Pipeline resistance is currently center and front for me, in the struggle for social, racial and ecological justice. I have been examining the bigger picture, delving into the sociology, history, and individual stories of the ages-old struggle. My friend Mijeong just told me the story about King Sejong of Korea in the 1400's, who wrote an alphabet for the people. Prior to that, the written language was in Chinese characters which did not match well with the people's spoken language and was used only by the elite and powerful. When he opened up the realm of the written word to the "ordinary" people, there was a lot of suppression from these powerful elite. We were talking about how human life on Earth is imbued with this same struggle throughout time and place: between the greedy and the compassionate. Mijeong and I talked about how the difference now is, the extent of the destruction the greedy are able to wreak upon the entire world. They now can threaten all life on Earth through their exploitative ways and through their philosophy based upon a "use it all up, and move on" mentality.
This philosophy was at a huge peak when the European invaders took over Turtle Island. It is still the same philosophy that is used today. It seems so senseless to wantonly destroy the air we breathe, and the water we drink, the beauty we see. It seems insane to poison the food we eat, to steal the possibility of future generations to live, to destroy the possibility for life for so many species of creatures we share this world with. Many Indigenous People voiced their incredulity when experiencing and witnessing the White man's attacks upon this land in the 1800's, which they simultaneously claimed to love (see Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee). And yet, it makes perfect sense to those who are clinging to the philosophy of using it up and moving on. They might even think they are able to move on: there may be a way for humans to live away from this Earth some day-- though I hope that it is done by humans other that the exploiters. The philosophy they hold dear is one of a virus that kills its host, and finds another, and it is the basis for an Economic system reliant upon "Growth". So many of us are not that way, and throughout time we have been fighting against that way. We have been starved, marched, hung, gassed, corralled, and shot; we have been brainwashed, assimilated, subdued; we have cleverly fought, survived, diversified our tactics, communed, clung to love, and given, and nurtured, and found nurturing.
The fracking, mining, and drilling, the transporting, the processing, the exporting, and the burning of fossil fuels right now is probably the most exploitative, dangerous, threatening activity to life on earth, other than using nuclear weapons, at this time. The powerful elite are relentlessly pursuing this destructive path, reminding me of the mentality of the men who killed thousands and thousands of buffalo and took their skins and left them, carcasses to rot in the sun, partly for their valuable hides, but mainly to try to destroy many Indigenous Peoples' abilities to provide for themselves. It's the same people who invented Manifest Destiny, who now use Eminent Domain for their same purposes. It's the same people who took slaves and empowered and enriched themselves off their labor and lives, and called themselves "civilized". Colonialism is a name for these people with this philosophy of conquest, with Capitalism their tool. Colonialism is powered by fossil fuels right now, Earth's blood turned to poison and pumped through these artificial veins and arteries and turned into wealth for the aristocratic. Its time to stop feeding the beast some call Colonialism, others call Capitalism, and gas and oil are its favorite food of this century. Everything else, all the battles for health care, fair taxation, racial justice, sexual orientation justice, feminist justice, social justice, environmental justice....these issues are all traced back to the same thing, and the enemy is the same: the enemy is named Exploitation and Greed. The tools used by Exploitation and Greed are propaganda (including amplifying ignorance and fear and desire), politics, and religion, to name a couple. The symptoms of Exploitation and Greed Illness are fascism, poverty, wealth inequality, intolerance, and violence, to name a few. If we want to survive long enough to have a chance to overcome the enemy, we must protect what is at the heart of keeping this beast alive at this time, what it is exploiting to stay rich and powerful: the Earth herself.