Resistance News for March 2019

Resistance News

March 11, 2019

by Max Wilbert

Deep Green Resistance

max@maxwilbert.org

https://www.deepgreenresistance.org

Current atmospheric CO2 level (daily high at Mauna Loa): 413.55 PPM

A free monthly newsletter providing analysis and commentary on ecology, global capitalism, empire, and revolution.

For back issues, to read this issue online, or to subscribe via email or RSS, visit the Resistance News web page.

Most of these essays also appear on the DGR News Service, which also includes an active comment section.

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In this issue:

  1. The Problem
  2. Anti-Racist Strategy for a World in Crisis
  3. Operational Security 101 for Activists and Revolutionaries
  4. 156 Fourth World Nations Have Suffered Genocide Since 1945
  5. Living Underground
  6. Greenwash, Spin and Bad Science Reporting
  7. “Disaster” As Indian Supreme Court Orders Eviction of “8 million” Tribespeople
  8. Radical Feminist FAQs
  9. Submit your material to the Deep Green Resistance News Service
  10. Further news and recommended reading / podcasts
  11. How to support DGR or get involved

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“Governments in capitalist society are but committees of the rich to manage the affairs of the capitalist class.”

– James Connolly, Irish revolutionary

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The Problem

[Link] This is an excerpt from the book Deep Green Resistance – Strategy to save the planet

by Lierre Keith

Most people, or at least most people with a beating heart, have already done the math, added up the arrogance, sadism, stupidity, and denial, and reached the bottom line: a dead planet. Some of us carry that final sum like the weight of a corpse. For others, that conclusion turns the heart to a smoldering coal. But despair and rage have been declared unevolved and unclean, beneath the “spiritual warriors” who insist they will save the planet by “healing” themselves. How this activity will stop the release of carbon and the felling of forests is never actually explained. The answer lies vaguely between being the change we wish to see and a 100th monkey of hope, a monkey that is frankly more Christmas pony than actual possibility.

Given that the culture of America is founded on individualism and awash in privilege, it’s no surprise that narcissism is the end result. The social upheavals of the ’60s split along fault lines of responsibility and hedonism, of justice and selfishness, of sacrifice and entitlement. What we are left with is an alternative culture, a small, separate world of the converted, content to coexist alongside a virulent mainstream. Here, one can find workshops on “scarcity consciousness,” as if poverty were a state of mind and not a structural support of capitalism. This culture leaves us ill-prepared to face the crisis of planetary biocide that greets us daily with its own grim dawn. The facts are not conducive to an open-hearted state of wonder. To confront the truth as adults, not as faux children, requires an adult fortitude and courage, grounded in our adult responsibilities to the world. It requires those things because the situation is horrific and living with that knowledge will hurt. Meanwhile, I have been to workshops where global warming was treated as an opportunity for personal growth, and no one there but me saw a problem with that.

The word sustainable—the “Praise, Jesus!” of the eco-earnest—serves as an example of the worst tendencies of the alternative culture. It’s a word that perfectly meshes corporate marketers’ carefully calculated upswell of green sentiment with the relentless denial of the privileged. It’s a word I can barely stand to use because it has been so exsanguinated by cheerleaders for a technotopic, consumer kingdom come. To doubt the vague promise now firmly embedded in the word—that we can have our cars, our corporations, our consumption, and our planet, too—is both treason and heresy to the emotional well-being of most progressives. But here’s the question: Do we want to feel better or do we want to be effective? Are we sentimentalists or are we warriors?

For “sustainable” to mean anything, we must embrace and then defend the bare truth: the planet is primary. The life-producing work of a million species is literally the earth, air, and water that we depend on. No human activity—not the vacuous, not the sublime—is worth more than that matrix. Neither, in the end, is any human life. If we use the word “sustainable” and don’t mean that, then we are liars of the worst sort: the kind who let atrocities happen while we stand by and do nothing.

Even if it were possible to reach narcissists, we are out of time. Admitting we have to move forward without them, we step away from the cloying childishness and optimistic white-lite denial of so much of the left and embrace our adult knowledge. With all apologies to Yeats, in knowledge begins responsibilities. It’s to you grown-ups, the grieving and the raging, that we address this book.

The vast majority of the population will do nothing unless they are led, cajoled, or forced. If the structural determinants are in place for people to live their lives without doing damage—for example, if they’re hunter-gatherers with respected elders—then that’s what happens. If, on the other hand, the environment has been arranged for cars, industrial schooling is mandatory, resisting war taxes will land you in jail, food is only available through giant corporate enterprises selling giant corporate degradation, and misogynist pornography is only a click away 24/7—well, welcome to the nightmare. This culture is basically conducting a massive Milgram experiment on us, only the electric shocks aren’t fake—they’re killing off the planet, species by species.

But wherever there is oppression there is resistance. That is true everywhere, and has been forever. The resistance is built body by body from a tiny few, from the stalwart, the brave, the determined, who are willing to stand against both power and social censure. It is our prediction that there will be no mass movement, not in time to save this planet, our home. That tiny percent—Margaret Mead’s small group of thoughtful, committed citizens—has been able to shift both the cultural consciousness and the power structures toward justice in times past. It is valid to long for a mass movement, however, no matter how much we rationally know that we’re wishing on a star. Theoretically, the human race as a whole could face our situation and make some decisions—tough decisions, but fair ones, that include an equitable distribution of both resources and justice, that respect and embrace the limits of our planet. But none of the institutions that govern our lives, from the economic to the religious, are on the side of justice or sustainability. Theoretically, these institutions could be forced to change. The history of every human rights struggle bears witness to how courage and sacrifice can dismantle power and injustice. But again, it takes time. If we had a thousand years, even a hundred years, building a movement to transform the dominant institutions around the globe would be the task before us. But the Western black rhinoceros is out of time. So is the golden toad, the pygmy rabbit. No one is going to save this planet except us.

