Defend the Sacred
In August 2017, 2018 and 2019 we hosted activists, movement leaders, Indigenous elders and youth from around 50 countries, all with experience in sacred activism, inspired by the movement of “water protectors” sparked by Standing Rock. Key parts of our gatherings included aerial art actions on the Odeceixe (2017) and Cova do Vapor (2018) beaches displaying messages to stop plans for offshore oil drilling in Portugal – a campaign that proved successful. The gatherings have led to the emergence of the Defend the Sacred Alliance, in which activists support each other, join in both action and prayer and collaborate towards system change.
Edited by The Grace Foundation, “Defend the Sacred: If Life Wins There Will Be No Losers” (Verlag Meiga, 2019) features the work and vision of around 30 activists of the emerging alliance: people from around the world who, despite everything, don’t give up.
They build autonomous communities, create livelihoods for whole regions, fight against the destruction of forests and the construction of dams, work for the restoration of natural cycles, green deserts and make soil fertile again. They turn slums into ecological neighborhoods, create new school systems, refuse to believe in the concept of hostility, develop global peace strategies and build social systems for the healing of love. Their contributions testify to a power which is in the hearts of all people. With this book, we want to awaken and strengthen this power in more and more people around the world.
The August 2019 gathering consisted of several interconnected parts: a first week of meeting between approx. 40 long-term cooperation partners for intercultural exchange, trust-building, reconciliation and vision work, a 3-day conference with approx. 300 participants and a seminar with approx. 80 participants in which included us joining an aerial art action against planned lithium mining in Serra da Estrela. Watch keynote panels, updates & slides from the conference…
In August 2018, we hosted more than 80 activists from around the world. Read Leila Dregger’s report…
Follow the story of the gathering through the slideshow, by clicking the image.