December 25, 2014

Earth At Risk 2014 report-back

Will Falk attended the 2014 Earth At Risk conference as a representative of the Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network and of Deep Green Resistance. So many great speakers and panels were involved that Falk can only give summaries, but his report back captures the excitement and energy of seeing how the various social justice and environmental topics are all linked together, with huge potential for building alliances.

If you weren't able to attend the event, read Will Falk's Earth at Risk 2014: The Proper Diagnosis to get some idea of what you missed. Hopefully videos of much or all of the conference will become available at some point!

December 14, 2014

Anti-Racist Rednecks With Guns

One of the ironies of contemporary politics is the identification of poor whites with the Republican party, even more opposed to working class interests than the Democrat party. Taken to the extreme by the Tea Party, this cooptation takes energy which might challenge the capitalist class structure and redirects it against other poor and working class people who have different skin color.

Dave Strano has worked for years against this counter-productive racism, in Kansas and Missouri as part of the John Brown Gun Club distributing anti-racist literature at gun shows, and more recently in Colorado as Redneck Revolt. In an excellent interview, Strano points out how the left, even the radical community, often practices classism subtle and overt, leaving a large segment of potential allies as easy recruits for racist elements of the conservative movement. He describes organizing within this culture to restore traditional values of opposition to exploitation:

Today, the term redneck has taken on a demeaning connotation, primarily among upper class urban liberals who have gone out of their way to dehumanize white working class and poor people. Terms like “white trash” have come to signify the view among these same upper class liberals of poor and rural whites.

To us, the term redneck is a term that signifies a pride in our class as well as a pride in resistance to bosses, politicians, and all those that protect domination and tyranny.

We're very upfront about our position of being not only opposed to white supremacy, but to the shared culture of whiteness being one that has only been defined by being an oppressor race. What unites white skinned people currently is a shared history of being the footsoldiers of oppression. We want to ensure that as many whites as possible reject this commonly understood idea of whiteness and instead join in a common struggle with workers of all skin colors in a struggle for total and real liberation.

The whole interview is an important privilege check for middle- and upper-class liberals and radicals alike, as we work to build as broad-based a culture of resistance as possible. Read the whole article: Rednecks With Guns and Other Anti-Racist Stories and Strategies

December 12, 2014

Gorilla Radio interviews: Will Falk and Vanessa Gray on the Unis'tot'en Camp

Liz McArthur of Victoria BC is creating a radio documentary on the Unis'tot'en Camp pipeline blockade. She interviewed two fellow volunteers who participated in the summer caravan to the Camp, and a third activist involved with defense of the Sacred Headwaters. The interviews aired on the August 4, 2014 episode of Gorilla Radio.

McArthur interviews:

  • Will Falk of Deep Green Resistance and Victoria Forest Action Network, on his environmental activism with the Camp and other efforts. He discusses the importance of supporting indigenous struggles, and what members of settler culture need to understand and how they should approach such solidarity work.
  • Vanessa Gray, a member of the Amjiwnaang nation in the Chemical Valley of Southern Ontario, describing the horrific conditions of living in close proximity to 63 oil and gas facilities, including pipelines, refineries, and loading docks. Gray describes the incredibly high rates of health problems brought on by this policy of environmental racism towards the indigenous. Gray brought youth to the Camp to show them that places still exist with clean water and air, and to inspire them to fight against the dominant culture of monetary profit at the sacrifice of people and land.
  • John Mowat Stephen briefly talks about activism with the Tahltan First Nation around the Sacred Headwaters in northern BC.

Listen to the interview to learn more about the front line struggles in BC against the fossil fuel industry, and how you can help:

Download mp3

Browse all DGR member appearances.

December 10, 2014

On the Side of the Living: DGR documentary in progress

Deep Green Resistance just completed a $10,000 fundraising campaign to create a feature length documentary on the need for organized resistance to the dominant system of industrial civilization: On the Side of the Living. Thank you to all who contributed money or helped spread the word!

Two videos that give an idea of what the documentary will address:

The Deep Green Resistance Strategy gives a good introduction to our general approach to strategic activism.

Exclusive interview with Doug Zachary of Veterans for Peace.

December 7, 2014

"Concrete" by the filthy politicians

A call to dig underneath the distractions and lies imposed on us by civilization, "Concrete" urges us to decolonize and join the side of the living. As always, the filthy politicians, joined on this Modern Man track by Drew Wadden, blend engaging rythm and melody with meaningful lyrics to draw listeners into a culture of resistance.

