September 27, 2015

Deep Green Resistance in the news

A reporter for Fusion recently interviewed Dakota, the youngest member of Deep Green Resistance, for a story about militant resistance. Fusion is a media company focused on a young demographic of activists, so they drew on Dakota's perspective to discuss the necessity of immediate and serious action to confront climate change. Unfair though it is, the threats of ecological breakdown weigh the heaviest on our youngest generation, as does the responsibility to fix the messes made by those who came before. Dakota articulates why he's felt so moved to get involved in activism, and why he chose DGR.

Please read and share this article; hopefully it will inspire more youth to take up resistance!

Meet the teen member of Deep Green Resistance, a group that supports paramilitary action to confront climate change

September 23, 2015

We Are Seneca Lake newsletter: "We Are Family"

We wanted to pass on to this newsletter from the Seneca Lake resisters to fracked gas storage and transport, especially since, due to security measures, they do not generally allow us to forward info about the struggle. They are amazingly organized, smart about the resistance, and committed to winning and to one another.

The Banner, Vol. 1, No. 38 - September 15, 2015

We Are Family

Families work together, play together, dine together, agree and disagree together, share good and bad days together, support one another, and love each other. The family We Are Seneca Lake does all this and more.

We are a family of thousands. Hundreds of us are trained. We have come together 40 times in ten months. Over 500 of us have put our bodies on the line. 334 of us have taken that special ride downtown, earning 400 tickets in all.

This family has it goin' on!

We are fiercely dedicated and persistent defenders of health, home and community. We protect what we love: the waters, tillable land, sustainable jobs, and clean air of the Finger Lakes and, of course, our families. We say NO to global warming and social injustice, we refuse to allow trespassing corporations to pollute the natural commons we depend on for life and living , and we say YES to renewable energy! That's our thing. That's how we roll.

We have accomplished a lot together. Our family continues to grow. Our story, once told locally and then regionally, is now gaining national attention. Our family name is recognized by more and more Americans each day. These Americans are learning why Crestwood's plan to store fracked gases under the banks of Seneca Lake is a bad idea. We continue to teach.

I am proud to be a member of the We Are Seneca Lake family. And I am proud to have such worthy brothers and sisters as you. Our family name continues to gain great respect due to your ideals, ethics and action. You are awesome!

Together we are unstoppable

— Doug Couchon

About Last Thursday...

The excitement in the air Thursday morning was palpable as the Seneca Lake cavalry rolled. It felt a bit like a reunion. The excitement to get back on the line was evident. First timers and veteran defenders listened carefully to their instructions.

After my second arrest last November, I didn't think I would need to risk arrest again. Maybe I was naive to think we would have beaten this thing by now. All of the return offenders offered up their reasons for coming back: Judge Berry's refusal to dismiss the 84 cases, their friends and family still facing charges, the fire at Crestwood earlier this week, a stronger resolve to finish this fight.

Things went as usual with the exception of a crazed pickup driver nearly running down a couple defenders. We were not there long before the police arrived and escorted us off in the paddy wagon. I've seen it so many times over the past 8 months. We chatted on our way down to booking like old friends. It was just another day at the gates of Crestwood, but it was so much more. We reached 400 arrests.

On my drive home, I thought about the magnitude of this. On 400 occasions, someone put their body on the line to fight this project. And that is just the tip of the iceberg, the part that we see. Those people went home and told their friends about what they'd done, woke up early on their days off to table at events, canvassed, passed out information, collected signatures on petitions, supported their fellow defenders outside the court house, attended rallies, made donations, wrote letters to their elected officials and made daily phone calls. They are living this battle against Crestwood.

My experience today only reaffirmed what I've learned over the last year. This is a family. We have joined together to do something incredible. Four hundred arrests is a remarkable accomplishment. We should pause and celebrate the amount of work that has gone into this: time away from family, early mornings, missed work, freezing toes, sweaty brows. But let us pause for only a minute, because there is so much work to be done. We must continue to foster our connections with each other and the water of Seneca Lake, because the battle against Crestwood is far from over.

