Since August, news of the people of Standing Rock, North Dakota, a Lakota community (read Standing Rock statement here), who are working to protect their water supply, their livelihoods, their ancestral lands, their scared sites and the integrity of Mother Earth against a pipeline that is being built through their territory without their approval has spread around the world. Thousands of people have come, some from thousands of miles away, including Ecuador and Northern Europe, to stand with Standing Rock and join the water protectors. (read Standing Rock statement here)
In the course of peacefully defending Mother Earth, protectors have been arrested, pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed, and attacked by trained dogs. Even journalists at the scene have been arrested and charged.
Bird Ally X stands with the courageous and committed protectors of Standing Rock. As wildlife rehabilitators, we are on the frontline of the incessant war that industrial civilization wages against the Wild. We see, each and every day of our lives, the suffering, injury and death that is recklessly and thoughtlessly caused by the machinery of the Anthropocene – Falcons hit by cars, Gulls tangled in derelict fishing gear, Raccoon shot and trapped and their babies orphaned. We see it all: from the Swainson’s Thrush torn apart by a carelessly kept house cat to a Brown Pelican breeding colony washed over in an spilled oil, killing most of the young chicks.
BAX staff have responded acorss the continent to catastrophic oil spills, whether caused by shipping accidents, train derailments or pipeline breaches. We have waded knee-deep through Tar Sands, finding the oil soaked remains of entire families of Common Mergansers, Clark’s Grebes and Common Loons. We’ve pulled 50 year old turtles from oil-wrecked rivers. We’ve been in the dark core of the industrial project and seen the wreckage, the loss, and the pain that Mother Earth and her offspring suffer at the unthinking hand of a machine run amok.
We’ve watched as patient after patient dies. Yet we’ve also stood silently in joy when those we’ve been able to help are restored to their wild and free lives. We’ve seen how our own lives can be used to restore justice each day. We know that direct action, that committed action, saves lives.
Our name is our mission: Bird Ally X. We are in alliance with wild birds. We are in alliance with the wild. We use the word ‘ally’ the way our grandparents would – we are an equally staked partner in the fight. We are not here to help industrial civilization feel better about itself. We are here to fight for the rights of Mother Earth. We treat her offspring when they are injured, orphaned or sickened by the human built world. We help our colleagues who are engaged in the same tasks. We lend our voice to the wild and act on behalf of the preservation of our beautiful, life-giving world. As Henry Thoreau observed, “in wildness is the preservation of the world.”
We are encouraged by the bravery of the Standing Rock community. We stand with Standing Rock and all protectors of Mother Earth. We stand with the Wild.
Learn more here.