Great passions surround issues of the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.
Over the past month, I have have been “corrected,” like a middle school child, not only by some friends but by institutions, for my outspoken comments for or against certain politicians or programs affiliated with the Indian River Lagoon. This berating came as a shock to me as I have not “been corrected” since I lived in my parents house and was constantly corrected. I was not good at it then, and I am not good at it now.
When I complained about this recently, my husband Ed just looked at me and laughed saying, “Get used to it, if you want to be involved in politics!”
“I am working for the river, I replied, not politics.”
Ed looked at me like I was in outer space and again laughed that infectious laugh of his.”
Of course Ed is right. Water is politics. And politics can be even more toxic than our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon.
This Sunday, August 3, at 10 a.m. , at Phipps Park, (St Lucie Locks and Dam), the River Warriors with the second year leadership of Evan Miller and the help of the Rivers Coalition, the Indian River Keeper, and the Sierra Club, will hold the “March Against the Lake Okeechobee Discharges.”
There will hopefully be hundreds if not thousands of people there. And even though there will be people of many political affiliations, backgrounds, and beliefs, when the “powers that be” see the group together in one place our differences fade and WE ARE ONE. It is this oneness, this togetherness that has brought us from obscurity to state and national recognition for the problems of Lake Okeechobee, the St Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon in just one short year.
I have an old chest in my living room that came over to the United States in the 1700s. Its owners were French Huguenots who were openly persecuted and killed for their religious beliefs. When I see that chest, I think of its journey across the great ocean and it reminds me that people came to our county for many reasons, but the protections of “free speech” and “freedom of assembly,” to many may have been most important.
May we exercise our American Freedoms with dignity on Sunday and with the protections of the First Amendment of our United States Constitution:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
And please remember, in spite of our differences, or what we believe is the best way to support of our rivers, we are most powerful when WE ARE ONE, and we can still be ONE with our many differences.
History of the First Amendment:(http://illinoisfirstamendmentcenter.com/history.php)
History of the French Huguenots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huguenot)