Tag Archives: tree spiking

Support for Sabotage

Posted on the WP blog of Dr. Steve Best; written by my ally in support for strategic sabotage, Usnea–someone with whom I did relief work at Common Ground in New Orleans’s 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina in December of 2005.

Dr. Steve Best

By Usnea, Earth First! Journal,  2011

I state without fear—but with the hope of rallying our collective courage—that I support radical actions. I support tools like industrial sabotage, monkey wrenching machinery and strategic arson. The Earth’s situation is dire. If other methods are not enough, we must not allow concerns about property rights to stop us from protecting the land, sea, and air. Today, more than ever, the Earth needs our effective action using all the methods of resistance at our disposal. Radical actions and radical movements grow out of supportive cultures. Let us once again build a strong supportive base for them.

Don’t get me wrong. During the Green Scare, in which dozens of activists  were incarcerated, our movement got seriously screwed with, and we   have had some extremely hard times because of the outstanding repression   we have faced for the last six years. I want to remember…

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Pictorial Highlight: Humboldt! #2

Roosevelt elk mama

Forest Reflection, Gold’s Beach, Praire Creek.

Young baby elk in April 2009.

“Na-na-nana-na, you don’t have antlers!!”

There is magic even in the tiniest of organisms; this is just the fruit, the reproductive organ, of a vast underground network of mycelium…and fungi are closer genetically to animals than they are to plants. Ponder THAT one for a minute!

Joie de Rikki, Gold’s Beach.

The sun drops below the horizon, painting the sky with its light-brush from millions of miles away, and the chill ocean breeze picks up and it lifts mist from the crest of each wave, and you feel like every moment is rife with possibility, with the awe of being alive in such a beautiful place, with the responsibility to do something that learning to love such things places on you.  You feel inspired.  The night flings itself upon you.

Sitting on a beached log, of which there are countless here…

There is something ultimately primordial about the temperate redwood rainforests of northern Humboldt and of Del Norte Counties.  Not just the size of the trees, but the density, the fecundity, the lushness; it can take you 10 minutes to travel 30 feet off-trail in these forests; you step on what looks to be solid ground, and then sink waist-deep in foliage and plant matter and rotting wood!  You expect to see Brontosauri here, munching on the leaves of old-growth redwoods, whose branches don’t even begin until about 90 feet up.  The amount of LIFE here is staggering, staggering, and 96 percent of the northwest’s old-growth forests have been logged, poisoned with herbicides and fungicides and diesel fuel (so the poisons stick–for awhile, until they eventually runoff into the local watershed), turned into lifeless deserts or genetically-modified monocrop tree plantations or moonscapes; that is “PROGRESS”–desert behind, forest in front.  That is growth for the sake of growth, the ideology of the cancer cell.  That is industrial civilization, and it must be stopped before it kills everything.

Banana slug!

Redwood textures and colors. Disproving Reagan’s adage that once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all. Each is an individual.

This is the Arco Giant, technically located in Redwood National Park; it is the 10th largest coast redwood by volume.  I see a face, complete with green hair, on the right side of the tree–see it? The bottom of this picture is about halfway up the main trunk, where it splits–redwoods are prolific in their growth of “reiterated trunks.” Basically when the top of the main trunk is damaged, it sprouts a new “trunk” that then rockets toward the sunlight. The most architecturally complex tree in the world is Illuvatar, located somewhat near this tree, with 220 (!!) reiterated trunks.

One of the most amazing books ever created (it is not just writing, but pictures and fantastically skilled drawings by the author) is Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast  by Robert Van Pelt.  Very highly recommended!

Another darling baby elk and his mother.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Your Bioregion!

