 significant leaks causing $4.7B in damage.
Our Native elders have finally stood up and said enough. They are leading the way forward. And they are not standing up just to push the DAPL pipeline onto someone else’s land and jeopardize someone else’s future.
They are ultimately standing up to end the bullying of Big Oil, which is poisoning our world, superheating our atmosphere, and creating geopolitical instability, corruption of our democracy, and much more.
Ultimately, this is not just a fight for the waters of Standing Rock, as important as that is. It’s a fight to end the dominance of oil corporations over the people of the world. It’s a fight to preserve life as we know it for future generations.

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