Earth First! Eostar (2006)
Vol. 26, No. 3
Victory for the Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is an irreplaceable landscape of unparalleled beauty. Making up almost the entire west coast of Canada, the area is home to 20 percent of the world's salmon, as well as First Nation communities who've never ceded their ancestral lands. Its ancient trees have been growing for as long as 1,000 years.
With logging companies clearcutting the Great Bear Rainforest at alarming rates, local opposition sparked an international market-based campaign. Since the demand for wood products was coming from large corporations, environmental groups decided to target companies responsible for funding the destruction. The battle was waged across the US, Canada and Europe in front of retail locations and at industry meetings: Home Depot, Lumbermens, Lowes, BMC West, Staples, Office Depot and the North American Wholesale Lumber Association.
On February 7, the government of British Columbia committed to the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. This unprecedented contract protects five million acres of rainforest from logging and grants substantial new negotiating powers to British Columbia's First Nations. The victory belongs to the thousands of dedicated folks who took part in countless protests and endless negotiations spanning more than a decade.
Listening to Each Other
I was nine years old during Redwood Summer.
There are many people my age in Earth First!. This is no surprise. Sometimes, we bring new energy to a campaign. Sometimes, we leave after three months. Sometimes, we reinvent the wheel. But we can learn. We can listen.
Although my youth offers me a fresh look at our campaigns, strategies, tactics and culture, it also denies me an intimate knowledge of the history that is so important to Earth First!—that so many people before me, including Journal editors, created and lived through.
I look up to so many people in this movement. I guess this is my way of asking for help. This is an intense time for Earth First!; we face many trials. Some of these we've seen before; some of them are new. Let's help each other understand. Let's help each other act.
Take the Journal, for example. I think we can all work on opening up the dialogue between the movement and the Journal just a little bit more, instead of limiting it to twice-a-year gatherings. Even though the Journal is in the beautiful Sonoran desert, the editorial collective sometimes feels like we're on an island. We're trying to act as a central nerve for the movement, but we can feel painfully out of touch. The glow of our computers can't quite convey the experience of the forests being protected.
As I said earlier, this is an intense time, and we have to be able to share. Our knowledge, coming from those both young and old, contains the stories of resistance and struggle that can help us remember how to act today.
Our elders have treaded up this path before. Let's make sure to listen. The fun part is, when you are willing to listen to others, they are often more willing to hear what you have to say.
Our combined stories, and what we can learn from each other, can help us create new stories—ones with endings we can be happy with.
In the Winter of 1980, a newspaper came out that welcomed readers with the phrase, "Read on, buckaroo.” I was born about a year later.
Earth First! Eostar
Vol. 26, No. 3
Earth First! is published by an editorial collective from within the Earth First! movement. Entire contents are copyrighted 2006. Please contact us for permission to reprint articles. Art, photographs and poetry are copyrighted by individual artists and permission for use must be received from them directly.
Earth First! is a forum for the no-compromise environmental movement. Responsibility rests with the individual authors and correspondents. The contents do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of this magazine, the Earth First! movement, local Earth First! groups or individual Earth First!ers.
We welcome submissions of articles, letters, poetry and art that put the Earth first, aid in healthy debate shaping the growth of the movement and advance the creation of a world free of speciesism, classism, racism, sexism, violence, exploitation and oppression.
Submission deadlines are the first of every odd-numbered month in the calendar year. Articles should be typed or clearly printed. We encourage submissions via email. Art or photographs are desirable to illustrate articles and essays. Send a SASE if you would like submissions returned. If you want confirmation of receipt of a submission, please request it.
All submissions are edited for length and clarity. If an article is significantly edited, we will make a reasonable effort to contact the author prior to publication.
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Earth First! (ISSN 1055-8411) March-April 2006, Volume 26, Issue 3, is published bimonthly by Daily Planet Publishing, 831 East 47th Street, Tucson, AZ 85713. US Subscriptions are $25. Outside the US, surface delivery is $40 and airmail is $50. Send subscriptions to PO Box 3023, Tucson, AZ 85702. Periodicals Postage Paid at Tiicson, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Earth First!, PO Box 3023, Tucson, AZ 85702-3023.
In Defense of the Last Wild Buffalo
Join Buffalo Field Campaign on the Frontlines in Montana
by Buffalo Field Campaign
A female buffalo held in captivity by the National Park Service.
Since January 12, the National Park Service (NPS) has hazed and captured nearly 700 of the country's last wild buffalo, who were attempting to access critical Winter habitat outside of Yellowstone National Park. These sacred and pow-. erful icons of an untamed land are being forced off their chosen ground, rounded up and crammed into the Stephens Creek Capture Facility inside Yellowstone, suffering unbelievable injuries, stress and panic. Some calves are selected for government quarantine experiments and the rest are escorted to slaughterhouses by none other than the Department of Homeland Security. For the Yellowstone buffalo, the instinct to migrate is punishable by death.
In mid-January, Montana Department of Livestock (MDOL) agents arrived on snowmobiles to harass buffalo within the state's so-called tolerance zone. They pushed 40 buffalo over a clearly marked area of thin ice on He- bgen Lake, causing 12 to fall into the freezing water. Two drowned before our eyes. The remaining 10 buffalo splashed helplessly as agents sat around and threatened Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) volunteers with arrest if we attempted to help. The agents finally got some rope and proceeded to pull the buffalo out of the frigid pond, one by one.
After being pulled out of the frigid water, the buffalo were visibly weak and shivering, and some were unable to walk or even stand. Many had been in the water for more than three hours.
What's the justification for this brutal behavior? The MDOL and the NPS defend their actions by citing the Interagency Bison Management Plan, a joint state-federal agreement (not including First Nations) that is supposed to maintain a wild, free-roaming herd of buffalo while protecting Montana's livestock economy. Yet the
latter is the government's ultimate focus. Yellowstone has become a mega-zoo that engages in the wholesale slaughter of native wildlife in order to appease the livestock industry.
The MDOL and NPS claim that the slaughter is necessary to stop 1 the spread of brucello- ? sis, a European cattle | disease that has been "J in the Yellowstone f ecosystem since 1917. | But not only has there never been a docu- | mented case of wild buffalo transmitting brucellosis to livestock, buffalo are killed without even being tested for brucellosis antibodies. The brucellosis excuse is used to prevent wild buffalo from re-inhabiting their stolen range and impacting ranching profits. The cowboy mafia is getting away with federally funded murder.
To top it off, a state-sponsored buffalo trophy hunt took place from November to February just miles from the NPS- run slaughter. BFC has been in the field documenting the hunt, watching as 40 buffalo have been killed.
BFC fills a critical niche. Our mission is to stand with the wild buffalo, document everything done to them by state and federal agents, and to show people the world over what's going on. BFC does what no one else has done for the buffalo, but we need the help of all Earth defenders to stop this atrocity. Join BFC on the frontlines, and come to the defense of the last wild buffalo.
Dear SFB: Letters to the Editors
To Whom It May Concern,
I want to report that Stephen "Wheels" Marshall was not a political prisoner, in the event that he once again asks for support from the activist community (see EF!J January-February 2006). It was reported that Stephen was a vegan prisoner. This was incorrect. He ate meat in prison and did not know what veganism was. Someone wrote him and talked about being vegan, and he thought it would be a "good idea" if he said he was vegan. And it was. He got letters from all over the world. People took time and energy writing him and the prison, but they had been lied to. He said he was not political before prison. Storing dynamite in the basement of a farmhouse was not politically motivated. He just wanted to destroy something. A day before he went to prison (for conspiracy to damage Morse Brothers' property), he was petting a cat on a friend's porch, the cat bit him, and then he broke the cat's neck and tossed her over the deck.
Why do I know all this? Because I was starting a support group for him right before he was released. I then let him stay with me until he could support himself. I was horrified when he started telling me about his past and how he thinks now. When he took off his shirt, he had a swastika on his chest. He said he had to join a supremacist gang in prison or get beaten up. That might be true, but I also heard him refer to his friends by derogatory names like "Chink Mike," etc. He has repeatedly lost his temper while staying with me, and I kicked him out recently after he punched a hole in my door and threw his bike against the wall next to my bird.
Editors' Note: We have confirmed the claims made by this author, who wishes to remain anonymous for safety reasons. Therefore, the EF! Journal withdraws all support for Marshall. While the situation described in this letter is unfortunate and disheartening, it is also exceptional. The relationship between the overwhelming majority of prisoners and their supporters is one of trust, honesty and commitment.
Anyone familiar with Captain Paul Watson knows that he has an ego that just won't stop. But I suspect that in the case of Paul, Allison Lance Watson is right (see EF!J January-February 2006). Without that particular force of soul and the attendant stubbornness, intemperate language and in- your-face social demeanor, he would not have accomplished all that he has. But neither he nor I nor you want to dwell on those achievements, for there is work ahead.
The crux of the issue, as you point out in your letter to Allison, "is simply the result of asking Paul to shorten a letter'." Well, you've shot your collective selves in a place worse than the foot. On page six of the same issue, you publish a letter far exceeding the 300 word limit by the Defenders of Wildlife president, defending that organization against charges printed in the previous issue of your Journal. Perhaps you'll say that it is an article, not a letter. I suspect that it was submitted to the Journal in the letter form that it has.
Regardless, your readers have the right to have the full-length views of Captain Watson—even more so when they were submitted for the 25th anniversary issue by one of the founders and continuing leaders of the radical, direct action environmental movement. The editorial collective has many times said that it takes its job to be one of encouraging discussion and even strenuous debate. Well, now we have lost Paul in your pages. I thought indigenous tribes respect their elders, not attempt to cannibalize them? You'll find the likes of Abbey, Foreman, Brower, Peacock and Watson too tough, mean and foul-tasting for that. Apologies and hugs all around anyone?
For the Earth,
Dear Earth First! Journal,
I am fairly new to reading the Journal and have always wondered why Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) take up so much space in the Journal. I feel very strongly about the seal hunt in Canada and have always had admiration and respect for Paul Watson, Greenpeace and SSCS. It saddens me to see people I look up to putting personalities before principles. I support and belong to organizations that I do not fully agree with, but because they share a common enemy, I believe in making them my allies. It is my belief that we are the underdog in our struggles and simply cannot afford to piss on and start fights with our allies. It disheartens me to see such infantile behavior. I think Paul needs to smoke some seaweed and think about who his real friends and allies are. The rest of the remarks should not be dignified by comment.
Love & Respect,
I just wanted to compliment you on the fine job of writing you did in response to the madness coming from the Watson camp, especially your "Dear Allison" letter. What I found particularly sad was the silly proclamation passed by the Sea Shepherd Board of Directors. Was there not one member willing to stand up and say, "Calm down, Paul, this is a non-issue. Let's go blow off some steam over a few beers?"
It reminded me in many ways of the early years of the Christian Science movement, in which Mary Baker Eddy, the leader of the church, gathered together a number of intelligent, educated, successful businessmen—Mrs. Eddy was no feminist—to form the first board of directors. Because the personality cult around their leader was so strong, these men—who normally would have made rational decisions to everyday life problems—silently supported, year after year, the unusual and progressively paranoid wishes of the sacred lady in charge.
Anyway, keep up the good work you're doing,
This Journal has run articles in which arrested activists have been described as having provided information which was used against another. The labels on these people have been derogatory; threats have been made. I am a visitor of prisons and prisoners—and a long-time EF!J reader. I wish to make the following proposal.
Simplistic historical analogy: 1) Captured soldiers were to give only "name, rank and serial number." 2) When a nation or prison used torture, the first policy always failed. For example, when the crew of the USS Pueblo was captured by North Korea in 1968, the Geneva Convention was ignored by the captors; and the crew spoke at length. 3) Torture is used within the US penal system—hardly news. Psychological, physical and economic, the torture used is easily intensified sufficiently to "break" anyone. We must not let valiant bravado or macho upbringing influence us to falsely deny this fact.
I hope that activists agree on the following practices at gatherings during 2006:
A) Arrested activists will be assumed to be tortured and talking—under duress—to the torturers. B) Nothing derogatory will be stated about any imprisoned activist, no matter what that person is believed to have revealed. C) All information claimed to come from a prisoner—in press and in court—will be considered null simply because a prisoner was the source. D) All prisoners are encouraged to give false, misleading information to torturers. E) "Salting" torture responses with messages, reminders and encouragements to those of us not under torture is permitted. The Pueblo crew showed how this may be done. The empowerment to a prisoner who encourages those not in prison is immense and is tmly a "reversal mystery."
The goal of these practices should be to make all information extracted from any arrested activist—and eventually "informational arrests" themselves—automatically useless because of a well-known, guaranteed response. Union on this issue seems of prime importance to me.
Stu Sugarman is doing every activist in the environmental movement a grave disservice by claiming, "People using public defenders or panel attorneys are not lacking in any way for legal skill, experience or resources" (see EF1J January- February 2006).
I normally enjoy Mr. Sugarman’s advice, but this is a total disconnect from reality. As anyone in federal custody or doing time in the Federal Bureau of Prisons can tell you, these lawyers are called "public pretenders," and they routinely force clients to take grotesque plea agreements or otherwise "dump" on them. Panel attorneys are often worse than useless, as most are not paid competitive wages by courts and frequently take indigent client fee money, then vanish—leaving clients in the lurch, ignoring their calls and letters, and performing substandard work.
There are too many horror stories to even know where to begin, but an old prison saying captures the situation well: "Prosecutors and public defenders get their checks from the same place."
Any activist relying solely on a public defender or a panel attorney for their defense is an unwitting participant in a kind of legal lottery. While it's true that there are dedicated and talented lawyers working in the defender's office, they are outnumbered at least two to one (probably more) by indifferent, burned out, lazy or incompetent ones.
by Faith Walker
Fauna: n. Animal life.
Cabala: n. An esoteric, secret matter or mysterious art.
Some boobies have a foot fetish. Blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii), pelagic birds inhabiting the Gulf of California south to Peru, execute spectacular, fish-catching plunge-dives from great heights. They then retire to tropical islands, which are awash with sex and seduction. Boobies live in large, dense colonies, where mated pairs court and nest on the open ground. Both members strut their stuff, and both dote upon resulting booby babies. Courtship is a grand parade: stepping high and flaunting lovely blue feet, pointing the bill and tail heavenward whilst spreading the wings, and plopping a twig at the feet of the dearly beloved—all highlighted with the occasional whistle or honk. This show is sexy to onlookers too. While their mates are off hunting for food, half of all boobies solicit sex from their neighbors. This keeps their mates on their toes and in a state of perpetual courtship, since affairs precipitate divorce if a higher quality mate is found.
It's the hue of blue booby booties that signals quality. Boobies prefer aqua. Unfortunate birds with dull feet don't get much action and don't lay as many eggs. As lackluster trotters result from poor nutrition, the feet are a window to a bird’s health and suitability as a mate. They also serve another function: to keep eggs and hatchlings warm. An increased blood supply engenders hot feet, so babies perch atop the aqua cha-chas for the first month of their lives. Boobies are thus an example of mutual sexual selection: Because the parental roles of the sexes are similar, it pays for both to be choosy and quick to assess those flashing feet.
Wake up, Mr. Sugarman! Activists are being ground up in our federal system of gross injustice, and the public defender's office is one more arm of government speeding this along. Good luck in your legal battles, and beware!
For many of us, the arrests of December 7, began in confusion (see EF!f January-February 2006). A friend, acquaintance or ally was taken by the feds with no warning or explanation. Only when we heard that similar raids had occurred on the other side of the country, did we suspect that something truly sinister was afoot.
The next day, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a press release revealing the full extent of its raids, dubbed "Operation Backfire." Those arrested were: Daniel McGowan in New York City; Stanislas Meyerhoff in Charlottesville, Virginia; William Rodgers in Prescott, Arizona; Sarah Harvey in Flagstaff, Arizona; Kevin Tubbs in Springfield, Oregon; and Chelsea Gerlach and Darren Thurston in Portland, Oregon.
Except for Thurston, all were charged with crimes related to numerous ecotage actions, most claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) or Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Thurston, a Canadian citizen, was charged with possession of false social security and green cards. Indicted, but not arrested, was Josephine Overaker, whose whereabouts are unknown. Seven individuals, including Thurston, Jonathan Paul and Suzanne Savoie, were subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury in Eugene, Oregon.
Information released at arraignments and bail hearings helped to clarify this murky situation. A picture of the state’s strategy in prosecuting the defendants began to develop. At Gerlach's arraignment on December 13, Assistant US Attorney Kirk Engdahl named Gerlach as a suspect in six additional ecotage actions, including the infamous ski resort arson in Vail, Colorado, in October 1998. Similar allegations were made against other defendants. The slim evidence that prosecutors offered to support such claims was primarily derived from the testimony of a confidential source (CS).
On December 22, Gerlach's attorney, Craig Weinerman, filed a motion for Gerlach's release. Although the motion was denied, it revealed two troubling pieces of information. First, it exposed the identity of the primary CS: Jacob Ferguson, a Eugene, Oregon-based heroin addict and an admitted participant in the actions. Second, the court documents strongly suggested that Meyerhoff was also cooperating with the prosecution and had agreed to testify against Gerlach and others. Proof of this allegation has not been released publicly however, leading some to doubt the veracity of such claims.
But the most tragic event was yet to come. On December 22, Rodgers committed suicide in his jail cell. He left a handwritten statement: "I have dedicated my life to doing good. I shall not be imprisoned, while my captors continue to pillage the Earth. I choose to set myself free." He was 40 years old.
A 65-Count Indictment
The new year began with out-of-state defendants being extradited to Oregon, while various support groups worked feverishly to raise money for bail and legal funds. Then, on January 17, Paul was arrested for alleged involvement in the ALF arson of Cavel West horsemeat packing plant in Redmond, Oregon, on July 21, 1997. The FBI's criminal complaint against Paul relied heavily on the testimony of Ferguson and another CS.
Yet another warrant was issued on January 18, this time for Savoie. She was accused of involvement in the ELF arson of Superior Lumber Company's offices in Glendale, Oregon, on January 2, 2001. Savoie surrendered herself to authorities on January 19. The FBI's complaint against Savoie was based on the testimony of Ferguson and two other confidential sources.
In a widely televised press conference on January 20, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller announced that an Oregon grand jury had handed down a new indictment against 11 individuals: Gerlach, Harvey, McGowan, Meyerhoff, Paul, Savoie, Thurston, Tubbs, Overaker, Joseph Dibee and Rebecca Rubin. The whereabouts of the last three remain unknown. This indictment replaced all existing charges with a series of 65 separate counts, relating to 17 ecotage actions that occurred between 1996 and 2001.
Now indicted as codefendants, all were charged with one count of "conspiracy to commit arson" and one count of "conspiracy to commit arson and destruction of an energy facility." Various defendants also face one count of "destruction of an energy facility," two counts of attempted arson, three counts of "carrying a destruction device in relation to a crime of violence" and 57 counts of arson. The 57 arson charges include one count for each of the 45 vehicles destroyed during ELF actions against Jefferson Poplar Farms in Clatskanie, Oregon, and Romania Chevrolet in Eugene, Oregon.
Remarks made at bail hearings have provided more detailed information about who might be cooperating with law enforcement. At Harvey's hearing on January 24, US Attorney Engdahl successfully argued for her release,
Agents of Repression Wage War on the Radical Environmental Movement
stating, "She has accepted responsibility for her actions and is cooperating." Likewise, at McGowan's hearing, Eugene Police Officer Gregory Harvey stated that Tubbs had been cooperating with law enforcement and aiding them in their investigation. Finally, during Paul's hearing, EF! lawyer Stu Sugarman named Jen Kolar, a former volunteer with the Buffalo Field Campaign, as one of the confidential sources cited in the complaint against Paul.
