I am sure some of you have seen the video of Divergent actress Shailene Woodley being arrested for peacefully protesting against the Dakota Access pipeline. For those of you who do not know about the pipeline, it’s a pipeline to transport crude oil from the Bakken/Three Forks play in North Dakota to a terminus in Illinois with additional points of destinations along the route.
The point of this originally, was to be cost efficient, and some corporations thought it would be the most “environmentally safe” option. However, problems have arisen because now the fresh water that people drink is being poisoned in the process. Also, in doing this, it is severely damaging sacred Native American land. People have gathered together to protest for clean water and historical land, Shailene being one of them.
Shailene video recorded over two hours of the protest (which she attended with her mother), police had massive assorts of weapons and people chanted Native American Tribal songs and they held signs saying things like “Water Is Life”. At the end of the video it shows both police and military surrounding her for trespassing. In the video, Shailene asked why every single person wasn’t being placed under arrest, and they told her that she was directly “identified”. Her mother then held the camera as they placed her under arrest.
Whether or not people agree with the pipeline, this is bigger than that.
The point of this is bigger than clean water. The point of this is about our humanity, it’s about the people who are not being heard and suffering because of it.
As I have watched the progress of this movement for many months, one thing detrimentally stuck out to me.
I was painfully reminded that I, as well as the rest of this world, have seen the same thing happen before, many times.
I have seen peaceful protests result in arrest, I have seen the Bernie Sanders photo of him fighting for equal rights and being taken away, I have seen MLKJ assassinated for standing up for racism, I have seen Gandhi arrested for promoting peace, and I have seen the Jewish population be arrested for their beliefs. It seems there is some common ground with all of the most historical marks in history, and that is-
Human rights are not being heard.
It’s as simple as that.
People talk about human rights and oppression all of the time, but are we actually LISTENING?
We live in a world where people look out for their own behalf, rather than wellness as a whole. We divide our world before anything else even has the chance to.
People get so consumed with profit, accessibility, religion, and entitlement that we no longer fight and stand up together for the survival of everyone, we just fight for what “WE” want; and I think it’s safe to say that that hasn’t worked in the past, and it’s not working today.
This world will know healing when we look at the pictures of what is happening today and what happened 100 year ago and we dare to see that they are actually the same picture. This world will progress when we join hands rather than cuff them purely because “it’s in our job description”. When we listen to hear, rather than listen to respond and then dismiss, this world will grow in love, and when we can look inside of someone else and feel their struggles, even when they are different than our own, world peace will begin.