Civic Responsibility – Social Justice Videos

Continuing with the queries regarding civic responsibility, the advice mentions the importance of staying informed on social issues.  I’ve been writing about the query “How do we share our convictions with others?”  Key to sharing our convictions is informing others about issues we care about, which they might not be as informed about.  This is especially true where the main sources of news are controlled by corporate and/or government interests, as is unfortunately increasingly the case in our country.  Our hope is that when others learn of injustice, they will want to do something to address that.  It is discouraging how often that is not the case.  But that is the point of talking about these queries related to civic responsibility, and sharing our convictions with others.

Multimedia is often a more powerful way to get attention and inform others than writing.  With the video capabilities of smart phones and digital cameras, it is easy for us to create our own videos, which can be shared on Facebook, YouTube, etc.  You can share other’s videos by including links to them in your email and other messages, on your Facebook page, etc.  Another way to be a “publisher of the truth”.

Since the damage to the environment from fossil fuels, and more specifically working against pipelines has been my main focus, below are some of the video resources I’ve either created or found useful in informing others.

The Keystone Pledge of Resistance was the first organizing effort I was involved with.  When my friend Derek Glass was looking for a video project for his intern, Andrew Berger to work on, I suggested one describing what the Keystone Pledge was about.

The video that brought the struggle at Standing Rock into the mainstream media was the one Amy Goodman created for Democracy Now, showing the security forces using dogs to attack the water protectors, including women and children.

Three days later, Nahko gave a concert for the youth who had been attacked.  He used the occasion as an opportunity to talk to them about nonviolence, and the importance of what they were doing at Standing Rock.  Some of the things he said that night in between songs:

Remember that nonviolent direct action is the way to a successful revolution.  And that is a hard one, because they are so bad (chuckles).  When they come at us you just want to hit ’em, you know?  Just sit with that.  I know it’s tough.  They’re going to try to do everything they can to instigate you.  But remember what we’re here for.  We’re here to create peace for our Mother.  We’re not here to create more violence.

When you’re feeling bad, when you’re feeling frustrated, put all your prayer into your palms, put them to the ground, put them back to the sky, honor the Father, the Mother, just know it will be alright.

Are you guys feeling proud, are you proud of yourselves?  Because the whole world is watching.  The whole world is watching.  So whatcha gonna do?  Gonna show love?  Are you gonna be smart?  You gonna think before you act?  Take care of each other?  You’re gonna show ‘em what family does.  They don’t know what that’s like.

You gotta put down the weight, gotta get out of your way.

Get out of your way and just look around the corner at your real self and look at all the potential that this beautiful Earth and love has to offer you.

It’s crazy being out in front of you guys.  I had a moment there.  I was like, I like started spacing out and I’m like oh god they’re looking at me aren’t they?  I was thinking about how much happened before any of us were here.  You know?  There is a lot of history here.   We gotta hold that when we’re standing out there.  You gotta hold that when you’re on that line out there, too.  You’re here for a lot more than just this pipeline.

It’s about rejoicing, it’s about laughter right now.  We’ve got a big day ahead of us tomorrow folks.  So, I just want to say I’m so grateful and I’m really proud of you guys.  I’m really proud of you.  (and then he turned away with obvious emotion).

One of the most powerful Dakota Access Pipeline resistance videos is Nahko’s Love Letters to God:

I’ve written a lot about my connection to the Kheprw Institute (KI) in Indianapolis.  One of our projects there was a radio interview by Ra Wyse with Aghilah Nadaraj and I about the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Finally, videos can be used to inspire us.  Nahko sang “Build a Bridge” in San Francisco to thank those who have been involved in the #NoDAPL struggle.

Build a Bridge

Nahko

I’ve come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build

Said prepare me for, for long battle
I am a witness, hold crystal bullets
I drop the hatchet, you won’t forget this
Said prepare me for, for long battle
I am a witness, hold crystal bullets
I drop the hatchet, you won’t forget this

Said, mine eyes have seen nothing but trouble
You must make peace with them gods and the devils
I can be rude, boy, I am not subtle
I tend to sneak in and burst all them bubbles
We are the ones, we been waiting to rumble
I torch my enemies out with a candle
Music is the weapon make empires crumble
We bring them bankers and wealthy to tremble

What we know is what we’re owed
Can’t be too careful, shoot flaming arrows
Hitting them wicked, burning them bridges
Said, what we know is what we’re owed
Can’t be too careful, shoot flaming arrows
Hitting them wicked, burning them bridges

I said I rep the misfits, (not the[?]) society
We struggle with housing, drugs, and sobriety
We’re not from here, but born here respectively
Immigrated cause America raped my country
My bridge ‘ain’t built with no white-man money
I’m on Indian time, you know you cannot rush me
I can be vicious, malicious, and ugly
A danger to darkness, to better run quickly

What we know is what we’re owed
Can’t be too careful, shoot flaming arrows
Hitting them wicked, burning them bridges
Said, what we know is what we’re owed
Can’t be too careful, shoot flaming arrows
Hitting them wicked, burning them bridges, said

I’ve come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build

I said, life was pretty crazy, I was 9 months old
Yeah, mama gave me up – 14 years old
Said, I don’t give a shit, grandmother, she was so bold
Son of that rape, my mama’s body got sold
Not to say poppa didn’t have a good soul
Cause he did give me the anger, I was born so cold
Raised white Christian in a white neighborhood
There was no bridges for me and my indigenous blood
I said I’m confused, identity crisis
Indigenous mastery is so timeless
Now I’m building bridges so that it will all make sense
Why I’m here with the music, so passionate
Got to ride hard or die trying
Said, I am a rain cloud, storm white lighting
I am relentless stop at nothing
I’m el coyote, bridges building
Building, building, building
Building, building, building
Building, building, building

I said, I rock the one feather on me next head
Must stay humble, never be like chief headdress
Hang the flag upside down, I’m in distress
Never take no title out of deepest respect
Welcome to Aquarius, son, you’re a legend
Guardian of the gate, it’s gate number seven
I tame that beast and I ride the dragon
I reincarnate as a wild stallion

What we know is what we’re owed
Can’t be too careful, shoot flaming arrows
Hitting them wicked, burning them bridges
Said, what we know is what we’re owed
Can’t be too careful, shoot flaming arrows
Hitting them wicked, burning them bridges, said

I’ve come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build
I have come to build a bridge
So come, let’s build
Build, build, build

Said, my people my earth, my country, my heart
In service for ever, a mission to better
My passion, my fist, my heart, open it
Reclaim, recover, protect clean water
Said, I’ve come to live in peace
So come, let’s live
Live, live, live
Said, I’ve come to live in peace
So come, let’s live
Live, live, live
I have come to live in peace
So come, let’s live
Live, live, live
I have come to live in peace
So come, let’s live

 

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