Dear Defenders of the Land and Idle No More,
I’m a grad student and work for a national non-profit (Democracy Matters) in North Carolina, in the US. I stand in solidarity with your work and with Idle No More. My heart hurts when I hear of the continued struggle to maintain treaties that are constantly broken, the poverty that engulfs Indigenous people across this land. From “Canada” to “Mexico” and further into South America… this has been a time of turmoil since the landing of Columbus and the attempt to ” rid the land of the problem” of Indigenous people has never stopped. I understand a lifetime of broken promises and physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Women should be able to protect their children rather than protect the perpetrators. They should be able to feel strong enough to stand on their own two feet to say NO. Poverty and an exploitative political/economic system breeds this type of violence against women and children, and against ourselves (worse than just the excuse “this has been going on since humans began” which is NOT so). The capitalist system is at its heart exploitative and reaches deep into our hearts to convince us of its legitimacy, making us all violent, our men helpless and aggressive, and our women complacent and cowering, even when we know it is wrong and we should be strong and fight. Poverty breeds alcoholism and substance abuse, the need to mentally escape because reality is just too hard to face. Poverty breeds contempt and heart disease and capitalism is fueling the downfall of the Earth. We are watching the greatest catastrophe unfold before our eyes.
Since the 60s and AIM (American Indian Movement) and Civil Rights movement, the US has realized that the BIGGEST threat to the corporatocracy and elitist control is the realization that we are ALL in this together. Poor, elderly, Indigenous, minority, imprisoned, you name it. Their biggest fear is that we ALL come together and realize that we are being manipulated into blaming each other for being poor and not blaming the true responsible parties. We’ve been told to look horizontally, not vertically.
Rekindling the flame of AIM and the anti-war and civil rights movement of the 60’s cannot only be done by informing people of what is actually happening on the ground (they turn their heads and ignore if they have their own bread and milk to eat). Our media is controlled by 3 or 4 companies, we’ll NEVER get any truth from them, be it about Israel and Palestine, drones, Tar Sands, Occupy Wall St, Indigenous rights etc. This is a systemic problem. We must make this a campaign of shedding light on the wrongdoings AND ACTING thoughtfully and skillfully towards our goal – unhinging the goal of money from our hearts and wrapping ourselves in our communities and families and homes and shared interests as THE MAJORITY, non-violent, all of us human with the right to stand up and say NO MORE!
Stealing lands, enslaving millions, and imprisoning millions is what rich, white people have been doing (by force, murder, rape, slavery, and then moving on to broken treaties and making their stealing legal) for several hundreds of years. All the while, justifying it for the sake of PROGRESS. This is no progress. The pipeline is no progress, it is regression and degradation of this planet to the Nth degree. Photo I took of this poster on the NY subway.
I am but one person drowning in an ocean of manufactured ignorance and consent in this country – people who choose to ignore the problem, those who don’t know there is a problem and to those who know and feel totally overwhelmed by it’s magnitude and feel helpless. We’ve all been lied to and had our lives stolen from us. There are others like me who feel the same – and we are working together to change things – although we are moving too slowly. At this point, I think it will take a hell of a lot more poverty, struggle, and exposing the true culprits of our plights to get anyone who isn’t politically motivated to realize that they are living in a political world – that ALL of this affects them. Some distinct parts of this country may know about this systemic problem, Idle No More, and Defenders of Land, but the VAST MAJORITY of people do not know about this (or have been kept from or lied to about it) and I hope that the word will continue to spread. Your campaign is wonderful and I have forwarded it to everyone I know, twice.
Tonight I will light a fire and hope my smoke reaches you.