"Money was maliciously introduced in ancient times as a tool of enslavement" -
Michael Tellinger

"The present belongs to the future and future generations, and all old laws, religious and other, should be abrogated immediately. Free us!" - Vinay Gupta on Twitter

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." - R. Buckminster Fuller

"You find the strangest ways to be positive!" - Diane Duane, Wizards Abroad

Monday, January 21, 2013

Idle No More a remarkable and necessary development

UPDATE 11/13:

Statement from Indigenous Leaders: Fukushima nuclear crisis “a threat to the future of humanity” — “We have reached the crossroads of life and the end of our existence”

see http://enenews.com/statement-indigenous-leaders-fukushima-nuclear-crisis-continues-threaten-future-all-life-will-avert-potentially-catastrophic-nuclear-disaster-coming-together

Wilma Pearl Mankiller, while in office

While I concentrate on an imminent change of residence, and don't write much here, the world is galloping on. In a 2010 post (click here to view it) I wrote about a personal hero, Wilma Mankiller, the feminist Cherokee chief whose book introduced several First Nation women fighting for the integrity of their land and their cultural values. They were not idle, but most of them were working in a kind of isolation, each in response to her local situation. Now that spirit is going international, and spreading like wildfire.

Something rather wonderful has been emerging in North America: the Idle No More movement out of Canada. This is a very effective grassroots response to the latest, even more horrifying assault on the integrity of the planet--the seizing of land (by the few who are powerful enough even to profit from the fruitless venture) for the extraction, processing, distribution and use of such dirty forms of "energy" that until very recently it never occurred to most of us that anyone would be insane enough to try to use them - tar sands mining, fracking, mountaintop blowing, and the rest of the huge, unthinkable monsters currently unleashed on the planet. In a larger sense, this movement is perhaps a last chance to prevent a disastrous tipping point from being reached in global climate change, as warned by mainstream leaders such as James Hansen and Bill McKibben, who call the implementation of the tar sands pipeline "essentially game over for the climate" -- and that's just about the pipeline part of the situation.

Writer John Michael Greer aptly characterizes the US's last-gasp attempts to keep its Empire going, in the face of the end of the cheap carbon fuel that has fueled it, and to which our interrelated systems are addicted, as "frantically going through the empties in the trash, looking for one that still has a few sips left in it." This is a good metaphor for the whole "developed" world's attempts to uphold its current systems through the extraction and use of these filthy fuels. It's trash (for that purpose), and it needs to stay in the ground where Gaia put it, rather than being transferred to the atmosphere. So far, those in power are concentrating on keeping the addiction going, while the rest of us are ready to break with the past and move on to a better way of living on the planet. When it comes down to it, this is perhaps humanity's greatest challenge-to-evolve yet. Perhaps we too are at a tipping-point, one that will result in the species' next big step in cultural evolution. It is the Anthropocene now. How will we behave on this newly shaped planet? This is Brian Swimme territory. Heady stuff.

If we people can evolve a culture that diverts the course of history from the so-far dominant behavior model that is leading us all (including too many other life forms in our DNA family) over a cliff it would be a triumph of sanity and justice not seen around here since the Europeans first came to North America. And in this long historical struggle for survival the First Nation peoples, as always, are on the front lines.

Getting top headlines in the Idle No More movement is Awattawapiskat Chief and justice activist Theresa Spence, now far into a hunger strike. The movement was sparked in Canada, at a November 2012 Ottawa teach-in by four women--Nina Wilson, Sheelah Mclean, Sylvia McAdam and Jessica Gordon-- and the idea soon spread like wildfire across Canada, then to many states and cities in the US, and soon there were solidarity demonstrations in several countries in Europe--and Cairo, Egypt. Yes, we're all in this together. This new kind of rapid spread of a movement is reminiscent of the way Cairo and Occupy touched a vital chord among people, and happens thanks to what Howard Bloom calls "the global brain" of Internet culture.

Found this image a while back on a favorite Brit blog,
Ishminkan (thanks, Bassem) 
I've shared lots of links in this post. It's the Web at work, revealing the world so we can learn it better. It's all interrelated. And each of us matters. The fate of Ozymandias might be little potatoes compared to what we have on our plates now. I find this traditional Navajo chant helps when I'm feeling overwhelmed, so I share it here:

The world before me is restored in beauty
The world behind me is restored in beauty
The world below me is restored in beauty
The world above me is restored in beauty
All things around me are restored in beauty

My voice is restored in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

Or, if a flash mob is more your style, check them out! http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/video-1300-person-idle-no-more-flash-mob-seattle-146549

Thanks to Renee, for sparking this post, and to WG, for encouraging it. And to the First World women of Idle No More for sharing their energy, vision, and values with all the people of the world.