Webinar with Will Falk: Protect Thacker Pass [Dispatches from Thacker Pass]

Webinar with Will Falk: Protect Thacker Pass [Dispatches from Thacker Pass]

Dear Friend,

Please join NCRN on Wednesday August 25, 8 pm ET for a Webinar with Will Falk: Protect Thacker Pass.

Will Falk is an attorney, writer, poet, activist, and organizer with Protect Thacker Pass. Protect Thacker Pass is an “independent, grassroots collective of people” protecting the land and all life from a proposed lithium mine in the Central Basin, Nevada. For Thacker Pass Facebook click here.

Register here.

On January 15th of this year Will Falk and Max Wilbert staked their ecological hearts and souls on Protecting Thacker Pass, or Peehee mu’ Huh as the area is known to the Indigenous. Members of the local Fort McDermitt tribe are currently petitioning the courts to stop the destruction of the land and their native ancestors buried beneath it from the bulldozers of Lithium Americas.

The NCRN, in conversation with Will and tribal members, will discuss how the structure of our system negates tribal rights and tribal history in order to obtain natural resources – in this case, lithium, used to feed the electric car manufacturers who have convinced so many that electric cars are ‘green’.

For more information go to the NCRN post here. See you soon!

Susie Beiersdorfer

President NCRN

For more on the Protect Thacker Pass campaign

#ProtectThackerPass #NativeLivesMatter #NativeLandsMatter

Protecting Your Community From Mining and Other Extractive Operations

Protecting Your Community From Mining and Other Extractive Operations

A Guide for Resistance

By Carlos Zorrilla with Arden Buck and David Pellow

Resistance to mining is growing worldwide. Although extractive companies are powerful, they are also vulnerable.

About this guide

This guide is intended for leaders and organizers who can work with communities to carry out local actions, and who can also work at the regional, national, and international levels. It describes aspects of the mining process and the dangers your community faces when mining companies seek to operate in your community (Sect. 1), the many strategies you can use to fight back (Sect. 2 and Appendices A and B), examples of successful resistance by communities who fought back (Appendix C), and helpful resources in a companion volume (Supplement). Our hope is that with this guide, you too can succeed in protecting your community against these dangers.

This guide is not only for mining.

Most of the tactics and countermeasures described herein apply equally well to other extractive and exploitative activities: oil, gas, logging, various polluting industries, and large hydroelectric dams. Most activities proposed by large corporations, although they promise benefits, ultimately devastate local communities and their surroundings. If your community is targeted, it is essential to organize and resist. Acknowledgements: The material in this guide draws on the experience of several experts on mining and its impacts, particularly principle author Carlos Zorrilla. The guide came about because he realized that other communities around the world could benefit from the knowledge and experience that he and his colleagues gained while fighting to keep his area from being destroyed by mining companies.

Download the whole guide as PDF here:

Protecting Your Community From Extractive Industries

Checklist for Non-violent Direct Action trainings

Checklist for Non-violent Direct Action trainings

This very helpful checklist originally appeared in The Commons.

By Nicola Paris

Often there is so much to cover in a short amount of time during trainings that we inevitably miss things. Particularly this can be easy to do when facilitation is shared among a number of people, and at large convergences.

Here is a checklist of some of the basic principles, and pieces of information that we think you might not want to forget. This has been crowd-sourced from NVDA trainers and CounterAct training. Download a handy printable pdf from the box at the bottom of this page.

Acknowledgement and history

Know where you stand, acknowledge on whose country. Think about what stories you don’t know about this place and what you should.

Support for First Nations mob and people of colour

Be aware of the additional challenges First Nations people can have, both with accessibility to trainings and participation in direct action, and the particular interest and different treatment they might experience from ‘authorities’

Understand people have different experiences of police and system violence, and that as a result we may communicate with those systems differently. Don’t tone police Aboriginal people who may express anger and frustration at authorities. Be aware that people who are Indigenous can physically look very different, and don’t make assumptions.


