Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An edited Open Letter, re-posted.

Following is an edited open letter to one of our neighbors, re-posted.  It was respectfully and regretfully taken down by Ande following a request and threat of a defamation lawsuit. I feel that some of the words have a wider relevance and powerful message to the industrialized world.  It may be a beneficial public conversation. 
Dear (names removed),
I am a participant and founder, though not a representative, of Tipi Village. The intention of this letter is to facilitate and foster open dialogue between the families and individuals currently striving (in the face of great attrition) to maintain and honour our connection with our homeland over the past six summers, and you.
Recent attempts by us to communicate with you, through email and phone calls have had no response. Now the only avenue for communication appears to be publicly, which is slightly regretful because out of respect to you and the process in which we are involved together, we have striven to keep your names out of the newspapers and off the airwaves. For the love of all that is dear to us, and following recent interactions with the county, who are only complaint driven, this has now changed as we have a whole culture and way of life, to which our children were born, to defend.
Following will be some questions. If any of them are assumptive, please let me know; I'm trying to make sense of the information coming in and work out why such prejudice is being leveled at my community.
Why are you harassing Tipi Village? This harassment, through the channels of county protocol might be 'legal' but it is incredibly distressful for the people and children who live here and whose home and life-way is under threat.
Circumstantially and most recently, following a visit from a county representative, it has come to our attention that the complainant about Tipi Village had hired a lawyer to have the county code 're-interpreted' to, basically, make it illegal to live in tipis in Jackson county.
We have also heard, from members of the Mosby family, the current land owners who are in deep financial difficulty especially since the death of John Mosby, that you have threatened to delay the sale of this land until they have had us removed. We migrate in the autumn anyway and you are fully aware of this. It's unnecessary.
What is your agenda with this place on Soda Mountain, widely known as the summer lands of Tipi Village? Why are you putting so much effort into displacing a peoples and a culture? Are you trying to make us homeless?
Do you care for this place, this piece of Mother Earth and wish to see it thrive, to hear the songs, cries and laughter of the children echo through the mountains. Do you care for this place to maintain and even increase it's current bio-diversity to how it was before settler consciousness arrived? The touch of millenia of human interaction still resonates through this land, in spite of exploitative logging, over-grazing and over-preservation. Preserving is what we do with fruit when we put it in jars. As people we have always been an integral part of our environment, even since the onset of industrialization, when we seem to have become blind to our impact. The land and the people thrive together.
Many times I have invited you to my home for tea, even for dinner. You have been invited to find out what is actually going on here. The only time I have seen you here on Soda Mountain was one late spring a few years ago in your little golf buggy. We were bringing a first load up for the summer migration, you said you were hunting for morels. We caught you! You are still welcome to come and see, feel, smell, hear and taste the reality of life here. As is anyone.
If you care for and love this land and recognise the potential that is unfolding here as much as we do then we can work together.
If, however, you care only for your selves, for the glory of being praised as great, magnanimous people, as preservers of wilderness, although at the expense of the people.
If you care only for your own quiet retirement, to live your unsustainable ways in the midst of the wilderness, all to yourselves, fishing your imported trout from 'your' lake.
If you care only to disregard and discriminate against the handful of lodges of men, women and children who all put together would still have a lower impact and smaller physical and carbon footprint that you only two people in your little mansion, that is only there next to (name removed)Lake because it's 'grandfathered' in. If these are your cares, then we are in opposition. And you are opposed to all and any other with a bright mind who doesn't have the decadence of money to throw at anything with which they don't agree. We have culture. We are happy just simply getting along with our lives. We are not the aggressors . We don't have a private plane to fly to LA and spend half of our time there. We are here and we always have been and we always will be. We practice and ask for the basic human right to subsist and to continue to subsist without aspirations towards extractive, unsustainable consumerist ways of living; to practice and cultivate humane, human ways of being, respectfully to all, even our adversaries!
 (Names removed), please stop indirectly harassing us! Be accountable and responsible with your complaints and concerns and bring them directly to those whom they concern, honestly and openly, so that they can be addressed and inspected and we can find out if they are valid. Stop fabricating bogus reasons for whining at the county like spoilt children and getting them, with your political and financial influence, to do your dirty work.
Furthermore, join in, participate with the Land Liberation Project, be remembered as a major part of the sea-change that is occurring now. The Project has a really good idea and a lot of experience of a viable way of sustainable living for all with the inspiration, to truly begin to re-member our wild and powerful places.
As Yosemite burns right now, consider why that fire is so catastrophic. And in that consideration, feel the millions of individuals making up families, bands, tribes, who were and still are being removed, displaced and even killed in the name of preservation and conservation. People, humans just like you, today, now, being forced economically, physically violently or otherwise from the place of their birth and tradition and culture and into unsustainable lifeless fragments of the machine of industry. This is a moment in the story of humankind where our actions will resonate through the ages, and long after our flesh and bones have returned to the dust from which they came, future generations will remember. Which way will it go? Our actions and intentions are defining us. This is where a few can make a difference for the benefit of countless many.
For the love of our world, all of our children, and our future.
Thanks for reading.
Ande Blanchflower

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