Standing Rock for Life: A Christmas Message from Tamera

22 December 2016, 1:30 PM

Standing Rock for Life
Christmas Message from Tamera,
December 2016

During many months, representatives of the Sioux and more than 200 other First Nation peoples have taken a stand to oppose the construction of a pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation (North Dakota, USA). This pipeline would have destroyed their sacred places, and their drinking water reservoirs. Prophecies of their ancestors had said that, when the black snake crosses the river, the end of the world has come. It has been the largest common action of indigenous forces in history. Despite blizzards, and brutal attacks by police and corporations, they stayed. Their slogan, "defend the sacred," and their strict principle of non-violence, impressed many people around the world. A young representative of the First Nations said: "We don´t hate you, but we won´t follow your orders anymore. We are like a rock in the water: the waves hit it, but it won´t move." In the end there were nearly 20,000 people who had joined the camp, among them many US military veterans.

In Tamera, we have followed the events unfolding in Standing Rock from the beginning, and have tried to support the movement, which so strongly connects political resistance and the power of prayer. Something new has come to life here... something that can take an unwavering stand to protect that which is most sacred: water, life, our future. Martin Winiecki, one of our young coworkers, has written a message of solidarity to strengthen the spark that was lit in Standing Rock.

At sunrise of December 4th, one day before the ultimatum that the camp would be forcefully cleared, we lit a fire of prayer and solidarity in Tamera and kept it burning for 24 hours, to be connected with Standing Rock. Then we received the message of hope: the Obama administration promised to stop the construction of the pipeline through the reservation - for the time being. This was a huge success for the movement, but the fight is not yet won. The halting of construction can be reversed, when Donald Trump takes office on January 20th. We must not leave the protectors alone now. The movement has to become even stronger... so strong that it can overcome any violence directed against life - anywhere on the planet. We invite you to join the action: Standing Rock for Life.

This idea came to us during a visit in a neighboring community in Porches. The owner had erected a stone on his property and invited Sabine Lichtenfels and others to speak a prayer at the stone. Together with approximately 60 participants they spoke also prayers for Standing Rock. It was a magic moment: The power of ancient stone circles connected with the vision of a humane future. Sabine Lichtenfels has described the same thoughts of the "prehistoric utopia" when she created the Stone Circle of Tamera.

We are sending you a text about this topic as a study text for this month: Tamera's Stone Circle  (Excerpt from the book: Tamera. A Model for the Future by Leila Dregger)

Now we invite you to join the action: Standing Rock for Life!
Imagine: Many groups, each committed to healing life on this planet, and each erects a stone on their site. Everywhere, in cities, communities, villages, in many places around the world, these signs of solidarity emerge - signals for solidarity with Standing Rock.
By joining it, the people say:

  • We stand like a rock in the crashing waves of the surf.
  • We are committed to the sacredness of life.
  • We are committed to a power that is stronger than all violence.
  • We stand up to protect the sacred, also in our surroundings.
  • We don´t hate. But we know that the old laws don´t serve life. We communicate about ideas, experiences, and concepts which can lead to alternatives.
  • We are committed to the living being of water, to cooperation with nature, and to decentralized energy autonomy.
  • We are working towards trust between humans and animals - and a co-existence without exploitation or violence.

Our idea is this: Let us use the time of Christmas to give this sign of solidarity and erect a stone. If you can, please share photos or reports about your action on social media using the hashtag #StandingRockForLife.

Please also consider the call coming from Standing Rock directly. Inform yourselves about the suggestions how to strengthen the movement.

Whether you erect a stone or not, we invite you to take part in the Ring of Power. In the coming weeks we dedicate our regular, Monday sunrise political prayer, to the Protectors of Standing Rock. Our questions are: “What is the power that is stronger than violence? How can my local actions lead to a global force for peace?” The meditations that Sabine Lichtenfels offers every week, can be downloaded at her website. This is the message from December 12th.

We wish you all a holiday season of beauty and real change!

Warm greetings from Tamera!
Sabine Lichtenfels, Monika Alleweldt, Leila Dregger

Learn more about the URI community's response to Standing Rock here.