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.
Chris Hedges, one of the great intellectuals of our time, opens this important interview with two quotes. James Baldwin says of the rebel and the artist that it’s not so much that they have a vision, but that they’re propelled by it. Hannah Arendt writes of people who resist that “It’s not those who say ‘This shouldn’t be done.’ or ‘We oughtn’t to do this.’ It’s those who say ‘I can’t.'”
Hedges uses these quotes as a launching point into an important conversation with Derrick Jensen about rebels, revolutionaries, and revolt. How do people willing to defy power develop, and what contributes to their success or failure in fighting injustice? Are such people born with a unique spark required for them to stand up against those in power? Can this impulse be cultivated in them, or in those willing to follow the rebel? What conditions need be present in society to launch a larger movement of resistance? Can these conditions be cultivated? What are the differences between rebels working for the good of others vs abusers who call themselves victimized rebels? What are the dangers of using violence in a struggle for liberation?
Jensen and Hedges discuss the difficulty of getting a radical or even progressive message out to people in these days of society in decay, spectacle, and unwillingness to hear uncomfortable truths. Between the entrenched political parties shutting out any discourse critiquing power, the control of mass media by corporations carefully filtering what gets through, and even the erosion of intellectual freedom in universities, the process of building an opposition to business as usual is painful and deadly slow. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, we must work harder (and smarter) than ever to break down these corrupt structures, restore local decision making, and rebuild healthy communities.
Hedges believes the system is irredeemable, and any attempt to work with or within it is a waste of precious time we don’t have. Everything we do now must be oriented towards overthrowing the system and corporate power. If we don’t overthrow it soon, we’re faced with the extinction of not just the human species, but all others as well.
Hedges has many insights into our current crises of political, economic, and moral systems; and into what is necessary to correct our course. Listen to his June 21, 2015 interview below, download mp3, or listen on our Youtube channel. For more of his brilliant analysis, read his latest book Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt or any of his many other books.
Chris Matera founded and works in his spare time for Massachusetts Forest Watch, fighting against destruction of New England forests. Derrick Jensen interviewed him for the November 30 episode of Resistance Radio, discussing the many forces pushing for logging.
As expected, the timber industry puts out carefully crafted propaganda designed to confuse well meaning but ignorant people. Companies claim clearcutting will counteract stressors, correct forest imbalances, and otherwise improve forest health. They claim clearcutting will improve habitat for cute animals (already overabundant because of past logging), not mentioning the threatened species who will suffer further harm. They claim they need to clearcut trees now to prevent future hurricanes from knocking them down.
Less immediately transparent is the propaganda around biofuels, billed as clean and green, but really just another excuse to clearcut forests. Matera says that burning green trees is 50% more carbon polluting than burning coal, and has a similar impact on air quality. He warns people to critically examine claims of energy sustainability, usually heavily based on this habitat destruction and pollution even worse than coal.
Perhaps most surprisingly for many listeners, Jensen and Matera reveal big green NGOs such as The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and The Nature Conservancy as more of a problem than a help. Time and time again, grassroots activists have clashed with such NGOs backing environmentally destructive practices like biofuels via deforesting. Jensen and Matera discuss the dynamics and details of this serious obstacle to environmentalism.
Almost every Sunday, Derrick Jensen interviews an activist, biophile scientist, land restorationist, or other person similarly engaged in building a culture of resistance. The interviews are always worth listening to, packed with interesting information and insights drawn out by Jensen’s experienced questions.
The interviews are available as mp3 downloads or audio streams from our Resistance Radio archive page, and we’ve now made them available on Youtube as audio with a still image of the interviewee, accessible to those who prefer to browse Youtube or want to add the episodes into playlists. We’ll keep adding new interviews as they’re released. See them all at the Deep Green Resistance Youtube channel, and please share these important conversations widely!
In a thematic follow-up to the interview with Culum Brown, Derrick Jensen’s August 17 Resistance Radio episode features Con Slobodchikoff. Slobodchikoff studies Gunnison’s Prairie Dogs as a model for understanding animal language, and shares some delightful and amazing observations on the complexity of their relationships and communication. For example, the prairie dogs can tell each other the equivalent of “Here is a tall thin human walking slowly wearing a blue shirt coming towards us.”
Jensen and Slobodchikoff discuss the reasons for mass die-offs, habitat destruction, and ongoing intentional eradication of prairie dogs, a topic especially heartbreaking (but important) in light of their intelligence and highly developed social structure. They also examine their role improving pastures and prairies as a keystone species in their landbases, a great bonus to their being just plain cute.
The conversation touches on many other subjects, including language in other species, what actually constitutes language, the assumptions and inherent values of science (Slobodchikoff was pressured to deafen young prairie dogs to see how it affected their language development; he refused), and the many ways science and other institutions of civilization reinforce the arrogant myths of human supremacism.
For the August 10th episode of Resistance Radio, Derrick Jensen interviewed Culum Brown, an Australian scientist. Brown has specialized in the behavioral ecology of fishes, with a focus on their ability to learn and remember things like environmental hazards, specific places of danger, and the social behavior and trustworthiness of other individual fishes (within the same species and across different species.)
With a combination of fascinating anecdotes and scientifically researched conclusions, Brown counters the popular notions that fish are stupid, can’t learn or remember, and can’t feel pain. (In fact, he says pain receptors in humans evolved and are nearly indistinguishable from those of fish; the only reason we can feel pain is because they can.) Jensen and Brown also explore the question of whether fish feel emotions, and if so, which ones. The interview debunks some assumed foundations of human supremicism and ethically demands that we change how industrial civilization treats fish.
For the July 20 episode of Resistance Radio, Derrick Jensen interviewed Dahr Jamail, an award winning reporter for truthout.org. He began his career driven by the obvious lies surrounding the invasion of Iraq, not understanding the apathy of Americans all around him, but compelled to spend his small savings on a laptop, camera and a plane ticket to the middle east. Since then, he has continued to write about US imperialism, including oppposition to it by veterans; and about environmental issues from the BP oil spill to fracking to his current focus on anthropogenic climate disruption (climate change.)
Jamail and Jensen discuss important facts on how quickly climate disruption is advancing, its current and predicted impacts, and how official assessments consistently underestimate the harm in general caused by industrial civilization. They address the interplay of multiple aspects of ecocide and the insane lack of appropriate response by most civilized humans. The interview is an excellent fact-based reality check on our dire situation, and also inspiring as an example of one person finding his way to an appropriate response. As Jensen says, “The big distinction is not between those who believe we need militant resistance and those who believe that militant resistance isn’t necessary. I’ve always thought that the big distinction is between those who do something and those who do nothing.”
Sam Leah serves on the DGR Steering Committee and is a founding member of Warrior Sisters Society, a women-run Eugene OR nonprofit providing free self defense training to women. Derrick Jensen interviewed Leah for the June 1st episode of Resistance Radio.
Leah explains the realities for women of living in a rape culture, and how self defense training has been shown to empower women and dramatically decrease the rates of assaults by men. She describes the work being done by Warrior Sisters Society, the inspiration it takes from the Gulabi Gang in India, and the positive results already experienced by participants.
Warrior Sisters Society provides a strong example of how women can collectively take matters into their own hands and resist patriarchy and rape culture, and this interview gives important insight into the direct action philosophy that led to its formation. Play the embedded audio below or listen to the interview on the DGR Youtube channel.
Saba Malik is on the board of Fertile Ground Environmental Institute, a non-profit dedicated to political and environmental education, and on the advisory board of Deep Green Resistance. She is a mother of two and has been a feminist and anti-racist activist for most of her adult life. Derrick Jensen interviewed her for the May 25th airing of Resistance Radio.
In this interview, Saba Malik and Derrick Jensen discuss misogyny, ecocide, and the relationship between the two. Malik explains that a mindset of domination links the various forms of oppression we see in civilization. This mindset seizes on perceivable differences between groups to create classes, with one class justified in exploiting the other. This began with agriculture: the formation of sex classes gave men the “right” to use women for labor, offspring, and sex. As civilization expanded, this relationship was used as a model for dominating other “races” of humans and other species.
Annette Smith is executive director of Vermonters for a Clean Environment, an organization she co-founded 15 years ago with Vermont citizens when a large energy project was proposed for her region. After successfully defeating that project, Annette has worked with Vermonters throughout the state to defeat large quarries, landfills, farms, and other large energy proposals while also improving Vermont’s groundwater protection laws. Derrick Jensen interviewed her for the May 18th airing of Resistance Radio.
Annette was favorable towards wind energy 10 years ago, but after investigating proposed development projects and comparing the rhetoric to the reality, Annette now organizes against these corporate projects and their overriding of community and environmental concerns. She details the negative impact of money-driven Vermont wind development on humans and nonhumans, from pollution of water supplies (second only to mountaintop coal mining in negative impacts), forest fragmentation, displacement of animals, and turning neighbors against each other.
Annette tries to address why so many well-meaning, good-hearted people have swallowed the propaganda that wind energy helps to address our climate change and other environmental problems, when in fact these projects don’t displace any extraction or burning of fossil fuels.