Resistance Newsletter – October 2018

October 6, 2018

by Max Wilbert

Deep Green Resistance

max@maxwilbert.org

https://www.deepgreenresistance.org

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.

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

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In this issue:

  1. A Manifesto for a World in Crisis
  2. FBI contacts DGR member in Oregon
  3. Rights for Nature Update
  4. Deep Green Resistance and Direct Action Manual translated into French
  5. We’ve passed the 1.5º C threshold
  6. Privacy Recommendations for Revolutionaries
  7. Organizational Structures
  8. Further news and recommended reading / podcasts
  9. How to support DGR or get involved

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A Manifesto for a World in Crisis

[Link]

THE SITUATION

Our world is in crisis. Species extinction, topsoil loss, deforestation, rising seas, ocean acidification, global warming. It’s no exaggeration to say that the dominant culture is killing the planet. At the same time, societies around the world are staggeringly unjust. Neocolonialism builds up empires on the backs of indigenous peoples, sweatshop workers, unpaid and underpaid women, and the bodies of our nonhuman kin.

FALSE SOLUTIONS

We do not trust electoral politics, NGOs/non-profits, or foundations. Change must come from the grassroots, but the masses can be led astray. False solutions abound in the of vague reforms, half-measures, and technologies that only strengthen empire.

REVOLUTION

We aim for nothing less than total liberation from extractive economics (including capitalism and socialism), white supremacy, patriarchy, colonialism, industrialism, and the culture of empire that we call civilization. This is a war for survival, and we’re losing. We aim to turn the tide. We mean to win. Some will end up in prison. Some will die. This is the price of justice. Revolution will not be tranquil or easy.

STRATEGY

Our main strategy is to build a revolutionary culture that supports outright destruction of the dominant culture (empire/industrial civilization). Specifically, we promote a strategy informed by the history of guerilla warfare that entails coordinated underground cells using sabotage to destroy global energy, transportation, communications, trade, and finance systems. The goal is to stop the global economy, not to harm individuals or the people. We recognize the value in other strategies such as mass movements, building alternatives, and changing laws, but these methods have little chance of stopping or significantly altering the course of global empire.

THE FUTURE

There are countless thousands of examples of land-based, sustainable, just human cultures, the majority of them indigenous. When the global economy collapses, we will need to live this way once again. The people will need to help the land heal by dismantling the vestiges of this system and stewarding toxic waste such as nuclear plants into dormancy. Low-energy societies will thrive in the ruins of civilization. They will face their own challenges, as all people do, but they will be strong if we protect their ability to exist by removing threats to the planet.

IDENTITY POLITICS

The experiences of those who have suffered systematic oppression can never be fully understood by those who have not. We value and lift up those leaders who have true vision and skill, not figureheads or puppets. Being a member of an oppressed group does not automatically lead to wisdom. Anti-oppression politics form the bedrock of our human morality, but our goal is not political correctness; it is revolution.

RACISM AND PATRIARCHY

Racism and patriarchy both exist to further power and domination by turning large groups of people into exploitable others. These toxic ideologies deeply influence our culture and prop up empire by providing a steady stream of cheap and free labor, children to serve as the next generation of consumers and soldiers, and stereotypes to manipulate the population with. As the oppression of women and people of color is so wrapped up in the global industrial economy (via mass media, pornography, the prison-industrial system, housing, etc.), we see dismantling empire as critical to the dismantling of the concrete systems of power enforcing racism and patriarchy.

IMMIGRATION

The global economy creates millions of refugees each year via wars, trade, and propaganda. Most immigration happens because people’s land or livelihoods have been destroyed. Ideally, people should be allowed to live in their homes on land that is healthy and can support their community. Therefore, the best way to address the immigration “problem” is to bring down the global empire. We must stop the problem at the source.

HOW WE WORK

We must be tenacious, smart, strategic, careful, bold, and self-reflective. We must be unapologetic and non-compromising. We’ve got to sacrifice. Those who are ready have to get together and do the tedious work of organizing and building organizations and communities, engaging in political struggles, and carrying out realistic strategies for success. We don’t hope to be effective, we plan to make it happen.

