It is so traumatic to see the green, contaminate water gushing out of the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant in Florida. That reservoir holds about 800 million gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen. That wastewater will contribute to algae blooms and dead water zones. It brings to mind the Horizon Deep oil disaster.
The most important lesson I learned from the beginning of my involvement to cut off the head of the black snake, to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, is this work is not protest. It is protecting water.
Attempts to commodify water and reduce it simply to an economic good have picked up pace. The outright privatization of drinking water services and sanitation has given way to new forms, including corporatization, of public sector water utilities; bottled water mining has been steadily growing, too. The practice of trading in water (access rights) has continued in the handful of regions where conducive legal framework are in place.
Another newer development is the increase in land and water grabbing (as distinct from older forms of colonization) or at times even green grabbing. While land and water grabbing has happened across all continents, including in the United States, the highest number of incidences have been in the developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.The real value of water By Shiney Varghese, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy April 5, 2021
It’s time to “warrior up,” stop polluting the planet and give water the same rights and protections as human beings. That’s the message Autumn Peltier, a 13-year-old Canadian, delivered personally to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, March 22, 2018.
“Many people don’t think water is alive or has a spirit,” the Anishinaabe girl from Wikwemikong First Nation told the diplomats gathered in New York City in her speech on World Water Day. “My people believe this to be true.
As I see it all around me, the trees are dying out, our water is contaminated, and our air is not good to breathe. Those are the reasons why today I’m trying my best to come back to our ways of thousands of years ago.
We have to come back to the Native way of life. The Native way is to pray for everything. Our Mother Earth is very important. We can’t just misuse her and think she’s going to continue.
We’ve been told to take care of what we’ve got so that we can leave something for the younger generation. We’ve tried to practice that from the beginning of our life, but we forgot our way.
I never have spoken out until lately here, the Spirit coming to me and telling me, ‘Well, you are going to have to give us a hand here.’ It was in a vision, Water said to me, ‘I’m going to look like water, but pretty soon nobody’s going to use me.’
We, the people, are going to have to put our thoughts together to save our planet here. We only have One Water… One Air… One Mother Earth.Corbin Harney, Spiritual leader of the Western Shoshone Nation, The Way It Is, Blue Dolphin, 1995
This is part of the transcript from the video below of an interview by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now
“On September 3, the Dakota Access pipeline company attacked Native Americans with dogs and pepper spray as they protested against the $3.8 billion pipeline’s construction.” Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
I got maced twice, I got bit by a dog I was [at the] front line.
Where did you get bit?
I got bit on the ankle over my boots, so I told him they needed to leave, but the the guy didn’t believe me, so he don’t want to listen. He, uh, stuck his hand out, and he maced me, this other guy, and I think he maced a lady, too. Then, they tried getting the dogs on us. I was just standing there, I wasn’t really doing nothing. That dog ran up on me and it bit my – around my ankle.
You pushed them back, though?
Why is this such an important fight to you?
Because, water is life. Like I said, without water we all wouldn’t be here, these plants wouldn’t be here, there’d be no oxygen, we’d all die without it. I wish they’d open their eyes and have a heart to realize you know if this happens, we’re not going to be the only ones that’s gonna suffer, they’re gonna suffer too.
What tribe are you with? I’m Oglala Sioux, full blood.
From? Pine Ridge Reservation.
No one owns this land! This land belongs to the earth. We’re only caretakers. We’re caretakers of the earth.
Do you feel like you won today?
We win every day when we stand in unity, we stand and we fight.
How do you feel?
What did you accomplish today?
Protecting our water. That’s what we were here to do, and that’s what we did.
Where are your horses from?
Coal Creek, South Dakota.
And you came from there?
Yes, ma’am. And so, describe the scene to us.
We protected our water, and we did a good job at doing it. Thank you.