A message of solidarity from Tamera Peace Research Center to Standing Rock:
In the name of humaneness, we express our gratitude to the courageous water and land protectors at Standing Rock. This camp of Sioux and many other First Nation people, accompanied by activists from across all camps is a true light of hope in a world that has lost any prospect for the future. They are not fighting against anyone; they are defending the sacred. They are protecting what needs to be protected for us to live. We call out to say thank you for your perseverance in spite of the brutal attacks; thank you for taking such a clear stand for life in this worldwide struggle between the powers of life and those of capital. Thank you as well to the spirits of the buffaloes and eagles for their visible support and presence. Through Tamera and the global Healing Biotopes Project, we seek to support this stance by all means.
The Dakota Access Pipeline epitomizes a global culture that has violated the balance of life to a point that further survival may soon no longer be possible on this planet. Destabilizing the climate, polluting the waters, and destroying people’s livelihoods, this culture is approaching its inevitable end. In their ancient prophecies, the Hopi and Lakota people forewarned that if the dark snake crossed the river, it would be the end of the world. Trying to stop the dark snake of the pipeline from crossing the Missouri, the water protectors have stood up to a billion-dollar industry backed by governments, corporations, banks and our own consumption habits. Their movement has shown incredible resilience. Any attempt to repress or disband the camp has backfired so far and led to even more solidarity. Last weekend, more than 2,500 veterans arrived to protect the resistance camp from being evicted. Many soldiers that fought in the U.S. Army now realize the insanity of the system they served and decided to assist the indigenous resistance instead. Will Griffin, a former US Army Paratrooper who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan says, “Standing Rock is the first time I served the American people.” What is happening there could mark a historic turning point; the beginning of a much wider movement for ecological and social renewal. The Army Corps’ announcement to halt construction of the pipeline shows the power of this movement. It is a huge success, but it is not a victory yet. Let’s be clear: The government merely wants to “explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing,” but does not intend to stop the pipeline altogether. For this struggle – and those in countless other hotspots around the world – to succeed in the long run, we will need more than resistance and demonstrations of solidarity. We will need to abandon this entire culture bound to suppressing others, burning fossil fuels and destroying nature – and build a viable alternative. To leave the fossil fuel industry requires nothing less but a global system change.
We need a new pattern for human life on Earth. The old pattern of life was based on exploitation; the new one will be based on cooperation. We can end the old era to the extent that we can see and activate the possibility of a new one. By creating decentralized models of life, humanity can regain the autonomy that was stolen by the imperialistic world. By following the logic of nature, all beings on this planet will gain free access to the clean energy, vital water, and healthy food they need. And by establishing communities of trust, the open wound of humanity will heal. Imagine if this actually happened – the fossil fuel industry would simply collapse, because nobody would depend on oil anymore.
To catalyze the birth of a new era, we propose building a network of special peace research centers around the world. We call them “Healing Biotopes” or “World Future Sites” – international communities of a few hundred people who research and concretely establish the basic features of a nonviolent culture in coherent, replicable models. In Portugal, such a model has been in development for over twenty years. In Terra Nova, Tamera’s co-founder Dieter Duhm writes, “The dream of a new world is not only a subjective wish, but also an authentic matrix for a different life, anchored in the structures of reality; it is an objective necessity and a possibility. The concrete utopia is a latent reality within the universe, just as the butterfly is a reality latent within the caterpillar.”
Beyond our tormented world, there is another reality – the world of life from which we all originate. Beyond all alienations, trauma, and hostilities, there is an original unity we share with all that lives. All beings are united in sacred alliance. Together, we form the great family of the biosphere. We all are organs in the same body of life. We must no longer tolerate any cruelty on this planet.
We all are indigenous to this planet. The new planetary culture will reawaken the primordial knowledge that was inherent to original cultures, the knowledge of how to be in right relation, in community. The system change can happen quickly when a planetary community discovers and aligns itself with the universal ground in which all beings are one with each other. Here lies a power greater than any violence – the life force bringing about growth, regeneration, and healing.
Let us come together as a planetary community in solidarity with all those defending the sacred; let us found a new civilization in alliance with all beings.
Martin Winiecki, born in Dresden, Germany in 1990, is a writer, speaker, and coordinator of the Institute for Global Peace Work at Tamera, Portugal.