I’m a co-organizer of the Fast for the Earth, a nonviolent protest against wanton disregard for the natural world, and a spiritual affirmation that we are all part of that world, responsible for its careful tending.
Now international in reach, with people signed up from at least seven nations, Fast for the Earth has been organized by some of us who live in Brookings, South Dakota, who are sorely troubled by the environmental devastation being wrought in our name by the “powers that be.” That devastation takes many forms, but we have been prompted to act most immediately by the ruinous impacts of tar sands mining and the construction of related pipelines.
We realize that our small efforts alone will end neither tar sands mining nor humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels. Our decision to fast is governed not by the likelihood of success but by the demands of conscience and spirit, and by our love for Creation.
Fast for the Earth will begin on August 1, 2012. The goal is to have at least one person or group somewhere in the world fasting for the Earth every single day thereafter, until the Earth is once again treated with respect.
If you are aged 14 or older, I invite you to join the Fast. It doesn’t matter when you start fasting, or what kind of fast you do, or for how long (though only experienced fasters should abstain from food for more than a day or two). Just commit. For the sake of the planet.
AUGUST 1-8, 2012:
“Launch Week” in Brookings, South Dakota
Here in Brookings we will observe the beginning of the Fast movement with Launch Week. Between August 1 and August 8, participants will abstain from food (or do some other form of fast) for whatever length of time they choose. At least some of those who are fasting will be available throughout the week to dialogue with the public. During Launch Week the Fast will also offer a slate of events intended to educate and inspire the Brookings community to act in defense of the Earth. Following Launch Week, the Fast will transition into a perpetual movement, in which at least one person or group somewhere in the world will always be fasting for the Earth.
If you’re in the neighborhood, I hope that you’ll attend as many of these events as possible.
12:00-1:00 pm Opening the Fast, Screening & Discussion of the Film “Pipedreams”
6:30-8:00 pm Native Concerns about Tar Sands Mining & Pipelines
12:00-1:00 pm Discussion: “Does Mother Earth Have Rights?”
6:30-8:00 pm Farmer & Rancher Concerns about Tar Sands Pipelines
12:00-1:00 pm Direct Action, Pioneer Park shelterhouse.
Writing of “oil hand” letters to politicians. Preparation of picketing signs for Tuesday’s Keystone protest.
6:30 pm Screening & Discussion of the Film “Fuel,” St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
12:00-1:00 pm Direct Action: “People’s Soapbox,” downtown Brookings.
6:30 pm Screening & Discussion of the Film “A Sea Change,” Brookings United Church of Christ.
Afternoon “special.” From 2:30-4:30 p.m., an “up close and personal” tour of a portion of the landscape through which Keystone I pipeline is routed. The tour will be primarily on the property of farmers Mike and Sue Sibson, 23782 426th Ave., Howard, SD. Tour will be held rain or shine, leaving the parking lot of the Brookings Public Library for Howard around 1:15 p.m. Carpooling will be available.
12:00-1:00 pm Discussion: “What Does Faith Mean for the Earth?”
6:30 pm Interfaith Blessing Service for the Earth (followed by fellowship)
12:00-1:00 pm Alternatives to Oil: Presentation on Solar Power, First United Methodist Church Community Life Center.
6:30-8:00 pm Alternatives to Oil: Presentation on Wind Power, basement of First United Methodist Church.
12:00-1:00 pm Protest, Keystone I office, 200 Highway 14 (by-pass).
6:30 pm “The People’s Dinner,” Pioneer Park shelterhouse.
A community potluck, highlighted by the presentation of mock awards for Earth desecration and true awards for Earth heroism.
Wednesday, August 8 The beginning of the perpetual Fast for the Earth.
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