Halting the Dakota Access pipeline, albeit temporarily, signifies the combined potential of cooperative power, reverence for nature, and confrontation of history. Members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, despite all they have been deprived of and probably insurmountable odds against them, together with environmental activists, exercised the latent power of otherwise fragmented people to stand together with one voice protesting the exploitation by the few of the resources that should belong to all. Their message announces the intimate connection between, indeed the identification of, destruction of native culture and destruction of nature. And President Obama, facing both the atrocity of history and the precariousness of our future, defied not only the lobbying power of the fossil fuel industry but also the legitimating power of the judicial process, exercising his fleeting executive power to show America what is right.
Thank you all for demonstrating in action what I have been groping to explain in words. Speaking of words, Santee Sioux activist John Trudell said it all better than I in 1980.