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This Rise For Climate Justice and Mother Earth Report was written and shared by Jessica Montoya, the One Billion Rising Coordinator, New Mexico:

One Billion Rising: Rise for Revolution is a radical escalation of our combined global efforts to raise awareness of the connection between violence against women and girls to the plunder of our environment. In New Mexico, the Native American and local populations face discrimination on the basis of race and class, and are impacted by damage done to the sacred water and our beloved Mother Earth. As an organizer of One Billion Rising Revolution and as an employee of Tewa Women United, I am honored to work towards ending violence against women and violence against our ultimate mother, Mother Earth.

For more than 25 years, Tewa Women United, a non-profit organization run by Indigenous women, has been working tirelessly, without any end in sight, for relief from government issued sanctions. Los Alamos, NM is home to the laboratory that is responsible for creating the first atomic bomb. National laboratories, like Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory, inject Mother Earth with poison and rape her of her resources and materials less than field away from the most sacred lands. The Environmental Justice Program of Tewa Women United works to educate the public and create a community garden free from the toxins of the labs. The most tragic part of our reality is the audacious thought that the feeling of reprieve for the privileged white man’s conscious is just a few dollars.

On Saturday, 26 September Tewa Women United held their 19th Annual Gathering for Mother Earth Summit on tribal sovereign land, Pueblo de San Ildefonso. This gathering, created by Kathy Sanchez, one of the founding sisters of Tewa Women United is a celebration of cultural ways to share love and gratitude for Mother Earth. The community came together in the hope that our love will help heal our hearts of the grief and the overwhelming sense of loss we feel as Mother Earth is injected full of poison, raped of her resources, and her life-giving water is harmed. It is time to unite for eco-systemic revival and revolution.

Violent extraction of decaying matter such as fracking and mining disrupts Mother Earth and Her thousands of years of change and opens Her nuclear hearth of love and energy to become tools of mass destruction. This will be the untimely death of us all. We need to encourage all cultures, all ages, schools, communities and families to bring inter-generational thinking to holistic ways of active healing.

At the Gathering For Mother Earth, various programs and projects of Tewa Women United were highlighted – arts, crafts and activities, engaged and educated visitors on our offerings. “Indige Femme” performed along with many other musicians like “G Precious” who raps about maternal relationships in her life. Various alternative healing modalities were offered along with a communal meal to experience our beloved community. As we danced the One Billion Rising dance, “Break the Chain” on sacred land, we drew visible connection from our bodies to the body of the world.

Around dusk “100,000 Poets for Change” performed in Pojoaque Pueblo with a Full-Moon ceremony following. The next day on Sunday at 7am there was a private fire and sacred space in honor of the sunrise and shortly thereafter began the annual 13 mile Relay Run starting at 6:00 am and ending at noon with the runners praying and thanking Creator for all the things they passed. This experience cannot be documented by simple words and pictures. The people of my community, the people in New Mexico have been doing this work for thousands of years, that picture is painted perfectly with community, investment and time.