a blast from the past...
- JOHN TRUDELL SPEAKS AT JUDI BARI MEMORIAL
- posted to serendipity-L by Dan Scanlan
A thousand or so activists met at Martin Luther King Jr. School in
Berkeley CA on Saturday April 26 to commemorate Judi Bari's life and
rejuvenate ourselves. [S.I.S.I.S. note: Judi Bari was a long-time
First!er, union activist, feminist, and fiddler. She and Darryl
filed a lawsuit against the F.B.I. for its involvement in a 1990
of Judi's car that shattered Judi's pelvis. Judi recently died of
cancer. The lawsuit against the F.B.I. continues.]
There were many wonderful moments, and it was, as Utah Phillips
described it, "Nourishing, just nourishing."
It is my hope you will treat yourself to a quiet reading of the
following transcription of John Trudell's speech and that it brings
clear fuel to your own struggle.
Our next speaker burned an American flag on the steps of FBI
And 12 hours later a fire killed his wife, his three children and
wife's mother. The FBI declined to investigate. This man had 17
pages in his FBI file. He's former national chairman of the American
Indian Movement: John Trudell.
I'm pleased to be here and I'm glad that you're here and I'll
to be as clear as I can while I'm up here.
It's about our D and A. Descendants and ancestors. We are the
descendants and we are the ancestors. D and A, our DNA, our blood, our
flesh and our bone, is made up of the metals and the minerals and the
liquids of the earth. We are the earth. We truly, literally and
figuratively are the earth. Any relationship we will ever have in this
world to real power -- the real power, not energy systems and other
artificial means of authority -- but any relationship we will ever
have to real power is our relationship to the earth.
So whatever Judi was doing and what Earth First! does, they were
establishing connection with the basic reality, that we must take care
of the earth. Our power comes from the earth.
And because we are made up of the earth -- our common ground, so to
speak -- we are all the descendants of tribes. Each and every one of
is a descendant of a tribe. We have genetic memories. Inside of our
genetic memories, that power connection exists to our ancestral past.
are all descendants of tribes.
But the tribes of the planet earth have encountered a technological
religious mind set that removes all spiritual value and real value
life from the earth and puts it into theoretical heavens or hells.
it does it under a male image of a male dominator god.
In our tribal ancestry each and every one of our ancestors resisted
that notion, that imposition. Tribes of Europe, tribes of Africa,
of here. Every tribe resisted it. It started in different time frames
different parts of the planet. It's almost like a disease. A virus, a
virus, a disease that lives in the human. A disease of the spirit.
almost like a diseased spirit affects the perception of reality of
carrier of the disease, the human being.
Power. It's very important that we understand who we are in
relationship to power, because we have been tricked and lied to,
in a way one would say, "brainwashed", into looking at authority as
power. It is very important that we make this distinction because we
need to have something to pass to the next generations.
Authority is not power. Authority is authority. All authority is
usually based upon aggression or implied aggression or active
aggression. Authority is authority. Power is something else. Power is
what we come from. It is a part of the natural order of the universe -
Authority is something that man creates. It's limitation is that it
was created by man. Power has no limitations.
Our relationship to the earth, DNA. We are different shapes and
of the earth. We are different trees. We are no more or no less than
tree. We are different stones. We are just different shapes of the
of the earth.
As human beings we understand in this technologic religious mind set
that the authoritarian system, the industrial fascism, the industrial
Reich that we live under, we understand that they can mine the other
natural resources of the earth, and through refinement processes take
old dinosaurs out of the ground and turn them into energy to run the
machine world that we're very addicted to and partly enslaved to.
We have to make the connection that we are just a different shape
our value is no more or no less than the rest of the natural
of the earth, the rest of the DNA of the earth. So it's very possible
that we are being mined in the same way that the dinosaurs are, out
the ground. Human being, human physical, being spirit. Human
being spirit. Human physical, being spirit.
And we live under an authoritarian system, an industrial technologic
mind set that has discovered and developed a way to mine, to take the
being part of human, the spirit part of human and convert it into
and then use that energy to power their system, to run their system.
They are literally eating our spirits. Literally eating our spirits.
Our spirit is eaten when we do not understand the distinction, the
difference between authority and power. If they tell us money
power, then whoever has the most money has the most power.
But that is a lie.
Whoever has the most money has the ability to get authority. But
is not power. But if we believe that, if we believe that money is
or that it can take us to power, then we will always understand that
power is something removed from us and is not a natural part of us.
is just so subtle, and so blatant.
If we believe that political systems are power, they're
That's all they are: a political system is a way of mining the
in just the same way as the definition of authority: mining our
This is where someone like Judi [Bari] becomes a threat, because she
understands she has power, and she understands the reality of
responsibility that goes with power. She understands that. We can't
communicate with her now the way that we used to, but we can
with her. That's life. That's spirit.
In the ways of the tribes and in our common ancestry, we understood
the play with our ancestors. We understood the ones before us, the
that we were the descendants of. This was our power connection to
knowledge. This was our power connection to the past and our power
connection to the future. So as we enter into this, whatever has to
down in the future -- I don't really have time to go into too far! --
But the antibiotic to dealing with these people, these vampires --
it is, it is vampires, cannibalization -- the antibiotic to this
is our intelligence. We were given intelligence by the creator. We
intelligence. That is the antibiotic. That is thecure. There is no
existing cure to the problem other than the one we will create by
our intelligence as intelligently and as clearly as we possibly can.
use our intelligence as intelligently as we possibly can.
To have clarity. Because this beast that feeds and eats our spirit
does it by the confusions that are in our minds.
But we understand the pollution of the air, of the water, we
understand the pollution of the environment has come from this
plundering and mining of the planet in an irresponsible manner. But
think about every fear, every doubt, every insecurity, every way that
ever beat ourselves up inside of our own heads -- that is the
left over from the mining of our spirit.
Another word I hear used a lot -- I don't "believe" anything. I
to believe but there was a "lie" in the middle: B, E, LIE, V, E.
use our intelligence very intelligently. There are certain words that
should use very, very, very carefully and I think that's one of those
words, because either we know or we don't know.
We should think -- anything in between us knowing and not knowing --
- John Trudell at Judi Bari memorial and fund raiser at Martin Luther
King Jr. School in Berkeley CA, April 26, 1997
If you think you are too small to make a difference;
try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito....