About 80 people gathered at San Jose City Hall, the peaceful water protectors sang songs and prayed while burning sage and banging drums remembering the teachings and saying of their elders and ancestors.
Water is a natural source of life, it is a gift from Mother Earth, medicine to heal our bodies, it should be protected! Since the resistance to the North Dakota Access Pipeline many have gathered to stand up and protest with Standing Rock. It has been a vicious battle and the fight is not over. It has sparked unity between tribes worldwide and has brought a greater awareness to the world about water rights.
These peaceful protestors gathered and educated those willing to listen. Not only are pipelines and oil affecting Standing Rock, it is also directly affecting San Jose. There are federal trains that run through our city that contain oil and transport it through our city. We learned our local fire departments are not equipped to deal with fire hazards of this magnitude. In the case of an emergency, blocks of people would be required to evacuate. Fuel is essential but how much are we willing to sacrifice for oil?
"We are trying to kill the black snake and he was elected into office," stated Jennifer Standing Rock. Major banks like Wells Fargo, Citi Bank and yes Chase are funding these oil pipelines. The protest headed to Chase bank on Santa Clara Street to make the connection clear. Protesters peacefully marched through downtown chanting "Water is Life" making their way to Chase bank as many drivers and pedestrians honked and shouted in agreement.
At one moment I was lost for words as a young activist began singing in her native tongue. I couldn't understand what she was saying but it looked like she was crying for help in desperation for help to stop this madness. It was beautiful.
All and all the battle is for from over but it's up to us to keep our fists, heads and hopes high as we continue to Stand with Standing Rock.
Drum and Prayer circle co-sponsored by Native American Student Organization (NASO), Push for Progress (PFP), Rise Up for Justice (RUFJ), Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter and 350 Silicon Valley.
Take Action against the Dakota Access pipeline
Submit public comments for the Dakota Access Pipeline Environmental Impact Statement until February 20th, 2017.