Deep ecology author Derrick Jensen won fame and notoriety with heavy works of non-fiction like Endgame, which compares western civilization to an abusive family where violence is a constant threat. He argues that we must bring down this culture by any means necessary. Since then, Jensen has published a searing exposé about zoos and captive animals with Karen Tweedy-Holmes called Thought to Exist in the Wild; Resistance to Empire, a collection of incendiary interviews with other activists; and What We Leave Behind, co-authored with Aric McBay – a heartbreaking polemic on the concepts of waste, life, and death.
Some of the most celebrated social justice victories of the 20th century are attributed to the great pacifists of our time, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. This constitutes a historical whitewash, as these “victories” were achieved when the state weighed its options and chose the lesser of two evils: the pacifists. In this segment Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Aric Mcbay, Harjap Grewal, Gord Hill and Peter Gelderloos deconstruct the Gandhi myth and show us why militant action plays an important role in movements of resistance.
How celebrity activists have set off a witch hunt against anarchist militants
By Stimulator, Vancouver Media Co-Op
The hardest road trip
When I was twenty-three I was given the task of handing over my father to the authorities. No, I wasn’t collaborating with the police. My father had been found guilty after a long legal battle with the state, and had to turn himself in at a federal penitentiary. The prison was in a remote location in South Carolina which is about a four hour drive from Atlanta, where I was living at the time. Out of all my family members, most of whom reside in the US colony of Puerto Rico, I lived the closest to where my Dad was expected to pay his debt to society, by serving a 63 months sentence. The drive down to the jail must have been one of the worst experiences of my life. I knew that with every mile I drove, I was bringing my father closer to his cage. When we arrived at the gates, my heart started racing and I couldn’t even look at my dad. We parked, entered the building and were both searched. My father was asked to enter into small room. A few moments later a prison guard handed me a shopping bag with his clothes, his watch, wallet and shoes. When my dad stepped out of that room, he was wearing his prison uniform. My dad looked at me and tears filled his eyes. This would be the first time I ever saw my father cry.
With runaway climate change looming in the horizon, we must ask ourselves what are the tactics we are going to use to stop the destruction and take us beyond symbolic gestures.
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Last week the supposed defenders of the environment, A.K.A. the Environmental Non Governmental Organizations or E.N.G.O.s, cut a “deal” with timber industries to protect a large chunk of the boreal forest. On the surface this agreement looks good, but the entire deal was not published, only an abridged version was made available online. Some of the groups that took part of this deal are Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation and Forest Ethics.
The one aspect of this “accomplishment” that they are not publicizing is that they struck it without consulting with the First Nations, the original human inhabitants of those lands.
As we face increasingly catastrophic environmental destruction, it is imperative that we seek guidance from those who “managed” the environment sustainably for over 10,000 years.
This short piece from “END:CIV” is a visual interpretation of Derrick Jensen’s Second Premise from ENDGAME:
Traditional communities do not often voluntarily give up or sell the resources on which their communities are based until their communities have been destroyed. They also do not willingly allow their landbases to be damaged so that other resources—gold, oil, and so on—can be extracted. It follows that those who want the resources will do what they can to destroy traditional communities.
Those were the first words I ever heard Derrick Jensen speak, and my world view has never been the same since. The year was 2006 and I had just moved to New York City to work for Democracy Now!. I was taping the Community Solutions conference, a peak oil convention held at Cooper Union. Unlike the other speakers, Derrick did not talk about about solar panels or wind turbines. He spoke of our culture’s systematic destruction of the planet and of the failure of the environmental movement. After hearing his talk, I immediately sought out his books and the first seeds of END:CIV were planted.
The “Star Wars” piece is one of Derrick’s best analogies, one that delivers a precise critique of mainstream environmental groups.
Directed by Franklin López, Motion Graphic support by pussykrew. Production assistance by Paul Clarke, Annette Fick, Rosalee Yagihara and Chris Bevacqua.
This rough cut features Qwatsinas of the Nuxalk Nation who inhabit the central coast of British Columbia and Zoe Blunt from the Forest Action Network. I shot the footage a few years ago at Wild Earth, an eco-activist camp on Vancouver Island. The footage is standard definition. Since then, I have shot shocking clear cuts in Oregon using a Panasonic AG-HVX200A. Below are some photos of that shoot. The archival footage comes from Archive.org, Pickaxe and Qwatsinas’ collection. The music is by stig inge oy.