The Alliance for Appalachia stands in solidarity with the indigenous led movement of resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Bill McCabe is a friend of the Alliance and a leader in the stand against mountaintop removal coal mining. Bill’s message below, to the water warriors on the plains of the Dakotas, speaks to our common struggles and commitment to protect our water, our future:
I am fortunate. I live in a portion of the Appalachian Mountains which have not been disturbed by mining, fracking, gas or oil wells, or other careless destruction of mother earth’s gift of clean water. I am one of the few so fortunate not to have had my water source poisoned. I am rich to be so lucky. I am aware that this gift of clean water should be honored and protected by those humans sharing the mountains that create that water. Therefore, for most of my life, I have joined with others willing to honor and protect this great gift. There are many in these mountains who have joined in the fight to protect mother earth and her gifts. There are many others who support that fight, but have not yet joined those who openly struggle to protect our gifts.
Right now, this very minute, there are thousands of brave souls that are sacrificing much to do that very thing. They are not in the mountains of Appalachia, but their struggle is the same as ours in these mountains. The struggle to protect their heritage, their spiritual values and their water. Their efforts are crucial to many beyond those gathered together at the spirit camps in North Dakota struggling to prevent the creation of the Dakota pipeline. Their efforts must be recognized! Their struggle is crucial. It is the struggle to protect the water source for millions of humans. The struggle to prevent foolish and greedy corporations who see only the dollar sign from building a pipeline under the Missouri River. The struggle to show the world that when people support each other and fight to protect their heritage and life giving water they can win against tremendous odds.
The thousands of individuals and the hundreds of indigenous nations who have united to fight the insanity of building a pipeline underneath a major source of clean, fresh water are respected, supported and admired in the mountains of Appalachia. There are hundreds of activists and multiple community groups who support you. We share your fight for clean water. We respect your history, culture and courage. And we love the bravery and unity you are displaying to the world.
I can only promise that I am one who will honor your effort each morning. I am one who will share your struggle with others in my community. I am one who believes together we will win this struggle. I am one who thanks you for showing us what unity means.
With love and support from the people and mountains of Appalachia,