So what are our options? The usual approach of long, slow institutional change has been foreclosed, and many of us know that. The default setting for environmentalists has become personal lifestyle “choices.” This should have been predictable as it merges perfectly into the demands of capitalism, especially the condensed corporate version mediating our every impulse into their profit. But we can’t consume our way out of environmental collapse; consumption is the problem. We might be forgiven for initially accepting an exhortation to “simple living” as a solution to that consumption, especially as the major environmental organizations and the media have declared lifestyle change our First Commandment. Have you accepted compact fluorescents as your personal savior? But lifestyle change is not a solution as it doesn’t address the root of the problem.

We have believed such ridiculous solutions because our perception has been blunted by some portion of denial and despair. And those are legitimate reactions. I’m not persuading anyone out of them. But do we want to develop a strategy to manage our emotional state or to save the planet?

And we’ve believed in these lifestyle solutions because everyone around us insists they’re workable, a collective repeating mantra of “renewables, recycling” that has dulled us into belief. Like Eichmann, no one has told us that it’s wrong.

Until now. So this is the moment when you will have to decide. Do you want to be part of a serious effort to save this planet? Not a serious effort at collective delusion, not a serious effort to feel better, not a serious effort to save you and yours, but an actual strategy to stop the destruction of everything worth loving. If your answer feels as imperative as instinct, read on.

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Anti-Racist Strategy for a World in Crisis

[Link] by Max Wilbert

In his book Capitalism and Slavery, Trinidadian historian Dr. Eric Williams writes that “Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.”

Williams, like many others, argues that racism was created by the powerful to justify subjugation that was already in progress. In other words, the desire to exploit came first, and racism was developed as a moral system to justify the exploitation.

This has profound implications for how we approach the topic of dismantling racism and white supremacy.

Most people today know that race and racism are not “natural.” Scientifically, there is no such thing as “race.” Of course, there are differences in skin color between different groups of people. And it is possible to lump people into rough geographic groups based on their heritage and specific physical characteristics. But the concept of race is a vast oversimplification of this natural variation.

The fact that race is an artificial construct becomes clear when you study how “mixed-race” people are perceived in society today. In general, society considers a person who is half white and half black to be… black. In these sorts of examples, race is exposed as a set of stereotypes, a shorthand that people use to categorize people into a set of expectations and social boxes.

This, of course, isn’t to say that race isn’t “socially real.” In our culture, race is a material reality. But it’s a fuzzy one, a constructed one. This becomes obvious when we study the history of race and racism, and when we examine how these concepts have evolved over time to better serve the (fractured, not unitary) ruling class.

For another example of how race functions as a system of power, we can look at how various ethnic groups have shifted in and out of the privileged class “white” over time. The book How the Irish Became White traces this phenomenon, examining how mostly dirt-poor Irish immigrants to the US were treated as a sub-human race of lesser innate worth and intelligence, and how over time, the Irish became accepted as “white” in return for their largely collective agreement to oppress blacks and other non-white peoples.

Racism functions today, as it has historically, as a system used to justify the oppression and exploitation of billions of people of color worldwide. In his pioneering book The Nazi Doctors, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton writes that people cannot continue to commit atrocities without having them fully rationalized. He calls these justifications a “claim to virtue.” For the Nazis Lifton studied in particular, the mass murder of Jews was justifiable to create Lebensraum (“living space”) for the Aryan race.

Similarly, racism allows white supremacists (both overt and covert) to claim virtue as they brutally exploit people. The ideology of slavery and colonization relies on the idea that Black and indigenous peoples are “sub-human” and need to be “civilized.” Early white historians of slavery such as Ulrich B. Phillips wrote that slavery lifted the African people from barbarism, protected them, and benefited them.

From claiming that non-white people were separate species, to racist IQ tests, to Trump claiming Central American refugees are disease-ridden rapists, these campaigns of virtue have continued for hundreds of years.

If racism was born primarily out of political necessity to justify exploitation—this changes the way that we approach dismantling racism. Instead of a cultural attitude or idea that can educated away, this understanding has us see racism as fundamentally linked to a material system of exploitation. In fact, we could say that racism IS material exploitation.

Today, this system of racist exploitation takes many forms.

It takes the form of a massive private prison system that profits from the enslavement of the largest prison population in the world, a population that is disproportionately black, Latino, and indigenous. There are more black people in prison today than were in prison at the height of slavery, and these people are forced to work for free or slave wages (often $1 per hour or less) for private profit.

It takes the form of a complicit educational system that dehumanizes black and brown children from birth while railroading them on the school-to-prison pipeline.

It takes the form of an economic system that uses redlining, payday loans, and other predatory financial practices to steal from the poor black and brown people of this country, leaving people destitute and facing homelessness, disease, cold, and hunger.

It takes the form of the war on drugs, which originated in the crack cocaine epidemic in black inner cities started in the 1980’s. In 1996, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, who worked for The Mercury News newspaper in San Rose, launched his “Dark Alliance” series of articles with this: “For the better part of a decade, a San Francisco Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.” This drug ring “opened the first pipeline between Colombia’s cocaine cartels and the black neighborhoods of Los Angeles” and, as a result, “helped spark a crack explosion in urban America.” This helped fuel the drug war, a key pillar of US internal counterinsurgency strategy, and led to massively profitable asset forfeiture programs, internal security business, and a booming private prison system. After this report, Webb was attacked by the three largest newspapers in the country, run out of his job, went bankrupt, and eventually ‘killed himself’ with two self-inflicted gunshots.

It takes the form of a fossil fuel and real-estate boom making billions of dollars while bulldozing through indigenous lands and building on top of burial grounds and sacred sites, and more broadly of environmental racism through which toxic and radioactive industries, waste, and facilities are offloaded onto communities of color.

It takes the form of a US and western foreign policy that backs right-wing coups and wars in places like Honduras, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, The Philippines, and elsewhere for the sake of geopolitical and financial power, then demonizes refugees fleeing from this violence who can then be exploited for low wage jobs, prostitution, and practical slavery while they live in fear.

It takes the form of global trade agreements like NAFTA which impoverish millions of poor people of color globally and make it even more profitable and easy for corporations to make billions on the exploitation of cheap labor in sweatshops, maquiladoras, and electronics factories.

These are just a few examples.

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Feminist author Marilyn Frye described oppression as being similar to a birdcage. Examine any one bar of the cage, and it appears to be no obstacle. After all, a bird can simply fly around it. Only when you consider the inter-relationship between the different bars do you get a sense of how the cage works to immobilize and confine the occupant.

Racism works in a similar way. Education, prisons, mass media, banks, war, politicians, non-profits, developers, drugs and alcohol, entertainment, and various other institutions and forces combined form a cage that is locked tightly around people of color.

This brutal system is responsible for the deaths of millions and an obscene amount of suffering.

The routine public executions of black and brown people conducted by the police are a terrorist tactic no different from the lashing of slaves. For both white and black and brown community, these displays clearly teach and enforce the power hierarchy. Body cameras have only made these dominance displays more public, and thus more effective.

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When we understand how racism functions, we are better able to plan our attack against it.

If racism is a system of power set up to benefit the ruling class, education (the favorite method of liberals) can never be enough. Fundamentally, racism is not based on ignorance; it’s based on power and exploitation. That doesn’t mean education is worthless, but it does mean that ending racism is primarily a power struggle, not a matter of changing minds. Education is necessary, but not sufficient.

A radical approach to dismantling racism requires dismantling the material institutions that uphold and benefit from white supremacy.

To call this understanding of racism “economic” is an oversimplification. Systems of oppression function mostly to steal from the poor and reward the rich, but they are not purely rational. And this approach doesn’t mean subordinating racism to class struggle. Racism is not “less important” than class struggle, and arguments that it is (mainly from white people) have rightly drawn a lot of criticism from people of color activists.

That said, radical people of color have long understood that racism is one key pillar in a system of domination and exploitation that is much broader than racism alone. Fred Hampton’s Rainbow Coalition in Chicago is a key example, bringing together black, Puerto Rican, working class white, and socialist groups, not to subordinate their struggles to a larger goal, but to coordinate their fight against the ruling class as a united front.

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Modern white supremacy has its foundation in ideas and in culture, but it expresses itself primarily through economic power, military power, police power, media power, and so on. These are all concrete institutions that can be destroyed. I believe that too little attention is paid to vulnerabilities in the global system of white supremacist empire.

This line of thought has not been explored much by radical leftists. Revolutionary traditions have been dominated by strains of Marxism, which focus on seizing state and corporate power and institutions, not on destroying or incapacitating them.

The revolutionary strategy “Decisive Ecological Warfare” (DEW) was originally described in 2011 as an emergency measure to address the environmental crisis. However, this strategy has implications for the fight against racism as well.

The DEW strategy calls for underground guerilla cells to target key nodes in global industrial infrastructure, such as energy systems, communications, finance, trade hubs, and so on. The goal is to cause “cascading systems failure” in the global capitalist economy while minimizing civilian casualties. If successful, this strategy could fatally damage capitalism and deal a major blow to the power of white supremacy.

The first objection most people in the global north have to this strategy is reflexive: we are dependent on capitalist systems for survival. This is the depraved genius of any abusive system; white supremacist capitalism systematically exterminates alternative ways to live, and thus makes us dependent upon the same system that exploits and murders us. It’s the exact same method used by abusive men to control and coerce their wives and girlfriends.

Capitalism does not care about us. The state does not care about us. In the face of global ecological collapse, these institutions will leave us to die while the rich retreat to gated communities with armed guards. They make us dependent on their system then profit from our misery and death. We need to build alternative grassroots institutions, food systems, self-defense groups, and communities outside of capitalism. This is essential whether we pursue DEW or not. But without DEW and other forms of offensive struggle, the corporate-state will destroy alternative communities whenever possible. Defending these spaces will be a losing battle without larger changes.

No war is won through defense alone.

No one strategy is a magic bullet. But Decisive Ecological Warfare offers revolutionaries a weapon that could strike decisive blows against white supremacist, capitalist power structures, and create opportunities for new types of communities based on justice to exist and flourish.

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Operational Security 101 for Activists and Revolutionaries

[Link] by Max Wilbert

Those in power do not hesitate to assault, imprison, torture, and sometimes murder those who fight capitalism, patriarchy, racism, the murder of the planet, and other elements of global empire.

In order to do this, they need information. State agencies, private military corporations, investigators, and far-right reactionaries want to gather as much information on revolutionaries as possible. The information they want includes where you live, who you associate with, where you go, where you work, and more.

Protection of information is therefore critical to survival and effectiveness of resistance movements. This becomes even more important when you’re engaged in high-risk revolutionary work and direct action.

Militaries around the world use a procedure called operational security (OPSEC) to protect important information. While I am opposed to all imperialist militaries, we can and should learn from our adversaries. Therefore, I am writing this article to help keep you safe and make you more effective.

What is OPSEC?

OPSEC is defined as “the protection of information that, if available to an adversary, would be detrimental to you/your mission.” Implementing OPSEC is essential for revolutionaries and activists, and can also be valuable for many other people, including:

  • Women facing stalking, sexual violence, or abuse
  • Immigrants seeking to avoid persecution, detention, and deportation
  • People of color threatened by racist persecution and violence
  • Prominent individuals facing doxing and harassment

The 5-step OPSEC process

In Army Regulation 530-1, the US military defines a 5-step process for operational security. This procedure should be studied and implemented by all activists and revolutionaries. In fact, we should practice OPSEC at all times, in all situations. Rather than fostering paranoia, this allows us to ensure maximum safety based on a realistic assessment of threats and vulnerabilities.

