This update comes from Victoria Forest Action Network (VICFAN), a grassroots organization fiercely committed to land defense in British Columbia. See also The Courage to Speak Truth to Power, a speech by VICFAN’s Zoe Blunt recently published at the DGR News Service.
Cheers to the new year!
And to the gutsy land defenders who stand up to corporate villians and win (sometimes)
People are blockading, occupying, and protesting corporate destruction across BC. Message us with news or to find out about joining and supporting community organizing to protect land and water.
2016 land defense forecast
Skill-shares, workshops, and action training
We're putting together a training schedule for spring, summer, and fall in Victoria, Vancouver, Port Renfrew, the Walbran Valley, and Northern BC. Please get in touch to find out how to bring a workshop to your community!
To make these workshops succeed, we're calling for workshop leaders, cooks, fundraisers, drivers, child-care providers, and spaces for the trainings and for out of town guests. Visit the House of Solidarity to learn more.
- April, May, June – Spring Training in Victoria, Vancouver, and the Walbran Valley
- Mid-May – Spring Construction Crew at Unist'ot'en Camp
- July – Summer Caravan: schoolbus convoy from Victoria to Unist'ot'en Camp
- Fall Getaway – Labour Day weekend
Stay tuned for details. Participants can donate on a sliding scale.
No pipelines, No tankers: the good news
Prime Minister Trudeau ordered a ban on oil tankers on the Pacific Coast, effectively killing the Enbridge Pipeline. (National Observer)
Experts say there is no way the BC government can make good on its promises about natural gas exploitation (fracking). It is not going to take off, thanks to falling prices, a global glut, and renewable energy. (Bloomberg)
Changes to the political and economic landscape last year are having an impact on pipeline plans and logging operations, but some companies seem to be on auto-pilot, ignoring court decisions, change in government, indigenous rights, the Paris accord, and reality. (The Tyee)
The bad news
Some of the worst projects are still going ahead in 2016:
- Petronas LNG is preparing to build a fracked gas terminal at Lelu Island near Prince Rupert. Members of the Lax Kwalaams Nation are occupying the site.
- Kinder Morgan is currently drilling test holes in Burrard Inlet for a new tarsands pipeline and terminal in Burnaby.
- Site C dam and hydro project is planned to flood the Peace River Valley in Northeastern BC to make energy for gas liquefication plants that will probably never be built.
- Teal Jones is logging cathedral forests in the Walbran Valley, Vancouver Island. The company has obtained a court injunction to block protestors.
- South Island Aggregates is dumping toxic soil in the Shawnigan Lake watershed, Vancouver Island. Local residents are in the road blocking trucks almost every day at 7 am. Three lawsuits are in process and a dozen people were arrested after the company obtained an injunction to block protestors.
There has never been a more important time for effective, strategic action for land and water. Please support our work today.
Walbran Witness Camp in the ancient forest
We're recruiting people to help hold back industrial logging next to Carmanah Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. Find out more here.
Thank you for being part of this movement to protect living ecosystems
VIC FAN is celebrating its ninth year on Vancouver Island, Coast Salish and Nuu-chah-nulth territory. Big cheers to everyone who took part in our victories!
Contributed by Ishmael, a Deep Green Resistance supporter
You have been a disappointment. I voted for you, twice. You have had seven years to “get it
right,” and yet the United States still initiates new military operations in the Middle East, supplies
arms and munitions to our allies regardless of their human rights record, equivocated at COP21
on a binding agreement to stave off environmental apocalypse, and you just signed the bill to
allow export of domestic oil abroad. Why didn’t you veto it?
I resent what is being done in my name on my dime, as do many taxpayers. Is your chief
concern ensuring first that Amerikan corporate tentacles reach every corner of the globe, and if
in the process the world is made safe for democracy that will be the icing on the cake? God
forbid that there should be one sovereign nation unwilling to wrap itself in the stars and stripes.
Your joking with aides about being “good at killing” (true: you make GWB look like a piker)
and publicly warning your daughters’ heart-throbs that you can authorize a drone strike anytime
anywhere (“You’ll never see it coming, boys.”) are obscene hubris.
By the way, thanks for just saying “No” to KXL. Maybe the Down Elevator will stop at
Purgatory and let you off.
Like Ishmael, Deep Green Resistance members have come to realize that those in power do not serve the people. The only way to achieve real change is by organizing and applying force – whether political, or economic, or more direct. To get involved, browse these options on our website:
Deep Green Resistance believes strongly that for a social movement to be effective, it must have a strategy: a clear path to get from where we are now to where we want to be instead. Effective leadership is also necessary, and should be nurtured. Jo Freeman’s classic essay “The Tyranny of Structurelessness” addresses the folly of believing a group can or should operate without leaders; in the absence of a formal planned structure, informal and often undesirable bids for power will inevitably arise.
A new essay by Yotam Marom, sharing lessons from the Occupy Wall Street movement, confirms the importance both of strategy and of fostering good leadership. Marom attributes the collapse of OWS in large part to the deliberate tearing down of leaders and general in-fighting, And without a viable strategy, people in movements are at risk of losing focus on the goals, and instead get sucked into horizontal hostility:
We call each other out and push one another out of the movement, because we are desperate to cling to the little slivers of belonging we’ve found in the movement, and are full of scarcity — convinced that there isn’t enough of anything to go around (money, people, power, even love). We eat ourselves alive and attack our own leaders because we’ve been hurt and misled all our lives and can’t bear for it to happen again on our watch. We race to prove we are the least privileged, because this is the only way we can imagine being powerful. We turn our backs on people who don’t get it, because organizing them will not only be hard but also painful, because we will have to give up some of our victimhood to do it, because it will mean being vulnerable to the world we came to the movement to escape. Our ego battles are a natural product of a movement that doesn’t have a clear answer for how leadership is to be appreciated and held accountable at the same time. Our inability to celebrate small victories is a defense from having to believe that winning is even possible — a way to avoid the heartbreak of loss when it comes.
And perhaps most importantly: Our tendency to make enemies of each other is driven by a deep fear of the real enemy, a paralyzing hopelessness about our possibilities of winning. After all, whether we admit it or not, we spend quite a lot of our time not believing we can really win. And if we’re not going to win, we might as well just be awesome instead. If we’re not going to win, we’re better off creating spaces that suit our cultural and political tastes, building relationships that validate our non-conformist aesthetic, surrendering the struggle over the future in exchange for a small island over which we can reign.
DGR’s strength lies in our realistic plan, Decisive Ecological Warfare, to obtain ecological and social justice. We have a clear focus, a sense that we actually can win, and strong leaders to organize group efforts toward our shared goals. We invite you to join us, and we encourage all activists to proactively develop structures that make sense for their groups.
Read the entire essay by Yotam Marom: The inside story on what really caused the Occupy Wall Street movement to collapse