Make sure people are physically comfortable. Check in on a participant’s agreement or some basic guidelines and respect, and what folks need for safe and effective training. Deal with practical issues such as accessibility, health care, toilets, food, allergies. Consider issues around confidentiality, media and photos. Introduce the concept of “security culture” and give people some basic guidelines about how to minimise the risk of actions being derailed, or unwittingly sharing information with opponents.


If it’s a group where it’s the cultural norm, ask if people want to identify which gender pro-noun they prefer. It may not always be necessary, eg: in a group of conservative farmers it may be more alienating to them, than useful. Most importantly get people talking to one another, and make sure there is time in breaks for this too.


Make sure you mix it up: small groups, big groups; personal writing reflection, sharing stories, case studies, slides and videos; exercises that physically move people around.


Why do we do what we do? This piece is often hard for new facilitators. If in doubt, go with your gut. You don’t have to have a deep understanding of nonviolence theory to understand that:

  1. The system is flawed
  2. Authority is presumed to be in hierarchical institutions, such as government
  3. People are the ones with real power, and how we build and use it can transform our communities
  4. You have probably felt the power of direct action if you are facilitating so just try and put it in your own words

Talk about how and why it feels right to challenge institutions that threaten our water, air, climate & social justice. Talk about how most social change that moves towards greater justice has come from diverse campaigns that started out appearing to be radical but ended up mainstream – by the work of radical activists.

Share stories of actions that resonate with you and ask people for theirs.

Try and find a mix between normalising NVDA, I.e. – giving people the sense that it is something they can do; with also giving them a sense of history and gravity – that they are participating in something with a beautiful, proud and effective history in this country and worldwide.


Explain the role of NVDA in a broader campaign, i.e : to delay, to provide dramatic visual representation of opposition, to make the moral case for action. Talk about when it can be useful, and when it can’t be. Be open to critique.

Also, encourage people to have clear goals for individual actions and an end point – what do you want to have achieved for the day? What was the intent of the action – to build the groups capacity? To delay work? To get media? Different objectives could result in different ways for the action to play out.

Look and feel

Be mindful of how media will perceive your action, as well as the broader community. Ensure you have someone to wrangle media and be aware of ways your action could misconstrued.

Think about the “tone” – is it somber, or cheerful? What is the “action logic” ie – does it make sense? Can a photo give a clear understanding of why you are there, and what you are doing?


What roles do you need to pull off an action? Answer – lots – and only a few of them are “arrestable”. Everyone has a place, and all skills are useful.

This section is simple but very important to give new people a sense that things are organised. Explain the necessity of key roles that can help de-escalate and keep people safer – i.e. worker and police liaison.

Demonstrate tools/tactics and introduce the idea of “strategic arrest” E.g. – people don’t lock on to be hard core but to hold the space longer, it is a strategic use of human resources – one person can effectively stop work for a long time…it’s not as scary as you think etc. Gear to demonstrate if possible, photos and video very useful here.


Make sure what you have what you need to be comfortable during an action:

  • Sunscreen, hat or rain weather gear
  • Something to sit on if in cold weather, or on hot or cold machinery
  • Water, don’t get dehydrated *gastrolyte can help to drink less so you need to wee less (talk frankly about toilet stuff)
  • Snacks
  • Phone, radio or method of communication (ensure a pin on phone and phone charged and a battery pack if doing social media)
  • Medication and ensure your buddy or police liaison know about any medical conditions
  • ID (plus ensure people know your legal birth name on it)


Think about how people respond to conflict, stress and fear. It is vital for people to feel safe talking about fears and barriers to action. Participants will often get a sense of relief simply from realising many fears are shared. Many fears can be addressed; however, it is important that no one is ever told their fear is unreasonable or not taken seriously. Talk about external indicators, if people have them, with an affinity group, and how they feel and act when under stress.

Let people know how to support you if they see you acting in a certain way. Give trusted people permission to intervene if you are going to act in a way you might later regret. Talk about how to keep calm and de-escalate situations, and the role of liaisons, peacekeepers, clowns or knitting nanas to assist this.


In Australia the laws differ from state to state, but here are some universal points

  • Just because you participate in an arrestable action doesn’t mean you get arrested
  • Just because you get arrested doesn’t mean you get charged
  • Just because you get charged doesn’t mean you have a criminal record
  • Just because you have a criminal record doesn’t mean you can’t get a job, or travel, or work with children

The short version: for nonviolent offences such as trespass the sanctions are often very minor and can result in no conviction recorded.

