The Norman Transcript

Opinion

April 29, 2013

Pipeline stands opposed

(Continued)

NORMAN —

More than a few of those grizzled old farmers said that they would lay down their lives before they would let the pipeline cross their land. One rancher’s 16-year-old daughter, Helen Winston, spoke for the crowd when she read into the record the poem she had written for the hearing:

Do you see us?

A sea of desperate faces undulating in the winds of tyranny

But even as we are frozen and blown around, we do not bend

Do you see us?

Standing tall together despite the cold, exhaustion and weariness woven into our expressions

Regardless of the physical toll this fight has taken upon us, we still stand tall

Because here in Nebraska, we’re not in the business of leaving our neighbors to be beaten into a corner

We refuse to give up, even though at times we’ve been on the brink of doing so

Do you see us?

Standing on street corners with our signs held high

Marching down sidewalks shoulder to shoulder

Bowing our heads in silent prayer as we join hands and hold firm despite the cold

Do you hear us?

Shouting from every rooftop

Chanting at every rally

Singing our songs of freedom even as the hands of TransCanada seek to smother us

The earth shudders and trembles beneath our feet

The wind sings our names as it dances over the Sandhills

The mighty Ogallala peeks above the ground in Holt County to smile up at us

Because you can feel us

We are many peoples

We are a nation

We are tectonic

We are the farmers, the ranchers, the teachers, the taxpayers

We are the future

We will fight to our last for this place

Because, look around: what do you see here that’s not worth fighting for?

And should the president make the wrong decision

A shockwave will run itself around the world

You will call upon us and ask: “What the hell was that?”

And we will reply in unison: “Can you feel us now?”

Thank you,

Nancy Smart,

Norman Citizen’s Climate Lobby

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