Some of you may already know that Carolyn Harding of Columbus traveled to Standing Rock this week to stand with the people in that community standing up to protect their water and their community. Carolyn was one of the final arrests made. Carolyn has posted many pictures and accounts of her experience on her Facebook page.But what I want people to know is that Carolyn has been fighting to protect the water in her own community of Columbus for several years now. She and the rest of her Columbus community group could use help in the next 2 weeks.
You see WE all need to start in our own communities to protect our water, our air and our soil for our future generations. We need to do this NOW. It is easy for them to arrest and bully people in ONE community fighting for what is right and just. I don't mean just showing up at a town hall once or twice carrying signs and yelling at electeds to do their job...I mean many of us, in each of our communities proposing laws, passing laws and then standing up to enforce OUR laws....just as the people at Standing Rock. How many of us will they arrest and imprison for protecting our communities and our future over corporate greed?
Standing Rock is important because that community showed the rest of us what it looks like to stand up for the community we love. So whether you live in Columbus, Athens, Portage, Bowling Green, Medina or any other community in Ohio, get out there and help the brave folks actually working to change this system. The ones working so hard to pass laws that will protect the water and the rest of the environment.
Quit telling them they are doing it wrong or that they need to go through the system. It is this very system that is allowing that pipeline through Standing Rock. It is THIS system that will also allow the pipeline, the toxic dump, and the injection of waste into your communities! WE are born with the RIGHT to life, the right to self determination....it is THIS system and structure that claims that corporate "personhood and rights" supersede our inalienable RIGHTS to life. Clean water, clean air and a livable climate are all necessary for all of us actual living persons to live! Stop following the path that this system has set for you to follow and instead follow those brave enough to forge a new path....one where people and nature's RIGHTS are recognized and placed above the greedy's claimed right to profit.
If you live in the Columbus area or anywhere in Ohio, gather your contacts, your fellow activists and get to Columbus and help them collect signatures on their Community Bill of Rights to protect their water! They have less than 2 weeks left to get several thousand signatures. THEY NEED HELP.
If Carolyn can travel to ND to support people and at great physical risk....can't you sacrifice a few hours and help her community collect the required signatures? Carolyn doesn't need a pat on the back or a "way to go Carolyn".... she needs your actual help in her community to protect the water in her community...but she won't ask for herself....so I am.
You can contact her group to offer help at http://www.columbusbillofrights.org/
We all say we care about protecting water, we all say we want to help....well here is your chance, right here in Ohio. Let's work together and get this Columbus BOR on the ballot and let the people of Columbus have a voice in protecting their water!
This is the best way I can think of to stand with Carolyn and show her we support her efforts and bravery.
This just in: Carolyn is being held at the McClean Count Jail in Washburn, North Dakota. She is one of the last nine to be arrested in protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline protest. Her arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 PM today and her bail is being arranged for her release today if all goes well. I have spoken with her this morning and she is of sound mind and spirit.
Carolyn's words while Standing Rock before her arrest:
What's on my mind are the women and men I connected with at Standing Rock. Tonia, who's arm was twisted out of socket - determined to deliver the sacred pipe to a safe person - while the cop arresting her fought to wrest it from her (the pipe is safe); Grandmother, elder, small with a shawl over her head in prayer on the front line with her two daughters and sons committed to protecting her, one of her daughters flung to the ground, wrenching her already herniated disk. The spiritual man from the sacred fire patiently sharing with me how to respect this fire, with ashes from Wounded Knee; the native woman in Fargo, who saw my license plate, followed me, and gave me names and numbers of friends to call, and gave me courage to continue; the young man in military gear looking across at me, who could have been my nephew, my neighbor, who might have seen his mom or grandma or aunt in me; feisty clever Val who gives her heart and soul, her humor and building skills to protect this water, this community; Jessica and Rocky who tirelessly pick up water protectors from jail, bailed us out, and offered us a phone, a cup of coffee and legal assistance from the collective; the humor, intelligence, resilience of standing rock residents; the photographer from Brooklyn, who had her professional tools, her cameras confiscated, as she recorded the arrests, to "protect the police"; the young bright world traveler, from no land, who stood on the front line; the native men and women, brave, unlike a white privileged woman, police target them on the line, in the town; the native mom from Cannon Ball in Washburn County jail, who lost her home, her children - sitting in jail, writing her own testimony, waiting for trial, without an attorney fighting for her, without hope of an unbiased jury, due to the Dakota Access Pipeline; the fat cats driving in their suburbans thrilled the nuisance appears to be plowed into piles; the kind vet who drove me from jail with one head light, adopted into a local native family.
I had real fear for 1/2 hour, at Standing Rock.
My brothers and sisters that live 24/7 with prejudice of their skin color, their tradition, their lands, their sexual orientation, their religion, their documentation, their country of origin, who fight the good fight - these brothers and sisters are my heroes
"I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law." ~~ Martin Luther King, Jr