Today I was feeling extremely depressed; among other reasons, both situational and neuro-chemical, my third novel, Redwood Falls, was rejected by what I and many others who’ve read the book thought would be the *PERFECT* publisher for it, Ashland Creek Press (they’re actively seeking eco-literature).  My work has been rejected hundreds of times and I’ve developed pretty thick skin, but this one really stung hard.  It truly seemed like the perfect match.  I wonder if the material was too radical for them?  It’s going to take somebody with serious chutzpah to publish Redwood Falls, as it involves tree-spiking, knocking down power lines, sabotaging railroad tracks, and bombing oil refineries–a sort of modern-day Monkey Wrench Gang, but more radical (more extreme ecological problems demand more “extreme” methods of combating the problems!), and with more of a literary bent–I’m not saying my book is better than The Monkey Wrench Gang, I’m just saying the narrator Foster is a tortured writer whose mother (a painter) will do ANYTHING she can to keep him from writing, because she is terrified he will end up an addict or a suicide, like so many other writers and creative people in general.

My apologies for the tangent; it somehow felt relevant.  So I decided that I needed a little time in nature to soothe my tormented psyche.  I took my shirt off (gotta get dat Vitamin D!), leashed up Rikki, and walked the half mile to a nice spot at the nearby Sonoma creek.  It was so very peaceful and cathartic and healing.  I sat in the calm, cool water.  I threw stikkis for Rikki.  She chewed on them, and I watched her nosh at the creek side salad bar, as she is wont to do.  There was a 20-foot blackberry bush overhanging the edge of the creek at one place; I found some of the ripe ones and ate them straight off the branch.  They were exquisitely sweet and juicy and just a tad tart.  There’s nothing like picking and eating wild berries right off the plant.  Some of them I ate straight up, some I dipped in the creek to clean off–I wonder which is better?  My mom is always worried I’ll get giardia, because I make a point of at least tasting, if not drinking, all fresh water I swim in that seems reasonably clean.  Hey, I’m a mostly-healthful-eating vegan–hence I’ve got a dynamite immune system, and the creek and river and stream water hasn’t hurt me yet!  It’s probably less dangerous than drinking most municipal tap water, given the prevalence of flouride (an INDUSTRIAL BYPRODUCT of fertilizer manufacturing) and chlorine and other pollutants.

Beautiful rock I came across in the creek.

 

My favorite part, though, was when I sat on a little boulder jutting out of the creek side and stuck my feet and shins in the water.  Dozens and dozens of minnows, beautiful, graceful little fish, came up and began nibbling on my toes and feet and legs.  It tickled a little, but felt nice, too.  It had been a couple days since I showered, so they were probably munching off bits of dead skin (Your first reaction is probably, “Gross!”  But truly, it’s a beautiful thing!)  I felt very connected to my local ecosystem in that moment, with juice from the blackberries still sweet on my tongue and the sun heating my bare flesh and my legs pleasantly cool in the water.  And that is so important.  I’ve been to National Parks and felt less connected to the place than I did to this relatively meager little locale; and yet it’s close enough for me to walk to, even with my fucked up knees.  We don’t need to travel far (and soon enough, when automobile culture “crashes,” we won’t hardly be able to!)–to have a marvelous nature experience.  Get to know your local bioregion; it may be the difference between Life and Death when our umbilical cord to industrial water and food is severed by ecological collapse.

I also picked up trash–EVERY DAY is nature clean-up day when you’re an Environ-meddler!!  I ended up with three plastic grocery bags (one of which I was able to salvage to pick up Rikki’s turds with), a big plastic garbage bag, an unidentifiable chunk of clear plastic, bottle caps, an Arrowhead plastic water bottle (think about that one for a second and you might glean one of the pathologies of civilization), an aluminum beer can, and a whole fucking folding chair, buried in about two inches of mud and rocks on the creek side–who knows how long it’s been there!  And it’s still in perfect working order, I might vinegar the shit out of that bitch and bring it home for the porch!

Doing all that made me think that, when you get right down to it, a big part of environmentalism is cleaning up the SHIT–literal and figurative–left behind by the assholes who came before us.  Whether that shit is actual shit, or nuclear waste, or pollution in the air/water/soil, that’s what it comes down to.  (If you want to learn more about what industrial humans leave behind, I highly recommend What We Leave Behind  by Jensen and McBay, and Garbage Land  by Elizabeth Royte.)