REMEMBER: to write the number of a lawyer or legal support/cop shop pick up on your arm, and carry ID if you want to be processed quickly (or not, if you specifically don’t)

There are slight differences state to state but you generally only need to give your name and address (and sometimes DOB) if questioned… and there generally needs to be a good reason (i.e. they suspect you of committing an offence) … so don’t give more than that and exercise your right to NO COMMENT.

Encourage the group philosophy of support for actions continuing until the last person goes through court. Ensure legal support is set up, and hopefully a lawyer’s number on people’s arms (or cop shop pick up person)

Facilitator tips

Be brave and be honest. Encourage people to share the space. Where possible try and get the participants to find their own way to the answers – rather than telling them what to think…design any exercises to draw out their own learning. Be mindful of exclusive language and acronyms.

Admitting failure is useful for learning for everyone and disarming for the group. However – projecting confidence is vital, especially to brand newcomers… so try and find a balance.

Invite challengers in… if people are defiant and have huge issues and disagreements, rather than relegate them to the side, if you can hold the space it is better to invite them in – use their challenges to allow the group to debate the thorny issues.

Have fun!


Always de-brief, and share learnings.

Baghpat Farmers: ‘How Long Will The Lies Work?

Baghpat Farmers: ‘How Long Will The Lies Work?

DGR are interested in these protests in India, led primarily by those in poor farming communities, because they offer insight into successful campaigning and highlight the brutality of those in power. 

By Parth M.N.

Farmers’ protests have been on at sites beyond Delhi’s borders.

One in Uttar Pradesh was dismantled by a late-night crackdown – with some leaders dubbed ‘suspects’ in the Republic Day violence in the capital.

If it weren’t for the violent blows of police lathi s, the farmers protesting in Uttar Pradesh’s Baghpat district would not have left their protest site on January 27. “The protest had been going on for 40 days,” says Brijpal Singh, 52, a sugarcane farmer from Baraut town, where the sit-in was held.

“It was not even a rasta-roko . We were peaceful, and exercising our democratic right. On the night of January 27, the police suddenly started beating us up. They tore our tents, and took our vessels and clothes. They didn’t even care for the elders and children,”

added Brijpal, who owns five acres of farmland in Baraut.

Until that January night, about 200 farmers from all over the district had been staging a protest on the Baghpat-Saharanpur highway in Baraut, against the new farm laws. They are among lakhs of farmers across the country who have been protesting ever since the central government introduced three new farm laws in September 2020.

Farmers in Baghpat and other parts of western Uttar Pradesh (UP) have also been demonstrating their support for those famers – mainly from Punjab and Haryana – agitating at the borders of Delhi since November 26, 2020, demanding a repeal of the laws.

“We received threats, phone calls,” says Brijpal, who is also the local leader of the Desh khap – the all-male council of the Tomar clan in Baghpat region. “The [district] administration threatened to fill up our farms with water. When nothing worked, the police lathi -charged in the night when we were sleeping. We were caught by surprise.”

Before his bruises could heal, Brijpal received another shock.

A notice from Delhi Police informing him to appear at Seemapuri police station in Delhi’s Shahdara district on February 10. The notice said that he would be questioned about the violent events in the national capital on January 26, during the farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally. “I was not even in Delhi,” says Brijpal. “I was at the dharna [in Baraut]. The violence happened 70 kilometres from here.” So he didn’t respond to the police notice. The farmers’ protest in Baraut had been going on until the night of January 27, confirms Baghpat’s Additional District Magistrate, Amit Kumar Singh.

Eight other farmers who protested in Baraut also received notices from Delhi Police. “I didn’t go,” says 78-year-old Baljor Singh Arya, a former sepoy of the Indian Army. His notice said that he had to appear on February 6 at the Pandav Nagar police station in East Delhi district. “I have no clue why I am being dragged into it. I was in Baghpat,” says Baljor, who farms on his two-acre plot of land in Malakpur village.

The Baghpat farmers are “suspects” in the Delhi incidents, said Sub-Inspector Niraj Kumar from Pandav Nagar station. “The investigation is going on,” he told me on February 10. The reason for sending the notices cannot be disclosed, said Inspector Prashant Anand from Seemapuri. “We will see whether they were in Delhi or not. We have some inputs. That is why we sent the notices.”

The notices sent to Brijpal and Baljor cited the first information reports (FIR) registered at the Delhi police stations. The FIRs listed various sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to rioting, unlawful assembly, assault on a public servant, dacoity and attempt to murder, among others. Sections of laws such as the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, the Epidemic Diseases Act and the Disaster Management Act were also included.

But the farmers were only demanding their rights, says Vikram Arya, a 68-year-old sugarcane farmer from Khwaja Nagla village, eight kilometers from Baraut. “Ours is a land of agitation and protest. Every peaceful protest has Gandhi in it. We are protesting for our rights,” says Vikram, who was at the Baraut protest. The regime at the Centre, he says, “wants to eliminate everything that Gandhi stood for.”

The three laws that farmers across the country have been opposing are: The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 ; and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 .

The farmers see these laws as devastating to their livelihoods because they expand the space for large corporates to have even greater power over farmers and farming. The new laws also undermine the main forms of support to the cultivator, including the minimum support price (MSP), the agricultural produce marketing committees (APMC), state procurement and more. They have also been criticised as affecting every Indian as they disable the right to legal recourse of all citizens, undermining Article 32 of the Indian Constitution.

Vikram doesn’t believe the government’s claim that MSP will continue even after the new laws take full effect.


“What happened to BSNL after the private companies came in? What is the state of our public schools and hospitals? That is exactly what the state mandis would be reduced to. They will die a slow death,” he says. Apart from worrying about the state-regulated mandis (APMCs) becoming redundant, farmers like Vikram and Baljor also fear the presence of corporate entities in agriculture. “The companies will have a monopoly over our produce and they will dictate terms to the farmers,” says Vikram. “Do private companies think anything else apart from profits? How can we trust them to treat us fairly?”

Farmers in western UP, who mainly cultivate sugarcane, know what it’s like to deal with private corporations, says Baljor.

“We have a contract with sugarcane factories,” he explains. “The prices are decided by the state [state advisory price]. According to the law [UP Sugarcane Act], we are supposed to receive our payments within 14 days. It has been 14 months but we still haven’t received payment for the sugarcane we sold the previous season. The state government has hardly done anything about it.”

Baljor, who served in the army in 1966-73, is also angry that soldiers have been pitted against the farmers by the government. “They have sold false nationalism by using the army. As someone who has been in the army, I detest that,” he says.

“The media is busy telling the country that opposition parties are politicising the farmers’ agitation,” says Vikram. “If political parties don’t get involved in politics, then who will? The agitation has woken up the farmers,” he adds. “We are present in 70 per cent of the country. How long will the lies work?”

This article was published in  The People’s Archive of Rural India on  MARCH 3, 2021 you can access this here!

Anti-Colonial Struggles Across Turtle Island

Anti-Colonial Struggles Across Turtle Island

The following video looks at the many Indigenous-led struggles currently taking place across Turtle Island (North America).

Indigenous People Day of Rage

On 11th October, 2020, Indigenous peoples called a Day of Rage Against Colonialism. Main actions organized were against the forced assimilation of Indigenous peoples and for an alternative to Columbus Day. Colonial statues were felled across the United States.

For more information, visit the pages for Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Rage Against Colonialism and Indigenous Action.

O’odham Anti-Border Collective

In Arizona, O’odham Anti-Border Collective protested the construction of a border wall. Customs and Border Protection Agencies assaulted the Indigenous protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets, and arrests.

For more information check out their Facebook Page.

Justice for Joyce

Joyce Echaquan, a 37 year old Indigenous woman, died in a hospital in Quebec. From her deathbed, she had live-streamed the racist and misogynist comments of her nurses.  Vigils, rallies, and demonstrations were organized after the video went viral.

Learn more about the fundraiser for Joyce.



Disputes over fishing rights between Indigenous peoples and commercial fishers in Nova Scotia led to mob violence. The commercial fishers have threatened, abused, sabotaged against the Sipekne’katik First Nation group. Indigenous peoples across the nation are organizing solidarity actions.



Secwepemc people in Canada have demanded a halt in the construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The pipeline threatens salmon population, on which both neighboring human and nonhuman communities depend upon. The protestors were assaulted by arrests.

For more information, check out the website of Tiny House Warriors.

#StopTMX #TinyHouseWarriors #Secwepemc


Wet’suwet’en people have been protesting the Coastal Gas Link pipeline for over a decade. On February, the Wet’suwet’en launched a series of rail, port and highway blockades. More recently, calls for solidarity actions have begun to circulate as the Coastal GasLink pipeline is preparing to drill under the Morris river.
Check out the Facebook page of the Wet’suwet’en Access Point on Gidimt’en Territory.

We recommend to also check their website: Gidimt’en Yintah Access.

#WetsuwetenStrong #NoTrespass #Wedzinkwa

1492 Land Back Lane

In July, members of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy occupied a proposed development site in Ontario. Community mobilization and highway blockades were organized as a response to the militarized raid on August 5th by the Ontario Provincial Police. The Ontario government has tried to isolate the encampment by criminalizing and arresting supporters. Resistance has been going strong since then.

Check out their Facebook page, and fundraiser.

Today’s featured image is courtesy of 1492 Land Back Lane.

Communique from the EZLN (The Zapatista Army of National Liberation)

Communique from the EZLN (The Zapatista Army of National Liberation)

Editors note: this article contains material excerpted from an August 2019 Communique from the Indigenous Revolutionary Clandestine Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army for National  Liberation,  Mexico. Image by Nick Rahaim, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

August 17, 2019

We bring you our word. The same word as yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is the word of resistance and rebellion.

In October of 2016, almost three years ago, during the 20th anniversary of the National Indigenous Congress [CNI], the sister organizations of the National Indigenous Congress and the EZLN made a commitment to go on the offensive in our defense of our Territory and Mother Earth. Persecuted by the bad government, by caciques, by foreign corporations, by criminals, and by the law, and as we accumulated insults, derision, and dead, we the originary peoples (the guardians of the earth), decided to go on the offensive and circulate the words and actions of resistance and rebellion.

The appearance of this new [presidential] administration has not fooled us. We know that the real boss has no other homeland than money, and that this same boss rules in the immense majority of the world’s plantations that they call “countries.” We also know that rebellion, dignity, and rage are absolutely prohibited. Despite that, all over the world, in its most forgotten and despised corners, there are human beings who resist being devoured by this machine and who refuse to give in, give up, or sell out. These people have many colors, they carry many flags, they come dressed in many languages, and their resistance and rebellion is enormous.

The big boss and his overseers build walls, borders, and sieges to try to contain these people who they claim are bad examples. But they never achieve their goal because dignity, courage, rage, and rebellion can’t be held back or incarcerated. Even if they hide behind their walls, borders, sieges, armies, police forces, laws, and executive orders, sooner or later that rebellion will come asking for its due. On that day there will be neither forgetting nor forgiveness.

We know that our freedom will only come about through our own work as originary peoples. With the appointment of the new overseer to Mexico, the same persecution and death has continued. Within only a few months [of his administration], at least a dozen of our compañeros of the CNI-CIG who were in the struggle were murdered. Among the dead was a brother much admired by our Zapatista communities—Samir Flores Soberanes.

Samir was murdered after having been singled out by Mexico’s overseer who, despite Samir’s death, marches on with the neoliberal megaprojects that will disappear entire peoples, destroy nature, and convert the blood of our originary peoples into profits for powerful capitalists.

Because of this, in honor of our Brothers and Sisters who have died, been jailed, or are persecuted or disappeared, we decided to name the Zapatista campaign that ends today and that we are now making public: “SAMIR FLORES LIVES.” After years of silent work and despite the siege against our communities and the campaign of lies and defamation, despite military patrols, despite the presence of Mexico’s National Guard, despite the counterinsurgency campaigns that were dressed up as social programs, and despite having been despised and forgotten, we have grown and we have made ourselves stronger.


