Morning Prayer's Drumbeat: Standing Rock & Spiritual War
[Editor's note: While the #NODAPL resistance has been ongoing, an announcement lifting the easement order of construction on the pipeline from Trump's White House late Tuesday January 31st. The following morning, the work of local organizers bolstered by Injustice Boycott helped draw national attention to Seattle where thousands showed up and tuned in to urge the city council committee to pass legislation that cancels a $3B contract with Wells Fargo for its investment in the pipeline as well as the bank’s discriminatory practices against POC and investment in the prison industrial complex. We are happy to report this was largely a success, and when voted in by the broader council on February 6th, Seattle will be the first municipality to put its money where its mouth is on these issues. Despite how encouraging this decision is in cultivating movement on #NODAPL divestment on a massive scale, this small victory was tempered by reports pouring in yesterday of burning tipis, escalating violence towards water protectors, and 76 arrests made on the evening of Jan 31st alone. As the struggle in North Dakota rekindles with new urgency, we at Hip Hop Bruha remind ourselves and our readers of the broader scope, longevity, and multifaceted work of indigenous resistance in which we stand in solidarity. Thus we're proud to share this piece by emcee, artist & Bruha collective member Poesia Mariarte on her reflections from the frontlines of Sacred Stone Camp, the spiritual core of these struggles, and what Hip Hop embodies in the context of Revolution.]
(Sacred Stone Camp @ Standing Rock, September 2016, Photos Credit: Poesia MariArte)
The Circuity of Time & Continuity of Resistance
Time is arbitrary; (a) constant shift of experiences that morph into (a) lifestyle. Becoming a form of expression to give voice to a lived reality. drumbeat in motion. Poetry. Neither from here nor there, or over there...from everywhere that’s ever been connected thru ancestral stories and seeds, like Maize. Water. Itsï. Sacred. Medicine. Restoring ancient alliances - we are limitless, building to defend our mother Earth. Water is sacred. Water is life.
Crispy autumn air in a moment within a span of over 520 years of decolonial resistance. Vibrant colors swiftly fallen on cold grounds, prairies, children running and laughing, horses eating around the encampment reclaiming space; “horse medicine” said Winona LaDuke during a Hip Hop Black Snake Killa event Featuring Alas!, Savage Fam, Che Christ, Immortal Technique, amongst others.
The Birth of Winyan Camp at Sacred Stone
Arriving, we drove around Sacred Stone Camp looking for a place to put the Womxn's, Two Spirited
and Children camp we later called Winyan Camp. Several of us wrote (a) blurb to highlight our work within the space: “ We, the womxn & two-spirited of Winyan Camp, are in SOLIDarity in support of Standing Rock and all Indigenous peoples fighting neo-settler colonialism, capitalism, and the destruction of our mother earth. As womxn and two-spirited peoples we are the givers of life, health, and wellness, and we believe it is the womxn that will heal the world of capitalist greed and disrespect of our mother earth. We never have stopped fighting/defending for our mother and we will never stop fighting/defending for our mother. We created the Winyan camp as a safe space for womxn, children, and two-spirited peoples to gather, pray, and support each other thru this tremendous time, so that we can have the strength to continue to fight and support the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and defense of mother earth.”
This space manifested continuous transformations and differences. In a span of almost 2 weeks spent learning and hearing, Sacred Stone Camp grew by the thousands. It was estimated that about 5,000 earth and water defenders were present at the same time and place I found myself. I was a guest bearing witness to struggles in defense of the earth - not so different than what is happening in the southern hemisphere, the land of my ancestors.
Many of us joined the struggle in support of all Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples fighting neo-settler colonialism, capitalism, and the destruction of our mother earth. Womxn will heal the world of capitalist greed and disrespect of our mother earth. We never have stopped fighting/defending for our mother, and we will never stop fighting.
