Title: Debate in the Earth First! Journal about Ted Kaczynski
Date: 1993–2014
Source: See Appendix.
Notes: The ‘Letter to the Editors’ section is jokingly called ‘Dear Shit Fer Brainz’, so, many of the letters begin with ‘Dear SFB’. Some letters and essays don’t mention Ted, but are simply included for context on the novel texts people would send the Earth First! Journal.

    Some Cliff Notes


      B.C. — June

        The Rest of the Grim Picture

        Taking Action


      Rethinking Environmental-First Nations Relationships — December

        Historical Context

        Ecological Realism not Romanticism


      Toward Stronger Alliances — February

      Respect Native Struggles — February

      Resource conservation tip — February

      Letters to the Editor — March

    Unpublished letters Ted Kaczynski sent in 1995

      Suggestions for Earth First!ers from FC — Unknown Date (Post February 1995)


        Earlier Draft

      A letter asking EF! to publish his manifesto — April

      A letter discussing responses to overpopulation — Unknown Date (Post April 1995[?])

    1995 Continued

      A Commitment to Nonviolent Change — May

      A War of Words Over Violent Analogies — June

      Bitchin’ Times: Rants from Wild Womyn — September


        To Breed or Not to Breed… That Is Not The Question!

        What’s a women’s blankwall... and who really shot JFK?

        Deep and Wide: Deep Ecology and the Male Ego

        The Curious Disappearance of Sexism


        The Rebirth


        Wild Womyn

        Subvert The Gender Paradigm

        A Real Profile of the Women I Respect

        Book List

        The evolution of a word



      The Unabomber: Up Close and Personal — Spring

        There’s No Such Thing as a Free Inside

        Debunked Some Myths

        The Framing of Earth First!

      An Open Letter to ABC Network News — Spring

      Earth First! and Native Alliance Halts Cutting at Enola Hill — Spring

      Barry Clausen: Flim-flam man or Private Dick? — Spring

        An Informer’s History

        In Deep Cover

        Barry Discovers the Media

        Enter Lyndon LaRouche

        Spreading Fear — for Fun and Profit

      Letters To The Editors — Spring

      Letters To The Editors — June

      Letters To The Editors — November

      Letters To The Editors — December


      Letters to the Editor — March

      Letters to the Editor — August

      The Raging Riff-Raff of Merry England — August

        Road (and Infrastructure) Wars

        Monkeywrenching in the UK

        Reclaim the Streets

        Hunt Saboteurs

        Great British Publications:

        We’re Watching Big Brother

      Letters to the Editor — August

      Letters to the Editor — September

      Anyone Who Hates the Sierra Club Can’t Be All Good — September

      Cult of Nonviolence — November

      Letters to the Editor — November

      Every Tool in the Box — December


      The Cult of Nonviolence Responses — March

        Redwood Nation Nonviolence Code

        Is there any other option?

        COVE/MALLARD Code (Circa 1993)

        Put your faith in Nonviolence!

        Beyond Civil Disobedience

        Nonviolence Forever

        Cult of Ass Kissing

        Peace Bro

        The Sum of the Parts

      Letters to the Editor — March

      Letters to the Editor — May

      ELF Burns Down Vail Resort — December


      Letters to the Editor — February

      Letters to the Editor — May

      Ted is Right — May

      Letters to the Editor — June

      Letters to the Editor — August

      Letters to the Editor — November


      Letters to the Editor — Spring

      Prisoner Support — Summer

        June 18

        Animal liberation


      Prisoner Support Listings — Autumn

        Earth liberation

        June 18

        Animal liberation


      Prisoner Listing — Winter

        Earth liberation

        June 18

        Animal liberation



      Political Prisoner Listings — Spring


        June 18 / May Day / N30

        Animal Liberation

        Indigenous Land Rights

      Letters to the Editor — May

      Prisoner Support: They Are in There for Us — June


        Animal Liberation




      Letters to the Editor — August

      Prisoner Support: They Are in There for Us — August


        Animal Liberation




        Prisoner Support Groups

      Letters to the Editor — September

      Letter to the Editor — November


      Letters to the Editor — Summer


      Letters to the Editor — Spring

      Letters to the Editor — Summer


      Re-visiting Uncle Ted — Spring

        About the book

        Industrial Society’s Future

        A Critique of Anarcho-Primitivism

        The System’s Neatest Trick and Hit Where It Hurts

        Excerpts from letters

        The (Coming) Road to Revolution

        Why now?

      A Few FC Targets


      Eat (it) — Spring

        Why the splinter?

        On (not) killing CEOs and lobbyists

        And for you non-research-nerd types


      Latch Key Prometheus — Winter

      The Early History of the Robot Wars — Spring

        Genetically Modified Catnip Won’t Save You

        Ctrl Alt Del! My Replica Universe Just Froze

        Is That My Consumer Data In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

        Deception, Thy Name Is Squirrel-Bot And Thy Nut Is The Doom Of Humanity!

        La Cucaracha Robotica

        Did My Smartphone Just Come On To Me?

        Two Brains Forced to Interface Across Great Distances Are Better Than One

        Obamacare for Microchips

        Roboter Proletrrier Aller Lander Vereinigt Euch!

    Appendix: Sources

Some Cliff Notes

  1. On Day 11 of Ted Kaczynski’s Jury Trial the prosecutor in the case said: “during the search of the defendant’s cabin, the Government found a letter written to Earth First!ers. Its title was ‘Suggestions for Earth First!ers from FC.’ That letter stated in part, ‘As for the Mosser bombing’ — and I’m quoting now — ‘our attention was called to Burson-Marsteller by an article that appeared in Earth First!, Litha,’ which is the way of describing the edition of that journal, ‘June 21st, 1993, page 4.’”

  2. Ted’s Suggestions for Earth First!ers from FC letter contained an Appendix which was a response to debates within the journal about how best to link up some Environmentalist & First Nations campaigns.

  3. An anti-natalist current within the environmentalist movement was given a platform in the Earth First! Journal and one amusing response to this current was a letter to the editor that argued not for reducing births, but increasing deaths by wild animal predators. Ted Kaczynski also wrote a letter that was either not sent or not published, under a pseudonym, where he argued environmentalists should have as many kids as possible to increase the burden on the global techno-industrial system. Ted hoped technological society would collapse, meaning if his advice was taken up it would lead to an increased number of people starving. However, Ted had a utilitarian mindset about these deaths being worth it to increase the chance of techno-industrial society collapsing sooner rather than later, because he viewed technological society as on a track towards increasingly reduced autonomy.

  4. Ted Kaczynski wrote a letter asking EF! to publish his manifesto, under his Freedom Club pseudonym, where he offered EF! the same deal as the major newspapers; that if “Earth First! is willing and able to get the manuscript ... distributed nationally and well publicized, then we will abide by the promise to desist from terrorism.” Also, a peculiarity of note, is that Ted sent a letter to a zine series called “Live Wild or Die!” which was advertised in the Earth First! Journal. In this letter, Ted encouraged LWOD editors to print his manifesto nationally. Ted’s appeal to LWOD editors was that; if they could be the first person to get the manifesto well distributed nationally and well publicized, that they would be gifting him the opportunity to carry on bombing without in the publics eyes breaking any promises to the major newspapers.

  5. In 1995 two essays comment in passing on the Unabomber.

  6. In a new segment of the journal that aimed to increase the quantity of women’s writings being shared within the environmentalist movement, one essay bemoaned “why the hell does everyone assume the Unabomber is a militant man? Plenty of radical femmes have facial hair and wear kaffias and glacier glasses. Women are not just victims of militant acts, we are often the culprits of a radicalism that promotes action and outreach, ethics and spirit.”

  7. 1996 saw the capture of Ted Kaczynski, and Earth First!'s response to many news stories alleging Ted’s involvement in Earth First! and underplaying or not mentioning the long record of local Earth First! campaigns commitment to non-violence.

  8. In December 1998, the principal editor of the Earth First! Journal, Theresa Kintz wrote glowing praise for the Earth Liberation Front arson of a ski resort construction site which destroyed critical habitat for the endangered Lynx species. This stirred up many passionate responses concerned that it muddied the desired distinction between Earth First!'s low-level illegal civil disobedience campaigns and Earth Liberation Front’s high-level illegal sabotage actions.

  9. In May 1999, Ted wrote a short note to John Zerzan in which he advocated a split within Earth First!, Ted thought the ‘real revolutionaries’ should withdraw and form their own movement. He suggested passing this note on to the principal editor of the Earth First! Journal, Theresa Kintz. The note was published, making this note I think the only writing of Ted’s ever published by the Earth First! Journal.

  10. In November 1999, a subscriber's letter to the editor bemoaned that he was looking forward to reading Theresa Kintz’s interview with Ted Kaczynski in the Earth First! Journal, and that he was disappointed to see that it was never published. Quoting the article “Radical Environmentalism’s Print History”: “at a large movement gathering that summer a consensus was reached that the journal ought not publish it. Consequently, Kintz left the journal staff and published the interview in the UK-based tabloid, the Green Anarchist.)”

  11. In Autumn 2000, Ted began to be listed under ‘Political Prisoner Listings’, sometimes with by-lines such as ‘They are in there for us’ & ‘We are in here for you; you are out there for us’. This stirred up many letter responses, which finally ended with an Editor’s note in November 2000, writing that: “Ted Kaczynski will no longer be listed on the Journal’s prisoner support page. Ted himself says that people shouldn’t waste time or energy debating this instead of taking action, We agree. You go Ted.”

  12. In February 2011, the Journal published an essay which reviewed Ted’s first non-anonymously published book and embarrassingly implied support for some of Ted’s bombings.


B.C. — June

New studies provide irrefutable evidence of a joint government-industrial strategy to destroy the remaining wild areas before they can be protected. Most of the remaining wild areas will be roaded and logged in the next three to five years.

—Scott Greacen

The war over British Columbia’s last vast wilderness areas is moving into its final stages. BC populations of keystone species like Grizzly and Salmon face a future so bleak it defies imagination. How could a region so vast and wild be so swiftly and utterly laid waste?

British Columbia has millions of acres of roadless wilderness, the last and greatest wildlands of temperate North America, and some dedicated folks working to keep the wild alive. But the province’s politics are still caught in an industrial death-grip. BC is a virtual colony of the multinational corporations which hold the rights to strip the almost all of the province’s remaining forests. BC’s legal system protects timber companies, not natural systems. Its citizens cannot sue to stop illegal projects; in most cases, they don’t even have the right to see government plans.

In BC as elsewhere, activists are moving from a blobs-on-the-map vision of wilderness protection to landscape-level conservation planning. Unfortunately, the multinationals have learned from the US, and the BC government is running full steam ahead on a program of landscape-leveling devastation. A stream of barges is now steaming up the BC coast, carrying heavy equipment to the last great valleys of virgin temperate rainforest. And nobody even knows it’s happening.

This spring, BC’s New Democratic Party (NDP) government approved the timber industry’s plan for the forests of Clayoquot (klak’-wit) Sound, and by doing so dropped all pretense to environmental sensitivity. As the last large, mostly intact area left on either coast of Vancouver Island, Clayoquot Sound is essential to the survival of native ecosystems on the island, and the decades-long struggle to protect the sound has become the political centerpiece of the battle for BC’s forest wilderness. In rage and disgust at the government’s decision—and its investment of $50 million in Macmillan Bloedel—even the terminally timid groups which dominate BC environmental politics have withdrawn from the government’s CORE (Commission on Resources and the Environment) processes.

