Can Deep Green Resistance bridge the gap between two political prisoners in Utah?

30 Aug

by Panagioti, co-editor of the Earth First! Journal

Tim DeChristopher, Utah's "Bidder 70"

The eco-resistance movement is in the midst of a growth spurt. Cases like that of Tim DeChristopher, known as Utah’s Bidder 70, represent a significant change in the battlefield between ecology and industrialism; they whisper to the potential of a broad, massive civil disobedience movement. One that might embrace tactics which have thus far been relegated to the fringes of environmentalism in the US, with the exception of a few instances, like the Redwood campaign in northern California in the 90s, or perhaps the anti-nuke fights of the 70s and 80s.

DeChristopher refused to apologize and is now serving a 2 year sentence for his actions. He called for more to join his style of defiance.

Another 26 people were arrested at the courthouse following his sentencing, and since that time another couple hundred have been arrested at the White House, and elsewhere, during civil disobedience actions to display their opposition to tar sands infrastructure.

Walter Bond, awaiting sentencing in Utah

Sharing the county corrections facility in Utah is another political prisoner. Or a prisoner of war, as Walter Bond prefers to be known. Before Bond was arrested, he was known as “Lonewolf.” He was arrested for sabotage against directed against animal abuse, and in his view, against the entire industrial society that is dependent on exploitative industries. See our earlier post on Bond, “Green is the New Rage”

Bond is less likely to attract as broad of a crowd at his sentencing on October 13 (although people are mobilizing to support him.) But his case represents another potential component of the eco-resistance movement’s growth spurt. And while neither of these prisoners’ support groups may express overt affinity for each other, there is a new network forming who seem to be making a case that these two prisoners could have a lot more in common than one might think.

No, we’re not talking about Earth First! (we said new network, EF! is over 30 now… that’s no spring chicken!) We’re talking about Deep Green Resistance (DGR). The recently established organizing effort based on the recent book of the same name, spawning from Derrick Jensen’s Endgame books. DGR embraces an explicit strategy of building mass aboveground support for an underground movement that can dismantle industrial infrastructure. Similar perhaps to the support role that Quakers played in aboveground organizing which complimented the militant underground abolitionist efforts of Harriet Tubman or John Brown and company.

While the actions that Walter Bond was charged for may not represent the ideal strategy of dismantling infrastructure as DGR favors, his incarceration does pose the question of how to relate between the aboveground and underground eco-resistance movements.

How the official DGR representatives handle this issue has yet to be seen. As for the Earth First! Journal, we will continue supporting both of these prisoners.

Addresses and updates on their cases can be found at their support websites: Support Walter.org    Bidder70.org  (as of this post, Tim is in transit to a federal facility)

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4 Responses to “Can Deep Green Resistance bridge the gap between two political prisoners in Utah?”

  1. yupnah August 31, 2011 at 9:02 am #

    I’ve got some big time doubts about Deep Green Resistance and what the authors seem to be advocating (I haven’t read the book just yet). Based on the website, there is a lot to be concerned about…

    Here are two good critiques of Deep Green Resistance that I’d encourage folks in the EF! scene to check out:

    http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20110610231

    http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20110818105948131

    • efjcollective September 4, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      I think that dialogue around Deep Green Resistance will be more fruitful once you’ve read the book.

  2. deadmachine September 4, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    yupnah –

    I encourage you to read and understand the book before you feel you have the authority to call certain critiques “good” or not. Not saying that to be a jerk, but it is a bit absurd to admit to not reading a book but speak about the book based on other’s opinions (or “critiques”, as they call them. Much of what is said by many of these “critiques” are utterly false, and I feel are written for the sole purpose of derailing this movement)

    thanks

  3. DeepGreenResistance November 20, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    A movement is growing based on the book Deep Green Resistance. Here there is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet-and win. If you’ve ever been inspired by Derrick’s work, then here’s where the solutions are. The time for action is now. Now this war has two sides…

    98% of the old growth forests are gone. 99% of of the prairies are gone. 80% of the rivers on this planet do not support life anymore. We are out of species, we are out soil, and we are out of time. And what we are being told by most of the environmental movement is that the way to stop all of this is through personal consumer choices. It’s time for a real strategy that truly addresses the scope of our predicament.

    Where is your threshold for resistance? To take only one variable out of hundreds: Ninety percent of the large fish in the oceans are already gone. Is it 91 percent? 92? 93? 94? Would you wait till they had killed off 95 percent? 96? 97? 98? 99? How about 100 percent? Would you fight back then?

    Good people have stayed silent for too long. We’re tired of ineffective, symbolic acts – piecemeal, reactive, and sad. Now our despair and anger can be matched by an even deeper joy, beyond compare, the joy of beginning to fight back, effectively. We are pleased to announce the formation of DGR Action Groups worldwide. Take the first step and join the resistance.

    Learn more about the strategy, find groups that have formed near you, or find out how to start your own group at:

    http://deepgreenresistance.org

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