We celebrate the victories

Y’all probably heard yesterday — the Army Corps of Engineers has determined that they will not put the oil pipeline by the Standing Rock reservation and under the Missouri River until further research is completed.

This is a win.

It’s a small win — yes, the pipeline may yet be approved. Yes, the oil companies may just start drilling and pay the fines. Yes, Trump may reverse all this.

But it’s a win.

Thousands of indigenous people, with support from all sorts of activists including hundreds of military veterans, stood for *months* in the path of the drills. They camped in terrible weather, with no sanitation. Their supplies were blocked and stolen. They were set upon by police. Some were seriously injured.

Yet they stood.

With active, radical, peaceful protest on one side and intensive litigation on the other, the pipeline has been brought to a halt.

There’s a meme going around, saying that the U.S. government signed over 500 treaties with the indigenous people of North America, and have broken every. Single. One. Do I think this pipeline promise will last? No, I do not.

Then why, why do I count it a win?

Because the future is unknown and unknowable. Because mercy and justice and faith may yet prevail. Because cynicism is not the same as despair. Because sometimes you’re going to fail and fall no matter what, and how you go down is the only thing you can control.

So stand with dignity, and purpose, and resolve, and take the win when it comes. Act as if you matter. Act as if your life has meaning and effect. Behave in the way you want to be remembered.

Don’t despair.

Take the win.



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