The CORE process is a multiparty roundtable process which, together with the ludicrous PAS (Protected Area Strategy)—a scheme focused on protecting a representative scrap of each of BC’s native ecosystems—was supposed to have been the NDP’s great solution to the crises of BC’s natural resource policies. But both “planning” processes have been revealed as “talk-and-log shows,” in which the only areas getting even temporary protection are those for which replacement sacrifice areas can be found. The Webb Reports Activists’ bitter feelings have been crystallized by two reports prepared for CORE by researcher Clinton Webb. Using government plans not previously available to the public, Webb has painstakingly confirmed activists’ worst nightmares, providing irrefutable evidence of a deliberate government-industrial strategy to destroy the remaining wild areas before they can be protected. “The conservation options are disappearing very quickly,” Webb told thejoumal. “There are hundreds of people working full time planning and approving logging plans, and only a handful working to monitor and trying to stop the plans.”

Webb prepared reports for the three most hotly disputed regions of the province: Vancouver Island, the Cariboo-Chilcotin, and the Kootenays. His first task was to inventory wilderness areas, including many important areas about which environmental groups know little or nothing. Having mapped the “conservation options,” Webb then compared the remaining undeveloped areas with five-year logging plans approved by the BC Ministry of Forests.

The results are stupefying. On Vancouver Island, where between 2.5% and 3.5% of the islands magnificent temperate old growth forests have been protected in reserves, Webb was able to identify 295 unprotected wilderness sub-areas. 98 or 33% are scheduled for logging in 1992 alone, and 194, or 66% will be cut by 1995/6. According to his report,

“a total of 215 or 73% of the remaining unprotected wilderness sub-areas ... were found to be either potentially threatened or definitely scheduled for logging between 1992 and 1995/6. Because road building usually precedes actual logging by one or two years, this fragmentation and loss of wilderness conservation options will occur within the next two or three years unless the logging plans are significantly changed in the very near future.”

Counting cutblocks (clearcuts, and big ones: BC holds the world’s record for clearcut size), Webb identified a total of 1050 planned cutblocks for Vancouver Island, 1201 forthe Cariboo-Chilcotin, and 1326 in the Kootenays. That’s a total of 3577 major clearcuts planned for areas that are now wild, all to be completed by 1997/8.

It is difficult, but very important, to understand the implications of Webb’s report He offers an analogy: “It’s like a bathtub when you pull the plug. Itdrains slowly at first, but when you get near the bottom it flows out very quickly indeed.” The bottom line is stark. In the next two or three years, BC will make choices about wilderness destruction that will not be open again for the next two or three thousand years.

The Rest of the Grim Picture

BC environmentalists don’t have a lot left to work with. They’ve run public education campaigns envied the world over. They can’t sue. Big Timber owns the conservative politicians and much of the media outright, and uses Big Labor to keep progressives on a tight leash. Peaceful blockades by desperate communities, including hundreds by forceful, committed bands of native people (known in Canada as First Nations), have been met with a ruthless, coordinated campaign of intimidation and suppression by industry and government. On Vancouver Island alone, 107 people have been prosecuted for interfering with logging operations. Many have been sentenced to hundreds of hours of community service, and given two years’ probation while more than 20 others have spent up to 45 days in jail. Activists across the province face a wave of SLAPP suits as well.

The BC Forest Alliance has retained the services of the world’s largest public relations firm, Burston-Marsteller Ltd. of New York. This company practices a highly sophisticated form of conflict management, and has previously represented the Argentinean government, Union Carbide after Bhopal; and Exxon after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Burston-Marsteller has apparently had quite a bit to do with shaping the provincial media’s coverage of forest and other environmental issues.

Industry propagandists have been particularly successful in using a few pitiful instances of monkeywrenching to spread eco-terrorist hysteria across the province, helping to obscure industry’s enormous crimes.

Taking Action

Road blockades will continue this summer on Vancouver Island both at the Walbran (see story next page) and at Clayoquot Sound, where Friends of Clayoquot Sound (FOCS) will again be coordinating protests in cooperation with local native peoples.

BC activists have begun to call for a worldwide boycott of BC’s wood products industries. Garth Lenz of FOCS is one pressing for boycotts of Interfor and Macmillan Bloedel; he states simply, “consumers should not be supporting the destruction.” Lenz and Valerie Langer of FOCS toured Europe with a slideshow presentation that cost $5000. In response, the industry bankrolled a $1.5 million tour by top officials of the provincial government.

Radicalization of BC’s famously polite environmental movement may be the most lasting result of the NDP’s sham reforms, but it is by no means easy to be a public radical in British Columbia. Environmental activists in BC are constrained both by Canada’s civil culture and by the necessity of living and working in communities dominated by industrial interests. Many have horror stories of harassment, intimidation and violence. Canadian police agencies routinely monitor known activists. This is something to bear in mind if you plan to visit BC: you will be denied entry to the province if authorities learn you are an environmental activist—if, for example, you admit to having been arrested once on a logging road. Be discreet.

In addition to the ongoing tragedies of southern Vancouver Island, there are stories in this issue about the Kemano II dam project and the plight of the Grizzly in BC. What binds all these horrors together, beyond their common location, are links to the world outside BC. Were it not for the US, European, and Asian markets for timber, metals, power, water, and even pieces of dead bears, the multinationals and their minions could not afford to destroy BC. US activists must help save BC, in part because we may be the only ones who can.


Rethinking Environmental-First Nations Relationships — December

by David Orton

We recognize that the fight is a long one and that we cannot hope to win it alone. To win, to secure the future, we must join hands with like-minded people and create a strength though unity.

Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, 1979

To make an honest assessment, you must be able to put yourself in the place of the oppressed.

Daniel Paul, We Were Not The Savages: A Micmac Perspective on the Collision of European and Aboriginal Civilization, 1993

The fact is that by the end of the decade, aboriginal people are going to own or control a third of the Canadian land mass and be the recipient of $5 billion or $6 billion.

Ron Jamieson, Bank of Montreal aboriginal banking unit, in The Financial Post Magazine, March 1993

An absolute priority for the environmental and green movement, and Canadian society itself, must be to try and sort out the appropriate relationship with indigenous peoples in Canada. This is a vision quest that all of us who have any environmental and social justice sentiment need to embark on. It is a matter of urgency and the reason for writing this article.

While animal and plant nations or communities pre-date the arrival of humans, in Canada, aboriginal peoples can be considered the first or founding human nations. Aboriginal peoples have visions of the future, as well as views on their historical past in Canada and they are seeking alliances with others from such positions. In order for non-native environmentalists and greens to enter into alliances with aboriginal peoples, non-native environmentalists themselves should have a realistic perspective or analysis of aboriginal issues and their appropriate resolution.

Major changes in land and water use in Canada are being implemented or discussed due to aboriginal land claims. There are “specific” and “comprehensive” land claims directed at a growing number of existing national and provincial parks across Canada. Land claims will and are affecting the establishment of new protected areas and parks— and also the Endangered Spaces Campaign, initiated by World Wildlife Fund Canada, which has been endorsed by many environmental groups.

The quotation from Ron Jamieson, of the Bank of Montreal “aboriginal banking unit” shows that the corporate class in Canada well understands the ongoing changes in land and water use in favour of aboriginal peoples in Canada and is positioning to profit from it and to steer the changes so as to extend, not undermine, the existing industrial capitalist system.

The relationship with aboriginal peoples is an extremely sensitive topic within the environmental movement (more sensitive even than discussions of ecofeminism/gender relations or the relations between workers/the working class and environmentalists). “Discussion” of Amerindian issues among environmentalists often seems restricted to repeating general statements such as “Natives were/ are model environmentalists and it is necessary to unite to defend Mother Earth,” or the expression of a general support for the right of First Nations to self-determirxation and the satisfactory resolution of land clairns. Realistic public discussion is usually avoided by environmentalists and greens. Avoidance of contentious native issues is considered good manners.


However, there is something quote wrong in existing environmental/First Nations relationship. Conflicting perspectives towards the natural world are smothered over, for example, in some forestry groups which are working with indigenous nations and activists. Just as there is government and corporate “greenspeak” or “greenwash,” there is “native speak”—using seemingly progressive or spiritual rhetoric as a cover to advance a narrow selfinterest which is anti-Earth. Corporations and governments can wear native masks. There is a remarkable absence of any sympathetic yet critical analysis from the environmental or green side.

A couple of issues which need to be discussed openly are: what are some of the existing models in. the environmental and green movements of environmental/indigenous relations and why are they not satisfactory; and how can non-natives work environmentally and politically with indigenous people?

Environmentalists and organizations who have come forward as promoting alliances with aborigi- j nal peoples, such as Taiga Rescue Network or Canada’s Future Forest Alliance, seem to present an “alliance” as merely a blanket endorsement of stated aboriginarpdsitions.Thus.the TRN, at their August 1994 Edmonton conference, according to a posting ‘ on the electronic network, took the position that:

Indigenous peoples’ rights in the temperate and snow forests must be respected even if they appear to conflict with environmentalists’ concerns, concluded activists at . a week-long conference that wound up in this Canadian city...

I totally disagree with this position, which has been evolving within the mainstream TRN since its formation in 1992 at Jokkmokk, in northern Sweden.

One cannot ignore obvious environmental (or social) contradictions within native communities, just as one cannot ignore contfadrctions helU by2’ . non-native environmentalists. Deeper envjronmeB1- tal positions are a minority and radical trend in the fion-native environmental movement. Some of the native trends being criticized in this article have a strong counterpart in the mainstream environmental movement.

Traditional natives and radical environmentalists are working shoulder-to-shoulder on a number of environmental issues. Yet generally ignored in non-native mainstream (and most of the radical) environmental circles are such contradictions as:

  • support by some natives for “sustainable development” and for working with the forest industry, as in so-called Model Forest Projects, or the pulpwood logging in La Verendrye Park in Quebec;

  • native-sanctioned logging of temper- ateold-growth rainforest in Clayoquot Sound in British Columbia, which undercut the growing national and international protest movement to save the Sound’s rainforest

  • support for the fur industry and commercial trapping, even thougli this industry was imposed on First Nations by European colonial powers, and rests

  • support for the wolf kill in the Yukon to “save a caribou herd;

  • a recent proposal by the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, in Saskatchewan, supported by the Atomic Energy Commission of Canada, to have a nuclear waste site on their territory for waste from Canada

  • here in Nova Scotia, support by the Pictou Landing Micmac Band Council for Scott Maritimes to build a pipeline to discharge toxic, chlorine-laced pulp mill effluent one kilometer out into the Northumberland Strait, but away from the Landing.

Probably, in all of the negative examples given above, as in the Micmac Pictou Landing and in two other situations which are known to me, there are oppositional environmental voices, which are marginalized by the native mainstream. The non-native environmental movement must not fofget these deeper native voices and they must be sought out. Such native bioceritrists” are a relatively stronger minority within the First Nations than non-native radical environmentalists in the mainstream movement are. Native biocentrists have more credibility within their context, as well as a base~of authentic tradition. Any union activist “ knows that one oftenTias tcTfight the union “leadership” as well as the company. There is perhaps an analogous situation within native communities, with the “leadership” often willing to cut a deal with corporations and governments for some immediate, short-term economic benefit.

