December 3, 2016

We Are Not This Culture

Michelle Jones / Deep Green Resistance

We are not this culture. We are not this society. The culture has hijacked us. This society has imprisoned what we really are.
We are water, and land.
We are the space between the trees. We are the wind and the leaves. We are sound.
We are the energy between glances of animals, running, chasing, hiding, playing.
We are animals, laying on soil, sitting in soil, walking on soil. The soil informing us of what ground is. What our bodies are.
We are sun, the warmth radiated over thousands of miles, traveling, traveling across water and land.
We are power.
We are the rain, falling, falling, landing, streaming, rushing, penetrating.
We are billion's of living beings cooperating flooding, swapping, picking up, putting down, merging, dividing, touching, loving, hating, dying and being born again.
We are the relationship of beings.
The relationships of life.

November 26, 2016

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

Originally posted by Michael Lovan on November 25

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It's officially recognized by the UN to raise awareness of the crimes perpetrated against women, including rape and domestic violence.

Today also begins 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, preceding December 10's International Human Rights Day.

That means from now until then, you have sixteen days packed full of choices. When I got started, I was entirely lost. So I made a list of 16 things you can do over the next 16 days that could go a short way towards eliminating crimes perpetrated against women, or a long way towards changing you.

  1. You can read a book about the harms of pornography. I recommend you get started with Pornland by Gail Dines or Big Porn Inc by Melinda T Reist and Abigail Bray.
  2. You can donate to a charity that supports women. I highly recommend Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW).
  3. You can check out the ENTIRETY of Andrea Dworkin's essays online for FREE. I recommend starting with Pornography: Men Possessing Women.
  4. You can abstain from pornography. I suggest you do it for forever. Trust me - it'll change the way you look at everything.
  5. You can dive in and absorb some amazing feminist articles online. I suggest Feminist Current for the honest and brilliant articles.
  6. You can volunteer with or donate to a local shelter that promotes women's safety.
  7. You can interrupt any sexist or misogynistic language being used in your vicinity. I know how super hard that can be, but trust me when I say that true strength lies in those who challenge those in power. Only misogynists punch downwards (which is what you're doing when you make rape jokes or sexualize women).
  8. You can be critical of the media you consume. Don't know how to start? Stop watching and start listening when women tell you something is offensive (i.e. Game of Thrones and unnecessary nudity - it's okay to be critical of the things you love, people).
  9. You can listen to a podcast. Again, have to recommend the dense selection at Feminist Current.
  10. You can seek out organizations that are feminist, pro-feminist, pro-women and get to know more about their cause.
  11. You can open up communication with a woman you know who's been harmed by domestic or sexualized violence. I heartily recommend you start by telling them something along the lines of, "I haven't truly considered the experiences of other people. I want you to know that any time you need an ear, I would be happy to listen. And no, I will not offer you unsolicited advice or offer solutions or pretend I'm an expert at what you've gone through."
  12. You can stop using sexist or misogynistic language. This includes using words like "pussy," "bitch," "whore," "ho," "son of a bitch," "cunt," and phrases like "... like a girl," "be a man," "... is a man's job."
  13. You can stop laughing at jokes that generalize and thus reinforce what it means "to be a woman", such as the way women talk, dress, behave, and so onj
  14. You can defend women. Start simple, like with sharing an article on your personal timeline on the condition that you will be active in the comments section that follows. Small potatoes, share an article that's pro-women. Medium potatoes, share an article that's anti-porn. Large potatoes, share an article that establishes your position as an anti-porn / pro-women advocate and watch how quickly some men will hiss at you and how others in real life will begin to avoid you like you're insane (lol you'll get used to it).
  15. You can admit that you don't actually know much about violence against women, but that you are open to learning more and could use a few suggestions to teach yourself (important: nobody can change you except yourself. The best you can do is be open and allow yourself a huge amount of space to accept how very, very little you know and how very, very disorienting everything becomes once that light bulb has gone off over your head).
  16. You can speak up in real life.

