Mni Wiconi- Water is Life: In Memory of Caine

A year ago today our community was devastated by the death of our beloved Caine. The team here at Affinity struggled with how to honor Caine on this day and we finally decided to carry forward her message to love and honor the planet. Caine stood with the tribe at Standing Rock in their struggle against the DAPL and today we’re passing on a few stories about the continuing struggle of Indigenous communities to protect the land and water. We are in no way qualified to speak about Indigenous culture or history, but we do so today with great respect.

First, a few reminders of the meaning of Mni Wiconi – Water is Life.

Mni Wiconi – The Stand at Standing Rock

Mni Wiconi – Water is Life

Hear the message of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Honor tribal sovereignty and the Earth we inhabit by telling President Obama to deny the easement by calling 202-456-1111. We need every person to call Obama this week before Dec. 5th. Please share. For more information visit standwithstandingrock.net#NoDAPL#StandwithStandingRock#standingrock#bankexit

Posted by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Also:

In an article on Indian Country Today, Woonspe—Education Gives Meaning to Mni Wiconi—Water Is Life they tell of the origin story behind the meaning of Mni Wiconi.

An origin story of the Oceti Sakowin, the Seven Council Fires, which make up the Lakota, Nakoda, and Dakota people, tells us that the blood of First Creation, Inyan, covers Unci Maka, our grandmother earth, and this blood, which is blue is mni, water, and mahpiya, the sky. Mni Wiconi, water is life.

The entire article is worth reading and the above link will take you right there.

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Many Standing Rocks: Three Years and Still Fighting, by Tracy L. Barnett – The Esperanza Project)

LaDonna Allard, center, and Cheryl Angel at a march led by the women of Sacred Stone to the backwater bridge one week after a brutal attack there by law enforcement. (Photo from social media) – The Esperanza Project

 

So water is in danger, globally. Right now Indigenous communities are still at risk, and they are standing up, because they have to stand up.  When you finally realize — WATER IS LIFE — you understand why you can’t sit back down.

People keep saying “after” Standing Rock – but I’m still of the same state of mind, I still have the same passion for the water,  it has to be protected. It was when I was at Sicangu Wicoti Iyuksa that I learned about the aquifers that were in danger and when I was at Standing Rock I learned about the rivers that were in danger.

We encourage you to read the article. Cheryl Angel passes on wisdom from a lifetime spent in activism for the planet. Her reflections on the movement at Standing Rock are insightful, as is her take on the ongoing struggle to protect water and land resources.

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Next, we’re providing links to 2 reports on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s website.

SRST – No DAPL Remand Report Final, from February 5, 2019.

This first story is a damning and infuriating report on the deficient Corps of Engineers Analysis of the environmental impacts of the DAPL. The courts finally sided with the Standing Rock Tribe, but then decided that since the pipeline is already built they will let the oil flow.

Impacts of an Oil Spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from February 21, 2018, so that you can see just how much is at stake.
Both stories connect you to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s website and we encourage you to have a look around. The About Us section contains lots of information about the history of the tribe and the reservation, as does the section about environmental issues.
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Next, we’re going to point you toward the Indigenous Environmental Network.
IEN is an alliance of Indigenous peoples whose mission it is to protect the sacredness of Earth Mother from contamination and exploitation by strengthening, maintaining and respecting Indigenous teachings and natural laws. Adopted in 1994 by the IEN National Council, Denver, Colorado
The IEN website has a broad focus and they carry a variety of interesting stories about the ongoing fight to protect the land and water. It isn’t all just talk, though. The IEN runs several important environmental campaigns including the Keep It In The Ground Campaign run by Dallas Goldtooth. Dallas was born into an activist family and stood as a water protector at Standing Rock. He’s an accomplished activist, teacher, writer, poet and comedian who uses story and humor to tackle difficult subjects.
Here he is with his comedy troupe, The 1491’s, at Vasser College in 2018. His message is full of hope.

And finally, we leave you with a clip found on Twitter 2 days ago by rq. It’s a true message of hope from The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the it’s the perfect way to end this post.

 

The Chains of Intolerance.

Andrew Ellis Johnson, “The ICEman Cometh” (2018, detail), ink, charcoal, wax, graphite.

Andrew Ellis Johnson, “The ICEman Cometh” (2018, detail), ink, charcoal, wax, graphite.

Art and artists most definitely have a place in answering wrongs, great or small, and everything in between. Andrew Ellis Johnson has a searing piece up at Hyperallergic. It’s well worth seeing and reading.

