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Thursday January 20th 2022

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Manoomin Speaks

RAISE YOUR VOICE

By PETER MOLENAAR

Indigenous leaders at the State Capitol. Photo courtesy Camp Migizi social media.

Manoomin is the “wild rice” which sustains the Anishinaabe. The word is especially familiar to the Ojibwa among us. Sadly, the manoomin has faded due to habitat loss, degraded water quality”¦ climate crisis. Like the canary in the mine shaft, manoomin speaks”¦ and speaks to us all.

My place in the world”¦

Molten iron flows just north of Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, and just south of the Roof Depot on 28th Street. Smith Foundry is the place I labored for 35 years: repetitive motion, 500,000 molds of sand”¦ ankles worn down to bone on bone. Was once a “people”™s soldier”. Now with titanium and plastic surgically implanted, perhaps I will march again.

July 14, 2021”¦

The old soldier sported a fancy ankle brace and wielded an aluminum crutch. Hobbling along, he traversed the granite flat before ascending. Minnesota”™s grand rotunda was occupied by the manoomin spirit. The call rang out: STOP LINE THREE!

Actually, the original Line 3 was the source of millions of gallons of oil spills (check online: line 3 pipeline). Want to go tit for tat over the merit of fresh pipe? Hey, we are talking tar sand oil here, at a time when we desperately need to be weaned from fossil fuels, period. No number of temporary high wage “man camps” will compensate for the loss of a viable planet. To which I will add: the assertion of “white privilege” by some of these campers must end immediately.

WORKERS AND OPPRESSED PEOPLES UNITE!

The fog of COVID has lifted now. So, let”™s self-educate and begin marching in stride. Ilhan Omar put it this way: The decision that U.S. entities make on line 3 is a decision for the entire world.” Do we side with short term corporate profits, or do we side with the seven generations yet to come? I intend to soldier on, but dear neighbors, you must decide.

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