Despite these daunting challenges, moments of hope and celebration can still be found. On January 25, Mc-
Gowan was released into his sister's custody on $1.6 million bail. He was allowed to return home to New York, where he will be monitored electronically. Judge Ann
Aiken said that the 60 letters she received from McGowan's supporters were a significant factor in her decision to allow his release. The following day, Paul and Savoie also were released on bail.
Currently, four defendants remain in custody: Gerlach, Meyerhoff, Thurston and Tubbs. While Thurston's chances of being released are slim due to his immigration status, Gerlach and her supporters are hopeful that she will be released at a future bail hearing. Both Meyerhoff and Tubbs have been denied bail despite their apparent cooperation with authorities.
Understanding the Green Scare
As we try to make sense of the state's strategy in perpetrating this Green Scare, we must look to the past for guidance. FBI counterintelligence tactics employed against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement in the 1960s and 1970s included disinformation, harassment arrests, infiltration, agent provocateurs, snitch-jacketing, evidence fabrication and assassination. These are well-documented in the book Agents of Repression by Ward Churchill and Jim Vander Wall.
Given the FBI's illegal, immoral and murderous legacy in dealing with other radical movements, there is reason to be skeptical of many aspects of the government's case. It is entirely possible that the FBI has selected individuals known for past work in environmental, animal rights and social justice campaigns, and decided to invent a case against them in order to hobble our movement. Dibee worked on whale conservation projects, Paul was jailed in 1992 for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the ALF and McGowan organized against the 2004 Republican National Convention. Why not go after them?
Radicals' response to snitches—certainly one of the most difficult issues to navigate—has been especially problematic. In our denunciation of snitches, there is often an implicit assumption that these individuals have exposed true information. This view underestimates the depth of the state's villainy and can potentially undermine our support work. The FBI is perfectly capable of persuading individuals to falsely incriminate others. It is possible that agents exploited Ferguson's heroin addiction to make him supply fabricated testimony and that they coerced defendants into falsely implicating others. It is even possible that authorities have lied in court, falsely naming defendants as snitches to breed suspicion and create divisions. Nothing can be taken for granted.
We must also remember that this Green Scare is a public relations scheme designed to leech support from our movement. During the January 20 press conference, Gonzales and Mueller repeatedly referred to the defendants as "terrorists." A DOJ press release bore the headline, "11 Indicted on Domestic Terror
ism Charges." This is completely false.
photos courtesy defendants' personal support groups
Clockwise from upper left: Chelsea Gerlach, Daniel McGowan and Darren Thurston
"Terrorism" is not men-
tioned once in the 83-page indictment, nor were any of the defendants charged under domestic terrorism statutes. But the T-word attracts attention, which was the plan all along. The press conference was scheduled to draw attention away from a contemporaneous democratic congressional resolution condemning the Bush administration's illegal wiretap program. It worked.
The coming months will surely bring more developments. There is much work to be done before the scheduled trial date of October 31. Funds must be raised, support built and visibility heightened. We must do our best to understand the state's plan for winning convictions and destroying our movement. And always, we must be vigilant. The forces of repression won't stop here.
Long Live Avalon!
Bill Rodgers, 1965-2005
by Friends of the Catalyst Infoshop
We mourn the passing of our dear friend and fellow community member, Bill "Avalon" Rodgers, who tirelessly worked for the causes of social justice and environmental sustainability. A long-time Earth Firstler, Bill was involved in many campaigns, including Cove/Mallard, Warner Creek and Mt. Graham.
We ask that he be remembered as the gentle, kind and compassionate person we all knew and loved here in Prescott, Arizona. We remain committed to continuing the work of community building and ecological responsibility, through the Catalyst Infoshop, as part of the legacy Bill helped to create. We wish our friend the peace and serenity that he strived so hard to manifest in this world.
At a small gathering the evening we learned of his passing, we recalled funny stories about Bill: his packrat alter ego, how he was the ultimate recycler and how he smiled even when he disagreed with you. His court- appointed attorney called him "a beautiful man with high principles," and friends chalked "live wild" on Prescott sidewalks in his honor.
Bill was a deeply principled and complex man, living a life oriented almost entirely around his activism to protect old-growth forests and wild places. He made just enough money to keep gas in his truck, and he spent the bulk of his days in the forests and deserts of the West. Bill was a wilderness guide and environmental educator who introduced adults to the principles of deep ecology and acted as an articulate warrior for the wild. He was never afraid to speak the truth as he understood it, and he was not afraid to take a stand against power—however risky. Bill was one of the brightest, most thoughtful people in our community; his insight and depth when he shared his thoughts on a subject were always well worth taking home and pondering. From catching (and releasing) live mice and crawling through a cave opening the size of a coat hanger to speaking for those without a voice, he will be well remembered.
Bill was such a thoroughly good-natured man. We are all richer for knowing him and having him with us, and we are all poorer for the loss of his wonderful, caring soul. We remember the inspiring conversations, and our amazement at someone so gentle and non-aggressive having such positive, powerful hopes for the world. Words cannot express our impressions of this very human soul, nor can they contain the shock, anger, sadness and confusion about his death. Still, we will draw strength from this tragic loss to our community, and we will rededicate ourselves to the movements for the Earth, peace and justice. We know Bill would have wanted as much.
Casualty or free spirit, saboteur or man of principle, guilty or innocent—no matter. Bill was a kind, compassionate and gentle man who should never have been imprisoned. We ask that his untimely death remind us all of what is truly important in life, while inspiring personal growth. We know that it is now more important than ever to keep pushing forward. Endless tears on this dark night, but no fading memories or forgotten names—it will go down in action!
Spanish ALF Liberates 28 Beagles in Memory of Bill Rodgers
On January 1, in the first few hours of the new year, the Spanish Animal Liberation Front (ALF) entered the Veterinary Medicine Facility at the Independent University of Madrid. While politicians throughout Spain were celebrating the beginning of 2006, the ALF scoured the animal facility and found 28 caged beagles who had been sentenced to torture and death by university vivisectors.
Within minutes, the ALF had broken the cages and rescued each beagle. Among the dogs was a litter of puppies Page 8 Earth First! Eostar 2006 bom earlier that same night. Having been caged outdoors in frigid temperatures and horrific conditions, and despite efforts made by a veterinarian, four of them did not survive.
One of the rescued dogs was later discovered to be pregnant with up to six puppies. According to the ALF communique, "These puppies will be born and live in an environment of affection and happiness, and they will never know what a laboratory is. This action we want to dedicate to William C. Rodgers."
Finding Meaning in the Great Environmental Inquisition
movement—the fate of our quest to save what's left before it's all too late.
SPECIAL EDITION____________ June 16, 1989
I am overwhelmed by the number of alleged Earth liberation prisoners facing or doing prison time. Friends, acquaintances and people whose names I have never heard before are threatened with or are serving lengthy jail sentences for acts of vandalism or civil disobedience, in which no humans were hurt and in which the stated goal was the defense of the Earth.
The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is not synonymous with radical environmentalism or with Earth First!. Nor are all of the arrested individuals clearly connected to Earth First!, the ELF or any other strain of radical environmentalism. And yet, I feel as though our community is under attack and that somehow, meaning for these events needs to be found.
Within activist social circles, fear resounds. Dangerous Internet rumors circulate about unconfirmed snitches. We are reminded not to trust anyone. And then there is the anger. Fucking snitches. Fucking police informants. People debate how to handle the situation.
FBI ATTACKS EARTH FIRST!
FOREMAN, MILLETT, 2 OTHERS ARRESTED
Is this the time to defend and explain actions of Earth and animal liberation, or is this the time to loudly declare "innocent until proven guilty" and "unconstitutional political repression?"
But above all of these emotions is the overwhelming need to understand. What does all this mean? For those arrested? For the ELF? For our communities? For Earth First! and radical environmentalism?
I have always believed that increased repression of any radical or revolutionary movement by government authorities was a sign of success—symptomatic of the increased threat a movement posed against the culture and political system it tackled. Yet history shows the detrimental effect of government oppression. For example, the Palmer Raids weakened the Industrial Workers of the World, while COINTELPRO significantly disrupted the American Indian Movement and the Black Panther Party. This historical paradox lends an increased urgency to the current situation, amplifying my desire to understand the events. For it seems that the meaning of these grand jury indictments and other Earth and animal liberation cases holds some secret as to the future of our
Yet the truth is that we've seen this all before. This is not the first time that the government has put ecodefenders behind bars for lengthy prison sentences. Jeffrey "Free" Lu- ers was sentenced five years ago. Tre Arrow made the FBI's most wanted list more than two years ago. As for the charge of terrorism, didn't our movement face (and survive) similar attacks with the bombing of Judi Bari, not to mention the case against the Arizona 5? Nor is this the first time our movement has dealt with police informants and snitches.
The real questions are: To what extent will the USA PATRIOT Act and other post-9/11 phenomena affect the conviction rate and sentence length for radicals? To what extent will the labeling of environmentalists as "terrorists" affect radical environmental recruitment and organizing?
Not being a lawyer, I can only hazard uninformed speculation as to the first question. So I'll leave that be. As for the second, I think that we have a great deal of control over how these charges— and potential convictions—affect us as a movement.
In many ways, I think this is a key time to return to some of the fundamentals of our movement and our communities. This is the time to go hiking or camping—to merge ourselves with the very wilderness that we desire to protect. After spending a day as a guest of the Sonoran desert, I found that the government attacks upon our movement meant less. I remembered the humble role of humanity in the larger world. More importantly, I reconnected with my core motivations for defense of the Earth.
This is also the time to gather 'round the campfire, sing songs and tell stories. Humorous stories, music and mayhem can reinvigorate the flame in us all. The core of EF! has always been more than just a determination and dedication to take outrageous and necessary actions in the defense of the planet. It has equally been the laughter, music and good times that bind us all together.
There is no better time for us to remember who we are as a community and why we do what we do.
Soledad was once a Cascadian, and Cascadia will always be her home. She is thankful to be connected to a movement full of people always teaching her deeper meanings of community.
Freelance Infiltrator Sparks Thought-Crime Indictment
The recent FBI sweep did not stop with the arrests of December 7, like many had hoped (see EF!J January-February 2006). On January 13, the FBI arrested three people suspected of planning alleged Earth Liberation Front (ELF) actions. Lauren Weiner, Eric McDavid and Zachary Jenson were arrested in Auburn, California, on charges unrelated to the December arrests. They are accused of plotting to destroy a cell phone tower, a fish hatchery, the Nimbus Dam on the American River and the US Forest Service's Institute of Forest Genetics in Placerville, California. All have been charged with one count of felony conspiracy to damage or destroy public and private
Anna has since been publicly outed on various websites that feature photos and descriptions of her. The FBI's criminal complaint states that Anna has worked as an informant in 12 different cases against the "anarchist movement." Anna attended many gatherings, including last Summer's Biodemocracy protests and Pointless Festival in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, protests against the Organization of American States in Florida, Feral Visions in North g Carolina, and Crimethlnc. gatherings in Indiana and Iowa. She attempted to get ins' volved with the Pittsburgh Or- | ganizing Group after the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas protests in Miami, Florida, and she returned months later to do a presentation on the
infrastructure by explosives or fire. They are all facing five to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Weiner was released on $1.2 million bail on January 20, with the condition that she remain at her mother's house in New York. McDavid and Jenson were not as lucky. Labeled as "threats to flee,” they were both denied bail. They are being held at the Sacramento County Jail and have criticized the treatment they are receiving, particularly being denied vegan meals.
At their arraignment on January 26, Weiner, Jenson and McDavid pleaded not guilty to the charges. A status hearing before Judge Morrison England is set for February 14.
Most of the "evidence" cited in the FBI's criminal complaint relates to the arrestees' lifestyle of train hopping, hitchhiking and reading books published by Crimethlnc. The FBI's case also relies heavily on testimony from a civilian confidential source (CS) with no background or training.
The CS—who has used the aliases Anna, Anna Addison, Anna Davies, Grai and Damiani—apparently infiltrated this group of friends for six months and urged them to commit ELF actions. She has been working as an informant for the FBI for two years in exchange for $75,000 and living expenses. The FBI also provided her with money for purchasing supplies, such as ingredients for the alleged explosives, a computer and a cabin in Dutch Flats, California. The cabin was allegedly outfitted with audio and video surveillance equipment.
Group of Eight (G8) before quickly disappearing again. She also emailed a Scottish activist group "wanting to do filming specifically on British and European protest tactics and organizing strategies" against the G8. In most cases, Anna would pose as a medic or do-it-yourself filmmaker in order to move freely from campaign to campaign.
The criminal complaint also presents Jenson's LiveJournal and MySpace accounts as evidence. These websites, which often contain fictionalized personal profiles and journal entries, were cited extensively at Jenson's detention hearing. At one point, the US attorney entered into evidence one of Jenson's blog entries referring to a dream. Likewise, the listing of his occupation on his MySpace profile as "an assassin" was used to characterize him as being a dangerous threat. The electronic journals also allude to illegal activity, as well as areas that McDavid and he visited.
Jenson is currently requesting a private attorney, declaring that he was misrepresented by his public defender. Supporters are encouraged to organize local fundraisers to raise the $25,000 needed to hire a private lawyer.
Weiner, Jenson and McDavid need support, including letters, books, money for legal defense and assistance in obtaining legal counsel. Please familiarize yourself with prisoner support and letter writing before taking any steps that could potentially harm a prisoner's legal affairs.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Sacramento Prisoner Support, POB 163126, Sacramento, CA 95816; email@example.com.
Ten Lessons from the Criminalization of Dissent
by Camilo Viveiros
In the aftermath of the 2000 Republican National Convention, 1 was charged with multiple felonies and accused of assaulting several police officers, including then Philadelphia Police Chief John Timoney. I approached my case with the attitude that the only way to stop the attempts to criminalize me—and dissent in general—was to organize more effectively than the forces of the state that wanted to shove me into prison. Largely due to successful organizing strategies and community solidarity, I was acquitted after three-and-a-half years.
Today, we face similar challenges and must adopt similar strategies in fighting those who wish to put our comrades behind bars and criminalize our visions.
Right now, the state is sending a message to radical environmentalists around the country. It is using its power in an attempt to dismantle our networks and neutralize our militancy. How will we use our power and resources to oppose this force? How are we going to frame our message? What alliances will we build to support our imprisoned comrades?
We can't let intimidation and fear outweigh our commitment to solidarity. We need to challenge the armchair "radicals" who rationalize the conviction of our comrades as an inevitable result of state repression. Our success in achieving social and environmental victories—in this situation and all others—depends upon the ability of passionate activists to gain the support of ordinary people.
Lesson One: Do Not Focus on Guilt or Innocence
It is not legally or politically useful to speculate about or emphasize the innocence of those arrested. Building your support efforts around innocence is like building a house out of a deck of cards. You don't want support to vanish if convictions are handed down or if those being supported plead guilty.
Lesson Two: Don't Spread Fear and Paranoia
Our security culture needs to be revamped, but we cannot let fear of repression or snitches inhibit aboveground work. Without much larger numbers of people participating in and supporting radical solutions to environmental and social problems, we will be easily contained and neutralized. Our own paranoia can close doors, and it feeds into the very marginalization that the state is trying to create.
This is not a new
concern. Noted activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has said, "1 remember in the 1960s when all the terrible things started to happen, like COINTELPRO, the movement became so shut down. Mistrust grew. People were reluctant to let anyone in. New people didn't know how to join the movement; they were made to feel unwelcome. We have to build it to be stronger."
Lesson Three: Your Support Does Matter
It's easy to feel that our actions will have no impact on the ultimate outcome of a trial, but this is not the case. The support that I received throughout the five- year period between my arrest and my acquittal was essential to my own psychological wellbeing. Support groups can also aid with legal research, grassroots investigation and evidence gathering, which all help to strengthen a defense.
Remember that the outreach we do for the defendant is crucial, since political trials are influenced by public sentiment. The judge in my case actually heard radio coverage of an event held by my supporters. The awareness that my supporters created diminished the power of my adversaries.
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Lesson Four: An Injury to One is an Injury to All
The charges filed against individuals are meant to send a message to the rest of us. These cases are attempts to impede our collective ability to wage struggles against injustice. If we sit by and let repression build, it will weaken our ability to resist future persecution. We must set the course of history and prove that they can't intimidate us. Together we are powerful.
We must ask ourselves: Are we creating a culture of resistance that romanticizes action but shirks solidarity? Those who rejoiced when Vail burned must now defend those charged with that action and others like it.
Some environmentalists and social justice activists are OK with the feds wanting blood from accused "ecoterrorists," forgetting that this blood will be used to smear any movement that becomes a threat. The feds will use any convictions they gain to justify increased political repression toward the rest of us.
Lesson Five: Combating Marginalization
Besides attacking radicals and revolutionaries, repression attempts to squelch and sterilize dissent. The state knows that it is not our actions themselves that pose a threat to its power, but rather the possibility that non-ac- tivists will recognize radical action as something more than unconstructive, suicidal or impossible. Our enemies want to scare people away from participating in radical action and supporting radical solutions.
The authorities attempt to marginalize us, and they coopt some of our demands to make us seem unreasonable. It is time for us to be honest: We need a lot more power than we currently have for us to succeed in stopping the environmental destruction and social injustice that surrounds us.
We must strive to create the conditions that the state fears. We need to create more than radical niches and small communities of revolutionaries, rebels and insurgents. If we want to walk our talk, it is necessary to nurture broad-based links with diverse groups who will acknowledge connection to us and recognize that we have interests in common.
Lesson Six: Map Our Connections
When looking to build broader support, we need to map out our personal web of connections. This includes our ethnic and religious heritages, and the places and communities to which we are connected. Who can we mobilize? Who can support us?
Repression can be the time to reconnect with our family and friends on our own terms. When I was facing felony charges, I tried to remember all of the people and organizations that I had ever been associated with—I even contacted the folks that I had gone to high school with. We might be surprised where solidarity comes from.
This is also a great time to talk about ourselves—who we are, what we value and why. Inadvertently, my case turned me from a behind- the-scenes organizer into a spokesperson for the radical movement. By showing who we really are, we can turn the negative situation of repression into a positive outreach scenario.
Lesson Seven: Expand Our Base of Support Through Networks of Solidarity
Most people simply aren't interested in "civil liberties" or "the right to dissent," let alone the right to break unjust laws or to challenge the assets of exploitative institutions. This does not mean that we shouldn't work to change the interests of the majority. But we should recognize that we can build broader support if we emphasize our tangible contributions to the community over our particular tactics.
This was the main thrust of the defense around my case. We highlighted the valuable contributions that I had made to the community and my ongoing commitment to organizing. Even if people did not believe that I was innocent, many supported me because they knew that the fight against landlords, as well as environmental and economic injustice, would be weakened by my absence. They knew this because I had worked with them for years to address these issues. By illustrating why jail would deprive the community of a valuable and constructive person, we were able to steer the focus away from the legal questions and the terrain of the state. Instead, we showed how the government would waste resources by imprisoning those contributing to the social good.
Many community organizations are descended from historical movements that, at one point, were marginalized and criminalized by authorities. The suffrage movement, the slavery abolitionists, the labor movement, ethnic and immigrant struggles for justice, and even those seeking religious freedom—all these movements have gone through times when they were painted as villains and violent troublemakers. We need to reach out to members of various organizations, and we must fight against political amnesia by reminding them of their past.
Our support work should also include a recognition of the repression faced by immigrants and people of color. We should build upon our common interest in eradicating and preventing the growth of the prison industrial complex. We should learn from the ways that restorative justice advocates have utilized economic issues as a way to reduce the popularity of expenditures for criminal injustice. We should highlight how more funding would be available for housing, health care and other services if the state were not Squandering taxpayers' money to persecute and punish activists.