Deep Green Resistance also recommends reading our Feminist Solidarity Guidelines, and following the DGR Women's Caucus

November 16, 2016

On the road to home from Standing Rock

Jennifer Murnan / Deep Green Resistance Colorado

Thin Blue Line
Flagged two times
Curious?
“The Line is what police officers protect, the barrier between anarchy and a civilized society, between order and chaos, between respect for decency and lawlessness.”
Blue line
Slap down
Smack down
Dogs dripping blood
Mace
Tear gas
Pepper spray
Pushing
Violating your way
Breaking past
Red and Black and Brown and
Even White Protectors
Faces
Bodies
What's left of human sanity
of human sanctity
Hellbent
for the river
What happens
Blue line
If you succeed?
Do you

Breach?
Or do you free fall
dragging all
into
a bottomless pit
of blood and oil?

Civilization conquers all.


A Prayer and a Promise

To the red and brown and black and even white protectors
faces and bodies who know no lines
those between the blue line and sacred water of life
All that remains of human sanity
of human sanctity

Peace be with you
Love be with you
Courage is in you
You are all that your ancestors prayed for
Without you our future ceases to be

Thank you

We are coming

November 10, 2016

With Hope for the Environment Crushed, What Can We Do?

It's time to stop hoping lobbying will ever convince those in power to stop burning fossil fuels, polluting our air and water, and destroying nature. For decades, even "lesser of two evils" political leaders have permitted accelerated attacks on our environment. A few have put band-aids in place; none have acted to reverse our course. With Trump and other reactionaries gaining power around the world, policies will only get worse.

It's time to stop hoping for a mass shift in consciousness, a voluntary cultural adoption of a sane and sustainable way of living. Despite widespread understanding of looming environmental crises, voluntary simplicity and conservation have never gained mainstream traction. Nearly sixty million Americans just voted for Trump, who promised to gut even the tiny bits of environmental protection the US does have in place. Collectively, no matter the true costs, we are unwilling to sacrifice our comforts and luxuries. No amount of education will overcome this.

When we can't rely on others to make necessary change, we're left with direct action. Those of us serious about protecting present and future life on the planet must leverage our small numbers to shut down fossil fuels, polluting industries, and nature-destroying machines. This may sound radical, and that's because it is. We need to go to the root of the problem and win the war there, rather than fight (and mostly lose) battle after battle against endless manifestations of ecocide.

Deep Green Resistance has realistically assessed the resources of the environmental movement, the opposition we face, and the time we have left before runaway climate change and ecological collapse have gone too far to stop. Our response, Decisive Ecological Warfare, is a plausible strategy to stop the rich from exploiting the poor and the powerful from destroying the planet. Industrial infrastructure is surprisingly vulnerable: sprawling and impossible to protect everywhere. Though we'll never have large numbers of people fighting on the front lines, they can be disproportionately effective by attacking carefully chosen critical bottlenecks.

Don't let despair drive you to retreat; there's too much at stake. This is a call-out for people to join the fight on the side of the living. Read our strategy. Read our book. If you're in a position to carry out direct action to stop the destruction, know that there is an aboveground movement building in support of your work. If you can't be on the front lines, for any of a hundred perfectly valid reasons, join us in the aboveground as a volunteer, as a member, or as a financial supporter. Help us support the militant resistance the planet desperately needs.

Learn more:

November 4, 2016

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

"I fear that a world made of gifts cannot coexist with a world made of commodities."

Robin Wall Kimmerer transcends boundaries, and so does her latest book. Simultaneously a botanist and author-poet, scientist and Potowatomi Nation citizen, professor and mother, she brings together unusually diverse perspectives and ways of knowing. The result is a gift to readers: beautiful writing exploring knowledge and ideas often buried in academia or dismissed as "unscientific." As in her first book, Gathering Moss, her enthusiasm for nature and learning comes through strongly, a joy for any nature lover to read. She softens and contextualizes modern hard facts by relating them to indigenous worldviews developed over thousands of years. She reconciles art, appreciation of the natural world, and science (in many ways just now catching up to traditional knowledge.) Rejecting human exceptionalism, she considers all the beings with whom we share the earth while addressing deep questions of ethics and morality.

Braiding Sweetgrass draws on stories from elders and on Kimmerer's own experiences for its 32 chapters. Each could stand alone, ranging across seemingly disparate subjects: relationships between masting nut trees and squirrels, gift economies vs market economies, the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address, harvesting plants in a regenerative manner, and what it means to be a good citizen. But the chapters are tied together by recurring elements, most notably the titular sweetgrass. Sections entitled Planting, Tending, Picking, Braiding, and Burning Sweetgrass organize the individual chapters, and sweetgrass appears again and again as part of traditional legend, knowledge, and practice. The book is densely multilayered, with specific material practices seamlessly integrated into broader teachings about the physical world, and then into deep philosophy. The real magic comes from Kimmerer skillfully interweaving themes of relationship, gratitude, and responsibility into a story larger than the sum of the parts. Her art mirrors a well-lived life which has transformed individual experiences into holistic wisdom.

The overarching theme, drawn forth through the dozens of stories in hundreds of ways, is reciprocity. A fundamental difference between the culture of civilization and those of indigenous peoples is a mentality of exploitation vs one of gratitude. Derrick Jensen defines sustainability as giving back more than you take, and Kimmerer richly depicts a worldview in which that ethic is held first and foremost, even (or especially) when harvesting the lives of others. Her multiple detailed accounts, backed by science, of human interactions with other species to the benefit of all rebut the belief that humans are intrinsically destructive. We have the potential ― indeed, the responsibility ― to take up a supportive role in the web of life.

Building on this revelation, Braiding Sweetgrass challenges the reader to consider how an individual, or a culture, can become indigenous to place. With the vast majority of the earth under siege by settler cultures with a domination mindset, this is an urgent task. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), collapse will render industrialism and globalization infeasible, reigning in civilization's ecocide. But local cultures unable to develop reciprocal relationships with their landbases are doomed to continue the destruction, even if at a smaller scale.

Perhaps the most important lesson is that everyone has gifts. Birds have the gift of song, stars the gift of shining. But with each gift comes a responsibility to use it in the service of life. Birds have a responsibility to greet the day with music, stars to guide night travelers. What gifts do humans have, and what responsibilities? And more personally: as Carolyn Raffensperger asks, “What are the largest, most pressing problems that you can help to solve using the gifts that are unique to you in all the universe?” With the world at stake, contemplate the question. Find your answer. Then take action.


Braiding Sweetgrass is available as a paperback, ebook, and audio book.

Derrick interviewed Robin Wall Kimmerer for the September 25, 2016 episode of Resistance Radio. Readers who enjoy Braiding Sweetgrass will probably also enjoy Derrick's The Myth of Human Supremacy, and vice versa.

October 29, 2016

Help Promote Deep Green Resistance at Goodreads

Goodreads is a popular site for readers. We need your help encouraging users to read Deep Green Resistance:

  1. Create a Goodreads account if you don't have one yet.
  2. Visit the Deep Green Resistance Goodreads page.
  3. Rate the book at upper left (5 stars is the highest rating).
  4. Click "Like" on whichever Reviews you think likely to convince potential readers to pick up the book. More "Likes" will make a review show up higher in the list of reviews.
  5. Write your own review if you feel like it!

The environmental movement is in Phase I of Decisive Ecological Warfare: building a culture of resistance, growing networks of like-minded people, and forming the nuclei for future above- and belowground organizations. It's crucial right now to disseminate the Deep Green Resistance analysis and strategy to as large an audience as possible. The more you can help spread the ideas and promote the book, the more people who will think through what a serious resistance will look like, and the sooner an effective movement will begin.