Today we present ourselves to you with new Caracoles and more autonomous Zapatista municipalities in new zones of the Mexican southeast. We will now also have Centers of Autonomous Resistance and Zapatista Rebellion. In the majority of cases, these centers will also house a caracol, a Good Government Council, and Autonomous Zapatista Municipalities in Rebellion (MAREZ). Though it took time, the five original Caracoles, as their name would imply, have reproduced themselves after 15 years of political and organizational work. Our Autonomous Municipalities and Good Government Councils also planted new seedlings and watched them grow. Now there will be 12 Caracoles, each with its Good Government Council.

This exponential growth that today allows us to move beyond the government’s attempt to encircle us is due to two things:

First and foremost, our growth is due to the political/organizational work and example set by the women, men, children and elders of the Zapatista bases of support. It is especially due to the women and youth of the EZLN. Compañeras of all ages mobilized so that they could speak with other sisters in other organizations and sisters that had no organization. Without ever abandoning their own tastes and desires, the Zapatista youth learned from the sciences and arts and through these activities transmitted their rebellion to more and more youth. The majority of these youths, especially the young women, have now taken up posts in our organization and they steep this work in their creativity, ingenuity, and intelligence. Today we can say without any shame and with much pride that the Zapatista women are out in front of us like the Pujuy bird to show us the way and keep us from losing our way, on our flanks to keep us on track, and behind us so that we will not fall behind.

The second thing that made this growth possible are government policies that destroy communities and nature, particularly those policies of the current administration which refers to itself as the “Fourth Transformation.” Communities that have traditionally supported the political parties have been hurt by the contempt, racism, and voracity of the current administration, and they have moved into either hidden or open rebellion. Those above who thought that their counter-insurgent strategy of giving out handouts would serve to divide Zapatista communities, buy off non-Zapatistas, and generate confrontations and demoralization actually provided us with the final arguments that we needed in order to convince those brothers and sisters that it is far more useful to dedicate our efforts to defending our land and nature.

The government thought, and still thinks, that what people need are cash handouts. Now, the Zapatista communities and many non-Zapatista communities, as well as our brothers and sisters in the CNI in the southeast and all over the country, have responded and are showing the government that they are wrong. We understand that the current overseer was brought up in the PRI and within its “indigenist” vision in which originary people’s deepest desire is to sell their dignity and cease to be what they are. In that vision, indigenous peoples are simply museum artifacts or colorful artisanal items through which the powerful attempt to adorn the grayness of their own hearts. That vision also explains why this administration is so set on making sure that its walls (across the Isthmus) and trains (the ones they maliciously call “Mayan”) include the ruins of a civilization as their landscape, with the added bonus that this way they can also please the tourists.

But we originary peoples are alive, rebellious, and in resistance. Meanwhile, the national overseer is trying to dress up one of his underlings, a lawyer who at one time was indigenous, so that he, as has happened throughout human history, can divide, persecute and manipulate those who were once his own people. This lawyer, who is now the head of the INPI [National Institute of Indigenous Peoples], must scrub his conscience every morning with pumice to carefully eliminate any traces of dignity. He hopes in this way to whiten his skin and take on the purpose and outlook of his real boss. His overseer congratulates him and congratulates himself because there is there nothing better for controlling a rebellious people than using one of them who has turned on his cause, who has converted himself into a puppet of the oppressor for money.

Here we are; we are Zapatistas. So that you could see us, we covered our face. So that we could have a name, we left our names behind. We risk our present so that we might have a future. So that we might live, we die. We are Zapatistas, the majority of us have indigenous Mayan roots, and we do not give up, we do not give in, and we will not sell out.

We are rebellion and resistance. We are only one of the many sledgehammers that will tear down their walls, one of the many winds that will sweep this earth, and one of the many seeds that will give birth to other worlds.

We are the Zapatista Army of National Liberation.

From the Mountains of Southeastern Mexico.

On Behalf of the Men, Women, Children and Elders of the Zapatistas Bases of Support

For the Clandestine Indigenous Revolutionary Committee—General Command of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation

Subcomandante Insurgente Moisés

Mexico, August of 2019