Excerpt from The Roots of Resistance, by Rivera Sun
The roots of resistance run deep through time and chapters of human history: Egyptian pyramid craftsmen striking for bread wages; Roman plebeians refusing to work for patricians; pagans veiling the sacred in secrecy to escape death on the pyre; Gandhi’s pinch of salt multiplied in millions of Indian hands; African-American children facing fire hoses and attack dogs; Estonians singing for independence; miles of Baltic hands joining to end occupation; striking millworkers and miners walking out by the thousands; Danish families saving the Jews; the Madres de la Plaza crying out for their disappeared children until regimes toppled at their feet . . . across the globe and throughout time, the roots of resistance run deep, broad, and thick through the story of humanity’s struggles for justice.
They show up when a mother teaches her child to love; when embittered enemies wage peace, and when the person who caused harm speaks out to right wrongs. Resistance is more than a battle; it is the indomitable presence of life against forces of destruction. It is laughter when fear is mandated; respect when hate is demanded, compassion when cruelty is ordered, and generosity when greed is expected. Resistance is singing your grandmother’s songs so the next generation will know them. Resistance is loving the soft, round, humble honesty of origins. Resistance is weeping when rivers run oily and vowing to redress the harm. Resistance is listening to the stories untold. Resistance is standing up for a stranger.
The Dandelion Insurrection’s true roots of resistance were the stories Charlie and Zadie had tracked down of people driven by love to use nonviolent action to stand up to injustice and organize for change. These were the anchoring structures that had weathered the storms of dangers. These were the nourishing roots that fed a nation hungry for change. They reached down into the fertile soil of history and pulled up the essential minerals of inspiration from the lineage of nonviolence all around the world. The true roots of the Dandelion Insurrection’s bold resistance gave rise to the golden blossoms of creative, joyful, indomitable action. Love was the means of the ends they were making. Love was the acorn, the oak, and the forest of the world they longed to create.
Reprinted with permission… 2017