Listen to this track and read the lyrics below, and hear more songs at the filthy politicians on bandcamp and at the filthy politicians on soundcloud.

won't tell you to put your hands up in the air
won't tell you to put em anywhere
cuz you can put em up or down
all that really matters is you listen to the sound
and let it sink in get to thinkin
look reality in the eye without blinkin

don't think that i don't realize
that today if you want to reach the hearts and the minds
of these people that you need a beat to sweep them right off their feet
to reach deep underneath these sheets of concrete
that they been layin since you were playin in plastic sheets
and runnin through creeks now filled with chemical leaks
now tears are runnin down our chemical cheeks
cuz we don't wanna go outside without makeup on
we can't have fun without jager bombs
and this ain't the way it's supposed to be
ain't supposed to lose somebody so close to me
in a car accident we shouldn't have cars
but we're all so used to all these scars
we build our own prison but we don't see the bars
it shouldn't be so hard at night to see the stars

won't tell you to put your hands up in the air
won't tell you to put em anywhere
cuz you can put em up or down
all that really matters is you listen to the sound
and let it sink in get to thinkin
look reality in the eye without blinkin

these days we're taught conscious thought ain't hot
your brain might be sayin tpain i am not
so i'm already workin against the fence
you might be sittin on but if you're not then just pretend
we can take a thought and follow it to its end
just take a look around, what the fuck is happenin?
we shop til we drop for things that got made
half way around the motherfuckin world by slaves
if you got eyes to see take a look around
if you got ears to hear listen to the sound
of isolation, domestication
to the natural world we're an alienation
and we sold the soul for the sweet sedation
of lonely sex robots on tv stations
it shouldn't take flobots to show these bourgeois
the new boss is just like the old boss

won't tell you to put your hands up in the air
won't tell you to put em anywhere
cuz you can put em up or down
all that really matters is you listen to the sound
and let it sink in get to thinkin
look reality in the eye without blinkin

so if you got a breath of life left
and somethin inside you that's more human than machine to guide you
then you just gotta dig it up listen to it an we'll do it
you just gotta set it free then we can get to it
cuz the real enemy is all around
everyday they're the ones that are holdin us down
cuz they know as long as we don't know anything else
that we won't know what it's like to think for ourselves
and that's half the problem is every debate
is framed to accept the existence of the state
with this history they write, the lies they tell
so we identify and we don't rebel
we just eat the food and we watch the shows and
we consume exactly what they want us to know
but before we were consumin we were human at birth
gotta find our way back cuz we're killin this earth

won't tell you to put your hands up in the air
won't tell you to put em anywhere
cuz you can put em up or down
all that really matters is you listen to the sound
and let it sink in get to thinkin
look reality in the eye without blinkin

December 5, 2014

Chris Matera on biofuels and other excuses for clearcuts

Chris Matera founded and works in his spare time for Massachusetts Forest Watch, fighting against destruction of New England forests. Derrick Jensen interviewed him for the November 30 episode of Resistance Radio, discussing the many forces pushing for logging.

As expected, the timber industry puts out carefully crafted propaganda designed to confuse well meaning but ignorant people. Companies claim clearcutting will counteract stressors, correct forest imbalances, and otherwise improve forest health. They claim clearcutting will improve habitat for cute animals (already overabundant because of past logging), not mentioning the threatened species who will suffer further harm. They claim they need to clearcut trees now to prevent future hurricanes from knocking them down.

Less immediately transparent is the propaganda around biofuels, billed as clean and green, but really just another excuse to clearcut forests. Matera says that burning green trees is 50% more carbon polluting than burning coal, and has a similar impact on air quality. He warns people to critically examine claims of energy sustainability, usually heavily based on this habitat destruction and pollution even worse than coal.

Perhaps most surprisingly for many listeners, Jensen and Matera reveal big green NGOs such as The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and The Nature Conservancy as more of a problem than a help. Time and time again, grassroots activists have clashed with such NGOs backing environmentally destructive practices like biofuels via deforesting. Jensen and Matera discuss the dynamics and details of this serious obstacle to environmentalism.

Listen to this free ranging discussion below, play the interview at the Deep Green Resistance Youtube Channel, or visit Massachusetts Forest Watch. And please share this interview with friends and family to promote a better understanding of what the hype around biofuels really means for the earth.

Download mp3

Browse all of Derrick Jensen's Resistance Radio episodes.

December 3, 2014

Standing on Sacred Ground film series

Deep Green Resistance stands with indigenous peoples in defense of their land, for both ethical and practical reasons. It's simply the right thing to do when people are threatened with theft of their traditional land base. It's also a highly effective way to preserve what's left of biodiversity and a living planet. Like any long-term member of a community, humans who know they depend on their land for sustenance and life foster its health to the benefit of everyone there.

The World Bank calculates that although indigenous people comprise just 4% of the global human population and live on just 12% of the land surface, their territory encompasses 80% of planetary biodiversity. Clearly they're doing a better job of fostering life than has any civilized culture. We can be most strategic in supporting these people in protection of this remaining biodiversity on their traditional lands.

The film series Standing on Sacred Ground explores these dynamics and looks at specific cultures and places in 4 DVDs. You can see multiple excerpts on Youtube, including "Sacred Sites and Biodiversity" featuring clips from Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Ethiopia.