Big Mike: This is Big Mike with SAVAGE Family – Standing Against Violent Adversaries and Genocidal Environments Forever Always Movement. We are out here at the Sacred Stone camp, standing up for our indigenous rights.
Fire This Time: This is Thomas Davies and my co-fighter Noah Fine, from the Fire This Time Newspaper in Vancouver, Canada. We are out here doing the same. We are lucky to run into our brother here, and wanted to ask you, how long have you been up here at the camp?
Big Mike: I’ve been out here for about a week now.
Fire This Time: How do you feel the mood is? How do you think things have been going?
Big Mike: The moral is high. In dealing with the United States government and the racist local police force, you really have to be peaceful and calculated in how you deal with them legally. So, a lot of the elders and the tribal officials are heading up that situation. We are here to assist. We are here to support. We are here to pray. We are here to basically stop the pipeline.
Fire This Time: When you first decided to come out here, what was the underlying motivation? Why did you think “right now, I need to be out here”?
Big Mike: It’s 2016 and they have fucking dogs biting natives. Where does that happen? You know, the world is looking at America like, you’re supposed to be this superpower yet you are treating your own indigenous people like this?
But really, it’s no surprise because they are all over the world killing indigenous people for natural resources. So, who are we? They will just try to run us over like they’ve been doing. They didn’t even have the proper permits, but yet, they were going to push the issue. If it wasn’t for people standing up, it would have never brought it to light.
Fire This Time: You were talking about your own struggles as well, with the situation facing the Shasta Dam?
Big Mike: In California they are trying to raise the Shasta Dam nine feet, which will cover up the Winnemem Wintu’s sacred sites. They don’t care about indigenous people, they care about making money from the water. They have Crystal Geyser sucking up the water out of the water, selling it. They have no respect for the native land; they are not doing anything to respect the native land.
They said themselves that they own all the water in California and that they can do whatever they want with it. Well, guess what? We are going to stand for the water because without the water, without the river, without the sacred sites, we have nothing. It is the only that we have left after they killed about one million of us, a million plus.
Fire This Time: We see the same issues of land, of water, or self-determination playing out all over this country, all over Canada. We are very lucky to get to meet people who are standing up, who are fighting back, and this camp is full of people. Thank you very much for taking the time for the interview. We are going to try to bring you up to Vancouver for the Hip Hop 4 Peace Festival. To all of our readers, please look Big Mike up.
Big Mike: Please look up the Winnemem Wintu and Shasta dam raise.*
* For more information visit with website of the Winnemem Wintu dedicated to their fight against the raising of the Shasta dam at: http://www.winnememwintu.us/journey-to-justice/shasta-dam-raise/
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