LOYALTY

Throughout history, repressive and counterrevolutionary forces have worked to drive wedges into communities of resistance. Never forget COINTELPRO. Our protection lies in a fierce, forgiving loyalty to those who resist

FBI Contacts DGR member in Oregon

[Story] On Friday, September 7th, Deep Green Resistance member Max Wilbert was contacted by the FBI in regards to his political organizing.

The agent, who identified himself as “Special Agent Michael” from the Seattle Field Office of the FBI, said he was calling “about something [Wilbert] wrote online” in response to “tips submitted to a public tip line.” The same agent also left a card at a family member’s house over the weekend.

Wilbert followed established security culture protocols, a set of best-practices for activists and revolutionaries, by refusing to answer any questions and referring the agent to contact a lawyer.

This is the third time Wilbert has been contacted by the FBI in regards to his organizing. In prior instances in 2014 and 2016, he also declined to answer any questions.

The earlier phone calls were part of a coordinated operation targeting DGR members across multiple US states, in which more than a dozen DGR members and presumed associates were called on the phone or visited at their home or work. FBI agents also intimidated family members and followed activists in cars during this sweep.

Members including Wilbert have also been detained and then turned away at the Canadian border, where a lawyer working with the group similarly faced what The Guardian called “repeated interrogations.”

As Wilbert said in 2016, “This government uses intimidation and violence because these tactics are brutally effective. For me and the people I work with, we expect pushback. That doesn’t make it easy, but in a way, this sort of attention validates the fact that our strategy represents a real threat to the system of power in this country. They’re scared of us because we have a plan to hit them where it hurts.”

Deep Green Resistance advocates a revolutionary environmentalism and calls for forcefully dismantling global capitalism. The organization is well known to the FBI. In fact, members have been told that the book the movement is based on is on the bookshelves at FBI training academy near Quantico, Virginia.

The organization based on the book was created in 2011 and has members located around the world. Their website is available in more than 20 languages and members have been involved in a wide range of protest, resistance, and ecology movements.

The FBI has a long history of surveillance and disruption of organizations working against capitalism and racism. From intimidation and assassination (MLK, Fred Hampton) to more subtle interventions (see COINTELPRO) to destroy the social glue of resistance communities, the FBI has engaged in illegal and undemocratic activity for decades. This is a global trend as well. State security forces from South Africa to China have worked to undermine movements for justice consistently for decades.

DGR expects further state repression against itself and other groups that advocate threatening strategies, but refuses to be intimidated. In fact, they see state repression as a validation. “When she heard I had been called by the FBI, my aunt told me that my grandfather would have said, ‘He must be doing something right,’” Wilbert says.

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Rights for Nature Update

[Story] No one is more responsible for the facilitation of life in the American West than the Colorado River. But, headlines across the West warn that the Colorado River is at record low levels and water shortages are inevitable. These headlines are hardly new and many concerned people question whether traditional tactics will truly protect the river.

My name is Will Falk  and I am a writer and lawyer. In the fall of 2017, I helped to file the first-ever federal rights of nature lawsuit  seeking rights for the Colorado River because American law currently fails to protect the natural world. American law fails because it protects corporate rights over the rights of human and nonhuman communities while defining nature as property. Nature, defined as property, is consumed and destroyed. Until nature’s rights are protected over corporate rights, ecological collapse will continue.

Rights of nature are a new judicial framework gaining momentum around the world that would revolutionize humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Rights of nature would give major natural communities like the Colorado River the rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and naturally evolve while giving humans who depend on these communities the right to sue on behalf of the river.

