Sunday, April 29, 2012
With a Rebel Yell, Deep Green Resistance Takes Message to Southeast
By Press Action
During a two-week period this summer, radical environmentalists will be spreading their message of resistance to industrial capitalism to an area of the country that they hope will prove a fertile recruiting ground. Instead of preaching to the converted in historically friendly communities across the western United States, Deep Green Resistance is heading to the Southeast, where the ruling elite has never hesitated to subsidize a nuclear power plant project or clamp down on a trade union organizing effort.
A traveling group of DGR activists will be touring seven Southeast cities in what the group’s organizers are calling the “Culture of Resistance Roadshow.” At each stop of the tour, there will be music, art and informative presentations that DGR hopes will give activists the tools they need to make a difference in the struggle for a livable future.
The tour kicks off in Miami on June 16 and then makes its last stop in Washington, D.C., on June 30. In between, the traveling roadshow will visit Gainesville, Fla., on June 18, Asheville, N.C., on June 22, Chapel Hill, N.C., on June 23, Knoxville, Tenn., on June 25, and Richmond, Va., on June 27.
“We tried to choose cities that already have a radical presence there,” DGR organizer Sam Krop said. “We understand how important it is to network with other like-minded activists and to build strong communities willing to fight for the rights of life and living beings. With many of the cities that we chose, we were already familiar with a local venue or activist group, so we were able to work from a solid foundation.”
The roadshow’s tour cities have groups or individuals who are supportive of DGR, but the region doesn’t have any DGR action groups and hasn’t had any DGR-sponsored events yet. “We hope to encourage support for this movement and connect with those supporters we already have,” said Xander Knox, another lead organizer with DGR.
The DGR group emerged from the work of authors/activists Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith and Aric McBay, who co-authored the book, Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet. The book, published in 2011, examines strategic options for resistance, from nonviolence to guerrilla warfare, and the conditions required for those options to be successful. It provides an exploration of organizational structures, recruitment, security, and target selection for both aboveground and underground action.
DGR currently has 25 chapters in seven countries and 12 U.S. states. To help aid with its educational and recruitment efforts, DGR also recently launched a news service, which covers global environmental and social issues, from logging operations in Brazil’s rainforest to air pollution in Britain. The news service also stays on top of the key environmental battles in the United States.
Each Southeast roadshow will include workshops that will feature a similar program, although there may be some small differences based on the nature of each individual locale. For example, DGR is hoping to do the first event in Miami with members of One Struggle, an anti-capitalist organization in South Florida.
“The workshops will focus on the problem with civilization and the need for resistance, so while the basic critique and strategy will remain the same, we are going to try and tailor our examples and calls to action to each specific place,” Krop said. “For instance, as an illustration of the destructiveness of civilization, we could discuss the degradation of the everglades in South Florida and mountaintop removal in Appalachia. We understand that resistance looks different in every situation and every place, so while we will retain a singular message, we hope to make that message applicable to every location.”
Members of DGR will be leading the workshops at each tour stop and will be working with local activists for promotion and outreach. Jensen, Keith and McBay will not be in attendance at any of the Culture of Resistance Roadshow events, the organizers said.
After the final stop in Washington, DGR members plan to travel north to meet up with their friends in Earth First! who are helping to organize the “2012 Round River Rendezvous,” which is scheduled to run July 1-7 in the Marcellus Shale region. “We aim to craft this year’s Round River Rendezvous into both a meaningful opportunity to connect activists and environmental justice campaigns from across the country, and a resounding gesture of solidarity with all those resisting the spread and effects of fracking,” the Marcellus Shale Earth First! Network said in a statement. The location of the EF! Rendezvous in the Marcellus region will be disclosed closer to the date of the event.
DGR said it recognizes that the current structure of society—industrial civilization—is fundamentally unsustainable, and that small-scale remedial actions will not stop the systematic destruction of the natural world. The Culture of Resistance Roadshow workshops “will explore the inability of current efforts to truly address the fundamental contradictions of our modern struggles, and present concrete steps to an equitable, thriving future,” the group said. “This workshop is intended as a practical guide to effective activism, and will leave attendees feeling empowered to shift the course of history at this most critical juncture.”Share