We Are Needed at Standing Rock NOW

Good evening dear ones. Below please see an urgent call for solidarity at Standing Rock for tomorrow, Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 2:00pm. We know it is last minute but share this immediate request from the UU Fellowship and Church of Bismarck-Mandan in conjunction with their work at Standing Rock. See a message from Jack Gaede, Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance (MUUSJA) Ministerial Intern for Justice & Religious Leadership. If you cannot get to Standing Rock tomorrow, please follow along with the UU Fellowship and Church of Bismarck-Mandan on Facebook for their latest updates and how to support their ongoing ministry, including through the current Ministry-in-Residence Program.

Beloved friends, let me just start by saying that it is such a privilege to be able to serve in my role as the MUUSJA intern this year. It has been a joy, and I am learning so much. There is an urgent call that needs our heeding, but before I even get to the call, I want to take a moment to remind us why we do what we do.

We do not show up for justice only when the results that we want are attainable. We do not show up for justice only when the process is convenient, safe, and easy. We do not show up for justice only for the sake of those who are most affected. We show up for justice because an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

The women of Standing Rock have released an urgent call for fellow water protectors and any other people of good faith to show up in solidarity tomorrow at Standing Rock at 2pm. Our friends and comrades from the UU Church of Bismarck-Mandan are showing up, and they have sent out an urgent request that we join them. This fight has been a long one, and this is just the most recent battle.

There are many injustices happening all around us, and there are many people in powerful positions trying to enact and legislate unjust policies right now. It is understandable if you feel overwhelmed and at a loss when trying to decide your next step. However, if you are free tomorrow, this is an incredibly actionable and concrete step that you can take, and it is very needed.

Just recently, a minister pointed me to some powerful words by Wendell Berry that are a great reminder to all of us who decide to take part in protests, rallies, marches, and other direct actions for justice. Berry writes: "Much protest is naive; it expects quick, visible improvement and despairs and gives up when such improvement does not come. Protesters who hold out longer have perhaps understood that success is not the proper goal…Protest that endures, I think, is moved by a hope far more modest than that of public success: namely, the hope of preserving qualities in one's own heart and spirit that would be destroyed by acquiescence."

I will be driving a large vehicle from the Twin Cities tomorrow morning (departure planned for 6:30am—I will provide the coffee!), and I would love to fill it with fellow social justice activists who are willing and able to stand in solidarity tomorrow with our neighbors across the border. Just last night, during our Convening Call about Citizen Advocacy, we learned the phrase: "Reclaiming Neighborliness." This is our chance to put that skill into action!

Our neighbors to the west need our support tomorrow. Will you join me? If so, call or text me (651-703-3700).

In Solidarity,

Jack Gaede
MUUSJA Ministerial Intern for Justice & Religious Leadership