The Colorado River will not be safe until humans truly understand the destruction being wrought on her. Eye-witness accounts will help humans understand the dire situation the river is in. To understand how the Colorado River’s rights to exist, flourish, regenerate, and naturally evolve can be enforced, we need firsthand accounts describing how these rights are being violated. This is why, after the lawsuit was filed, photographer Michelle McCarron   and I began traveling with the river to give on-the-ground reports  about the river’s health while the lawsuit was pending. Unfortunately, the Colorado Attorney General threatened participants with sanctions for filing the lawsuit and it was dismissed. The Colorado River story we began was left half-finished.

It has never been more important that the Colorado River’s story be completely told. It has never been more important that rights of nature be demanded. Michelle and I are still working on the Colorado River’s story. The Colorado River speaks, and we will not stop until we know her voice has been heard. We recently published a small part of the story with Voices for Biodiversity , but we’ve only been able to travel about half the length of the river. We need help with travel costs.

Specifically, your support will provide us with money for gas, food, and supplies to finish traveling the length of the Colorado River. We will visit the Hoover Dam, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, major cities who depend on the river like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix as well as meet with First Nations who have lived with the river for generations. Additionally, we hope to travel to the Colorado River delta where vaquita porpoises, the world’s most endangered cetacean, are struggling for their species’ survival. In fact, only a dozen vaquita survive and, in all likelihood, they will be extinct by this time next year. Your support will help us create a biocentric story aimed at catalyzing action to protect the Colorado River while making the case for the urgent need for fundamental legal change.

Fundraiser here.

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Deep Green Resistance and Direct Action Manual translated into French

Members of Deep Green Resistance France, as well as volunteers and allies, have now translated the books Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet  and Direct Action Manual into French. They are launching pre-sale now to help pay for printing costs. Deliveries are set for late August for the DGR book and early October for the DAM book.

[Link] Deep Green Resistance

Derrick Jensen pose souvent à son public la question suivante : « Pensez-vous que cette culture s’engagera de manière volontaire vers un mode de vie soutenable et sain ? » Personne n’a jamais répondu par l’affirmative. Deep Green Resistance (DGR) commence donc là où les écologistes « mainstream » se sont arrêtés, en proposant une critique de notre civilisation industrielle manifestement incompatible avec la vie sur Terre. Face à l’urgence de la situation, les « technosolutions » et les achats écoresponsables ne résoudront rien. Nous avons besoin d’une véritable culture de résistance.

Les auteurs

Derrick Jensen est philosophe, militant récompensé et auteur de plus de 20 livres dont plusieurs best-sellers. Sa voix est l’une des plus importantes du mouvement environnemental. Parmi ses ouvrages, on trouve A Language older than Words ; The Culture of Make Believe et les deux volumes de Endgame. Lierre Keith est écrivaine, féministe radicale, écologiste et militante pour la sécurité alimentaire. Son ouvrage Le mythe végétarien : Alimentation, Justice et Durabilité a été appelé « le livre environnemental le plus important de sa génération ». Aric McBay est militant et fermier bio. Il a co-écrit What We Leave Behind avec Derrick Jensen.

L’importance de ce livre

DGR évalue les options stratégiques qui s’offrent à nous, de la non-violence à la guérilla, et pose les conditions nécessaires à une victoire. Ce livre explore aussi les sujets, concepts et modes opératoires des mouvements de résistance et des grandes luttes de ces derniers siècles : les types de structures organisationnelles, le recrutement, la sécurité, les choix des cibles, etc. DGR n’est pas seulement un livre, c’est aussi un mouvement qui propose un plan d’action concret. C’est une lecture obligatoire pour tout militant souhaitant comprendre les enjeux, l’idéologie et les faiblesses de ses adversaires ainsi que les stratégies et tactiques efficaces.

[Link] Manuel d’action directe (Earth First!)

Le Manuel d’action directe d’Earth First! enseigne les bases d’une résistance efficace et novatrice. Ce manuel contient près de 300 pages de diagrammes, des descriptions de techniques et un panorama complet du rôle que joue l’action directe dans la résistance : planifier une action, mettre en place un blocus, occuper un arbre ou paralyser un projet. Ce livre contient aussi des informations juridiques essentielles et un aperçu de l’environnement politico-judiciaire dans lequel les militants doivent naviguer. Ce manuel a été compilé et mis à jour par des militants de première ligne états-uniens. Leur objectif principal est de diffuser des connaissances et compétences clés aux quatre coins du monde.