Step 1: Identify the information you want to protect

The first step in the OPSEC procedure is the simplest. Determine which information you want to protect. This may include:

  • Plans
  • Procedures
  • Relationships
  • Locations
  • Timing
  • Communications
  • Purchases

Step 2: Analysis of threats

The second step is to develop a “threat model.” In other words, determine who you need to protect this information from, and what their capabilities are. Then assess how these capabilities may impact you in the particular situation at hand.

In this stage, you should also ask yourself “what information does the adversary already know? Is it too late to protect sensitive information?” If so, determine what course of action you need to take to mitigate the issue, plan for ramifications, and prevent it from happening again.

You can learn about the capabilities of state agencies and private intelligence companies from the following sources:

Step 3: Analysis of vulnerabilities

Now that you know what you need to protect, and what the threats are, you can identify specific vulnerabilities.

For example, if you are trying to protect location information from state agencies and corporations, carrying a cell phone with you is a specific vulnerability, because a cell phone triangulates your location and logs this information with the service provider each time it connects to cell towers. If this phone is linked to you, your location will be regularly recorded anytime your cell phone is connected to cell towers. This process can be repeated to identify multiple vulnerabilities.

Once you have determined these vulnerabilities, you can begin to draft OPSEC measures to mitigate or eliminate the vulnerability. There are three types of measures you can take.

  1. Action controls eliminate the potential vulnerability itself. EXAMPLE: get rid of your cell phone completely.
  2. Countermeasures attack the enemy data collection using camouflage, concealment, jamming, or physical destruction. EXAMPLE: use a faraday bag to store your phone, and only remove it from the bag in specific non-vulnerable locations that you are not concerned about having recorded. NB: This method may not eliminate all dangerous data tracking, as smartphones are capable of tracking and recording location and movement data using their built-in compass and accelerometer, even when they have no access to GPS, cellular networks, or other radio frequencies.
  3. Counter analysis confuses the enemy via deception and cover. EXAMPLE: give your phone to a trusted friend who is moving to a different location so that your tracked location appears different than your real location during a given period.

Step 4: Assessment of risk and countermeasures

Step four is to conduct an in-depth analysis of which OPSEC countermeasures are appropriate to protect which pieces of information. Decide on the cost-benefit ratio of each countermeasure. You want to ensure that your security measures are strong and adequate, but ideally, they should not hamper the mission itself. Determine which factors are most important and make a judgement call about your course of action.

Step 5: Apply your OPSEC countermeasures

The final step is to put the plan into action. Implement your chosen action controls, countermeasures, or counter analysis methods.

Once the operation is complete, or on an ongoing basis, you should also reassess effectiveness. Conduct research, analyze any mistakes you have made, and plan for the ramifications of these mistakes. Then improve your techniques and repeat the process.

Creating a “security culture”

Operational security does not make sense for everyone. It is designed to protect groups of people engaged in high-risk activities. Therefore, OPSEC is not a hobby or something to be practiced occasionally. The OPSEC procedure should be habitual and regular, because it only takes a short period of inattention to accidentally disclose information that can have dangerous consequences.

The lessons in this article need to be combined with general activist “security culture.” and basic forensic countermeasures (a topic I will cover in another article) to protect us from threats.

It is important that we begin to shift our culture of activism towards revolutionary confrontation. This requires a serious shift in attitude. We need to look at ourselves as warriors in a life-and-death war for the future of the planet. OPSEC provides us with a procedure for increasing our safety and reminds us to treat this struggle as seriously as it really is.

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156 Fourth World Nations Have Suffered Genocide Since 1945

[Link] by Rudolph C. Rÿser / Intercontinental Cry

Ever since the German Nazis committed horrendous mass murders of Jews, homosexuals, Roma, and Catholics, many commentators, analysts and scholars have made the mistake of associating “genocide” with “executions and gassing” of people en masse.

The originator of the term “genocide” attorney and author Raphael Lemkin’s analysis essentially explains this error when his analysis points to how the Holocaust is not a synonym for genocide, but the consequence of Nazi imperialism and Colonialism in Europe. While the massive murders by the Nazi government was a horrific case of human destruction the genocide had already begun before the killings. Read from Lemkin’s book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe (Washington, DC: Carnegie Council, 1944) on page 79 how he describes genocide:

Genocide has two phases: one, destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group: the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. This imposition, in turn, may be made upon the oppressed population, which is allowed to remain, or upon the territory alone, after removal of the population and the colonization of the area by the oppressor’s own nationals.

In other words, when a distinct people is systematically occupied by an outside population with the intention of replacing that population with the invading people under the instrumentality of a government or other organized agent monopolizing violence, that process is genocide. All events after the occupation—the Colonization—are the result of the initial genocide.

Scholars claim that there have been no fewer than 181 “genocides” since what they describe as the “beginning of genocides” in 1945–that is, instances where human beings have been massively killed with the intention of destroying that human population.

The Center for World Indigenous Studies is conducting a study of “Genocides against Fourth World Peoples” to learn about the extent of genocide (in the Lemkin sense and in the latter-day scholars’ sense) committed against Fourth World peoples and what alternatives exist to establish justice and prevent occurrences of genocide.

By simply examining the continental figures for Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East gathered by contemporary scholars tabulating the killings of groups by particular perpetrators we find that 156 Fourth Nations have been invaded with the resultant killing of an estimated 12.482 million people between 1945 and 2017.

Up to 58 UN member state governments and the militias they supported were responsible for all 156 invasions and ultimate killings of Fourth World peoples.

ESTIMATED POST-GENOCIDE KILLINGS FROM 1945-2017

CONTINENT    PEOPLE KILLED        FW NATIONS OCCUPIED

Africa 7,153,400      77

Americas   544,000 15

Asia    3,953,500      34

Europe      400,000 12

Middle East      431,100 18

TOTALS    12,482,000    156

© CWIS 2018

Our initial finding is that “governments” (Republics, Dictatorships, Empires, Kingdoms) commit the vast majority of genocides in both the Lemkin and the latter-day scholars’ sense.

According to our estimate, UN member states committed an average of 51% of all 181 incidents of genocide counted by contemporary scholars. That figure alone is astonishing, since invasions and killings of Fourth World nations account for about 86% of all “genocides” counted by contemporary scholars since 1945.

Clearly by these numbers alone, cultural genocide and massive killings constitute a major feature of genocide over the last 70 years and beyond. But, curiously, despite the International Convention on Genocide (1948) and the Rome Statute of 2002 that created the International Criminal Court, the cultural genocide of a people in whole or in part has not been prosecuted. And, of equal interest is the fact that not one of the governments responsible for invasions and then killing of Fourth World people has been sanctioned by the international community or any juridical forum.

Ongoing genocides are taking place now in China against the Uyghurs, Iraq against the Yezidi, Madaeans, Zoroastrians, and Assyrians; and against the Rohingya in Burma; and many other nations.

CASE STUDY: THE INDIGENOUS UYGHURS

Many Fourth World nations are suffering under invasion, occupation and killings similar to the Rohingya in southwestern Burmawhat and the Uyghurs. States cannot be permitted to continue the carnage.

Uyghuristan is the homeland of more than 12 million Uyghurs neighboring Mongolia, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan. It has been an established nation of people for more than 2,500 years and the peoples’ written history extends to 1,480 BP. According to the TENGRITAGH AKADEMIYESI Uyghur Academy of Arts and Science Uyghurs were identified by Europeans as “Turkic” and referred to as “Taranchi.” The Russians referred to the Uyghurs as “Sart” or “Turk.” That their language is related to neighboring Turkic languages may have been the reason for these misapplied names. The Kuomintang government of China grouped all Uyghurs as part of the 11 million mostly Moslem Hui people who are located in northwestern China. Despite the practice of Islam, they are completely separate peoples.

Since the Peoples’ Republic of China under Mao Zedong and his successors annexed Uyghuristan the Uyghurs have pursued their independence and have frequently attempted to call the world’s attention to China’s cultural genocide against the Uyghurs.

Until China claimed Uyghuristan in 1949, the Uyghur population constituted more than 94% of the total population in the country. China has systematically relocated Han Chinese into Uyghuristan reducing the Uyghur proportion of the total population to a little more than 45%. Effectively the Chinese have committed cultural genocide by invading, occupying and attempted to replace the Uyghur population with its own population. The Uyghur resistance is strong and persistent to the point where the Chinese government as recently as 25 January 2018 began placing Uyghurs in “re-education camps” to force their fealty to the Chinese government. They have imprisoned tens of thousands and, under the veil of “terrorism” as their justification, killed many thousands more.

Yes, 156 Fourth World nations have suffered cultural genocide since 1945 and not one government responsible for invasions and killings of millions of people have been called to account.

Rudolph Ryser is the Chair of the Center for World Indigenous Studies.

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Living Underground

[Link] “Living underground requires a seismic psychological shift. One has to plan every action, however small and seemingly insignificant. Nothing is innocent. Everything is questioned. You cannot be yourself; you must fully inhabit whatever role you have assumed… The key to being underground is to be invisible. Just as there is a way to walk in a room in order to make yourself stand out, there is a way of walking and behaving that makes you inconspicuous. As a leader, one often seeks prominence; as an outlaw, the opposite is true. When underground I did not walk as tall or stand as straight. I spoke more softly, with less clarity and distinction. I was more passive, more unobtrusive; I did not ask for things, but instead let people tell me what to do. I did not shave or cut my hair.”

– Nelson Mandela, in his book A Long Walk to Freedom

** NB: Mandela is (rightfully, in our view) criticized by South African radicals for failing to address the poverty and capitalist crisis at the root of South African colonization, apartheid, and inequality. It is partially because of Mandela’s compromises that South African society today is one of extreme inequality and a myriad of other social problems. 

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Greenwash, spin and bad science reporting

[Link] by Papillon

Today on Facebook I came across an article celebrating the fact that NASA has found that the earth has greened up over the past 20 years thanks to massive tree planting in China and India.

Surely not, I thought. So I googled the phrase “NASA says world greener” and found a slew of articles published over the past 24 hours all trumpeting the news. The first 20 or so all had variations on the same headline praising China and India’s tree planting. So it must be true, right?

Unfortunately no. This is a really good example of bad science reporting, spin and “greenwashing”.

Regrettably, even the NASA web page about the research – which was NOT conducted by NASA at all but merely used publicly available data from NASA’s satellites – is highly misleading. And it’s all in the spin. When you talk about “China and India leading the increase” and China’s “ambitious tree planting programs” as in NASA’s caption above, you can certainly see where the commonly reported headline comes from. While the NASA article isn’t technically incorrect, the wording is very misleading. Unless you have been trained to focus on the precise meaning of every single word (as scientists like me have), you are simply not going to pick it up. But it’s spin. Fake news. Greenwash. Given an aura of legitimacy by the NASA badge.

YES, it’s true, there have been massive tree plantings in China and, to a lesser extent, India. And we should certainly be happy about that.

And YES, scientist Chi Chen and colleagues from Boston University in Massachusetts are reporting a 5% increase in average total leaf area across the entire planet over the period 2000-2017.

But tree plantings in China and India are NOT chiefly responsible for the increase in planetary greenness. What the headline should probably have said is what the scientists actually reported in their paper, namely

“Earth is 5% greener since 2000 due to the Greenhouse Effect”.

But that’s not quite as sexy, is it. Nor is it good news. In fact it’s quite the opposite.

