Published February 27, 2017
Part 1 of 2
In the waning months of 2016, as the Standing Rock Sioux’s protest raged against the Dakota Access Pipeline (NODAPL), an historic Back To The Future journey began anew. This journey isn’t just about the on-going world debate between those who contend Climate Change is or isn’t being caused by an out-of-control human civilization that forever demands and expects larger and larger SUV’s, more-costly, mega-sized homes and ever-richer lifestyles; or between those who demonize or herald the proponents who speak out in favour of converting the world from fossil fuels to renewable energies. It’s more about an ancient conflict within the human mind and heart that has existed since time immemorial and resurfaces with a vengeance each time the human culture and philosophy of the Old World collides again with those of the New World. This ancient story speaks to the heart of what happens every time the sacred way of life of indigenous and indigenously-minded peoples clash with the profane world view of the globalized business-corporate world; and especially those billionaire magnates guilty of tax fraud, political corruption, money laundering, environmental destruction and labour exploitation, who’ve long lost any sense of their own once ancient indigenous roots and deep relationship with the earth to a point of nigh estrangement. It provides a template for how America and every other country in the New & Old World’s first came to be, and continues to expand at the expense of whatever indigenous peoples, the theft of their homelands and its natural resources to the detriment of the planet’s health & well-being; all of which are threatened with devastation if the globalized corporate world’s multitude of diversified energy and investment conglomerates are allowed to use the same violent ways and means of the past to further devolve the human story. Otherwise, unless the world’s minions and their politicians, en masse, don’t wake up and seriously respect the sacredness of the Earth and the ways of its original peoples, a fatal tipping point is sure to follow, and the human race and Planet Earth severely threatened if not doomed on the path being set by the globalized corporate world.
These are epochal times that challenge us all to ponder the historical record and decide which way of life is more sane than the other and has a greater sense of self-preservation when comparing the survival strategies that indigenous peoples have successfully used for thousands of years with the profane ideologies of history’s global corporate movers and shakers, whose seemingly only apparent sacred, inviolate principle, since before and after their decimation of the Old World, and later invasion of the New World, has been the same arrogant sense of entitlement and feverish acquisition of monies, power and choice of questionable survival strategies that in only a few hundred years in the New World have led to so much violence and destruction against humanity and the earth.
Not surprisingly, during the 2016 U.S. Election, the Sioux’s NODAPL uprising was assiduously avoided by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. When President Obama finally showed the wisdom to call a temporary halt to its construction, it was only to be a brief Pyrrhic victory for native peoples, environmentalists and Climate Change proponents that amounted to a mere interlude now that President Donald Trump, who already has many serious conflict of interest investments, including those in the Dakota Access Pipeline, and his administration – packed as it is with billionaire climate change deniers and ruthless magnates of conglomerates in favour of more oil pipeline construction and fossil fuel energy development – who’ve seized hold of the reins of America and begun to plot a very different, cataclysmic course of action for the XL, DAPL, America’s unsustainable energy philosophy, the fate of Climate Change and very survival of the earth itself.
In North America, most politicians were unable to grasp the deeper world view underlying the Sioux’s protests about the sacredness of the waters of the Missouri River and the hallowed nature of their ancestral homelands. So, for months, nothing was done to intercede on their behalf while they and their allies – who courageously put themselves on the front lines of the hot war between the protectors and destroyers of the earth – were violently set upon by the political, law enforcement and military forces of the United States Government and North Dakota authorities. As the Sioux and others steadfastly sought to peacefully block construction of DAPL through their homelands, the politicians disgracefully allowed the chaos to escalate to the point where innocent men, women, children and elders were put in harm’s way and subjected to some of the most inhumane, brutal physical assaults committed against hapless, innocent civilians since the atrocities perpetrated by American political and law enforcement authorities during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s & 70’s.
Before the political decision finally was made to temporarily rescind DAPL’s construction permit, America’s mainstream press did little to truthfully bring to the world’s attention the real facts of what was happening in the trenches of this hot war. This wasn’t by accident but yet another typical intentional news black-out by what could be characterized as the ignorance and inherent bias of the profane world view’s civilization and its money-obsessed belief system.
For months, the horrific things that were occurring in the latest episode of this planetary-wide war remained all but invisible to the outside world until independent, alternative journalists took it upon themselves to become the sources of breaking news stories. They were the kind of horrific stories one expects to see or hear happen in fascist, banana-republic police states rather than in the heart of America. Vicious attacks were maliciously perpetrated against these defenders of the earth by the Wall Street banking and investment conglomerate that’s behind the Dakota Access Pipeline’s, military-like defended, construction project; aided, as it is, by a host of petroleum moguls in their New York, Washington D.C. and Texas boardrooms who directed the DAPL operations to proceed irrespective of the potential cost to human life and limb. Pro-Trump Law & Order politicians in North Dakota, hordes of state police brought in from four surrounding states, and U.S. National Guard troops committed violent attacks against the human and civil rights of the peaceful protestors; often indiscriminately spraying or shooting them, at point-blank range, with every conceivable weapon short of heavy combat assault weaponry; using everything from MACE, Pepper Spray, Tazer darts, rubber bullets, bean bag projectiles, concussion grenades and high-powered water cannons to ear-busting acoustic sound cannons.
