Earth At Risk, sponsored by Fertile Ground Institute in November 2014, featured many of today’s most important activists and thinkers in environmentalism, anti-capitalism, anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, radical feminism, and anti-racism. With keynote speakers Derrick Jensen, Alice Walker, Vandana Shiva, Chris Hedges, and Thomas Linzey; plus multiple panels, the event was full of insightful and inspiring discussions.
Besides Derrick Jensen, Deep Green Resistance members Saba Malik, Kourtney Mitchell and Doug Zachary spoke on panels; and Dominique Christina performed two sets of her award winning slam poetry.
Will Falk wrote a report-back on the event: Earth At Risk 2014: The Proper Diagnosis. Until now his writeup was the only way to experience the event vicariously for those of us who missed it, but Fertile Ground just made all 12 hours of the presentations available.
View the videos below, or visit our member appearances page and enter “earth at risk” into the filter box to browse only the presentations involving DGR members. You can also download audio files of those panels and keynotes.
We learned yesterday that T.R. McKenzie, a former Deep Green Resistance member, is being accused of serious crimes, including serial sexual abuse of children on the Pine Ridge reservation. These claims have been corroborated from several sources.
In 2013, DGR severed its relationship with TR McKenzie on very bad terms. He caused a great deal of trouble within our organization, specifically with regards to his treatment of women comrades. We were glad to see him go. After his departure we were notified by others that he continued to cause serious trouble within other organizations after he left.
At the time he left our organization, we knew that his behavior was horrible, but we had no idea that he was, or would be, a sexual abuser. Deep Green Resistance has an absolute zero-tolerance policy for abuse and will stand against any predators being allowed access to the movement or anyone who could be harmed. Our hearts go out to his victims.
Three members of DGR Lower Columbia attended the September 17, 2013, EIS hearing for construction of a coal terminal. The DGR members voiced radical opposition, by recognizing the uselessness of protesting in the ways permitted by the system, and explicitly supporting anyone who takes matters into their own hands to carry out strategic, militant attacks against industrial infrastructure.
This sort of public advocacy for underground resistance is crucial, and something anyone can do at a local level.
A DGR member reported back on the event:
“Ambre energy wants to ship coal from Montana and Wyoming to markets in Asia. A $643 million Millenium Bulk Terminals dock has been proposed to make this transfer possible.
The hearing in Longview (one of 5 happening in WA) is a step in the EIS process to ensure that “all opinions on this topic are heard and taken into account”. The panel included one representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, one from Cowlitz County, and one from the Department of Ecology as well as a scribe. Knowing that our words would have no impact on the EIS itself, we were hoping to reach the protesting activists in the room (you’ll notice our members politely ignoring the MC’s efforts to make us face the panel).
The audience was comprised of two opposing parties: those in the blue and those in the red (think Democrats and Republicans reversed). Blue was worn by Millenium supporters largely arguing that Longview needs the jobs offered by the construction and operation of the terminal. Red was worn by Beyond Coal activists concerned about local and global environmental impacts of the coal industry. For three hours we listened to speakers from both sides chosen through a lottery to convey a two-minute opinion.
Particularly poignant was a speech given right at the beginning by an indigenous man. He argued against bringing the coal industry to Longview for the jobs it might create, by comparing the situation to a bartender who keeps selling alcohol to an obviously drunk man just because he needs the money, or to parents buying their children drugs and alcohol because “they’re gonna get their hands on it anyway.” Another man argued loudly against the “advantage” of bringing new industry to Longview by reminding us of the booming economy in Germany when they were building Auschwitz.
Our own speeches were met with mixed reactions. I heard people complaining next to me that extremism hinders the cause and that these hearings do make an impact. But we also noticed wide smiles on the faces of a few in the audience. And Travis’ parting words were met with cheers and applause. By the end, Charles was busy collecting email addresses and it was clear our message reached at least a few new ears.
Who knows what the outcome of the coal terminal argument will be? But if we got some more people to understand the severity of our situation and the action that is actually necessary to save the planet, I’ll deem the excursion a success and these hearings worthwhile.
In late April, I participated in Direct Action Spokane’s first public event and a strategy meeting regarding the blocking of coal/oil/gas trains in the northwest. The public event consisted of four presentations and a Q&A session. The presenters included myself, Jackie Minchew and Mike Lapointe of the Delta 5, and Ken Ward of the Climate Disobedience Center. DAS’s goal for the event was to make direct action and breaking the law more palatable of an option for community members in Spokane, specifically around blocking coal/oil/gas trains running through the city. Jackie, Mike, and Ken talked about their actions and I filled in with examples from historical movements of the precedent for direct action. There were approximately 70-80 people in attendance, and the event was quite successful.
The following morning DAS called a private meeting to talk about strategy and how successful resistance against these trains might look. We discussed different ways to block the tracks, legal support, fundraising, constructing a narrative of resistance, being prepared for the aftermath in terms of knowing what to do with people who wish to join the struggle in Spokane or in the larger northwest, creating the conditions for a succession of blockades, and the possibility of coordinated action on the same rail line in a different location.
