Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Press Conference on Thacker Pass

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Press Conference on Thacker Pass

November 29
For Immediate Release

On Tuesday, December 5th, from 1 pm to 2:30 pm, following a federal judge’s dismissal of their latest lawsuit, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) will hold a press conference on their court cases against the Thacker Pass lithium mine.

Members of the media are invited to attend the press conference, which will be held at RSIC’s Multipurpose Room, 34 Reservation Road, Building A, Reno, NV. The press conference will also be available by zoom and will be live streaming on the RSIC Facebook page.

Speakers will include Chairman Arlan Melendez, who has led the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony for 32 years and is poised to retire at the end of this year; Michon Eben, the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for RSIC; and Will Falk, one of the attorneys who has represented the tribe in the Thacker Pass court cases.

“We invite you to join us, as we continue our efforts to protect our sacred and culturally important site; considering it’s being destroyed right now,” said Chairman Melendez. Melendez is a nationally-respected Tribal leader and Vietnam war veteran who guided the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony through previous mining controversies, advocated for Tribal land protection and consultation rights, and helped coordinate the Tribe’s Thacker Pass strategy.

For two and a half years, Native American Tribes including the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony have been speaking out about the cultural importance of Thacker Pass, a remote mountainside in northern Nevada which Lithium Nevada Corporation plans to turn into a massive open-pit lithium mine to supply batteries for General Motors’ electric vehicles.

Thacker Pass is known as “Peehee Mu’huh” in the Paiute language, and is home to sacred sites, harvesting and hunting grounds, ceremonial areas, and the locations of two massacres of Paiute children, women and men.

On November 9th, Northern District of Nevada Chief Judge Miranda Du dismissed a second lawsuit filed in February of this year by the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for allowing the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine to destroy sacred sites in Thacker Pass without concluding tribal consultation. The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony was joined by the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe , and Burns Paiute Tribe in the suit.

“We are very disappointed that the court is allowing Lithium Nevada to destroy the site of an 1865 massacre of Paiute peoples and a whole Traditional Cultural District before the Bureau of Land Management finished consulting with tribes about ways to avoid or mitigate harm to these sites,” says Will Falk. “While climate change is a very real, existential threat, if government agencies are allowed to rush through permitting processes to fast-track destructing mining projects like the one at Thacker Pass, more of the natural world and more Native American culture will be destroyed. Despite this project being billed as ‘green,’ it perpetrates the same harm to Native peoples that mines always have.”

Thacker Pass is located in northern Nevada near the Oregon border, where Lithium Nevada Corporation is in the first phase of building a $2 billion open-pit lithium mine which would be the largest of its kind in North America. The lithium is mainly destined for General Motors Corporation’s electric car batteries, which the corporation claims is “green.” Mine opponents call this greenwashing and have stated that “it’s not green to blow up a mountain.”

Lithium Nevada claims that its lithium mine will be essential to producing batteries for combating global warming. The Biden administration has previously indicated some support for Thacker Pass as part of the president’s climate policy.

Opponents of the project have called this “greenwashing,” arguing that the project would harm important wildlife habitat and create significant pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions. They say that electric cars are harmful to the planet and a different approach is needed to address the climate crisis.

The lithium produced at Thacker Pass would end up in electric vehicles produced by General Motors including the electric version of the Hummer, a $110,000, >9,000 pound behemoth that produces more carbon dioxide pollution than an average gasoline-fueled sedan.

“Global warming is a serious problem and we cannot continue burning fossil fuels, but destroying mountains for lithium is just as bad as destroying mountains for coal,” says Max Wilbert, co-founder of Protect Thacker Pass and author of the book Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It. “You can’t blow up a mountain and call it green.”

To request the zoom link or to learn more about the RSIC community, culture, departments, economic developments, business opportunities and services, contact Bethany Sam, Public Relations Officer.

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Protect Thacker Pass and several named defendants are fighting a lawsuit filed against them by Lithium Nevada Corporation. We are seeking monetary donations to their legal defense fund. You can donate via credit or debit cardPayPal (please include a note that your donation is for Thacker Pass legal defense), or by check.

Image by Max Wilbert of the landscape at Thacker Pass before mining construction began.

Cease Fire! Yellowstone Buffalo Need to Recover

Cease Fire! Yellowstone Buffalo Need to Recover

Editor’s Note: Last winter, we published a news report about the winter hunt for buffalo in Yellowstone National Park. Today we are bringing you a short update from Stephany Seay, co-founder of Roam Free Nation, about an appeal for a ceasefire for the last wild buffalo at the Yellowstone National Park for this upcoming winter.


By Stephany Seay/Roam Free Nation

It is time for a cease-fire in the so-called buffalo hunts that take place on the western and northern edges of Yellowstone National Park.

Last winter was the worst “hunting” season the buffalo suffered since the 19th century.

Winter came early and hard and we witnessed one of the largest migrations into Montana long before Yellowstone was established. Mostly tribal hunters slaughtered no less than 1,175 buffalo in the killing fields of Beattie Gulch in the Gardiner Basin.

Most of the tribes currently hunting under treaty right actually extended their hunting seasons to take advantage of the situation. It’s bad every year, but last winter Beattie Gulch became a massacre site with gut piles stretching as far as they eye could see, many of them encased baby buffalo who would never see the light of day.

A river of blood ran down Beattie Gulch into the Yellowstone River.

The hunters ignored the tragedy they had caused, and instead patted themselves on the back for a successful season.

Buffaloes in danger outside Yellowstone

Roam Free Nation, along with our allies at the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Gallatin Wildlife Association, and the Council for Wildlife and Fish, recently sent a letter to Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson, asking her to close Beattie Gulch to bison hunting due to serious concerns for public safety.

For Roam Free Nation, it’s much more than that; the well-being of our National Mammal is the gravest concern. The Yellowstone buffalo are currently being considered for Endangered Species Act listing by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, yet in the meantime, nearly every single one gets gunned down after stepping out of the park, so listing can not come fast enough.

We know those who “hunt” there will fight us, because they have a sovereign right to kill. But, just because you have a right, doesn’t make it right.

Humans have a responsibility and obligation to ensure the viability and evolutionary potential of hunted populations, and all creatures we share this Earth with.

Such is not the case in these so-called hunts.

At the October 2023 Interagency Bison Management Plan meeting, Yellowstone’s head bison biologist, Chris Geremia, warned state, federal, and tribal decision-makers — as he has for many years now — against any lethal action in the Hebgen Basin, near West Yellowstone.

Why? To attempt some semblance of protection for the imperiled Central herd; the last truly wild, migratory buffalo left in the country. The Northern herd migrates into Montana’s Gardiner Basin; the Central herd migrates into both the Gardiner Basin and Hebgen Basin, meaning they are doubly impacted by mismanagement actions.

The Central herd has been in decline for over a decade

Yellowstone biologists continue to warn against hunting in the Hebgen Basin, but these warnings continue to fall on deaf ears. As I write this, already 8 bull buffalo have been taken by state hunters near West Yellowstone.

It is a disservice by hunt managers to ignore these warnings, and it is utter disrespect and irresponsibility by hunters to continue to kill. It’s time for hunters to stop doing the dirty work of Montana’s Department of Livestock and their cattle interests.

These killing frenzies are not sustainable. Wild buffalo will never be able to restore themselves so long as there is no restraint by hunters and no enforcement by hunt managers.

The buffalo barely have any opportunity to access or express themselves on the meager “tolerance” zones they’ve been granted. A cease-fire is in order to allow them to do just that, then we work together for more buffalo on a much larger landscape.


Stephany Seay is the co-founder of the Montana-based Roam Free Nation, a native-led organization who works to defend the last wild buffalo and all of wild nature. More information can be found at RoamFreeNation.org.

Photo of Yellowstone bison by kasabubu/pixabay via Canva.com

Pornography Industry: History, Legal Environment and Resistance

Pornography Industry: History, Legal Environment and Resistance

Editor’s note: The following event is not being organized by DGR. We stand in solidarity with it and encourage our readers to get involved if possible.