In many of the above situations, the abysmal economic situation of most native peoples in Canada undermines environmental/First Nations solidarity on environmental issues (over half of Canada’s Indians are on welfare). The economic situation is easily manipulated by provincial and federal governments and their corporate partners, who can free up public monies for aboriginal groups or provide jobs and very junior “partnerships” in Earth-destroying activities—all to facilitate more industrial growth. Provincial and federal governments, whatever their political complexion and “greenwash” rhetoric, share a human-centered resource orientation to Nature, and are prepared to trade away the environment for corporate growth and short-term industrial jobs. Also, just as is the case with the non-native Canadian Environmental Network, government funding of native organizations reduces reliance on the grassroots and increases dependency on, and subservience to, the existing bourgeois legal system—and leads to “solutions” within the capitalist industrial economy. If an organization becomes too militant, there will be problems with the continuity of funding.

There is an evolution in the-general social consciousness in Canada, which is belatedly favouring native Canadians. This evolution in social consciousness has its reflection in the green and environmental movements. Unfortunately for the natural world, this change in consciousness, while progressive, remains human-centered and seemingly unaware of either twentieth-century ecological constraints or the development in ethical thinking expressed in the philosophy of deep ecology.If Canadian society has a “resourcist” view towards nature, then this viewpoint will also define any resolution of aboriginal disputes. Thus any resolution, even if respectful of the rights of native peoples, would still be disrespectful of the rights of nature.

Historical Context

Most conservation biologists agree that compatible human uses of the landscape must be considered and encouraged in large- scale conservation planning. Otherwise, the strategy will have little public support. However, the native ecosystem and the collective needs ofndfr human species must takeJirecedence “over the needs and desires of humans, for the simple 1 Jr&isgn that pur species is both more adaptable and more destructive than any other.

Reed Noss, The Wildlands Project: Plotting A North American Wilderness Recovery Strategy, 1992

The perspective and analysis on native issues has to be situated in the geological/ecological and human history of this country. Most importantly, it has to be informed also by a historical sense of worldwide environmental destruction and of the migration of the peoples of the Earth. The continent we now call Africa is believed to be the original centre of human life. Early, human fossils have never been found in the Americas^Thus, most of A the peoples of the world we now know, including the indigenous peoples.of the Americas, are histori- Bering Strait, at that time a land bridge, and eventually populated all of North, Central, and South America.

This worldwide understanding, a necessary part of a perspective and analysis of aboriginal issues in Canada, is shown for example in Clive Ponting’s very helpful but somewhat conservative, A Green History Of The World: The Environment and the Collapse of Great Civilizations. This is an important book for both native and non-native greens and environmentalists.


Ponting documents the numerous historical examples of the degradation or collapse of the— /environment which pre-date and are not linked to ‘ the voyage of Columbus; that is, they are not linked to Western or Euro-centered value systems. (This article is not challenging the primary responsibility of these anthropocentric or human-centered Western value systems for thgcontemporary ongoing destruction of the Earth.Xone well-known example, which has nothing to do with Columbus or the trail of death and environmental destruction left in his wake, would be the self-inflicted environmental (and subsequent social and culturaD^jestructionofEaster. Island by Polynesians. Easter Island was first visited by Europeans in 1722, after this destruction and degradation had largely taken place.

Ecocentrism stands for a dramatic reduction and restructuring of the demands humanity is placing upon its environment.

Sandy Irvine, Editor of Real World: The Voice of Ecopolitics

It is not helpful to present a romanticized view of the past as the contemporary indigenous reality. Original native cultures did place dramatically lower demands on the environment. Because some survived within a circumscribed area for long periods of time, they have real justification for sustainable. But past relationships to wildlife by indigenous peoples in the Americas and elsewhere were not always benign and based on mutual respect. As Ponting and some other historians have argued, the evidence leads to . the conclusion that aboriginal groups in Australia $ // arid the Americas hunted many large mammals to extinction. In the Americas, it appears aboriginals hunted mammoths, mastadons, giant bison, and American wild camels and horses to extinction.

Ecological Realism not Romanticism

A romanticized view of natives in Canada assumes that “teaching” is only one-way, from native to /A non-native. Some native spokespersons, often prominent on the environmental conference circuit, articulate the same one-way position; that is, •non-native environmentalists are free to endorse •but not to question aboriginal positions. Disagreement by hon-natives is put down as a lack of ‘ understanding, e.g., “There are environmental groups who have been very supportive to First Nations issues, however, there are some who do not understand our waysJ^Or, there may be more heavy-handed coniments, and environmentalists mayjje explicitly told “to tread softly,” i.e. to shut upSThgre isa fear among non-native environmentalists, which has some basis in reality? of being denounced as “paternalistic” or even “racist,” if dissenting views are racist.

I think that non-native environmentalists who go along with a non-critical and essentially deferential attitude towards the native peoples of Canada do this out of a genuine sense of wanting to atone in some way for past atrocities and the dispossession of native lands. This is good sentiment, butjjberal guilt is not the foundation for a realistic environmental alliance.iq.the 90’s^This alliance has to be built to confront and defeat the Earth Destroyers, who are everywhere at work on this planet. We cannot go back, even to a non-romanticized past, although we must certainly learn from such a past. This continent has a lot more people today than when the Europeans first arrived, and its carrying capacity has been severely undermined, as the destruction of the fisheries, forests and wildlife show. We can only come to terms with this and go forward, hopefully on a different path.

Certainly our industrial culture must be dismantled for any long-term ecological and social sustainability. At the same time, all cultures must be assessed on their environmental compatibility. Whatever is environmentally incompatible in a culture must be thrown out.

There must be a commitment to social justice for aboriginals within contemporary Canadian society. Progressive people should support and help initiate whatever social changes are necessary for this to be achieved, as long as such changes are just to non-native Canadians and do not negatively impact upon what remains of the natural world. However, it is important that there be an atmosphere in the environmental movement which fosters critical thinking and public exchanges between non-native environmentalists and native peoples about aboriginal issues and the assumptions on which they rest. This is not the situation today.

In building alliances with native peoples in Canada on a basis of equality, everything is up for critical discussion, including basic assumptions. The ecological shortcomings of contemporary indigenous world views need to discussed frankly and fairly, even while recognizing that our main preoccupation must remain with the sicknesses of contemporary industrial society.

The following persons gave valuable input to this article: Helga Hoffmann, Ian Whyte, Philip Fleischer, and Tom Holzinger.

David Orton, RR #3, Saltsprings, Nova Scotia, Canada BOK IPO phone/fax (902) 925–2514 e-mail: greenweb@web.apc.org


Toward Stronger Alliances — February

by Mira Goldberg

A Response to “Rethinking Environmental-First Nations Relationships

My first response to David Orton’s article (Yule, 1994, EF!J) was one of dismay—”here comes another white guy destroying any hope of building trust with indigenous activists.” My second response was that we do need to bring this discussion out in the open so that we know what needs to be done to move forward.

This article is an attempt to present another way of “rethinking” relationships between non-indigenous environmentalists and indigenous liberation activists. My analysis is rooted in my experiences working as a non-indigenous activist, in solidarity with sovereign native nations in the region known by the colonial name of “British Columbia.” Any discussion on this issue requiresindigenousperspectives aswellasnon- indigenous perspectives, so read on with a recognition that this discussion is, at this point, seriously lacking.

Before I respond to the specifics of Orton’s article, I want to establish a context for the discussion. I see elements of Orton’s article as reflecting a tendency among some radical environmentalists to make a ‘ distinction between “human-centered” issues and “earth-centered” issues, and dismiss “human-centered” issues as anthropocentric and therefore not worth discussing. My difficulty with the “anthropocentric vs. ecocenffiSSpUtlsthis: In order toKaOhe destruction of the earth, we must understand what is destroying the earth. This involves looking at power relations between humans.

In North America, corporate destruction of the land is intertwined with genocide of native peoples and colonial occupation of native lands. To destroy capitalism, we must support indigenous liberation, even if that appears “human-centered.”

I have heard many non-indigenous environmental- ‘ ists try to sidestep supporting native” sovereignty and jurisdiction by saying “no one owns the land.” Until humans reach cultural consehsuroffTfiiSTcfea, the reality is that human control over land use plays a huge part in shaping the futures of the land and those who live on it. This issue of jurisdiction tends to alarm non-indigenous activists who are used to agitating for the return of “our land,” for “our government” to be accountable to its citizens.

But what we consider “our countries” are, in reality, neo-colonial nations that are currently occupying native nations. Much of this land has never been ceded by war or treaty and legally remains under the jurisdiction of the sovereign native nations that inhabit these lands.

Orton believes that certain environmental activists ally themselves with indigenous nations “out of a genuine sense of wanting to atone in some way for past atrocities and the dispossession of native lands.” There are indeed past atrocities; there are also current atrocities. Dispossession of indigenous people is still happening (e.g. relocation of Cheslatta people as part of the construction of the Alcan/”Kemano II” dam on the Nechako River). Because the genocide is current and continuing, we can take action now, not to atone for “past sins” but to rectify the current situation.

Part of colonialism is thatthecolonizinggroup defines history to keep itself firmly on top and concealpossibilitiesforresistance. Furthermore, it portrays the colonialism as “over and done with” and focuses on the colonized group as cormpt or otherwise collaborating in their own oppression.


If we took Orton’s article as representa five of indigenous responses to destruction of the earth, we would have to come to the^ conclusion that there is no indigenous resistance. Obviously Orton’s picture is incomplete. What about the 18-month blockade by Protectors of Mother Earth? Milton Born With A Tooth and other Peigan peoples’ resistance to the Oldman Dam? The Lubicon Nation’s fight against Unocal’s Sour Gas Processing Project? Qwa-Ba-Diwa resistance to Fletcher Challenge and MacMillan Bloedel’s destruction of the areas known as the Carmanah/Walbran? These are only a few examples of militant native resistance in defense of the land and environment. I am not trying to idealize native resistance, I am pointing out that indigenous resistance is current and widespread. This means that possibilities for alliance are there, j.f non- indigenous people are willing to make the effort.

Orton focuses only on native collaborators and mentions indigenous responses to collaboration only as an aside. Of course there are native collaborators— there are collaborators in every resistance movement. But indigenous people are capable of addressing this indigenous and non-indigenous activists. Issues of collaboration. Terri John of the Lil’Wat Peoples Movement writes, “we sovereigntists beyond the treaty frontier are no longer prepared to have our sovereign liberties bargained away by collaborating natives...” It is up to non-indigenous people to search out this indigenous analysis, to think about it and discuss it, but not to try to take leadership in criticizing the collaborators or otherwise determining the progress of native liberation. I think our time would be better spent looking at our own failures to build alliances with indigenous people rather than indigenous failures to live up to our own “environmentally pure” standards.

Another difficulty in Orton’s article is his simplification of agreements between native nations and industry. For example, Orton cites “native-sanctioned logging of temperate old-growth rainforest in Clayoquot Sound which undercut the growing national and international protest movement to save the sound’s rainforest.”

If we are to look seriously at what happened in Clayoquot and learn from it, we must look at the weaknesses in the “protest movement’s” alliance building that allowed the forest industry to be perceived as a stronger ally than the radical environmental movement.

Those weaknesses included disagreements within the indigenous/ non-indigenous Clayoquot communities on strategy and direction, past relationships between non-indigenous activists and indigenous communities in the area, politics within the native nations, and many other important factors that played a part. The Interim Measures agreement that Orton refers to was not signed in a vacuum. Without the context we can’t learn anything from it.

The problem is not that non-indigenous environmental activists are uncritically embracing solidarity with native peoples/My observation of what happened in ClayoquoLjs that the natives signed the agreement precisely because the local non-indigenous environmental activists did not fully embrace an alliance with the local indigenous people, in the distant and more recent past?)

There are real barriers to alliance-building between class and culture cannot be ignored. When we look at why alliances have failed, we must look at these issues.

Orton states that “the abysmal economic situation of most native peoples in Canada undermines envi- ronmental/First Nations solidarity on environmental issues,” but he never looks at why some native people support development/destruction. He ignores the devastating effects colonialism has had on native nations’ economies, cultures, social structures, etc. We need to look at these things because we must grapple with the peoples’ immediate needs if we are to offer an alternative . Such needs drive people to take steps for survival. And this in turn affects the land we are trying to protect.

Orton warns us that” [native] land claims will and are affecting the establishment of new protected areas and parks—and also the Endangered Spaces Campaign, initiated by World Wildlife Fund Canada, which has been endorsed by many environmental groups.” He then states that “the corporate class in Canada well understands the ongoing changes in land and water use in favor of aboriginal peoples in Canada.”


First, I believe this presents a distorted view of the current situation in “Canada.” Where are the changes in land and water use favoring aboriginal peoples? Who, beyond a small class of collaborators, is profiting from industrial destruction of native lands?

Second, the use of the term “land claim” presumes that indigenous nations surrendered their jurisdiction and are now “claiming” it back. Sovereign nations have not requested that their sovereignty be returned—they have asserted their sovereignty and jurisdiction where the neo-colonial government is attempting to assert jurisdiction. This is a fundamental difference between the land claims movements and the sovereignty movements, which Orton never made clear/

Third, and perhaps most importantly, I have to question whether our goal is to create more parks or to completely alter who controls the land. If we support parks, we are supporting the neo-colonial government’s jurisdiction. We cannot support native sovereignty and support neo-colonial “protection” of that land. This is one of the areas in which non-in- digenous environmentaiists /must strive to resolve apparent conflicts between our short-term and longterm goals.

Non-indigenous people cannot control the development of the indigenous liberation struggle. What we can do is take responsibility for our own mistakes and attempt to correct them. Effective alliances between indigenous and non-indigenous activists require some initiative on the part of non-indigenous activists.

And if we do not take this initiative, a very possible scenario is that non-indigenous activists will agitate for park status and the neo-colonial government will grant it “without prejudice to land claims” (this wording is already being used by local neo-colonialist governments). Industry will court the native nation with a pending claim in the area and forge deals with native collaborators and the neocolonial government will reverse its decision. Native collaborators will sign deals that surrender native sovereignty in exchange for meager economic rewards, and the land will be destroyed. The colonial governments can then say “it’s not us, it’s those native people.” Many non-indigenous activists will blame native nations and pull support for sovereignty, and budding alliances will collapse. Meanwhile most native people will be exactly where they are now, in abject poverty, but with no legal basis for sovereignty over their territories.

We are already seeing versions of this scenario unfold in places like Clayoquot Sound. In order to halt this trend, we, as non-indigenous environmental activists, must start seriously rethinking our relationship to native struggles.

Orton’s article did much to shed light on how far the environmental movement has to go to throw off the limitations of neo-colonial thinking, and little to provide insight on how non- indigenous people can work towards stronger alliances with indigenous people. What we need are ideas on how to move forward. And let’s not forget that unless indigenous pebple are participating in this discussion, we will never move beyond theory.

For more information about BC native sovereignty, contact: Independent State of Qwa-Ba-Diwa Information Office (Canada): PO Box 35015, Victoria, BC, Canada V8T 5G2; or Lil’wat Peoples Movement: PO Box 79, Mount Currie, BC, Canada VON 2K0

Respect Native Struggles — February

by Brian Tokar

David Orton has done a valuable service by raising the question of relationships between environmentalists and native peoples. However, his account unfortunately perpetuates some of the same myths and mystifications about indigenous communities that he says he is trying to deflate.

Everyone who has tried to work with indigenous communities on environmental (or any other) issues knows that the social fabric of these communities is as complex and at least as delicate as that of any other communities facing the political and economic onslaughts of these times. Native communities rarely speak with “one voice” these days, any more than Euro-American communities speak with one voice. Further, native communities are plagued by all of the problems facing other poor and marginalized groups. When the promise of land and material wealth is held in front of such communities, it exaggerates existing insecurities and tensions in ways that governments and corporations have become quite adept at manipulating for their own purposes.

From the Big Mountain struggles, which aroused widespread support from non-native people in the mid-1980s, to mining, logging, nuclear waste and land-claims issues today, activists rushing to support native struggles have had to take a step back and become educated about the politics and internal dynamics of indigenous communities. As Orton pointed out, this often reveals some elements that are all too willing to cut a deal for some immediate apparent benefit. This seems especially true in Canada, where governmental support for first nations appears far more generous than in the U.S. , .

For example, activists from Vermont and Quebec who were seeking to support the Innu traditionalists opposing Hydro Quebec’s latest dam project (Sainte Marguerite 3 in eastern Quebec) found a very different political climate than among the Cree of James Bay. While the Cree have been unified against Hydro Quebec (though only after they experienced the conse- , quences of giving in to unstoppable government pressure to agree to the damming of the LeGrande River basin in the 1970s), the Innu community around Sept) Iles, Quebec is dangerously divided. Darn opponents, ‘while they do have tradition on their side, have been subjected to such intense intimidation by dam supporters on the Band Council that some have even had to renounce all government payments to their families in order to sustain their struggle against Hydro Quebec.

This is a source of tremendous hardship for people who have become increasingly dependent on such payments.

However, for Euro-American activists to expect native peoples to simply renounce government payments, income from trapping, or any of their J other tenuous connections id the cash economy, is/ even more unrealistic than expecting urban North Americans to instantly stop using-petroleum and, “electricity immediately, tomorrow, without delay/ Given these communities’ tenuous positions, with many families hovering at the edge of survival, it is extremely condescending to expect them to suddenly undo 400years of being forced into the market economy.

Does this justify the sometime complicity of native communities in the destruction of the environment? Of course not. But it means that activists need to listen to what native people are saying about their own situation and act from a place of respect and consideration, not objectification or passing judgment. Native people are neither “model environmentalists,” nor are they blind participants in environmental destruction. They deserve due consideration for bearing the weight of 500years of colonialism, but cannot and do not want to be judged as historical symbols. Native peopleneed tobeapproached with respect, just as we would approach anyone we seek possible common ground with Native people fighting to protect the land, such as the Cree, thelnnudissidents, the Chippewa opponents of mining in Wisconsin, the Cahuilla people blockading toxic sludge shipments in southern California and countless others need to be supported. Those who make compromises with the system, often under conditions of extreme coercion, need to be approached cautiously and with understanding of their own often precarious situation.

Native nations are on the leading edge of environmental battles in many places in North America. Indigenous “sovereignty” is being cynically invoked by corporations and governments to maneuver around regulations that would prohibit environmentally destructive forms of development elsewhere. Some members of native communities are willingly going along, sometimes even believing that they are acting in the tradition of defiance that has kept their people alive for centuries. If we want to help native environmentalists win these battles, the first step is to approach these situations with a genuine sense of understanding and, yes, respect.

Resource conservation tip — February

Each new North American human we don’t create is the equivalent of 72 years of 100% recycling. We save 56 years of car driving, avoid tons of pollution, and prevent the potential for additional procreation 20 years later.

When the impact our descendants’ descendants would have had on Earth’s biosphere is added to what we are saving, it becomes astronomical. And, if we decide to not make two more of us, it’s astronomical doubled.

Volunteers who are ready to make even more of a commitment might consider not producing 10 new people: 720 human-years of industrial consumption and pollution saved by just one pair of us. Congratulations!

Letters to the Editor — March


Dear EF!,

I must disagree with the anti-reproduction supplement in the Brigid issue. Mr. Knight simply has the wrong take on human physiology, psychology, and history. From both a theoretical and a practical perspective a radical environmental movement needs to be better grounded in reality to have any hope of accomplishing a vitally necessary reduction in human numbers before it is too late. The desire for children in a normal, healthy biological drive, independent of the sex-drive and not a cultural artifact, let alone an irrational one. Western culture still suffers from 1500 years of the Christian Church trying to repress sexuality; we don’t need the psychological damage repeated by trying to repress the urge to procreate. Guilttripping people about their personal choices and actions is usually counter-productive and stirs up resistance and resentment.

I usually try to encourage people to have children if they can afford to support them because people with children will have a staked in the future of this planet and will be committed to its preservation. Environmentalists without kids are much more prone to bum out and see no reason to go on fighting for the earth.

The birth rate in the Paleolithic times was low because a woman on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, which requires a lot of exercise to obtain, will likely tend to be underweight by today’s standards. It is well known in the medical field that perfectly healthy female athletes are frequently infertile due to too low a percentage of their body weight being fat, when the agricultural revolution resulted in a low-protein, high- carbohydrate diet and consequent increase in the percentage of fat in the average woman’s body, the population explosion began—and was inevitable, whatever the culture and It’s values. If we want too talk seriously about reducing human population we must start by discussing how to get rid of agriculture and bringing about a return to a hunter-gatherer economy.

Over-population, however, is not due entirely, or even primarily, to too many births. It is caused at least as much by too few children and adults being eaten by predators. We don’t just need fewer births; we need more deaths. It is far, far too late for any realistic reduction in the birth rate to do any good. Even a total 100% moratorium on all human births starting right now would not suffice to prevent a total worldwide ecological collapse in the next few decades. We need a recycling program; we need to reintroduce large predators to reestablish ecological balance by recycling humans back into the food chain where they belong. This, in turn, requires leveling the playing field between humans and predators by depriving the humans of all post-stone age weapons and technology.

These are not pie-in-the-sky wishful fantasies; they are a rock-bottom minimum for any serious proposal to solve the horrendous problem caused by having more than 1,000 times as many humans on this planet as there should be. It is laughable to urge people of the sort who read the journal to not have kids as if that were some sort of solution. What EFlers should be doing in the Journal and in workshops at the rendezvous is brainstorming on the questions of how to monkeywrench the world’s agricultural production and the industrial technology that enable the humans to maintain their numbers.


Les U. Knight responds:

We have two choices in dealing with human over population: more deaths or fewer births. To keep human numbers stable, we either need 250,000 more deaths each day or250,000fewer births. Promoting fewer births is a lot more fun than the alternative, even if it means repressing normal, healthy biological drives to procreate. Fortunately, we have the ability to override remnants of biological urges which may be lurking in our genetic make-ups. Cultural programming can also be countered with our intellects, as millions of us our demonstrating. If we were simply slaves to our genes, there would be no hope for a better world. Ironically, our powerful intellect is what gave us agriculture and the potential for over-populating in the first place.

The more ideas we come up with for defending what’s left of the wild, the better. Some of the craziest-sounding methods may prove to be workable with a little tinkering. If we limit ourselves to what’s practical and “grounded in reality” we might overlook valuable innovations. Any idea from any source deserves to be given a fair run through the logic circuits. However, plans to increase human death fail to pass the ethics test and may be dismissed without much consideration.

Yes, it may be too late to prevent global ecological collapse, in which case the last thing we should do is create more of us to suffer and perhaps die in it. A more positive outlook is to assume that there’s still hope and that we can make a difference. We have to try.

Voluntary human extinction alone won’t preserve life on Earth, but each additional human we don’t produce means more room for wilderness and wildlife. When we are not off raising new off-spring, we might have more time for raising hell at ecodestruction sites and for helping Earthlings of all species.

—Les U. Knight Stumptown, Oregon

To all deep ecologists, misanthropes, ecofreaks, animal rights radicals, eco-feminists, monkey wrenchers, and nature lovers in Connecticut,

I am a misanthropic, deep ecology following, nature loving, cynical, heretical ecofreak who is also a student at Central Connecticut State University (Biology-Environmental Science) who is looking to form an Earth First! group in Connecticut. There may not be much wilderness left to save in Connecticut, but every little bit counts. So anyone looking to form a group in this area, give me a call. Leave a message.

—Ron Ferrucci, home (203) 239–3670 school (203) 832–0732

Dear Coprocephalus,

Here’s a great opportunity to use your computer for more than playing DOOM and doing term papers. There is an enormous flaming asshole from hell that has taken to the Internet airwaves and needs to have his hard disk reformatted. A one Alan Macnow (AMACNOW@IGC.APC.ORG) is an operative of the Japan Whaling Association and is posting filthy messages and stinking up otherwise useful enviro computer discussion lists like the Marine Mammal List (MARMAM@UWM.BITNET — list.marmam on EcoNet) and the env.marine conference on EcoNet with this kind of excrement:

“The time is now to establish an international regime for the utilization of surplus marine resources for the global food demands. We should not regard the whaling issue as an isolated case. It should be treated as a fundamental example of wise and sustainable utilization of wildlife and marine living resources.”

Please feel free to send this plankton-for- brains an E-mail message describing how you would like to see him impaled with an exploding harpoon and neatly packaged on a shelf in the Tokyo Safeway. Be creative. Messages should be long and sent as often as possible. It is sure to give your hard disk a warm tingly feeling.

—Elwood Pleebus, Nerds First!

Unpublished letters Ted Kaczynski sent in 1995

[It’s unclear whether any or all of these letters were sent.]

Suggestions for Earth First!ers from FC — Unknown Date (Post February 1995)

[FC stood for Freedom Club, which was Ted Kaczynski’s pseudonym]


Earth First! wants to eliminate the industrial form of society. This is clearly a revolutionary goal. Yet it seems that many or most Earth First!ers still think and act like reformers, not like revolutionaries.

This is illustrated by Darryl Cherney’s response to the bombing in which we assassinated the president of the California Forestry Association. According to newspaper reports Cherney was upset by the bombing because he was afraid that there would be retaliatory attacks on Earth First!ers. Now we respect (with certain qualifications) the nonviolent principles of Earth First! (even though we don’t think it would be practical for everyone to abide by them) and if any Earth First!ers get beaten up in retaliation for our bombings we certainly sympathize with them. But Cherney’s reaction shows that his mentality is that of a reformer, not a revolutionary.

To a revolutionary, what is important is not the short-term goal of saving this or that bit of wilderness or securing some grudging tolerance from the timber industry sympathizers. What is important is the long-term goal of weakening and destabilizing industrial society so that a revolution against it may become possible. From this point of view it is desirable that timber industry sympathizers should make physical attacks on Earth First!ers, because such behavior tends to increase the social stresses in industrial society and helps to turn people against the system.

It is important to distinguish between what the industrial system “wants” and what certain people who claim to represent the system may want or may do. By what the system “wants” we mean that which helps to assure the survival and growth of the industrial system. This corresponds approximately with what is desired by the most rational, self-restrained and “responsible” members of the systems [sic.] controlling elite. But people who believe themselves to be supporters of the system often behave in ways that are harmful to the system and thus serve as unwitting allies of those who want to overthrow the system.

Take police brutality as an example. The most rational and “responsible” members of the system’s elite are against police brutality. They want the police to use just enough force (and no more than just enough) to insure [sic.] public order and obedience to the system’s rules, because they know that police brutality increases social stresses and tends to break down respect for the system. Bad cops (or timber industry goons) who beat people up regard themselves as pro-system and hate those who are against the system, but the behavior of such cops actually helps to undermine the system. Thus police brutality is not really a part of the system, but is a kind of disease of the system.

Similarly, the irresponsible politicians who are currently repealing environmental laws may be acting as unwitting allies of revolutionaries. If their actions lead to a few more cases like Love Canal and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, they will be helping to destroy respect for the system. Moreover the actions of these politicians help to weaken the standards of decent, “responsible” political behavior on which the stability of the system depends.

Footnote [In their own way, Rush Limbaugh, reckless right wing politicians and their like are rebels against the industrial system even though they do not regard themselves as such. They want the technology and “prosperity” that the system provides but they reject the restraint and social discipline that are required for the long-term health and stability of the system. These people think they are for social discipline, but their concept of social discipline is primitive: pile more homework on the kids and make everybody click their heels and salute the flag. The kind of social discipline the system needs would include temperance in the expression of political opinions, and realization that what is good for the long-term health of the system is not always what brings the biggest profits right now, and that psychological techniques are more sophisticated than just “getting tough” are needed to make children behave in conformity with the needs of the system. Through their irrational antics and lack of self-restraint Rush Limbaugh & Co. are helping to weaken the system. Our most dangerous enemies are not reckless right-wingers but those leaders who take a rational and balanced approach to promoting the growth and power of the system. That is why we of FC always make it our policy to vote for those politicians who are most corrupt, incompetent or irrational. They are the ones who will help us break down the system. Pete Wilson said we deserve to die for blowing up the president of the California Forestry Association. He shouldn’t be so ungrateful. We voted for him.]

What the rational, self-controlled, “responsible” members of the system’s elite want is not reckless repeal of environmental legislation; they want enough environmental legislation to preserve the system’s image of benevolence but not enough to interfere very seriously with economic growth and the increase of the system’s power. They want exploitation of natural resources that is rationally planned for long-term economic growth and stability, and that takes into consideration social needs (e.g. health, esthetics) as well as economic ones. Like police brutality, environmental recklessness is not really a part of the system, but is a disease of the system.

Needless to say, police brutality and environmental recklessness make us sick at the stomach, and we know that Earth First!ers react the same way. And of course we have to stand against these things. But at the same time it has to be recognized that ending police brutality and environmental recklessness are goals of reformers. The goal of revolutionaries is to undermine the system as a whole, and to this end police brutality and the grosser forms of environmental recklessness are actually helpful.

The trouble with Earth First!ers is that, like reformers, they devote their attention almost exclusively to fighting evils that are peripheral outgrowths of the system rather than fighting those institutions, structures and attitudes that are central to the system and on which the system most depends. We’ve only read about 6 or 8 issues of Earth First!, but if these can be taken as a fair sample then EF! articles are devoted almost exclusively to wilderness and environmental questions. These are extremely important matters, but if you devote your attention exclusively to them you will never overthrow the industrial system, and as long as the system survives the most you can hope to do is slow, not stop, the taming or destruction of wilderness. Therefore we argue that the Earth First! journal should devote at least half of its content to questions that have central relevance to the development of the industrial-technological system. How about some articles on genetic enigineering and its probably consequences for life on earth? How about some articles concerning the tremendous powers that computer technology is putting in the hands of the system? What will be the consequences if the computer scientists ever succeed in developing machines that are more intelligent than human beings? How about some articles on propaganda and other psychological tools that help to induce behavior that conforms to the needs of the system?

Most importantly, you need to develop a coherent ideology that opposes technology and industrialism and is based on analysis and understanding of the industrial system, and you need to develop plans and methods for weakening, undermining and destabilizing industrial society.

As for action, with only one exception all the actions we’ve seen reported in Earth First! have been focussed on environmental and wilderness issues. But as long as you fight only on environmental and wilderness issues you are fighting defensively. The best defense is a good offense, and to fight offensively you’ve got to get out of the woods and attack the structures that make the system run. For example, instead of demonstrating (or monkeywrenching) at a logging site, you might demonstrate (or monkeywrench) at a chemical plant. And the issue that you demonstrate about should not be a particular case of environmental destructiveness but the very existence of the chemical industry itself. You have to use your ingenuity to devise some forms of action that will weaken the system as a whole, not just slow its destruction of the environment.

* * *

Another indictaion of Earth First!'s essentially reformist mentality is your attitude about the paper industry. You want to stop the cutting of trees for paper by finding alternative sources of fiber, such as hemp. This is a reformist attitude. The revolutionary attitude would be: Stop cutting trees for paper, and if that means that the system comes grinding to a halt for lack of paper, so much the better. To hell with the system.

You will answer that if your program implied an end to the mass production of paper, then you would have no chance of putting that program into effect, because few people would support a program incompatible with the continued existence of industrial society.

But of course! That is the difference between the reformer and the revolutionary. The reformer seeks to bring about some improvement in conditions NCW, by means that are compatible with the survival of an existing system of society. The revolutionary advocates measures that are incompatible with the existing system, knowing that those measures cannot be put into effect now . But by advocating such measures he plants in people’s minds the idea that doing away with the existing system is a conceivable alternative. In this manner he helps to prepare the way for a future revolution that may occur when the time is ripe.

* * *

Some Earth First!ers think they can change the system just by providing, through their own actions, examples of noble, nonviolent, passive, environmentally nondestructive behavior. But it won’t work. Look at history! It’s been tried before, repeatedly. The earliest Christians, the Quakers, certain Hindus and Buddhists relied on passive, nonviolent loving-kindness, but they had little or no lasting effect on the behavior of the human race in general. people of the saintly type may have an important role to play in a revolutionary movement, but their kind of action by itself cannot bring down the industrial system. For that, revolutionaries of a tough, practical type are needed.

* * *

It is a big mistake to complain about “capitalism.” To do so gives the impression that industrial society would be OK if it were run according to some other ideology, such as socialism. Actually socialism in Eastern Europe did more damage to the environment than any capitalism did in the West. Our enemy is not capitalism, socialism, or any other ideology that may pretend to guide the system. Our enemy is the industrial-technological system itself.

* * *

The Earth First! journal should have a section in which successful monkeywrenching operations are reported. Reading about successful operations will encourage and stimulate other monkeywrenchers. Those who have carried out successful operations should report their action to the journal in an anonymous letter. Such letters will constitute evidence in “criminal” cases, so the journal will have to turn them over to the police to avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice. Therefore senders of the letters should make sure they bear no evidence such as fingerprints or handwriting.

Also, after every major successful monkeywrenching operation, the saboteurs should send anonymous letters to the mainstream media explaining both the reasons for that particular monkeywrenching attack and the long-term goals of the radical environmental movement.

The effectiveness of monkeywrenching operations will be greatly increased if they are systematic and coordinated rather than random and sporadic. Each monkeywrenching group should plan not just one operation but a campaign of operations lasting several months. Such a campaign is best designed not to attack a lot of unrelated targets, but to concentrate pressure on some particular class of targets. For example, the monkeywrenching group might select a particular logging or mining company, or a chemical or electronics firm, and attack a series of targets belonging to that particular organization. It would be difficult to coordinate the efforts of different monkeywrenching groups without compromising security. But some degree of coordination might be achieved by passing the word through the grapevine that a certain week is to be a week of intense sabotage. A lot of sabotage concentrated into one week would be more effective than the same amount of sabotage spread out over an extended period.



[Text is obscured at the beginning of every line of the source picture, so I’m just including a brief excerpt]

... by Mira Goldberg that appeared in the Earth First! Journal (February 2, 1995) will help us to illustrate the leftist ... ... for a leftist, Goldberg is fond of certain catch-words.... In her brief article she uses “capitalism” once, “genocide” twice and ... “(neo-)colonialist” or “(neo-)colonialism” thirteen ... claims that “genocide (against Indians) is current and ... This is absurd. The word “genocide” was originally ... describe the extermination of the Jews by the nazis. The ... reasonably be applied to some nineteenth century events in ... tribes were relocated through forced marches in which the ... was extremely high. But to apply the word “genocide” to ... treatment of Indians by whites is to compare it to the treatment of Jews by the nazis, and that is ridiculous in the eyes of ...

Earlier Draft

... As for the Mosser bombing, our attention was called to Burson-Marsteller by an article that appeared in Earth First!, Litha, June 21, 1993, page 4. According to this article, “The BC Forest Alliance (a timber industry trade group) has retained the services of the world’s largest public relations firm, Burston-Marsteller Ltd. of New York. This company practices a highly sophisticated form of conflict management, and has previously represented the Argentinean government, Union Carbide after Bhopal; and Exxon after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Burston-Marsteller has apparently had quite a bit to do with shaping the provincial media’s coverage of forest and other environmental issues.” We realized that this article was not necessarily an unimpeachable source of information, but we didn’t bother to try to verify the above statement because, as we mentioned in our last letter to the NY Times, our attack on Burson-Marsteller was based mainly on general principles rather than on any specific actions of the company. Now it turns out that though Burson-Marsteller has been representing Exxon, it did not do so specifically in connection with the Exxon Valdez incident. To us it makes little difference. The technique of public relations is part of the system of propaganda that is one of the slimiest aspects of modern society. Today people’s buying habits, their voting choices and their attitudes to a significant extent are ...

... no longer results of their own spontaneous decisions but are molded by skilled propagandists: advertising agencies, public relations firms, political campaign managers and so forth. It stinks.

Someone raised the question of why we didn’t attack an Exxon executive. Actually, at one time we had planned to do so, but after the Reso kidnapping we figured that Exxon execs would be too suspicious and cautious....

A letter asking EF! to publish his manifesto — April

Earth First!:

This is a message from FC. The FBI calls us “unabom.” We are the people who recently assassinated the president of the California Forestry Association. We know that most radical environmentalists are non-violent and strongly disapprove of our bombings. But we have some things to say that should be of special interest to radical environmentalists. Even if you disagree with our conclusions you can hardly deny that the issues we raise are important ones that radical environmentalists should think about and discuss.

We are enclosing a copy of a manuscript that we are sending to the New York Times, also a copy of the letter that we are sending to the Times with the manuscript. We have reason to hope that the NY Times will either publish the manuscript or arrange for its publication elsewhere. However, if neither the NY Times nor any other major periodical has published the manuscript, or begun to publish it in serialized form, or had it published elsewhere, or announced a definite date for its publication, within 5 months of the day this letter is postmarked, then the Earth First! Journal can publish the manuscript. You can publish it either serialized or in the form of a small book, and you will be welcome to [crossed out] keep any profit you may make from it. Contact NY Times for information concerning what is being done about publication of the manuscript.

We offered the NY Times a promise to desist from terrorism in exchange for publication of our manuscript in a widely read, nationally distributed periodical. Earth First! does not qualify as widely read, so we offer no such promise in [crossed out] exchange for publication in Earth First! However, if Earth First! is willing and able to get the manuscript published in book form, and if the book is [crossed out] distributed nationally and well publicized, then we will abide by the promise to desist from terrorism. Contact the NY Times [crossed out] for information concerning conditions that we laid down in our letters to that newspaper.

Whoever may first publish the manuscript, after a period of 6 months has elapsed since that first publication, anyone [crossed out] (including Earth First!) will have the right to publish the material freely. However, the period might possibly be extended beyond 6 months. See enclosed letter to NY Times.

In any case, you can immediately make up to 5 copies of the manuscript for your own use. If you wear gloves while making the copies you won’t mess up any fingerprints or anything, so the FBI won’t be able to claim you have damaged any evidence.

How do you know this letter really comes from FC? Some part of the letter we are sending to the NY Times will probably be published in the newspaper, and you can [crossed out] compare it with the copy we are sending you. The authenticity of the material that we are sending to the NY Times will be confirmed by means of our secret identifying number.


A letter discussing responses to overpopulation — Unknown Date (Post April 1995[?])

I share the disgust of other Earth First!ers at the sight of somebody with four or five kids. But in refraining from having children, Earth First!ers may be making a disastrous blunder. In careful statistical studies of identical twins and adopted children, a number of investigators, working independently, have found that social and political attitudes tend to be inherited. Of course, no one suggests that there is a gene for liberalism, for conservatism, or for radical environmentalism. But it appears that children inherit personality traits that make them likely, in the context of the present society, to adopt this or that attitude or ideology. It is true that some scientists question these results, but their objections are rather flimsy and appear to be ideologically motivated.

By refraining from having children, Earth First!ers may be handing the world over to the growtHs. (“GrowtH” is my private word for anyone who favors economic growth and all that crap.) Because the growtHs have as many children as they like, while EF!ers and other environmentalists restrict their reproduction, it is likely that with each successive generation the proportion of growtHs in the population will increase.

It is vitally important to reduce the Earth’s population as much as possible, but the best way to reach a goal is not always to head directly toward it.

What the Earth’s population will be 50 or 100 years from now depends entirely on the form of society that will then exist. The present economically oriented form of society, based on industrialism, tends inexorably to grow to the limit of the available resources. By creating new genetically altered plants, or maybe through some type of artificial photosynthesis, this form of society will greatly increase the world’s food producing capacity, and will allow or encourage its population to grow to the limit of that capacity. So if the present form of society survives, we can expect for the future an incredibly, horribly overcrowded world in which no room will be left for wild nature.

Therefore, the important goal is to eliminate the present form of society and destroy the industrial base that makes it possible to support an abnormally inflated human population.

If Earth First!ers give a reproductive advantage to the growtHs by refraining from having children, they will be slowing present population growth only slightly, and they will be increasing the likelihood that the growtHs will win out, that the present form of society will survive, and hence that the world of 50 or 100 years from now will be horrifyingly overcrowded.

If Earth First!ers have as many children as they can, they will be accelerating present population growth only slightly, and they will be increasing the number of radical environmentalists, hence the probability that the present form of society can be eliminated, and consequently the likelihood that the Earth’s population can be greatly reduced in the future.

It could even be argued that rapid population growth now will be advantageous in the long run, because if population expands rapidly in the immediate future, this will increase the likelihood that economic and social problems will overwhelm the present form of society, so that it will not survive and will be replaced by something else. If population increases at only a moderate rate in the the [sic.] immediate future, the present society may have time to adjust, to develop new methods of food production and so forth, so that it will have a better chance of surviving. If it does survive, you can be sure that 100 years from now no wild nature will be left and the world will be jam-packed with people.

So it would be best for Earth First!ers to outbreed the growtHs until the present form of society has been done away with.

Fabius Maximus

1995 Continued

A Commitment to Nonviolent Change — May

As I write this editorial, the news media is still buzzing over the recent bombing in Oklahoma City and the Unabomber killing of a timber lobby executive in California. These two acts violence nave coincided with my personal preparations to lead two nonviolence workshops, and highlight the need to reaffirm our movement’s commitment to nonviolence to nonviolence. No Earth First! action has ever been an act of violence directed at another human, nor has the Earth First! Journal ever called for or condoned violence. We have as a movement maintained a 14-year history of nonviolent action. I firmly believe this to be the best strategy to achieve our goals.

Nonviolence is the best tool for achieving lasting change in human behavior. It is human behavior that is destroying wilderness, polluting waterways, and driving species to extinction. It is human behavior that we must change in order to turn things around. FOrcing change—through a lawsuit, and act of ecotage, or, as the perpetrators of the recent bombings attempted, an act of violence—brings only temporary results in a world dominated by industrialism and its twin, consumerism. Unless we change the way people live-on the Earth arid relate to the Earth, any protection we win for the wild is no more than so many lines on a map. Lines can be redrawn by future politicians as resources become increasingly scarce to an increasingly overpopulated human herd.

We cannot achieve permanent protection for the wilderness and our fellow species until and unless we change prevailing attitudes, power structures and life-styles. We need to start by bringing the way we organize in line with our vision of the changes we want to create. I have recently noticed that, to a large extent, the recent ground swell of new “grassroots” environmental groups are at their root so very like the corporations they are trying to fight: a bunch of white guys sitting in front of computers, vying with each other for grant monies from foundations funded by the very corporations they are fighting! Certainly many of these groups do good work; however, they certainly don’t fit my ideal of what grassroots is all about. We need a more organic, community-based approach in order to truly grow and expand into an effective movement for change.

The concept of affinity groups, a key to effective nonviolent campaigns, is one of which I believe most of us are still rather vague in our understanding. Instead of centrally organized action campaigns that invest too much power and responsibility on the central organizers, imagine nonviolent direct actions that draw on hundreds of these small, self-contained affinity groups. Instead of creating a “campaign headquarters,” ongoing “empowerment centers” could help individuals and groups become more politically and environmentally aware and give them training in nonviolence, consensus and other skills they need to be effective as action groups. During larger actions, affinity groups can work together to share roles, support and decision-making.

We are living in “interesting times,” as the old Chinese saying goes. Time is running out for the salmon, the sage scrub and native forests everywhere. I am putting out a call— a plea—for people who aren’t now active: Get active! Get together! Form affinity groups—investigate, educate, agitate and take nonviolent action!

This will be my last issue here at the venerable Earth First! Journal. I can’t imagine a publication or group of people more deserving of support. I have to say I am looking forward to not having my time eaten up by banal accounting tasks, and I am excitedly looking forward to a life of increased activism. While I am glad to be leaving my little corner of bookkeeping hell, I have appreciated the opportunity to stay plugged in to the movement during the first busy years as a mother, and the opportunity to work with such a wonderful, dedicated group of people. I will miss you all. Sarah will too. “Yi, yi.”