But this is the absolutely essential part, so PAY ATTENTION!:  It is not enough to merely clean up the shit left behind by humans.  Because we can never get it all!  What we have to do is ***STOP THE SHIT FROM BEING MANUFACTURED IN THE FIRST PLACE.***  In other words, if we want life on Earth to continue with any kind of diversity, we MUST hinder the smooth functioning of industrial syphilization, with the ultimate goal of dismantling it wholesale.  That’s it.  That’s the only way we’re going to stop the current Mass Extinction of plants and animals underway, caused by industrial civilization.

Rikki, NOT pleased at the prospect of a post-creek bath.

As the World Burns by Jensen and MacMillan

This book was released five years ago, but it’s still great and still very timely and I want to promote it, so this is my short review of it.

As the World Burns:  50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial, by Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan, Seven Stories Press, 2007.

As the World Burns is a graphic novel about a world becoming increasingly unlivable.  Dams choke rivers and decimate fish populations, factories spew toxic garbage into the air and water and soil, and enormous swaths of open space disappear to the death-marching “progress” of industrial civilization (sound familiar?).  And we’re supposed to fight this death machine by recycling?  Taking shorter showers?  All the while, aliens from outer space have descended, and bought off the rights to what’s left of Planet Earth’s natural resources from the torture-loving, zombie-faced U.S. President in exchange for large amounts of gold.  The aliens begin gorging themselves—literally—on the forests, rocks, mountains, fish, and everything else in the natural world until almost nothing is left.  And the president’s corporate masters are not happy about it…

The novel traces the philosophical evolutions of many disparate human characters—young adults, mainstream environmentalists, a nature-loving wanderer who may or may not be Derrick Jensen—and how they come together, both conceptually and physically, to rise up with appropriate levels of resistance and stop those who are killing the planet.  For the nonhumans, there is never any question.  The crows, the polar bears, the raccoons and fish and one-eyed “vicious terrorist” bunny who escaped from a vivisection lab, don’t have the luxury of waiting patiently for the revolution to come, for the shackles of civilization to be gradually lifted.  They don’t have air conditioning, water filters, or laws to protect them; they feel the brutal effects of industry and human development every day, in their bodies, in their psyches.  For those with the steel-toed Shaq-boot of civilization on their necks, there is no tomorrow.

As the World Burns is a gripping, hilarious, heartbreaking tale.  I cheered and I cried when the one-eyed bunny returns to the vivisection lab and exacts revenge on his tormentors.  We could all learn something from the “terrorist” bunny, and the rest of the nonhumans in the story.  They never stop to question whether their actions are “moral,” legal, or fit into a rigid dogmatic philosophical doctrine (also a product of civilization, a concern that just doesn’t exist in the natural world).  Freedom is all that matters.

As the World Burns is rife with Jensen’s acerbic wit.  McMillan’s drawings are fabulous, too.  It is necessarily less in depth than Jensen’s usual long, winding, piercing analyses.  In a way, this is a blessing, since this makes it much more accessible to those not well-versed in anti-civ ideas.  Get a copy, spend a few hours being entertained and inspired, and then pass it around to your friends.  You just might plant the seeds of revolution.

****************************************************************************

You can buy it from your local used book store, or directly from Derrick Jensen (and check out his great website while you’re at it!).

Testify! Eco-Defense and the Politics of Violence

This is probably the best overall documentary I’ve seen about the environment; it is uncompromisingly militant and very entertaining to boot.  It is available in 9 parts on You Tube.  Here’s part 1.  I cannot more highly recommend it.

 

I’ve also transcribed the video in English, in case anybody wants to subtitle it in their native language; I did this for a friend in the Czech Republic and he then added subtitles and showed it at hardcore shows!  Let me know if you want a copy of the transcript.

Deaths by Tree Spiking

I saw that a recent top search on my blog was “How many killed by tree spiking?”  There’s this industry-pushed-and-funded misinformation in mainstream media that tree spiking is an attempt to harm old-growth tree murderers; this is completely untrue and has no basis in reality.  Every single known environmentally-inspired tree-spiking was anonymously announced to the timber company and, where appropriate, the Forest Service–done solely in order to avoid worker injuries.  NO PERSON HAS EVER BEEN KILLED BY A TREE SPIKE.  The case of George Alexander, which I discussed in my prior entry, is the ONLY KNOWN EVEN INJURY TO OCCUR AS THE RESULT OF A TREE-SPIKING, and that particular instance was not performed by an environmentalist.  The industry of course demonizes these sorts of actions as violent, homocidal, and immoral.  And yet they of course do not mention that timber cutting (aka forest killing) is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, with mortality rates FAR higher than the average.  People are killed by shitty equipment, falling trees, etc.  But never by a tree spike.  Remember that, if nothing else.  So the real homocidal, violent lunatics are the corporate CEOs and company managers who push for higher and higher cut rates, and who fail to replace shoddy equipment in the name of corner-cutting profit-mongering, as the case of George Alexander shows.

Tree Spiker by Mike Roselle

A Review of Tree Spiker: From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action by Mike Roselle with Josh Mahan, St. Martin’s Press, 2009.

Along with book-inspired ramblings and historical, factual, and tactical explorations.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. And not just because it was free, ethically shoplifted (not by ME, of course!) from a major book-selling corporation that gobbles up independent booksellers.  But because it should’ve been a great story with a radical environmental message that would inspire me to work even harder with my own writing–the only form of activism I can really participate in, given my disability. But I must be honest. Overall, I did not like the book. It has some positive elements, but it also has myriad overwhelmingly horrible elements that push it over the edge into the territory of more-harm-than-good.

I’ll start with the good aspects, since there are only a few; hoping that you’ll read through it all to get to the more important critiques. It was a quick read. Well-written most of the time. Tree Spiker, written in first-person, tells the story of Mike Roselle, who co-founded the radical environmental organization Earth First! (exclamation point mandatory!) with Dave Foreman and others in the early 1980s. He also founded or co-founded an impressive list of hotshot eco-organizations, such as The Ruckus Society and Rainforest Action Network (RAN). It was interesting to learn about the genesis of these groups. ‘Twas also fascinating to learn more about some of the victories gained by Earth First!, such as winning some amount of alleged protection in the Cove/Mallard Wilderness area in Idaho. Whether any of the victories are wholly worthwhile is debatable, as I will discuss later.

I liked how the book included a lot of ecological primers, you could call them: explanations, say, of why forests are vitally important for everyone, not just the animals who live there. And how the idea of “sustained-yield (in other words, sustainable) logging” is utterly fallacious. These almost make the book worth recommending to people not well-versed on ecology; however, the serious flaws of the book convince me that it would be much more worthwhile to recommend books that delineate ecological issues, but then do not come to faulty conclusions, as Tree Spiker does. Books by dudes like Edward Abbey and Derrick Jensen. Lastly in terms of positive aspects, it was very intriguing to learn about some of the intricacies of different campaigns. For example, the unabashed violence of “timber” workers: “Loggers were shooting any red-cockaded woodpecker they encountered on the job…Speak out at a public hearing, and your dog will be shot or poisoned, roofing nails may be thrown on your driveway, your car windows shot out, and your children harassed at school.” (emphasis mine) It’s good to see that he included evidence that the essential totality of the violence surrounding environmentalists flows in one direction; that is to say, against them (see Premise Four at the beginning of Derrick Jensen’s crucial two-volume work, Endgame). It was also nice to see a good practical response to this violence: “They intimidated us. We intimidated them. Rick Valois and the Eco-Rangers, complete with military uniforms, volunteered to guard the road [leading to the Cove/Mallard activists‘ outdoor headquarters] and our camp against any attacks from the loggers” (page 158). This is a great example set for those who care about life on the planet. Corporate/Government thugs (if you can tell them apart) and psychotic brainwashed members of the dominant culture will be prepared and even gleeful at every opportunity to physically assault us, especially as the collapse of industrial civilization hastens and accountability is reduced even further than it already has been. We need to be prepared to defend ourselves by a variety of methods. Unfortunately the organizers disallowed the Eco Rangers from carrying firearms, even though it was on private property owned by one of the environmentalists, and therefore wouldn’t have even been illegal!

Now on to the really big issues I had with the book. There are so many flaws that I could easily fill pages, but I’ll stick to the really big ones. First off, he staunchly speaks out against the tactic of spiking trees to try to prevent them from being logged. Even though he did it himself–successfully, I might add–on multiple occasions. With just a couple hours of work, he and his partners in “crime” were able to stop timber sales that would’ve in all likelihood taken literally hundreds or thousands of person-hours to stop through legal channels. It worked. Certainly not all the time, not even most of the time, but it worked. And let’s not forget that the vast majority–an embarrassing majority–of legal attempts to stop the destruction of the natural world fail. And that when they do succeed, they take absolutely enormous amounts of people and time invested, as opposed to sabotage, which can take a handful or even sometimes just one person, and only a matter of hours rather than months or year. With so much destruction going on, to the point where every body of water on the planet is contaminated with man-made toxic chemicals, and runaway global climate change is imminent, and there is a remote area of the Pacific Ocean twice the size of the United States where particles of plastic out-volume plankton by a ratio of 5 to 1, we don’t have the fucking TIME to be polite and ask nicely and remain unequivocally within the bounds of the laws created by those who are profiting from the destruction of the planet. We have to do whatever it takes. All of our lives are at stake, and the lives of future generations, and the lives of countless nonhuman species threatened with extinction. Roselle sites the example of one single mill worker in Cloverdale, California (the book says Hopland, but it was actually Cloverdale–being a Mendocino County resident, I’m allowed to split hairs here) who was seriously injured when a spike snapped the band saw with which he was slicing a tree. So what that the worker, George Alexander, blames not environmentalists for the incident, but his company: “Cracks had begun appearing in the band saw blade, and the blade was wobbling when it ran. But when George and other workers complained, foreman Dick [how fitting] Edwards shined them on, saying the new blades were not in yet, and they would have to make do. ‘That blade was getting so bad,’ said George, ‘that I almost didn’t go to work that day.’” (Timber Wars, Judi Bari 1994). And it is widely accepted for a number of reasons that the spiking was not done by an eco-radical, but by a disgruntled local Republican.  And yet still Roselle uses this incident as the primary reason to disavow tree-spiking. If it sounds nonsensical to you, I think you’re onto something.

Yes, there is a chance that with sabotage somebody might be injured (though precautions are always taken to avoid just such a thing), even though both the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) have never killed a human being, and the worst harm ever done was when an ALF member in the U.K. gave a security guard a bloody nose with a punch (From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, Keith Mann, Puppy Pincher Press, 2007–an amazing, fascinating book that explores the historical growth and actions of the ALF–see http://www.fromdusktildawn.org.uk/). And these are the two underground organizations the U.S. Government calls THE #1 DOMESTIC TERRORIST THREAT. Think maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re targeting, very effectively I might add, profits rather than people? It rather starkly demonstrates their priorities. So while there is that tiny risk that somebody might be hurt, if effective action is not taken to prevent the catastrophic collapse of ecosystems the world over, every single human and nonhuman on the planet will be harmed and/or killed. How convenient that Roselle does not take these things into account and then try to refute them, or even mention them. It’s a common tactic utilized when a person knows they are standing on shaky ideological grounds. Judi Bari (rest her soul) did it when denouncing tree-spiking in her book Timber Wars. And Roselle follows suit and does it here. But he sure does take advantage of the sensationalism of tree-spiking to try and sell more books. For fuck’s sake, he NAMED THE GODDAMN BOOK AFTER IT!! Fer shame!

There was one offhand remark relatively early on that was insulting to women and offensive even to me as a male. To me it spoke volumes about Mike Roselle’s personal worldview, of which he thinks so highly. At one point in his life someone offers him a job doing anti-nuke activism in Nevada. He lists two reasons for declining that offer. The first is that he spent a lot of time in Vegas before, and didn’t want to work out of a cheap motel. The second is that, “[his] girlfriend , Claire Greensfelder, had just been hired to coordinate the Greenpeace Nuke campaign. She would be my boss.” OH THE HORROR!! A WOMAN, BEING THE BOSS OF A MAN! HEAVEN ON EARTH FORBID!! Ugh. The patriarchal mindset embodied here is just revolting, and for those two sentences alone he deserves not a single book sale. Unfortunately it goes far, far beyond that.

His chapter about the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) protests in Seattle, which would come to be known as the Battle in Seattle, is laughable. Almost as laughable–almost–as the chapter that follows it, which is about the ELF. First, he derides the militant confrontation inspired by the Black Bloc (which he erroneously spells “Black Block” every time) anarchists: “Images of black-clad, bandanna-wearing anarchists throwing rocks at Starbucks windows came to define the event, pushing any other issue by the wayside” (page 230). And…um…so fucking what! Sometimes only sensational images can wake people up from their television and culture-induced, zombie-like stupor. The fact of the matter is that it drew huge international attention to the event. People are still talking about it over a decade later. For christ’s sake, a mainstream movie about the protests that got released in theaters came out just a couple years ago. Called…well whatta ya know, Battle in Seattle. And yes, it did cover the issues, not just the property destruction. That protest will start showing up in history textbooks if it hasn’t already. How many protests can that be said about? Had it been just another boring, dime-a-dozen, peaceful, sign-waving, chanting protest, it would’ve been lucky to receive a tenth of the media attention, and it would’ve disappeared from the collective consciousness almost immediately–if it even made it there in the first place. Even more importantly, beyond showing that a lot of people were really fucking angry with the state of the world, it showed that fighting back was an option. Something we need more and more every single day. At the end of the chapter, Roselle displays his total ignorance and proves that he doesn’t know a goddamn thing about what he is taking such a strong stance on. Referring to anti-war protestors, he says, “They only called for U.S. troops to pull out and let the region sink into real anarchy” (pgs. 230-231). This shows two things. First, that he is fine with the mass murder of innocent brown-skinned civilians, which would continue every day the wars did. Second, it shows that he doesn’t even know what the word anarchy even means! His knowledge of anarchism seems to come solely from popular mainstream media (e.g. Heath Ledger’s Joker saying, “But introduce a little…ANARCHY!). Guess what, genius: anarchy is not a synonym for chaos. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It would actually be wonderful if Iraq and Afghanistan became regions of “real anarchy.” It would mean total self-governance, egalitarian decision-making, an end to patriarchy and violence toward women, an end to oppression, and so on. Like I said–laughable. The next chapter shows that, sadly, his ignorance goes even deeper.

It starts at the very beginning–with the chapter title: “Green Scare–The Brief and Brutal Career of the ELF.” This tries to slide at least two premises right on by us. But slow down just a second there, Mikey. He uses the word “brief.” This presupposes first that the ELF’s “career” was…well…brief. That it only lasted a very short time. Well shit, last time I checked, people were still performing sabotage under the rubric of the Earth Liberation Front all over the world. Last I checked, they had a press office to disseminate their communiqués and defend their actions to the media. Hell, some folks have just recently started up a environmental journal focusing largely on the ELF (Resistance: Journal of the Earth Liberation Movement, see http://www.resistancemagazine.org/)! He later says that Bill “Avalon” Rodgers, who was involved in some of the more spectacular ELF actions, such as the torching of a Veil ski resort that caused some $12,000,000 (yup, 12 million) in damages, “had recruited a cell for a group he called the Earth Liberation Front (pgs. 235-236, emphasis mine). Funny, the ELF started around 1992 in England as a more radical off-shoot of Earth First!, by people who were tired with the same old tactics and felt the need to step things up. I’m fairly certain Avalon was not in the U.K. in the early 90s convincing Earth First!ers to move in a more militant direction. It’s also highly debatable that Avalon recruited the ELF members who were later involved in the government’s “Operation Backfire” roundup. I’ve read a lot on the matter, and never seen any solid evidence he was any kind of leader. It is, after all, a leaderless organization by design! Not so “brief,” then, is it? Then that other word…“brutal.” He also calls that particular cell’s actions “altogether more violent than anything that had ever been done in the name of the environment before.” Really? How about the dozens of BOMBINGS that took place against a water pipeline in the Owens Valley of California that was stealing water from the valley for Los Angeles in the 1920s? The ELF never used a single bomb, only incendiary devices.

