The Cowboy Indian Alliance arrived in Washington, D.C. last week to send its message of resistance against the Keystone XL pipeline and the threat of further environmental destruction on the Great Plains and beyond.
When I sat down to an early morning interview with Evo Morales over a decade ago in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the then-coca farmer leader and dissident congressman was drinking fresh-squeezed orange juice and ignoring the constant rings of the landline phone at his union’s office. Just a few weeks before our meeting, a nation-wide social movement demanded that Bolivia’s natural gas reserves be put under state control. How the wealth underground could benefit the poor majority above ground was on everybody’s mind.
On April 22nd, 2014, the Cowboy Indian Alliance rode into Washington, DC, set up eight tipis on the National Mall, blessed the encampment, and settled in for a week of resistance and protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.
Stacy Lanyon (images), SCNCC Web Working Group (Text), April 23, 2014
Tuesday kicked off the Global Climate Convergence with rallies and direct actions aimed at reclaiming Earth Day from corporate greenwashers and reclaiming Earth from pollutors. Here's a glimpse of how the day played out in New York City where demonstrators marched on the Stock Exchange. Many carried plants instead of placards as a small reminder of what is at risk given Wall Street's investments in fossil fuels; our life sustaining planet.
via YouTube Capture Demonstration at Zuccotti Park before marching around Wall Street. Earlier activities had been held at Union Square Park, which was sponsored by Toyota, Con Ed and other corporations.
Since the 1990 Kanehsatà:ke Siege or the 1990 “Oka Crisis”, the term “warrior” has been bantered around liberally to refer to those who protest, protectors of the land, those who speak out publicly against oppressive colonial laws and, in particular, those who are arrested during protests. ’Warrior’ seems to have become an overused word in the Indigenous resistance movement. There are various connotations to this word within Indigenous languages, but it is important to note the interpretation of this word by the authorities.
Nothing is ever as simple as it seems. At their core, monetary debts are extremely narrow and simplified ways of representing what are often very complicated relationships between creditors and debtors. If we can zoom out from the simple calculation of money owed and look at the broader histories, human relationships, and power dynamics that lie behind a debt, it quickly becomes clear that there are countless ways to imagine who owes what to whom. Seen in this expanded context, a claim that repayment of a debt is morally just can begin to seem absurd.
Nearly 400 climate activists were arrested March 2 in Washington, D.C., after zip-tying themselves to the White House fence. The civil disobedience action was the highlight of two days of protest, dubbed #XLDissent by organizers, to demand that the Obama administration reject construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.