Report from Shepherd Bliss on Sonoma Co. Standing Rock Solidarity Events

Here’s an important message from our friend, Sonoma County activist, writer, and teacher, Shepherd Bliss. Thanks to Connie Madden for forwarding.

Dear Water Protectors,

I attended 3 events 11/26 on Standing Rock. They started with a silent prayer at the Sebastopol gazebo, one of many around the world. I  just got a phone call that a large action is being planned for Dec. 3, before the Dec. 5 Corp of Engineers intention to shut the camps down and the arrival of military vets to protect the water protectors on Dec. 4. I am currently looking for links reporting on the vets going to Standing Rock to support the defenders.

In the afternoon the Sonoma County Solidarity with Standing Rock group met at Santa Rosa’s Peace & Justice Center. In the evening there was a meeting at Arlene Francis Center (AFC) for the Sonoma County People Supporting Standing Rock, which has a similar name. That meeting had more people, including children, and was more multi-cultural and multi-generational. It included report backs by two people recently at Standing Rock (SR). Julie R.C. sang her song “Mini Wiconi–Water is Life,” which was a robust closing.

Our host at AFC, Bruce, reported that a large delegation of military vets are headed to SR and scheduled to arrive by Dec. 4, the day before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to shut the camp down. Following is a link to one of the articles on that pending confrontation: From NBCNews.com… Dakota Pipeline Protesters Vow to Stay Despite Army Corps’ Order, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/dakota-pipeline-protests/army-corps-engineers-orders-dakota-pipeline-protesters-abandon-camp-n688476?cid=eml_onsite

“I’m sick of the dogs,” 21-year-old Michael reported at the AFC meeting. “I’m very broken and overwhelmed. I don’t know whether I am sad or happy. It messes with your head. I feel tears coming from my stomach. I’ve earned the right to be angry. It’s about the planet and its worth. We need to face this so future generations do not suffer.”

We broke into small groups. I joined the one having to do with “resiliency.” Evan Wiig of the Farm Guild and Grange reported on a Jan. 29 large gathering at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds that he is helping to organize around the theme “Another World is Possible.” Judith Newton and Ken Fass of the Frog Song Co-Housing group in Cotati spoke about Transition Cotati.  AFC’s Chelsea reported that Rob Hopkins, originator of the Transition movement sys that “Resiliency is the ability to withstand shocks.” Someone else said that “Standing Rock has put a fire under me.” Charlotte said that she “left papers to go to the soil.” Christopher and others spoke of the importance of “restorative justice.” Two of the young women there are studying to be farmers–Chelsea and Maureen.

Pending SR events include the following:

Dec. 1, Thurs., #NODAPL day of action to shut down the banks, close your accounts, demand withdrawal of sheriff deputies.

Dec. 1, Thur., 7 p.m. Peace & Justice event on related issues at the Sebastopol Grange, Hiway 12 between Seb. & SR.

Dec. 5, Mon. 7-9, P&J Center on sanctuary cities & related concerns.

Dec. 8, Thur., 6 p.m. Transition U.S., Sebastopol Grange

Dec. 10, Sat., 3-5, P&J Center, SoCo Solidarity with Standing Rock meets again.

Since I published articles on Standing Rock in dozens of local, national, and international places, I would welcome information from you as we continue this effort, as well as quotations that I can use. To read some of my previous articles you can google my name + Standing Rock.

Thanks for any help,

Shepherd

Following is a list of reliable SR websites:

http://standingwithstandingrock.net

www.ocetisakowincamp.org

http://sacredstonecamp.or

http://indigenousrising.org

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