Pipe Dreams

I’ve been off for about 5 weeks and I can’t tell you how refreshed I feel. The five months of touring in North America were good, but I came very close to reaching burn out. I made it home a day before a spontaneous insurrection that rocked the streets of downtown following the loss of the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals. Couldn’t expect a better welcome.

Even though I’ve been mostly relaxing – riding my bike, going to the beach, reading Octavia Butler – I did do some work at Sutikalh, a protection camp that successfully halted the building of a ski resort eleven years ago. Supporters continually provide material support to keep this gorgeous area from being developed. I joined a group of about 30 anarchists to help build a cabin, dig a trench for an outhouse and split wood among other tasks.

This week myself and some comrades, embarked on a mini tour of BC to screen END:CIV in Lillooet, Prince George, Smithers and Moricetown. Like most of BC, all of these areas are rich in what capitalists call “resources” and have been exploited for hundreds of years to extract wood and minerals or to dam the rivers for hydro electric generation.

But the issue that has people talking in BC is the proposed pipeline that will bring dirty tar sands oil to the pacific. This pipeline will be over 1,000 kilometres long, and will bring deforestation and potential oil spills to rivers and indigenous communities along the way. It will also create a corridor with high oil tanker traffic that would threaten one of the most beautiful ecological regions left in the planet, the coast of British Columbia.

Even though the pipeline has not been approved, communities are getting ready to oppose it. The final stop on our tour is Moricetown, where members of the Wet’suwet’en nation are holding their second action camp to build resistance against the proposed pipeline.

Finally, here’s a clip from Aric McBay, who is featured in END:CIV, debating conservative talk show host Brian Lilley on Canada’s SunNews, our Fox News equivalent.

Stay tuned for more updates and dates for the END:CIV tour of Japan in the following weeks.

1 Response to “Pipe Dreams”

  1. 1 Premadasi Amada

    Can we face this: In the whole of its history, the environmental movement has not been able to stop the growth of fossil fuel consumption, slow the rate of species extinction, or end the conversion of living communities to dead commodities.

    The earth is now on the brink of complete biotic collapse.

    For the brokenhearted, for those who are tired of being ineffective, and for those who can’t wait anymore:

    Announcing Deep Green Resistance Action Groups. Now forming. Start or join a group. And pass it on. Now this war has two sides. http://deepgreenresistance.org/action

    98% of the old growth forests are gone. 99% of of the prairies are gone. 80% of the rivers on this planet do not support life anymore. We are out of species, we are out soil, and we are out of time. And what we are being told by most of the environmental movement is that the way to stop all of this is through personal consumer choices. It’s time for a real strategy that can win.

    Where is your threshold for resistance? To take only one variable out of hundreds: Ninety percent of the large fish in the oceans are already gone. Is it 91 percent? 92? 93? 94? Would you wait till they had killed off 95 percent? 96? 97? 98? 99? How about 100 percent? Would you fight back then?

    By asking these questions we are in no way implying that people should not try to work within the system to slow this cultures destruc- tiveness. Right now a large energy corporation, state and federal governments, local Indian nations, and various interest groups (from environmental organizations to fishermen to farmers) are negotiating to remove five dams on the Klamath River within the next fifteen years (whether salmon will survive that long is dubious). That’s something. That’s important.

    But there are 2 million dams in the United States alone; 60,000 of those dams are taller than thirteen feet, and 70,000 are taller than six feet. If we only took out one of those 70,000 dams per day, it would take us 200 years. Salmon don’t have that time. Sturgeon don’t have that time. We don’t have that kind of time.

    DGR’s strategy involves two separate parts of the movement – an aboveground and an underground. The aboveground works for sustainable, just, and participatory institutions, and assists the aboveground frontline activists with loyalty and material support. And in any resistance scenario, the underground dismantles the strategic infrastructure of power. This is a basic tactic of both militaries and insurgents the world over for the simple reason that it works. But such actions alone are never a sufficient strategy for achieving a just outcome. This means that any strategy aiming for a just future must include a call to build direct democracies based on human rights and sustainable material cultures. Which means that the different branches of resistance movements must work in tandem: the aboveground and belowground, the militants and the nonviolent, the aboveground frontline activists and the cultural workers. We need it all.

    The point is not to cause human casualties. The point is to stop the destruction of the planet. The enemy is not the civilian population or any population at all but a sociopathological sociopolitical-economic system. Ecological destruction on this planet is primarily caused by industry and capitalism; the issue of population is tertiary at best. The point of collapsing industrial infrastructure is not to harm humans any more than the point of braking the streetcar is to harm the passengers. The point is the reduce the damage as quickly as possible, and in doing so to account for the harm the dominant culture is doing to all living creatures, past and future.

    This is the question: Are you willing to accept the only strategy left to us? Are you willing to set aside your last, fierce dream of that brave uprising of millions strong? I know what I am asking. The human heart needs hope as it needs air. But the existence of those brave millions is the empty hope of the desperate, and they’re not coming to our rescue.

    Industrial civilization is more vulnerable than past empires, dependent as it is on such a fragile infrastructure of pipelines and overhead wires, on binary bits of data encoding its lifeblood of capital. If we would let ourselves think it, a workable strategy is obvious, and in fact is not very different from the actions of partisan resisters across history.

    So think “resistance” with all your aching heart, a word that must become our promise to what is left of this planet. Gather the others: you already know them. The brave, smart, militant, and, most of all, serious, and together take aim. Do it carefully, but do it.

    Then fire for all your worth.


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