Cheddar Gorgeous: Let’s Get Visible!

Trump in Drag, credit: Cheddar Gorgeous / Facebook.

Trump in Drag, credit: Cheddar Gorgeous / Facebook.

Oh, I would give so much to be a part of this, it sounds absolutely fabulous and it has the added bonus that it will make the Tiny Tyrant squirm all over.

Queen Elizabeth won’t the only queen greeting Donald Trump when he visits the U.K. in July.

A thousand people have signed onto a Facebook invitation for a drag-queen protest to greet the president in London on July 13. Another nearly 7,000 people are interested in attending.

Manchester drag performer Cheddar Gorgeous and four other performers have issued the call to all drag kings, queens, queers and our allies.

“Due to the appalling way the Trump administration has regarded the rights and welfare of the LGBTQI communities in the U.S., the idea of a Trump visit to the U.K. is unacceptable,” the invitation says.

“Let’s get visible, stand with our sisters, brothers and others in America.”

You can read much more at LGBTQ Nation, and The Guardian. Cheddar Gorgeous on Twitter.  I wish all the attendees the very best, and I hope there are going to a ton of photos.

Trump Behind Bars.

Installation view of Indecline’s “The People’s Prison” (2018) at the Trump International Hotel & Tower (all photos by Jason Goodrich for Indecline and used with permission, unless indicated otherwise).

Installation view of Indecline’s “The People’s Prison” (2018) at the Trump International Hotel & Tower (all photos by Jason Goodrich for Indecline and used with permission, unless indicated otherwise).

Robert Mueller may not have succeeded in bringing Donald Trump to justice yet, but for a fleeting few hours Friday night, the shadowy art collective Indecline did what millions of people in the US and beyond have dreamed of doing since November 2016: they put Trump behind bars.

It may not have been the actual maximum security prison of our collective dreams, but Indecline — most recently known for surreptitiously staging a graveyard at Trump’s Bedminister Golf Course, hanging a troupe of “Ku Klux Klowns,” and previously for planting naked Trump statues in multiple cities during the 2016 election — managed to stage a prison cell installation, dubbed “The People’s Prison,” in a suite on the third floor of the Trump International Hotel & Tower next to Columbus Circle. The work was installed in less than 24 hours, entirely undercover, and without the knowledge of hotel employees, who unwittingly helped carry all of the props and equipment to the room.

Installation view of Indecline’s “The People’s Prison” (2018) at the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Installation view of Indecline’s “The People’s Prison” (2018) at the Trump International Hotel & Tower.

Surrounding the one-man prison cell were portraits rendered on American flags, burned and tattered at the edges, each illuminated with its own individual lamp. Indecline worked with 12 artists — including Molly Crabapple, Ann Lewis, LMNOPI, and the Panic Collective — to create the portraits of 12 artists and activists from across history, including Muhammad Ali, Leonard Peltier, Angela Davis, Hunter S. Thompson, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and even more contemporary figures like Erica Garner and Edward Snowden. Interviews with each of the portrait subjects played for the duration of the show over a background soundtrack of strangely relaxing ambient music.

All of the figures in the portraits, an Indecline spokesman told Hyperallergic, are “activists and fighters that we look up to. Activists that made a difference and made a good point. He has to sit here with the people who actually made a difference.” The spokesman continued: “Everyone on these walls fought to make this flag stand for something greater than it does currently under the Trump administration … they’re the ones who should be regarded as historical figures.”

You can read and see much more at Hyperallergic!

Quilts: Tools For Resistance.

Yaneli Martinez, “Inequality 4 All”.

Yaneli Martinez, “Inequality 4 All”.

Jaquie Gering, “Veer”.

Jaquie Gering, “Veer”.

PASADENA, Calif. — “SHUT UP and Listen,” proclaims a quilt in bold, red letters. It shows a muted American flag, hung upside down on its phantom flagpole. The aggressive “SHUT UP” is rendered in darker red fabric, like oxidized blood. But the message softens with the word “Listen,” looped in beautiful script, using sweeter reds and an assemblage of floral, plaid, and paisley fabrics. The quilt is willing to have a conversation if I’m willing to hold my tongue.

Jessica Wohl’s quilt was just one of many beckoning calls to action at QuiltCon 2018, the Modern Quilt Guild’s annual convention, held at the Pasadena Convention Center late February. The guild launched in 2009, after quilters making innovative, nontraditional works began forming connections online and realized they weren’t alone in their experimentation. The guild has established chapters internationally, in which quilters come together and show their work, workshop new techniques, and build a community.

