Occupy Seattle: Open Letter Regarding Non-violence vs. Diversity of Tactics Debate

Diversifying tactics does not mean that our movements have to polarize around the “violent/nonviolent” debate. This letter from a member of Decolonize/Occupy Seattle frames the debate well. It might give you some ideas for clarifying this debate at your local General Assembly.

Open Letter to Decolonize / Occupy Seattle

Originally published at Occupy Seattle

I am writing concerning the debate about nonviolence vs. diversity of tactics. I can’t be at GAs this week because I am visiting friends and speaking about the port shutdown to folks from Occupy Wall Street in NYC. Please share this with people on all sides of the debate; I wished to raise some of these points in the GA on Tuesday but was never called on (which is okay, a lot of other people had crucial things to say). For transparency’s sake, I wish to emphasize I am definitely part of the broad “radical” tendency of Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle, but I do not speak for all radicals. We have no representatives or leadership structure; in fact, we are a loose grouping of like-minded activists, not an organization. Here I wish to emphasize a particular radical perspective that I think has been unfortunately drowned out by the polarizing debate.

First of all, I want to emphasize that when radicals argue for a “diversity of tactics”, we are not arguing for “anything goes.” If someone advocated a stupid tactic that would put all of us in unnecessary danger than the radicals would surely oppose this. There are all sorts of stupid tactics. Some of them, like trying to explain to a police officer why he should support a militant direct action would be considered “nonviolent.” Others, like setting off a bomb near cops stationed inside the family-friendly “green zone” of a demonstration, would be considered “violent”. We’d try to stop both of these because both of these would surely lead to violence coming down on folks who have not chosen to participate in a violent action – the first by giving the police info that could lead to violent arrests of fellow activists, the second because it endangers protesters’ lives.

In contrast, “diversity of tactics” means we are are open to all sorts of smart tactics that would be considered nonviolent by the mainstream society, as well as others that are similarly smart, but get labeled as “violent” by the mainstream media. Basically, I think we should start the conversation with the question: which tactics are smart and which ones aren’t? We may find we have more agreement there then we’d expect, agreement that’s getting overlooked in this debate about violence vs. nonviolence.

Given that, I think we need a clear, non-polemical answer to this question: why is this debate happening right now? If folks think it is because liberals are trying to take over the GA they need to prove it. If folks think it is because radicals are trying to take over the GA then they need to prove it. If it is for a different reason, what is that reason? I think answering this question will help us move forward.

My hypothesis is that this is coming up right now because the movement is at a turning point. We no longer have the camp, which brought out its own clear social groupings that have been in motion together since the fall. Some of these groupings have been dumpies (downwardly mobile urban professionals who the economic crisis has dumped into the working class), homeless folks, unemployed folks, and low wage workers. We are asking now: what new strategies can continue to mobilize these social groupings together ? What strategies can reach out to new groupings that we haven’t yet reached? Which groups should we be trying to reach? Is it possible to reach all communities at once? If not, which communities should be prioritized?

It’s clear the movement still has vitality, but it does not yet have a new direction. Really, we should be debating about how to find that direction. There is no reason why that debate should rip us apart, especially since it is entirely possible that some of us might choose to focus on some communities, and other might choose to focus on others, and that’s okay because we’ve already established a principle of autonomy in the movement.

Instead of having these debates in a healthy way, a few folks from the liberal faction of Occupy Seattle decided to frame the debate in terms of violence vs. nonviolence. It think this is unfortunate. We are trying to name and debate about the “elephant in the room” which is how this movement can grow as it enters its second phase. A few of the liberals have found the elephant’s tail and they are shouting “I found the elephant! We need to be nonviolent!”.

However, beneath their overzealousness lies some serious political concerns that can’t easily be dismissed, and need to be addressed through healthy political debate. Their main argument, as far as I can tell, is that unless we adopt a policy of nonviolence, they won’t be able to reach out to the groups they want to reach out to (groups that will be turned off by anything that can be labeled violent). This is a serious point that deserves a serious political response.

