What is Deep Green Resistance?

What is Deep Green Resistance?

The organization Deep Green Resistance has existed for nearly a decade, since the book was released in 2011. For this piece, we look at four different answers to the question: “What is Deep Green Resistance?”

Ben Warner: What is Deep Green Resistance?

DGR is survival. We want to survive and we want the rest of the living work to survive too. You wanna live right?

Right now life is barely surviving. Right now the living world is being exterminated. What’s exterminating it? A group of people who live in densely populated, ever-expanding colonies. They get their food and other resources, most of which they don’t actually need, from far away places. Do you think they care about the other living beings in these places? Do you think they consider the damage their resource extraction does? Many of them don’t know about it because they can’t see it, some of them are too busy living to even think about it and the rest are too busy making money to stop it. So agriculture, mining and other forms of resource extraction continue destroying habitat, poisoning land and killing our kin.

And what about their poisonous toxic waste? Where do they dispose of it? Not where they live of course. They pile it up in far away places or bury it or drop it in the sea or sell it to the poor. Do you think they consider the harm this does? Their shit is piling up all over the world and they don’t care enough to stop. This is what happens when you live in one place, get your sustenance in another, and dispose of your waste elsewhere.

This is our culture. You can call it civilisation, or a city based way of living, or a culture of empire. Whatever you call it, we don’t think it’s a good idea. Life cannot survive this for much longer and neither can we because cities are still expanding, resource extraction is still increasing and our poisonous waste is piling up in the sea, on the land and in the very air that we breathe.

You want your children to live and grow in a world that is flourishing and full of life? That’s what we want too. We want to live and we want the other communities of life that allow us to live to survive too. So we are building a culture of resistance because time is running out for life and we are still alive.

We are an above ground movement that is willing to defend the relentless attacks on life. We are also willing to admit that defense is not enough. We need other brave, moral, and strategically aware people to form underground groups and fight this culture before it wipes out life. If we don’t we will die and so will nearly everything else from bacteria to blue whales.

If you want to live with others you need to enter into a relationship with them. You need to love them. Control is not love. Abuse is not love. Domination is not love. This culture does not live with, or even on, land it occupies. Like any invading force it is sucking its host dry. Both the parasite and the host are doomed in this type of interaction.

We want to end this culture of death and destruction, so we are no longer ashamed or embarrassed to be human. We want to live with land, rivers, trees, forests, mountains and all living communities that are both a requirement for and a functioning part of our own lives and happiness.

We want to swim in and drink clean water. We want to sing and breathe in fresh air. We want to live and love on flourishing land. We want our children and your children and all children to do it too. What are you prepared to do to help us build this future?

Trinity La Fey: For those in the movement

In a room full of DGR members, I don’t need to tell you why you are here, or what needs to be done.

We all have our lists of loved ones and our unspeakable lists, the ones we don’t write down. While there is nothing I can add to or subtract from them, I start here because our problems are relational. Some of our big family is terminally ill with forgetfulness, an incurable, devouring madness that puts the rest of our family in immediate mortal danger.

Maybe we have varying ideas about what needs to be done, or how it should be done. Inside the DEW strategy, there is plenty of wiggle room for differing philosophies, which will change the nature of any action. As much to myself as to anyone else, I offer three reminders I use to keep me from succumbing to the poison.

Please be respectful.

We are, none of us, always right and good and true, all the time. We have thoughts and ideas and beliefs, but we are subject to our environments: bodily, social and earthly. With humility about the reach of our visions, I ask us to strive to remember that sparring partners bow to each other before commencing. We would not have chosen our targets or forces to combat if they were not powerful, capable, and in their strengths, so worthy of our attention.

Please be bold.

With that in mind, our convictions are there because industrial civilization will destroy our only home and everyone in it if we do not stop them. So we must stop them. We must.

Please be careful.

With that in mind, there is more than one word to describe bravery, and they are all less flattering from there. Protect yourself. It is very expensive to bail you out of jail. County is no fun and it gets less fun from there. Be protective of your loved ones. Bailing your family and friends out of jail is very expensive and much easier than burying them or knowing that they suffer. To whatever extent you can, practice security culture like a religion of daily ritual: there is an inner sanctum and an outer one. We really cannot afford to lose, neither can our loved ones. Let’s win then. Let us win well.

Max Wilbert: What is Deep Green Resistance?

First of all, I want to apologize. I’ve been in the wilderness the last 7 days. I’m grizzled, dirty, have cuts on my face and bags under my eyes. I was up at 2am yesterday, hiked 20 miles, then traveled for 10 hours to get home. Needless to say, I’m not at peak mental function right now, but I’d like to take a stab at answering the question anyway.

It’s an incredibly important question, because this is the movement I have dedicated my life to for the past decade. Not out of a misplaced sense of loyalty, or some sort of hero worship or cult following. The reason I’m involved in Deep Green Resistance is because I believe in what we are trying to do. I believe in the mission of this organization, I believe in the world we are working towards.

We are living in an era of cascading ecological collapses. We are witnessing the death of the oceans, the climate falling into chaos, soil desertification and increased wildfires sweeping across the world. We’re seeing hurricanes, drought—whatever sort of unnatural disaster you think of, almost every one of them is getting worse – driven by this industrial civilization that we live in.

This culture is churning out plastic, cars, endless streams of products emerging from factories with no thought to the consequences. In a healthy culture, before you make any decisions, you have a conversation about them. You talk to other people in the community, and you ask “is it a good idea for us to do this?” That’s not a conversation that happens in this culture, which instead says “if it can be done, it will be done.”

That’s why the idea of “progress” is like a god in this culture, and it’s a death cult that is worshiping this god of progress, because anything will be sacrificed to it: the oceans, the mountains, the rivers, the grasslands, the forests, the climate. The future of all generations of life on this planet is being sacrificed to this death god of progress.

Deep Green Resistance wants to stop this. We’re some of the people who are willing to be honest about what is happening, to look unflinchingly at the reality of industrial civilization, this culture of empire, which is eating through every biome on the planet. And we’re willing to talk about fighting back. We’re not the old environmental movement, that’s purely dedicated to saving one wild place here,  and one wild place there. While that is good and honorable work, it’s not enough. We want to stop this entire death machine, this omnicidal industrial civilization. We have a strategy to do this, and we are working to carry out this strategy.

It’s not an easy task we have set ourselves. As I said, I have been working on this for a decade and I expect to continue working on it until the day that I die. But it is the most important work that can be done in the world today, and that is why I am here.

Trinity La Fey: What is Deep Green Resistance?

DGR is an organization that advocates for the living world. It recognizes that organizing people in hierarchies of civilization, by design, destroys life on the planet down to the bacteria. While DGR is itself an aboveground organization, members acknowledge that inside our socio-political climate, only an underground resistance has the capacity to do this and they need our support.

DEW, the strategy endorsed by DGR, draws on successful aspects of guerilla tactics and military strategies, from across our known global history, to form a cohesive plan of action to instigate and perpetuate cascading systems failure of the interlocking systems of civilized infrastructure, while laying the spiritual, material and social groundwork for its replacement with regional, land-based, carbon sequestering ways of life that are themselves compatible with planetary life.

That includes isolated cells in tiers of increasing trust within a greater network of the dedicated who can and will do what needs to be done.

Understanding that industrial civilization is genocidal and will, if unfettered, extinguish all life, it is urgent that those well-organized and money-disciplined infrastructures (commerce, fuel, communications, the electrical grid, etc.) be dismantled.

In the face of Earth-scale destruction, considerations for those owning, operating and defending such institutions may not be allowed to interfere with the ultimate DGR goal: a living planet.
This is a heavy policy, demanding resolve and a clear, sober vision of the many grave repercussion that may result from potentially dangerous actions.

To MEND a creature or habitat from injury or infection, the harm must first be removed.

It is up to the aboveground structures to protect the underground actors from complete social condemnation and to continually push for less murderous and deadly solutions to be possible and preferably legal. It is for the underground to help keep a living planet inevitable.

To learn more, visit the Deep Green Resistance website.

Radical Discourse: A Critical Review of “The Shock Doctrine”

Radical Discourse: A Critical Review of “The Shock Doctrine”

This episode of The Green Flame revolves around a group discussion ofNaomi Klein‘s 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. We discuss the points of the book that are on point, other areas where the book fails, and how in some ways Klein’s own analysis describes how her mainstream climate movement operates.

In this book, Klein describes the spread of neoconservatism (aka neoliberalism, in some cases), and how it has been facilitated by a deliberate strategy of “shock treatments.” The shock treatments, Klein argues, has always required dictatorship for enforcement. Also read an analysis of the book.

Our music for this episode is “Drag the Forests Down” by Foxpockets.

How I Know Patriarchy Exists

How I Know Patriarchy Exists

In this article Ben offers the reader a clear rationale regarding the control, oppression and abuse of women as a class by men as a class and a heartfelt plea to end it.

By Ben Warner

“The power exercised by men, day to day, in life is power that is institutionalised. It is protected by law. It is protected by religion and religious practice. It is protected by universities, which are strongholds of male supremacy. It is protected by a police force. It is protected by those whom Shelley called “the unacknowledged legislators of the world”: the poets, the artists.” Andrea Dworkin I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape

Members of my family have been raped and abused.  I know the consequences are devastating, long lasting, across the generations. As someone who wants to be a good brother, son, and uncle I am writing this for all men who do not believe in patriarchy. I am writing for men who do not believe women when they talk about their experiences and how it makes them feel. Patriarchy is the system that objectifies woman. It is the same system that offers woman the choice of either unpaid careers or lower paid and harder working jobs of the workforce. It is the system that tries to blame woman for their own rape and which, in England and Wales, prosecutes less than 2% of rapes.

The fact that men rape in alarmingly high numbers, should be enough to convince you that patriarchy exists, and it is a cruel and disastrous system. Men rape women in alarmingly high numbers. Men also rape children, babies, and other men. How many of you know a rapist? Shockingly, we probably all do. Most of us just do not realise it. Many men have ‘used’ a prostitute. What makes paying someone for intercourse anything other than rape with financial compensation? That means for sure, we all know a rapist.

You may not believe in patriarchy, because it is hidden.

It is in our language. Hidden in plain sight. The word semen comes from the same root as the words sow and seed. Men often talk of planting their seed. Despite the fact that patriarchy prides itself in its rational scientific mind, this is unscientific emotional wish fulfilment, in other words a lie. As Stephen Buhner points out in Plant intelligence and the Imaginal Realm, human semen is biologically more like pollen. So, men are more like butterflies or bees delivering pollen in exchange for the nectar of orgasm and companionship. A woman is not a passive receiver of the seed. She is not earth for man to dominate and neither is Earth.

Patriarchy encourages men to see themselves as  farmers dominating and controlling the land as he dominates and controls his woman. His dominance is either resisted or impossible. This leads to the murder of women and the murder of Earth. It is literally happening right now, and men under the direction of radically politicised women can stop it.

If we see ourselves as butterflies or bees, how would we treat women, trees and Earth?

If you do not believe in patriarchy, it’s in the fucking dictionary. Dictionaries are mainly written by dusty old white men, who dwell in small Oxford or Cambridge rooms. So the Oxford dictionary offers words like; bitch, bird, wench and bint for woman. Bint is still a neutral Arabic word for girl or daughter. It has meant whore in English since soldiers brought it back from Egypt. What do you think these soldiers did to girls and daughters, while they were there? The same thing they do wherever they go. The definition for man is longer and the synonyms are human, person, individual, personage, soul.

Bint is an example of pejoration, which is when a word starts with a neutral or positive meaning and devolves into something negative the opposite is amelioration. Buddy and sissy now mean friend and weak or effeminate man. They used to simply mean brother and sister. Master and mistress both used to mean a person in a position of authority. Now to master is a verb that means to gain control of and a mistress remains a noun but now means a sexually promiscuous woman. Can you see a pattern here?

The list of formally neutral female words that have pejorated and male words that have ameliorated is almost endless.

Let us take another one pussy. For four hundred years it was a metaphor for a vagina. Then male, of course, writers started using it to mean tame weak males. Another patriarchal lie. If your penis bled once a month you would run crying to a hospital. Every. Fucking. Time. That is only if it bled, what if it was preceded by intense abdominal pain and unwanted feelings of distress, anger and anxiety?

Even if your mother is not a ‘good’ mother (rare in comparison to the avalanche of bad fathers). Even then she risked her life for yours. She was born with the egg that became you. It was there fully formed with all her other eggs, before she was born while she was still in her own mother’s stomach. She carried it in her, until your father, the butterfly donated his pollen at just the right moment. Your mother went through the discomfort of pregnancy and the body changing life-risking pain of childbirth. Make that mean something. Do not let that birth be so you can spend one single moment of your life denying that patriarchy exists.

A few years ago, I read a I Want a Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape by the thinker and writer Andrea Dworkin. She asked for men to stop raping woman for just one day. She wanted the “nice” men to use their fabled physical strength to stop the bad ones from raping. Since I read it, I have been wondering how to do this. Violence is not something that comes easily to me, so I am writing this instead. If you are a man, who is physically braver, stronger and more skilful than me, if you want to use your physical prowess for something good, use it to stop rape and rapists.


Ben Warner is a long time DGR Guardian in the UK and a teacher.

High Speed Rail: The Insanity of Civilisation

High Speed Rail: The Insanity of Civilisation

In this writing Ben asks questions about a rail development that is destroying the natural world. He asks what it would take to stop the development  and why we are not all talking about it.

Is high speed rail the pinnacle of civilisations’ insanity?

By Ben Warner

Probably not, unfortunately, but it is an excellent example. Standing in the same place for centuries should mean something. The men must have made a mistake. They have destroyed a National Asset. The National Heritage has a list of criteria for granting protected status that includes being in the same place for centuries. Why have they just demolished a possible candidate for the National Heritage List for England? The answer is, it was a tree who was razed to the ground and not a building. The tree was in the way of “progress” and those who get in the way are often crushed.<

Imagine a country so insane it would spend £100 billion during a pandemic and one of the worst recessions in human history, just to speed up a journey by 20 minutes. That’s 5 billion a minute. Imagine the same project would destroy over 700 wildlife sites including sites designated by that same culture as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) and not be carbon ‘friendly’ for at least a hundred years.

Imagine it would simultaneously threaten the water supply of its biggest city and use between 6 and 10 million liters of water during its construction. Now imagine the same project has been made obsolete by a virus that has stopped people travelling for business. Of course you do not have to imagine it. The country is the UK and it is as insane as the culture it is part of Industrial civilisation.

High Speed Rail (HS2)

The first stage of HS2 will make the rail journey from the UK’s London to Birmingham 1200 seconds quicker. That is for people who can afford the tickets, which are likely to be in the region of £50. What are people going to do with these 20 minutes? If they were commuting there is probably little they can do at work that they could not have done on the train.

The rational arguments for HS2 do not exist. There are none. But the project will continue. Why? Because it has already started, too much money has been spent and too much embarrassment will be caused, if it stopped. For a culture that prides itself on its rationality, this is baffling. Even when the evidence is so strong, it is hard to accept that our own culture is insane.

Right now there are brave people occupying woods and sleeping in tree houses attempting to slow down the HS2 project and the pointless destruction it is causing. Their efforts are courageous and valuable. Their resistance probably won’t stop HS2, but their actions will not be in vain because the morality of what they are doing is clear for all beings who care to learn about it.

What would it take to stop HS2?

The people in the camps are above ground and peaceful. But what if there was another, completely separate, group of militant underground activists using the hit and run tactics of successful resistance groups? Would sabotage stop HS2? Would sand or water or bleach in the engines of their destructive machines stop them? Would constant, relentless physical intimidation of the workers make the project impossible to complete?

What would a truly effective campaign look like and why are we not talking about it?

Ben Warner is a longtime guardian with DGR, a teacher, and an activist.

Featured image artist unknown via Stop HS2 campaign. There are suggestions of how you can help resist the destruction on their website: stophs2.org.