By Orin Langelle, Native Forest Network
Solidarity and greetings from the U$A; stolen land from the invasion and occupation that started 503 years ago.
The farce of so-called democracy in this country has taken a further swing toward perfecting fascism with the installation of a rightwing Republican majority party. The 'liberal' Democratic jokes lost control of both the House and Senate in the past November elections, leaving their figurehead Clinton as El Presidente. Clinton's leadership has already pushed and gotten approval for an insidious Crime Bill (more prisons and cops on the street) and GATT (Gangster's Agreement on Tariffs and Trade). GATT furthers the New World Order with the multinationals and their puppet governments here and elsewhere.
It doesn't matter who people vote for as it's business as usual - same shit, same pile, sieg heil! More cops on the street hasn't stopped violent crime. Not long ago a nut case pro-lifer, allegedly John C. Salvi III, let loose semi-automatic gunfire at two abortion clinics in the Boston area, killing two and wounding five women. He was captured the next day ready to wreak carnage at another women's clinic. Salvi says if he is convicted he wants the death penalty and if he is freed he wants to become a Catholic priest.
On the other end of the spectrum a good guy who was on the FBI's Most Wanted list, suspected ALF activist and Earth Defender Rod Coronado was captured while working for an indigenous community in the southwestern US. Coronado is now out on bail but has to wear an electronic monitoring device on his ankle so the authorities always know his whereabouts. [Ed. - see prisoner page]
More positively, from south of the border, the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) retook over 39 municipalities in the Mexican state of Chiapas before Christmas. The indigenous uprising in Chiapas is a struggle by the people to take back their lives, their power and their land from the multinationals and land 'owners'. [Ed. - see articles and communiques from the EZLN in DoD 4.]
Cecilia Rodriguez from the National Commission for Democracy in Mexico and US representative for the EZLN, was the keynote speaker at the Second International Temperate Forest Conference hosted by the Native Forest Network (NFN). This conference held in Missoula, Montana, brought together 500 activists to the theme of "Focus on the Multinationals". Representatives from the US, Canada, UK, Russia, South Korea, Australia and other countries, participated along with many different indigenous First Nations. It was recognised that the multinationals operate globally to gobble up the remaining 'resources' without regard to the health of ecosystems or to the people who are affected by transnational industrial civilization. It was a time of sadness to hear the international reports concerning the destruction of our Earth, but it was also a time for reinvigoration to carry on with the necessary campaigns when people returned to their prospective communities.
Here in capitalist consumer country, many campaigns are taking place. Here's a small sampler:
Immediately after the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous (RRR) held on the east coast last summer, the largest post RRR arrests in EF! history occurred. Fifty-nine people were apprehended while the Watts Bar Nuclear Facility was shut down by the protesters. It was an ironic twist that the arrestees appeared before the judge in the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee. In 1925 the same courthouse was the scene of the famous "Scopes (or 'Monkey') Trial." Scopes, a high school teacher, was tried and convicted for teaching the theory of evolution.
Out west in the Wild Rockies, activists had a brief respite last summer as a court injunction stopped road building and logging in the Cove/Mallard timber sale area. For the past two years prior to this summer, the Cove/Mallard area was a hotbed of civil disobedience which resulted in many arrests and lawsuits levelled against the activists. What's at stake here is the largest roadless area in the lower 48 states. Unfortunately, that same injunction was lifted on 5 December. The state of Idaho (where Cove/Mallard is located) has recently passed a law prohibiting logging protests or the encouragement of people to come to Idaho for anti-logging activity. This summer, activists didn't heed the state's advice and have to be out in full force to protect this wild ecosystem from the chainsaw.
Judi Bari assures everyone that protests will soon be in full swing in defence of the redwoods in northern California. Her lawsuit against the FBI concerning the bombing of her and Darryl Cherney in 1990 is making headway. It appears that the feds may be caught with their pants down.
Our Eastern North American Resource Centre here in Burlington, Vermont, has been continuing the on-going campaign against the Quebec (Canada) utility Hydro-Quebec (HQ). The largest wilderness area in eastern North America and home to the indigenous Cree, Inuit and Innu is in jeopardy due to the hydroelectric dam(n) projects that HQ has dreamt up.
Last summer the NFN, along with the Innu Support Committee, helped organise a contingent of international observers who took part in a traditional Innu Peace Camp which blockaded an HQ access road to the St. Marguerite 3 Project. The blockade and Peace Camp lasted 17 days before being overrun by provincial police and HQ private police forces.
Starting this year off right, we had a demonstration in Vermont's State House, playing havoc with the festivities of the state of the state address and inauguration of Gov. Howard Dean. Vermont buys electricity from HQ and we were there to tell our white rich politicians that the people don't want electricity from the likes of HQ.
Besides getting in the way of fool's progress, the radical environmental movement here in the States is always looking for better ways to subvert the dominant paradigm. One of the things that seems to be prevalent on the minds of the revolutionary ecologist folks whose circles I interact with is, "How do we educate the average person to understand our points of view?"
It's not an easy task with the brainwashing techniques employed by the corporate state. Mindless television. Shallow yellow journalism. Buy. Buy. Buy! The New World Odour of the day. If anyone out there has the answer, please let us know. Until the next time: Organise. Educate. Agitate. Oh yeah, and fuck the Criminal Justice Act!
Orin Langelle is a revolutionary ecologist who works with the Native Forest Network. He can be reached at:
The Eastern North American NFN Resource Centre, POB 57, Burlington, VT 05402 USA
Tel: (802) 863 0571
Fax: (802) 863 2532
The ALARM (a voice of revolutionary ecology) Women's Issue now out, available from Dead Trees EF!