Webinar on Pornography

Our conversation will be led by Hugh Esco, a member of the Green Alliance for Sex Based Rights, an officer of the Georgia Green Party. Hugh has for years researched the pornography industry and its impact on the often trafficked ‘performers’, on consumers and their families and as a contributor to rape culture which poses a growing threat to the mental health of adolescent girls and young women; of the boys and men who want to be a part of their lives. He will be sharing a presentation first developed five years ago, which examines the pornography industry, efforts by the church, state, the courts, feminists and others to regulate it; and which has recently been updated to share new material about the current state of feminist resistance to the monopoly currently controlling the industry. After his presentation, we will open the floor for questions and discussion among the participants.

Saturday, November 4th at 2:00 pm, Eastern time zone, please translate to your timezone for your calendar.

You need to register for the event. You can do it here. You have to open in Firefox to register. The tickets are available at different rates, from $0 to $100.


A Note of Gratitude

As most of our viewers are already aware, DGR conducted an event on Ecology of Spirit on October 21. We would like to thank all who attended and showed us your support. Your kind words encourage us. We would also like to thank those who donated to us through our fundraiser and our auction. Your support will go a long way in building grassroots movements.

For those who missed, you can view the recording here:

Featured Image by Alex Motoc on Unsplash

Stop Copper Mining in Porcupine Mountains

Stop Copper Mining in Porcupine Mountains

Editor’s Note: The following is a summary of the proposed copper mining site Copperwood. Like any other mining, the proposed mine will have dire impacts on the ecology, health and human rights of the area, in this case, the Porcupine mountains and Lake Superior. The following text is compiled from the website Protect the Porkies.

Protect The Porkies is a grassroots campaign dedicated to resisting the development of a metallic sulfide mine in extreme proximity to Lake Superior, Porcupine Mountains State Park, and the North Country Trail. There has never been a metallic sulfide mine which did not contaminate water; Copperwood would be the closest such mine to Lake Superior in history; Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake on the planet, representing 10% of the world’s surface freshwater.

It’s not hard to piece these facts together to see why the proposed mine is an atrocious and criminal idea. In a world which is getting hotter and drier, in which many cities must import water from hundreds of miles away, protecting freshwater is THE battle of our time.

All of the images on this piece were taken from Protect the Porkies.


Metallic sulfite mine would poison Lake Superior

Canadian company Highland Copper Inc. wants to drill under the Presque Isle River to seize minerals from directly beneath Porcupine Mountains State Park, the largest tract of mixed old growth forest remaining in the Midwest.

Unlike the White Pine North Mine (closed 1997 due to environmental concerns) which consisted of ore graded at 20% purity, Copperwood’s ore grade is estimated at only 1.5%, meaning that nearly 99% of mined material will be stored as 50+ million tons of heavy-metal laden waste rock on topography that slopes towards Lake Superior. Toxins of concern include mercury, arsenic, selenium, and lead. The data show that more than a third of tailings dams are at high risk of causing catastrophic damage to nearby communities if they crumble, and there are already multiple instances of serious failures.

Canadian company Highland Copper is a junior exploration company with zero experience opening and operating a mine, which already has a track record of violating permits and degrading wetlands. But they aren’t letting that slow them down: even though they lack key permits related to stream alterations and engineering of their tailings disposal facility, they have already begun their “summer site prep” of clearcutting and wetlands destruction.

Freshwater seas need protection

In addition to destroying 50+ acres of wetlands and forever altering the course of 5 streams, the project would be permitted to dump half a million gallons of wastewater per day into Namebinag Creek, which empties into Lake Superior. Namebinag Creek is also home to populations of Redside Dace, classified in Michigan as an Endangered Species requiring legal protection.

97% of Earth’s water is salt water and thus not potable. Of the remaining 3%, the majority is frozen in the ice caps and thus not accessible. Of what remains, Lake Superior represents a full 10% of the world’s surface freshwater.

There has never been a metallic sulfide mine which did not contaminate local water. The Chopperwood Mine would erect a tailings disposal facility holding 50+ million tons of heavy-metal laden waste-rock on topography sloping towards Lake Superior.

Even if the tailings dam holds, acid mine drainage is a certainty: sulfides will combine with water and air to create sulfuric acid — a.k.a. battery acid — which then steeps over waste-rock and river sediment to leach heavy metals into the environment.

The last old-growth forest

98% of this planet’s old growth forest have been cut. The 35,000 acres  in Porcupine Mountains State Park represent the largest tract of mixed old growth remaining in the Midwest.

Let’s be clear: Porcupine Mountains State Park is not just any park. In 2022, the Porkies were ranked by users of Yelp.com as the “most beautiful State Park in America.”  But company maps suggest Highland Copper seeks to  drill beneath the Presque Isle River and extract minerals from directly under old-growth forest on Park property.

The mine would subject the area to heavy metal dust spewed up from hundreds of meters underground, to catch and carry on the wind for miles in all directions; twice-daily subterranean blasts which are known to disrupt the reproductive cycles of aquatic life; noise pollution and light pollution which will further impact the mating rituals and calls of wildlife. And it’s unlikely that acid mine drainage will turn around upon reaching the Park entrance, only a 15 second drive from the mine entrance road.

Clearcutting enables wildfires

Already Highland Copper has clearcut hundreds of acres of so-called “secondary” forest in preparation for the Chopperwood Mine. But there’s nothing secondary about the importance of such woods— in addition to existing for their own sake and providing homes for countless organisms, forest which is allowed to mature becomes a barrier against wildfires. As trees grow old, they develop thick fire-resistant bark and shed their lower limbs, thus creating a diverse canopy which is difficult to burn. In the dense shade below, mosses, lichens, and liverworts move in, and the ground grows into a moist sponge.

By replacing moist, shady conditions with hot dry desert with increased airflow, right in the middle of the woods, Highland Copper has greatly increased this area’s risk of wildfire. Not convinced? Consider that the Peshtigo Fire, the deadliest fire in American history, started specifically in a logging town.

At a time when wildfires are ravaging so many parts of the world, we should be doing everything we can to help our secondary forests mature, not replace them with a desert.

No more dark night skies

Porcupine Mountains

On the bluffs overlooking Lake Superior, the Presque Isle Campground at Porcupine Mountains State Park is one of the most popular in the Midwest. As a rustic campground, there is no electricity and no sewage dump. In just a short walk, visitors may reach three stunning waterfalls on the Presque Isle River or go fishing or swimming at the lakeshore.

Unfortunately, the Chopperwood Mine — in addition to subjecting the area to subterranean blasts, air pollution, and noise pollution — would be lit up like a casino all night long, effectively eliminating a clear view of the starry sky not just for the Presque Isle Area, but for miles around, potentially as far as Black River Harbor, another area of outstanding beauty.

In the 21st century, is there anything scarcer than a good view of the stars?

Home of wolf packs and fish

The 1500 acres encompassed by the mine site fall smack in the middle of a wolf pack’s territory, specifically the pack which travels between Black River Harbor and Presque Isle. It is one of only three wolf packs in the region.

A healthy, happy wolf pack is far scarcer than copper, and more valuable too. It is well known that large deer populations may over-browse riverbanks and bluffs around lakes. By keeping the deer population in check, wolves effectively prevent erosion— quite the opposite of Highland Copper, which is actively annihilating wetlands and rerouting streams.

The Anishinaabe Indians — also known as the Ojibwe — have fished the Presque Isle River and Lake Superior for hundreds of years and always been well-nourished. Unfortunately, fish are bio-accumulators of heavy metals, just like the kind which would be spewed from Chopperwood’s exhaust vents and leached from river sediment via acid mine drainage.

Redside Dace — an endangered species

In the 2009 biological monitoring report, populations of Redside Dace were found in both Namebinag and Unnamed Creek — two streams passing through the mine site which are planned to be rerouted. The Redside Dace is an Endangered Species in Michigan, and the Fishbeck, Carr, and Thompson report clearly states:

“Populations of Redside Dace within the Copperwood site should be protected from human-related impacts.”

Reishi provides medicine

Among the inhabitants of the ecosystem directly adjacent to the mine site is the Northern Reishi Mushroom (ganoderma tsugae). Prized for thousands of years in Chinese and Japanese medicine as “the Mushroom of Immortality,” the Reishi grows exclusively on Eastern Hemlock trees.  Given that the Porkies hold the largest remaining tract of old growth Eastern Hemlocks — which have been all but eradicated in the East by the woolly adelgid — it is thus host to the largest and purest population of medicinal Reishi mushrooms in the country.

Unfortunately, like fish, mushrooms are bio-accumulators of heavy metals. One day, will mushroom foragers stop picking the Reishi for fear that a medicine has become a poison?

The last wild coastline

Porcupine Mountains

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was industrial sprawl.  First you build a network of roads, then you build a mine, then you build parking lots for your 100 or so employees, then those employees want to live nearby so they buy up land and build houses, before you know it there’s a sewage system, an electrical grid, and a proposal to connect the Presque Isle Scenic Area to Black River Harbor via highway, right along some of the last wild coastline remaining, and though such a thing was once inconceivable, it now strikes us as perfectly reasonable, because the mine and its infrastructure have already paved the way.

You may think this scenario sounds like fear-mongering, but just look around you and the proof is everywhere: roads already press against the North Shore in Minnesota and Canada and along all the other Great Lakes. None of it happened overnight: such development unfolds not at the pace of a Hollywood action film, but at an ooze over the course of years, decades, lifetimes. Ecologists refer to this as the Shifting Baseline Syndrome. If we don’t draw a line in the sand now, soon there will be nothing left to draw a line in front of.

A temple in hell

Porcupine Mountains

As we moderns come to spend our time increasingly immersed in artificial environments — staring at screens and slogging through traffic — pilgrimages into the peace of Nature fulfill a crucial role: walking along the Presque Isle River, breathing deep the conifer-filtered air while listening to the hush of waterfalls— such experiences are sacred to many. Hindus, Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, atheists and animists too — all are welcome in the Universal Church of Nature.

By threatening this thriving outdoor recreation area with rock grinding, heavy metal exhaust, light pollution, industrial traffic, and acid mine drainage, Highland Copper might as well be burning a temple.

The operation would likely lead to audible rock grinding and subterranean blasts using toxic ammonium nitrate which would be felt for miles around, both on the North Country Trail and in the Presque Isle Scenic Area of the State Park, and possibly even at Black River Harbor. As with the development of Eagle Mine in Marquette County, we can expect non-stop industrial traffic on County Road 519, heavy metal-laden dust from exhaust vents which travels far from its source on the wind. Given that the Copperwood is a metallic sulfide mine, there remain concerns regarding acid mine drainage — irreversible contamination of wetlands and waterways.

Indigenous history

Nawadaha, Manido, and Manabezho— these are the three waterfalls of the Presque Isle Scenic Area, which still bear the names of Anishinaabemanitous.

Long before Michigan, long before the arrival of Europeans, the Anishinaabe fished and foraged these lands. There was a nomadic settlement at the mouth of the Presque Isle River. Later, at that same beach, the Anishinaabe met to trade with French trappers. To this day, park-goers find arrowheads and other artifacts on the shore.

What tribute do we pay to this fine history by allowing a foreign company to contaminate these waters, spew heavy metal dust on the wind, and potentially even drill beneath the River, beneath the old growth, even beneath Lake Superior?


Though the situation may seem dire, there is still time to build opposition:

Highland Copper will not decide whether or not to greenlight construction until 2024, and they are still lacking $250 million required to initiate their project. But in the meantime, they are already clearcutting forest, rerouting streams, and destroying wetlands, so there is no time to lose.

If we as a society do not draw a line in front of protecting freshwater seas and old growth forest, then it means we won’t draw a line anywhere, and that is a very scary place to be as a species. So please, join the campaign today by taking action:

Sign the petition and pass it on to others; in 2024, we plan to bring the petition off the Internet and into the real world by hand-delivering it to the Governor’s office.

Reach out to Michigan’s politicians; even if you are not a resident, tell them that the outdoor recreation industry in Michigan is over 10 times the size of mining, and no state which entertains such an atrocious project will receive a single dollar of your tourist money.

And remember, Protect The Porkies is not an organization— we are a movement, and everyone is invited to be a part. We won’t win by following their playbook, but by using our creativity to come up with our own.

Got ideas? Do not hesitate to reach out: ProtectThePorkies@gmail.com

On another note…

DGR conducted its annual fundraiser on Ecology of Spirit. If you have missed it, you can view it here. You can also visit our auction for paintings, books, brownies and conversations. The auction will remain open till October 31.

 

Event Alert: Ecology of Spirit

Event Alert: Ecology of Spirit

Species extinction. Plastic pollution. Global warming. Catastrophic floods. Raging fires. The failure of coral reefs. Whales dying en masse. Forever chemicals contaminating mothers’ breast milk. Where is our spirit?

Our planet is in crisis. And while the wealthy and governments pour trillions into technological so-called “solutions,” things are spiraling out of control.

What if solving the ecological crisis depended on falling in love with the natural world, and acting to defend those we love?

What if a biocentric worldview — one which places the natural world at the center of our morality — could help us access the courage needed to stop the destruction?

On October 21st, join us for special 3-hour live streaming event on Facebook or Givebutter:

Ecology of Spirit: Biocentrism, Animism, and the Environmental Crisis — “the spirituality of the front lines.”

This live event will explore the connectedness of all life and focus on organized resistance to the destruction of the planet.

It starts at 1pm Pacific Time / 20:00 UTC, and features selected speakers including:

Tiokasin Ghosthorse

 

Ecology of Spirit

Tiokasin Ghosthorse is a member of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota and has a long history with Indigenous activism and advocacy. Tiokasin is the Founder, Host and Executive Producer of “First Voices Radio” (formerly “First Voices Indigenous Radio”) for the last 27 years in New York City and Seattle/Olympia, Washington.

In 2016, he received a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize from the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. Other recent recognitions include: Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Fellowship in Music (2016), National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Nominee (2017), Indigenous Music Award Nominee for Best Instrumental Album (2019) and National Native American Hall of Fame Nominee (2018, 2019).

He was also awarded New York City’s Peacemaker of the Year in 2013. Tiokasin is a “perfectly flawed human being.”

Suprabha Seshan

Suprabha Seshan
Suprabha is a conservationist and environmental educator committed to the rewilding of habitat and human beings. She lives and works at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary (GBS) in the Western Ghat Mountains in India, which she often describes as a refugee center for hundreds of species of plants which are rescued from threatened places, and for the wildlife who they support.
Learning from nature to protect nature better is the work of GBS, through its integrated conservation practices in land, species and community-based ecological nurturance. On behalf of the GBS team, Suprabha received the prestigious Whitely Award for Nature in 2006.

Derrick Jensen

Derrick Jensen: The Man Box and the Cult of Masculinity
Derrick Jensen is a leading voice of cultural dissent. A longtime activist living in Northern California, he has been described as an “ecophilosopher in the anarcho-primitivist tradition.”

He explores the nature of injustice, how civilizations devastate the natural world, and how human beings retreat into denial at the destruction of the planet. His work examines the central question, “If the destruction of the natural world isn’t making us happy, then why are we doing it?”

Keala Kelly

Ecology of Spirit

Keala Kelly is a filmmaker and journalist living on Hawai’i Island. Her works depict the critical links between cultural, Film, and spiritual survival in the movement for Hawaiian self-determination and Indigenous peoples’ struggles for territorial and environmental survival.

She is an outspoken advocate for Indigenous self-representation in mass media. Keala is a Ted Scripps Environmental Journalism Fellow and has an MFA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.

Lierre Keith

 

Lierre Keith (auteur de Le Mythe végétarien) - Babelio

Lierre Keith is an American writer, radical feminist, food activist, and environmentalist. She began her public involvement in the feminist movement as the founding editor of Vanessa and Iris: A Journal for Young Feminists (1983–85).

During this same period, she also volunteered with a group called Women Against Violence Against Women in Cambridge, where she participated in educational events and protest campaigns.

In 1984 she was a founding member of Minor Disturbance, a protest group against militarism from a feminist perspective. In 1986 she was a founding member of Feminists Against Pornography in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is a founding editor of Rain and Thunder, a radical feminist journal in Northampton.

