Among other things going on around the town, 350 Seattle shut down 4th Ave downtown Seattle and made visits to the Canadian Consulate, Chase Bank, and Bank of Amerika.
Shutting down business as usual because the normal flow of business is killing us.
Line 3 in Minnesota and Trans Mountain in Canada were two of the primary focuses being the pipelines major corporations and these banks are supporting. These lines are being forced through Indigenous lands, without permission, again.
Energy is something we as a collection of Peoples have grown dependent on, yes. However, we generally do not want and we certainly cannot afford more of the same. We want healthy and sustainable alternative forms of energy.
There is a conundrum based on some myths that we must confront:
#1 “Progress” is always something good. Sure, time moves forward and new things are invented, but what measure is used to define ‘good’?
#2 It’s not okay to slow down to make course corrections. Cars, ships, even people do it everyday in our common and regular experiences. However, there is some paradigm that purports slowing down derails this immaculate ‘progress’ that can do no wrong.
If acquiring healthy and sustainable energy sources requires us to slow down long enough to make the appropriate course corrections, that is not a derailment but a wise strategy.
#3 Now may be the only moment we have, but that does not make it the most important moment by default.
I like the conceptualization living like I will die tomorrow, but planning like I will live forever. When we allow a precedence to be placed on this moment, we may be inadvertently sacrificing future moments.
Our energy needs and wants in this moment should not outweigh the needs and wants of future moments.
We are already in the midst of a climate crisis, and with the lag of impact, we will be dealing with the harms for generations to come. That is not to say there are not things a course correction will not help. Quite to the contrary, in fact. A course correction includes addressing the harms and mitigating the pains people, animals, and the rest of our world are about to feel.
This understanding is coming from the “7 Generation Principle” shared by the Iroquois Confederation.
We have a responsibility to those who have yet to become. We do not get to write them off just because they are not here to advocate for themselves. The same is true for those who live in other and more impacted regions around our world.
The way I tend to think about is is to question what our progeny looking back at us have hoped we had done.
One of the course corrections we need to make is to scale back ‘who’ is granted the privilege of defining our course. This currently resides with governments and corporations who have not behaved as though they have the best interest of the planet and our Peoples in mind. They have behaved in a manner that reveals profit and self-interested motives. They should have a say, but not limitless autonomy.
Interrupting business as usual to shift the agenda to these vital and important concerns is a step in the direction of steering us to make some course corrections.
Media about the action:
The Seattle Times: