Featured image: on the evening of May 28th, protesters stormed the 3rd Police Precinct Building in Minneapolis and set it aflame.
This week has seen a series of uprisings in major cities across the United States, touched off by yet another execution carried out in the streets by the racist police forces. This time, the victim was George Floyd in Minneapolis – but his murder comes only weeks after a SWAT team gunned down another black civilian, Breonna Taylor, in Louisville and vigilantes murdered Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, Georgia.
Deep Green Resistance condemns these white supremacist killers, the cowards who enable them, and the entire structure of our settler-colonial law enforcement system. Further, we stand with the revolutionaries who are struggling against these oppressive forces in Minneapolis, Louisville, and beyond.
Police violence is one of the great injustices of our time. All told, police in the United States have killed at least two hundred citizens since the beginning of this year, and will likely kill more than five hundred by the year’s end. We often describe these killings as “senseless,” but in truth they hold a perfectly sensible function: Terrorizing and traumatizing oppressed communities.
These killings are not random, nor are they the result of individual bad actors. They disproportionately impact black and brown people – by some estimates, unarmed people of color are 60% more likely to be gunned down than unarmed whites – and they are encouraged by systematic racism at every level of the law enforcement system. Combining this atrocious violence with obvious and inexcusable racial disparities in stops, searches, and arrests, victims of colonialism in this settler nation have every right to see the police as an occupying force and resist them accordingly. The state has made its values clear.
Not every action undertaken during an uprising like this will be justifiable, either strategically or morally. But any supposedly “progressive” or “social justice” organization – let alone a revolutionary one – ought to save its condemnations for the white supremacists who have impoverished and abused these communities for generations, and we must offer our support and assistance to those activists and organizers on the ground who are working hard to struggle effectively against tyranny.
The mythology of white America has always centered on a supposed love for freedom and admiration of resistance. Yet the same white people who shout about “authoritarianism” when the state requires them to wear a face mask will demand black and brown people in this country submit to arbitrary humiliation, abuse, and even murder. As an organization, we reject this racist, cowardly nonsense, and we affirm the right of oppressed communities to defend themselves by any means necessary.
In the Deep Green Resistance book, Derrick Jensen asks, “What would you do if space aliens had invaded this planet, and they were vacuuming the oceans, and scalping native forests, and putting dams on every river, and changing the climate, and putting dioxin and dozens of other carcinogens into every mother’s breast milk, and into the flesh of your children, lover, mother, father, brother, sister, friends, into your own flesh? Would you resist?”
And we can ask the same question today of those who condemn these uprisings: What would you do if space aliens patrolled your community, killing innocents with impunity in the middle of the street? What if they promised every time to do better, while the bodies kept piling up? What if they stopped you on the way to work, or to school, or to the playground with your children? What if they harassed you and abused you and jailed you for petty crimes, or no crime at all? What if you weren’t safe, even in your own bedroom at night? Would you resist? Would you condemn those who did? If not, then you must not let the familiarity of this barbarous system pacify you.
Deep Green Resistance also condemns those who use uprisings like this as an opportunity to act out their macho fantasies. Already, we have seen reports of white “allies” engaging in pointless vandalism and deliberately provoking confrontations with police, or making increasingly reckless calls for escalation. There is no place in a serious revolutionary movement for the glorification of violence and disorder, especially by those who come from communities that will not bear the brunt of the consequences. A world of difference exists between strategic resistance, militant or otherwise, and random destruction; both dogmatic pacifism and reflexive violence can derail revolutionary movements.
The struggle for environmental justice is inseparable from the struggle against white supremacy, just as it is inseparable from the struggle for women’s liberation. And in turn, the abolition of patriarchy and settler-colonialism is necessary to save the land we live on. The dominant culture that is killing the planet cannot be stopped without sustained resistance against all forms of oppression, and we applaud those who are risking their lives to resist white power.
Should any revolutionaries in the area need of support, please reach out to us. We can provide platforms to amplify your voice, training, access to resources, allies, and more.
Deep Green Resistance shows its support and solidarity towards all oppressed groups. Read our People of Color Solidarity Guidelines for more information.
“Yet the same white people who shout about “authoritarianism” when the state requires them to wear a face mask will demand black and brown people in this country submit to arbitrary humiliation, abuse, and even murder.”
This is a bad take. One can do both. One can oppose the mask thing AND white supremacy.
I’m curious: what would it take for you to agree that there are occasions on which wearing a mask to protect others from your risk of infecting them might be a worthwhile, socially-responsible action? Would you wear one while visiting an elder-care facility, or a hospital ICU? So if that’s okay, what is your problem with wearing one more generally?Or is it more that you just won’t do something because it’s the government asking you to do it?
It makes little sense to wear a mask if you have no symptoms. It strips away the entire meaning of wearing one. If I jump on the train and see 3 or 4 people masked, I know already whom to socially distance from. But if I get in and everybody is wearing the goddamn thing, what is the point!? Whom should I avoid?
By the way, *this was the original recommendation*. They told us to leave masks for the sick and for the healthcare professionals. Now which one is it? And how many times is this horsesh*t story still going to change? This seems to have very little to do with health and much more to do with social control.
According to today’s “Fox News Sunday,” police are the 6th leading cause of death among black men in America. (Among whites, #6 is flu and pneumonia, while death by police doesn’t even make the list.) And South Carolina’s black Republican senator says he has been stopped up to 7 times in one year, for driving while black.