Unique en son genre, ce livre répond aux attentes des jeunes militants et des militants aguerris à la recherche de tactiques efficaces pour résister et paralyser des projets destructeurs et des entreprises écocidaires.

Le livre (traduit de l’anglais américain) a été modifié pour répondre aux besoins des lecteurs suisses, français, belges et québecois et prend en compte leurs cadres juridiques respectifs.

L’auteur

Earth First! est une organisation écologiste radicale née dans le Sud-Ouest des États-Unis en 1980, inspirée par les livres de Rachel Carson, notamment Printemps silencieux, et d’Edward Abbey, Le gang de la clef à molette, comme par les idées d’Aldo Leopold, dont le mot d’ordre pourrait être le fameux « No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth! » (« pas de compromis dans la défense de la Terre Mère ! »). Il existe aujourd’hui des mouvements Earth First! aux États-Unis, en France, au Royaume-Uni, au Canada, en Australie, aux Pays-Bas, en Belgique, aux Philippines, en République tchèque, en Inde, au Mexique, en France, en Allemagne, en Nouvelle-Zélande, en Pologne, au Nigeria, en Slovaquie, en Irlande, en Italie et en Espagne.

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We’ve passed the 1.5º C threshold

The MCC carbon clock demonstrates just how much carbon can be released into the atmosphere if global warming shall be limited to 1.5°C, or 2°C with high probability. By selecting a choice of temperature targets and estimates, you can see how much time remains in each scenario.

Disclaimer: The numbers are based on the latest Assessment Report (AR5) of the IPCC. It is very likely that these numbers will be updated after the release of the IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5 Degrees. This will then be considered here accordingly. [These are likely significantly conservative]

On September 8th, 2018, the carbon budget to limit the planet to 1.5ºC warming was passed.

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Privacy Recommendations for Revolutionaries

[Story] by Max Wilbert / Deep Green Resistance

Lately, I have been writing a series of introductory articles on the importance of skills and equipment for revolutionaries. Part of my thesis is that gaining skills and gathering equipment is important not only for practical reasons, but also because it opens up new possibilities and removes barriers in our thinking that we didn’t even know were there.

The situation is similar when it comes to digital communication.

We all know that we live in a world of ubiquitous surveillance. Most of us walk around every day with a phone in our pockets that is constantly tracking our location and sending that data to corporations, who bundle it and sell it to the highest bidder. All our web traffic is monitored and recorded, as are our phone calls, text messages, emails, video chat calls, and so on.

Political dissidents are an especially high-priority target.

This surveillance leads to a form of self-censorship whereby we don’t discuss important topics essential to developing resistance organizations and planning and carrying our revolutionary actions.

The only final solution is to dismantle the surveillance system and the institutions (capitalism, patriarchy, empire-culture, civilization) that depend on and lead to it. But pending that outcome, we can fight back in other ways. Here are a series of concrete recommendations for upping your privacy and security game.

Once again, this is an introduction to this topic, and isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Do your own research and be cautious.

Use a VPN or Tor for everyday web browsing

A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, adds a reasonable level of privacy and security to everyday web browsing. Look for a well-regarded platform that doesn’t keep any logs and is not based in the United States or in the territory of close allies. These are cheap and essential in the age when net neutrality is dead, and one subscription can work for multiple devices (laptop, tablet, phone, etc.). Take one hour to purchase and start using a VPN as a priority action.

To bring your security to a higher level, use Tor Browser. Tor is not only essential for high risk online activities, but for normalizing privacy for everyone using the web. It’s easy to use side by side with your regular web browser.

