Dear Beloved Sisters and Brothers, Friends, Family, Community,
Grace and Peace be with you!
I am scheduled to attend court this Tuesday morning with my dear friend and brother from the Mennonite Church, Steve Heinrichs. This is because one chilly morning last April we stood with many others, from churches, and other groups, and individuals from different First Nations communities, including my beloved friends, the Reverend Vivian Seegers, from St. Clements, North Vancouver, and director of the Urban Aboriginal Ministry in Vancouver, and the Right Reverend Mark McDonald, National Aboriginal Bishop, of the Anglican Church in Canada. We were standing to protect eagles' nests in trees, and salmon rivers, and the already-sick ocean, and the remaining forests, and in solidarity with the Indigenous Communities who have been living with grace on this land for millennia.
It is time to turn away from the oil and greed economy. It is urgently time to turn towards one another and to stand unafraid of the state and business that claim that all that we do to protect life is useless, harmful and illegal. Please stand with me and Steve, with the courageous land defenders here, and all over the earth. Do what you can, wherever you are. Pray, sing, garden, support, bake, love, resist! Give everything you can away.
If you are in Vancouver and can come to the courthouse, I am hoping we can gather at 9am to pray and sing together, and then the trial begins at 10am. It has been scheduled for four days, but as Steve and I, while pleading not-guilty, do not plan to contest the charges, it may go a lot faster. We both have prepared documents to read, should we be convicted and sentenced. I don't know when exactly that would be, but I will try and keep you posted. The courthouse is at 800 Smithe Street in downtown Vancouver.
We are also not clear what our punishment would be: some combination of a fine, community service, or jail. Steve and I are deeply aware that we are people of privilege: educated, white, middle class. While the consequences of our actions could be described as somewhat costly, they are really nothing in comparison to the price that others without access to these privileges pay. I hold in my heart particularly Latin American land defenders, and First Nation land defenders, thinking at this moment of Edwin Espinal, political prisoner for more than six months in Honduras.
This beautiful summer evening I am filled to overflowing with gratitude. It has been a summer of untold abundance and blessing in my personal life: marrying Patti, Oscar's first birthday, Abraham and Vita's wedding, Sara and Axel's baby girl on the way. Who could ask for anything more?
I could: An end to violent colonial projects of domination that destroy the earth.
Last night I went to a talk where we heard from the incredible Latina fighter for human rights for farm workers, Dolores Huerta. Did you know she was the one who came up with the saying: ¡Si se puede! I didn't.
But I believe her,.I love her. ¡Si se puede! Yes we can!
In love, in gratitude,