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300+ UCSF Doctors, Nurses & Students Join in Support of Standing Rock Protectors

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OPEN LETTER BY RUPA MARYA, MD OF THE DO NO HARM COALITION

The Do No Harm Coalition, who also recently came out in support of Colin Kaepernick, were asked by indigenous caregivers out North Dakota to make a public statement of support in hopes of inspiring more health workers to stand. This is that statement:


We acknowledge the ancestors–the Yelamu–on whose land we live and practice our medicine. We acknowledge the powerful medicine that preceded our presence here, a medicine that kept the air, the water, the land and its creatures in vibrant balance for over 10,000 years.

We are the Do No Harm Coalition, over 300 doctors, nurses, students, faculty and staff at UCSF who are committed to ending racism and state-sanctioned violence.

East—To the New Day, to the Standing Rock Lakota Dakota, to the Protectors—We stand with you. We acknowledge your sovereignty and right to protect the water, the health of the people downstream and your ancestral land. We stand with you in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. We dream of a world where everyone’s way of life is built on practices that will sustain all living beings in peace.

South—To the fire that burns in us, to speak alongside those whose voices have been silenced by 525 years of structural, interpersonal and cultural violence. We hear you. We recognize that when indigenous people gather to protect their rights in this country, the state responds with violence. This is the original racism of this land, and we are standing to change this history. We are watching and demand full respect and dignity for the lives and cultures of the women, men, elders and children who are gathering at Standing Rock. We invite other health workers to stand with us.

West—To the water, that covers 75% of the earth and makes up 67% of our bodies, bathing our cells and supporting every living entity. To the water that connects all of us, the water that the protectors at Standing Rock are defending. To the voiceless water, we add our voices. We stand to protect the water.

North—To the vision of a world where relations are honored and extractions are forgotten. To the vision where we place health and dignity of people and the planet over profit. To the vision of revitalized indigenous presence at the heart of our understanding of our own place here and of our own medicine. To the vision of ending cultural genocide on this land.

The Earth—where the bodies of the ancestors from over 10,000 years provide us with the nourishment for the food we eat and the very place we stand. To the Earth, who is telling us that she is sick and needs all of our participation for healing. To the Earth, We stand with you.

We stand with Standing Rock.

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