Today is World Water Day of Action day, and Water Protectors from across the country, Healing The Waters Within, ChiResists, International Indigenous Youth Council – Chicago Chapter and the Pilsen Alliance, organized a Chicago-led solidarity event with those who resist to protect our water, most saliently represented by #NoDAPL. Earlier this afternoon, a rally took place downtown starting at the Adler Planetarium off Lake Michigan and converging at Buckingham Fountain: two siginificant local symbols of the water that at once is everywhere and nourishes us daily, but that we may rarely think about.
Though the struggle to protect water might seem far away–whether in “third-world countries;” in Flint, MI or in Standing Rock, ND–Chicagoans face our own water battles, such as rising water taxes and lead-ridden pipes that plague schools and countless homes. Groups like Pilsen Environmental Rights & Reform Organization (PERRO) seek to make the city accountable in addressing the latter issue of lead poisoning in our soil and water, a serious health concern that disproportionately affects black and brown communities. For this World Water Day of Action, the organizers of the aforementioned solidarity event implore us to act local. They present some ways to do this are acknowledging the water, closing bank accounts if the bank has investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and calling our aldermen for Chicago to divest from banks invested in DAPL.
This evening at La Catrina Cafe in Pilsen will be the second part of the solidarity event, a community conversation about the threats facing our water and communities. This short film, called “Standing for the Living,” addresses the struggle to protect the water, documents the violent raids to shut down the Oceti Sakowin prayer camp in North Dakota and draws connections between the colonization of indigenous people and resources and the displacement of Mexican people in Pilsen through gentrification.
Video: “Standing for the Living” Directed by Isaura Flores and Edited by Adam Blaszkiewicz.
This short film depicts the current displacement and exploitation of the Mexican/Immigrant community in Pilsen, Chicago.
It seeks to unite in solidarity with the eviction of Ocieti Sakowin camp at Standing Rock and the work of Water Protectors across the country fighting to protect this sacred natural resource in every community.
It also highlights the perpetual displacement of black and brown communities and breaking of sovereign rights and treaties.
Chicago is uniquely placed on such a great body of water that many Water Protectors have found their way here to learn and to recuperate. We are grateful to share and build greater communities and movements with them!
Water Is Life! Protect the Sacred, Protect Turtle Island!!!
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World Water Day of Action – Chicago
Chicago in Solidarity with Standing Rock #nodaplchi
International Indigenous Youth Council
Healing The Waters Within
Red Warrior Society
Black Lives Matter Chicago