What Chi Chen and colleagues actually found (as reported in Nature Sustainability volume 2, pages 122–129 (2019)) was:

the earth’s Greenness Index (something detected by sensors on NASA’s MODIS satellites) has increased over the period 2000-2017 and this equates to a 5% increase in annual average total leaf area across the entire planet

over the period 2000-2017 the total surface area covered by leaves in the planet’s vegetated zones has grown. The increase is spread out across the world but if put together would be roughly equal in size to the Amazon rainforest.

in addition to this, about 30% of land that was already green in 2000 is even greener now and about 5% is less green now

the “dominant drivers” of this overall increase in greenness are “climate change and CO2 fertilization effects”. In other words – the Greenhouse Effect. These indirect effects of human activity account for 70% of the increased greenness across the planet.

the remaining 30% is due to direct effects of human activity and this is concentrated in China and India

in China:

42% of the increase in greenness is due to large scale tree plantings.

32% of the increase in greenness is due to agricultural intensification

(that is, greater use of irrigation, fertiliser (particularly Nitrogen), pesticides and fossil fuels.)

in India:

only 4% of the increase is due to large scale tree plantings.

and fully 82% of the increase is due to agricultural intensification.

Now, if you’ve made it this far through the article and all that accurate science reporting hasn’t put you to sleep, you’ll see that this tree story isn’t half as green as it seemed. Indeed its only 42% of 25% of 5% as green as it seemed. It’s precisely 0.525% as green as it seemed.

So the great news about the tree plantings in China (and it really IS great news) is sadly only the thin silver lining on an otherwise dark cloud of climate change and ‘business-as-usual’ industrial agriculture.

Am I disappointed the world isn’t 5% greener due to tree plantings? Yes, I am. But I am much more disappointed that the research has not been reported honestly by a respected scientific institution, and that literally dozens of news services that trust that institution are now promulgating the spin, fake news, and greenwash of its story. Why would the Ames Research Center spin the story this way? Who knows. Maybe it’s just a staffer in their communications department with a particularly optimistic disposition, who lacks the skills to actually read the original article properly. Maybe it goes much deeper than this and comes down to political influence. But regardless of where it sits on the spectrum, from inept to devious, it stinks!

If, like me, harsh realities like this tend to make you sad, angry and perhaps despairing, let me encourage you to take that energy and invest it in a positive way. Do what you can – everything you can – to stop being part of the problem and, as much as is within your power, every day strive to be part of the solution.

The original scientific publication is here:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-019-0220-7

NASA’s post is here:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/ames/human-activity-in-china-and-india-dominates-the-greening-of-earth-nasa-study-shows

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“Disaster” As Indian Supreme Court Orders Eviction of “8 million” Tribespeople

[Link] by Survival International

India’s Supreme Court has ordered the eviction of up to 8 million tribal and other forest-dwelling people, in what campaigners have described as “an unprecedented disaster,” and “the biggest mass eviction in the name of conservation, ever.”

The ruling is in response to requests by Indian conservation groups to declare invalid the Forest Rights Act, which gives forest-dwelling people rights to their ancestral lands, including in protected areas. The groups had also demanded that where tribespeople had tried and failed to secure their rights under the Act, they should be evicted.

The groups reportedly include Wildlife First, Wildlife Trust of India, the Nature Conservation Society, the Tiger Research and Conservation Trust and the Bombay Natural History Society.

In an extraordinary move, the national government failed to appear in court to defend the tribespeople’s rights, and the Court therefore ruled in favor of the evictions, which it decreed should be completed by July 27.

The order affects more than 1.1 million households, with experts estimating this could mean more than 8 million individuals will now be evicted – and the number is likely to rise, as some states have not provided details as to how many will be affected.

Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today: “This judgement is a death sentence for millions of tribal people in India, land theft on an epic scale, and a monumental injustice.

“It will lead to wholesale misery, impoverishment, disease and death, an urgent humanitarian crisis, and it will do nothing to save the forests which these tribespeople have protected for generations.

“Will the big conservation organizations like WWF and WCS condemn this ruling and pledge to fight it, or will they be complicit in the biggest mass eviction in the name of conservation, ever?”

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Radical Feminism FAQ

[Link] Q: What is radical feminism?

A: There are many branches of feminism. Radical feminism takes aim at the root cause of the crisis facing women: the system of violence that keeps people divided by sex with a dominant class (men) and an oppressed class (women).

This system of violence is called patriarchy, and over the past two thousand years it has come to rule most of the world. Patriarchal civilization is based on exploiting and consuming women, living communities, and the earth itself.

Radical feminists seek to liberate all women from oppression. We side with women resisting male violence in all its forms, including rape, porn, prostitution, female infanticide, and forced birth. We are dismantling misogyny (hatred of women), biophobia (fear and hatred of nature), and lesbophobia (fear and hatred of lesbians).

Radical feminists in DGR are committed to overturning this brutal patriarchal culture in defense of the earth, the source of life; and our sisters, women around the world.

Q: Do radical feminists want a world dominated by women?

A: Dee Graham addresses this in her book Loving to Survive (page 243):

“Whereas patriarchy imagines matriarchy as a matter of reversal in the power relation between men and women, matriarchy requires a rejection of the dichotomous thinking on which this male fantasy is founded. Matriarchy is a completely different form of organization than patriarchy, emphasizing what Miller describes as power with, as distinct from power over. Love and Shanklin define matriarchy as a society in which all interpersonal relationships are modeled on the nurturant relationship between a mother and her child. According to these authors this nurturant mode would inform all social institutions. The goal of the nurturant relationship would be to strengthen ‘the unique will of each individual to form open, trusting, creative bonds with others.’”

Q: Why are some people accusing Deep Green Resistance of transphobia? 

A: Deep Green Resistance has been accused of transphobia because we have a difference of opinion about the definition of gender.

DGR does not condone dehumanization or violence against anyone, including people who describe themselves as trans. Universal human rights are universal. DGR has a strong code of conduct against violence and abuse. Anyone who violates that code is no longer a member of DGR.

Disagreeing with someone, however, is not a form of violence. And we have a big disagreement.

Radical feminists are critical of gender itself. We are not gender reformists–we are gender abolitionists. Without the socially constructed gender roles that form the basis of patriarchy, all people would be free to dress, behave, and love others in whatever way they wished, no matter what kind of body they had.

Patriarchy is a caste system which takes humans who are born biologically male or female and turns them into the social classes called men and women. Male people are made into men by socialization into masculinity, which is defined by a psychology based on emotional numbness and a dichotomy of self and other. This is also the psychology required by soldiers, which is why we don’t think you can be a peace activist without being a feminist.

Female socialization in patriarchy is a process of psychologically constraining and breaking girls—otherwise known as “grooming”—to create a class of compliant victims. Femininity is a set of behaviors that are, in essence, ritualized submission.

We see nothing in the creation of gender to celebrate or embrace. Patriarchy is a corrupt and brutal arrangement of power, and we want to see it dismantled so that the category of gender no longer exists. This is also our position on race and class. The categories are not natural: they only exist because hierarchical systems of power create them (see, for instance, Audrey Smedley’s book Race in North America). We want a world of justice and equality, where the material conditions that currently create race, class, and gender have been forever overcome.

Patriarchy facilitates the mining of female bodies for the benefit of men – for male sexual gratification, for cheap labor, and for reproduction. To take but one example, there are entire villages in India where all the women only have one kidney. Why? Because their husbands have sold the other one. Gender is not a feeling—it’s a human rights abuse against an entire class of people, “people called women.”[1]

We are not “transphobic.” We do, however, have a disagreement about what gender is. Genderists think that gender is natural, a product of biology. Radical feminists think gender is social, a product of male supremacy. Genderists think gender is an identity, an internal set of feelings people might have. Radical feminists think gender is a caste system, a set of material conditions into which one is born. Genderists think gender is a binary. Radical feminists think gender is a hierarchy, with men on top. Some genderists claim that gender is “fluid.” Radical feminists point out that there is nothing fluid about having your husband sell your kidney. So, yes, we have some big disagreements.

Radical feminists also believe that women have the right to define their boundaries and decide who is allowed in their space. We believe all oppressed groups have that right. We have been called transphobic because the women of DGR do not want men—people born male and socialized into masculinity—in women-only spaces. DGR stands with women in that decision.

Q: When Radical Feminists use the term “gender,” what do they mean?

A: See the following resources

  1. “The End of Gender” talk from the 2013 DGR Conference
  2. Talking About Gender
  3. Who Owns Gender?

Q: Is Radical Feminism essentialist?

A: No, most definitely not. Essentialism is the idea that gender is biological, not social. So boys are naturally aggressive and adventurous, while girls are nurturing and emotional. Gendered behavior is attributed to brain structure, hormones, or both.

Feminists have fought essentialism since the beginning. Biological essentialism has been used to excuse everything from women’s exclusion from education to men’s sexual violence. Those in power need to naturalize their dominance and the subordinate group’s submission: if society is actually arranged by nature or god or the cosmos, then there’s no point in fighting it. The ideology of essentialism can be very effective at foreclosing resistance.

Think about race. Race is not biologically real. Politically, socially, economically, race is, of course, a brutal reality around the globe. The concept of race, however, is a creation of the powerful. If we want a just world, the material institutions that keep people of color subordinate need to be dismantled. And the concepts of “whiteness” and “blackness” themselves will ultimately be abandoned as they make no sense outside of the realities of white supremacy.

Many people are confused when asked to apply the same radical analysis to gender. But from a feminist perspective, the parallels are obvious. Are there differences in skin tone across the human species? Yes. Why do those differences mean anything? Because a corrupt and brutal arrangement of power needs an ideology called racism. Are there differences in the shapes of people’s genitals? Yes. Why do those differences matter? Because a corrupt and brutal arrangement of power—patriarchy—needs an ideology called gender.

Patriarchy is a political system that takes biological males and females and turns them into the social categories called men and women, so that the class of men can dominate people called women. Gender is to women what race is to people of color: the ideological construct that underlies our subordination.

So we are firmly against the notion that gender is biological. In fact, it’s the genderists who make essentialist claims for gender. In their view, men and women display domination and submission, respectively, not because of social conditions, but because we have different brains. Gendered behavior is natural, they say, a function of our biology. The claim is often that prenatal hormones create these propensities, and that the “wrong” hormones can produce the “wrong” brain. Hence it is possible to have a man’s body with a woman’s brain.

We find it very strange that we are accused of essentialism when we believe the exact opposite. Gender is socially constructed to the root, and those roots are soaked in women’s blood. We aim to dismantle it. If gender was a product of our biology, that wouldn’t be possible. We reject the idea of a female brain as firmly as we reject the idea of a “Negro brain.”[2] And we will never accept that femininity is natural to women. It is the ritualized displays of submission created by trauma and demanded of all oppressed groups in a social hierarchy. We refuse to submit and we encourage women everywhere to resist.

For further reading:

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine

Brainstorm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences by Rebecca Jordan-Young.

The Emperor’s New Penis by Lierre Keith and Derrick Jensen

Q: Aren’t you just reaffirming gender when you create women-only spaces?

A: No, we are acknowledging gender and its terrible harms when we create women-only space. We are fighting gender, with its demands for feminine submission and its assertion that women exist to take care of men.

Gender is socially and politically very real and very deadly. It is the structure of women’s oppression. Individually feigning “gender blindness” does not make gender go away: only radical action on a broad political scale can accomplish this. Gender is not just any social construction, but a social construction specifically designed to privilege one class (males) at the expense of another class (females).

Acting as if gender does not exist cannot counter it: on the contrary, that only helps to mask a system of oppressive power. No one would suggest that the working class could fight capitalism by abandoning their class consciousness. Likewise, people of color have long been adamant that “racial colorblindness” only serves the project of white supremacy by hiding the existence of oppressive race relations. By being conscious of their group condition, women and men can remain aware of their own relative oppression or privilege, which is necessary when combating systems of oppressive power.

