I went over to the Quakers for a meeting on Standing Rock, making a little dish for my contribution. Retrospectively, I could have added some little tofu hot dogs cut into pieces to surround the camp like marching protesters – maybe put a little flag in some them with protest messages. The meeting was sobering. A lot had been accomplished with the protests. There had been injuries and the persistent worry still existed that things might deteriorate. People were out in almost unbearable cold and conditions of minimal confort.
We (about 20) were supposed to march, but in the end, people may not have felt that it was safe for my feet. We ended up talking with tribal members, and probably had more interaction and opportunities to meet that way. Although I had felt a little overwhelmed by being in the middle of some very professional and effective organizers (who am I with my little voice?), we all connected in a moment of intimacy as one after another of us refused to flush the toilet, apologizing to the person that followed us.
There was diversity of opinion, so no one had to agree to everything that was said. The positive news was that the Army would deny the easement on treaty land to the drillers. And there had been some big help from the President in the recent legal challenge to any further drilling off of much of the Atlantic and Arctic.
Anticipating a little what might come, I proposed having a footprint with little lights that light up at the American Indian Museum on the National Mall. Every tribe could weigh in daily on national legislation or executive action and its impact on our making a carbon footprint. More impact, more lights on the footprint. Every day, we could send one or more electronic flashing messages to the next administration as they made decisions. There would be no way for them not to hear the Native Americans. Although I think this level of organization might be too much of an invasion of the Native American community, it realistically may be the level of unity that is required to counter what seems likely to be massive environmental disregard from future decisions.