To give folks the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume that not all of the folks who are for the nonviolence proposal are doing it simply to get funding from liberal groups. Some might be, but some of them are probably doing it simply because they want people from their communities to participate and may be getting strong criticisms from their communities for the actions that some of the radicals in Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle have done. This could be amplified as folks spend time with family over the holidays, and face pressure around the dinner table.

The main response from the radical faction, as far as I can tell, is equally serious: if we adopt a policy of nonviolence, then we wont be able to reach out to the groups we want to reach out to: groups that face systematic racist, sexist, capitalistic, and homophobic violence and will not participate if we are required to renounce our capacity for self-defense. Radicals also face pressure from our communities – life is getting increasingly harder, there is more and more drama going on as the economic crisis deepens, and people all around us are asking how we can come together to provide safety for each other as we struggle to get free. Just when we think Decolonize/Occupy could be a way to provide this safety, we are faced with a mandatory nonviolence proposal that will tie our hands and make it harder for us to do that.

I think if we could cut out a lot of the rhetorical fireworks and focus the discussion on these contending points, we might be able to reach a breakthrough. I do think some choices will need to be made about which community’s concerns we prioritize most, but this does mean that other communities need to be shut out of the movement and it does not mean we need to split.

For example, I think that this movement should be grounded in, and in solidarity with, the struggles of working class communities of color. Wall St. and the 1% get their profits by exploiting working class people of color more than they exploit working class white people. (Note, when I say working class I don’t just mean people who currently work, I also mean unemployed folks, and anyone who has been displaced, dispossessed, or separated from their land and the means of production by colonialism). I do think that this movement will not be relevant to working class communities of color if it relies on the police for safety. In a white supremacist society, people of color are far too likely to be attacked by police or by racist white people. For this reason, it is unfair and unrealistic to ask folks to check their capacity for self-defense at the door if they wish to join the movement. A mandatory nonviolence policy also puts at risk people of color who have been tirelessly building this movement from the beginning. That’s not right and we won’t let it happen.

However, I don’t think the radicals’ response to this demand has simply been “white people go home.” If you listen closely, folks are not saying white people have no role in the movement. Most radicals are simply saying the movement should not be white dominated and white people should not be telling people of color they can’t defend themselves.

Many of the radicals recognize that white people are not all the same, and that white women, queer, transgender, working class, and gender nonconforming folks are also much more likely to be attacked by police or by other violent, reactionary forces in society than white middle and upper class straight men are. We want to build alliances, and defending each other is part of that.

This piece by a few of the radicals argues that working class white people are actually facing less and less privilege under the system. The economic crisis has lead to even greater attacks on working class people of color, but it has also lead to attacks on working class white folks. It is in the interest of working class white folks to unite with working class people of color, and to be in solidarity with their struggles: http://blackorchidcollective.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/occupy-to-end-capitalism/. Not all radicals agree with this article, but it’s worth considering.

It’s important to emphasize that none of the radicals are advocating that Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle should take a position of guerilla warfare or armed revolutionary warfare right now. This is a straw-man argument that some liberals have raised to discredit us. Primarily, many radicals are concerned about our personal safety and our need to defend ourselves. People won’t join the movement if they know they will be needlessly unsafe within it.

At a broader level, many of us are part of this movement because we believe in taking responsibility for all aspects of our lives, including matters of security and accountability. We don’t believe in leaving these up to a racist, capitalist, sexist, and heterosexist police and judicial system. We wish to start building an alternative, rooted in the same principles of autonomy and direct democracy that animate the General Assembly. Many of us were central to attempts to provide safety in the camp. We are not saying we oppose this nonviolence proposal because we love violence. We are saying we oppose it because it limits our ability to take responsibility for ourselves and each other. In some respects, it actually means we’d have less freedom than we do outside of the movement, which seems backwards.

I am hearing from some white middle class folks that they can’t be associated with OS unless it takes a pledge of nonviolence because their own communities will see them as violent by association even if they don’t participate in violence themselves. They are saying that being in a movement that is labeled violent will hurt their organizing efforts more than it will hurt radicals if we are associated with a movement that is “nonviolent.” First of all, this is not accurate. In many of our communities, we will be seen as naive, whitewashed, bourgie, or not serious if we are associated with a movement that is known to require nonviolence for all of its participants. Worse, some reactionaries out there might think that they can take advantage of us more easily because the movement has required us to renounce our capacity for self-defense and we might be put at danger.

Given this, I don’t think the nonviolence proposal should be passed. At the same time, I don’t think that radicals should just dismiss liberals, including white middle class liberals, when they say that the defeat of this proposal will mean it’ll be harder for them to organize in their communities. I think that Occupy Seattle should work together to make it clear to the public that we are for a diversity of tactics, not mandatory self-defense or armed struggle. We should make it clear that folks who believe in nonviolence can still participate in the movement. We should also try to open up a dialogue about how organizers from white middle class backgrounds can go back to their communities and explain why Occupy Seattle has not passed a mandatory nonviolence resolution. This could be a great opportunity to educate and challenge folks, and to expand the movement.

At the same time, I think radicals should be careful not to catch people in the crossfire. (to be fair, most of us have been careful, but if the debate polarizes further this could become an issue). Not everyone who believes in nonviolence is white, and not everyone is a liberal. And some people who started out liberal have become radicals the past few months; others are somewhere in between. The vitality of the radicals so far is that we have not hardened into a rigid organization. We don’t have our own borders or leaders. We have many voices. We are open to new people joining; many of us are in fact new to organizing, and folks who are more experienced are working together for the first time. This is exceptional – it is not happening as much in other cities, and it is a major reason for the dynamism not only of Seattle’s radical scenes but of Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle as a whole. It is also a major reason for the sucess of the port shutdown. If we start to draw hard lines against everyone who belives in nonviolence then we will loose this vitality. If someone believes in nonviolence and they’re willing to shut down ports chanting “everything for everyone the revolution has begun”, then we should work together.

I’ve been doing research recently on the tactics police use when they try to infiltrate and destroy movements. One tactic they have used over and over again is to infiltrate liberal circles and label all radicals as violent extremists, or to suggest that radicals are police provocatuers to discredit them. Often, their goal is to join and encapsulate/ contain a movement within a limited and moderate set of goals. Another tactic they have used is to infiltrate radical circles in attempts to provoke an over-reaction against liberal nonviolence, and a premature split. They want radicals to become closed off, paranoid, and mistrustful so that our organizations and communities will no longer be accessible or attractive to new folks. I think Seattle’s radicals are too smart to fall for that. I hope Seattle’s liberals are as well. I have no evidence that there are police agents in Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle currently, but I do think that how we handle this debate will affect our long-term resiliency in the face of possible police interference.

One of the things that disappoints me about this debate is that there have been few folks who have made arguments from a principled, radical pacifist perspective. It seems most of the main arguments for the nonviolence proposal center around tactics, not principle. I worry that folks who believe in nonviolence on principle might be getting sidelined or silenced. I am not a pacifist today, but I first became an activist through Christian and interfaith organizing against the war in Iraq, and was deeply inspired by radical pacifists like Daniel Berrigan who burned a bunch of draft files with homemade napalm and went underground to evade the FBI because he thought that a violent, oppressive, racist state has no right to apprehend him and put him on trial. This goes a lot further than classic notions of civil disobedience where you’re supposed to turn yourself in to accept the legitimacy of the system minus the one law you are protesting because you think it’s unjust. In fact, I think Berrigan’s actions actually have a little more in common with some tactics used by anarchists, and I’m not sure, but I think he may have considered himself an anarchist pacifist.

Berrigan was working in solidarity with the Black Panthers and the Vietnamese resistance movements against colonialism. He wanted to build a nonviolent alternative to the armed solidarity work being done by groups like the Weather Underground. However, he didn’t distance himself from the Underground or from the Panthers or any other armed groups. He was not ashamed to be associated with the anti-war movement just because these groups were a part of it. Instead, he stayed in the movement and tried to create a nonviolent option for resistance through his own activity.