Embedded in this year’s quilt show, which featured over 350 works, were acts of protest. They carried messages like “strong women taught us to quilt…and to fight,” “rise up, resist,” and simply, “oh no.” Others depicted difficult, but insightful, interpretations of mass incarceration, police brutality, school shootings, and acts of terror. The need quilters have felt to channel their frustrations into their craft during Trump’s America was palpable. But the members of the Modern Quilt Guild are also continuing a very old tradition of using the quilt as a tool for resistance.

You can read and see much more at Hyperallergic. I wish I could have seen this show.

The Migrant Quilt Project.

TUCSON SECTOR 2004-2005, 282 deaths.
Made by Carol Hood, Sunny Klapp, Phyllis Sager, & Virginia Wenzel, of Prescott, Arizona.

Picked from the desert, I’m gazing at the tiny pieces of Jeans. These are what’s left of real lives. They had hopes and dreams of better and safer futures. (Virginia Wenzel)

There is a wealth of heartbreak at The Migrant Quilt Project, but it’s heartbreak all should feel. No one should be able to turn a cold heart and hateful mind to the mute witness of so much death.

The Migrant Quilt Project.

The Anti-Trump Hotel.

Oh, this place sounds fabulous! From what I’ve read, I might want to live there. :D

The first thing you’ll see when you walk into Eaton Workshop, a hotel opening in late spring 2018 in Washington, is a custom-commissioned video art installation by AJ Schnack, shown on a series of vintage-style television screens. All day long, it’ll broadcast a montage of footage from the presidential elections of 2012 and 2016 that’s built around one pointed question: How did our country get where it is today?

It’s not a subtle statement, and it’s not meant to be.

In Trump’s Washington, Eaton is planting a clear flag as a haven for Democrats. It’s the world’s first politically motivated hotel, the flagship for a global brand that’s built around social activism and community engagement. And it comes with a pedigree: As the daughter of Ka Shui Lo, the creator and executive chairman of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group Ltd., founder Katherine Lo knows a thing or two about luxury hotels and world-class service.

Lo firmly believes that hotels ought to be catalysts for good. In a world where we can be conscious consumers—of everything from clothing to food to baby products—she argues there’s a place for conscious hotels, too. This isn’t a revolutionary idea: Already, 1 Hotels has built a small collection of luxury properties entirely around the idea of sustainability, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has made a significant, brand-wide commitment to bolster community programming for disadvantaged children in all of its destinations. It’s one of many five-star brands that have a conscious ethos but choose not to flaunt it.

Eaton Workshop is different. With a premise that’s built around liberal activism and civic engagement, the brand will weave a liberal philosophy into every aspect of the guest experience, some more obvious than others.

[…]

Among the Washington location’s programming signatures will be a sort of TED talk series driven by the liberal agenda, consisting of fireside chats and rooftop lectures that Lo hopes will be free, open to the public, and streamable as Eaton-branded podcasts. Then comes the art program, which—aside from the political statement piece at check-in—will include commissions from at least a half-dozen up-and-coming local artists and a street-facing exhibition window curated in partnership with local museums and institutions. A co-working space will prioritize memberships for progressive startups, activists, and artists, while a wellness program will offer “inner-health-focused treatments” such as Reiki and sound baths, rather than facials and massages. (Some of these features will roll out a few months after the hotel opens.)

Just as important, partners and staff will be brought on board, both for their skills in the food and beverage worlds and their activist track records. For instance, Lo saw the cocktail director of the famed Columbia Room, Derek Brown, as a perfect fit to be the hotel’s beverage director—not just because he’s won such awards as Imbibe magazine’s Bartender of the Year but because he “cares deeply about social justice.” To wit, Brown actively champions policies that fight sexual harassment in the bartending industry and acts as chief spirit advisor for the National Archives.

Similarly, Lo says that the “amazing life story” of house chef Tim Ma “perfectly expresses our brand ethos.” The Chinese-American culinary up-and-comer was an engineer at the National Security Agency for years before discovering his true passion in food. At Eaton’s to-be-named restaurant, Ma is planning a menu with a heavy focus on vegetables from an on-site garden.

A guest who does nothing other than check in, sleep atop Eaton’s organic mattresses, and check out will still have a sense of the hotel’s mission, says Lo. “We plan to have new ideas in the minibar—an activist toolkit, for example, that includes sheets with information to help you call your congresspeople. And if we’d been open during this year’s Women’s March, I could have seen us putting poster boards and markers in the rooms!”

