The end of ceremony

Water is life
it’s a trail of tears

Earthlings this week
put planets 40 lightyears away on the front page
because they might be “awash in water”

because water is life
it’s a trail of prayers

Leaving the Great Campsite on fire
to welcome home the US government
we are walking
our eyes on the sky

Whose land
whose water
who’s awash in oil
in radio silence

water is life
we set fire


Note on the poem

“Water is life” is the rallying cry of the water protectors organized by the Standing Rock Sioux in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens sacred land and drinking water for the tribe and millions downstream. On Feb. 22, 2017, the day the Army Corps of Engineers gave as a deadline to evacuate the water protectors’ encampment blocking the completion of the pipeline, the top-of-the-fold news was of the discovery of a star system with Earth-sized planets that might have water.

President Trump had signed an executive order to allow the continued building of the pipeline; militarized police and National Guard troops echoed the forceable removal of indigenous people since 1492.


Repression of media coverage of the direct action was repressed even before Trump came to power:



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