Instead of trying to impose mandatory nonviolence resolution, I encourage those who really believe in nonviolence to figure out ways to challenge the violence of the state, capitalism, patriarchy, rape culture, heterosexism, and white supremacy. We can work together on that. If you want to challenge it nonviolently, I respect that. But to be philosophically consistent, you shouldn’t collaborate with politicians, cops, and the system because the system is incredibly violent. Instead, you should think of ways to work with the radicals in Occupy Seattle to oppose the violence of this society. If you want to do that nonviolently, then organize yourselves to do it. I’m sure you will find support, even from those of us who may be labeled as “violent”. That’s what “diversity of tactics” is all about.

I’m not an anarchist, but I’ll end with a quote from an anarchist flyer that was distributed at the camp this fall. It is a reminder of why we are all here in the first place: “the greatest violence would be to return to normal.” After what we’ve all been through together we can’t just walk away from this movement without inflicting great violence on our own hearts, minds, and souls. Think about the level of of repression and denial that it will take to walk away and to go back to a “normal” life where you just put up with a future-less, dream-less reality full of endless work and economic anxiety. Trying to readjust to that just because you lost a debate in the GA is a recipe for misery. Doing that to yourself is way more violent then anything the radicals have done in this movement.

peace and solidarity,
participant in Decolonize/ Occupy Seattle

Women Take Legal Action Against UK Police Chiefs Over Emotional Abuse

“Working Together to Traumatize London” would be more appropriate

A standard tactic undercover cops use to get close to radical movements is through intimate relationships.

A quote from the women bringing this case:

“We believe our case highlights institutionalised sexism within the police. It is incredible that if the police want to search someone’s house they are required to get the permission of a judge, yet if they want to send in an agent who may live and sleep with activists in their homes, this can happen without any apparent oversight!”

“We are bringing this case because we want to see an end to the sexual and psychological abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers. It is unacceptable that state agents can cultivate intimate and long lasting relationships with political activists in order to gain so called intelligence on those political movements.”

Read the whole article.

My Name is Emma Murphy-Ellis and I Support Ecosabotage

By Emma “Usnea” Murphy-Ellis
Courtesy of EarthFirst! Journal

Ski lodge in Vail, Colorado set ablaze by ELF (Originally posted here)

I state without fear— but with the hope of rallying our collective courage—that I support radical actions. I support tools like industrial sabotage, monkey wrenching machinery and strategic arson. The Earth’s situation is dire. If other methods are not enough, we must not allow concerns about property rights to stop us from protecting the land, sea, and air. Today, more than ever, the Earth needs our effective action using all the methods of resistance at our disposal. Radical actions and radical movements grow out of supportive cultures. Let us once again build a strong supportive base for them.

Don’t get me wrong. During the Green Scare, in which dozens of activists were incarcerated, our movement got seriously screwed with, and we have had some extremely hard times because of the outstanding repression we have faced for the last six years. I want to remember that we were targeted by the powers that be because we were effective. Not only was EF! a growing force with which the state and corporations were fearful to reckon, but also that other more radical affinities were being forged in our communities.

To state it clearly, ELF actions came out of our communities and shared struggles.

The FBI knows that. Its been said in court by their officers. Its been written in their documents. Instead of shying away from that, let’s say it proudly. We already face major repression. Pretending that is not the case does nothing but mislead new folks and create more fear. Let me say it again: the majority of underground ecological actions that took place over the last decades grew out of our movements that were supportive of them. Our movements were the incubator.

Are you disheartened that there are less radical actions attacking the root causes of the ecological crisis? Me too. So let’s take one effective, tangible step towards changing that by openly celebrating all tools in the box. However, when celebrating, we should be mindful of practical lessons of security culture learned from the Green Scare. The best practical advice in celebrating sabotage is to publicly celebrate, but not to publicly incite. Inciting is illegal. For example, yelling, “The logging trucks are coming, everybody get into the road, block it, and then firebomb the fucker!” Not so smart.

But, it is not illegal, for example, to get excited around the camp fire, stand up, and read a particularly eloquent communiqué out loud while others clap, cheer, and celebrate how the bad guys got their asses kicked that round. It is not illegal to talk about how awesome the blockade and sabotage was (in the hilarious communiqué below, for example) and say proudly that you wish there were more like it. And, it should not be illegal to openly support and generally advocate the use of incendiary devices. But please note, there are no promises in love and eco-war; the state and its courts have proven over the years that if they want you bad enough, universal human rights of speech and expression may not matter. A friendly lawyer checked this part of this article out and agreed that the do’s and dont’s listed here are indeed the case.

With that all said, I propose that EF! gets back to openly and publicly celebrating radical, underground tactics, in our songs, our stories, our Journal, and on our T-shirts (anyone remember the one that read: I torched Vail, ask me why).

If there is a knock on your door by the agents of state repression (supposedly because of your undying, unabashed support of pouring abrasive compounds into gas tanks, loosening bolts that hold up power lines, or smashing computers at your local biotech facility.) So what. Yep, just more evidence, that we live in a police state. Let’s use that knock as a springboard to organize stronger and more effective resistance to state harassment.

And a quick note about security culture, because I feel like our movement has gotten way off track with that subject. Security culture is the building of awareness intended to keep one safe from repression. It is essentially a set of guidelines on how to live in an active resistance movement where individuals may or may not be breaking the law, and minimize risks of the state cracking down on us. It is not a bunch of paranoid random rituals or estranged superstitions, nor is it folks being alienating to new people or a way to act cool and superior. It is, in fact, a whole bunch of behaviors and, for lack of a better phrase, social protocols—which are always evolving—for how to behave in order to keep yourself, and everyone else you interact with, safer. It is something that should be done so fluidly that most of the time, others don’t even know you are doing it. And when eventually it is needed for you to “call someone out” you will do it in a way that makes them feel all the more welcomed and a part of a learning movement, as opposed to alienated and even more unsure as to how to act responsibly, right?

Perhaps the most damaging events from the Green Scare are behind us. But the brunt of the cleanup and lessons we still must learn lie ahead. The Green Scare cracked some of the foundations of our movement leaving us unstable and, in my opinion, in desperate need of shoring up.

One of the reasons I think our movement continues to get smaller and smaller is because we have, out of fear, limited and censored ourselves. Our support of radical direct action is one of the main things that made us unique. There are no other groups like us around; no other above ground ecological activist group that vocally supports, unabashedly and unapologetically, the use of every tool in the tool box to take down this fucked up system and hopefully save what little we have left, so that it can recover from the plague of industrial civilization. Long live the Earth Liberation Front!

Yours for the rev,

—USNEA (ALSO KNOWN AS EMMA “COME AND GET ME, FUCKERS” MURPHY-ELLIS)

P.S. Since it’s not illegal, I wanted to share some excerpts from a communiqué that was sent out on October 13, 2008, after the Canadian Pacific Railway sabotage took place.

Pass it along! Share it with friends!

Enjoy!


“In an attempt to cause a shitload of economic damage to the infrastructure of the CP rail main-line, we cut down two telephone poles across the tracks just to the north of their main intermodal yard outside Toronto. A pile of fallen trees was ignited with gasoline across the tracks, and we molotov’d one of those weird grey box things that look pretty important and are full of electrical shit. We also tied copper wire across the tracks to signal the blockage so no one would get hurt. That was way more exciting than a turkey dinner!

