March 19, 2012

DGR Great Plains Reports from Pine Ridge Reservation

Hello Friends,

From February 25th-27th, Deep Green Resistance Great Plains traveled to Wounded Knee, South Dakota, located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in order to take part in the 39th Annual Liberation Day. The purpose was to commemorate and celebrate those who took part in and died in the 1973 takeover as well as those who died in the Wounded Knee Massacre. Members of DGR Great Plains traveled from Iowa City, IA, Cedar Rapids, IA, Cedar Falls, IA, and Omaha, NE, to meet in Jefferson SD the night before. Upon arrival, we bonded, shared a meal, had a meeting, and watched a documentary about the 1973 takeover to give everyone in the group some historical perspective.

We arose bright and early at 6am to begin the long drive west across the state of South Dakota. Along the drive, many of us from the heart of production for the world’s corn and soybeans were taken in by the beauty of the prairie land, golden and swaying in the wind. With over 99% of our prairies gone, it was quite a treat to see. On our first day in Western South Dakota, we took time to take in the natural beauty of the Black Hills. An evergreen tree called the Ponderosa Pine dominates the forests of the hills, making the hills appear black. Later that day we went to Wind Cave National Park, which is as close as we could get to South Dakota’s natural state before the arrival of settler society. For so many of us that spent most of our lives in cities, standing in the presence of a strong force of wind, the endless hills, free roaming bison, antelope, mule deer, elk, prairie dogs and the vastness of the sky was a freeing experience. Being there gave us a new perspective on what we are fighting for, from an abstraction to something tangible and real.

The next day was the pow wow. Before the pow wow we took time in the morning to meet with activists at the Wounded Knee Museum, and we also took time to drop off supplies that we brought with us (blankets, electric blankets, winter clothes and canned food items) for elders whose homes are not built well enough to deal with the South Dakota winters. All of us, especially those at a pow wow for the first time, really enjoyed taking in all of the beautiful costumes, beating drums and singing. To our surprise they called our group down and our Lakota friends and all of us performed a round dance in DGR Great Plains' honor. We were asked to give a short speech to let everyone in the audience know why DGR Great Plains was in attendance. We let them know that DGR was at Liberation Day to show our solidarity with all indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, and the we would do everything in our power to help keep alive their beautiful culture and language and protect their land from encroachment by settler societies.

The last day was the four directions walk. It was quite a windy day but the weather was no matter. While our group walked a mile, people walked from more than several miles away to this event. To be there that weekend, to participate and fly our banner alongside members of both Native Youth Movement and the American Indian Movement, was quite an honor. This trip was an important first step to building a relationship with the Lakota people, a relationship crucial to successful defense of the land against our common enemy. DGR Great Plains was shown the greatest hospitality by our hosts, and given honor and respect that we still work to deserve. We hope to have the chance to earn it soon.

This adventure was crucial to creating friendship and a feeling of family among our members. Some of us knew each other before the trip and others were meeting for the first time. We did an excellent job of getting along as twelve people all shared one hotel suite. I think we all walked away from this experience having grown closer as a group, and stronger in our resolve to bring down this death machine.

Love and Rage,

The Deep Green Resistance Great Plains Crew

New Book Featuring Deep Green Resistance Authors: The (Un)OccupyMovement

A new book, compiled and edited by Mankh (Walter E. Harris III), features contributions from Deep Green Resistance authors Aric McBay, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen. The book is called The (Un)Occupy Movement: Anatomy of Conscousness, Practical Solutions, Human Equality. Prose and Poetry, and you can order copies here.

Excerpt from the book's introduction:

As the title suggests, there is an “Occupy Movement” (begun with Occupy Wall Street) that has stirred the so-called American melting pot from its backburner state. Suddenly, things are cooking and more and more People are getting a whiff of the spirited air. Yet, from the perspective of the First Nations or Natives, the land has been unjustly occupied since 1492. Indigenous Peoples around the globe are dealing with similar issues. Hence, “Unoccupy Movement.”

Read a review of the book here.

New Study: Current Climate Change Models Underestimate Rate and Severity of Species Extinction

Mark Urban, lead author of a new study about the effects of climate change on plants and animals, under one of many ice sheets threatened by a warming environment


Plenty of experimental studies have shown that species are already moving in response to climate change, says [Mark] Urban, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut. For example, as temperatures rise over time, animals and plants that can't take the heat are moving to higher altitudes where temperatures are cooler.

But not all species can disperse fast enough to get to these more suitable places before they die off, Urban says. And if they do make it to these better habitats, they may be out-competed by the species that are already there -- or the ones that got there first.

Read whole article here.

You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel- What Occupy Can Learn from the Populists

Introspection, retrospection, and learning from past movements like the Populists of the late 19th century could propel the Occupy Movement to new heights. Some strategic framework based on the lessons of history could open a world of possibilities, but the movement must first begin to challenge some of the patterns and assumptions that have defined it thus far.

Occupy Albany protesters moving their info tent
as they're evicted on December 22, 2011

Reposted from Truthout

Excerpt from article by Ashley Sanders:

...[T]he Populists came within an inch of changing the entire corporate-capitalist system. They wanted a totally new world, and they had a plan to get it. But as you may have noticed, they didn’t. And now here we are, one hundred years later, occupying parks where fields once stood. We’re at a crucial phase in our movement, standing just now with the great Everything around us—everything to win or everything to lose. It’s our choice. And that’s good, because the choices we make next will echo, not just for scholars and bored kids in history class, but in the lives we do or don’t get to have. The good news is this: the Populists traveled in wagons and left us their wheels. We don’t have to reinvent them. We’re going in a new direction, but I have a feeling they can help us get there.

Occupy has done a lot of things right, and even more things beautifully. But strategy has not been our forte. That was okay at first, even good. We didn’t have one demand, because we wanted it all. So we let our anger grow, and our imagination with it. We were not partisan or monogamous to one creed. That ranging anger got 35,000 people on the Brooklyn Bridge after the Wall Street eviction, and hell if I’m not saying hallelujah. But winter is settling now, and cops are on the march. Each week we face new eviction orders, and wonder how to occupy limbo.

It’s time for a plan, then, some idea for going forward. This plan should in no way replace the rhizomatic-glorious, joyful-rip-roarious verve of the movement so far. It can occur in tandem. But we need a blueprint for the future, because strategy is the road resistance walks to freedom.

Read whole article here.