It is official; Trump told the Army he doesn't need no stinking EIS to get a pipeline finished and so the frozen drilling rigs are being fired up as I write. The tribal chairman has decided he doesn't want a giant clash and is asking protestors/Protectors to focus instead on a big March gathering in D.C. (after the pipeline is complete). He thinks we can affect the elected leadership and our representatives in government. Whatever. Native climate activists seem to be calling for folks to show up at Standing Rock but what is the plan exactly? The heroic types will shun "symbolic action" and insist on stopping the actual drilling with lock-downs and such. Others will want to "bear witness" and pray and "support". This is the School of the Americas playbook for direct action that has not closed the school after thirty years of annual actions.
The Big Enviro groups want to "hold the Army Corps. accountable" by having members send letters and more money; always more money. The Sierra Club says they "will continue to let you know how you can fight back." Awesome. Meanwhile the construction unions are celebrating Trump's actions to create good drilling jobs and MAGA. In a NYTimes op-ed,Naomi Klein asks: "In times of insecurity, why shouldn't unions worry more about jobs than about the environment?" She is trying to be understanding but borders on condescending. For one thing, climate change isn't like litter. it threatens the life of their children and the moral imperative is to protect our own (and then others).Big Greens and mainstream unions have tried to sell a version of kind, non-greedy, non-"predatory" democratic capitalism (the version Steve Bannon believes in as well) and now they they have constituents who believe all the free market, Blue-Green alliance bullshit. Now what do you tell them?
what do you tell the Water Protectors about their sovereignty? Do you trust them enough (and the union folk and the Sierra Club members) to explain the real crisis in all its dimensions? Recall that all these folks were ok with the pipeline when it was going through Bismark. And where is Black Lives Matter, where is Idle No More, where are all those students upset over debt, all those Occupy people upset over "money in politics"? Are they all busy writing letters trying to stop Betsy DeVoss and Jeff Sessions? How is that working out so far? Who is still standing?