A statement from the Earth First! Journal Collective
On several occasions the Earth First! Journal editorial collective has run pieces both online and in print either written by or about the Deep Green Resistance Movement. As a collective, we’ve considered DGR to have some value to Earth First! discussions around feminism, organizing principles, ecological analysis and critiques of civilization. In 2010 we published a piece by Lierre Kieth and Derrick Jensen, and in 2012 we inserted a section from the book Deep Green Resistance on militant approaches to the ecological crisis, which was written by Aric McBay.
The Earth First! Journal collective is dedicated to providing our readers with views from diverse groups, from Earth First!ers on the frontlines to conservative farmers’ struggling against the Keystone XL Pipeline or fracking; from the Move 9 and all political prisoners to Zapatistas, liberal climate change media stars, pacifist Quakers against mountaintop removal and bomb throwing anarchists in Mexico and Greece. It is our goal to print stories and analysis that spark relevant discussion, new alliances, necessary schisms and resistance.
However, in light of DGR’s continued assault on trans people, with language and analysis that denies the struggles of trans-people and even goes so far as to deny the value, worth and power of their existence in radical movements, labeling trans people as somehow “not real,” or as Post-Modern manifestations of individualism, the Earth First! Journal collective will no longer print or in any way promote DGR material. While we don’t need to agree with an individual or organization to find their words or actions relevant for discussion we will not continue to include those whose core expression of values continues to promote exclusion and oppression.
We may continue, from time to time, to publish articles that cover DGR actions and philosophy in order to continue the dialogue around the very serious concerns that have been raised over DGR’s organizational values and practices.
We formally request that Lierre Keith look deeper into the issues effecting trans communities in order to understand the damage her attacks on trans agency and motivations have caused and will continue to cause. Likewise, we request the same thing of all DGR organizers and furthermore request that DGR create gender inclusive workshops at future DGR gatherings.
We’d like to echo the words of Aric McBay, the predominant writer of Deep Green Resistance who, because of DGR’s transphobic stance, has severed himself from DGR:
“I left the organization at the beginning of 2012 after a trans inclusive policy was cancelled by Derrick Jensen and Lierre Keith. Many good people and good activists left the organization for that reason.
I find these transphobic attitudes to be disgusting and deeply troubling, and it bothers me a lot to have any past association with people promoting transphobia.
For me, trans rights and trans inclusion are fundamental to building effective movements and to building a world worth living in. Speaking as the main author of the book that inspired the organization in the first place: they are most definitely my core values.
And transphobia–like racism and sexism and classism and homophobia–is a poison that those in power use to destroy movements and ruin lives. When faced with such poisons, who needs COINTELPRO?
Solidarity between movements is the only hope we have.” [Read more from Aric here]
In a recent video posted to Youtube and shown above, a DGR organizer and those in attendance applauded and argued in defense of Lierre Keith’s assumptions that trans people are some sort of Post-Modern expression of liberal individualism and that trans womyn in particular are manifestations of patriarchy in disguise. As a collective we completely disagree with DGR’s conclusions concerning trans people. There are certainly situations where men with male privilege have appropriated the language and culture of genderqueer and trans, pretending to have no role in misogyny and patriarchy. But these are just further examples of the reach of patriarchy. The same thing exists in any radical community; men appropriate the language of feminism and anarchism to avoid doing real work and sometimes for far sketchier means. This doesn’t, however, mean that trans people or feminists aren’t real or aren’t important. Organizers with DGR have taken the fact that many males will appropriate just about anything for their own devices and then use this to deride the entire trans community. We think this is very dangerous. Trans folk aren’t pretending to be something they’re not in order to hide from the political repercussions of their gender. Trans people are brutalized because the culture of patriarchy fears their gender or place beyond a simply binary.
It is very dangerous, short-sided and pointless to further marginalize one of the most marginalized communities but also a community with great insight, agency and power in the continued fight against patriarchy. The oppression of women is inextricably linked to the oppression of trans people. Trans people have been honored in numerous indigenous communities across the planet. Trans people aren’t some sort of new Post-Modern manifestation of individualism. Trans people are people; people who have worked on the Journal collective and stood on the front lines of the ecological resistance.
With love, solidarity and wild resistance,
The Earth First! Journal Collective
P.S. check out this more detailed critique of DGR ideology by Sasha.