The large white banner in our back row today was new in honor of the State Department’s final report on the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline, which Sierra Club calls “an insult to anyone who expects government to work for the “interests of the American people.”
“Which side are you on Obama, which side are you on?” So sang the women on the other side of our paddy wagon wall. We seven from seven different states, ranging from age 23 to 73 joined in: “All we are saying is ‘Give Earth a chance.’ All we are saying is ‘Give life a chance.'”
That was the best and worst part of the NVDA (non-violent direct action). Best for the joy of completing our demonstration, making a strong statement, adding our voices and bodily presence to those of the 300+ arrested on the six prior days and 1000+ yet to come. Worst for our sweaty arms and sore wrists bound behind us as we slid against each other on the metal bench, seat belts hanging, necks craned toward one of the small ceiling vents or to catch glimpses through front or rear grated windows. Worst for our impatience waiting for what seemed way too long while the women ahead of us were processed before we could disembark. Best for the solidarity, compassion, understanding among us, and gratitude for endurance, for trees and sky always in sight, for kind officers and for cups of cold water available after they uncuffed us.