In 1963 Johnny Cash had two major hits: "When I Walk The Line" and "Ring of Fire." But a year later when he tried to get airplay on what could arguably be called the first "concept album," few if any radio stations would play any songs from "Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian." According to Stephen Pevar of the ACLU, "When Cash learned of all the opposition, he made it his mission to get the record out there. He bought back thousands of copies of the record, penned a protest letter that he placed as an ad in Billboard magazine, stuffed the letter inside each record, and traveled around the country hand delivering the record to radio stations and asking them to give it a chance. A line from the opening paragraph from the letter says it all: 'DJs, station managers, owners, etc., where are your guts?'”
One of those songs called "Drums" inspired the picture above. I believe those "drums beyond the mountain" are beaten by the New Seminole, their sound rising with the smoke from the burning Everglades.
To read the inspiring article and to understand the times Cash lived in (which sadly aren't that much different from today since the rise of Trump and his Repug enablers), please click here.
I think about my time in the Everglades far from city lights when I could look up and see the Milky Way. Nokosee was there with me and we held each other in the dark and mostly silent world of the New Seminole. Aside from the occasional sounds of mosquitos buzzing by my ears there was nothing to remind me I was standing on Sagan's "pale blue dot." Or in the distant horizon that the Everglades was on fire and Army Rangers were zeroing in on us. I was pregnant at that time with Haalie and thought I'd die before I could give her life, shot dead by an Mk46.
Until that existential moment with Nokosee when I was at peace looking up at the stars, hand-in-hand with the man I love.
Now Haalie and I do Sanctuary in the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami and I find myself looking out of its floor-to-ceiling windows up at the night sky thinking of Nokosee and me back in the Everglades on that special night.
And Carl Sagan and his description of Earth as that "pale blue dot" in the cosmos, reminding us that there is nowhere else to our knowledge that harbors life.
Now when I look up at the night sky, I wonder whether or not we will be able to save Gaia in time; if the powerful will listen and act on Greta's warnings; or will they continue to ignore them leaving us only the most desperate alternative, the one that decimated the New Seminole: armed revolt.
"The countries that are blocking any progress on emissions are acting in the most evil way that anybody could imagine because we are looking at the destruction of earth... it doesn't matter how much the young people say, they are going to be completely ignored, their lives are going to be written off by the negotiating process of ... the world powers."
~ Dr. Peter Carter
"It is now time for civil disobedience...it is time to rebel"
The video is worth a watch because, as Dr. Carter reminds us with science and stats, "We're on a trend to total planetary catastrophe."
The question is then, if scientists and people protesting in the streets will be ignored, what should we do? How do we get the attention Gaia needs-- we need-- to continue living? The New Seminole tried people-friendly eco terrorism on the systems (not people). It didn't work. We were crushed by an overwhelming military force and I'm doing Sanctuary at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami because of it.
So, are there any other suggestions? I suspect the fast approaching apocalypse will answer that question and its desperate solutions won't be pretty.
Update 12/14/2019: COP 25 was a failure (see below). So, how is your non-violent approach working so far? You can click here to read the article.
Shrinks have been telling me the opposite for years. Good to hear MLK advocates this way of life.
Of course, he wants us to be non-violent, too. At the time, it seemed like the thing to do, you know, defending ourselves by any means necessary. Getting arrested and thrown into jail would have slowed up the process of saving Gaia-- well, at least the Everglades.
Thank goodness, Greta is here. God protect her.
The Nobel committee may not have gotten it right but the Time editors surely did. Congratulations, Greta, at just 16, you are the youngest ever to receive that honor. Below is 1-minute of her COP address. It is jam packed with hope, thoughts on democracy, and the power of people and their "public opinion" to make the world a better place for all living things. The Time article is a must read, too, since it chronicles her life since she was "discovered" 16-short months ago and changed the world.
If you read my last blog post, you know I have doubts about saving the planet by nonviolent protest. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author Chris Hedges confirms my suspicions in this excellent examination of what Gaia activists are up against in this Truthdig essay. He writes that "the ruling elites and the corporations they serve are the principal obstacles to change. They cannot be reformed. And this means revolution... Power has to be transferred into our hands. And since the elites won't give up power willingly, we will have to take it through nonviolent action."
Of course, I still don't believe nonviolent action will save the day but I guess it's at least worth a try since our violent action was crushed by Uncle Sam-- if done on a global scale (something else I don't see happening). In any event, the article is well-worth the read because it's a one-stop shop for environmental information and a look at the dark side of humanity where the rich come first and want to keep it that way, ie, it's a real eye-opener.
The First Thanksgiving is a myth. It never happened. Natives call it "Thanks-taking" since the first Pilgrims felt entitled to take whatever they wanted from the local tribes in exchange for trinkets-- that included entering their homes without permission. This entitlement is entrenched in white supremacy based on a religious foundation. It is the ugly underbelly of America to this day.
If you'd like to know the truth, here's a short look at the "day" genocide was unleashed by European colonists on Native Americans.
Before Greta spoke at a Climate Crisis rally in Edmonton last month, nine-year-old Cree singer Noah Simon sang for "Mother Earth." I immediately fell in love with him. What a passionate voice. Nokosee and I hope Haalie will sing with the same passion for the Everglades, for Gaia.
I also wish he had been around for our wedding. What a send-off into our new future that would have been.
You can learn more about Noah and his grandmother Carol Powder who handed down the tradition to him by clicking Noah's name above.
That's what Martin Luther King, Jr told U.S. Representative John Lewis of Georgia. I'm pretty sure they meant the "nonviolent" kind of trouble. When I fell into the New Seminole, that was not an option. Our fearless leader and founder Busimanolotome Osceola, a product of the US Marines, had given peace a chance and found it lacking in bringing about change. So, in his words, he got "proactive" by attacking the "Outside" in a violent effort to return the Everglades to its rightful caretakers, the New Seminole, a ragtag bunch of Native Americans, aging hippies, tree huggers and, unfortunately, at least one lunatic (read my books).
This was long before Greta and the Climate Change Activists; long before I or Nokosee or Busi or anyone in the New Seminole had been woke to it. For us, saving the Everglades was saving Gaia because it's all we wanted to know-- the "Outside" was just beyond the sawgrass down the Tamiami Trail and we didn't want to have anything to do with it.
I really want to believe that marching in the street and non-violent protest will work to save the world. But I have my doubts. All I know is our naive approach was crushed by mighty Uncle Sam and his Army Rangers and I've been doing Sanctuary at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami ever since.
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.