—Karen Wood

The Journal staff wish to extend Karen a fond farewell. Our only consolation is that our loss is the Siskiyou’s gain. It would be hard to overstate how vital Karen has been to the Journal here in Eugene. She will be missed greatly.

We would also like to take this opportunity to tell our moms, “Hi mom, and happy Mother’s Day!”

A War of Words Over Violent Analogies — June

At what point does rhetoric become so volatile that it becomes inflammatory? I pondered this question after a call from Judi Bari in which she asked me if I wouldn’t reconsider something printed in this space a few issues ago in light of the Oklahoma City truck bombing and the Unabomber mail bomb assassination of a California timber lobbyist. Words, I thought, like bombs, can sometimes injure innocent people. That is a measure of their power, and something we should all keep in mind while staring into our computer screens.

There is probably no word in any language that carries the connotation of the word “bomb.” It brings immediately to mind violent images of the killing and maiming of innocent people. On the other hand, movies “bomb,” old cars are “bombs,” and I bottle home-brew in what is commonly referred to as a “bomber.” So it is the context in which words are used that gives them meaning. This is especially true when we use words like “revolution,” “war” and a recent addition to the American vernacular, the word jihad.

At a workshop I attended this spring, Michael Frome, distinguished professor and environmental historian, voiced what I consider the erroneous but widely held view that since we are nonviolent we should not use the language of war, and he invoked Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. as examples. At first glance this seems to make sense, but it is in conflict with the truth. Ghandi and King were both fond of using military analogies, where activists were marching soldiers for peace, armies were nonviolent and the struggle for freedom was characterized as a war on injustice.

When I pointed this out to Professor Frome after the workshop, he admitted that it was true. I told him I believe Ghandi, King and others like them embraced this language in order to underscore the seriousness of the issues and the necessary sacrifice and organization required to effectively address them.

The difference between conventional forms of warfare and nonviolent warfare is that nonviolent armies do not seek to inflict casualties in pursuit of a goal, although they are willing to risk their own personal safety and well-being. Their true aim is not conquest and annihilation but understanding and reconciliation. Nonviolence will not sacrifice these long-term goals in favor of short-term gains. Nonviolence emphasizes respect for all opinions, but above all it requires a sense of moral responsibility in resisting and opposing injustice. All this is in stark contrast to the Bosnian Serbs, Desert Storm, the Militia Movement or the Aryan Resistance.

In our phone conversation, Judi was particularly adamant about my use of the word jihad. Indeed both Lyndon LaRouche and Barry Clausen have interpreted my call for a jihad as proof that we are advocating a new wave of violence. In fact, Mr. Clausen has become something of a press agent for me of late, as everywhere he goes he generates calls from the media asking me what I meant by that word. Jihad is Arabic and roughly similar to our word “crusade,” although it generally has a broader meaning. This is why the word jihad is sometimes mistakenly interpreted as exclusively meaning “holy war.” Indeed in countries where Arabic is spoken, it would not be unusual to see a poster proclaiming a jihad for cleaner streets or even for whiter teeth.

Believe me, a jihad for the earth is precisely what we are all involved in at the moment. The armies of darkness are on the move. When we say that bystanders are not innocent we are referring to the Nuremberg Principles, which state that all citizens have the responsibility to resist the power of evil or repressive institutions. It does not follow that we advocate victimizing innocent people, or even those less innocent. It simply means that people must choose sides when confronting a moral dilemma. And what could be more urgent and compelling than the survival of our planet’s life support system?

I do not advocate here the donning of camo and the brandishing of monkeywrenches. Monkeywrenching, like anything else, has its time and place. But I do think we should put on our flak jackets. We need not retreat from using strong language when strong language is necessary. You don’t hear G. Gordon Liddy or Rush Limbaugh backing off their core beliefs because they were attacked by the President on Larry King Live. Neither does the National Rifle Association, the Christian Right or the Ryder Truck Rental agency back off defending the quality of their product. They use the opportunity to explain their differences, if they have any, with Timothy McVey and Terry Nichols.

In our attempts to deliver a message to the American people, we will unavoidably invite a certain amount of “incoming” (a word Vietnam veterans use to describe being on the receiving end of an artillery barrage). This will come both from within our ranks and from those who oppose us politically. This does not mean we should back down or change our message. We should use this and every other opportunity to talk about our position on the issues.

We must remember that even though most Americans agree with us on the majority of issues on which we work, they are not yet radical in their ecological analysis. Radical ecologists are still a small voice in the political wilderness. We should never doubt for a moment, though, that if our small voice is heard by reasonable people, we can change public perceptions and thereby change political reality. In the electronic fog that now passes for news media, smaller groups cannot ignore the power of words, or the impact of personal actions. Because eventually the truth gets out. It always does.

—Mike Roselle

Bitchin’ Times: Rants from Wild Womyn — September

An Exclusive look into the mind of EF!ers

  • A women’s guide to Deep Ecology books

  • FYI’s

  • Deep Ecology or Deep Testosterone?

  • Gender Paradigms

  • Women’s Equality or Whitewash?

  • A little Woo-Woo and other party favorites

To Breed or Not to Breed… That Is Not The Question!

Radical “environmental” activism needs to be undertaken with and guided by understanding of the role of patriarchal ideology in the planetary devastation we face today. The connection between the work of saving the planet and the liberation of wimmin comes up clearly with the issue of humyn overpopulation and the analysis around how we address it. In order truly to address humyn overpopulation and its environmental toll, we have to put it into its proper context and address it accordingly. We have to recognize and confront its root causes: the domination of wimmin through patriarchal ideology and institutions, and the objectification, “ownership,” and subjugation of all living beings and the planet by capitalist and patriarchal power.

Corporate-patriarchal political and economic dominion is at the root of humyn overpopulation. The problem is not ultimately about individual wimmin’s choices. Cultures where wimmin have power within themselves do not over “breed.” Patriarchies, with their pro-natalist bent, act to override healthy and natural social instincts to keep populations in check. Patriarchies have perverted the social context of individual wimmin’s choices and, in combination with capitalist exploitation, have led us to the current population crisis. Patriarchy rests its power on the control of wimmin’s sexuality and reproductive choice. Patriarchies do this because wimmin’s control over reproduction is the ultimate power in a society; men recognized this and acted (and are still acting) to wrest this control away from wimmin. The maintenance of this power involves keeping wimmin childbearing and rearing, twisting our capacity to bear children into our ordained role.

Addressing overpopulation is not as simple as blaming and shaming those who choose to have children, calling them “breeders,” and calling for “voluntary humyn extinction.” Denigrating the act of humyn reproduction because you’re angry about the overpopulation and over consumption of humyns in the industrialized world might make you feel better, but it is ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst, because it ignores what is really to blame, thus perpetuating the subjugation of wimmin as well as the ethic of domination that is destroying the planet.

A lack of child-bearing and rearing will not stop the machine, or the havoc it wreaks. Sure, we could all stop having children and reduce the population burden, but if capitalist patriarchy is left intact, the planet will fare little better. Nothing short of resisting and stopping the machine itself, the patriarchal ordering of “life,” is going to save this planet. Stopping patriarchy means stopping, not recreating, the disempowerment of wimmin, and you are recreating our disempowerment when you impose political mandates on what we do with our wombs, as opposed to recognizing and resisting our exploiters. I will not exchange one misogynist culture for another. I will not be told not to “breed” or be segregated by my “reactionary” choice to have children (for the record-I don’t have children). I will take responsibility for my choices, I will work to empower other wimmin to make healthy and life-affirming choices and to take their place in our evolutionary potential.

Acting to empower wimmin, as opposed to regulating us, and acting to support our empowerment, on our terms, is an act of liberatory resistance that serves us all, as well as the planet. Try listening to us. To our strategies. To our needs. We do not exist for you to rule. We are finding our own way, battling our desecration and the silencing of our heritage by the “culture” of patriarchy. We are resisting having our very existence being defined and stunted and mutilated by a misogynist society. We do not need your politics to validate our worth or to define our path. And obviously, not all childbearing and rearing arises from or because of the patriarchal machine. There is a myriad of choice, a myriad of biology, the expression of love and community, and the instinct for survival involved here. Try not to forget that certain indigenous and other populations face a very real threat of their own “extinction” and there has been nothing “voluntary” about it. Glorifying the death of the humyn species only reveals your cultural privilege and so please spare me the insipid hatefulness of the “Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.”

When you ignore the rule of capitalist patriarchy, you are scapegoating, and you are scapegoating wimmin.primarily, because the fact is the burden of the pregnancy choice and the reality of abortion lies with the womyn. The antibreeding onus for “zero-population growth” rests upon the womyn. So hear this: Wimmin are not responsible for cleaning up after what is ultimately a make- created mess. To the male misogynist misanthropes, I say: Do your own friggin dishes. Scrub patriarchy. You cannot have your cake (male privilege) and eat it too (moral superiority via politically correct sex).

We must direct our “environmental” resistance with an analysis of the role of patriarchal power, exactly as we need to direct our actions with an acknowledgment of class and colour reality and resistance. These struggles are all intimately connected and the links must be made if we plan on ever truly changing anything. We need to focus on resisting the engineers of overpopulation and those who profit by it, whether in wealth or in social power via keeping wimmin “producing” for their own purposes, (e.g. more consumers, more cannon fodder). Spend your time organizing and preaching and acting against the corporations, the catholic church, and the myriad of minor patriarchs/rapists/ batterers/gay bashers/child molesters. Basically, take your hands and your politics off my womb. I refuse to allow you and Operations Rescue to DICKer over what I should do with it.

— Annie

What’s a women’s blankwall... and who really shot JFK?

It has been over two years since the last EF! women’s blank wall. Some things have changed in the movement, other things remain the same, life is life and just keeps chugging along.

To articulate the theme of a women’s blank wall is no simple task, and to be honest I do not know what it truly is: Is it a space for women to vocalize their criticism of the movement? Is it the appropriate space to discuss women’s issues; some would consider those to be anthropocentric arguments about human interaction... not deep ecology??!! Hmmm... I have given this a lot of thought and have come up with this:

As women in this movement, we have no “theme.” We are activists bound together by a common goal, a common anger, a common obligation, a common understanding—a common gender. We are here—in the woods, in the city, in our homes, our teepees, our squats, our prison cells. But wherever we are, we are angry. We are riled and are striking back with a vengeance; defending what begs our attention. We are all in the same movement, women and men.

So why a women’s blank wall?

Maybe this is just a space to check in. For new activists it is a chance to see what women are thinking, as individuals. It serves as a catalyst for conversation, maybe in opening the lines of communication we can further understand one another’s concerns. ,

Maybe we can listen to each other and one day the battle of the sexes will end in this movement. However, I am not holding my breath, so until then sit back, relax and listen. We speak as Earth First! women in the next four pages, but even before our voices can be heard as women, they must first be heard as individuals. — Michelle

Deep and Wide: Deep Ecology and the Male Ego


Ever wonder why there are so few female deep ecologists? There’s Joanna Macy, a professor of Philosophy and Religion and author of Despair and Empowerment in the Nuclear Age. She was a co-author of Thinking Like A Mountain: Toward A Council of All Beings. Joan Halifax, also an educator and the author of The Fruitful Darkness: Reconnecting with the Body of the Earth explores connections between Buddhism, shamanism and ecology. Deep ecologist Delores LaChapelle author of Sacred Land Sacred Sex takes an ironically severe academic approach to the subjects of wild nature and sex.

