Saturday was a beautiful day for a Flash Mob. The goal; Raise awareness of the proposed fracked gas facility being built at the Port of Tacoma. The weather was warm but not too hot. The sound of loud upbeat music blared out from the stage at the Ethnic Fest in Tacomas Wrights Park.
The myriad smells put out by the collection of food trucks had everyone’s mouth-watering. Thousands of Tacomans were enjoying the annual spectacle. Some prepared with lawn chairs – some even pitched in the shade under the tree canopies, and others just making do on the green grass. Children – and some parents – dipped their toes in the spray park so they could cool off. Others climbed frames in the playground, many with their faces painted.
Flash Mob, Drums and Song
Then the strange sound of drums and singing in the distance. The sound of a song that many didn’t recognize. As they marched their way through the park, onlookers stopped to take video and photographs. No-one seemed to see them as out of place, in fact, the opposite appeared to be true. It would have been reasonable to believe that the people marching and singing were probably part of the show.
The committed band of water protectors, led by the Puyallup Water Warriors, marched with drum, song, and prayer in front of the stage. As a result, the band stopped preparing for their set to listen as the Water Warriors finished their song. One of the band members then passed the microphone to give the protectors the floor while the others nodded in approval.
It was as it should be. Prayerful, peaceful and impactful. Cheers and applause came from interested onlookers as several of the group addressed the crowd. “We’re here to raise awareness of a Time Bomb being put on our port,” Dakota Case told the crowd, “our ecosystems are slowly dying and we’re here saying enough is enough.”
To follow-up on his words, Patrica Gonzales explained, “As Native people, we’re told to take care of mother earth, to take care of our fish. To take care of all of these things because they are medicine to us.” She continued, “One of our treaty rights is to be able to fish, to dive for geoduck, to crab.” “All of those things,” She said, “are being threatened.”
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