Thanks for your support!

October 15, 2016

Encrypt text messages & voice calls with Signal

Signal is a free, easy to use app, for Android or iPhones, that replaces the default texting app. When sending to other users with Signal installed, it'll perform end to end encryption, meaning the cell carrier and anyone else can not read the message as it passes through the system. If sending to people without the app, it just acts like a normal insecure text.

Signal also supports encrypted voice calls.

Encryption of calls and of texts requires data or wifi connectivity, as communication is routed through the internet rather than through normal voice and text channels.

Of course, no software can replace security culture of a firewall between the aboveground and any hypothetical belowground. But it helps to normalize privacy as a default and makes it harder for corporate or government security forces to monitor everything people do. Documents released by Edward Snowden suggest that encryption methods such as those used by Signal (and by Enigmail for email) have thwarted the NSA in monitoring communications.

Install Signal today and give it a try: Android or iPhone.

We posted in the past about TextSecure for encrypting texts, and you may have heard about Redphone for voice calls. Signal is an evolution and combination of those two precursor apps.

October 11, 2016

Statement on T.R. McKenzie, Probable Pedophile

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. For more information on T.R. McKenzie, see this statement from early 2014.

September 29, 2016

War in the Woods restarting in British Columbia?

From Forest Action Network

Nine arrested this month on Mt. Elphinstone

Resistance is escalating in the old-growth forests of the Sunshine Coast, from blockades to tree-sits to a burning barricade. For decades, residents have used almost every strategy in the book to protect wildlife and their drinking watersheds. But the clearcut logging continues under the control of the BC government's Timber Sale program.

Last week. protesters set a homemade roadblock on fire to stop the logging above Roberts Creek, in a bear denning area adjacent to Mount Elphinstone Provincial Park. Currently there are several camps and at least two groups of defenders on the mountain. Contact Elphinstone Logging Focus for info and to let us know if you can bring or donate gear.

As the Vancouver Sun notes, we could be returning to the days of the “War in the Woods” that wracked coastal BC in the 1990s. Environmentalists spiked trees, damaged equipment, blockaded roads, sparked international boycotts, and hundreds were carted off to mass civil disobedience trials. Loggers heaved rocks, waved nooses, wore T-shirts saying that female environmentalists should be sexually assaulted, and they burned down a peace camp and injured three young people in 1999.

Whatever tactics they employ, VICFAN can advise and train land defenders to be prepared for anything. Please sponsor their action training.

August 23, 2016

Ecological Special Forces: A Proposal

The planet needs commandos

It wasn’t until the 1940’s that what we think of as the “commando” or special forces units were standardized by the British Army. With the goal of disrupting German forces in western France and later in the Mediterranean and North Africa, the first commando units were modeled on small groups of Arab fighters who had great success pinning down much larger British Army units during the uprisings in Palestine in the 1930’s.

These units proved to be very effective during World War II and have since become a staple of modern warfare. Today, the U.S. empire largely projects military force through targeted special forces operations and bombing campaigns, rather than outright warfare and traditional military maneuvers.

The Case for Ecological Commandos

Our planet is on the verge of total ecological collapse. Nothing is getting better. Governments and corporations continue business as usual while every day, carbon dioxide levels rise, forests are cut down, and 200 species are driven extinct. Forty percent of all human deaths can be attributed to pollution. Ocean fish may not exist by 2050.

Even in ecological preserves, life is suffering; there has been an 85% decline in mammals in West Africa’s parks. Major dams continue to be built. Environmentalists being are murdered around the world. African lions are in precipitous decline, as are tigers, leopards, elephants, polar bears, rhino, and countless other species. Most of the species who are driven extinct haven’t even ever been described by western science; they slip into extinction with barely a ripple.

Our few, hard-won victories are temporary. Protections can be (and are) revoked. Ground can be lost. Despite all we have done, life on this planet is slipping away.

Small forces of ecological commandos could reverse this trend by targeting the fundamental sources of power that are destroying the planet. We have seen examples of this. In Nigeria, commando forces have been fighting a guerrilla war of sabotage against Shell Oil Corporation for decades. At times, they have reduced oil output by more than 60%.

No environmental group has ever had that level of success. Not even close.

In the U.S., clandestine ecological resistance has been relatively minimal. However, isolated incidents have taken place. A 2013 attack on an electrical station in central California inflicted millions of dollars in damage to difficult-to-replace components used simple hunting rifles. The action took a total of 19 minutes, displaying the sort of discipline, speed, and tactical acumen required for special forces operations.

Characteristics of Special Forces Units

Physical Fitness

Mobility and secrecy are critical to the success of special forces. Therefore, physical fitness, as well as the use of appropriate aids, such as helicopters, bicycles, or pack animals, is essential. Commandos must be prepared to climb barriers, crawl, swim, carry heavy objects, endure long distance travel, maintain stillness, and so on.

Training in Infantry Weapons

Competency in firearms, knives, explosives, unarmed combat, and other handheld weapons are essential to these types of missions.

Focused on Stealth

Commandos must be capable of evading superior forces. This means they must have the ability to move silently and swiftly, and to hide in a variety of terrain. They should also be capable of killing or capturing opponents quickly and silently. However, stealth—the ability to avoid enemies—is more important than combat; fighting should only occur as a last resort. According to the book Deep Green Resistance, thus far the definitive resource on environmental sabotage, ecological commandos should seek to avoid causing casualties to avoid alienating the public further.

Comfortable Operating in Darkness and All Weather Conditions

Darkness is the element of choice for special forces units. Adverse weather can provide additional cover and opportunity. Therefore, units should train to operate in such conditions.

Capable of Operating on Water

Objectives often will be more accessible via water.

Flexible and Self-Directed

Communications during operations may be impossible, and comms equipment is always subject to failure. Special forces must be prepared with a plan. However, they should have a good understanding of mission objectives and be prepared to improvise.

Small Units

Unlike traditional military forces, commando units typically form small squads of 2-12 individuals. Multiple squads may come together for some operations, but small unit size allows faster reaction time and greater operational flexibility—critical in asymmetrical conflict. Special forces engaged in sabotage often split into two forces: one focused on demolitions, the second on covering the demolition force. Units in the field are supported by medical teams, researchers, supply officers, and other support staff at secure positions.

Proper Target Selection

Traditional military units operate by seizing and holding territory. Since special forces rely on tactical rather than strategic advantages, a different approach is needed. Commandos generally focus on high-value targets like supply lines, fuel depots, communications hubs, important propaganda targets, unprepared foes, and so on. Attacking such targets can destroy the enemy’s ability to fight. Clandestine units are always focused on attack, and not defense.

Intelligence Driven

The success of special forces operations depends largely on good intelligence. Gathering information about target locations, defenses, surveillance, cover, enemy reinforcements, escape routes, transportation options, weather, and so on is essential.

Doing What it Takes to Halt Empire

Our situation is desperate. Things continue to get worse. False solutions, greenwashing, corporate co-optation, and rollbacks of previous victories are relentless. Resistance communities are fractured, isolated, and disempowered. However, the centralized, industrialized, and computerized nature of global empire means that the system is vulnerable. Power is mostly concentrated and projected via a few systems that are vulnerable.

Even powerful empires can be defeated. But those victories won’t happen if we engage on their terms. Ecological special forces provide a method and means for decisive operations that deal significant damage to the functioning of global capitalism and industrialism. With enough coordination, these sorts of attacks could deal death blows to entire industrial economies, and perhaps (with the help of aboveground movements, ecological limits, and so on) to industrialism as a whole.

Implementation of this strategy will require highly motivated, dedicated, and skilled individuals. Serious consideration of security, anonymity, and tactics will be required. But this system was built by human beings; we can take it apart as well.

Good luck.