For us the Spirit Train is every train, they’re all spreading “Olympic spirit,” or more like the spirit of capitalism: construction materials, military equipment, useless consumer products, tourists…

Fuck it all. Every ride on the rails is a ride for the same invasion that’s been goin on since the railway was built to colonize this whole place. This rail system has been developed and is utilized to serve our exploiters and enemies. As long as the exploiters exist, infrastructure will always be their weapon. So we wanna destroy it all… their railway, highways, cameras, telecommunications, it’s all serving the masters and their police. We’re not interested in expressing our dissatisfaction at a symbolic part of the problem. We want to actually dismantle the whole system and hit these cracker-ass-capitalists where it hurts. It’s not just the Spirit Train; it’s every train, the tracks and the social structure they maintain! This is solidarity with all the comrades raisin’ hell wherever they live. Keep the struggle burning locally, and your solidarity reaches globally. This chaos was for the warriors everywhere who are still facing charges for their involvement in acts of resistance quite like this one. It don’t matter how hard they come down on us cause there are too many of us waiting to explode. Let’s show’em what we can do and aim for our actual objective! … Every train—stopped, every track—untied, every jail—destroyed!

Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Waziyatawin, Aric McBay Speak at Occupy Oakland

Watch Derrick Jensen, Waziyatawin, Lierre Keith, and Aric McBay speak at Occupy Oakland to a welcoming audience!


Lierre Keith

[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.


 

Aric Mcbay

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.



Waziyatawin

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.



Derrick Jensen

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.


Watch more videos at the Deep Green Resistance Youtube Channel.

DGR Speaks at Occupy West Coast Port Shutdown Solidarity Action

DGR organizers Max Wilbert and Dillon Thomson spoke at the December 12th Bellingham, WA Action in Solidarity with West Coast Port Shutdown. Below is their report:

On December 12th, 2011, we spoke at a rally in Bellingham in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and the shutting down of ports along the west coast. Bellingham was one of several west coast cities to carry out actions in support of Oakland protesters.

Around noon, the rally marched to the railroad tracks near the waterfront. Five people immediately locked themselves together by their necks with bicycle u-locks and laid down across the tracks. Their aim was to block freight trains for as long as possible: in other words, to obstruct the flow of trade and capital which is destroying the natural world and human communities.

The protesters were able to hold the tracks for about five hours before being removed by Bellingham police. As night fell and trains backed up, the police were forced to use specialized drills and bolt cutters to remove the locks.

This action shows that small numbers of people who are willing to take risks and make sacrifices can have an impact. What happened in Bellingham could be used as a model for disrupting other targets such as refineries, coal terminals, mines, factories, etc. With proper support, repeated use of such tactics over a sustained period of time can have a decisive material impact and bring industries to their knees.

The protesters who locked themselves down on the railroad tracks were supported by at least a hundred other protesters, who impeded police officers for as long as possible and boosted the spirits of all who were present with speeches, chants, and music.

These kinds of actions are most effective when many roles are filled. Some are prepared to take direct action and risk injury and arrest. Some are public speakers. Some are willing to donate time, money, or food to support actions. Others can provide legal counsel. Together, we are strong.

The protesters who were arrested in Bellingham during this action will need continuing support and solidarity. You can donate to their legal defense fund here

This is just the beginning.

It’s Code Green, America

When the International Energy Agency, a conservative climate research group says we only have five years left to pull ourselves back from the brink of irreversible climate change it means one thing, Time’s Up.

Yet most of us are still planning on a future that won’t exist if we don’t resist like our lives depend on it. This is all-out war, with every living being on the planet in the balance. Can we face this?

Artist: Stephanie Mcmillan. Originally posted here.

To face it would require that our actions match the reality of the problem. If we reflect on all the actions happening now to reduce global warming, they do not match the reality of the problem.

All industrial activity must be drastically reduced immediately. That won’t happen if our only strategy is aboveground work. As much as we wish it were so, it just won’t. Being effective in the timeframe we have is all that matters now.

And the timeframe is 5 years.

That’s why we advocate the strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare.

Oglala Lakota Matriarch Regina Brave Speaks about Keystone XL Pipeline

The Keystone XL pipeline, proposed to carry oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada, would have a devastating impact on the environment along its route, particularly in the Indigenous communities already marginalized by centuries of genocide. The Lakota people live above the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the world’s largest aquifers, which supplies 30% of the water for irrigation in the United States and 82% of the drinking water for those living above it. Any spill, which judging by the record of other tar sands pipelines is a matter of when and not if, would be catastrophic for all the life that depends on this vital source of water.