Such atrocities were repeatedly covered up by a sea of fake news reports made to the public by politicians, police and military authorities who contended the violence was reciprocal between the Sioux who were “irresponsibly vandalizing private property and wilfully obstructing legally-approved construction”, while the authorities were simply “doing their job to prevent the destruction”. This spin masked what, in reality, is America’s heavily-militarized police state’s ever-present, ever-growing, iron-fisted control over the people that makes its presence known whenever ordinary, common people dare to take it upon themselves to prevent illegal or wrong things from continuing to happen. Throughout all the lies and violence, America’s mainstream press and media did little to counter fiction with fact and point out that even as the North Dakota prairie weather continued to plummet to dangerous, life-threatening lows, the Sioux’s unwavering resolve was heroic in the annals of American history as they demonstrated remarkable, Mahatma Gandhi-like forbearance and restraint in their refusal to match the brutality being committed against them by the American Government.
But before the barbaric side of this historic American moment finally came to an end, reactionary elements within the U.S. Government and military were on the verge of officially declaring “illegal”, and forcibly shut down, the Sioux’s Oceti Sakowin DAPL Protest village, evict everyone and transport the thousands of its protestors to so-called isolated free speech zones. The chaos would have been immense. Coverage of the ensuing spectacle would have become a nightly televised feature on the world’s news networks and a colossal embarrassment for America if President Obama hadn’t wisely cut it short when he did; especially given that a column of seasoned U.S. military war veterans already was assembling to rush to the aid and defence of the Sioux and still threaten to do so now that President Trump, as America’s new Commander-in-Chief, has declared his government’s arrogant, high-handed intent to renew construction of the XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. Once this occurs, it will undoubtedly lead to an even uglier moment in American history than what already happened on President Obama’s watch.
Horrific images come to mind of the Sioux and protesters of other mass movements in the future being kept out of sight and out of mind in the Trump government’s new Orwellian free speech zones; isolated and left to endure whatever brutal harshness of the elements or lack of basic amenities until they finally give up in despair in the face of the hostile military forces massed against them. Whoever the protestors may be, corralled in these bizarre freedom zones, they won’t ever be able to see the source of their protest. Equally as critical, they won’t be able to be seen by the world while attempting to block or protest against whatever is the issue of their concern. Hence, a non-news event with no photo ops and no story!
Such cunning ways to muzzle critically-important social, environmental, political movements could be described as the world’s new makeshift 21st Century ‘concentration camps’, akin to those of wartime. But this is nothing new and actually represents a throwback to the U.S. Army’s 19th century concentration camp concept of Indian Reservations that the Sioux’s own ancestors were forced onto during the Indian Wars to also prevent them from obstructing the imperialism of the ‘White Man’s’ European civilization; Canada’s concept of Reserves no different in their original purpose and intent.
Now that President Trump, and his administration’s Rogues Gallery of the Ultra-Right have been given the keys to the kingdom, this final solution for dissidents of all kind will no doubt become an everyday, business-as-usual reality in the 21st century to ensure that Wall Street, the fossil-fuel industry, big banks, their stockholders, as well as all the world’s Donald Trump’s and their fanatical followers can continue to make record profits and secure their dominion over all species and resources on Earth. The 99% of the world’s masses to remain virtual vassals and serfs to the 1%ers who will continue to be happily sedated by endless fat tax cuts, dodgy money havens and generous corporate deregulations; their bulging investment portfolios sky-rocketing while they sip martinis aboard some palatial cruise ship – flicking through soft-porn fashion images in Elle, Vogue or CR magazines – en-route to yet the next exotic ‘Club Med’ playground to continue experiencing the so-called “good life.”
Meanwhile, America’s brand name will continue to evolve into the ever more ruthless, corrupt, commerce and business schemes that already are being deviously planned and promoted by ‘The Donald’ billionaires of the world. All the American and foreign wars fought in the past, or yet to be, will remain part of the same unbroken chain of Old World treachery, duplicity, betrayal and hypocrisy that began with a vengeance in the New World once Western European brand names started to generate all manner of spin and hype that, in America’s case, first sought to market itself as: ‘America The Beautiful’; ‘The American Dream,’ ‘Land of the Free & Home of the Brave,’ or; the ‘Shining City Upon That Hill’, as prophesized in a biblical parable by Jesus Christ himself during his Sermon on the Mount.
With President Trump and his globalized corporate partners-in-crime now ensconced within their lofty seats of power, the bottom line of all this will only be kicked into ever higher gear. Whatever sly marketing ploys are yet to be crafted to further promote the American brand name won’t change the course and direction of its civilization’s profane way of life; as now embodied within the Trump administration’s most-favoured empire-building document: A Project For a New American Century (PNAC). Many who have poured over the PNAC’s documents, written by radical neo-conservatives in 1997, say it reads like a veritable blueprint plan for what precipitated 9/11, created America’s War of Terror in the world and led to the consequent impudent expansion of the American Empire.
Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s, among Native Americans & First Nations in North America. It encompasses the Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements among native peoples throughout North America during the civil rights era. More recently, Irwin authored a series of articles on the “NODAPL” Sioux Protest in North Dakota. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press.