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Van Jones Declares 'Water Is Life, Oil Is Death' at Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Energy

By Sydney Robinson

Journalist-turned-activist Van Jones is the most recent prominent voice to join the Dakota Access Pipeline protest which is fighting to stop the development of a pipeline that would damage the Earth and encroach upon native lands.

Jones spoke before a group of Native Americans and allies over the weekend when he made a strong declaration:

"This is as simple as I can say it: water is life, oil is death. Water is life, oil is death. That's not hyperbole. What is oil? Oil is some stuff that's been dead for millions and millions of years. Oil has been dead for 60 million years. Coal has been dead for 150 million years."

Seem a bit obvious? Jones wasn't done there. He then launched into a poetic, spoken-word-esque speech about how the death of oil and coal have spread death across the world:

"Somebody's gotta brainstorm to go and dig up a bunch of dead stuff and then burn it. Burn it in their engines, burn it in their power plants. And then they're shocked. They're shocked that having pulled death out of the ground, we now have death in the lungs of our children in the form of asthma. And we now have death on our oceans in the form of oil spills. And we now have death in the skies in form of climate chaos. What did you think was gonna happen when you started digging up all this death? What did you think was gonna happen?"

Finally, Jones made a call to action for the world to turn toward vibrant, living sources of energy and leave the death in the Earth from where it sprung:

"So we stand for life. Let's power a new civilization based on a living sun, based on the living wind, based on the living imagination of our children and based on the cleanliness, and the purity, and the sacredness of our water."

Watch Jones's speech below.

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