The creation of women-only spaces ensures that women in our organization have a liberatory space to work, organize, and bond, free from the negative impact of men. All oppressed peoples need their own space to feel some moments of freedom, create community, and overcome submissive and self-hating behavior. All oppressed peoples have a right to draw a boundary, including women. DGR is committed to defending the right of women to define our own space.

Q: How does radical feminism intersect with race and class struggles? 

A: Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, and Barbara Smith, among others, were integral to the Second Wave of radical feminist theory. Many women of color and poor/working class women made sure that race and class issues were grappled with in a way that previously had not been addressed across the Left. This was essential, since some Second Wave feminist individuals and groups who made contributions to radical feminist theory and practice were unaware of their race and class privilege, which alienated women of color and working class women in the movement. The women mentioned above made sure that these overlapping systems of oppression were recognized and highlighted.

The sadistic systems of racism and classism intersect with patriarchy. All women are oppressed for being female, but this oppression takes different forms and degrees of severity along the lines of race and class. The sex-caste status of females as a class does not cancel out the differences of experience between women of differing racial and economic classes. White, middle/upper class, and otherwise privileged women have a responsibility to prove themselves as allies to women of color. Only after this trust and solidarity is established will women be able to organize collectively to overthrow male power.

Q: If radical feminism asserts that male trans people still retain male privilege, how does it account for the violence directed at them?

A:  All biological males benefit from patriarchy. No internal identity or emotional state can change the material reality of those benefits. Only changing the material conditions—ending patriarchy—can end those benefits.

Having said that, people who don’t conform to gender stereotypes face risks. They are hated because they are proof that gender is not natural. All systems of power have to naturalize their hierarchies, for obvious reasons. It is much harder to fight a social order that was created by God, or nature, or evolution. Male supremacy has to claim that masculinity and femininity are biologically or even cosmically real. Women who resist femininity and men who refuse masculinity are living proof that patriarchy is not inevitable. They might even serve as an inspiration to the rest of us to go on a wildcat strike in the gender factory. Such people will, of course, be punished with ridicule, censure, and even violence.

But all women are subjected to men’s ridicule, censure, and violence. Women who conform to femininity are punished and women who resist it are also punished. Global statistics on male violence show exactly how viciously men punish women for the sin of simply being female. Either path–resistance or conformity–leads to potential rape, torture, and murder. Andrea Dworkin called that “the barricade of sexual terrorism.”[3] All women live inside it, whether we resist or do our best to conform. Nothing we do individually will free us. There is no way out except to destroy the barricade, brick by brick.

Gender exists because the people on top—men—need to know who counts as human and who is an object, a thing to be used. That has to be made very clear, both ideologically and visually. That’s why Jews were forced to wear yellow stars—they had to be visually demarcated as subhuman. That’s why women’s and men’s clothing is so different. Until very recently in western societies, it was illegal for women to wear men’s clothes.[4] In Iran, it’s not just illegal for a barber to give a girl a “boy’s” haircut: it’s punishable by death. The visual demarcation is crucial to the ideological demarcation of human and non-human, subject and object, person and thing. Women’s clothing both advertises us as sexually available and constrains our movement: we exist to be used and, just in case we get other ideas, we can’t get away.

At the center of all of this is rape. As Catharine MacKinnon put it so succinctly, “Man fucks woman; subject verb object.”[5] Men need to know who is in the fuck-object category. They need that category to be absolute because they need to know that they will never be in it. They know too well the sadism that they’ve built into their sexuality. This is the deal they make with each other: don’t do it to me, do it to her instead.

People who don’t conform to gender throw a wrench into the works. If men can’t tell who is a man and who is a woman, how will they know who is human and whom to use, whom to fuck? This is why homophobia springs from misogyny. The divide between human-subject and fuck-object has to be absolute to keep men—real men—safe from each other, physically and ideologically.

This is why people who don’t conform to the visual demands of gender are punished so viciously by men. Men invested in masculinity are terrified of the possible confusion. They can’t have the smallest hint of “gayness” attached to themselves, and the idea that some men might end up in the fuck-object category is horrifying. Their fear is based on a very real assessment of men’s sexual sadism and the endless punishments meted out to those fuck-objects. So men who don’t conform have to be punished until they do, to keep all men safe.

The only way to stop this is to dismantle male supremacy. No one belongs in the fuck-object category: not women, not gay men, not people who don’t conform for whatever reason. The socialization that creates gender—the violence and violation that men and boys do to girls and women—has to end, and the power that demands gender’s existence conquered. When that happens, patriarchy will be over and the concept of gender will have no meaning.

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Contact Deep Green Resistance News Service

[Link] To repost DGR original writings or talk with us about anything else, you can contact the Deep Green Resistance News Service by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Email: newsservice@deepgreenresistance.org

Twitter: @dgrnews

Facebook.com/dgrnews

Please contact us with news, articles, or pieces that you have written. If we decide to post your submission, it may be posted here, or on the Deep Green Resistance Blog.

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Further news and recommended reading / podcasts

Cheyenne & Richard Olson—Derrick Jensen Resistance Radio—March 3, 2019

Rachel Stewart on Derrick Jensen Resistance Radio – February 17, 2019

Derrick Jensen Resistance Radio w/ Susan Eirich – February 10, 2019

Arundhati Roy on Armed Struggle vs. Passive Resistance

Sankara on the Oppression of Women

The Green New Deal

Perspectives: Freedom in the Third World

Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say it Again. And Again. And Again

Trust Nothing

Ogiek Want Their Mau Forest Back

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How to support DGR or get involved

Guide to taking action

Bring DGR to your community to provide training

Become a member

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“Contrary to what we usually believe, moments like these, the best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we *make* happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last blockon a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.”

― Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

 

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