One more way to bridge this gap is to emphasize the ways that repression maintains systems of oppression and injustice. Our challenge is to foster principled alliances with others who share a common enemy, so that when we are under attack, others will come to our aid. Many marginalized seniors and tenants, who never would have gone to a political prisoner event, showed support for me because they related to the way I was criminalized by the police. I learned that we gain a much larger base of support when we highlight the role of repression in maintaining common systems of oppression.
But these alliances are strongest when they are well established. The day-to-day solidarity and organizing work that we engage in is a social insurance that can be harvested when under attack.
Lesson Eight: Racism and Resources
If we do not cite the ways that class and color affect our ability to get justice, then we perpetuate the myth that speaking "truth to power" is enough. In reality, access to resources improves one's chances of countering the significant resources of the state.
We cannot expect to receive solidarity from oppressed communities if we don't acknowledge and ally ourselves with their historic and ongoing struggle against forces of criminalization. Ignoring or denying privilege and racism will only isolate us further and play into the state's caricature of the radical environmental movement as out of touch with the working class and communities of color.
In my case, I made it a point to acknowledge that the support and the resources that I received were helping me to fight injustice in a way that many could not. I spoke about the systemic injustice of the prison industrial complex: Many languish behind bars without support, lacking the resources to build their case, find witnesses and gather evidence. We should use our work against the repression of eco-activists to highlight these dynamics rather than obscure them.
The day-to-day solidarity and organizing work that we engage in is a social insurance that can be harvested when under attack.
Lesson Nine: Strategic Thinking
What does being strategic really mean? It means making a plan on how to achieve goals and monitoring your success along the way. It means learning from mistakes and thinking carefully about how to outwit—and out- organize—your enemy.
Just as the forces of repression try to isolate us from our support, we need to isolate them from their own base. In my case, we discovered that John Timoney—the cop who was charging me—had worked with the British Army's efforts against the Irish Republican Army. We publicized this to the Irish Republican segments of the New York community—including the police—to divide Timoney from one of his bases of support. Through a combination of lobbying and disruptive tactics, we made Timoney unwelcome at police accountability conferences. By mobilizing community groups from multiple cities, we were even able to cost him his job as security consultant for the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Lesson 10: Stopping Nightmares and Fulfilling Visions
In Uruguay, organizations like the Plenary for Memory and Justice confront and expose torturers active in the CIA-backed dirty war. When these organizations talk about justice, they do not just mean finding out what happened to their disappeared comrades. They are also working to fulfill their fallen comrades' visions of freedom and justice for everyone. We need to stay focused and continue the work of those who are under attack by the state.
Success in achieving justice for our comrades and realizing our radical visions is dependent not only on our willingness to put our bodies on the line in direct action, but also on our ability to acknowledge that we can be crushed easily by the state unless we are constantly building and expanding our base of power.
Today's nightmare for our locked-up comrades should be our wake-up call to re-evaluate and reinvest in our strategies for bringing our visions to fruition. By building networks of solidarity, talking about the community work done by our comrades, making connections with the struggles of immigrants and people of color against the prison industrial complex, and organizing the unorganized, we will be better able to counter state repression and create the world we are striving toward. If we do not, the future—for our comrades, ourselves and the Earth—is bleak.
Camilo Viveiros is a community organizer from Fall River, Massachusetts, who encourages radical activists to do more outreach and power analysis to develop revolutionary approaches to community organizing and popular education. He believes that repression can breed resistance but only if we strategize and organize. He faced more than 100 years behind bars if convicted of the charges waged at him by John Timoney.
The Empire Strikes Back
Arizona Earth First! Trial Just the Beginning
by Ben Pachano
It started out as the perfect directaction campaign: widespread public support; a focused, committed group of people willing to take risks; and a great relationship with the media that translated into two solid weeks of front-page, top-story coverage. Best of all, we won. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) had wanted to trap or kill four to five mountain lions in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area near Tucson, Arizona, and we forced them to call off the hunt without a single mountain lion sighted (see EF!J May-June 2004).
Sure, there were some problems right off the bat. We were sloppy with security; we all knew it. And despite our plans for a covert and anonymous action, two people were arrested—Rod Coronado and Esquire reporter John Richardson. Things slid downhill from there. From the moment of Coronado and Richardson's arrest, the FBI and federal prosecutors threw everything they had into securing convictions that they hoped would cripple Arizona Earth First! and imprison a longtime target. Now, two years later, two Arizona EF!ers have been convicted of conspiracy, a felony, and face up to 7.5 years in prison.
The days of fun and games are over. We thought that we could be lazy with security because after all, it was just a hunt sab, right? Now two of our friends are facing hard time for "conspiring to influence public opinion"—as the prosecutor put it—in a case with dire implications for direct activists across the country. And as FBI raids, grand juries and federal indictments nationwide demonstrate, this is only the beginning.
The Lions, the Witches and the Warriors
After a long jury selection process, the trial of EF! warriors Coronado and Matt Crozier began in earnest on December 7. Unlike Coronado, who had been arrested in Sabino Canyon, Crozier was pulled out of his bed by FBI agents nine months later and indicted, along with Coronado, on a new felony charge. These indictments, "coincidentally," came right after Arizona EF!'s first successful sandhill crane hunt sab.
After months of back-and-forth by lawyers, the duo eventually went to trial on one felony charge—conspiracy to injure or interfere with a federal officer—and two misdemeanors—interfering with a US Forest Service (USFS) officer and depredation of government property—for springing a $50 lion snare. Richardson was only charged with the misdemeanors.
It quickly became clear that the prosecutors were not going to play by the rules. According to trial procedure, the courtroom debate should have been limited to whether Coronado and Crozier broke three specific laws, as charged—and that's what the defense was prepared to talk about. But the witches had other plans.
The prosecutors were—and are— witches, of course, although not in the same sense as the neo-pagans we all know and love. They are witches in the other, indigenous American sense of the term: ones who turn the natural order of the world upside down, corrupting the values of the community and bringing sickness and disaster. Their role in the trial spoke loudly to their allegiance— property, in the form of a mountain lion snare, was more important to them than the lives of five lions. The entire court process was a hideous exercise in black magic, with morality inverted beyond recognition and people put on trial for saving lives.
The prosecutors called up witness after witness to argue that mountain lions are scary and dangerous, and that AZGFD and USFS had no choice but to close Sabino Canyon and kill them. When the defense tried to respond
AZGFD's chief law enforcement officer, John Romero, holds the galaxy tightly in his grip.
to this argument, Judge David Bury scolded them for getting off topic. But slandering lions was only one aspect of the prosecution's values war. From the opening statement through the closing, the prosecutors took every opportunity to tell the jury that urban sprawl is inevitable, that AZGFD and the USFS were just doing their jobs to protect the public—and how would you like it if someone interfered with your job? The jury was told that in this great democracy, there is no excuse for defying the government with anything but words, because the system works so well.
Then there were the witnesses called by the prosecution to lie on the stand. Like AZGFD's chief law enforcement officer, John Romero, who testified that he saw three people digging up a lion snare as he hovered above them in a helicopter. When the defense asked him for details of what he had seen ("Were they digging with their hands or with tools?;" "Did you see dirt and branches flying away from them?;" "What were their legs doing?"), Romero was unable to answer. In the end, his testimony amounted to, "I can't say what they were doing; I just know that they were digging."
The worst, though, were FBI agents Doak Mahlik and Brian Nowak, who had arrested and interrogated Coronado and Crozier. While Crozier did, regrettably, answer questions about himself and admitted to being in Sabino Canyon, he said nothing about the details of his actions or about anyone else who might have been involved. Yet the FBI report of his interrogation, on which Nowak and Mahlik based their testimony, contained pages of things that Crozier never said, including confessions. The defense made a valiant effort to cast doubt on the FBI's credibility, but in the end the jury believed the lies.
By far, the most alarming aspect of the trial was the prosecution's entire approach to the charge of conspiracy. Their "smoking gun," as they called it, was a recording of audio notes that the FBI seized from Richardson when he was arrested. In order to introduce the tapes as evidence, the prosecution argued that a key part of the "conspiracy to interfere with federal agents" was a plot to attract media attention. As part of this heinous "conspiracy to sway public opinion," the prosecution alleged that Richardson entered the canyon to cover the story. Therefore, all his notes were "statements of a coconspirator" and could be admitted.
Judge Bury bought the argument, and the prosecution hit the ground running from there. Statements made to the press declaring EF!'s intention continued on next page
Newmont Implicated in Protester Deaths
Newmont Gold Company operations in a Ghana forest reserve have again come under fire from human rights and environmental activists. In November, the company called in police to break up a roadblock at its mine site. Three people from surrounding villages were shot, one fatally. Following the shooting, it was discovered that Newmont was dumping human sewage into the Asuopre River, which is used for drinking water by communities downstream.
Newmont has seen increasing resistance to its mines, including massive protests and site occupations in Peru, which has led to the abandonment of several projects (see EF!J July-August 2003). The Denver-based company has also been castigated for human rights and environmental violations in Romania, Indonesia and Western Shoshone land in Nevada.
Colombian Forests Threatened by New Law
The Colombian government signed a new bill in December that will open up a half-million square miles of forest—including national parks—to agribusiness interests. The legislation ignores the integrity of ecosystems by stating that trees can be owned separately from the land they are on.
Chemonics International, a US-based international development company and contractor for Plan Colombia, provided experts to help draft the new forest law behind closed doors. Opponents of the bill claim that lawmakers were offered $3,500 each to vote for the legislation. Environmentalists predict that the bill will set back conservation efforts by 50 years.
Arizona Earth Firstlers look out for approaching Arizona Game and Fish Imperial Walkers.
continued from previous page to interfere with the hunt became "threats to federal employees." Video footage taken of hunters and released to an eager television media became "intimidation." When the jury was out of the room, US Assistant District Attorney Wallace Kleindeinst was even less restrained, arguing for the admission of comments on the tapes regarding EF! actions in the Northwest. When the judge asked why these comments would be relevant, Kleindeinst answered, "Because part of the conspiracy was to draw more attention to Earth First! nationwide and to get more people involved in Earth First! activity. And that's what we're here to put a stop to!"
The jury bought it. Coronado and Crozier were found guilty on all three charges, but allowed to remain out of custody until their April sentencing date.
The Shifting Battleground
Legally and politically, the government's victory here in Arizona sets troubling precedents nationwide. With this conviction, the government may feel empowered to pursue "conspiracy to interfere" charges against any activists who take direct action on federally administered land, such as anti-logging activists in the Northwest. A critical part of Arizona EF!'s media strategy—collecting video footage of unpopular hunts in order to galvanize public opposition—may have to be reconsidered. In fact, given the judge's acceptance of the "media as co-conspirator" argument, any mediadependent, direct-action strategy may have suddenly become a lot riskier.
The same week as the Sabino Canyon trial, the FBI carried out a series of raids across the country, charging a handful of people with nearly every major, unsolved ecotage action in the Northwest during the past 10 years. In the succeeding weeks, the arrests, subpoenas and indictments have kept coming. The vast majority of those targeted by these government attacks have been effective aboveground organizers.
Remember when we could protest outside the house of a CEO with no masks, no arrests and no worries?
Those days are over. The charges being leveled for what we used to think of as basic civil disobedience— or even constitutionally protected speech—are getting more severe. The government is determined to lock up effective organizers, whether by filing outrageously extreme charges for minor actions or by charging them for Earth Liberation Front (ELF) or Animal Liberation Front (ALF) actions that they had nothing to do with. Of course the government insisted that Coronado and Crozier conspired to use the media against them—in their minds, that really should be punished by years in prison. Does anybody really believe that this case had nothing to do with Coronado's lifetime of effective organizing and his recent defense of direct action on 60 Minutes?
For years, the government has been saying that the ELF and ALF are the greatest threats to its power, followed closely by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty and Earth First!. Congressional hearings on "ecoterrorism" have become more frequent. If we haven't been listening to that warning, it's time to start. The US government views our movements as a serious threat, and it means to destroy us.
At this time, no other movement is facing such a concerted campaign of government-backed repression and vilification. It is no coincidence that the Earth and animal liberation movements have been singled out, and it's not just because we're effective. After all, the animal liberation movement is far more powerful and focused than the radical environmental movement, but the government goes after both with equally vicious determination. Why?
Because among the social change movements in this country, the Earth and animal liberation movements stand almost alone in challenging the oppression that lies at the heart of the modern way of life. More than war, racism or even imperialism, the global economy depends on the exploitation of nonhuman life. Only our movements offer a powerful moral challenge to the very basis of government and corporate power. And when we publicly challenge our enemies' right to kill for economic growth, we are a terrible threat. The modern death culture cannot tolerate a philosophy that values life over wealth and power, whether it is called "deep
ecology" or "animal rights."
are we to do?
Chuk'shon EFlers during the mountain lion hunt.
The war on-our resistance movements is not new; it is only the details of the attacks that change. On this continent alone, the war has gone on for more than 500 years. Unfortunately, this history contains as many stories of bitter defeat as of triumph. And with life itself at stake, this is a war that our generation does not have the luxury of losing.
Dark Days Ahead
In the aftermath of Coronado and Crozier's conviction and the FBI raids, some local Tucson groups were quick to distance themselves from Earth First!. Nothing, of course, could make the government happier, short of us giving up the fight entirely.
Lots of people have asked what they can do to support Coronado, Crozier and Arizona EF!. Our answer has been to contact AZGFD and give them hell. Give them hell for prosecuting the case and lying on the stand. Give them hell for hunting mountain lions, sandhill cranes, prairie dogs and bighorn sheep. Come with us to public comment hearings or our next hunt sab. Yes, we are going to keep hunt sabbing. Are we going to consider the implications of this verdict when we plan our next action? Of course. Are we going to let it keep us from the field, where the animals need us? No.
Soon everyone in this movement will have to decide where they stand. Aboveground direct action becomes riskier daily, but if we are going to change the values of this death-based culture, we cannot leave all the work to the ELF and ALE So with the battleground shifting and the empire gathering its forces, what
As Arizona EF!, we can say this much: We expect you to fight. No matter what comes, we expect you to stand defiant. We expect you to proudly proclaim your allegiance to the ideals and movements that you hold dear, not to distance yourself from your friends and beliefs because your lawyers and the government have made you afraid. We expect you to remember that the stakes in this war are greater than your own safety or comfort, and that the animals, plants and poor of this world are already taking heavy casualties.
We are proud to be EFlers. We are proud to proclaim that life is more important than anything, and that no law will stop us from defending it. And while there is breath in our bodies, we will fight.
We expect the same of you.
Ben Pachano is a Chuk'shon EF!er.
Judge Reverses Species Protection Removal
In January, a federal judge ruled to retain the Northwest Forest Plan's (NFP) Survey and Manage standard. The judge also ordered the halt of dozens of timber sales in California, Oregon and Washington—a clear victory for forest defenders.
Adopted in 1994, the NFP provides some protections for old- growth forests on federal lands west of the Cascade Mountains. Survey and Manage requires federal agencies to survey old-growth forests for rare plants and wildlife before allowing logging. If such species are found, development plans must be modified to protect them. The Bush administration attempted to eliminate the Survey and Manage section of the NFP in 2003, sparking protests throughout Cascadia.
Biotechnology Crops Unmonitored
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) investigative arm revealed in December that the USDA had failed to monitor thousands of acres of experimental biotechnology crops in all states and US territories, except Vermont, New Hampshire and Nevada. According to the USDA’s report, it "lacks basic information about the field test sites... including where and how the crops are being grown, and what becomes of them at the end of the field test." The inspection made 28 recommendations for monitoring improvements.
In Britain, biotechnology experiments led to the accidental cross-pollination of rapeseed with the wild plant charlock. The new variety of charlock is reportedly resistant to lethal herbicides and has been deemed a "superweed."
As an old North Sea trawler, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Farley Mowat, steamed toward the ends of the Earth, a steel spear jutted out from the starboard bow, pointing to the eight bobbing ships just beyond the horizon. Six of these ships were Japanese "research" vessels intent on doubling an internationally condemned, illegal quota of minke whales and targeting, for the first time since 1985, endangered fin whales.
The other two vessels left Cape Town, South Africa, a week prior to the Farley Mowat's departure from Oceania. Heading to the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in the South Pacific Ocean, these Greenpeace ships sought to witness a crime that remains unpunished—the crime of violating numerous international regulations, among them the United Nations' Moratorium on Commercial Whaling, the Antarctica Treaty and the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species.
The uncompromising Sea Shepherd ship would serve as the law enforcer. The steel spear, affectionately dubbed "the can opener," would do the job of a judge's gavel, pounding the full weight of justice into any ship defying the laws that the world's navies should be upholding.
It wouldn't be until Christmas day,
two weeks into the Antarctic Expedition, that the 8,000-ton Japanese factory ship, the Nisshin Maru, would be spotted on radar. Force-eight seas tossed the Farley Mowat into 40-degree rolls as it inched closer to the factory ship still hidden from view by thick fog. As the Farley Mowat passed the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, it broke into a full-fledged cavalry charge toward the Nisshin Maru.
"Nisshin Maru, leave the area you murdering scumbags," the Sea Shepherd captain's voice boomed over the radio, breaking an eerie silence between the three vessels. "We are not a protest ship, I repeat, we are not a protest ship."
The Nisshin Maru's response was nonverbal and immediate: It turned tail and ran. After fewer than 10 minutes, it turned back, bearing down on the Farley Mowat's portside. The Farley Mowat remained on course, refusing to back down in what had turned into
a deadly game of chicken. The blare of air horns from both ships cut through the ■§. fog. Five blasts for warning. | Another five for collision 2 imminent. But when the 5 captain of the Farley Mowat ordered a mooring line to I be deployed off the stem as | a propeller-fouling deter- | rent, the 8,000-ton masts odon backed down from | the much smaller ship and s retreated at full speed.
So began a chase that would take all nine vessels on a 3,000-mile-long route, from the eastern border of the Australian Antarctic Territory to the extreme west. The Nisshin Maru and the Esperanza gained miles each day at a speed of 16 knots, while the Farley Mowat pushed on at a much slower speed. However, during the next 15 days, not a single whale was killed. The Japanese wouldn't run from Greenpeace, but they ran from Sea Shepherd. Full speed ahead.
They couldn't run forever. As the sun rose on round two of the "War for the Whales," it lit up a calm sea where the Nisshin Maru was transferring whale meat onto a Japanese supply ship, already marked by Greenpeace with the painted words: "Whale Meat from Sanctuary." As soon as the Japanese vessels got a visual on the Farley Mowat, they separated in such a hurry that the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was rammed in the process. Both whaling ships headed north, while three Sea Shepherd zodiacs were sent to chase and slow them down. Lines of rope and steel cable were thrown in front of the rising bow of the Nisshin Maru as the Japanese crew struggled to aim their water cannons at the fast pontoon boats. Yet the lines were to no avail. The Nisshin Maru once again disappeared over the horizon, wasting fuel and money evading Sea Shepherd. Calm seas soon turned rough, and for the second time, a layer of fog covered the battlefield.
"Leave the area you murdering scumbags," the Sea Shepherd captain's voice boomed over the radio. "We are not a protest | ship, I repeat, we are not a
A minke whale harpooned by the Japanese ship Nisshin Mani.
The Farley Mowat wouldn't have to wait another 15 days for action. As the fog dissipated the next morning, a target on the radar began to move slowly. This time around, the Farley Mowat had caught up with the Japanese supply ship, the Oriental Bluebird, which was clearly waiting on the Nisshin Maru to continue its illegal freighting operation. The supply ship stood at a standstill, even after the Farley Mowat ordered it out of the Antarctica Whale Sanctuary. “You are assisting in an illegal operation. With respect to the United Nations World Charter for Nature, leave the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary immediately," the Sea Shepherd captain ordered before bringing the Farley Mowat around to face the supply ship.