When I was active in Death Penalty Focus (1992-98), I did a study of the death penalty in California. At that time, the population of California was 51% white, 26% Hispanic, and 7% black, while the death row population was 47% white, 12% Hispanic, and 38% black. (Not a misprint. Hispanics were 50% LESS LIKELY to be on death row than whites. This was not true in Texas, the only state I compared.)
I regularly visited death row inmates during that period, and asked all that I knew how many innocent inmates they believed were there. All those I asked said that they knew of only 1, among the almost 700 men sentenced to death. (All if them pointed to the same man, a 19-yr-old black man from Los Angeles).
That isn’t to say there weren’t other innocent men there. Three who have been executed in California since ’92 were probably innocent of murder (2 white and 1 black), though each of the 3 was somehow involved in the crimes for which they were convicted.*
Surprisingly, only 3 of the condemned men I knew proclaimed their own innocence, and my study of their cases tended to confirm those claims. One of the greatest injustices in capital law occurs when there are 2 or more defendants, and prosecutors regularly offer to spare the 1st one to “roll over” on his co-defendant. And in such cases, the most guilty person invariably takes the deal and and is spared, while the less guilty or innocent are sentenced to death.
Clearly, the fact that a jury in California has less than a 50-50 chance of having a black member raises the likelihood of black men being convicted. But it is also true that black men in America ARE far more likely than whites to commit a crime. Poverty certainly accounts for much of this.
But racism is a factor, too. If you’re not black, ask yourself how many times you would have to be denied a job offer because of your race, before you would turn to crime. (My answer was 4. And all of the black men I knew on death row laughed when I said that. “If we gave up that fast,” one man told me, “we’d ALL be here.”)
On the other hand, while many whites admit that they will avoid a black man on the street at night, many blacks say the same thing. Black men in America ARE more likely to be criminals than whites. What the system fails to consider, however, is the presumption of innocence. The great majority of black men ARE NOT criminals, though police — white AND black police — too often treat them as if they are.
* The 5 men I knew well on death row included 3 blacks, 1 of mixed race, and 1 Hispanic. Two of the black men admitted their guilt to me, though not publically or at trial. One also admitted that his crime partner (also on death row) was innocent, and had been the guilty man’s “fall guy.” Two of the 3 black men also had serious mental problems, including a frontal lobe brain lesion in one case, and a clear inability to distinguish aspects of right from wrong in the other. In my opinion, mental problems that do not fall within the criminal justice system’s narrow definition of “insanity” are responsible for the majority of death sentences.
It is also a false assumption that condemned men are outwardly scary, or aren’t like the rest of us. Of the 50-100 I was around, all but 1 were indistinguishable from the guards or visitors, except for their prison uniforms.
One of the most notorious, Ramon Salcido, was convicted of several murders during a brief, rage- and drug-induced crime spree, during which he killed or tried to kill his estranged wife and their 2 young daughters, along with several other people. In reality, he loved children, and they seemed drawn to him like a magnet. Any time Salcido and a small child were in the visiting room, the kid was likely to be in Salcido’s lap.
The one exception was Richard Ramirez, the so-called “Night Stalker,” who was the scariest thing I have ever seen, and seemed to have an aura of evil around him.
Another man, Kelvin Malone, was convicted of 4 murders in California, and 1 in Missouri. He was clearly innocent of 3 of the 4 in California, though he was probably guilty of the other. (His guilt for the Missouri killing seemed to me like a tossup.) Malone often used 1 of his 2 weekly phone calls to phone me — not to ask for any favors, but just to see how I was doing. He said he was concerned that I didn’t get out enough(!).
When Malone was extradited to Missouri and executed there, I sent his parents a card and letter of sympathy. In reply, I received a very emotional note of thanks, and a photo of Kelvin at 17, on his bicycle.
My point is that executions really do very little to ease the pain of victims’ families. But they create new victims, among the families of those killed by the state. Also, calling condemned men “killers” is like calling someone who once unplugged a toilet a “plumber.” Killing is something most of them did once, and which occupied a few minutes of their lives.
I don’t excuse murder at all, and I believe anyone who willfully kills another without good reason should spend at least 20 years in prison. But they still have feelings, loved ones, and lives just as complex as our own.
And they are far less guilty of unforgivable crimes than the society that produced them, which treats Nature and the powerless like objects to be exploited and killed, or left to die.
“It makes little sense to wear a mask if you have no symptoms.”
It is suspected (but not known for certain) that asymptomatic (that means you have no symptoms) people can be spreading the virus.
Surgical type masks (NOT n95) have been used for a long time in the medical field – not to protect the medical personnel from the patient but to protect the patient from anything the medical personnel could be carrying such as bacteria which could infect a surgical patient.
You don’t wish to wear a mask to protect others from your potential as a carrier? And you think this is some conspiracy to control you? Are you that disinterested in erring on the side of caution? Are you totally incapable of understanding why the guidelines have changed for dealing with a disease the human race has never encountered before? I mean – really – what the fuck harm does it do to you to wear a fucking mask when you are around other people? Are you afraid you will look silly or that it will mess up your hair? The words sociopathy, paranoia, self centeredness, immaturity and voluntary ignorance come to mind every time I hear this kind of shit.
Heidi, you might want to check this Chinese study:
One such “asymptomatic carrier” was exposed to 455 people over the course of several days. NOT ONE got infected. Not a single one.
Coronaviruses have never been known for “asymptomatic transmission”. There’s little reason to assume this particular one would behave so atypically.
Mainstream media, in the other hand, is known for being heavy on scaremongering and manipulation. A bit of skepticism won’t kill nor infect anyone, I promise.
This is the last thing I’m posting here about this, because it got off-topic already. But since we’re here, here are 30 medical experts questioning the mainstream covid narrative.