A Silent Story of Invisible People: A Response to the Documentary H2Oil


By Min Reyes

I want to tell you a story
a story not mine to tell
but it must be told
for some stories are buried with bodies
and while remaining untold
not the rotting flesh nor bones, nor the silent soul
will stop haunting those who seek truth

to those to whom the land belongs
there has been no peace nor justice
to those who humble themselves not by conquering but coexisting
the winds, the secretive waters, the imposing trees, the welcoming earth

while the elders look upon their young with guilt and fear
the young return the gaze with hopes and dreams

there is a war
between the silk suited men and women
and the teary elders, outraged widows, childless parents
those in suits easily claim no understanding can be reached
for there are two languages, yet there is only one truth

but how wrong the suits are
while they bring to the assembly their own bottled drinking water
while denying to take a sip of water from the athabasca river
the same water they claim is safe for kids to drink

there may well be two versions of the truth, yes

but one truth speaks louder through increasing deaths, bloody noses
don’t hide behind numbers, don’t hide behind reports

the truth is in the living, slowly dying

our water is filled with arsenic, aluminum, mercury, and pahs
the dying community confronts

yet the faces of suncor and voices of government claim
tis only natural rivers contain carcinogenic toxins
while for decades denying tests meant to prove otherwise

what are people to eat and drink
when fish caught to feed the children are mutated
does one feed the hungry child tumor
the nets gathered with mutated fish
smell of oil, feel like oil

oh, how awful what is happening, you let a cry out
while sitting at your dinner table
your child looks shocked, your wife gives you a nod
oh, daddy, what happened to the little birdie?
why can’t the birdie fly?
you softly look at your child with pride assuming that she cares
bad people are killing the environment for money, you tell her

and for a moment you pause and think
you just came to an understanding that you have always known the truth

and because you cannot in all honesty, teach your own child otherwise

because as a decent human being, you refuse to teach your child
genocide is acceptable

you quietly resume to your dinner
in silence
not daring to meet her beautiful and curious eyes
and so this story has slightly touched you
while quickly burning like furious fire

you are guilty
of genocide
of indifference, of ignorance, of silence
you are guilty
of genocide


 Watch the full documentary ‘ H2Oil ‘


Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5

Editor’s Note: Min Reyes is a journalist and student of historical materialism and dialectics. Presently, Min is fully committed to the global movement of human dignity against neoliberalism. In addition to being a News Junkie Post contributor, Min can be found at her own blog, MinReyes.ca, and you can connect with her on Twitter @Min_Reyes


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