By Max Wilbert
For the past 9 years, I have been part of a revolutionary social and ecological organization. In that time, I have made some of my best friends in the world. I have met some of the most incredible people I can imagine: true-hearted warriors with courage, conviction, and character.
These comrades are doing incredible work, around the world, every day. They are fighting coal mines and oil pipelines. They are sponsoring refugees and campaigning for women’s rights. They are advocating for revolutionary environmentalism. They are restoring land and fighting “development,” better known as destruction of the land. They are collaborating and allying with indigenous nations in decolonization and resistance.
They are also doing the everyday work of human beings. They are raising intelligent, articulate, capable children. They are rewriting the rules of equal relationships. They are being good friends. They are creating local, sustainable food systems. They are building community over shared meals and shared ideals, then working to make their ideals a reality.
It has become a tradition in this community for us to support members and close allies who are going through difficult times. We send them notes of support, packages of food, herbal medicines, art. We care for one another.
It is not easy to be a revolutionary. Some of us have lost our jobs for our political views. Others have faced physical violence, ostracization, blacklisting. Taunts, jeers, death and rape threats: these are a regular occurrence for many of us. Many of us live under authoritarian governments and police states of one degree or another. Disappearance, trumped-up jail time, and solitary confinement in maximum-security is a constant threat.
Radical communities can be volatile. Personalities clash, ideals are tested, and the oppression of the dominant culture is never fully stamped out. As we grapple with the biggest problems ever faced by our species—mass extinction, global warming, toxification, militarism, patriarchy, racism—we struggle to form solidarity with each other.
We have had our share of problems. We make mistakes. We hurt each other. We make poor decisions. We have much to learn.
But we are serious, and we are committed. We know ecological revolution is perhaps the only remaining path to a livable future. We are facing the end of life on the planet; any risks are small in comparison to that nightmare. As we struggle externally, against the dominant culture, against the machine, we struggle internally as well. To be better people. To live up to our ideals. To be relentless in our love, our passion, our commitment. To personify the spirit of the revolution.
In this world in crisis, we know where we stand. We stand together, united, in defense of the living planet, and in defense of justice.
Max Wilbert is a third-generation organizer who grew up in Seattle’s post-WTO anti-globalization and undoing racism movement, and works with Deep Green Resistance. He is the author of two books.