—Laura Salamendra

To learn more or join members of DGR NY in getting involved, visit We Are Seneca Lake

September 18, 2015

Chris Hedges on Resistance Radio

Chris Hedges, one of the great intellectuals of our time, opens this important interview with two quotes. James Baldwin says of the rebel and the artist that it's not so much that they have a vision, but that they're propelled by it. Hannah Arendt writes of people who resist that "It's not those who say 'This shouldn't be done.' or 'We oughtn't to do this.' It's those who say 'I can't.'"

Hedges uses these quotes as a launching point into an important conversation with Derrick Jensen about rebels, revolutionaries, and revolt. How do people willing to defy power develop, and what contributes to their success or failure in fighting injustice? Are such people born with a unique spark required for them to stand up against those in power? Can this impulse be cultivated in them, or in those willing to follow the rebel? What conditions need be present in society to launch a larger movement of resistance? Can these conditions be cultivated? What are the differences between rebels working for the good of others vs abusers who call themselves victimized rebels? What are the dangers of using violence in a struggle for liberation?

Jensen and Hedges discuss the difficulty of getting a radical or even progressive message out to people in these days of society in decay, spectacle, and unwillingness to hear uncomfortable truths. Between the entrenched political parties shutting out any discourse critiquing power, the control of mass media by corporations carefully filtering what gets through, and even the erosion of intellectual freedom in universities, the process of building an opposition to business as usual is painful and deadly slow. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, we must work harder (and smarter) than ever to break down these corrupt structures, restore local decision making, and rebuild healthy communities.

Hedges believes the system is irredeemable, and any attempt to work with or within it is a waste of precious time we don't have. Everything we do now must be oriented towards overthrowing the system and corporate power. If we don't overthrow it soon, we're faced with the extinction of not just the human species, but all others as well.

Hedges has many insights into our current crises of political, economic, and moral systems; and into what is necessary to correct our course. Listen to his June 21, 2015 interview below, download mp3, or listen on our Youtube channel. For more of his brilliant analysis, read his latest book Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt or any of his many other books.

Download mp3

Browse all of Derrick Jensen's Resistance Radio interviews.

September 11, 2015

Blockades in British Columbia and Western Canada

In the past year, we're seeing a surge of land defense actions in BC and elsewhere in Canada. Zoe Blunt of Victoria Forest Action Network compiled this list to help keep track of current, ongoing, and flying blockades, along with ways to get involved and support the actions.

We are ALL BEING CALLED to support these land defenders. To answer the call, email Zoe at - she can help set up ride shares and give advice for fundraising.

Current and ongoing blockades

Also see a November 15, 2015 addition of two blockades on Vancouver Island.