The demands were met with silence and inaction, so the Farley Mowat moved forward. As the seconds of silence wore on, the speed of the Farley Mowat increased until its starboard side almost rubbed up against the Oriental Bluebird's portside. Then, with almost a flick of the wrist, the Sea Shepherd captain, on the height of a wave, swung the rudder full to starboard and slammed the "can opener" into the side of the Oriental Bluebird. The screech of metal against metal drowned out both the sound of the sea and the sound of the engine.
The two ships parted with the thud of the Farley Mowat's stern smashing into the hull of the Oriental Bluebird.
As these two ships separated, a black plume shot up out of the Oriental Bluebird's smokestack; it was on its way out of the whale sanctuary. The Farley Mowat, having hit its point-of-no-return fuel reserve three days prior, escorted the Japanese supply ship for two days before being forced to head to the nearest port for refueling. The ship's heaters were turned off and every method to save fuel was utilized as the Farley Mowat, after 40 days at sea, turned its bow to South Africa.
With a shocked and fearful Japanese whaling fleet in its wake, Sea Shepherd plans to return next year with a faster ship—one that can match the speed of the Nisshin Maru. A ship that doesn't just create waves, but makes an impact. Above all else, a ship that can stop illegal whaling, rather than protest it.
For more information, please visit www.seashepherd.org.
Peter is the second mate aboard the Farley Mowat. The Antarctic whaling expedition was his third major campaign with the Neptune's Navy. He still has nightmares from witnessing the Canadian seal slaughter.
Chinese Officials Seize Land, Quiet Protests
Riot police fired into a crowd of demonstrators in December, killing several people in the village of Dongzhou, China. Villagers had been protesting the government's seizure of land to build a wind power plant without just compensation. The police sealed off the village in an attempt to capture the protest organizers and demanded that nearby communities refuse to sell food to the village—an attempt to starve them into submission.
The incident is just one of more than 70,000 protests that occurred throughout China in 2005. The number of protests has been increasing as people living in China's poverty-stricken countryside fight against land seizures, corruption and a widening separation between the wealthy and poor.
Big Brother Tracks Cars in Britain
The Independent reported in December that Britain will become the first country' to record the movements of all vehicles by using a widespread surveillance network. This network will incorporate thousands of existing closed circuit television (CCTV) and traffic cameras to record the license plates of nearly 35 million vehicles each day. The network will save this information for at least two years, allowing law enforcement to determine the location of any vehicle at any time.
In the future, the British police hope to incorporate private CCTV cameras into the project. The government is confident that the spy program will revolutionize crime investigation on a national level and prove indispensable to British domestic intelligence for its value in "counter-terrorism" efforts.
Operation: Take Back the Woods
Sabotaging the New Jersey Bear Hunt
by Win Animal Rights
In December 2003, New Jersey sanctioned its first black bear hunt, disregarding the protests of local environmental and animal rights advocates. A number of activists, who would later form Win Animal Rights (WAR), got our first look at what amounted to a statewide bear slaughter. That year, we showed our opposition to the hunt through conventional protests, letter writing and an endless stream of phone calls to elected officials.
We entered the woods, and for the first time, we saw what the hunters had been hiding: bait stations loaded with jelly doughnuts and bagels laced with honey and bacon grease. We saw tree stands within 300 feet of these bait stations and ATV tracks in the woods—both illegal according to New Jersey regulations. We tuned in to open radio channels and, to our horror, heard hunters bragging about rousting and shooting bears who had already gone to den for the Winter. It was then that we realized that this wasn't a hunt conducted by "sportsmen." It was nothing short of government- sanctioned bear assassination.
Those of us who were in the woods of New Jersey in 2003 recall hearing the first rifle shots. We flinched at the thought that the first bear in 33 years might be dying at the hands of a scumbag hunter. We remember seeing the first bear delivered to the Wawayanda State Park weigh station and hoisted into the air, her blood puddling on the snow-covered ground.
One of our saddest moments was watching a hunter pull a limp, black body from the back of his station wagon. At first, we thought it was a Labrador retriever, but it turned out to be a bear cub, no bigger than the family dog. Was this one of the scary black bears that the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife was convinced would threaten the safety of residents?
As the hunters returned triumphantly with their kill in tow, we were horrified to discover that the majority of bears slaughtered that day were young females and cubs. Who will ever forget the mortally wounded bear cub who staggered out onto the highway to die slowly—a horrific scene witnessed by countless New Jersey commuters, in-
cluding many children?
By the end, the 2003 bear slaughter had claimed the lives of 328 bears. More than 200 of these were females, who most likely left orphaned cubs behind to die of starvation or predation. We promised ourselves that next season, we would defend the bears from this inhumane and senseless carnage.
In 2004, the New Jersey Fish and Game Council (NJFGC) sanctioned another bear hunt. This time, however, Environmental Protection Commissioner Bradley Campbell was swayed by significant public opposition to the hunt. He stonewalled the hunt and forced the case into the state courts, which eventually ruled to suspend the hunt.
During last year's gubernatorial campaign, candidate Jon Corzine was unequivocal about his opposition to the hunt. However, once elected, he yielded to relentless pressure from the hunter-controlled NJFGC and permitted the hunt.
In November, WAR launched "Operation: Take Back the Woods" and issued a call for bear defenders. Our recruitment flyer announced, "Wanted: Warriors. Now Recruiting Bear Hunt Saboteurs." We offered a fast-track training program for those determined to defend the bears. The response from animal and Earth activists was overwhelmingly positive.
One of the first things we discovered while preparing for the hunt sab was that studying hunting websites and other publications provided valuable insight into the strategies of bear hunters. Also, New Jersey government publications and regulations included a wealth of information about the location and topography of state lands open to hunting. Pro-hunting bulletin boards and discussion forums unknowingly acted as tools for our hunt sabbers in training.
A week before the official start of the bear hunt, teams infiltrated the killing fields. The first field reports were received on December 4, the eve of the hunt: "Animal liberation warriors have taken to the field in defense of native forest dwellers. Numerous tree stands that were previously sighted are no longer visible. Something appears to have happened to them during the night. Doughnut-laced bait stations were sighted, but reports indicate that they may have been compromised by mysterious ammonia-like substances. Fluorescent trail markers seem to have been repositioned. We sure hope that Elmer has a compass, as he may become 'vewy, vewy confused.' Bear tracks and scat have been obliterated and are now covered by the falling snow. Orange markers appear to have been randomly scattered throughout the woods, adding to the confusion."
In the first days of the hunt, our own bear defenders reported that the woods were teeming with non-hunters. Day-glow orange T-shirts of the Wounded Bear Rescue Team and Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting were everywhere. Activists from the New Jersey Animal Rights Alliance and the Bear Group maintained a peaceful presence as they hiked the woods. When hunters and activists did come face to face, the hunters taunted activists with curses and racial slurs. Hunters even killed a bear in close proximity to an activist's backyard, leaving its heart in the bloody snow to further torment those who care about their bear neighbors. Later, these same hunters orchestrated a sting operation, which resulted in four aboveground activists being arrested on trumped- up charges. Throughout the six-day hunt, bear defenders were actively working in the woods, often under the cover of darkness. Not a single WAR bear defender was arrested during the hunt.
Although 297 bears were murdered in this year's hunt, more would have died had it not been for the courage of those who stood firm in defense of the bears. These bears impact no one except the greedy land developers who wish to rape and pillage the bears' homes. Bears are not encroaching on our territory; we are encroaching on theirs. Instead of finding a peaceful solution—a way to cohabit the woods—they are sold out and delivered into the hands of cowardly assassins who lure them with treats and shoot them when their backs are turned. What we find most amazing is that the bears have harmed no one. Still, the state of New Jersey feels that safety dictates the need to send out killers to neutralize them.
It's time that we all said "Enough!" We will stand in defense of the wild and fight.
For more information, visit www.war-online.org.
WAR is dedicated to continuing the fight until the woods are safe and open for the enjoyment of all animals, human and non-human.
Outlaw Wolves: Can the Ghosts of the Past Survive the Future?
Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West, by Michael /. Robinson, University of Colorado Press, 2005.
Michael Robinson's Predatory Bureaucracy couldn't be more timely. After reading Robinson's book, during Representative Richard Pombo's move to eradicate the Endangered Species Act (ESA), I will never again ignore a legislative alert to defend the ESA (see EF!J November-December 2005). Additionally, I have a new respect and understanding for the symbolic power of wolves (wily and resourceful as they are), their biological importance and the horrific extent to which they were extirpated from the West.
In Predatory Bureaucracy, I learned that the last wild wolf of the Great Plains was killed in 1923. Wyoming's last wolf was shot in 1940, and Colorado's last wild wolf was captured in 1945. Consequently, almost every existing wolf population in the US results from struggling reintroduction programs built from captive-breeding projects.
Yet Robinson constantly reminds us how resourceful and wild these wolves remain, refusing to completely fall victim to pioneer bounty hunters, decades of federally coordinated predator control, immense habitat loss and local extirpation. Despite it all, a few outlaw wolves always manage to survive.
Robinson, who works as the Center for Biological Diversity's carnivore conservation coordinator, combines direct and detailed narrative with heart-tugging photos and stories of the fate faced by dozens of individual wolves. He reveals how bureaucratic inertia and wealthy ranching interests came to so thoroughly dominate the potential for wolf survival. And he impressively blends historical research, current biological knowledge and acute analysis of the political landscape to shed new light on the struggles that many of us face in our own work with federal agencies on issues ranging from wolf recovery to federal lands logging to pesticide regulations.
One of this book's most important contributions is its refreshing take on the ESA. Robinson convincingly weaves together the controversy following Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, the predator control program's use of poisons and the Nixon administration's surprising environmental agenda.
So whatever the issue is closest to your heart, prepare to be both depressed and inspired by Predatory Bureaucracy. And don't give up hope yet—for as Robinson documents, the outlaw wolves remain.
Armed with Visions
Clear as cut glass & just as dangerous[[
The Growing People
To my teacher, the plants are growing people.
He tells us this as we sit in a dimly lit auditorium in the forestry building built to look like a ski lodge.
He is alive as he speaks of the yucca root for soap making and pinyon sap for coughing and juniper smoke for healing spirit wounds.
I know that the artificial room doesn’t diminish his power, but that he is not at home here, uncomfortable.
I pretend we are out on his ranch, kneeling over little onions and mints just popping out of the springtime soil.
In the distance, I envision his sheep and cows and horses, silently chewing their cud, watching us.
They are the four leggeds, no different than us, the two leggeds, or the plants they eat, the growing people. He tells us to talk to the plants, sing to the plants, honor the plants, give prayers to the plants.
He says, three times:
We don’t just take, always give back We don’t just take, always give back We don’t just take, always give back.
He says, three times:
They are not just plants, but people They are not just plants, but people They are not just plants, but people
I walk out of the classroom into the forestry building atrium decorated with stiff polyester factory made couches and plaques on the wall commemorating institutional and academic achievements.
There is a celebration underway, which we must walk through to leave the building. The partygoers are white women in flowered dresses and makeup applied to hide their age, standing submissively next to their partners, old white men in suits and ties.
One of them has a knife in hand, its blade inches away from a fat white sheet cake with white sugary frosting and words in green gel celebrating the centennial.
A hundred years. A hundred years of what?
Fire suppression, clear cutting, separation from the land, dominance, power.
To the ones in control, the plants are an easy means to an end.
To my teacher, the plants are the growing people.
#\\ rights reser^ Send poe^s
Starting to blend in.
A balance; dirt and tan gathered over miles of desert.
Sand and mud layered on top of each other stratified, plateau like, mimicking this place.
Monoclines formed where skin has peeled away. Canyons of wrinkles.
My body a mirror of this very land. Now part of this landscape, losing myself in the starlight, I cast no shadow.
—Left-Handed Hunter Kachina
they don’t like to see you
being so free
So they come with their arms
You can hear them loading up
You can hear them
egging each other on
to find some courage
& run you out of all decent company
But they have no courage
except for the numbers they buy
They never lose
So they drive you out of the day time & into the night time
The nerves of their consciences are deadened but when the sun’s going down & the sky’s opening in darkness
The echoes of your howl still rattle their brains & make their hearts beat wildly
Because despite everything to the contrary they love you madly
Can’t really live without you in fact
they don’t like to see you
being so free
But you don’t care about what they like
You throw your head back
& let go a howl
that will echo wild & free in every atom even in the atoms
they sometimes call their bodies
New Chimney Farm
This morning the field is full of trucks, tractor trailers with pieces of a house soon to stand where last year ' there was forest.
This morning the turtle who spent the week laying eggs in the sand beside the road lies crushed on the pavement, eyes open, still breathing and just yards down the road, the squirrel has already died. These are the first signs. We leave the earth a cleared place, spaces where the woods were, spaces where the turtles were, what becomes of the world, with us in it.
I will move the beautiful bodies into a woods of their own.
What the woods were like when you and I, younger, walked our way into quiet, another kind of time, when birds sang from the trees. Owl, osprey, bald eagle or fox, crossing the ice, deer, otter, spots of sunshine where mushrooms lift, or hemlock, pine duff, under beech, lady slipper and luna moth, without fear of what was here, now, we wander new roads, our hearts broken no feathers in our hands.
Ravens all year round, eight deer in the field, loons up from the underworld, smaller birds, at every moment this land sung over we hear their songs, learn to sing along.
trying to burn my heart with every loss, that pine tree, those lady slippers, eagle perch, where the deer were, and more, more subtle the wider roads, cleared spaces, soil moving downhill in rain more light every new change a loss, houses in the woods.
Deer brought dry grasses by the mouthful.
artwork by Snowdrop
porcupines brought sweet bark, raccoon brought lichens and mosses, fox, no longer waiting for lightning, brought matches.
raven kept watch as the dark building site brightened.
EF! In the Big Easy?
by Dave Pike
I drove into New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 22, as Hurricane Rita— the second massive storm to hit the US Gulf Coast—was approaching. Unlike other times I've driven a vehicle into an action, I wasn't smiling at all.
I listened alternately to the National Weather Service and to truckers on the CB radio. Approaching Lake Pontchartrain, truckers confirmed that the causeway was still open, so I telephoned my destination one more time to get the latest on police roadblocks. I was told to keep my emergency medical technician credentials handy and go for it.
Navigating the highways and debris- strewn streets with my atlas, I convinced the New Orleans police that I was allowed to enter, and I reached the Common Ground Health Clinic in Algiers, New Orleans, at noon. I spent the next eight days working every daylight hour, caring for people in need and moving through a wrecked and nearly deserted city.
I can't really explain why, as an Earth Firstler, I went to join the relief effort at Common Ground. When I saw what was happening after Katrina, I simply knew that I had to help. This was when Noah and Roger, medics
I can’t really explain why, as an Earth Firstier, I went to join the relief effort.... I simply knew that I had to help.
I had met during Mountain Justice Summer (MJS), came rushing through North Carolina to get down to New Orleans. I hooked them up with the medical supplies left over from MJS, and they used these to establish what was then the only medical facility in Algiers. The Common Ground Health Clinic is a free health-care clinic, which at one month old was recognized as the most successful clinic in all of New Orleans by representatives of area health-care agencies.
I used skills that I had gained in my years with Earth First!. I recognized the need to use a sanitizing rinse when washing dishes in our kitchen, even though it was indoors. I performed some decent tarpology to provide shade and shelter for people and supplies. I kept calm when encountering the National Guard and the frequently antagonistic police, aiding people with injuries and sickness, and driving through debris and destruction everywhere. And I played a part in the consensus-based decisions at the clinic.
When I went to the bayous south of Houma, Louisiana, prepared to bivouac, I found that everything was covered in a thick layer of toxic mud. Some houses had four inches of it inside. The Native American communities in this
GroenFront! Takes on NATO Airbase
When NATO announced its plan to log a 50-acre woodland to "improve airspace" for its wildly unpopular, noisy, pollution-spewing miltary base near Schinveld, Netherlands, GroenFront! leapt into arboreal action.
GroenFront! maintained a treesit village and ground occupation for more than a month. On January 10, 20 vans of riot police, hundreds of regular officers and police dogs assailed the occupation and arrested 103 people, including dozens of locals.
Although ultimately unsuccessful, the actions radicalized the surrounding communities, with more than 1,000 people visiting the forest encampment. Schinveld’s town council had earlier attempted to stop the logging, but it was overruled by the central government.
Redwoods Action at Nanning Grove
On December 9, dozens of forest defenders took their concerns about old-growth logging in Nanning Grove to Pacific Lumber's headquarters in Scotia, California. When a logging truck made its way out of the gate, two women courageously blocked the truck and then climbed atop the single massive, ancient log it carried. The women were eventually arrested, but not before another protester was pepper sprayed, arrested and then hospitalized as the result of a severe asthma attack provoked by the spray.
Nanning Grove is one of the last areas of high-quality habitat for the endangered marbled murrelet on California's North Coast.
Treetop Resistance in Scotland Park
Anti-road protesters targeting the A68 bypass took their struggle to the trees this Winter. A three-month-long occupation of Dalkeith Country Park began in October, including walkways through the pines, an underground tunnel and many treesits spanning the construction corridor. In January, police initiated an eviction, removing the multi-level occupation and arresting 31 activists over the course of 10 days.
Despite the devastation to the park following the evictions, the campaign to prevent the bypass is far from over. New challenges to the construction are already in the works.
Alpine Communities Fight High-Speed Rail
Protests in Italy against a new high-speed train system reached a high point in December, as 50,000 people
area were, and still are, in a state of deep poverty and neglect—much like the folks left to die in New Orleans.
I ended up cofounding a relief group, the Four Directions Relief Project, which is specifically focused on solidarity work with tribes in southwest Louisiana. Here the uniqueness of Native American culture, rural culture, geography and ecological concerns demand considerations separate from New Orleans-based organizations.
Unfortunately for the Native peoples and other rural residents, the majority of radical relief work in Louisiana has been concentrated at Common Ground. The great and highly visible need for aid in New Orleans has attracted most of the activists, supplies and energy to the city, thus reproducing the neglect that Native Nations have endured historically. The tribes are so small that they face the looming prospect of cultural extinguishment if members relocate rather than rebuild.
As a radical environmentalist, I have found that I feel more affinity with folks in the bayous struggling to survive amongst the destruction of the wetlands. I also found my environmental thinking and beliefs being
An organizer and medic at the Common Ground Health Clinic administers a shot.
altered and strengthened by my experience there: The fossil fuel industrial complex with its global climate change spawn is the big behemoth we need to pull down.
Being a part of radical humanitarian projects that successfully replace the expected duties of inept government and charity agencies has been very warming and greatly energizing. Being amongst the ruins and looking for stragglers—holdouts who had made it thus far—was exciting and grounding.
Knowing I did what I was meant to— and did it well—has been uplifting.
When people at home ask me, "How was it?," I give up trying to explain and simply answer: "It was intense. I saw the future."
Dave Pike is an EF! medic, a dad and a rebel yank living in southern Appalachia.
joined the resistance. Strikes shut down schools, shops and factories, encouraging people to attend the protests. Demonstrators marched along five miles of the proposed train route and occasionally clashed with the nearly 1,000 police assigned to the march.
Treno Alta Velocita is a high-speed railway that will link Italy's most traveled routes with stations in France, Spain, Portugal, Austria and other European countries. The protests specifically target construction between Lyon, France, and Turin, Italy, which would cut through the Alps, as well as release asbestos and uranium that is locked in the mountains.
Road Actions Escalate at Camp Bling
The campaign in the UK against the F5 dual carriageway is headed toward a showdown. January marked the fourth month of Camp Bling, an occupation along the highway's planned route in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. Campaigners occupied a government office in Cambridge, chaining themselves to turnstiles and revolving doors. Activists also announced an underground tunnel system, which will prevent work crews from safely entering the construction site.
The campaign against the controversial project has been ongoing for five years. The $20-million carriageway would run over the well-known Priory Park and disturb the Saxon burial site where Camp Bling is currently located.
Massive Protests Greet Climate Conference
A crowd of 40,000 turned out for the Meeting of the Parties Conference in Montreal, Canada, in December, braving freezing temperatures to protest inadequate government action on climate chaos. More than 30 countries participated in solidarity protests, including Japan, Germany, Bangladesh, Brazil, Australia and South Africa. Small protests were held in about 40 US cities, including New York City, where 1,000 protesters took to the streets. Nearly 10,000 people protested throughout the UK, where London Earth First! disrupted a coinciding aviation conference.
The international day of action was the largest protest against climate change to date.
Bridge Blockades in Argentina & Uruguay
On December 30, Argentine residents and local officials blocked three bridges connecting Argentina and Uruguay in protest of the latter country's decision to build two European-owned paper mills along the Uruguay River. Using tractors, 200 protesters successfully blocked the bridges, which are key routes for international trade and tourism.
Argentinians are concerned that the plants will contaminate rivers and farmland, which Uruguay’s president denies. With pressure from Argentina's governor of Entre Rios—across the river from the construction site—President Nestor Kircher ordered his cabinet to give the issue close attention.
Louisiana's Toxic Empire
This image, reminiscent of Death Valley, is of dried toxic sludge in a Dulac, Louisiana, neighborhood.
by Creek and Sitchensis
With much of the coverage of Hurricane Katrina focused on the destruction of homes in Louisiana, the flooding of New Orleans and the immediate humanitarian catastrophe playing out in the streets, many may have forgotten that the storm came ashore in an area that is home to more than 100 petrochemical plants.
In fact, the oil industry has precipitated a triple environmental catastrophe on the Gulf Coast. The most obvious was the rapid strengthening of the storm in the warming Gulf of Mexico—a result of climate change. But the disaster that played out on the world's television sets in September was just the latest and most dramatic in a long series of race- and class-based environmental crises.
Another tragedy began well before Hurricane Katrina struck. Local environmental justice and toxics campaigners have long labeled much of the area affected by Katrina as "Cancer Alley." The human population in the area—predominantly people of color—suffers the highest cancer rates in the US, as well as some of the most extreme poverty, leading to a disproportionate number of deaths from diseases commonly associated with toxic exposure.
Hurricane Katrina's strike on the oil industry's infrastructure provoked the third environmental crisis: a simultaneous oil and chemical dump of stunning proportions. More than eight million gallons of crude oil were spilled into dozens of areas around southern Louisiana, impacting already imperiled wetlands and poor coastal bayou communities. Unlike the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, which was only three million gallons greater, the multitude of smaller Louisiana spills dispersed too rapidly and over too diverse a topography to allow for more than a fractional cleanup.
In addition to the oil spills, dozens of chemical refineries and a number of Superfund sites added to the toxic gumbo, spilling massive quantities of neurotoxins, corrosives and carcinogenic chemicals such as ammonia, formaldehyde and cyanide. Beyond this were the thousands of submerged or dumped rail cars shipping chlorine and sulfuric acid; arsenic and lead from the paint and batteries on hundreds of thousands of submerged cars; asbestos from submerged homes and underwater fertilizer depots; and the 22 million tons of debris sitting on roadsides and in hastily constructed landfills.
In an effort to stimulate the area's economy, government officials claim that New Orleans and the surrounding areas are safe for repopulation. However, many residents and environmental groups question the legitimacy of the government's conviction. Government sources are not providing essential data for residents to determine what health risks they face, and no cleanup plan is being developed to address the pollutants deposited throughout New Orleans' soil.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) have named only five locations with dangerous levels of arsenic and petrol products. Meanwhile, many environmental organizations have conducted their own independent studies of the flood's sediment. Groups like the National Resources Defense Council, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, Common Ground Collective and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade have determined that many neighborhoods throughout New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish have dangerously high levels of arsenic, petroleum products and banned pesticides, such as DDT. There are places where the level of arsenic is 75 times higher than EPA-acceptable rates. Close to a landfill within Orleans Parish, levels of petroleum products are almost 20 times the acceptable rates.
Living in a safe, healthy environment is a basic human right that has been historically violated by both government and big business in the Mississippi Delta. By not providing appropriate information to the area's residents, officials are continuing their legacy of environmental racism in the Mississippi Delta.
In St. Bernard Parish, a Murphy Oil Company holding facility was dislodged by Katrina, spilling more than one million gallons of oil into surrounding neighborhoods. The flood water lines marking all of the buildings here are bordered by greasy oil lines, and flooded cars are still slickly covered from the spill. Many landowners in the area adorn their homes with placards that read: "Damaged by Katrina, Destroyed by Murphy Oil."
Government officials as of yet have made no indication that there will be a widespread process to clean, remediate or remove contaminated sediment from New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish.
The Common Ground Collective, a relief organization based in southeastern Louisiana, is working to address issues of soil contamination. Common Ground believes that while it is important to hold the government and corporations responsible for environmental cleanup, grassroots efforts must also take action to remediate polluted lands. The EPA, LDEQ and Army Corps of Engineers have clearly proven that they cannot be depended upon to meet this need. For this reason, Common Ground has initiated the Meg Perry Bioremediation Project, which is based out of a local community garden.
Bioremediation uses microorganisms and their enzymes to return an environment that has been altered by contaminants to its original condition (see EF!/ November- December 2004). Common Ground's program uses worm compost tea, oyster mushrooms and other enzymes to help break down petroleum products. It also uses greens and sunflowers to remove heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. Common Ground plans to make these services available to homeowners, as well as places like daycare centers, parks and schools.
Help is needed to make this program happen. If you have bioremediation skills or knowledge, please do not hesitate to come down and volunteer. Through mutual aid and solidarity (not charity), we can work side by side with the people of New Orleans and help bring their city back.
For more information, contact the Meg Perry Bioremediation Project, (504) 913-5635; www.commongroundrelief.org.
Creek coordinates the Meg Perry Bioremediation Project. Sitchensis is a Cascadia EFIer who spent Fall 2005 with the Common Ground Collective.
Remembering Meg Perry: 1979-2005
by Emily Posner and Jonah Fertig
On December 10, Meg Perry, an Earth Firstier instrumental in organizing the Maine Round River Rendezvous and the follow up action at Governor John Baldacci's mansion in 2004, passed away in a bus accident while doing hurricane relief work in the Gulf Coast. She was also involved in the Maine EF! campaign against Plum Creek.
Meg was a community organizer and the Frida Bus coordinator with the People's Free Space in Portland, Maine. She organized many of the projects associated with the Frida Bus—a biodiesel-powered, mobile community space that many EF!ers may remember from the 2004 Rendezvous. The bus hosted puppet shows, served free food, was a popular education tool about sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel and helped to transport hundreds of activists to a variety of events, fairs and protests. In the end, Frida brought Meg and other relief workers from New England down to the Gulf region, where they volunteered with United Peace Relief, Save Our Selves and the Common Ground Collective.
Almost three years ago, the People's Free Space had just gotten this big, green school bus that eventually would become the Frida Bus. On the day of a scheduled work party, we were expecting a crowd of folks to come help out, but only Meg showed up. At the time, Meg was just getting into social, political and environmental activism. She was interested in creating change, but she hadn't yet become involved in a project that she felt was really creating the change she wanted to see in this world.
Meg and the Frida Bus evolved together. She put thousands of hours of work, love and play into Frida. She took her experience with constructing and painting sets for theater, and she applied it to building a library, kitchen, free box, seating area, roof rack, stage and a kids' area.
Meg always moved through life with a smile on her face and a joke on hand. She gave a bear hug to every person she met, and she maintained an
Meg in action, unloading supplies at the Common Ground distribution center in October.
irreplaceable silliness and lightheartedness. Meg loved to garden, a passion that she really developed in the last couple of years. She volunteered with a variety of radical gardening projects in Maine, as well as with More Gardens! in New York City during the 2004 Republican National Convention. In New Orleans, Meg was planning to help coordinate the Common Ground Collective's continued on next page
Love Your Louisiana Wetlands
BY SlTCHENSIS AND SOLEDAD
During the past 200 years, approximately half of the original wetlands habitats in the US have been lost. Due to global climate change and increasing consumption of water, we can only expect to lose more wetlands at a faster rate in the future.
Louisiana is home to a treasure trove of the nation's surviving wetlands. Forty percent of the remaining wetlands in the continental US—-approximately three million acres—are found in Louisiana. Alaska is the only state with more wetlands than Louisiana. However, 80 percent of all wetlands lost in the continental US during the past few decades are in Louisiana; the state has already lost wetlands that comprise an area the size of Rhode Island.
Louisiana's wetlands provide abundant wildlife habitat, especially to waterfowl. Up to 80 percent of migrating waterfowl make a stop at Louisiana wetlands, which provide critical breeding grounds for sandwich terns, black skimmers, Forster's terns and many other seabirds. Bald eagle, Louisiana black bear and Kemp's ridley sea turtle are just a few of the rare animals with vital habitat in Louisiana wetlands.
Wetlands provide critical ecological benefit to human animals as well, effecting a filtering process that protects water quality, offering a groundwater recharge system and replenishing water supplies. Willful human ignorance of the importance of wetlands has also dramatically increased the impact of hurricanes—most recently illustrated by Hurricane Katrina—as these ecosystems substantially reduce flooding, stabilize shorelines and minimize the impact of waves and storm surges. Ignoring warnings from environmentalists, the state and federal governments have dumped money into ship canals and engineering projects to control the Mississippi River, diverting funds from efforts to strengthen long-standing levees in densely populated urban areas.
These canals enable saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico to intrude into normally freshwater and brackish wetlands. Their existence also severely disrupts the seasonal flooding that introduces sediments critical to countering the natural forces of wetlands decomposition.
The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) is the most visible culprit in a canal system promoting transportation over ecological preservation. This 600-foot-wide canal, which provides a
shortcut for ships traveling from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, drives straight through a dense swamp. Despite decades of protests from environmental groups, as well as questions about its economic viability, the MRGO remains. On August 29, when rising tides burst the MRGO in St. Bernard Parish, the community there was inundated, and more than 100 people were killed. A Louisiana State University study estimates that the MRGO alone made the storm surge 20 percent higher and two to three times faster in the surrounding areas.
continued from previous page community garden project. In her honor, Common Ground has renamed its garden and bioremediation efforts the Meg Perry Bioremediation Project. Meg's work in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast truly demonstrated her extraordinary compassion and drive to create a more just and sustainable world.
We encourage you to continue Meg Perry's legacy: Ride a bike, plant a
garden, organize in your community, come down and work in the Gulf Coast, give lots of hugs, drink lots of water and stretch every day.
Meg's passing is a tragic loss. It is hard to believe that someone who put so much energy into affirming, celebrating and sharing life has come to such a tragic end. Meg passed on while doing what she loved, following her passions and dreams, and
living life to the fullest. She would want us to celebrate her life and keep her spirit alive by continuing to work for a world that is more humane, more cooperative, more fun and more loving. Now we each hold a piece of Meg's spirit in us. We can nourish that spirit, love it and water it with our souls and our energy, so that it can blossom into playful, beautiful and amazing celebrations of life.
Canals built for oil and gas exploration are also to blame: A 1994 study faulted these industries for two to four billion dollars worth of damage to Louisiana's wetlands every year. Oil and chemical spills, as well as underground extraction activities disrupting soil stability, multiply the destruction.
Louisiana wetlands are also threatened by the construction of roadways and pavement, drainage for agriculture and urban sprawl. Billion-dollar subdivisions built over thousands of acres of wetlands in Slidell, Louisiana, undoubtedly magnified the massive devastation to this New Orleans suburb, including the total annihilation of the controversial subdivisions.
If it were only wealthy industries and developers "punished" by Katrina, we could at least find some satisfaction in the old saying "Nature Bats Last.” Tragically, however, ignoring the importance of these natural systems has done the greatest damage to underprivileged communities and the ecosystems themselves: It's estimated that 30 square miles of coastal wetlands were destroyed by the magnified storm surge alone.
Finding the Diamond in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor
Diamond: A - Struggle for Environmental Justice in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor, by Steve Lerner, MIT Press, 200S.
Steve Lerner's Diamond is steeped in the voices and history of one of the key communities influenced by Hurricane Katrina—a community struggling for centuries against injustices, more recently in the form of environmental racism in Louisiana's "Cancer Alley." Although Lerner's book was published prior to Hurricane Katrina, the history it provides is vital to understanding that the environmental racism highlighted by the hurricane was nothing new to Louisiana's black communities.
Lerner envisioned his book as a case study of the environmental justice movement in a community situated between a Shell refinery and a chemical plant. Residents of the Diamond neighborhood, some of whom live mere feet from the facilities, have been injured or killed in explosions from the plants. A disproportionate number suffer from asthma, skin disorders, cancers and other ailments. After 13 years of organizing, the residents of Diamond forced Shell to buy their properties and relocate them to healthier homes.
If you want to know the anatomy of an environmental justice campaign, this book will give it to you. If you need some dirt on Shell, the details of the story will help. While Lerner fails to provide much solid critical analysis or new insights on environmental justice strategy, this book's true value lies in its representation of the history, culture and community of an area that too few of us paid close attention to before Katrina.
Lerner reveals that these communities have not been passive victims to past or present injustices. For example, where Diamond sits today, there once stood a plantation by the same name. The people of Diamond played a key role in one of the largest slave revolts in US history, and many residents still proudly trace their lineage to this insurrection.
Lerner prefaces his book with the claim that the residents of Diamond are the true cutting edge of the environmental movement, criticizing the mainstream movement for its focus on wilderness. He backs up this claim with an argument that wilderness preservation can only gain from supporting environmental justice campaigns like those at Diamond.
Even though Lerner clearly sides with Diamond residents, he really wants to give his book a balanced feel. The voices of community members and advocates share space with sympathetic profiles of Shell's management and employees. These voices and personalities (friend and foe alike) are the gems of the book. However, in his final chapters, Lerner does a disappointing about-face, providing an unexpected feel-good version of Shell, a corporation that "learned the importance of being engaged with the community, meeting with them in face-to-face discussions and getting all the issues out on the table."
I imagine that the real lesson Shell took away from its experiences at Diamond was how to more effectively neutralize future grassroots campaigns. Yet the true lesson we can take away from this book is the complexity of the history and resistance of the communities struggling to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Earth Liberation and the Oil Endgame
By now, all radical environmentalists—if not all humans—should be aware of the fatal ecological effects of civilization's unsustainable energy binge. Yet many of us have been slow to grasp the true gravity of what our rapid depletion of non-renewable fossil fuels portends.
We must recognize three essential points about civilization's imminent energy future: First, the unfolding "energy crisis" is real and will soon manifest as chronic oil scarcity. Second, industry is seeking to quickly and quietly implement a nightmarish swarm of ultra-dirty oil "substitutes," ranging from coal-to- oil "liquefaction" in Appalachia to nuclear-powered "heavy oil" mining in northern Canada and biofuel plantations in South America. Rather than presenting feasible solutions, these "alternatives" are unsustainable and ecologically destructive. Three, we cannot cling to the hope that scientists will unveil a magical cocktail of clean, oil-free "alternative" technologies that will power a benign "new civilization."
Unless societies learn to sharply reduce their ecological footprints, any large-scale energy alternatives will ultimately prove ineffective because they would prolong and intensify destructive practices. It is time to seriously consider that our best hope for a biodiverse Earth and a biocentric future for humanity would be civilization's collapse. Let's dream our post-petroleum utopias un- apologetically wild.
To liberate the Earth and ourselves from the carnage that oil elicits, we need to clarify where civilization is going, as well as where our movements are coming from. Attempts at environmental legislative reform through I emissions standards, "smart growth" regulations and the Kyoto Protocol have failed to deter oil's speeding devastation. Grassroots struggles to restrain the petroleum economy's spread and to spur lifestyle shifts toward renewable energies have been far too weak, late and limited to halt overarching ecocidal trends. Despite countless small-scale victories won by indigenous and eco-activist resistance, hydrocarbon hunger has metastasized globally, placing civilization on a collision course with its own decimation of the Earth.
But it is our very gluttony for fossil fuels that presents the single greatest threat t> our unsustainable civilization. A startling body of evidence is now foretelling the beginning of the end of oil's heyday.
It is time to seriously consider that our best hope for a biodiverse Earth and a biocentric future for humanity would be civilizations collapse. Let’s dream our post-petroleum utopias unapologetically wild.
This unique geological opportunity is called "peak oil," the moment of global maximum oil production, when approximately half of the Earth's total oil supply has been pumped and remaining reserves offer decreasing yields. Extraction at any individual oil field follows a bell curve; production increases, plateaus and then declines irreversibly as the supply is exhausted. Peak oil is merely the extrapolation of the behavior of individual oil fields to the global supply.
In any field, the purest oil is always the most accessible and, thus, the first to be extracted. As oil disappears, the crude becomes increasingly difficult to refine. Production costs escalate and more energy must be used to bring lower-grade oil to market. When this happens to the global supply, consumer prices will skyrocket to offset the costs. Finally, oil production will require the expenditure of more energy than it yields and will become prohibitively expensive. Collapse will result not from the disappearance of oil, but from the vanishing of cheap oil.
Although we won't recognize the moment of peak oil until it has already passed, many clues signal that it is near. In November, Kuwaiti officials announced that output from the world's second-largest oil field was "exhausted" and declining. Shortly after, speakers at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil's annual conference all agreed that global oil decline would certainly begin before 2010. Some argued that we are peaking now. More than 50 oil-producing countries have already peaked. Global discovery of oil reserves peaked in the 1960s, and big finds are now rare. The average find is 50 million barrels. This sounds huge until you consider that humans consume 84 million barrels every day. US oil production peaked in 1970 and continues to decline, even as Americans devour 25 percent of the global supply. Only the vast oil fields of Saudi Arabia sustain the illusion that petroleum-based civilization can grow forever. But this is not so. Ninety-five percent of Saudi output comes from only six fields, which all show signs of petering out.
False Hope on the Depletion Slope
Opinions differ widely about what peak oil means for humanity. Some permaculture enthusiasts are advocating boldly optimistic visions of graceful "energy descent" down the oil-depletion slope. They hope that geologically imposed limits to reckless consumption will compel societies to adopt ecofriendiy alternatives. At the other extreme, many capitalist intellectuals are confident that civilization, led by fresh waves of technological innovation, will seamlessly adapt to oil decline. They predict that oil depletion will be a "non-event" due to the implementation of other unconventional fuel sources that will significantly offset dwindling oil reserves.
One such "solution" is the exploitation of tar sands in arctic Canada’s Mackenzie Valley. Approximately two tons of tar sands are required to produce a single barrel of oil, with more than one million barrels being extracted every day. This process strips soil and rock from forests, boils oil out of
Although we won’t recognize the moment of peak oil until it has already passed, many clues signal that it is near.
sand with hot water and leaves behind giant cesspools of wastewater. Since the 1960s, the extraction of tar sands has damaged more than 80,000 acres of forest and wetlands, and plans call for production to triple by 2015. Moreover, the tar sands industry is extremely inefficient, necessitating huge energy inputs to produce comparatively modest yields. To supply the industry's voracious energy needs, a new infrastructure of massive natural gas pipelines and nuclear plants has been proposed.
A similar, even dirtier process is the mining of oil shale. Located on about 16,000 square miles of
land in remote parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, oil shale represents an estimated 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil—enough to meet US oil demand for nearly 100 years. The extraction process is so obscenely heat- and water-intensive that it has only been attempted experimentally. Nevertheless, the Department of Energy predicts yields of "200,000 barrels a day from oil shale by 2011, two million barrels a day by 2020 and ultimately 10 million barrels a day." In January,
Those who have seriously researched this issue are confident that peak oil spells doom for modern metropolitan, growth-oriented economies.
the Bureau of Land Management awarded six new 160- acre leases to oil companies for the development of oil shale extraction on federal lands in Colorado and Utah. Currently, the corporation most deeply invested in oil shale is Shell.
In the US, coal-to-oil refineries are now on the drawing board in Montana, West Virginia and Wyoming. But eastern Pennsylvania's Schuylkill County—an economically depressed region dependant on waste dumping, coal mining, waste coal burning and prisons—is likely to become the site of the first such plant. Construction on the refinery is scheduled to begin this Spring and could be complete by as early as 2008. This facility will be a heavily subsidized pilot project that could pave the way for larger and more numerous coal-to-oil plants throughout the US.
Another proposed option is the harvesting of methane hydrates, which are frozen methane crystals found on the ocean floor and in arctic permafrost. Methane hydrates are extremely plentiful—estimates suggest that the global supply may be double that of all other fossil fuels combined. For this reason, methane hydrates seem like a great energy source capable of fueling unlimited growth for centuries to come. Predictably, it's not that simple. Just as methane hydrates represent a tremendous source of potential energy, they also present a huge quantity of stored greenhouse gases. (Methane is more than 20 times more effective than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.) A level of methane hydrate extraction capable of supporting the world's energy needs would leak staggering quantities of the gas into the atmosphere, exacerbating the existing threat of global warming. Additionally, there is evidence suggesting that the extraction process could make seabeds unstable, resulting in habitat destruction and even giant tsunamis. Nevertheless, the US has earmarked $47 million for research into methane hydrate energy.
As for biofuels, we should look skeptically at any "solution" that Monsanto officially favors. Small-scale organic biofuels might be worthy of eco-activist support, continued on next page
continued from previous page I but the biggest beneficiaries of industrial biodiesel are sellers of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds. Plus, those enriched by the establishment of biofuel markets in the wealthy Global North are rarely local farmers but rather foreign mega-growers of palm and soya oils. In 2006, a Florida-based importer called—no joke—EarthFirst Americas, Inc. plans to ship more than 100 million gallons of palm oil-derived biofuel into the US from Ecuador. That's more than the US biodiesel industry's entire 2005 yield. In Malaysia, Indonesia and South America, where labor is cheaper, water more abundant and crop yields higher, the spread of soy and palm plantations is a leading agent of rainforest destruction.
Citing these and other untapped sources of energy, cornucopian capitalists adhere to the unwavering belief that scientific innovation and private enterprise will generate a solution to oil depletion. The public follows their lead, believing that—at the very worst— peak oil will mean buying a hybrid car or a new furnace. But those who have seriously researched this issue are confident that peak oil spells doom for modern metropolitan, growth-oriented economies. Fossil fuels are essential ingredients in the production of plastics, pesticides and herbicides, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, electronics, computers, and even components of high-tech "renewable" energies like wind and solar power. During oil decline, mass-produced items that consumers now take for granted would quickly become luxuries, then relics. The entire capitalist framework—defined by global mass production and dependent upon a resource-hungry infrastructure—would likely collapse.
We don't have to panic or lose hope in the face of this scenario. What might oil decline mean for anti-capitalist unrest and Earth First! agitation? Be imaginative! The heightened vulnerability of dominant institutions
The heightened vulnerability of dominant institutions offers extraordinary potential for social insurrections, ecological uprisings and tactical ecotage. _
offers extraordinary potential for social insurrections, ecological uprisings and tactical ecotage. The advent of oil decline should embolden us to step up action to stop our culture's worst oil-enabled abuses against the Earth, from mountaintop removal mining and forest clearcutting to genetically engineered agriculture, suburban sprawl and resource wars.
But in order to take full advantage of this opportunity to bring down oil-based civilization, we must also work to minimize the ability of Earth-destroying industries
By fighting to minimize civilizations ability to weather the peak oil storm through the use of unsustainable “alternatives,” we can hopefully accelerate civilizations collapse and preserve what remains of our planets ecological integrity.
to adapt to fossil fuel scarcity. This means defending wilderness and undeveloped areas—the Arctic Wildlife Refuge; coastal and offshore marine zones; highland hotspots like the Green River Valley and Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming, Colorado's Roan Plateau, Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front and Otero Mesa in New Mexico—from new oil and natural gas speculation and extraction. Globally, it means doing more to collaborate with and support allies—from Colombia to Nigeria to Iraq—who are at the frontlines of physical struggles against neocolonialist oil exploiters and the militaries that shield them.
We must also fight the ultra-dirty oil substitutes that industries are gearing up to implement. All of these will require huge investments of capital before they become economically viable. All will demand the creation of a completely new infrastructure before production and delivery can begin. Many will necessitate extensive legislative and diplomatic attention before they can be implemented in accordance with state, national and international law. And some depend upon significant adaptation on the part of consumers.
Every one of these new sources of energy is vulnerable at some crucial point. By studying the economic, political, legal, technological and even social requirements that these new industries will have to meet, we can proactively target them where they are weakest and prevent them from establishing a firm foothold.
By fighting to minimize civilization's ability to weather the peak oil storm through the use of unsustainable "alternatives," we can hopefully accelerate civilization's collapse and preserve what remains of our planet's ecological integrity. In . the ashes of industrial monoculture, thousands of neotribal nomadic communities, autonomous ecovillages and bioregional confederations uniting them could bloom amid rewilded landscapes.
j The oil endgame might be our last opportunity for full-fledged Earth liberation. Will we seize it or let it slip by?
Acomista edits reclaimthecommons.net and peakoilanarchy.blogspot.com. This critter can be found dropping nuts and bolts of (purely poetic) resistance all over squirrel country this Spring and Summer. Despite favoring a "no civ" over a "new civ" outcome, Acornista believes that both sides should collaborate strategically together to take down oil civilization.
Black Mesa Mine Closes and the Relocation Office Disbands
Victory? An orderly and certain conclusion? Not according to many of the indigenous families of the Big Mountain and Black Mesa communities. The struggle continues.
by Black Mesa Indigenous Support
Legislation is gaining momentum that would complete the forced relocation of Dine families on Arizona’s Black Mesa. Backed by Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Senate Bill S.1003 would "bring the relocation process to an orderly and certain conclusion."
This particular legislation is an amendment to the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974, which mandated the forced relocation of more than 12,000 Dine and 100 Hopi—in what the US government claimed was basically a reservation boundary dispute. In reality, the issue was a complexly layered conflict involving different land-use and cultural patterns of traditional Dine, traditional Hopi, westernized Hopi and the US government.
S.1003 would dissolve the Navajo-Hopi Relocation Office by 2008, yet it also mandates the eviction of all remaining resisters before the agency dissolves. Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. has stated that S.1003 "reinforces the deeply troubling idea that Dine families will be forcibly removed from land that they have called home for generations." Roman Bitsuie, executive director of the Navajo-Hopi Land Commission, argues that the bill prematurely terminates the federal government's responsibilities toward those who "have lived through the nightmare of relocation. The federal government bears much of the responsibility for the US-Hopi land dispute and, therefore, must play a significant role in its resolution." Furthermore, S.1003 denies any further federal responsibility for relocat- ees. It is important to point out that in spite of the Navajo Nation's strong stance against the bill, its official testimony to the Senate barely mentioned the Dine families still living on Black Mesa and threatened by the relocation laws.
This comes at a time when Peabody, the world’s largest coal company, is preparing to vastly expand its stripmining ot American Indian lands. Only one thing stands in Peabody's way to get to the billions of tons of low-sulfur coal: the indigenous people who live there. This land was inhabited by their ancestors, and it is the basis of their tradition, spirituality, water and livelihood.
As Roberta Blackgoat, a Dine elder, once stated, "If they come and drag us all away from the land, it will destroy our way of life. That is genocide. If they leave me here, but take away my community, it is still genocide. If they wait until I die and then mine the land, the land will still be destroyed. If there is no land and no community, I have nothing to leave my grandchildren. If I accept this, there will be no Dine, there will be no land. That is why I will never accept it. I will die fighting this law."
Temporary Suspension, Not Closure
After 35 years, the Mohave Generating Station near Laughlin, Nevada, closed on December 31. That should have signaled the end of the Black Mesa Mine, since its only customer was the Mohave Generating Station. But Southern California Edison reversed the decision, telling the California Public Utilities Commission that it wanted to keep the plant open.
As for the highly dramatized "closure" of the Black Mesa Mine in December, only one-third of the total mining operations on Black Mesa has ceased, and the word amongst the miners is that even that third will be reopened this Summer with the benefit of a 200-mile slurry line extension that will tap another aquifer to the south. As part of its plans to extend mining operations on Black Mesa, Peabody has filed an application with the Office of Surface Mining for a life-of-mine permit, which would allow it to continue mining until the coal supply is exhausted.
In the words of Bahe Katenay, of the Big Mountain Resistance: "Peabody Western Coal Company's actions become another extension of environmental racism and the 'American' founding patriarchs' ideals of subjugation.... 'Mr. Peabody' will continue its worldwide mega-alteration of the Earth... creating more instability among the indigenous communities of Black Mesa and leaving them the exposed wastelands of Black Mesa Mine."
A Duty to Act
In an era of multinational corporations, the methods of separating indigenous peoples from their land have outstripped the ability of any agency to monitor or regulate them. For this reason, the importance of building alliances cannot be stressed enough. We must all be part of the solution. If you've ever cared about Black Mesa, now is the time to show your support—while there is still a window of opportunity to stop S.1003. Black Mesa Indigenous Support is working in conjunction with the families and taking steps right now to put a halt to this legislation, as well as planning a caravan for the Spring to raise awareness about the developments on Black Mesa and to generate support.
New Embarrassments in the Forest Service’s Biscuit Boondoggle
by Matthew Koehler
Resistance to the Siskiyou National Forest's Biscuit logging plan has been strong from the start (see EF.'J May- June 2005). Since logging began in October 2004 on the 30 square miles of forest in the Biscuit area, numerous embarrassing "errors" have blemished the US Forest Service's (USFS) already poor reputation—including accidental logging in a wilderness area and the cutting of more than 300 trees in the Babyfoot Lake Botanical Area.
New Year, New Information
January was ushered in by a series of damning revelations about the Biscuit project and the larger issues of post-fire logging. A new study, conducted by researchers at Oregon State University (OSU), found that post-fire logging might actually hinder forest regeneration and increase fire risk—something that conservation groups have argued for years.
Some of the more outspoken pro-logging professors at OSU's College of Forestry began lobbying Science to withhold publication of the study. Yet the journal's top editor refused to suppress the information. Editor Donald Kennedy noted that the OSU professors who contested the research could respond to the study once it has been published. "That's the way scientists handle disputes, not by censorship."
Insider Outs Biscuit and the Fiber-Holies
As if supporters of increased "restoration" logging weren't off to a rough year already, an interview with Rich Fairbanks, leader of the USFS planning team for Biscuit logging, appeared in the Eugene Weekly on January 18.
Tripod in the Biscuit, October 4, 2004.
In striking detail, Fairbanks provided an insider's view of how the USFS, the logging industry, allied professors at the OSU College of Forestry and members of Congress worked together on the Biscuit logging project to not only maximize the number of trees cut, but to also generate bad publicity for environmental activists.
"The Biscuit logging project could not possibly have been done for the good of the forest or local communities. They really polarized the community, and for what?," Fairbanks asked. "The Forest Service is fiber-holic. They're hooked, man."
When asked to explain what led to the increased scale and scope of destruction, Fairbanks pointed to the Sessions Report. Authored by OSU professor and industry advocate John Sessions, this "scientific" article prompted the USFS to "supersize" the Biscuit logging project. Logging was delayed for nearly a year. "That was the idea: We'll make a ridiculously inflated initial estimate [based on the Sessions Report], then we'll say, 'Look how reasonable we are by reducing it.' Then when it turns out that most of the wood is not there, they'll say, 'That's because the environmentalists held it up for so long and let it rot,"' explained Fairbanks.
Fairbanks recently retired from the USFS, after 32 years with the agency. "They wanted me gone for years.. I was very active in the union; I'm an environmentalist; I was one of the people who started Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics. The day the Biscuit plan went to the printer, they said, 'You're not working on this project anymore. Go find a detail, preferably somewhere out of state.'"
Yet the Biscuit Bluff Continues
Pro-logging legislators will be hard at work this Spring to ensure that the millions of dollars the logging industry has provided them in campaign contributions won't
Senator Gordon Smith, who has received $643,363 in campaign contributions from the logging industry during his Senate career, continues to use the botched Biscuit "Fire Recovery Project" as the poster child for his disingenuous a Forests for Future Generations Act. o
8 Congressman Greg Walden, who has j received $358,004 in logging industry £? campaign contributions since 1998, | is sponsoring equivalent legislation— 5 fraudulently titled the Forest Emergency | Recovery and Research Act in the House of Representatives. These bills would | fulfill the industry's wish list, providing I all the bells and whistles for more logging in our nation's public forests.
In January, Walden's office sent out a glowing press release announcing
that his legislation had "earned broad support from local governments, conservation groups, forestry professionals, educators and more than 140 members of Congress from throughout the nation" and that the "Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act aims to dramatically improve the environmental health of federal forests after wildfire."
It is strangely predictable that Walden's press release didn't mention a word about the new Biscuit studies and the outing by the Biscuit team leader, nor did it express concern about attempts at censorship coming from the OSU College of Forestry.
Matthew Koehler writes from Missoula, Montana, where he works with the Native Forest Network.
DeLay, Pombo and Hurwitz in a Gruesome Threesome
A sneering Charles Hurwitz, CEO of Maxxam Corporation
idea, where Hurwitz would make good on the money he owed taxpayers through the transfer of PL assets—forest acreage that would be transferred into public hands. But this wasn't sufficient for Hurwitz and his allies.
DeLay and Pombo came galloping in to rescue their buddy Hurwitz. After scathing letters from DeLay denouncing the in
by Karen Pickett
You've no doubt been reading about the DeLay/Abramoff scandals, chuckling knowingly, wondering if this is a significant crack in the armor. For we who value justice, it is encouraging to see that the net snagging some of the slimeballs is still widening. Let's look at Representative Richard Pombo, a major player in the Abramoff scandal, who authored legislation last year to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act (see EF!J November-December 2005/. That same Pombo (call him Dick if you like) convened the Headwaters Forest Task Force (HFTF) in 2000, while a protege to Tom DeLay. The HFTF was part of an effort to bully banking regulators into backing off an investigation of Maxxam Corporation CEO Charles Hurwitz's crashing of the United Savings Association of Texas in 1988. That savings and loan failure, which cost US taxpayers more than $1.5 billion, was part of Hurwitz's nefarious scheme to seize Pacific Lumber (PL) in Northern California. A ripe plum of a company, PL was rich with old-growth redwood forest that had been only selectively harvested, not clearcut, for 100 years. Funds that Hurwitz liquidated from the savings and loan were essentially laundered through a firm that arranged for the junk bond financing of the PL takeover.
Because of the PL connection, the savings and loan failure caught the attention of activists, and intrepid citizen investigators uncovered Hurwitz's slimy manipulations for federal banking agencies. It ultimately caught the interest of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of Thrift Supervision, which filed claims against Hurwitz and Maxxam, charging violations including gross negligence and reckless investing. Proposals for settlement at the time included the innovative "Debt for Nature" swap vestigation, Pombo and California Representative John Doolittle used the HFTF's subpoena power to obtain confidential FDIC documents. The FDIC objected, and it asked the HFTF for assurances that those internal documents would not end up in Hurwitz's hands. But that is exactly what happened when Pombo and Doolittle quietly entered confidential documents into the Federal Register in 2001, shortly after the World Trade Center attacks. That was enough to damage the FDIC's case sufficiently, and the case was dropped in 2002.
But even that's not the end of the story. Hurwitz continued his counter-action against the FDIC, and against long odds, he prevailed last Summer. Judge Lynn Hughes, another right-winger from DeLay/ Bush country with ties to Hurwitz, awarded the corporate raider an incredible $72 million for having to suffer through being investigated, which "dampened Hurwitz's entrepreneurial energies." Part of the tit for tat here, of course, are the contributions Hurwitz made to these clowns. He donated not only to DeLay's campaign fund, but also to DeLay's legal defense when he was called up on money-laundering charges. Hurwitz has also slid money across the table to Pombo and Doolittle.
This story follows the Abramoff scandal pattern whereby Republican members of Congress use their posts to do "favors for funds" from corporate high rollers. The only bright spots I see on this particular horizon are the prospects of a change of ownership of California's redwoods through a probable PL bankruptcy and the fact that Pombo is up for re-election this year. It's time to unseat the scumbags.
K.P., a long-time defender of forests in Northern California, is still waiting for her check for lobbying all these years.
John Trudell is a hero, not a snitch
The real Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash story
by Michael Donnelly
As usual, I sat down to read my new Earth First! Journal cover to cover. I was bemused by yet another puerile pissing match between Captain Paul Watson and the Journalistas (see EF!J January- February 2006). It was good for a few laughs, but then it was on to an article that flat out blew me away. Here, in the EF! Journal, was a piece slamming noted American Indian Movement (AIM) activist, actor and spoken word visionary John Trudell, as well as his AIM allies Robert Robideau, Dino Butler, others. He was at the occupation of Alcatraz Island in 1969-1971. He was at the Siege of Wounded Knee in 1973. He marched on Washington, DC. He served as AIM chairman for six years. He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with environmentalists on anti-nuke and anti-war efforts. He has been a solid ally on forest and animal defense. He has a 17,000-page FBI file. His four children, his wife Tina—an activist in her own right—and her mother were killed in a suspicious fire at their Nevada home, just 12 hours after Trudell Russell Means and, by extension, noted political prisoner Leonard Peltier.
What had Trudell and the others done to warrant the attack? It seems that they all have come down on the side of justice for their friend and ally Anna Mae Pictou- Aquash, who was executed in South Dakota 30 years ago.
The article did a fairly good job of rehashing the facts of the case. And, ostensibly, it was a piece defendan informant) within AIM, which was plagued with informants at the time. Like radical environmentalists today, AIM was at the top of the FBI's radar in the 1970s. Believing the lie that Pictou- Aquash was a snitch, high-level AIM members ordered her killed. Looking Cloud, Graham and Theda Clark—who first accused Pictou-Aquash—were the chosen executioners.
had burned a US flag on the steps of
As one might expect, this episode has split AIM—undoubtedly the FBI's goal in spreading the snitch rumor in the first place. Robideau, who was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense
John Trudell speaks with news media representatives in 1969, regarding negotiations with the federal government for title to Alcatraz Island.
in the same shootout that saw Peltier convicted, has said, "I personally will be overjoyed when the Canadian courts rule to return Graham back to the US to answer for this brutal murder.”
At first, this was not what AIM members believed. When Graham was originally arrested, Leonard Peltier wrote, "I fear that Graham will not receive a fair trial in the US any more than I did. I must remind you, it is court
ing someone's political prisoner, so an article on a 30-year-old murder in another allied activist movement was not as out of place in the EF! Journal as one would think at first blush. As the EF! Journal was founded as a forum on "biocentrism," a case can be made that writing about the ongoing assaults on a very endangered group of beings (indigenous North Americans) is also an appropriate topic.
But, as Trudell would say, "Let's get real here." Trudell is a hero, as are the FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. Let's get very real.
As the article noted, Arlo Looking Cloud has been convicted as an accessory in Pictou-Aquash's death. He was videotaped confessing his involvement. His accomplice, John Graham, awaits extradition in Canada. While the article supports Graham, Pictou- Aquash's family is asking for support of the extradition.
Pictou-Aquash was killed because she was "snitch-jacketed" (i.e., labeled record that the FBI lied to extradite me back to the US."
True enough. But here's what Robideau, the international spokesman for Peltier's defense, wrote on February 2, 2005:
"There is compelling evidence that has recently come to our attention regarding Graham that compels Peltier to disassociate himself and the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee from Graham and the John Graham Defense Committee.
"We have notified the Graham Committee of our decision, and we have also communicated—three times—our demand that the Graham Defense Committee remove all of Leonard's support letters, expressions... and support websites from their official website.
"Thus far, they have yet to comply with our requests. Peltier wants to make it very clear that he wants justice to run its course and... that he had no involvement in this matter and hence cannot associate himself with those alleged to have committed this crime against Indian people."
All of these AIM leaders agree on who did it and call for justice. Yet, distrust abounds on all sides, even among these former allies who agree on the major facts of the case. Such is the paralyzing effect of accusation and infiltration (just look at the recent arson arrests).
They may all agree, but it is Trudell who receives the brunt of the article's wrath. You'd think that fairness—especially toward an activist of this note— would demand that Trudell be notified and given a chance to respond before such accusations went to print.
Since that never happened, here's my take: Trudell has testified twice on Pictou-Aquash's murder. In the Looking Cloud trial, he said, "Looking Cloud told me that he, Clark and Graham did, in fact, take Pictou-Aquash from Troy Lynn's house to Rapid City, South Dakota. And when they were in Rapid City, Pictou-Aquash was kept in an empty apartment that belonged to Thelma Rios.... But it seems to me, from my conversation with Looking Cloud, that Pictou-Aquash was never
photo courtesy Mill Valley Film Festival
John Trudell poses in a recent photo.
in Rapid City for more than a couple of days at the very most.... She was taken from Rapid City by Looking Cloud, Graham and Clark to a house in Rosebud, South Dakota.... And according to Looking Cloud, Clark and Graham went inside this house, and they were in there for a period of time, and they came back out, and they got in the car. And then they went and drove to the spot where Pictou-Aquash was killed. And Graham and Looking Cloud walked her out to a spot and made her kneel down. He said she was on her knees, and she was praying and talking about her children, and she didn't want to die. And then Graham shot her in the back of the head."
Trudell hasn't changed his story once in 30 years. He knew the truth then, and he knows it now. He awaits long- overdue justice for Pictou-Aquash. It is only with the extradition and trial of Graham that we'll finally get to the bottom of this.
The EF! Journal should be promoting this outcome and working to help solve this horrific, movementdestroying murder of an activist. What the EF! Journal should not be doing is muddying the waters.
It's one thing to note that virtually no activist can get a fair trial, particularly an AIM member. It's another thing entirely to posit that someone should get away with murder because of potential—or even probable—prosecutorial misconduct.
And it's beyond belief to attack a guy like John Trudell, who has done so much through the years. Go to his website, watch the documentary about him and then decide for yourself who is credible here. It's a matter of justice.
For more information, visit www.johntrudell.com.
Michael Donnelly has been active in environmental issues for decades, including numerous preservation efforts in the Northwest and in Michigan.
The Greatest Weapon: Comandanta Ramona
Comandanta Ramona, a well-known and beloved Zapatista, died on the morning of January 6, after a 10-year struggle with kidney cancer. She was a symbol of both indigenous and women's struggles, and she was called the Zapatista Army of National Liberation's "greatest weapon." She was 46 years old.
Andrew Kennis of the Narco News Bulletin writes:
"Ramona was a petite, soft-spoken woman charged with significant responsibilities, such as having been entrusted with the military leadership in San Cristobal during the uprising in 1994. In February of that year and after the Zapatistas called a cease-fire to the 12- day-long uprising in response to mass peace marches, Ramona was the first Zapatista representative to speak during peace talks with the government. The government conceded to Ramona, and she went on to represent the Zapatistas, speaking in front of 100,000 supporters in Mexico City's Zocalo during the important nationwide indigenous gathering."
After a two-day suspension to attend the funeral for Ramona, the Zapatistas resumed "The Other Campaign." This six-month tour of Mexico's 31 states has become a significant voice for the 60 million struggling Indians in Latin America. The Zapatistas are traveling the country to listen to people where they work, where they're exploited and where they suffer racism.
A "there is a light that never goes out" wolf to Morrissey for publicly supporting animal liberation actions against animal abusers. Most famous as the vocalist for English pop band The Smiths, Morrissey has long supported People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
In an online question and answer session on January 4, Morrissey stated: "I support the efforts of the Animal Rights Militia (ARM) in England, and I understand why fur farmers and so-called laboratory scientists are repaid with violence. It is because they deal in violence themselves, and it's the only language they understand—the same principles that apply to war.
"You reach a point where you cannot reason with people. This is why ARM and the hunt saboteurs exist. They are usually very intelligent people who are, forced to act because the law is shameful or amoral."
Wolves and Poodles
A blue-collar, coalition-building, industrialwalkout wolf to the New Zealand Maritime Union for refusing to work on any Japanese whaling ship that visits a New Zealand port. In a January 12 press release, Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson also voiced support for Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The union, which formed in 2002, sees the fight to end illegal Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean as related to labor issues. "In many cases, the exploitation of the maritime environment goes hand-in-hand with the mistreatment of maritime workers, but because it is out of sight, out of mind off the coast, it is easy to ignore," Hanson stated.
A scurrying, vengeance-craving, kamikaze wolf to the mouse that burned down its killer's house in January.
Luciano Mares, who spoke from a motel room, said that he caught the mouse indoors and wanted to dispose of it, so he dropped it into a pile of burning leaves. But the mouse would not accept death without revenge. The flaming
mouse returned to the house and set it ablaze. True to Animal LiberaL tion Front (ALF) ( principles, no
i one was hurt,
but everything was destroyed.
I A cheese-smeared ALF communique has yet to be found.
A Scandinavian, greenwashing, arms-dealing poodle to Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology for suggesting that making grenades out of plastic instead of conventional copper would lessen their environmental impact.
The scientists point to the destructiveness of copper mining and the fact that exploded munitions cannot be recycled as reasons why plastic grenades would be greener.
Indeed, a world where armies use oil-based plastic grenades to murder each other in order to secure the petroleum reserves needed to produce more oil-based plastic grenades is a truly inspiring vision of sustainability.
An if you want it done right, do it yourself poodle to Joshua Frank for his Counterpunch article urging Tre Arrow and other Earth liberation prisoners to admit
the actions they have been accused-of.
Frank explains that by refusing to incriminate himself, Tre has turned his back on the spirit of Ed Abbey and Henry David Thoreau.
"Tre could have been a martyr, defending such actions as a just retaliation to the destruction of nature. He could have told us all why he did what he did.
"Let's just hope one of the 11 activists recently named in the eco-sabo- tage ring do just such a thing.
Then maybe, just
maybe, I'd be willing to believe militant environmentalism isn't yet dead."
A lame, opportunistic, Earth-liberation-poseur poodle to Michael T. MacMurdo and John Hanna. MacMurdo spray-painted a dozen cars and two buildings at Gold Motors in Newport, Oregon, after the car dealership refused to sell him a car. MacMurdo later called two Portland television stations and claimed that he was affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).
Hanna—the only known member of the Environmental Life Force, the first direct-action group to use the ELF acronym—critiqued the Earth Liberation Front recently in the Auburn Journal.
"There is indeed a legitimate place for civil disobedience within the environmental movement," he said. "However, the tactics employed by the original ELF and today's incarnation are terrorism. It accomplishes nothing positive."
Hanna spent five years in jail for the manufacture and detonation of homemade napalm bombs, which were placed on seven crop-dusters at the Salinas, California, airport on May 1, 1977.
Ask an EF! Lawyer
He's Working on Your Side!
by Stu Sugarman
Dear EF! Lawyer,
I was pleasantly surprised to see that captured fugitives Tre Arrow and Peter Young have not been charged with evading arrest, but I don't understand why the state would pass up a chance to pile on more charges. Under what circumstances can fugitives expect to face extra charges for fleeing from "justice?"
—Rooting for the Underground
You just might find yourself pleasantly surprised again and again in the future, because it is not a crime to fail to be arrested. You see, it is law enforcement's responsibility to find someone, and to either issue a citation to appear in court or arrest them. It is not your responsibility to turn yourself in. Of course, if you know you have been charged with a crime, you might choose to voluntarily appear to face the charges, but that is your decision. Sometimes people "turn themselves in" because they know doing so will greatly improve their chances of being let out of custody before trial. Others do not trust the Man as far as they can throw him and might decide to go on an extended vacation overseas, preferably in a country that has not signed an extradition treaty with the US—such as the tropical South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.
I refuse to use the word "fugitive" to describe Tre, for example, because it just isn't true. If someone does not know he's being prosecuted, how can he be a fugitive? Also, "fugitive" is a subjective word of the Man, painting the hero as desperate, potentially violent and literally running. We must think critically about the words they use against us so casually.
Once police or federal agents arrest or cite someone, however, they give the defendant a court date, and the defendant is required to appear. If the person does not appear when required, the defendant could be cited for "failure to appear" in court. Failure to appear is not as serious as the arson charges Tre faces or the Animal Enterprise Protection Act charges that Peter faced. Experienced prosecutors know that they are more effective when they charge defendants with only the most important charges and not with every possible charge.
Of course, letting Johnny Law search for you for years will carry consequences that both Tre and Peter have experienced. When you don't turn yourself in, judges tend to think that you would not show up in court if you were released, so courts tend to hold the defendant in jail before the person's charges are dealt with. Tre and Peter have both been held in custody since their arrests, at least partially for this reason.
Dear EF! Lawyer,
In a recent column, you referred to the new crime of "domestic terrorism" established by the USA PATRIOT Act. In which cases might a direct action qualify as "terrorism," and what are the potential consequences of such a conviction?
—The Midnight Monkeywrencher
I really like this question because no one knows the answer for sure. Technically, though, a person commits "domestic terrorism"—which was created by the USA PATRIOT Act—if they commit a crime in the US that endangers human life and appears to be intended either to: intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.
I see "domestic terrorism" as not really a separate crime per se, but as a "sentence enhancement factor." If someone is accused, for example, of committing arson, the person could face a maximum of 20 years in prison. However, if a jury believes the arson was an act of "domestic terrorism," the person could face the "terrorism enhancement" of life in prison.
Activists accused of Earth Liberation Front (ELF) or Animal Liberation Front-related heroism are certainly targets of these "terrorism enhancements," but it would be tough for the government to prove that any ELF action endangered human life when such great pains are taken to ensure no one is hurt.
Do you have a legal question? Contact Stu Sugarman, c/o Walker, Warren and Watkins, 838 SW 1st Ave, Ste 500, Portland, OR 97204; firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write "Dear EF! Lawyer" in the subject line.
Prisoners in the Struggle: Support Them!
The following list is a small sample of the total number of political prisoners and prisoner support groups worldwide. Regulations for mail sent to prisoners vary according to individual prisons. Before sending monetary donations, stamps, books or packages, ask prisoners what the regulations are. Assume that the authorities read everything that you write to a prisoner. Although many prisoners are listed together, they must be written to separately. The EF! Journal offers discounted subscriptions for prisoners. Please contact us for more information.
Prisoner and Legal Updates
•Felipe Arreaga Sanchez, a Mexican environmental activist, was released from prison on September 15, after the murder charges against him were dropped.
•Joshua Demmitt is being transferred to another prison. As of print time, his address is unknown. Demmitt will no longer have access to the early release program that he had been involved in. He is now hoping to be released in January 2007. Demmitt is serving 2.5 years for an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) arson on an animal testing facility. For more information, visit www.supportjosh.org.
•Harjit Singh Gill, who served six months in a halfway house for lying to a grand jury, has been released.
•Francesco Gioia, Via Maiano, 10, 06049 Spoleto, Italy. Gioia, a member of the Italian eco-anarchist group II Silvestre, has been extradited from Spain to Italy to stand trial for allegedly participating in direct action, promoting sabotage and escaping house arrest.
•Jan Lawrence, who was sentenced in November to eight months for sending threatening letters to people associated with Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), has been released from prison. She continues to be monitored electronically.
•Ryan Lewis has been released on bail while he awaits sentencing. In October, Lewis pleaded guilty to one count of arson and two counts of attempted arson in relation to a series of Earth Liberation Front (ELF) actions against urban sprawl. He is expected to be sentenced to six years in prison.
•Aaron Linas, #38448-083, CCM Raleigh Community Corrections Office, Old NC 75 Hwy, Butner, NC 27509, USA. Linas has been moved to the above address. Serving 3.5 years for a series of ELF actions aimed against a number of targets including McDonald's, Burger King, urban sprawl, the construction industry and an SUV dealership.
•Christopher "Dirt" McIntosh is being transferred to another prison. As of print time, his address is unknown. McIntosh is serving eight years for a joint ALF/ELF arson at a McDonald's. For more information, visit www.supportchris.org.
•Heather Nicholson, NR7271, HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Rd, Ashford, Middlesex TW15 3JZ, England. Prosecutors have filed new charges against Nicholson, who was already awaiting trial for using abusive words and behavior toward a fox hunter. Nicholson's supporters point out that fox hunting is illegal in Britain, and therefore the police should be arresting the hunters instead.
•Peter Daniel Young, #10269-111, FCI Vitorville Medium II, Federal Correction Institution, POB 5700, Adelanto, CA 92301, USA. Young has been transferred to the above address, where he was put "in the hole" indefinitely for refusing to wear prison-issue leather boots. He is serving two years for releasing mink and foxes from six different fur farms. Young is also facing state charges in South Dakota: third-degree burglary, intentional damage to property and animal enterprise trespass. For more information, visit www.supportpeter.com.
Awaiting Trial or Sentencing
•Jon Ablewhite, TB4885, John Smith, TB4887, and Kerry Whitburn, TB4886, HMP Birmingham, Winson Green Rd, Birmingham B18 4AS, England. Awaiting trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail a farmer who supplied guinea pigs for vivisection.
•Tre Arrow, CS#05850722, Vancouver Island Regional Correction Center, 4216 Wilkinson Rd, Victoria, BC V8Z 5B2, Canada. Appealing extradition to the US to stand trial for alleged involvement in the arson of logging trucks and an ELF arson of vehicles owned by a sand and gravel company. For more information, visit www.trearrow.org.
•Manase Furima and Matius Nasira, Lembaga Pemasyarakatan Manokwari, JI Sabang No 4, Manokwari, Papua, Indonesia. Awaiting trial for taking part in a road blockade to prevent illegal logging.
•Amanda Cerezo Garcia, CP Alicante II, Ctra. N-330, km 66, 03400, Villena, Spain. Awaiting trial for allegedly burning a road-construction vehicle. She is also accused of sending a letter bomb to a neo-Nazi politician.
•Dave Blenkinsop, EM7899, HMP Rye Hill, Onley, Warwickshire CV23 8AN, England. Serving 10 years for attacking the managing director of HLS, liberating 600 guinea pigs and planting incendiary devices under slaughterhouse vehicles.
•Sarah Gisborne, LT5393, HMP Cookham Wood, Rochester, Kent MEI 3LU, England. Serving 5.5 years for conspiracy to cause criminal damage to vehicles owned by people linked to HLS.
•Mikael, c/o DBF SG, Box 919, 114 79 Stockholm, Sweden. Serving eight months for smashing all the windows at a fur farmer's house and then throwing red paint and a fire extinguisher inside, as well as for defending himself from attack by a group of fur farmers.
•Marco Camenisch, Postfach 3143, CH-8105 Regensdorf, Switzerland. Serving 27 years for using explosives to target
nuclear facility power lines and for the alleged murder of a Swiss border guard. Camenisch reads French, German, Spanish and Italian fluently. He can also read some English.
•Ibai Ederra, Carcel de Pamplona, C/ San Roque Apdo 250, 31080-Irunez Pamplona, Navarra, Spain. Serving nearly five years for sabotaging machinery at the controversial Itoiz dam construction site.
•Jeffrey "Free" Luers, #13797671, OSP, 2605 State St, Salem, OR 97310, USA. Serving 22 years and eight months for arson at a car dealership and for the attempted arson of an oil truck.
•John Wade, #38548-083, FCI Petersburg Low, Satellite Camp, POB 90027, Petersburg, VA 23804, USA. Serving three years for a series of ELF actions against a number of targets including McDonald's, Burger King, urban sprawl, the construction industry and an SUV dealership.
•Helen Woodson, #03231-045, FMC Carswell Admin Max Unit, POB 27137, Ft. Worth, TX 76127, USA. Serving eight years and 10 months for violating her parole by dumping a cup of red paint over the security apparatus of a federal court and making warnings ("threats") of weapons of mass destruction. In March 2004, Woodson completed 20 years for disarming a Minuteman II missile silo with a jackhammer, mailing warning letters to officials with bullets inside, robbing a bank and burning the money.
•Byron "Oso Blanco" Chubbuck®, #07909-051, USP Beaumont, POB 26030, Beaumont, Texas, North America. Serving 80 years for aggravated assault on federal agents, escape and bank robbery. Chubbuck tunneled money that he stole from banks to the Zapatista National Liberation Army in Chiapas, Mexico.
•Leonard Peltier, #89637-132, USP Lewisburg, POB 1000, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA. Peltier, an American Indian Movement activist, is serving life in prison after being framed for the deaths of two FBI agents killed during the 1975 Pine Ridge siege.
The Lecce 5 are awaiting trial, accused of damaging gas pumps in opposition to the war on Iraq, targeting Benetton in support of the Mapuche and damaging an ATM at a bank with links to an immigrant-detention facility.
•Annalisa Capone, Marina Ferrari and Cristian Paladini are free on bail.
•Saverio Pellegrino, Via Prati Nuovi 7, CAP 27058, Voghera (Pavia), Italy.
•Salvatore Signore, Casa Circondariale di Sulmona, Via Lamaccio 21, 67039 Sul- mona (AQ), Italy.
The indigenous Mapuche people in Chile are fighting to defend their forests from multinational companies.
•Aniceto Norin Catriman and Pascual Pichun Paillalao, Carcel de Traiguen— Coronel Gregorio Urrutia N° 129, Traiguen, IX Region, Chile. Mapuche lonkos (chiefs) serving five years for intimidation and "terrorist arson."
•Victor Ancalaf Llaupe, Complejo Penitenciario El Manzano Concepcion—Direction, Camino a Penco N° 450 Casilla 70, Chile. Mapuche leader serving five years for "terrorist arson."
•Jaime Huenchullan Cayul, Juan Carlos Huenulao Tricauko, Florencio Jaime Mar- ileo Saravia, Jose Patricio Marileo Saravia, Jose Nain Curamil and Patricia Troncoso Robles, Centro Detention Penitenciaria Pedro Aguirre—Cerda N° 80 y Los Confines s/n°, Angol, IX Region, Chile. Huenchullan is awaiting trial, accused of theft and intimidation. Huenulao is awaiting trial, accused of "terrorist arson." Trocon- so and the Marileos are serving 10 years for "terrorist arson." Nain, a Mapuche leader, is serving five years for arson.
The MOVE 9, members of an eco-revolu- tionary group, were framed for the murder of a cop and sentenced to 30 to 100 years each.
•Debbie Simms Africa, #006307, Janet Holloway Africa, #006308, and Janine Philips Africa, #006309, SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238, USA.
•Michael Davis Africa, #AM4973, and Charles Simms Africa, #AM4975, SCI Grateford, POB 244, Grateford, PA 19426-0244, USA.
•Edward Goodman Africa, #AM4974, SCI Mahanoy, 301 Morea Rd, Frackville, PA 17931, USA.
• William Philips Africa, #AM4984, and Delbert Orr Africa, #AM4985, SCI Dallas, Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612, USA.
•Mumia Abu-Jamal, #AM8335, SCI Greene, 175 Progress Dr, Waynesburg, PA 15370, USA. Abu-Jamal, a politically active journalist, was framed for the murder of a cop in 1981.
•Robert "Rob los Ricos" Thaxton, #12112716, MCCF, 4005 Aumsville Hwy, Salem, OR 97301, USA. Serving a seven-year mandatory minimum sentence for throwing a rock at a cop at a 1999 Reclaim the Streets action in Eugene, Oregon.
•Fran Thompson, #1090915 HU IC, WERDCC, POB 300, Vandalia, MO 63382-0300, USA. Before she was given a life sentence in the early 1990s for shooting a stalker in self defense, Thompson was active in animal rights and environmental campaigns.
Actions taken during a May2003 celebration of the end of US military maneuvers on Vieques, Puerto Rico, led to the conviction of several activists for conspiracy to destroy federal property.
•Jose Perez Gonzalez, #21519-069, Federal Prison Camp, POB 725, Edgefield, SC 29824-0725, USA. Serving five years.
•Jose Velez Acosta, #23883-069, Federal Correctional Complex, US Penitentiary, POB 1033, Coleman, FL 33521-1033, USA. Serving two years and nine months.
Prisoner Support Groups
•Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network, www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk.
•North American Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network, www.ecoprisoners.org.
artwork by Rini Templeton
Dismantling Monoculture: Tales of Ants and Economics in the Americas March-August • US and Southern Canada
In March, the Beehive Design Collective will take to the road for a grand, six-month tour with their now-complete graphic trilogy about globalization in the Americas. The tour will mark the long-anticipated debut of the trilogy's final installment, "Mesoamerica Resiste"—their most ambitious and elaborate illustration yet. It's a picture-lecture to be understood by anyone—not just the experts and political analysts.
The Beehive Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, art-activist collective that has gained international attention for and participation in its collaboratively produced graphics campaigns.
With three giant, illustrated, portable murals, a six-foot- tall fabric storybook and an engaging narrative, the Bees will take audiences on an interactive visual tour of the connections between colonization, militarization and resource extraction in the Americas. They will be exposing the agendas of the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Plan Colombia and Plan Puebla Panama, as well as building international resistance to the forces of globalization.
Join in as they deconstruct the complex and overwhelming issues that are shaping our world by using depictions of native animals and insects as metaphors to link cultural and ecological diversity.
The Bees are still booking a flight path for the next several months and are looking to arrange more visits to schools, organizations and events. They have flexible speaker fees, and funds generated from the tour will be used to support free presentations and poster distribution in Mexico and Central America, as well as the printing of the "Mesoamerica Resiste" poster.
It's not too late to bring them to your town!
Build an Environmental Education Park with the Rhizome Collective Spring-Fall • Austin, Texas
In 2004, the Rhizome Collective was donated a 10-acre parcel adjacent to 300 acres of urban parkland in Austin, Texas. Categorized as a brownfield, the site was covered in a two-acre, 30-foot-high wall of illegally dumped debris. The Rhizome Collective received a cleanup grant from the Environmental Protection Agency, and the majority of the debris has since been removed, reused or recycled.
Are you interested in being a part of this exciting, ongoing project to design and create an ecological justice park on this land? You must be able to make at least a six-month initial commitment. Willingness to stay through the Summer is a big plus. The Rhizome Collective is particularly interested in recruiting women, people of color, Spanish speakers, artists, permaculturists, educators, organizers, people with carpentry, administrative or accounting skills, or an interest in learning them, and all those interested in collective living, radical community organizing and developing sustainable urban systems.
Rhizome Collective members strive to create egalitarian social systems and foster honest, effective communication with each other, while working to undermine all forms of social oppression. Thus, they require that applicants be committed to the oversight and management of the Rhizome Collective, to establishing a truly ecologically sustainable culture and community, and to equal participation in consensus decision-making and shared responsibility in determining the project's future. Residents will also be required to pay $200 a month in rent and work 11 hours per week.
The Rhizome Collective is currently processing applications, so the sooner you apply, the more likely you will be to get one of the available spaces.
For more information, contact the Rhizome Collective, 300 Allen St, Austin, TX 78702; www.rhizomecollective.org.
Call for Submissions!
Sixth Annual Chicago Anarchist Film Fest
Spread the word! Organizers of the Chicago Anarchist Film Fest are looking for films by or about anarchists. The precise location and date of the festival have yet to be determined, but it will be held in the first week of May. An anarchist art show is also being planned for May Day. The deadline for submissions is April 1.
Please send a non-returnable copy of your submission to Chicago Anarchist Film Fest, c/o Midwest Books to Prisoners, 1573 N Milwaukee #460, Chicago, IL 60622.
Black Mesa Indigenous Support and Spring Caravan
Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is seeking volunteers to help support the remaining indigenous Dine who are resisting forced removal or who are making alternative efforts to remain on their ancestral lands on Big Mountain and in the surrounding communities of Black Mesa. Volunteers can give comfort and peace to these traditional elders by honoring them, herding sheep, organizing work crews to go to home sites or providing other essential skills in holistic therapy and renewable energy technologies. Come as an organized work crew for a few days, or stay for a month or longer.
BMIS is also organizing a Spring caravan, which will travel from the San Francisco Bay area (and possibly the Pacific Northwest) to Black Mesa in April or May, bringing needed supplies, skills and support to the community. Carpenters, gardeners, mechanics, sheepherders, and holistic health care and permaculture practitioners are especially encouraged to participate.
However, this is not a conventional "volunteer trip." Participants are not charity providers, and it is imperative that they not view themselves as such. While their assistance will be appreciated, the opportunity to learn from traditional elders is an honor and a privilege that few will ever know.
For more information, contact email@example.com.
Northeast Regional EF! Rendezvous April 28-May 1 • Maine
Maine Earth First! is issuing a call to environmental activists from New England and neighboring states and provinces to join them on the coast of Maine for a weekend of eco-resistance, community building and networking.
Those who attend will learn more about Maine EF!'s campaigns against Plum Creek's massive development plan for the North Woods, as well as a number of proposals for liquid gas terminals and toxic waste incinerators. Attendees will also get a chance to participate in these campaigns.
The site for the Rendezvous is Sears Island (Wassum- keag), the largest undeveloped island on the East Coast. It is a living tribute to a decade-old Maine EF! victory against industrial destruction. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, Sears Island is located off Route 1, just north of the town of Searsport. Due to the state's continued interest in developing the island, overnight camping is technically illegal. Rest assured, Maine EF! anticipates a low-risk scenario and has a creative strategy for whatever encounters may arise, including safe places to park cars and a contingency plan, if needed.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Workshops!
Twenty-Sixth Annual Round River Rendezvous
Katuah Earth First! is looking for people interested in organizing workshops for this year's Round River Rendezvous in the mountains of southern Appalachia (most likely southeastern Kentucky or southwestern Virginia). They would also like to hear from musicians and other performance-oriented folks who might be interested in providing a little entertainment. And brewers, start your carboys cuz there will be a homebrew taste-off too!
For more information, contact Katuah EF!, POB 1485, Asheville, NC 28802; email@example.com.
Classic Earth First! T-shirts now in stock! Also bike stickers, buttons, zines and more.
In dozens of news articles detailing numerous underground actions in North America, comment has been unavailable to counter the interests of the animal abusers, who have spoken largely unopposed.
For more in contact:
NAALPO members are not "spokespersons” for the animal liberation movement, but rather a growing group of tested, well-spoken professionals and activists who provide the media with information regarding actions by the underground, along with explanations of their ideology and philosophy
21044 Sherman Way #211 Canoga Park, CA 91302 Ph: (818) 932-9997 Fax: (818) 932-9998
Concerned'(Singles links socially conscious singles who care deeply about the earth, the environment, and a healthy society.
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free sample: Box 444-EF Lenox Dale, MA 01242 OR TELEPHONE (413) 243-4350 or visit [[http://www.concernedsingles.com][www.concernedsingles.com
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I POB 3023, Tucson, AZ 85702
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Saturday, March 18th, 2006
10am - Gpm
San Francisco County Fair Building
Golden Gate Park near 9th & Lincoln Way
Admission is Freel For more information call 415-431-8355
kid's/family space! free bike valet! food by Arizmendi Bakery/Cafe!
/1 COURSE FOR ACTIVISTS
KATUAH MEDICS PRESENTS
APRIL 1-12, 2006 WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
' A 12-day training course including a i-day Wilderness First Responder course plus additional days of herbal first aid andprotest medicine
Register Online ntedic.denwcracyaprisinq.org kaiuahmedics ©riseup. net
Ik WiUcnttss First Rispua(lVFR) is inSCh kws i-yararti/i'iticnd.M in -itplh fnim] inia tnumii, w/tdild atom m imwitol ISSKS.
Want to Be on Our Collective?
The Earth First! Journal, located in Tucson, Arizona, currently has an opening for a new member of our editorial staff. It could be you. Being a part of the Journal is full of rewards—working on a consensus basis with a tight collective among a supportive community to publish a magazine essential to the radical environmental movement. Our new long-term editor ideally will have publishing experience, be personally compatible with existing staff, have pounds of patience, be computer literate, have excellent editing skills, have a sense of humor and be able to commit to at least a year and a half. As a collective, all of the work is shared, so a motivated, hard-working individual is required!
We also welcome people with a variety of talents and activist experience to come and work for one issue of the Journal as a “short-term" editor. This adds to the diversity of voices and energy in the magazine. The waiting list can be long (up to a year), but it also depends on how flexible your schedule is and when you will be available.
To apply, send your resume with a letter of interest to the Earth First! Journal, POB 3023, Tucson, AZ 85702. Please forward a writing sample, activist history and the names of some EF! activists who can vouch for you. For more details, contact:
EARTH FIRST! DIRECTORY
109 N McCormick St, Prescott, AZ 86301 (928) 443-8525; firstname.lastname@example.org Chuk'shon EF!
Flagstaff Activist Network
POB 911, Flagstaff, AZ 86002
(928) 213-9507; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
ACT UP SF!
1884 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-6686; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Direct Action Fund
POB 210, Canyon, CA 94516
Free Mind Media
546 Pacific Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Long Haul Infoshop
3124 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-0751; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
North Coast EF!
POB 28, Arcata, CA 95518
(707) 825-6598; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Santa Cruz EF!
POB 344, Santa Cruz, CA 95061
Sierra Nevada EF!
collect! ve@sierranevadaearthfirst. org
smartMeme Strategy & Training Project
2940 16th St #216, San Francisco, CA 94103 [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
DIY Traveler's Inn
(303) 554-0923; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilderness Study Group
University of Colorado, Campus Box 207,
Boulder, CO 80309
Environmental Library Fund
25 Newtown Turnpike, Weston, CT 06883
(203) 227-2065; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
(561) 547-6686; email@example.com INDIANA
Boxcar Books & Community Center
310A S Washington St, Bloomington,
(812) 323-7328; [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
Solidarity! Radical Library
1119 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS 66044
POB 1582, Portland, ME 04104
POB 917, Belfast, ME 04915
People's Free Space
Mass Direct Action
POB 484, Somerset, MA 02726
POB 44173, Detroit, MI 48244
Church of Deep Ecology
POB 16075, St Paul, MN 55116
Forest Ecosystems Action Group
2441 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405 [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
Confluence/Communities Arts and
POB 63232, St Louis, MO 63163 [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
Buffalo Field Campaign
POB 957, West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(406) 646-0070; firstname.lastname@example.org Wild Rockies EF!
(406) 961-0171; email@example.com .
Environmental Resource Center
(308) 432-3458; firstname.lastname@example.org NEW YORK
Central New York EF!
POB 37044, Syracuse, NY 13235
216 W 122 St, New York, NY 10027
(212) 662-2878; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve
POB 344, New York, NY 10108
46 E Monroe, Mt Holly, NJ 08060
South Jersey/Philly EF!
224 W Glencove Ave, Northfield, NJ 08225 phiIlyearthfirst@yahooTom
Katuah EF!/Roadkill Faction
POB 1485, Asheville, NC 28802
108A Dayton St, Yellow Springs, OH 45387 Hock-Hocking EF!
23 Elliott St, Athens, OH 45701
The Wire: A Community Resource Center 21 Kern St, Athens, OH 45701
(740) 589-5111; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project 27803 Williams Ln, Fossil, OR 97830 Cascadia EF!
POB 10384, Eugene, OR 97440
Cascadia Forest Defenders
POB 11122, Eugene, OR 97440
(541) 684-8977; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Cascadia Rising! Ecodefense
POB 12583, Portland, OR 97212
(503) 493-7495; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
POB 11331, Eugene, OR 97440
UO Survival Center
EMU, Ste 1, UO Campus Center, Eugene, OR 97403
Ocean State EF!
Katuah EF!/Tennessee Valley Faction
POB 281, Chattanooga, TN 37401
(423) 505-9207; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Rivers EF!
POB 16309, Knoxville, TN 37996
(865) 633-8483; [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Dirty South EF!
POB 667614, Houston, TX 77266-7614 [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Wild Wasatch EF!
8790 W 25800 N, Portage, UT 84331
Save the Corporations from Themselves 169 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301 (802) 254-4847; email@example.com VIRGINIA
POB 504, Harrisonburg, VA 22803 [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
The Evergreen State College Environmental Resource Center
2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Cab 320, Olympia, WA 98505
(360) 867-6784; [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
The Last Wizards
2103 Harrison Ave #2341, Olympia,
POB 2640, Olympia, WA 98507 [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
Shuksan Direct Action [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
1019 Williamson St #B, Madison, WI 53703 (608) 262-9036
POB 1588, Wilson, WY 83014
(307) 690-6961; [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
POB 161, Norseman, WA, 6443, Australia
EF! OZ-Jervis Bay
POB 295, Nowra, NSW, 2541, Australia
EF! Belgium Support Group firstname.lastname@example.org CANADA
Kratka 26, 100 00 Prague 10, Czech Republic (420) 274-810-849; (420) 274-777-019 (fax);
An Talamh Glas (Green Earth) [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
EF! Action Update
12 London Rd, Brighton BN1 4JA, UK [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
Leeds EF! c/o CRC
16 Sholebroke Ave, Leeds LS7 3HB, UK 0113-262-9365; email@example.com London EF!
84B Whitechapel High St, London El 0, UK [[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org][email@example.com
London Rising Tide
62 Fieldgate St, london El IES, UK 0770-879-4665; firstname.lastname@example.org Manchester EF!
22a Beswick St, Manchester M4 7HS, UK [[mailto:email@example.com][firstname.lastname@example.org
POB 164, Totnes, TQ9 5WX, UK 020-7729-6973; email@example.com GERMANY
c/o Manuel Lindinger
Steinstrasse 10, Seitenfluegel Rechts, 12045
Green Action Israel
POB 4611, Tel Aviv 61046, Israel
Plantage Doklaan 12 A, 1018 CM, Amsterdam, Netherlands
31-20-668-2236; 31-20-468-2275 (fax);
Vrienden van GroenFront!
POB 85069, 3508 AB Utrecht, Netherlands
Environmental Rescue International/
20 Dawson Rd, by Forestry Junction, Benin
POB 1477, Kaliningrad, 236000, Russia
Green Korea United
110-740 #605 Korean Ecumenical Bldg 136-56
Younji-Dong, Jongro-Gu, Seoul, South Korea 82-2-747-8500; firstname.lastname@example.org WALES
Gwynedd & Mon EF!
The Greenhouse, 1, Trevelyan Terr Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 1AX, Wales
Runways and Runaway Climate Change
by Joss Garman
At the end of last year, radical eco-activists in the UK kick-started a new campaign to stop airport expansion, acknowledging aviation as the fastest-growing cause of climate change. A single passenger flying one way from London to Miami emits more greenhouse gases than the average British driver does in a year.
Communities living close to London's Heathrow Airport already suffer from air pollution, increasing traffic and massive noise levels. Now they face forced eviction as the government seeks to "identify solutions" that would allow a new runway to be built.
Almost all of these local residents have no experience with direct action or protest in any way, shape or form. However, they are fed up and frustrated with attempts at using conventional means to stop the proposed expansion. They feel as though they have nothing to lose.
Residents have been meeting with veterans of the Earth First! anti-roads movement and other grassroots environmentalists to form connections and share direct-action training with the idea of "upping the ante" against government and aviation-industry proposals for airport expansion scheduled for the next few years.
In the early '90s, at the height of direct-action campaigns at Twyford Down and Newbury bypass, it was the fusion of efforts by local, often-conservative people and radical greens that saw the government's plans for "Roman Style" road building defeated. Now, all signs show that these types of campaigns could kick off all over again. It's about time.
Last year, at the launch of a pro-expansion industry lobby group called "Future Heathrow," Alistair Darling, the government's transportation secretary, got a run for his money when a pie was thrown in his face by a protester posing as a freelance journalist.
On November 29, more than 300 airline executives from around the world gathered in London to discuss the industry's expansion. In an effort to put climate change firmly on the agenda, a team of EFlers used air horns attached to helium balloons and stormed a keynote address by a British Airways executive.
The same day, when the conference delegates attempted to wine and dine on the luxurious Towerbridge walkways, local residents and greens turned out in force to greet them. Police warned the bosses not to travel to their dinners alone and provided them with an escort. Activists on bikes delayed the vehicles and yelled "climate scum" and "go home" across the police cordons.
Local residents are preparing for action as well. They intend to do "go slows” on the main roads leading into the airport, which could cause severe disruption to flights. They have also said that they'll squat their own homes if the government attempts to demolish them.
This new campaign has captured the imagination of the corporate British media, generating front-page headlines in national newspapers. Support is coming from the most unexpected places too, with cross-party opposition in Parliament. Conservative Member of Parliament John Randall has pledged to lie down in front of bulldozers if construction goes ahead as planned.
Heathrow is just one of the airports that might be expanded, with local people near Stansted, Gatwick and Luton also facing similar futures filled with concrete. They are beginning to appreciate the tactics of "Campaign Plane Stupid." The question is how to derail the plans for expansion before they pick up steam. If construction is started, it will almost certainly be too late. If we get into gear now, we have a realistic chance of winning.
Stopping climate change is all that matters! If we are to believe scientists, every other campaign is just moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's about the existence of wild places and the survival of humanity vs. cheap flights to Manchester, Brussels and Edinburgh—all easily reachable destinations by train in just a few hours.
If we are to take the fight against global warming seriously, the environmental movement must think strategically as to where—with our limited resources—we can be most effective in directly stopping the sources of greenhouse gases. Transportation is the only area of energy use where carbon dioxide emissions are rising, not falling, and aviation is largely to blame. So let's directly thwart climate chaos by stopping airport expansion, halting short-haul flights and demanding an immediate tax on aircraft fuel. Anything else would be, well, plane stupid.
Joss Garman has been involved in successful direct-action campaigns against the commercialization of genetically modified crops, and he has been arrested numerous times disrupting work at nuclear facilities. He is cofounder of Campaign Plane Stupid.
PREGNANCY: ANOTHER DEADLY SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE
I’LL TAKE MY BEEF POACHED, THANKS
Did a cow get your elk?
PO BOX 1415 • EUGENE OREGON • 9/440
e Great Bear interest
For 10 years, environmentalists have been working to save five million acres of rainforest from logging. On February 7, they won. [[http://www.forestethics.org][www.forestethics.org
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