How could I not be paying attention when #VetStand was happening?
It broke my heart not to trek to Cannonball, North Dakota, as did Col. Ann Wright, Vince Emanuele and so many others. But I did manage to report long-distance for Guernica Magazine: “We Are the Cavalry!” has many voices familiar to this page as well as many more.
That piece doesn’t include my first thoughts as the protests at Standing Rock evolved: that Bayard Rustin would be proud.
Luckily, I’m about to write for Philly’s NPR outlet about that. A few opening quotes for me, if not the article:
“We need in every community a group of angelic troublemakers. Our power is in our ability to make things unworkable. The only weapon we have is our bodies, and we need to tuck them in places so wheels don’t turn.”
The second quote is not from Rustin but from Daniel Berrigan, who with his brother Philip took those principles to heart. NYTimes columnist Eric Martin cited these words in connection to Standing Rock:
“Someone, as a strict requirement of sanity and logic, must be willing to say a simple thing: ‘The machine is working badly.’ And if the law of the machine, a law of military and economic profit, enacted by generals and tycoons, must be broken in favor of the needs of man, let the law be broken. Let the machine be turned around, taken apart, built over again.”
By the time this piece is done, Tolstoy. . Berriganand Silas Soule will be side by side.