Echoes of Dr. King at Standing Rock
I pray that we can recognize the power of collective peaceful persistent prayer to achieve what appear to be impossible ends.
(If you don’t have time for prayer AND reading this post, please choose prayer. Novena rituals and prayer)
Non-Violent Icons Show Us the Way
Dr. Martin Luther King, whose life we celebrated this week, was an inspiring example of peaceful, persistent prayer which he and his followers used in non-violent protest against terrible racial injustice.
Dr. King had been inspired by Gandhi’s peaceful protest for freedom a generation before him. And now a generation after Dr. King, dozens of Native American tribes sent thousands of Native American water protectors to use this same method to protest injustice perpetrated against them in North Dakota.
Peaceful Protesters Often Suffer Violence in Return
Choosing peaceful protest does not guarantee that protestors won’t be met with force. Dr. King was (water cannons, dogs, sticks, and more). And the Standing Rock water protectors were (water cannons, dogs, concussion grenades, and more).
But the continued prayer-fueled non-violence practiced by both Dr. King and his followers as well as the water protectors eventually revealed some hard truths. Those protecting the status quo will use great violence to threaten anyone who challenges them. Those bent on injustice use violence to enforce their will.
It happened to Dr. King and his followers. It happened to those at Standing Rock. But prayer sustained them all in their mission and purpose.
Peaceful Protest Requires Persistence and Prayer
Despite winning a reprieve on the construction of the pipeline through Native American territory, the fight is not over. Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, is still fighting in the courts for access to the Standing Rock Sioux’s land despite treaties that give the Sioux sovereign rights as a nation within a nation.
The protesters remain on site, facing the ravages of a North Dakota winter. They still need the wide-ranging support, both financial and from the media, to win their battle against the well-funded Energy Transfer Partners.
And they still need all of us to pray with them for a peaceful and just final outcome.
Clean water is a basic human right. The protesters at Standing Rock continue to use their most powerful tool to protect their water, their land, and their sovereignty. Prayer
Peaceful change is possible.
More information and donation links are on the Stand with Standing Rock website.
Getty images has posted photos from the months’-long saga.