A group of Deep Green Resistance members from across the US and Canada delivered cash donations, supplies, and their labor to the Unis’tot’en Camp in early January. A support network for a strategic, indigenous-led front-line blockade is a crucial part of building a culture of resistance. DGR is proud to provide some of that support, and grateful to the camp hosts for allowing us to be involved.
Will Falk wrote about his experience on this recent trip, reflecting on his personal journey that has brought him through despair to activism, and the mingling of his new activist focus with personal and professional relationships and locations of his despair-filled past. He relates this to the larger culture of civilization, and the need for meaningful action to counteract the dangerous self-numbing in which we’re all encouraged to engage:
One way to understand the environmental catastrophe confronting us is to view the dominant culture as suffering from a profound case of despair. Despair permeates many religious traditions that say humans are fundamentally flawed, Earth is a scary place, and suffering is inevitable so we may as well embrace it to gain peace in another world. Despair permeates science cutting us off from other beings, telling us other beings are objects incapable of existing with humans in mutual relationship, and encouraging us to use (read: kill) other beings for the benefit of humans. Despair permeates our governments who view raw power and physical force as the only way to control this wildly unpredictable process we call “life.”
Many doctors have told me to reach out to old friends to help me remember who I was and what I was like before despair settled over me. In my worst moments, all I can see is darkness behind me, darkness upon me, and darkness ahead of me. Life is bad. Life was bad. Life will always be bad.
Part of spending so much time in Canada is being far from those who remember who I was. Lately, my desire for connection to a happier personal past has taken strange and pathetic forms. I wear an obnoxious green Notre Dame football flatbrim everywhere I go. I talk about my favorite band, Phish, with anyone who will listen. I find myself in bars just looking for company.
So, one of the benefits of the speaking tour I went on for the Unist’ot’en Camp involved spending time remembering myself with those who love me. But, the temporary feelings this time spent remembering released are dangerous. It would be easy to settle back down into a life based around salving the pain of depression. It would be easy to surround myself in good memories and turn my back on the problems of the world. If I did this, though, the world would still be burning. And, if the world burns for long enough, those I love will burn, too.
Read the entire essay: Reflections on Despair: Walking the Trapline at Unist’ot’en Camp, by Will Falk. And stay tuned for report-backs from other DGR members who attended the camp!