~ Facebook Posting on July 15, 2012.
At the same time, Anishinaabe grassroots groups like Protect Our Manoomin need to build solidarity with other non-Native opposition groups for support and strength in numbers. Needless to say, we are all connected in the effort to protect our environment regardless of race.
At best, we can say that anti-mining opposition is an environmental social justice movement. Yet, there are differences between groups involved in an anti-mining coalition; different mindsets, perspectives, tactics and strategies.
However, rare are the mining oppositionists that support and encourage a violent response to the extractive resource colonies seeking to establish or expand their spheres of mining districts. Yet, they do exist. Whether these oppositionists are provocateurs or instigators whose convictions are a personal matter isn’t known. But rhetoric that focuses on a violent response is detrimental to mining opposition efforts.
Particularly alarming are non-Natives who may have associations with Anishinaabe grassroots efforts from the past, e.g., the Crandon Mine, the Ladysmith Mine, and/or the Lac du Flambeau spearfishing protests. That the associations with these past movements combined with the idea of armed confrontation are somehow representative of Anishinaabe traditions and principles are misguided and need to be disregarded.
The use of violence is not part of Anishinaabe traditions. According to our origin stories, “Creator put them here – just like all the plants and animals and people – for a reason. All things were meant to teach, to share, to care for one another and to be good to everyone, to live in harmony and balance.” Therefore, violence is a violation of those original instructions. Violence represents disharmony and imbalance. Retaliation of an act of violence – in this case, ecocide – with an act of violence disregards the original instructions.
Violence is not upheld in our Niizhwaaswi Miigiwewinan Anishinaabe-Gikendaasowin (the Seven Principals of the Anishinaabe). Zoogide’iwin (Courage) is to face the foe with integrity. But courage precludes violence. Integrity means to stand up against violence, but not to respond with violence.
Protect Our Manoomin does not support nor encourage violence. Our principals and mission is based on Niizhwaaswi Miigiwewinan Anishinaabe-Gikendaasowin, Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), and the Law of Mother Earth. We seek to educate and inform our communities of the impending ecocide of our homelands. Resist we shall. But not through the barrel of a gun.
Mii sa go.