Watch Derrick Jensen, Waziyatawin, Lierre Keith, and Aric McBay speak at Occupy Oakland to a welcoming audience!
[The Occupy] movement has staked a claim on being the 99%. I think that’s self-evident. Capitalism is the 1% taking from the 99%. But add this. 98% of the old growth forests are gone. 99% of the world’s prairies are gone. That means 99% of the pasque flowers and 99% of the prairie dogs and 99% of the bison. The wealth is created from their dead bodies. The point isn’t to distribute the wealth, it’s to stop the death while there is something left alive.
What we need is two pronged. On the one hand we need to build local, sustainable, democratic communities in which everyone’s basic needs are met…We have to learn how to meet our own needs. On the other hand we have to fight to stop global industrial capitalism. We can only win if we shut down the machine. That is the only way to ensure a livable future. What we need is a real resistance movement.
Given the realities of peak debt and peak oil, we are now facing the collapse of the American economy and the collapse of civilization more broadly. These combine with the crises emerging from global warming, climate change, and the collapse of ecosystems do to hyper-exploitation, meaning that it is time for everyone to recognize the harm of the existing system and institutions and to seek to dismantle them completely to save all life before it is all destroyed.
Since the legal system won’t hold destructive institutions accountable, the responsibility falls on each of us. This means that all of us who care about salmon, for example, must learn to be accountable to salmon rather than loyal to political and economic institutions that do not serve us well. The same is true for those who care about San Francisco Bay, for those who care about democracy, for those who care about communities, for those who care about the future, for those who care about any living being. We must act on that loyalty. We must do whatever is necessary to protect our homes and our land bases from those who would destroy them… Only then will we have a future.