  • Injunction and arrests at Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island: Community residents, including members of the Cowichan First Nation, are seeking an injunction to shut down toxic soil dumping in their drinking watershed. The dump overflowed during heavy rain November 13, 2015. Meanwhile the company is seeking an injunction to shut down the protestors, two of whom were arrested Noveber 13.
  • Walbran Valley blockade: Members of the Pacheedaht First Nation and non-native environmentalists have built a camp to stop the clearcutting of ancient cathedral forests just outside a park boundary. The Walbran has been the site of massive protests, civil disobedience, and sabotage for twenty years.
  • Ongoing: Coastal First Nations vs. Grizzly hunters. For two years, the Coastal Forest Guardians have been patrolling the central coast of BC and "educating" grizzly hunters and guides about the ban on hunting on their territory. The province continues to issue trophy hunting permits and now the Guardians say they are escalating their enforcement of the ban.
  • Happening now: Ahousaht First Nation on Vancouver Island is using boats to stop a new salmon farm in their territorial waters. Media reports here.
  • Ongoing: Gitdumden Clan of the Wet'suwet'en (neighbours to Unist'ot'en) in Northern BC. They are occupying their territory to block pipelines, logging, and mining. 
  • New: Likhts'amisyu Clan of the Wet'suwet'en (neighbours to Unist'ot'en), Northern BC. They are occupying their territory to block pipelines. This is Chief Toghestiy's camp. FB page.
  • Ongoing: Lax Kw'alaams First Nation vs. LNG pipeline terminal, near Prince Rupert BC. The drilling platform was barged into position near Lelu Island in a bay that holds millions of young salmon. The community is mobilizing to occupy the island and surround the barge. News story here.
  • Occasional: Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island: The community has been trying to blockade a contaminated soil dump in the drinking watershed for Victoria and the south island. It is largely symbolic but it has potential. News report.
  • One-day blockade near Powell River to protect wildlife. In May nine women surrounded a feller-buncher to stop it from working in a sensitive habitat area. They are demanding logging stop during nesting season, and an end to clear-cutting on the Sunshine Coast. More protests are expected.   
  • Nicola Valley Chiefs and locals are blockading a biosolids dump near Merritt, BC and preventing sewage sludge from being trucked into their community. No shipments have made it through the blockade in over a month, and the companies responsible are preparing for a court hearing to have the protestors removed. Fundraising link here.
  • Ongoing: Voices of the Voiceless camp is an Indigenous re-occupation of Junction Creek area, St'at'imc Nation, 50 km north of Lillooet and about 250 km north of Vancouver. This camp was set up March 2015 under the direction of Xwisten elders to stop logging. The site is near a heritage site and the Junction Creek summer village, a traditional meeting place where people hunt, gather and process food. Video: Re occupying Junction Creek, Christine Jack's Welcome - YouTube
  • Victory: The Heiltsuk First Nation is fighting for the recovery of herring stocks on the Central Coast of BC. After the feds opened their territory to commercial fishing in March 2015, they occupied offices and set off solidarity rallies.  UPDATE: Their blockade is now over and the government has caved in and closed the fishery.
  • The Sapotaweyak Cree Nation in Manitobais protecting sacred sites by blockading workers cutting trees for a hydroelectric transmission line.
  • Ongoing: Burnaby/Langley - KM pipeline: 120 locals and allies were arrested in two weeks at a tarsands pipeline test drill site near Vancouver. In 2015, drillers and surveyors are trying to do their work in various locations but people report their whereabouts and they are confronted and prevented from working. The Kwantlen First Nation is leading the charge for the next round of resistance, which shows signs of escalating further (workers threatened, truck vandalized, equipment stolen).
  • The Nuu-chah-nulth Nations have closed the spring herring fishery in the strait off the west coast of Vancouver Island. They are promising to intercept commercial vessels with their own boats. 
  • Blockade down: The Northern Trappers Alliance, a traditional Dene group, was blocking forest roads near  Ducharme, Saskatchewan to push back against the loss of wildlife and land to drilling, pipelines, and gates. The protest camp and picket line were moved to the side of the road  after an injunction was issued and RCMP seized a trailer.
  • Victory: Tseshaht Nation, Port Alberni, Vancouver Island:  Blockade down and victory - the province has agreed to stop timber sales in old-growth forests of the Nahmint Valley. The Tseshaht are monitoring to make sure this agreement is respected.
  • Blockade down: Klabona Keepers, Talhtan Nation (near Iskut) Blockade removed after injunction issued. They were blocking Imperial Metals mine in Sacred Headwaters and other projects in various locations. They are still seeking volunteers, rideshares, donations, and legal help. These traditionalists boycotted the injunction hearing and withdrew for now.
  • Victory: Penelakut (Grace Islet, near Salt Spring Island) Development site on burial ground. Blockade down: The province is moving to intervene and purchase the development site.
  • Sabine Channel (between Lasqueti Island and Texada Island) Oct 4: One-day blockade of coal tanker traffic.
  • Ongoing: Unis'tot'en Camp, (near Smithers) Permanent camp - blocking tarsands and gas pipelines for five years. Get info about the Caravan.
  • Ongoing: Madii Lii Camp (Gitxsan) New permanent camp - blocking tarsands and gas pipelines.
  • Ongoing: Sutikalh (near Lillooet) Permanent camp on St'at'imc territory, blocking resort development for over ten years.