Some good connections were made in Spokane. Ken Ward expressed interest in working together and wanted to know how DGR and Climate Disobedience Center can complement each other. The Delta 5 people were unfamiliar with DGR but seemed eager to bring our name and strategy back to Everett, WA.
Deep Green Resistance New York member Frank Coughlin is part of Woodbine, a group of revolutionary minded folks in Queens working on the questions of autonomy in NYC. Just before New Year’s 2016, they released “A Resolution”, one in a series of videos aiming to change the mythology around the need for struggle.
To disrupt and dismantle industrial civilization; to thereby remove the ability of the powerful to exploit the marginalized and destroy the planet.
To defend and rebuild just, sustainable, and autonomous human communities, and, as part of that, to assist in the recovery of the land.
The short clip echoes these twin goals, and is right in line with our efforts towards building a culture of resistance:
If we respect ourselves ― if we respect the world ― it is time to get organized.
It’s not just going to be alright. And it isn’t just – “Hey what are you going to do?” It is urgent that a new, historical force rise up: now.
This force must do two things:
Build new forms of life to replace our dying one
Fight, and win.
“A Resolution” is a powerful call to organized action. We hope you’ll take heed, joining DGR or another group to make the changes we all need.
Derrick Jensen interviewed Stella Strega Scoz, a DGR member in the Canary Islands, for the December 6th episode of Resistance Radio. Scoz heads the Integral Permaculture Academy, which takes a radical approach to permaculture practice and teaching.
Balanced resistance movements have both the outward action and the inward support and strength of strong community behind them. A system in harmony with the living world, promoting reconnection to it, and resisting the oppressive dominant systems must be built with an awareness of the current circumstances, an inclusion of indigenous wisdom from many sources and experts in applicable fields, and a heart-felt love of life.
Integral Permaculture covers all this ground and more, while working toward food sovereignty and other forms of independence from civilization. The study of Integral Permaculture in tandem with a deep green resistance is an important part of building a stable culture of resistance.
Listen to the Resistance Radio interview below, or listen on our Youtube channel.
Adam Federman wrote last summer about FBI harassment of Deep Green Resistance members, and now follows up on an incident last week, in which three DGR members were held for hours trying to get into Canada, turned back, and then held for several more hours before finally being allowed back into the US. Border crossing agents interrogated the DGR members, and took their computers out of sight for hours – presumably searching them for any useful data, and possibly installing malware to permanently compromise them.
Following on the rash of FBI contacts, this seems more than coincidental. Though annoying, it’s mostly harmless, at least for now. It’s important to remain aware of the risks of targeting by federal and state officials in various roles, to be ready for legal defense if necessary, and to prepare carefully for situations such as border crossings where activists are particularly vulnerable. This incident validates the need for a firewall between aboveground activists and any hypothetical underground: those of us who make ourselves public in our opposition to power will be targeted and scrutinized. Only those who stay off the radar can carry out illegal actions with a reasonable level of safety.
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!
Max Wilbert and other members of Deep Green Resistance Seattle participated in a May “ShellNO” protest against Shell’s arctic drilling rig. Their display of signs reading “Sabotage the Machine” and “Eco-Sabotage is Planetary Self-Defense” attracted a lot of attention. Elliot Stoller conducted a short video interview in which Wilbert explains his concern about ineffective tactics and strategies in the face of dramatic threats to biodiversity, climate, and social justice.
Wilbert discusses DGR’s radical evaluation of systems of power and what might actually work to alter their destructive course: targeting critical communication, electrical, and oil infrastructures, and addresses some common questions about what that means for the safety of activists who undertake such work, and what sort of life humans can live without the comforts and elegancies of industrial civilization.
Please share this radical analysis, and help put sabotage on the table as a viable tactic in our struggle for life and justice!
The DGR News Service reported last October about a string of FBI contacts with Deep Green Resistance members. Adam Federman, a reporter with The Guardian, has just published an article about that wave of harassment and three recent detainments of lawyer Larry Hildes. Federman shares details of the initial FBI contacts with multiple members, including an especially intimidating pair of workplace visits, and with their families.
The FBI has a long and shameful history of surveillance and disruption of legal organizations working against the status quo. From outright intimidation and assassination to more subtle interventions to destroy the social glue of resistance communities, the FBI has engaged in illegal and undemocratic activity for decades. The recent incidents may be part of a Modern COINTELPRO directed against DGR and other environmental movements.
The article begins:
Deanna Meyer lives on a sprawling 280-acre goat farm south of Boulder, Colorado. She’s been an activist most of her adult life and has recently been involved in a campaign to relocate a prairie dog colony threatened by the development of a shopping mall in Castle Rock.
In October of last year, an agent with the Department of Homeland Security showed up at her mother’s house and later called her, saying he was trying to “head off any injuries or killing of people that could happen by people you know”.