I just got confirmation that our short documentary “Four Days in December” is going to be playing at the Tri-Cities International Film Festival on the weekend of October 12-14! I’m super excited for people to have the opportunity to see it in a larger venue again. Hopefully, this will lead to other showings!
This looks like an amazing lineup and I’m thrilled we were chosen to be a part of it!
It’s been nearly two years since we went to Standing Rock and it feels both strange and gratifying to have the opportunity to share the story of our small part of what happened there again. We all know the battle against the Black Snake isn’t over. Water Protectors continue to be arrested and abused both here and abroad by government and law enforcement who are in the pocket of the oil companies.
We see the evidence of corporate greed everywhere; every time we turn on the news. But at Standing Rock I was slapped in the face by the reality of just how blatantly that news was controlled. I saw the lie for what it really was for the first time - What we see isn’t any version of the truth of what’s happening. Everyone who went to Standing Rock witnessed that first hand.
What the mainstream media called “violent protesters” and “rioters” were women and men standing in peaceful prayer, exercising their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly on land that belonged to them. Unceded territory land that to this day legally belongs to the Standing Rock Tribes. The companies behind the Dakota Access Pipeline were drilling illegally on land they didn’t own. They knew it, they just didn’t care. They had corporate mercenaries to harass and attack anyone who stood in their way. Water Protectors were attacked by dogs, tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets and concussion grenades, sprayed with firehoses in twenty degree weather, beaten and arrested by state and local law enforcement.
But it was the Native Americans and their allies who were standing up for their rights, for the land, for the water that we all depend on, who were cast as the aggressors and the villains.
Four Days in December tells only a very small piece of the huge story of Standing Rock and what happened in Oceti Sakowin. It’s the story we who went out there with Veterans for Standing Rock experienced. As veterans, we swore an oath to “Defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and we couldn’t just stand by and allow what was happening in North Dakota to go unanswered. Those four days in December changed my life, and I know it changed the lives of others who went with us.
“This is Spiritual Warfare” someone said. And it is. There are forces in the world that serve life, the greater good, each other and our communities. And there are those that serve greed and ownership at the expense of the very things we require to survive - air and water.
I am once again proud to say, Mni Wiconi! “Water is Life!”