Sakej Ward

 

Ecology of Spirit

Sakej (James Ward) belongs to the wolf clan. He is Mi’kmaw (Mi’kmaq Nation) from the community of Esgenoopetitj (Burnt Church First Nation, New Brunswick). He is the father of nine children, four grandchildren and a caregiver for one. He resides in Shxw’owhamel First Nation with his wife Melody Andrews and their children.

Sakej has a long history of advocating and protecting First Nations inherent responsibilities and freedoms, having spent the last 21 years fighting the government and industry. This deep desire to bring justice to all Indigenous people has given Sakej experience in international relations where he spoke on behalf of the Mi’kmaq Nation at the United Nations Working Group for Indigenous Populations (WGIP).

For his efforts in protecting Indigenous people, freedoms and territory he has received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Will Falk

 

Will-Falk | Oregon Community Rights Network

Will Falk is a writer, lawyer, poet and environmental activist. The natural world speaks and Will’s work is how he listens. He believes the ongoing destruction of the natural world is the most pressing issue confronting us today. For Will, writing is a tool to be used in resistance.

Will graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and practiced as a public defender in Kenosha, WI. He left the public defender office to pursue frontline environmental activism.

So far, activism has taken him to the Unist’ot’en Camp – an indigenous cultural center and pipeline blockade on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory in so-called British Columbia, Canada, to a construction blockade on Mauna Kea in Hawai’i, to endangered pinyon-juniper forests in the Great Basin, and to Thacker Pass in northern Nevada where Will is trying to stop an open pit lithium mine from destroying a beautiful mountain pass.

Rebecca Wildbear

 

Meet Rebecca Wildbear

Rebecca Wildbear is a river and soul guide who helps people tune in to the mysteries that live within the Earth community, dreams, and their own wild Nature, so they may live a life of creative service. She has been a guide with Animas Valley Institute.

A long-time yoga teacher (since 2003) and a former faculty member at Nosara Yoga Institute (2008-2017), Rebecca created Wild Yoga™ — a practice of worship, veneration, and advocacy for Earth — while teaching yoga in a variety of wild places, including the tide pools of Costa Rica, the mountains and rivers of Colorado, and the ancient red rock canyons of Utah.

Max Wilbert

 

Board of Directors

Max Wilbert is a third-generation organizer who grew up in Seattle’s post-WTO anti-globalization and undoing racism movement. He has been an organizer for more than 15 years. Max is a longtime member of Deep Green Resistance and serves on the board of a small, grassroots non-profit. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Communication and Advocacy from Huxley College.

His first book, a collection of pro-feminist and environmental essays written over a six-year period, was released in 2018. He is co-author of the forthcoming book “Bright Green Lies,” which looks at the problems with mainstream so-called “solutions” to the climate crisis.

Alan Clements

 

Ecology of Spirit

Alan Clements was one of the first Westerners to ordain as a Buddhist monk in Myanmar (formerly Burma). In 1984, forced by the dictator Ne Win to leave the country, Clements returned to the West and lectured on ‘The Wisdom of Mindfulness.’

In 1988, Alan integrated into his Buddhist training an awareness that included universal human rights, social injustice, environmental sanity, political activism, the study of propaganda and mind control in both democratic and totalitarian societies, and the preciousness of everyday freedom.

In the jungles of Burma, in 1990, he was one of the first eye-witnesses to document the mass murder and oppression of ethnic minorities by Burma’s military dictatorship, which resulted in his first book, ‘Burma: The Next Killing Fields?’ In 1995 a French publisher asked Alan to attempt re-entering Burma with the purpose of meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of her country’s pro-democracy movement and 1991 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The transcripts of their five months of conversations were smuggled out of the country and became the book ‘The Voice of Hope’.

Other special guests will attend the session as well. There will be opportunities to ask questions and participate in dialogue.
You can join the event through our Facebook page or Givebutter page.

The mainstream environmental movement is mostly funded by foundations which don’t support revolutionary change. Radical organizations like Deep Green Resistance rely on individual donors to support our activism around the world, which is why “Ecology of Spirit” is also a fundraiser.

We’re outnumbered and we need your help.

There is a path out of the this crisis, and DGR is one of the organizations leading the way. But we can’t do it without you. We’re raising funds to support global community organizing, fund mutual aid and direct action campaigns, and sustain our core outreach and organizational work.