Our wealth isn’t money, it isn’t material things, it is in our health and what we pass down to our future generations… We need to pass down to our generations good clean air, a decent environment, and water as it should be, without pollution.

Deep Green Resistance Letter of Solidarity with "G20 Conspiracy Group"

At protests against the G20 Summit in June, 2010 over 1000 people were detained. With “evidence” collected during undercover surveillance in the years before the protest 17 individuals were targeted, labeled, and charged as the “G20 Main Conspiracy Group.” Deep Green Resistance has issued the following letter of solidarity in response to a letter the group released after they reached a plea deal:

We at Deep Green Resistance would like to express our solidarity for our friends and allies in the G20 ‘conspiracy’ trial group. We admire your ability to remain unified and strong in the face of atrocious moral transgressions by the Canadian security apparatus and court system. Your hard work and uncompromising politics are an inspiration.

We thank you for strengthening a tradition of resistance that we all benefit from. Thank you for your sacrifice and commitment.

We hope that we and others will follow your example and that communities of resistance will grow larger and stronger as a result.

For those who will face additional jail time we offer our love, solidarity, letters, and support. We will not forget what you are giving.

With love and resistance,

Derrick Jensen
Aric McBay
Lierre Keith
Deep Green Resistance Movement


Video montage of arrests at the Toronto G20 protests (Video by Russia Today)

This is an excerpt from the letter put out by the”G20 Main Conspiracy Group,” released on November 22nd:

This alleged conspiracy is absurd. We were never all part of any one group, we didn’t all organize together, and our political backgrounds are all different. Some of us met for the first time in jail. What we do have in common is that we, like many others, are passionate about creating communities of resistance.

Separately and together, we work with movements against colonialism, capitalism, borders, patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, hetero/cis-normativity, and environmental destruction. These are movements for radical change, and they represent real alternatives to existing power structures. It is for this reason that we were targeted by the state.

Read the whole letter here

Earth At Risk 2011: Arundhati Roy, Derrick Jensen & more

November 13th, 2011 | Berkeley, CA

A rare occurrence of Arundhati Roy speaking in person in the United States.

Derrick Jensen has been called “the philosopher-poet of the environmental movement.” During this day-long event, Derrick interviewed six people who each hold an impassioned critique of this culture and offered ideas on what can be done to build a real resistance movement.

Our planet is under serious threat from industrial civilization. Yet activists are not considering strategies that might actually prevent the looming biotic collapse the Earth is facing. We need to deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. We need a serious resistance movement that includes all levels of direct action–action that can match the scale of the problem.

Derrick Jensen Interviews Arundhati Roy, Thomas Linzey, Waziyatawin, Aric McBay, Stephanie McMillan, and Lierre Keith.

Purchase DVDs at Derrick Jensen’s website or watch videos below:

Support “Stop The Flows”

Support Radical Media

Stop the Flows is the latest project from our friend Frank Lopez at Submedia.tv.

“Over the next five years I will document resistance movements that are working towards stopping the flows of hydro carbons, mineral extraction, natural resources and capital, through grassroots and underground organizing. I will publish the dispatches as I complete them with the goal of compiling them into a feature length documentary to be released on 2016.

The first dispatch took me to Central BC where Unis’toten nation are pre-empting the construction of 4 oil and gas pipelines through their traditional territories.

The next dispatch will focus on the growing opposition to an oil pipeline expansion right here where I live in Vancouver. In December I will compile the hours of interviews and footage I gathered while in Japan, for a dispatch spotlighting the growing grassroots anti-nuke movement. In January I hope to travel to Australia to continue touring and gathering material for Stop the Flows and ditto goes for Europe in the spring.”

Frank Lopez has been making radical media for years, and has been one of the biggest supporters of the Deep Green Resistance movement. His film END:CIV has been shown in hundreds of venues around the world in several languages, and has been viewed over 80,000 times online. Now Frank needs help to support his latest project.

Let’s all dig deep and send him some love!

Stop the Flows