by Katie Loncke
Dig for Wisdom, Not for Oil
Mindful of Environmental Racism
Fracking Kills Precious Beings
With Buddhist voices from Tricycle magazine to Green Gulch Zen Farm, One Earth Sangha, and so many other corners turning to squarely face the perils of climate change (what organic Zen farmer Qayyum Johnson calls “the mother of all practice opportunities”), the Buddhist Peace Fellowship is joining in our own way: taking it to the streets.
Early Friday morning, while labor and environmental groups blockaded the doors, indigenous organizers in Idle No More took to the streets with round dance and song, and activists chained themselves to a 16-foot mock oil derrick unloaded in the middle of San Francisco morning traffic, a contingent from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship practiced sitting, walking, and praying along the stairs of a state building where California Governor Jerry Brown has offices.
Our collective purpose: to call for an end to fracking (hydraulic fracturing) in California, as well as a just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Most of California’s fracking is for oil, rather than natural gas, and California remains the third largest oil-producing state in the U.S. But fracking’s business boom comes at a price. Between the harsh chemicals, excessive use of water during a drought, and notoriously dangerous conditions for workers, fracking kills precious beings.
And in the face of disproportionate pollution in poor communities and communities of color, we find it necessary to engage in ‘militant ahimsa’: nonviolent action that tries to stop harm from happening. This is our way of compassionately confronting government bodies and corporations who are choosing to harm the earth and living beings through fracking.
Letter from SF Zen Center: “Fracking Isn’t Zen”
More coverage of the action, with various Zen puns
Note: we heart Zen, and most of Friday’s BPF action participants hail from other lineages. 🙂
AJ+ video including interview with Rebecca Solnit
Daily Kos: “Zen monks to Gov. Brown: Don’t even THINK about fracking”