On the ground at Standing Rock: day three

We are sharing the daily accounts of a 350 Mass Cambridge member and friend who are at Standing Rock providing medical support to water protectors in the aftermath of Standing Rock's eviction. You can read their perspective here on our blog and on the 350 Mass Facebook page.  

This is just the beginning

By Susan Labandibar and Robert Master

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The remains of camp Oceti Sakowin, as seen from Cheyenne River camp.

The events of the past two days at Standing Rock, while appearing to be a defeat, are actually a victory that should be celebrated. In the face of intimidating power, the water protectors and their defenders had the courage and perseverance to adhere to their values of non-violent resistance. Thus, the tragedy of mass casualties for which our medical support team prepared, never occurred.

Why is this something to celebrate?

Think about Montgomery, the lunch counter sit-ins and the march on Selma. At another time and place, when a marginalized, oppressed and despised minority stood up in nonviolent resistance, they became a moral authority in the 20th century, and a shameful way of life was forever changed

At Standing Rock, another oppressed minority stood up to power in defense of both treaty rights and the Earth itself. As a consequence of their inspiring resistance, Native American water protectors have become a moral authority of the 21st century.

Those of us who have been privileged to support this effort know in our hearts that we are a part of this historic transformation in values and vision. Like the civil rights movement of the 1950s and early 1960s, there will be many battles lost and there will be pain and suffering. But a worldwide movement has been launched. There's no turning back. 


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