Walk on the Water. The location was the beautiful Tacoma Waterfront on Ruston Way. NOLNG253 activists and new allies joined the movements first major awareness event. The goal was to inform and educate local residents about the proposed Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) facility. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has started work on the 14-story 8 million gallon facility. The facility which is to be built on the Tacoma Tideflats will produce between 250-500,000 gallons of LNG a day.
Walkers started to arrive – a few at a time – as the dinner crowd filled the restaurants at Point Ruston. A beautiful summer evening helped punctuate the gorgeous natural landscape of this region and gave a vivid reminder of what must be protected.
To understand how movements grow and attract people would seem to us an impossible task. This event was literally dreamed up about 20 hours ago as the previous night’s stand was coming to an end. Yet, as people started to roll in, new faces were as numerous as the usual suspects.
One new face was the legendary Joye Braun, who was the first person to stay in a tent at Standing Rock last year. Joye who is part of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) took time to leave KXL and DAPL opposition to come stand with the Puyallup Tribe. Her reason? This was home, not too long ago. Joye and her husband Floyd were part of the local community and have many friends in the Puyallup Tribe.
Her presence and that of the rest of our new friends added to a joyful atmosphere.
Dakota Case, who we have no need to introduce at this stage, was honored before the walk started. Paul ‘Cheoketen’ Wagner who has taken Dakota under his wing, heard that Dakota had recently lost an eagle feather. During a recent boat ride, the water took back the white Eagle Feather that usually hangs from his cedar hat. Paul spoke to the crowd to thank Dakota for all he is doing on behalf of all things. Dakota spoke proudly about the brotherhood he felt with Paul and thanked him for his gift.
It was a touching moment and one that bought some proud gasps from the crowd and a few tears from a proud mother. It was the perfect way to start our walk from this former Superfund site.