Defend the Sacred

In August 2017 we hosted activists, leaders of movements, Indigenous elders and youth from around 40 countries, all with experience of sacred activism, with the aim of reconciling Indigenous wisdom with futuristic thinking. A key part was the aerial art action on Odeceixe beach to stop plans for offshore oil drilling in Portugal. We want to facilitate a growing global alliance in the spirit of “Defend the Sacred” and will host the next international gathering in Tamera from August 1st–10th 2018.


Signed by a group of global visionaries and leaders, these are the key points of the manifesto we collectively agree on as a foundation for a global alliance to defend the sacred.

  • Building upon the peaceful opposition seeded during the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock in 2016, we work on building a globally unified alliance that transcends cultures, borders and beliefs.
  • We unite as a planetary community to midwife a transition to a world where we humans no longer dominate but cooperate with the sacred alliance of life.
  • Evoking our Indigenous wisdom, we work to acknowledge the rights of the Earth and live in communion with Nature and all beings, embracing this planet as one interdependent family.
  • We acknowledge that our collective trauma keeps us in a cycle of continued violence and separation and work to consciously address and heal it. Healing the wounds of the past is essential to creating a culture of peace.
  • To catalyze a global system change and create a culture of peace, we develop social and ecological systems aligned with the matrix of life that unify and interconnect all that lives.
  • We support the emergence of regenerative models, like Healing Biotopes and a network of interconnected, autonomous communities of trust, to contribute to global peace.
  • We commit to defending the sacred—for the water, the earth, the air, for our children and all generations that will come after us. Mni Wiconi—water is life. Life is sacred. It is this sacredness that we defend.

The manifesto is signed by leading activists from around the world – Indigenous elders and youth from North America, (including initiators from Standing Rock), Colombia, Israel, Palestine, Brazil, Bolivia, Kenya, the Philippines and Europe.

Download and share the manifesto (PDF)

Download and share the key points above (PDF)

Download and share the manifesto in Portuguese (PDF)

Download and share the manifesto in German (PDF)

Download and share the manifesto in Spanish (PDF)

Gathering 2018

Our vision for a growing international alliance is gathering momentum as we prepare for our second international activist gathering, August 1–10 2018. Together with partners from around the world, we want to create a visionary, strategic, trust-based and spirit-filled platform that will honor the essence of what it is to “defend the sacred” and help unify the many movements, projects and individuals around the world working on a way-out of our current dead-end. We want to develop shared global goals and specific strategic steps for global system change, based on our common intention for healing our collective disconnect from life.

Approaching our gathering, Martin Winiecki articulated a vision for the Defend the Sacred alliance in an essay, published by Kosmos Journal on April 17 2018, which is centered around 5 key areas:

  1. Fierce nonviolent resistance against the fossil fuel industry
  2. The transition to decentralized, clean energy and large-scale ecosystem restoration
  3. The ethics of universal solidarity
  4. A common focus on an emerging vision for humanity
  5. A different principle of power

Find the full essay here: Sacred Activism: Movement for Global Healing.

Gathering 2017

We ran a successful crowdfunding campaign to bring international activists and leaders as participants and speakers.

See the story of the gathering in pictures by clicking the image.

Watch the talks, panels and films from the 2017 gathering

Opening speech: “What’s Sacred Activism?” | Martin Winiecki
Cooperation with All Beings |
Sabine Lichtenfels
Healing Biotopes Plan |
Benjamin von Mendelssohn
Gentle Power – the Feminine Revolution
Turtle Island Panel
Middle East Panel
Global South Panel
Defend the Sacred:
What is Sacred?
What is your message to the world?
Water is Life! |
Tokata Iron Eyes

Aerial Art Action

Não ao Furo! Sim ao Futuro – No to oil drilling in Portugal!

On August 12 2017, nearly 1000 people from 40 countries formed a large-scale human message on Odeceixe beach to stop plans for offshore oil drilling in Portugal. The action was part of the event: “Defend the Sacred: Envision a Global Alternative” hosted by Tamera, joined by Standing Rock leaders and supported by environmental movements in Portugal. The aerial human image was designed by John Quigley of Spectral Q and the video was produced by Ludwig Schramm and team, from Tamera.

As the oil companies push to drill for oil off this coast as early as April 2018, we came together to honor that water is life, water is sacred, life is sacred, and that we must defend the sacred. LaDonna Bravebull Allard, initiator of the Sacred Stone camp at Standing Rock said at the event, “I stood up for the water and the world stood with us, so I came here to stand with you. We have no choice, we must stand up for the water and we must stand up now!”

Combining political action with art and prayer, a ceremony for water and fire, we dedicated this act of sacred activism to a regenerative system change from a culture of exploitation to one of cooperation with all that lives. We know that it’s our duty – our mandate – to call people to stand up, because people are ready for an alternative. And that they will run joyfully towards a more beautiful world, as the beachgoers did on Odeceixe-Praia, as they heard and felt the call to complete the final pieces of the powerful message at the last minute.

The message featured the “Linha Vermelha” (“Red Line”) – a campaign in partnership with Climaximo and the Citizenship Academy. The red line represents the voices of those who repeatedly say “no” to the oil drilling here and in the world, and through weaving and knitting, aim to inform and mobilize the population, who otherwise would not be aware and sensitized to this crime. (See:

The aerial art was designed by John Quigley, an American environmental advocate, known around the world for his aerial art activism. See John Quigley’s Biography (PDF) and an article about his work in the London Sunday Times (PDF).

The images are published under a under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial license. Acknowledgement: Ludwig Schramm/Karlito Delacasa/Simon du Vinage/Yuval Kovo/Spectral Q. The video is published under the same license – see credits.

Não ao Furo! Sim ao Futuro – No to oil drilling in Portugal!


Download and share this image.

Download and share this image.

Download and share this image.

Download and share this image.

Download and share this image.

Download and share this image.