Don’t Look Down

Don’t Look Down is a spoof of the recent movie Don’t Look Up in which people refuse to acknowledge a meteor heading for earth. That’s what came to me as I’m praying about what to write this morning.

One of the things I heard my friend Sikowis say recently was the earth below the surface is also sacred ground, part of Mother Earth. And we don’t know the consequences of digging pipelines underground. Thus, the title Don’t Look Down.

Some of the most powerful experiences I’ve had were each time we walked over the Dakota Access pipeline during the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018. We could feel the sinister black snake below. Several of us broke down in tears.

Ed, Miriam, Lakasha and Mahmud standing over the Dakota Access pipeline, 2018

As an example of how long many of us have been fighting, Miriam and Mahmud (in the photo) were at the rally against carbon pipelines yesterday. Most of us were fighting against fossil fuels for many years before that March. (My own fight began in the early 1970’s when I moved to Indianapolis and was so horrified by the clouds of noxious auto exhaust that I refused to own a car since.)

For a long time, I’ve been begging people to speak out against pipelines. Most recently carbon pipelines.
(See: )

Few people have done so, as is the case in so many justice struggles, including opposition to the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Coastal GasLink pipelines. And yet we did defeat the Keystone XL pipeline.

There were probably less than two hundred people who showed up for yesterday’s rally. But the same small, core group of people were there, again. Sharing this work together, battling discouragement at times, has brought us closer together. We’ve formalized our connections by forming the Buffalo Rebellion.
(See: )

The Buffalo Rebellion is a coalition that includes Iowa Citizens for Community ImprovementGreat Plains Action SocietyDes Moines Black Liberation MovementIowa MMJ (Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice), SEIU Iowa (Service Employees International Union – Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa), Sierra Club Iowa Beyond Coal, and Cedar Rapids Sunrise Movement.

the earth below the surface is sacred ground


I’ve been to a lot of rallies, but yesterday’s Rally Against False Climate Solutions was the best organized I’ve experienced. As it says above, it was organized by the Buffalo Rebellion, which I’m glad to be a part of. My friend Jake Grobe, is Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s climate justice organizer. He sent many emails and social media posts ahead of the rally and was the leader for the rally’s march to the site of a convention of carbon pipeline supporters at the Iowa Event Center.

Jake and several others, including Jaylen Cavil of Des Moines Black Liberation, spoke out against carbon pipelines in the middle of the carbon capture convention the day before the rally.

The day before, members of CCI Action and Des Moines BLM disrupted a nationwide carbon capture convention in Des Moines during a panel that featured the 3 companies who want to force their greenwashing scam on America’s heartland– Summit, Navigator, and Wolf. 

When the panel claimed that most Iowans and landowners are in support of their pipelines, seven of us rose up to speak the truth. 

Watch today’s action here!

We’re not done shaking things up yet– we need you to join us tomorrow to give these corporate polluters a proper sendoff! 

Buffalo Rebellion will be holding a rally against false climate solutions tomorrow at 1PM

My friends Sikowis Nobiss and Mahmud Fitil, also part of the Buffalo Rebellion, were also very involved in preparing for, and being present at the rally. I was honored when Mahmud said they had an emblem for me and pinned it on my back.

One of the important things yesterday was safety. Water was available. There were several people that acted as parade marshals, wearing orange vests, who walked with us. And several street medics. There were also several cars that blocked intersections. Those cars also completely blocked the street where we stopped walking and rallied in front of the Iowa Event Center where the carbon pipeline conference was going on. Traffic was blocked for about twenty minutes. Jake (with a megaphone) said those driving might be angry and impatient but spoke of how angry we’ve been for years waiting for anything to be done about the climate crisis.

At the rally yesterday, Sikowis spoke of why it is so important for Indigenous voices to be heard.

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Video slideshow of photos of the march.

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