Yule bLog 2016#4: The Importance of Standing Rock

Winter is here. It’s cold outside. Time to sit close to the fire and take a moment to reflect.

This blog is a record of my reflections on a momentous year.

It is not meant to persuade you, to win you over to my point of view.

It is a tool that I will use to work out where to place my Trust. To work out what are my Core Values. So that I might live an authentic life in line with those values.

I hope that it will also be a conversation. Please take the time to comment.

In yesterday’s post, I suggested that, in the face of a dark shift towards division and hate in mainstream politics, it is important that we all take time to reflect upon where we stand on core issues and that,having done so, we stand up and make it clear what we believe. Now is not the time for polite silence.

Thus far, in this Yule bLog, I have written mainly about Brexit and Trump and my fears that they signal a worrying rise of Far Right attitudes that ultimately threaten all that I hold dear. I cherish Tolerance, Diversity, Generosity, Creativity and Kindness. These are not words that immediately spring to mind when contemplating Mr Trump or, indeed, our UK Prime minister, Teresa May.

Worried as I am by the rise of Trump and Farage, I promised Hope in today’s post. And I do have Hope. Because today at Standing Rock, there is a protest going on that I believe will, in the long run, be way more significant than the election of Trump. If you haven’t heard about Standing Rock, just google it or follow this link:


Basically Standing Rock is a protest by a  Native American tribe of the Sioux Nation who are objecting to a pipeline being built to carry oil which passes through their ancestral lands and close to their main water supply. It is significant for a number of reasons:

Firstly, the size of the protest. Over 300 different Tribes have mobilised to support what is happening at Standing Rock. The biggest gathering together of Tribes for decades.

Secondly, the way in which the Authorities have responded to the protest. The protesters advocate non-violence and carry no arms, yet they have been met by Government Forces with extreme violence. Armed Police have fired upon protesters with rubber bullets, tear gas, sound bombs and water canons. They have beaten them with clubs and set dogs upon them. And this is happening right now, in the US, in Dakota. Under the Obama Administration. Who have refused to intervene. You can watch it happening live on social media.

Which leads us to the third point: the role of the Media. Up until recently there was a Media black-out on the story. You could n’t read about it anywhere. It was as if it didn’t exist. Except for the power of Social Media which eventually got the message out. I first found out about it through a friends post on Facebook and have been sharing and reposting about it ever since. That is the power of Social Media. It is a powerful tool and should be used with care.

Ultimately though, I believe Standing Rock is so important because of what it represents. It is a head on clash between Modern Western Values and Ancient Indigenous Wisdom. Modern Western Values dictate that we need more oil in order to power our energy hungry lifestyles. So we must have it. Whatever the cost. It is a childish attitude – selfish, self-obsessed, blind. It cares only about satisfying its own needs. It sees no higher purpose than its own gratification. When opposed it reacts with violence. It has no Care or Compassion. It is incapable of empathy. It is Proud and Preening. Convinced it is Right. It is Psychopathic. It is Trump. Or rather, Trump is its logical conclusion.

Contrast this to the Ancient Indigenous Wisdom embodied by the protesters. They are not protesting for their own gain. They are protesting on behalf of their ancestors. They are protesting on behalf of the land which they view as sacred. They do not view the Earth as a resource to be exploited. They view it as a living thing to be honoured and protected. It is not a selfish impulse. It is the opposite. It is about Caring. It is about seeing yourself as a part of something much bigger. It is about Connectedness. When opposed it reacts without violence. It simply stands firm. Because it draws strength from being part of something much greater. It is Humble. It is Strong. Because it knows that, in the end, it cannot be beaten – it just Is.

This is the great battle that is coming. The struggle between these two World Views.

I know the side with which  I stand.

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