If there is any common ground to be found in human beings anymore, it might be around survival.
We must have clean water to survive. This is so basic, so fundamental, that there should be no disagreement about it. We can only live for three days without water. It’s the most pro-life stance you could take, isn’t it?
And yet, there are 300,000 Americans living in West Virginia that don’t have access to it.
This is appalling. This is totally unacceptable. Basic, fundamental human rights have been violated here. Basic American rights (life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness anyone?) have been taken away from 300,000 of us.
No arrests have been made.
Here in Michigan, a trial recently concluded. Three women locked themselves into an Enbridge pipeline to call attention to the fact that the largest inland oil spill in the world occurred here three years ago and still isn’t cleaned up and now Enbridge is “improving” the pipeline to carry tar sands oil. Bitumen. Very dirty stuff that does horrible things to drinking water.
These three women, Vicci Hamlin, Lisa Leggio, and Barbara Carter, were peacefully protesting, exercising what few rights we have left under our famed Constitution. They refused to leave the pipeline when asked to do so by our wonderful law enforcement officers. All interactions between the women and law enforcement were civil and polite. They were still charged with trespassing and resisting and obstructing a police officer.
And found guilty.
Sentences of three to five years are possible. For trying to protect our groundwater. They hurt no one.
This is America. Corporations are allowed to deprive us of water, to poison our food (64 countries allow their citizens to know what is in their food, but not US), to imprison us, to give us cancer, to profit from our deaths.
A group psychosis seems to have swept the globe with Prime Ministers Cameron, Abbott and Harper all champions of grotesque extraction methods. So too are state governors like Walker, Snyder, Tomblin, Corbett. Mad dogs, all.
The groups of people working against the fracking push going on in the UK had a killer sign that I’m going to steal and probably screw up but it was something like:
You know government has failed when grandmothers riot.
Vicci Hamlin is a grandmother. She looks like me. She could be me, only she has more courage. Lisa Leggio is going to become a grandma soon. They didn’t riot and they may still go to jail.
Water. Clean, clear, cool water. So basic.
The Keystone Pipeline is going to be built, no question in my mind, and the struggle will get bigger.
Native Americans in the northern plains are organizing. It makes me wonder if Trans Canada will succeed where Tecumseh failed: Uniting the nations against a common enemy.
Tar sands projects are being proposed in Utah, Kentucky, Alaska, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Wyoming.
Tar sands and fracking both require large amounts of water. Millions of gallons. California is in a drought, yet Governor Brown is pro-fracking. Go figure. Then, they pollute groundwater. The Tar Sands in Calgary are already leaking, seeping mercury and who knows what else, into waterways, sickening people.
People in Pennsylvania and Texas can light their tap water on fire.
The projects on the boards will go through the permitting process (and citizens will be arrested protesting) but they’ll win because they wrote the laws in the first place. These projects will be built because government no longer exists to protect citizens. Now, they are working hand in glove to fill our for-profit prisons.
What will people do, do you think, when clean water becomes a rarity?