Tag Archives: sierra club

Catching Fire to the Reign

19 May

or, Why I think the second Hunger Games film will be a spark that reduces the US Empire to ashes, and in general, why we need to manifest a subversive potential of pop-culture

by Panagioti, EF! Newswire

That’s right, I just referenced The Hunger Games and Adele in one cheesy fell swoop… No shame here. I got nothing to hide. I want to see us usher in an era where it’s commonplace for experiences of popular entertainment to end in a riot, ala Igor Stravinsky’s 1913 Rite of Spring debut.  Yes, I want people to leave Adele’s concerts (when she resumes touring after the new album, allegedly later this year) setting cop cars ablaze—in the rain—either with joy over her beautiful voice, or disgust over her obscene commercial success. It doesn’t much matter. Those riots will be like warm-ups for the big one in the Fall…

[Tired of watching the same old anti-globalization indymedia riot porn re-runs? Check out this trailer...]

On November 22, when the second film in The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire, is released, I think we should anticipate every shopping plaza surrounding the corporate theaters to be ransacked, with every police station demolished (or the “Peacekeepers” as Katniss Everdeen knows them), and every building controlled by the State (“The Capitol”) occupied and turned into revolutionary day care centers where young children can be cared for while the rest of us are ripping up concrete and planting fruit tree forests across interstate super highways.

Defending the barricades, Les Miserables film

Defending the barricades, Les Miserables film

That’s right. No more fucking around.  Continue reading

The “Green” Fracking Revolution Is On The Way

21 Apr

by Gal Fawkes / Earth First! News Wire

Poisoned Water Supply Got You Down?  Eco-Capitalism to the Rescue!

Michael_Klein-001

Michael Klein at a meeting of the board of eco-industrialists of the Rainforest Action Network.

What if there was a man, an environmentalist lets say—as well as an oil, gas, mining, double d-bag executive—that could turn the toxic nature of fracking into something delicious, into something that marketing professionals could label “green” and would be, of course, highly profitable? Would you then stop, for the love of all things industrial and status-quo, with your damned anti-fracking movement? Please? Continue reading

OMG, Taylor Swift’s Ex-Boyfriend Totally Arrested for Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline

14 Feb

by Guchi BabyTaylor+Swift

Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriend was arrested on Wednesday, lol.

Conor Kennedy, who dated the ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ singer last summer – was reportedly hauled away in handcuffs and taken into police custody, along with his father Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and actress Daryl Hannah for protesting with the environmental group Sierra Club outside the White House in Washington D.C. against the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Like, who even knew that the Sierra Club had the cajones for something like this.

According to a press release from the Sierra Club, seen by gossip website RadarOnline.com: “After being taken away from the White House in handcuffs, both Kennedys were driven to a Park Police station and released after paying a fine.” And according to radical environmental fashion gossip magazine Chic Eco-Terrorista, “It looks like crusty death metal t-shirts and bandanas are out this direct action season and khakis are in!” Continue reading

Sierra Club Announces Direct Action to Stop Tar Sands?!?

22 Jan
Syncrude Operations effluent pipe and tailings, Alberta, Canada

Syncrude Operations effluent pipe and tailings, Alberta, Canada. Pic from Sierra Club website

Big Green Plans Civil Disobedience for First Time in Organization’s History

“If you could do it nonstop, it would take you six days to walk from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond to President Barack Obama’s White House. For the Sierra Club, that journey has taken much longer. For 120 years, we have remained committed to using every “lawful means”… Now, for the first time in our history, we are prepared to go further.” —Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director

Could this be a sign that an era of ecological mass movement is upon us? We’d hate to get too enthusiastic about the folks at Sierra Club finally making the right choice on dropping their policy against civil disobedience so shortly after the Carl Pope/Chesapeake Gas scandal, but the results of this decision could certainly change the game up a bit.Yes, it might be time for you radicals to suck it up, start going to your local Sierra meetings and reach outside your anarcho-clique…   [Read an update to this post below. 1/24/13]

But don’t think this means we’ll get to sit and relax while watching the liberals exercise their spines on the blockade. As always, the role of Earth First! is to keep pushing the envelope—until said envelope has been reduced to ashes. So, let’s take this as one step towards that burning green fire of liberation.

Here’s what Sierra’s official press release had to say:

Continue reading

How Sierra Club Learned To Stop Worrying About The 99% And Love Wall Street

12 Feb

No, the story is not about Sierra's sketchy Clorox deal, but the image seemed appropriate. 99% natural?!?

Check out “Big Greenwashing 101″ a new feature article from the EF! Newswire on the Sierra Club’s shady affiliations in light of recently revealed Chesapeake Energy gas company scandal.

From the article:  “John Muir must be rolling over in his grave… The organization he founded in 1892, the Sierra Club, America’s oldest and largest environmental group, have been in cahoots with the worst of the worst corporations in recent years. They’ve been paid tens of millions of dollars by the fossil fuel industry, tyrannical billionaire mayors and Wall Street in exchange for cleaning (and greening) up their public images.  Not only have they acted as a green public relations firm for the bastions of wealth and power, but have also sold out frontline communities most impacted by extractive industry…”    Read the full article here

Blast from the Past: “The Politics of Radical Environmentalism” 1987 Earth First! documentary

24 Nov

 

This film is a pre-released version of the documentary “Earth First!: The Politics of Radical Environmentalism” produced by Chris Manes. Its an examination of Earth First! in the early days, filmed at, and around the time of, the 1987 Grand Canyon Round River Rendezvous–a definitive work of that era.  While Manes has not been present in the Earth First! movement for well over a decade, he was featured recently in the  “Where Are They Now” section of the Earth First! Journal 30th Anniversary edition.

The documentary features live footage of tree spiking, monkey wrenching, early blockades and tree sits. And along with totally 80’s hair styles under camo hats and eco-militancy expressed in Sesame Street-sounding sing-alongs, it’s also chock-full of  powerful interviews: Earth First! co-founders Nancy Morton, Howie Wolke, Mike Roselle and Dave Foreman; former EF! Journal editor John Davis; prominent voice for deep ecology, author Bill Devall (who passed on last year); and voices from government agencies, the timber industry and mainstream groups like the Sierra Club.

This version of the film was posted on Youtube summer 2011 by longtime EF! activist and movement documentarian  Andy Caffrey.  Since this summer, Caffrey has added over 50 historical EF! videos online via his Youtube channel. He’s also running for Congress in 2012. And while we could more-or-less give a shit about who gets elected, we’re glad to see some of these videos back in circulatation amidst his campaign endeavors.

If Deep Green Resistance & the Occupy movement merged…

28 Oct

Athens burns during general strike, Oct. 19 & 20, 2011

Reflections from Greece

By panagioti, Earth First! Journal editorial collective [read this article in Spanish here]

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.

Downtown Athens, in the “mother of all strikes”, Oct 20, 2011.

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:

Nearly 3,000 people march down central Athens, Oct 1, 2011, in solidarity with the imprisoned members of EA (Revolutionary Struggle), Pola Roupa, Kostas Gournas and Nikos Maziotis, as well as those also persecuted for the same case Christoforos Kortesis, Sarantos Nikitopoulos, Vaggelis Stathopoulos, Marie Beracha and Kostas Katsenas, chanting “The States are the only terrorists! Solidarity with the guerrilla fighters!”

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.

EA member, Panagiota Roupa, makes public statement before trial

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 bank robber, Vassilis Paleokostas, who distributes liberated money into small villages and has escaped from prison multiple times, via helicopter assistance.

Solidarity march in France for the Il Silvestre 3

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.

Demonstrators and police fight over a tent during the Occupy Seattle protest at Westlake Park, where prominent labor leaders sent a “letter of solidarity” to Occupy Seattle: “On behalf of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and our 500 affiliated local unions and over 400,000 union women and men we want to express our solidarity with “Occupy Seattle” for standing up for and speaking out on behalf of the 99% who have victimized by corporate and political decisions that put the interests of corporate America and Wall Street before the people.” Photo: J. Trujillo/SEATTLEPI.COM

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.

Over throwing 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...

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,000 other followers