Roselle also claims, “In no instance have I seen or suspected a coordinated attempt by the federal government to disrupt the environmental movement” (page. 238). Somebody’s gotta get this guy in the motherfuckin loop! Does he live in a Unabomber cabin in the Appalachian wilderness or something? How about the case of undercover FBI provocateur “Anna,” who infiltrated a group of environmentalists and entrapped Eric McDavid, landing him a 22-odd year prison sentence (see http://supporteric.org/), or the government’s attempt to infiltrate vegan fucking potlucks!? (see http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/fbi-informant-vegan-potluck/437/ from Will Potter‘s wonderful site, Green Is the New Red).

He says, “The new anarchists lacked a commitment to, and an understanding of, nonviolence” (page 234). And yet he mentions at one point that several of the ELF members had attended his Ruckus Society’s nonviolence trainings. Apparently their lessons didn’t stick? LOL! Or better yet, I would not be at all surprised if those bullshit nonviolence trainings were the thing that finally pushed them over the edge toward militant direct action! What a lovely irony that would be. Later on in the very paragraph about their lacking a commitment to nonviolence, Roselle says, “…there was no room for anyone who did not conform to their rigid set of principles and worldview.” Wow, kind of sounds like him with the nonviolence thing, doesn’t it? He even invokes the legacy of MLK and Gandhi to show why nonviolence is morally paramount and effective. But of course, he ignores the totality of factors that led to those individuals’ success. That, for example, the United States was stuck in a quagmire in Vietnam during MLK’s busiest era, and therefore had much fewer troops and resources and energy to expend fighting blacks in America. Ditto that for Britain during Gandhi’s time. For a thorough debunking of the myth of nonviolence as the only thing that has ever achieved anything in social justice movements, see Pacifism as Pathology by Ward Churchill. Man alive, I can’t believe this guy got picked up by a major publisher. Then again, maybe it makes a lot of sense. Not exactly a bunch of eco-radicals and historians over there at St. Martin’s, I’m wildly guessing. It also makes me even more depressed that I have such trouble getting my books represented by an agent or published. “The food was vegan,” he says, again in the very same paragraph, “the music hip-hop, and clothes black. Tattoos and piercing were required.” Hm. I’m not going to spend much time on this embarrassing nonsense, but being a (green) anarchist myself, I’ve been to a fair number of anarchist events and gatherings. There seems to always be non-vegan food present (though not non-vegetarian, thankfully). I’ve heard all kinds of music there. And I have no tattoos or piercings. They didn’t check my body upon entering for these things, so apparently they aren’t so required. I literally lol’d (laughed out loud) when I read that. The final joke and insult was a two-pronged verbal assault on the ELF: first Roselle says that, “They wanted everything the easy way” (pg. 238). Oh my. Call me a crazy bastard, but I don’t think–now I could be wrong, but I do not think that committing multiple serious felonies with no statutes of limitations, setting fires that caused millions of dollars in damages, and risking life sentences in prison is the goddamn fucking EASY WAY OUT. Finally, the closing sentence of the pathetic chapter: “In the end, it takes more courage to sit in front of a bulldozer than it does to burn one” (page 238). I actually had to write LMFAO! in the margin on that one. Do I even need to delve into that one? If you’ve made it this far, I hope not. Just see the previous example.

In short, he holds his nose up so high at those with differing viewpoints that you can see far more of the man that you want to; his nose hair, his boogers, maybe even his comparatively small brain peeking down at you. For every positive aspect, there are 5 or more negative ones. And in the end, I think it is a book more harmful to the environmental movement than helpful–mainly because it encourages the kind of nonviolent dogma in our actions that is leading us straight into ecological Armageddon. We need to utilize effective tactics that actually start to unravel the systems of power and destruction, not concern ourselves with moral purity.

I apologize for the length (wow, that may be the first time I’ve ever used those words together–alright, a teeny weenie joke!). But it started as a book review and morphed into something more, a sort of diatribe against nonviolent dogma and in defense of effective action, and the crucial nature thereof.