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

If Deep Green Resistance & the Occupy Movement Merged…

Reflections from Greece
By panagioti, Earth First! Journal editorial collective

The recent “open letter” from Deep Green Resistance to participants of the Occupy movement may have come across as vague to those unfamiliar with the recent book and online network under the Deep Green Resistance (DGR) banner.

But those familiar with DGR, and its proposed strategy of Decisive Ecological Warfare, are likely imagining what it might really look like if there was more overlap between the DGR and Occupy folks. Would those engaging with the public through their full-time encampments around the world—of which there are 400+ in this directory—embrace a concurrent underground resistance effort along similar lines?

The DGR concept presented in their book references a couple dozen historical examples of popular movements doing just that—from the efforts that ended apartheid in South Africa to the local forces that whittled away at Nazi occupation across Europe in World War II.

Of course, there are efforts in the here-and-now doing the same thing around the world. But most of them are in less developed countries. One example is MEND, who has been fighting a guerilla resistance backed by popular support against Shell Oil and a corrupt government in the Niger Delta of Africa, the most polluted place on the planet. Their struggle has been covered by the Earth First! Journal in the past, and is also mentioned briefly in the DGR book.

But another example, not in the book, is visible in Greece right now. In many ways, this is much closer to home for the Occupy world, since the current trend of public occupations was largely kicked off in Syntagma Square of Athens (and also in Spain), responding to the crisis manufactured by the European Union to manage the crumbling global economy by installing economic austerity measures in exchange for state bailouts. The best place to follow the struggle in english is here. But I digress… probably because I’m writing this from a bus pulling into Athens, ironically, on the eve of Oxi Day—a national holiday celebrating anti-fascist resistance in WWII. Back to the point at hand:

This week in Greece, the trial of Epanastatikos Agonas (EA) began, amidst general strikes and riots related to the austerity proposal this month. Members of EA (that’s “Revolutionary Struggle” in English) have taken responsibility for their participation in the group, which claimed dozens of actions against government and industry targets over the past several years. Their widespread support is visible all over the country in demonstrations, graffiti, posters and postings on dozens of websites.

While Occupy set up tents to make a point about banks being culprits of social and ecological ills, EA attacked the banks a bit more directly. In 2009 they attempted to blow up a Citibank headquarters in Athens. It didn’t work out, so they followed up by blowing up a branch of the bank instead. And when they were falsely accused of risking mass casualties, they refuted it with precision. That statement is worth a read if you are curious to get sense of where they are coming from.

After several delays—coincidentally due to the general strikes—trial began October 24. The defendants opened with an articulation of why they do not recognize the legitimacy of the court, as an extension of the same system they are fighting. Their defense also includes a technical challenge on lacking evidence to link the individuals to the alleged crimes. Three of the accused have taken responsibility for involvement with the group, but have not confessed to the charges against them—which include accusations of terrorism (even though they have no charges related to actions targeting civilians.) The case is now on hold until November 1 and there is a pending request for European Court of Human Rights to oversee the basic procedural principles in trying the EA members for alleged crimes, not simply for their political affiliations.

There are several other groups and individuals in Greece who have also taken the path of underground resistance, with much aboveground support. Their legacy too is literally written on the walls, usually with spray paint. Some of them are household names, for example, the famous anarchist bank robber, Vassilis Paleokostas, who distributes liberated money into small villages and has escaped from prison multiple times, via helicopter assistance.

And there are other current examples, similar stories of underground resisters who choose to reject affiliations with conventional politics—as the Occupy has also thankfully done. But we usually only hear of their underground efforts in mainstream news when they get caught. Take the recent case of the Il Silvestre 3, who went to trial in Switzerland this summer. The individuals in this case, and the group they are involved with, are claimed to be responsible for many attacks against elite technology targets. They were sentenced to 3+ years in a Swiss prison, for an attempted attack on a nanotech laboratory being built by IBM. They will reportedly face additional time under Italy’s anti-terrorism laws—although, again, they did not target civilians.

But there are many more actions going underneath the radar of people who don’t read the dozens of communiqués posted online at sites like: Contra Info or 325. Take note on these sites, for every person arrested relating to underground activity, actions multiply announced in their honor.

While few of these groups embrace a strict policy relating to the use of violence, their actions tend to target property, not people. A statistic on the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) in the US comes to mind: in being associated with over 1,200 documented actions, totaling over $100 million in damages in 15+ years, not one injury has been killed. The ELF actually does have a policy against injuring people, and still the State prosecuted those arrested as terrorists.

In a time when many groups are jumping on the Occupy bandwagon, including the Sierra Club (who issued a national statement of support for the movement, although they still technically have a policy against members engaging in civil disobedience), what direction will the public occupations take?

Let me be clear, I am not suggesting that the Occupy movement should have to make a choice between DGR and Sierra. It’s not an either/or scenario (at least not for me—I’m both a Sierra Club member and a suspect on the Joint Terrorism Task Force watch-list.) Really, it’s a challenge to see if we can ditch the horizontal hostility and move forward where we agree, as effectively as possible.

The real question of interest to me: Is there is actually a movement afoot capable of interjecting on the brink of ecological collapse and stopping the global economic system from simultaneously crushing what’s left of the planet’s biodiversity and humanity’s social freedom? If there is even a slight chance in hell that the answer is “yes.” Then let’s really go for it.

It seems few disagree these days, from Occupiers to Tea Partiers: corporations and governments both suck. We live under what is best described as a global dictatorship of the market. It’s a regime enforced by an expensive police state at home, military empire abroad. Its only a matter of time before these forces respond as they did this week in Oakland.

Overthrowing the global economic system is just as relevant today as ending fascism or apartheid was in decades past. Unfortunately, the task of resistance movements today is quite a bit broader, as the targets are more widespread and amorphous; no doubt this is by design of the elite, the 1%. But it’s not impossible. It can’t be—after all, it’s infrastructure was built by us, the other 99% (give or take a few decimal points.)

So, what do you think? Is something to bring up for discussion at your next general assembly? Just remember your basic security culture protocols.

***

P.S. As I prepare to post this, the Greek government’s Oxi Day parade, featuring tanks and soldiers of the state who is repressing today’s resistance, is canceled by mass protests in the street’s of Thessaloniki; in Kalamata, there are reports of eggs being thrown at politicians in the parade…

Source: If Deep Green Resistance & the Occupy Movement Merged