Awaken Giant! XR Chicago 4/15 Rise Up Event starting at Thompson Center


Awaken Giant!

by Melanie Hoekstra

Greetings, fellow humans.

Greetings, people of this planet,

this blue and green rock that sails along through space,

forever connected to our star, the Sun,

whose energy we rely upon to give us sustenance,

to give us life, to give us the core of our very existence.

Across the world, we are called together by the quiet shattering of our broken promises.

We are called together by the Sun, and her daughter, our mother… our Earth.

We are called together because we know in the deepest place in our hearts

that we are perpetrating a monstrous violence against our one true mother,

a violence that we must face,

a violence for which we must repent,

a violence we must stop now.

Our folly is as vast as the ocean; our folly is the destruction of the ocean,

pouring in toxic carbon dioxide and plastic trash like the mighty Niagara,

destroying the life-sustaining shores, polluting rivers with excess nutrients,

making the seas too acidic for coral to grow,

filling the bellies of bird and beast alike with our endless waste.

Our folly is as high as the mountains; our folly is the destruction of the mountains,

whose tops we blow up to mine dead dinosaur flesh

and rare earth metals to feed our insatiable desires,

whose trees we shave off like hair, the pulp of which goes to wipe our bottoms,

destroying the homes of so many animals that

we are entering a time of human-caused mass extinction.

Our folly is as wide as the sky; our folly is the destruction of the sky,

into which we pour toxic smoke and gases that ride on the wind all the world round,

shortening the lives of millions of people, animals, and plants,

from the ash in their lungs and on their leaves,

by the particles so small they enter the bloodstream,

causing disease and illness of all manner.

Our folly is as deep as Lake Michigan; our folly is the destruction of Lake Michigan,

Our own fresh water sea, future coastline for climate refugees by the millions,

while we too suffer annual 500-year floods,

the mass failure of monoculture crops,

deep freezes and heat waves, the likes of which we have never seen.



Listen to the silence.

Listen to the roaring, deafening silence that is our inaction…

Listen to the stillness that is our refusal to face our truth,

our refusal to turn away from the lies we are told

in an endless stream of advertisements for junk we don’t need…

Listen to the sound of poisons silently leaching into our bodies

from everything we touch, every glass of water we drink, every breath of air we take…

Listen to the corporations quietly acquiring vast wealth,

who make their fortune from those poisons,

who lie in bed with government officials so they’ll look the other way.

Listen to the apocalypse of insects, whose buzz has suddenly quieted

from the deadly pesticides we’ve used to win a needless war against them,

Listen to the thousands of pages of legislation

that perpetuate this needless mass murder.

Listen as we teeter on the brink of ecological collapse,

listen to the eerie quiet that comes before our fall off the cliff,

listen to our to our mother, the earth, as she screams in silenced agony,

listen as we suffocate her and her children,

listen as we destroy all that is sacred,

all that is beautiful,

all that is alive.

But wait!

Can you hear it?

Can you hear we humans opening our eyes?

Can you hear our slow turn toward the truth?

Can you hear the faintest recognition of responsibility?

The sun rises. The dawn awakens the drowsy mind.

We are the people who believed the lies of the marketers.

We are the people who bought the trash, knowing it was trash.

We are the people who let our political leaders turn a blind eye

to the destruction of our planet,

We are the people who let corporate deathmongers

consume all the natural world for their insatiable greed.

We are the people who let our media ignore our collective folly,

who don’t demand more than listicles and witty headlines.

We are the people who are acting out our own destruction.

But we are also the people for whom we wait.

We are the sleeping giant that is the flesh and blood of civil society.

We are the sleeping giant that can awaken to the peril we have created.

We are the sleeping giant that can rise up and fight back against the destruction of our only home!

We ARE the PEOPLE! We ARE the sleeping giant that we have been waiting for!
Awaken, Giant! Awaken!

[Chorus starts chanting softly: Awaken, Giant! Awaken! Awaken, Giant! Awaken!]

Giant, rise up! Awaken from your slumber! Sleep no more!

[Awaken, Giant! Awaken! Awaken, Giant! Awaken!]

Awaken, Giant! Lift your eyelids and see the destruction!

Awaken, Giant! Open your eyes to the lies we believe, even though we know they are lies!

Awaken, Giant! See the truth of our folly! See how our only home sits on the edge of apocalypse!