You may have not heard from us in a while. We have been standing with Standing Rock and have been neglecting updates and other organizational planning in favor of on the ground action. As the American Red Cross reportedly denied humanitarian aid to water protectors at Standing Rock at the behest of Morton County Sheriff, we at Mutual Aid Disaster Relief brought several caravans full of food, water, propane, medical supplies, cold weather gear, additional water protectors, and dozens of respirators and other personal protective equipment to guard against the harsh North Dakota winter and even harsher police violence.
Although for the moment water protectors have delayed and prevented this future disaster from taking place, we know we must stay vigilant, especially as a new administration may reverse the Army Corps of Engineers decision to deny Energy Transfer Partners the easement to drill under Lake Oahe.
At Standing Rock, it was commonplace to overhear people talking about prophecies culminating in the present moment. We were reminded of this Hopi prophecy that we continue to reflect on:
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .
Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden.
It is time to speak your Truth.
Create your community.
Be good to each other.
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”
Read the rest here.
There is an ancient Greek word called Kairos, which means the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment, almost a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens. The Zapatistas, similarly, speak about opening cracks in the walls of history to look in order to imagine everything that could be done tomorrow. At the same time that there is heightened anxiety about the future and uncertainty and instability in the political and other realms, now more than ever we need strategic vision and action, movements that articulate the revolution by prefiguring it, by remembering things yet to be, and embodying those potentialities in our work. This very well may be a crack in time in which more is possible, and in what direction we go, towards environmental and other catastrophes or awakening and collective liberation depends on the choices we make.
In December, 11 years ago, Meg Perry died in New Orleans in an accident after bringing a vegetable oil powered bus full of supplies and volunteers from Portland Maine to New Orleans and surrounding areas where she worked tirelessly for several months gutting houses, clearing debris, planting gardens, and inspiring so many with her smile and kind heart. We know that she isn’t the only one who made the ultimate sacrifice to bring us a little bit closer to the better world we know is possible. We keep her memory, and all those we’ve lost along the way, with us as we move into 2017 and continue to struggle for climate justice and the continued survival and self-determination of front-line communities, knowing that sometimes the night is long, but it eventually gives way to the dawn.