Encrypt data

Almost all phones, tablets, and computers now have simple disk encryption built-in. Enable this function on all your devices. Use strong passwords/passphrases. If you have a habit of forgetting passwords, use a password manager to organize your data. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

Use secure chat/call apps

Today there are multiple easy-to-use, free apps for encrypted communication. These include Signal and Wire. Download these apps and use them instead of standard phone calls, text messages, and video chat whenever possible. These apps are well-regarded in the professional security community and your data should be inaccessible to eavesdroppers.

Keep your devices secure

All your encryption is worthless without physical security. If you leave your computer sitting in a hotel room, a state agent can gain access, open your computer case with a screwdriver, and install a keylogger inside. Next time you login, that device can send your passphrase to the agent, and your security is compromised.

This is just one example of a physical attack.

Keep your devices inside your control at all times. Don’t let strangers or people you don’t trust fully use your devices. If the state does gain access to your device, consider keeping that device disconnected from the internet, wiping all your data, selling it, and buying a new one (as I did after my laptop was searched at the U.S./Canada border).

Don’t share all location data

As I mentioned above, all cell phones (including “dumbphones”) track your exact location any time there is service, and share that information with your service provider and any partners/law enforcement agencies. Consider as well that most smartphones have ~6 microphones in them.

The solutions to this are simple. First, consider leaving your phone at home or in another location. Leave it off as much as possible, and in the bottom of a bag or other location where sound is muffled and eavesdropping is not possible. It is not overkill to purchase a “faraday bag” which blocks all radio waves in and out of your device. These can be purchased cheaply and allow you to carry your phone with you privately, only removing it in innocuous locations when you wish to use it.

Cover cameras

Any cameras in internet/cell-network connected devices can be hacked. Cover them with tape or stickers unless they are actively in use.

Other recommendations

Corporations sell data and provide it to government agencies without warrants or probable cause regularly. In general, your data will be much safer if you use non-corporate products, or only corporate products that are zero-data services.

For example, use Firefox (with privacy-enhancing add-ons such as uBlock Origin, Decentraleyes, Disable WebRTC, HTTPS Everywhere, Privacy Badger, NoScript, etc.) instead of Chrome or Safari. Use OpenStreetMap instead of Google Maps. Use DuckDuckGo instead of Google for search.

Conclusion

As I’ve already said, this is just a beginning. While these recommendations will help improve your privacy, they are not foolproof. Attacks and defense methods are always changing. However, the weakest link in most secure computer systems is the human element. Install software updates, use methods recommended by trustworthy privacy advocates, and use common sense. Remember that the goal here is freedom of action, not perfection.

Additional resources:

https://deepgreenresistance.org/get-involved/security-culture

https://prism-break.org/

https://ssd.eff.org/

https://www.privacytools.io/#vpn

https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/wiki/index

https://inteltechniques.com/podcast.html

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Organizational Structures

From Deep Green Resistance, by Lierre Keith, Aric McBay, and Derrick Jensen

Page 293-296

Within both aboveground and underground activism there are several templates for basic organizational structures. These structures have been used by every resistance group in history, although not all groups have chosen the approach best suited for their situations and objec­tives. It is important to understand the pros, cons, and capabilities of the spectrum of different organizations that comprise effective resist­ance movements.

The simplest “unit” of resistance is the individual. Individuals are highly limited in their resistance activities. Aboveground individuals (Figure 8-Ib) are usually limited to personal acts like alterations in diet, material consumption, or spirituality, which, as we’ve said, don’t match the scope of our problems. It’s true that individual aboveground activists can affect big changes at times, but they usually work by engaging other people or institutions. Underground individuals (Figure 8-la) may have to worry about security less, in that they don’t have anyone who can betray their secrets under interrogation; but nor do they have anyone to watch their back. Underground individuals are also limited in their actions, although they can engage in sabotage (and even assassination, as all by himself Georg Elser almost assassinated Hitler).

Individual actions may not qualify as resistance. Julian Jackson wrote on this subject in his important history of the German Occupation of France: “The Resistance was increasingly sustained by hostility of the mass of the population towards the Occupation, but not all acts of indi­vidual hostility can be characterized as resistance, although they are the necessary precondition of it. A distinction needs to be drawn between dis­sidence and resistance.” This distinction is a crucial one for us to make as well.

