The U.S. Army corps of engineers has today, December 4, 2016 announced that they will deny key permits for the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline and explore alternative routes, one day ahead of a deadline they'd set for the evacuation of Oceti Sakowin. As we celebrate this victory, it is important to name the sacred roots of the resistance at the camp, which is often portrayed with ugly caricatures drawing on centuries old stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples.
When I told my friend Erica Littlewolf that I was going to Standing Rock for a week as a reservist with Christian Peacemaker Teams, she encouraged me to reflect from "a mind space and also a heart space" as a white man in that setting. I heard this refrain again on my first morning in the camp during our orientation to Oceti Sakowin camp, when the facilitators invited us to focus on our heart space and "walk in touch with the land and with themselves." That might mean, for example, holding onto our questions instead of asking them immediately so that we can listen to the knowing in ourselves.
Again and again during my week there, I felt Oceti Sakowin pull me into that heart space.
Pray for all the Palestinians who have had to harvest their olives near settlements this season and have had to face harassment and violence from settlers and restrictions from the Israeli military.
*Epixel for Peacemakers November 27, 2016
In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples shall come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Isaiah 2:2-4
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.
In 56 A.D., Luke the Evangelist, the Apostle Paul and their companions stopped on Lesvos briefly on the return trip of Paulâ€™s third missionary journey (Acts 20:14), having sailed from Assos (about 50 km away). From Mytilini they continued towards Chios (Acts 20:15).
In 2016, Luke and Paul would have been picked up by coastguard ships and denied entry. Paul was a Turk and Luke a Palestinian. European governments now associate both of these nationalities with terrorism.
Hemin is a human rights activist whom CPT accompanied for more than three weeks. Hemin was beaten by the security forces in the city of Erbil; his head and eyebrows were shaved. He managed to come to the city of Sulaimani, he then asked CPT to accompany him and his family. CPT visited his family in the city of Erbil where no one was able to visit them or speak to them, because they were threatened by the security forces. Hemin and his family had no choice but to leave their home and move to the city of Sulaimani. After two weeks of living in fear, his family managed to move to the city of Sulaimani.
Pictured here:An Israeli woman approached CPTers who were monitoring a child arrest and told them "I love Assad, you know why? Because he wants to kill all the Arabs." Settlements within Hebron are home to many Jewish fundamentalists who promote Anti-Arab ideologies . Their presence contributes the most to the high level of violence within the city. Read more... (November 14, 2016)