Political statements such as these will be tailored to each property. In Hong Kong, for instance, Lo says she’d like to replace Bibles in the nightstand drawers with copies of the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights.

Raw Story and Bloomberg have this story.  Eaton Workshop.

Trick or Tweet!

© C. Ford.

Oh, the right wing. So very gullible. You can make up anything, and they will swallow it whole so quickly, you wouldn’t have time to blink. There is such a twitchy desperation to believe anything negative about their self-defined enemies, they lie in wait, ready to pounce, on anything.

An anonymous but popular comedian on Twitter who tweets under the username “Krang T Nelson”—an homage to a cartoon character in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”—was suspended from Twitter after posting a satirical status mocking conservative fearmongering around a series of demonstrations organized by Refuse Fascism, a group separate from Antifa, scheduled for November 4. The user tweeted:

Screengrab.

Twitter suspended the Krang T Nelson account after the post was reported by conservatives who believed the tweet was serious. Fellow Twitter comedian Tom Bloke then copied and pasted the since-removed tweet to his own profile to show solidarity. It didn’t take long for the worst right-wing pundits to seize the opportunity to embarrass themselves.

The Gateway Pundit’s White House reporter Lucian Wintrich reported on the satirical tweet reposted by Bloke as if it was a serious threat of “anti-white racism” against “white parents” and “small business owners.”  Wintrich also identified Bloke as “one of the leaders of the domestic terrorist group ANTIFA,” which is a lie.

The Gateway Pundit went on and on about Antifa, not caring one whit that they were taken in. They have a graphic comparing Nazis to Antifa, and note:

Primarily comprised of white, pale-skinned, stick-thin men, and obese pimple-ridden women, Antifa hide behind masks to both disguise their grotesque appearances and to feel “united” with the others in their group.

Not only gullible, ignorant, and mis-informed, but so very juvenile, too.

Pro-Trump sycophant radio host Bill Mitchell shared the Gateway Pundit article with his followers:

Screengrab.

Ian Miles Cheong got in on the re-tweet panic, too, and defended his panic when he was informed he was panicking over nothing at all. You can read about the whole mess at RWW, and they also provide a link to the new account of Krang.

All Lives Splatter.

A Chelan County emergency services worker posted a disturbing joke to the county’s Facebook account, kidding about protesters being rammed three weeks after a Virginia protester was killed by a driver who did so.

The worker managing the county’s emergency services Facebook account posted a crude cartoon with an illustration captioned, “All lives splatter … nobody cares about your protest / Keep your ass out of the Road”

The as-yet unidentified poster included the note: “I don’t wish harm on anyone … but protesters don’t belong in the road!”

Mmm, you don’t wish harm on anyone, but you show a depiction of people being harmed because, “hey, it’s funny, and those libtards deserve it, lol!” I imagine if such was directed at you, emergency services worker, you wouldn’t find it so gosh darn amusing. I sure as fuck don’t. Handing J. Q. Public license to murder is not funny. It’s not funny that open murder is being written into law, because of course, dissent is evil, so you better do all your dissenting someplace legal, like your closet, where you can’t help to effect any change at all.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett apologized for the post on Monday, saying the non-commissioned employee intended to share it only on a personal account.

“Staff at Chelan County Emergency Management feel terrible that this inappropriate and hurtful post made it onto the Facebook page,” Burnett wrote in the news release. “Changes have already been made in procedure to assure nothing like this will ever occur in the future.”

Oh, and that makes it okay, does it, to change things so this sort of evil shit can’t make it to the official page? Naturally, having employees posting this vile poison on their personal accounts, that’s just dandy! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’d want Chelan County emergency services anywhere near me. Your asshole employees would be just as prone to killing me as helping me, right, Sheriff Burnett?

In recent months, law enforcement workers around the country have been called out for posting the meme and similar statements.

A Slate examination of the trend in August – “Run Them Down”: Driving into crowds of protesters was a right-wing fantasy long before the violence in Charlottesville – highlighted three police officers and one firefighter who were caught urging vehicle attacks on protesters. One Oregon cop was fired for suggesting that drivers “push the right” pedal when facing Black Lives Matter protesters.

Pigs will be pigs, won’t they? This is what happens when cops shops refuse to hire intelligent people. This is what happens when cops shops happily hire white supremacists and assorted dumbshit bigots. Then gives them a license to be homicidal prickshits.

Via Seattle PI.