Jackson continues, “Workers who evaded [compulsory labor], or Jews who escaped the round-ups, or peasants who withheld their pro­ duce from the Germans, were transgressing the law, and their actions were subversive of authority. But they were not resisters in the same way as those who organized the escape of [forced laborers] and Jews. Contesting or disobeying a law on an individual basis is not the same as challenging the authority that makes those laws.'”

Of course, one’s options for resistance are greatly expanded in a group.

The most basic organizational unit is the affinity group. A group of fewer than a dozen people is a good compromise between groups too large to be socially functional, and too small to carry out important tasks. The activist’s affinity group has a mirror in the underground cell, and in the military squad. Groups this size are small enough for participatory decision making to take place, or in the case of a hierarchical group, for orders to be relayed quickly and easily.

The underground affinity group (Figure 8-2a, shown here with a dis­tinct leader) has many benefits for the members. Members can specialize in different areas of expertise, pool their efforts, work together toward shared goals, and watch each others’ backs. The group . can also offer social and emotional support that is much needed for people working underground. Because they do not have direct rela­tionships with other movements or underground groups, they can be relatively secure. However, due to their close working relationships, if one member of the group is compromised, the entire affinity group is likely to be compromised. The more members are in the group, the more risk involved (and the more different relationships to deal with). Also because the affinity group is limited in size, it is limited in terms of the size of objectives it can go after, and their geographic range.

Aboveground affinity groups ( Figure 8-2b) share many of the same clear benefits of a small-scale, deliberate community. However, they may rely more on outside relationships, both for friends and fellow activists. Members may also easily belong to more than one affinity group to follow their own interests and passions. This is not the case with underground groups-members must belong only to one affinity group or they are putting all groups at risk.

The obvious benefit of multiple overlapping aboveground groups is the formation of larger movements or “mesh” networks (Figure 8-3b). These larger, diverse groups are better able to get a lot done, although sometimes they can have coordination or unity problems if they grow beyond a certain size. In naturally forming social networks, each member of the group is likely to be only a few degrees of separation from any other person. This can be fantastic for sharing information or finding new contacts. However, for a group concerned about security issues, this type of organization is a disaster. If any individual were compromised, that person could easily compromise large numbers of people. Even if some members of the network can’t be compromised, the sheer number of connections between people makes it easy to just bypass the people who can’t be compromised. The kind of decentral­ized network that makes social networks so robust is a security nightmare.

Underground groups that want to bring larger numbers of people into the organization must take a different approach. A security-con­scious underground network will largely consist of a number of different cells with limited connections to other cells (Figure 8-3a). One person in a cell would know all of the members in that cell, as well as a single member in another cell or two. This allows coordination and shared information between cells. This network is “compartmentalized.” Like all underground groups, it has a firewall between itself and the above­ ground. But there are also different, internal firewalls between sections.

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Further news and recommended reading / podcasts

How Identity Became a Weapon Against the Left

Water Ceremony Shuts Down Line 3 Construction On Mississippi River

52 Percent of World’s Birds of Prey Populations in Decline

Indigenous People in Costa Rica Denounce Forced Removal From Legislature

Corporate Agent PicRights Sends “Cease-and-Desist” Letter to Creators of Nissan Leaf Electric Car Greenwashing Exposé

What Happened to Bill McKibben?

Resistance Radio with Ben Goldfarb (September 23, 2018)

Resistance Radio with Kara Dansky & Andrea Orwoll (September 16, 2018)

Resistance Radio with Malina Fagan & Lynn Pelletier (September 2, 2018)

Resistance Radio with Chris Hedges (August 26, 2018)

DGR member Max Wilbert on Last Born in the Wilderness podcast

Chant It Down Radio

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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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“You will never win by staying in a defensive position. If you want to win, you must take the offense!”

— Sun Tzu

 

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