Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:
In the week ahead, a coalition of tribal communities, ranchers, farmers and allies calling itself the ‘Cowboy Indian Alliance‘ plans to lead a series of protests, ceremonies, and direct actions in the heart of Washington, DC in order to drive home their united opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and the destructive expansion of tar sands mining and fossil fuel dependence it represents.
Under the banner ‘Reject and Project,’ the five-day long event will kick off on this year’s Earth Day—Tuesday, April 23—and culminate on Saturday with a ceremony and procession expected to draw thousands.
“We are writing a new history by standing on common ground by preventing the black snake of Keystone XL from risking our land and water,” said Faith Spotted Eagle of the Yankton Sioux tribe and a spokesperson for the Cowboy Indian Alliance (C.I.A.). “We have thousands of Native sacred sites that will be affected adversely. The Americans facing eminent domain now know what it felt like for us to lose land to a foreign country. There is no fairness or rationale to justify the risk of polluting our waterways with benzene and other carcinogens. Native people are ready to speak for the four-leggeds and the grandchildren who cannot speak for themselves. The answer is no pipeline.”
The coalition, though made up of those from specifically impacted communities, makes a point to say that because “everyone is needed” in the fight against tar sands, “everyone is welcome” in the events, ceremonies, and actions that will take place.
Roger Milk, a member of the Rosebud Sioux, makes it clear: “This just isn’t an Indian thing,” he says. “We all drink the same water.”
“Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of mankind,” adds coalition member Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader among the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota people. “Do you think that the creator would create unnecessary people in a time of danger? Know that you are essential to this world. The biggest cancer spreading upon Mother Earth is the tar sands.”
The series of events, says the coalition, will ask President Obama a single, but fundamental question: “Is an export pipeline for dirty tar sands worth risking our sacred land and water for the next seven generations?”
Read more here.