Donate here: https://givebutter.com/ecologyofspirit

Whether or not you are in a financial position to donate, we hope you will join us on October 21st for this opportunity to connect with kindred spirit offering light in dark times!

Environmental Groups Protest Manila Bay Reclamation Project

Environmental Groups Protest Manila Bay Reclamation Project

The following is a press release by Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) about a protest action against seabed quarrying in Manila Bay. DGR Asia Pacific is also a collaborator of the protest.


Press release

Alyansa Tigil Mina together with Deep Green Resistance and Local Autonomous Network trooped to the Senate during the joint hearing on seabed quarrying today for a peaceful protest action dubbed “Food Not Quarry” as they asked the Senate to urge President Bongbong Marcos, Jr. to issue an Executive Order suspending all Manila Bay reclamation projects.

ATM submitted its Position Paper on Seabed Quarrying during the joint hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change and the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement.

“ATM respectfully calls on the distinguished members of the Philippine Senate to urge President Marcos Jr. to issue an executive order formalizing his August 9 announcement that reclamation projects in Manila Bay are suspended,” said the group in their position paper.

“Despite President Marcos’ announcement suspending the Manila Bay reclamation projects, we still observe an increase in sand mining, river dredging and seabed quarrying in Cagayan, Zambales, Bataan, and Cavite. These activities appear to provide filling materials for Manila Bay reclamation projects,” said Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator.

ATM’s position paper further notes that interviews with Cavite fishing communities revealed: the absence or lack of consultations before seabed quarrying activities were permitted; frequent incidents of dredging ships damaging fishing nets; and, sharp decline in fish catch since the dredging started.

The group called for the inclusion of people’s organizations, coastal communities, and civil society groups in the on-going cumulative assessment by the DENR.

“We also call on the Senate to hold accountable concerned government officials and private actors for the environmental damage and human rights violations caused by the seabed quarrying projects,” Garganera said.

“We likewise demand the rehabilitation of marine resources and compensation of coastal families whose rights and livelihood were adversely affected.”

Outside the Senate building, the protestors demanded the “eventual halt or cancellation of seabed quarrying projects that destroy fishing grounds and municipal waters, and bring about hunger and poverty to nearby communities.”

“Our direct action aims to surface the discontent surrounding seabed quarrying in San Nicholas Shoal Cavite as well as other areas.

We would also like to bring attention to the need for sustainable projects that ensure food security, especially in the midst of the climate crisis,” said Garganera.


Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano resurfaced

Jonila Castro and Jhed Tamano (two activists abducted on September 2) have resurfaced. There are two versions of what happened to them.

In the official version (published September 16), the governmental law enforcement agencies claim that the two women were not abducted but left on their free will. They also claimed that they wanted to leave the group against Manila Bay Reclamation Project but were afraid to do so. As a result they fled from their homes and surrendered to the military. This news story highlights the official statement of the story.

The military presented the two women in a press conference on September 20. The aim of the press conference was to “debunk the abduction propaganda.” The two women were supposed to support the official version of the event. However, when Castro took the floor, she boldly claimed that she was abducted and forced to sign affidavit in military camps. Tamano supported Castro’s claim, after which the press conference was halted abruptly. Thankfully, the women were released hours after the conference in the presence of their families and human rights activists. A report of the press conference can be found here.

As a movement becomes more effective, the repression against it becomes stronger. The powerful will do anything in their power to destroy the movement. DGR commends the bravery of Castro and Tamano, for maintaining their courage and commitment to the natural world despite the hardships.


DGR is now selling a campaign shirt to support the operation cost of our ongoing campaign in the Philippines. We strongly opposed the Seabed Quarrying in San Nicolas Shoal in Cavite and Manila Bay Reclamation Projects which cause a wide ecological marine destruction and kill the livelihood of thousands of small fisherfolks around Manila Bay.

Price: P500.00

For every shirt that you purchase, DGR Asia Pacific will get P200 pesos that we will use in our activity and actions about Seabed Quarrying and Reclamations.

To order a shirt, please send us a message on our FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/dgrasiapacific/