The camp was taken down in late November, but the work from all of us in collectively creating a space was a lesson in a long ourstory of resistance and different methods/tactics for us as womxn and two-spirited peoples coming together. We have always been on the frontlines, something heteropatriarchal settler violence cannot erase from ourstories. We might not be in the front pages of the rich or in HIStory books, but we carry the resistance in the songs and prayers of our peoples.
The Political Realities in Which We Exist
Drastic changes call for drastic actions, differences in tactics, where we need to organize across arbitrary borders in a continent occupied by settler colonial genocidal government (s). Borders serve as a mechanism to contain lands, resource extractions, and economic systems. Multinational corporations exert control thru funding politicians that pass laws for these entities to extract and privatize natural resources. What is happening in Standing Rock and all the frontlines, is a firm indicator that we as peoples have to resist the ongoing colonial domination and exploitation of bodies and ecosystems. We must reclaim and restore our own value and that of our mother earth. Capitalists have no respect for life.
Our compas Zapatistas have been saying for the past 20 years that we are living in the 4th World
As Aboriginal Peoples we are denied human integrity for our existence: The bloodsheds, forced migrations, and racist ideals of “civility” by (a) genocidal society built on violence. Self-Defense is not violence. Property Destruction is not violence. We have an inherent right as Aboriginal Peoples to defend our ancestral homelands, peoples, womxn, children, and communities from exploitation and genocide. Our understanding of our differences across geographies helps us understand that fascism cannot divide and conquer our spirits, minds, and hearts from our purpose: defending the sacred.
Our spiritualities were viewed as “demonic” because they did not understand our complex connection with our Creator and way of daily life. Our ceremonies are misunderstood by Capitalists because they cannot fathom complex teachings thru dance, songs, and ceremony. Our cultures are not just an identity box or label, our existence comes with a legacy of ancestral teachings.
The Medicine, Bond, & Weaponry of Hip Hop
Hip Hop is always in the frontlines regardless of geography, it is the nature of the culture and the resistance of the drumbeat echo. 4 counts and equilibrium of the elements: each night we fell asleep underneath the stars listening to prayers and drumming, our traditions that have spiritually and politically strengthened our peoples across imaginary borders. Drumbeat in motion. Keep feeling. Keep breathing. The familiarity of distant relatives sharing struggles in defense of our mother, The Earth, the place that gives us life and our food sources. We will remain here. No apologies. Permissions. Or Settler Colonial governance will contain the rebellions.
In the lands of my ancestors, peoples of Vicente Guerrero, we also share similar struggles. Multinational organizations of murder arrive with their weapons and economic military terrorism to devastate and displace our peoples. The urban and rural reservations. Caretakers of the earth, we are inherently nurturers. Our peoples are linguistically, ethnically, culturally reflective of the lands we inhabit and when the settlers got lost at sea claiming to arrive in India, they mistook us for “Indians” to classify us into a category of racial domination. Our existence was perceived as “primitive” and our temples and writings were burnt to prove that “Europeans” were “superior.” what a disgrace to the legacies of ancients.
Hip Hop navigates thru echoes, cries and sounds of memories. Our ancient teachings coming out of the shadows on urban canvasses, visually narrating myths created to keep us indoctrinated into their genocidal nation.
Thousands of Natives gather from nations close and far. Prayers. The 7th generation arrives with the beat on repeat goes the resistance of the peoples. Spiritual War is inherently connected to our way of life. Prayer with action.
Poesi(a) Mari(A)rte is a Visual Creative thinker based in Occupied Coast Salish Territory Manifesting Creative Rebellion every millisecond reflecting generations of rebellions, Poetically narrating the teachings of ancients. Born in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero Poesi(a) migrated with her family in the early 90s to the Pacific Northwest. She is Hip Hop artist with Batallones Femeninos, a womxn's hip hop collective based in Mexico and does multi-media production & autonomous hip hop movement building with Shades of Silence in Seattle, WA. She is currently in the process of applying to Film School in hope of supporting womxn in Hop Hop thru video, audio & music production. She loves fluffy things, flowers and oceans.
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