When the People Rise
by Anne Martin -- December 1st, 2016
How dare people respectfully, peacefully, lovingly, prayerfully
Stand up to a system, a corporation, a governmental agency’s construction permit, and a project that stand in direct opposition to life itself?
How dare the Native people demand that their land be treated with respect.
And when it is not, ask for it back?
And how dare people join them.
How dare police bullets, tear gas, and taunts be confronted with prayer and blessings.
How dare grandmothers rise up for their children.
How dare the dead be honored.
The ancestors remembered.
Prayer offered up.
How dare they give thanks to the Earth?
How dare they ask Her for forgiveness.
How dare they preach peace.
How dare they share traditions.
How dare they join together.
To protect the rivers.
To protect the sacred.
To protect life itself.
How dare they be the song for the voiceless.
How dare the people counter violence and attack with love and patience.
How dare they be the change.
So beautiful, they are too blinding for most of the world to acknowledge fully, ignored nearly by traditional forms of media, neglected by leaders.
They are too strange in this dark world to behold.
Too breathtakingly visionary.
This is a country whose history walks heavy with betrayal.
This is a world run by oil.
This is a life governed by greed and controlled by the rich, by the politically powerful, by the physically strong.
Or is it?
Maybe, just maybe, we have a choice.
We can dare to do the unthinkable.
And we can rise.