The two-party system of American politics compounds the rising conflict of opposing views in a majority of issues today. Border security and human rights violations being among those most endangering to the Latino community at large. Mario Aguilar wrote that: “One of the most important and powerful currents of this social upheaval was the Chicano and Mexican search for spirituality and sacred space.” He was speaking about the previous era of civil rights and early integration of native cultural resurgence during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; but this statement is still applicable today. Chicanos and Latinx communities can be found on both sides of the political spectrum and this in turn creates stagnation and a large portion of our community does nothing about the situation. Add to American idealism that promotes individuality so much that people feel detached from the issues until their own families are impacted. Then the threat of incarceration, deportation, alienation or termination have a strangle on those of us who sense the injustices, yet have no direction for engaging in some form of meaningful resistance.
There has been a long-game strategy for industrial businesses to have the general public desensitized from the natural world, so that their destructive activities are not seen as a threat and people get complacent about the harm that is being caused.
Fortunately, many of the younger generation is discovering that the solutions are not encoded in Play-station and X-Box video games although there are a few that inspire the struggle. So it does not take a serious investigation to encounter seeds of resistance and groups of youth that are getting serious about protecting our future. From environmental warriors like Earth Guardians who are currently suing the Trump administration for failure to regulate industry and protect the earth for future generations, to local circles of spiritual revivalists and extra-terrestrial explorers/enthusiasts.
Yo soy Chicano, and as an avid reader of El Semanario since 95’, I was compelled to share an experience from an event that I recently attended. Right south of Denver, ColorAztlán, just west of Highway 85, the Indigenous People’s Power Project (IP3) hosted a conference and workshops with youth and activists from across this Turtle Island. They utilized a unique center just south of the city and barely into the mountains called Woodbine Ecology Center, where they trained in direct actions and helped prepare individuals that are continuing the resistance against social injustices, oil pipelines, immigration and mining projects that are threatening local communities and afflicting the harmony of mother earth and the prosperity of people of color.
The Indigenous People’s Power Project (IP3) is a nonviolent direct action training and support network advancing Indigenous communities’ ability to exercise their inherent rights to environmental justice, cultural livelihood, and self-determination. Formed in 2004, as a project of the Ruckus Society, IP3 works across Turtle Island with communities that are most vulnerable to threats of ecological devastation and resource exploitation, and most poised to lead solution-oriented action.
The IP3 team of trainers, cultural practitioners, and action coordinators offer NVDA training, action support, and network building that are customized to fit the traditions of Indigenous communities. IP3 remains an invaluable resource for Native activists, especially those working in geographically marginalized regions of North América.
For many of us the idea of the Earth as a living being is difficult to reconcile. Either the religious ideologies that claim that the Earth is under the dominion of man, or the scientific approach from a big bang ‘theory’, that has little relation to spirit, mark the widest extremes. These polar views are what hold a large majority of the population and maintain conflict. Fortunately, a growing fraction of people are beginning to find reverence in the idea that our planet is a living Mother with her own conscious and spiritual awareness.
There has been a long-game strategy for industrial businesses to have the general public desensitized from the natural world so that their destructive activities are not seen as a threat and people get complacent about the harm that is being caused. It takes a great deal of education and demonstration from people with a genuine empathy for the Mother Earth to push back against these forces. Recent petitions to prohibit fracking and oil pipelines being blockaded are among the most popular. If you are brave enough to subscribe to online campaigns, there is no shortage of environmental catastrophes that will have you sign their online support or request a minimal $5 contribution.
The oppression that is endured in this struggle is no small matter and there continues to be acts of injustice and obstruction of equality driven by greed. I often suspect that a few of these online support campaigns are exaggerated in order to overwhelm the news consumer and get us into a state of inundation so that we begin to ignore the issues. When will the profits of a few be satisfied enough that we can begin to focus on more responsible forms of production?
There are numerous alternative methods that this article does not have the space to divulge. The fact remains that not enough is being done to effect the needed change.
This writer is not faced with the task of persuasion, because I know that people are not always capable of drastic changes without extreme consequence. I did, however hope to inspire those of you that are feeling hopeless or frustrated with the current issues in today’s public eye. Know that there are forces working to improve the situation and know that there are groups willing to receive you and appreciate your help. Most of us will do the right thing when the obvious choices are in our face. But take the time to investigate the root cause or the hidden agendas in some of the actions that are taking place. What is the motive and long-term agendas of those who make requests of you?
If you share this reader’s passion for native struggles you can reach out to IP3 by contacting them at https://ip3action.org or donating to Woodbine ecology center at their website: https://woodbinecenter.org/donate.
A call to action is at your door. Will you answer?
Danny Stange is the Mobilization Director for Sisters of Color United for Education in Colorado.
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