Episode 4. From the Sky - Answer to Our Ancestors Prayers, Part I

What lessons can we learn from the indigenous-led resistance at Standing Rock to the Dakota Access Pipeline? How can we ensure the stories those in power don’t want told are heard? If those stories aren’t shared and acknowledged and acted upon, is history bound to repeat itself? How can we all be water defenders and add our logs to the campfire that’s now burning? Hear from Myron Dewey of Digital Smoke Signals, whose coverage at Standing Rock brought live aerial footage to the world, showing human rights violations and desecration of tribal lands largely ignored in the media, along with 12-year-old Liliana Monge and her father, Roberto Monge, who traveled to the camp at Standing Rock from San Luis Obispo, California. With Marcus Lopez of KZAA lp, a newly forming independent radio station in Santa Barbara, California, that wants to help those stories get heard.

Credit: Photo from Myron Dewey's live stream of the conversation on which this episode is based

Credit: Photo from Myron Dewey's live stream of the conversation on which this episode is based

“This wasn’t checkers. It was chess. And we put one of the largest companies in the world in checkmate. Now there are water protectors all over the world. It’s their move next.”

—Myron Dewey, Digital Smoke Signals

Credits: Alanna Leavy composed and performed the intro and closing music. The remainder of the sound score was by a Chumash group from Santa Barbara and Ventura, California, as they marched and deconstructed the dome at the conclusion of UCSB’s Water Is Life: Standing with Standing Rock, a three-day event from May 18-20 honoring water protectors and indigenous-led leadership. Thank you for your inspiring music, especially that not shared here but just for those gathered under the Peace Tree, our eyes closed, the wind tickling our cheeks. Max Golding supplied the information on the Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition’s movement to ask the city to divest from institutions supporting pipelines. "From the Sky" was recorded in two sessions in the studios of KCSB. Guests were Myron Dewey of Digital Smoke Signals; 12-year-old Liliana Monge; and her father, Roberto Monge. Marcus Lopez was part of that conversation, which was a joint production of KCSB 91.9 FM and KZAA lp 96.5 FM, broadcasting from la Casa de la Raza in Santa Barbara, thanks to the astounding dedication of the KZAA workgroup and Elizabeth Robinson of No Alibis. Thank you to everyone everywhere who bears witness, shares truths, supports independent media, and keeps the fires burning.

Links and extras from Ep 4. From the Sky - Answers to Our Ancestors Prayers, I

**UPDATE: STANDING ROCK, ND—Men, women, and children gathered to peacefully resist referred to as "insurgents" by the group hired to police them? That group employing counterterrorism strategies against unarmed civilians? Terrifying. Read "Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used at Standing Rock to 'Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies'" (The Intercept, May 27, 2017).

**PARTICIPATEWe the Village wants to know - when did you become a water protector? What log did you add or will you add to the campfire that's now burning? Send a message, subject line "My Standing Rock Fire Log" or record a voice memo and email it to: wethevillagestories@gmail.com

Check out more of the conversation with Myron Dewey of Digital Smoke Signals, Roberto and Liliana Monge, Marcus V. O. Lopez, and Holly Starley.

"Meet the Drone Operators of NoDAPL" - a YouTube video on the coverage out at Standing Rock using direct nonviolent drone action. And here's Digital Smoke Signal's Facebook page.

Divest! Ask your city or organization to create an SRI (socially responsible investment policy) and to divest from all institutions supporting Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In Santa Barbara, CA: Here's a Q&A on Santa Barbara City's DAPL connections. And here are some actions you can take to support the city in honoring its resolution to stand with Standing Rock. Thank you, Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition and Max Golding. Check out Emiliano Campobello's address to SB City Council.

All across the United States: Tim Schwartz of Inspire Bank Exits is traveling around the country inspiring people to divest in institutions funding pipelines and recording their bank exists. Hit Tim up on Bank Exit's Twitter if you want him to record your exit. To find out more, here's Ernesto Burbank's interview of Tim Schwartz.

Check out Seattle leading the way - "2 Cities To Pull More Than $3 Billion From Wells Fargo Over Dakota Access Pipeline," NPR, Feb 8, 2017. 

Water is Life: Standing with Standing Rock - a three-day event at UCSB to honor water protectors and indigenous-centered leaders (May 18-20, 2017).

From Pachamama Alliance, here's the Prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor. And from Spirit Science, "Indigenous Leaders Share the Prophecy of the Condor and the Eagle," Sept 23, 2016. Here's some information on the Peace and Dignity runs.

"Clergy repudiate ‘doctrine of discovery’ as hundreds support indigenous rights at Standing Rock," Baptist News Global, Nov 4, 2016. Here's some history on the use of that awful doctrine - Five Hundred Years of Injustice by Steve Newcomb.

The people of Flint, Michigan, are still in crisis, trying to protect themselves and their water: "Terrified of Our Taps: Residents in Flint Still Live in Crisis," Newsy, May 22, 2017.

Keep up with Democracy Now's ongoing coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline, including its first leak in early May.

Suggested listening:

Ed Lee Natay, Navajo Singer. Here's "Sacred Mask Dance" from that collection. 

♪ Mercedes Sosa, "voice of the voiceless ones," who gave voice to the songs of many Latin American songwriters. Here's "Gracias a la Vida."

Suggested reading:

Anything by Sherman Alexie. The audio version of Alexie reading The Absolutely True Diaries of a Part-Time Indian is wonderful.

This wasn’t checkers. It was chess. And we put one of the largest companies in the world in checkmate. Now there are water protectors are all over the world. It’s their move next.”

—Myron Dewey, Digital Smoke Signals