What these women have in common is that they have all reached a high level of achievement within the predominantly male academic structure. Other than these few learned women, the field of deep ecology is primarily an arena of men. Maybe women are too busy cleaning up toxic neighborhoods. Let’s take a deeper look at the philosophy called deep ecology.


It is a given that the history of mankind includes women. That is because of the elastic quality of the male ego identity. When an Egyptian pharaoh died, buried with him were his livestock, wives and other valuable possessions. Unfortunately for his extensive entourage, they were experienced by him as an extension of himself. In India to this day when a man dies his wife will be burned alive as part of his cremation ceremony. She is not allowed her own identity separate from him. Not quite so dramatically in our own culture women are expected to play the supporting roles in the dynamic and important lives of men. In their book Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered Bill Devall and George Sessions describe the ever expanding universe of the male ego identity, “...we cease to see ourselves as isolated and narrow competing egos and begin to identify with other humans from our family to, eventually, our species. But the deep ecology sense of self requires a further maturity and growth, an identification which goes beyond humanity to include the non human world.” Like the drug addict, the male ego needs more and more identity just to maintain itself. To grant women, birds and trees our own separate ego identities would be a disaster. It would leave a huge gaping rip in the fragile fabric of the male ego.

Deep ecologists consider the whole of life to suppose that sensitive naze means you think you’re more aware of the beauty of these woods than I am!”

be more precious than its parts. That is because they are the center of this almighty “whole” that is bound together by their own perception of self. Deep ecologist Robinson Jeffers said, “It seems to me that this whole is worthy of the deeper love.” This is a convenient way to avoid taking personal responsibility for your own specific part; a chain, including a food chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If individuals will tend to their own business with integrity the whole will take care of itself. The deep ecologist may take comfort in dragging all that his ego encompasses into his own identity. But like the pharaohs’ dancing girls and goats, wives and.birds, the individuals caught in his snare may not appreciate it.


Gary Snyder said; “A word about poetry—it is to prose as hunting is to agriculture.” Emily Dickenson would never have used that analogy. Snyder however is not alone in equating the killing of animals to poetry or mysticism. Bill Deval and George Sessions in their book Deep Ecology suggest that hunting is a useful activity, they say done with the proper attitude (hunting can encourage maturity of the “ecological self.” Meanwhile, the “ecological self” of the duck who takes the bullet will just be dead. Aldo Leopold in his book A Sand County Almanac describes how he encountered his own “ecological self” in the eyes of a dying mother wolf that he shot. What for him was the moment of enlightenment was for the wolf and her orphaned pups nothing more than a senseless tragedy. Must we kill a being in order to appreciate her?

It is no coincidence that the animal right’s movement as we know it today arose simultaneously with the women’s suffrage movement in the nineteenth century. As women struggle to extract ourselves from masculine ego identity we find that we are in a position to empathize with the birds of the air and the beasts of the field. Women share some common ground with the other creatures over whom man by his own divine right has given himself dominion.


In the new book Deep Ecology in the 21st Century edited by George Sessions, George counters long-standing criticism of deep ecology by ecofeminists and social ecologists. He maintains that ecofeminists and social ecologists just aren’t deep enough to see the whole ecocentric picture. The problem is that ecofeminists and social ecologists get caught up in issues. Wallowing in the murky depths of deep ecology, deep ecologists are in so deep that they can easily avoid any issue that might come to surface. — Peggy Sue McRae

The Curious Disappearance of Sexism

After the celebrated brassiere burnings of the rebellious 1970s, sometime before Hillary Clinton attained “presidential” power, the ugly problem of sexism was solved. Miraculous as it seemed there was finally an absence of oppression. It just Disappeared I University doors flung open; funding poured forth. Womyn were endowed with the reigns of multi-nationals, running the production horses to froth. Female writers and speakers gaveth their forbidden knowledge to the thirsty. And because womyn were freed from the shackles of patriarchy, we assumed responsibility for our own seeming disadvantages. But this was only fair, men had taken the blame for so long.

This sarcasm mocks the delusion that pervades society at large, and often goes unconfronted in our “radical” movement. Obviously, the patriarchal system has yet to forfeit any power, although we have achieved some for ourselves through selfempowerment. Society will be controlled by a power base of rich, white men until the greed and hierarchy which they embody is fully rejected, without COMPROMISE! In the meantime, womyn and all else living, distort instinctual survival actions and mental discourse to accommodate this disease. Unfortunately, womyn often take responsibility for these selfdefeating survival mechanisms.

The opportunities are out there, just go take one for yourself.

In the US: “Women now represent 62% of those living with poverty level incomes and still earn, on average, 60 cents for every dollar earned by a man... Fifty-four percent of all children in families headed by women live in poverty.” The financially disadvantaged womyn is expected to succeed within the facade of opportunity, where she is of less value than the other pawns. She must witness her femininity auctioned off daily by the slime who employ her. Whether or not womyn strive to achieve in the game of the dollar, we are still less successful, making our attempt at survival in the 20th century less viable. Thus, a greater percentage of female energy is consumed by daily survival (read: not activism) than male, because acquiring basic needs is more labor intensive for womyn and their children.

Patriarchy is both ecocide and misogyny. Womyn and nature have been commodified through objectification. This forest is a tree farm. That womyn is a fetus incubator.

Many other forms of oppression are perpetrated by patriarchy. This necessitates the need for diversification of the “radical” environmental movement. This is why womyn who see the root of global destruction in patriarchy know that an imbalance of white, male voices predetermine an oppressive influence. It is not an accident that men are more outspoken in these movements, nor is it the fault of womyn. Men have historically been more educated in writing and oration, but more importantly, more validated and encouraged in these fields. Thus we have an overwhelming number of male voices and a void of female voices within the most widely dispersed radical environmental papers and other propaganda vehicles. Is this imbalance acceptable? Of course not. It is the same imbalance which powers the fellerbuncher.

Consider for a moment the Poor Woman’s movement. “Most of these women have ingrained into their thinking that they are to blame for being poor.They are quick to view themselves as bad women, failures or dependent. But when they break out of their isolation by organizing with similarly situated women, they begin to see their ‘personal problems’ as institutional ones.” These womyn’s politicization is radical by the nature of their class and gender position. In 1 992, at the first Poor Women’s Convention in Oakland, CA, “An angry voice echoes through the hallways of the school where the women have gathered. There’s a rawness to it, something that grabs your full attention because it’s so serious, so desperate.” Seeing the power of corporate influence in politics, these women have not hesitated in protesting companies, despite the inaccessibility of funds for phones, faxes, and bus fare. The instinctual passion these women use to fight for survival is the same powerful feeling that provokes one to defend the Earth from destruction, only there’s no break from work when a urban warzone is your bioregion. Womyn such as these need to be our allies. The time is up for tolerating oppression and elitism within our movement. We need to subvert the domination mindset in order to bring to life the actualization of a partnership society. — Pam Reber

Listen to the water, flowing in the creek
Listen to the Spirit Water as it speaks

Listen to The Rocks, for they speak with strong will
Listen to Spirit Rock, standing still

Listen to the feathered ones, high up in The sky
Listen to the Spirit Eagle flying high

Listen to the wind, blowing on this mountain (through this canyon)
Listen to the Spirit Wind, it touches like a friend

Listen to the trees, swaying in The breeze
Listen to the Spirit Ancient trees

— Launel Sarachek, 1992
The Rebirth
The mother who’s belly is eternally birthing
The mother who’s breasts never cease to produce
The mother who inside must always be yearning for a child who gives back as much as they consume

Rise up

Let the triviality of your $dollar sign god slap you in the face
Do you not see that without the earth you walk on, the air you breathe, the fire you heat with and water you drink
There is no $dollaR sign there is no you
Only ghosts of human existence

We die first

Sleeping dogs awake

The mothers breasts will soon be dry
Her back will soon be broken
Rub your eyes
Stand up and fight.

— Bridgette
I’m told to be reasonable
“think of the economy”
when entire forests are fragmented
to give a temporary job
to a feller-butcher

We’re told that we’re radicals
by opposing multinational
thieves of the tattered remains
of the creator

While the forest dis-service
sells off the land to the highest bidder
To be raped, pillaged, shorn,
they call us radicals

But “radical” is from the roots
where wolverine meets riff raff
Goshawk swoops to protect its home
and we can do no less

Crooked politicians
Try to steal our voice
invalidating pen and ink

laws are nothing but paper
changed upon a whim
controlled by corporate dollars
extracting, poisoning, murdering,
until there’s nothing left

Radical is from the roots
Where wolverine meets riff raff
Goshawk swoops to protect its home
we can do no less

Wild Womyn
Women aren’t sensitive flowers for careless boots
to trample into crushed, weeping stems
Don’t fantasize we’re any more ethereal than you—
we don’t sit on pedestals in the clouds,
Radiantly holy, dressed in white, wearing magic wands
We’re the quite towering mesas you dream op climbing,
The solid boulders you stand on to see a little further,
The long roots reaching down into dark earth,
Reaching out like anyone else,
Grasping you by the ankle so your pace meets the dust,
Arms flung out, flailing air.
We’re the thorny branches catching you as you try to pass,
The swirling river sweeping you off your feet,
Foam and froth carrying you away so you can only drift
In the water’s power
Until you catch hold of a yielding willow bending low
and we’re that willow bending.
But we’re no shiny pebbles to cash in, nor currency—
Nor sinister clutching hands, no conspiracy—
We ain’t no different from you,
Nor if you start from a fanciful figure molded prom clay,
No different from you
If you dream on the back of eagles
Soaring and screaming.

— Raven
Subvert The Gender Paradigm

Recently I was harvesting St. John’s Wort flowers with Faith, my eight year old neighbor. I was noticing the purple speckled streaks on my hands when she asked me, “Dana, are you soft-hearted towards all creatures?” Amused by her question, I answered, “ Yeah, I like to think of myself that way.” I prodded her, curious about her evolving beliefs, “But what exactly do you mean by soft-hearted?” Faith replied, “Well do you believe that all creatures have the right to exist as much as we do?” I slapped a mosquito on my arm and shrugged, “mostly.”

Faith is not a self proclaimed Deep Ecologist or Ecofeminist. She’s a forest sprite who grew up in the woods with an acute sense of the natural world.

Untainted by the dominant TV culture that most of us are survivors of, she embodies a lot of feminine qualities that I believe are warrior’s tools for transcending the very real industrial forces that we must overcome to see a just and vibrant planet flourish.

Admittedly, it is easy to slip into making gender stereotypes and language as we know and use it is often insufficient to discuss the subtleties of gender issues. Our society associates qualities of compassion, nurturing, humbleness, and respect with women and attributes strength, boldness, and assertiveness with men. I am not as concerned about if these qualities are socially conditioned or biologically motivated, as much as I am concerned about how our movement seems to primarily value manly man radical action.

Idealizing militant action and downplaying the need for other forms of activism is a reflection of the dominant paradigm which values conquering and dominance, traits usually associated with masculine and devalues compassion, working together and emotionally sensitivity, traits usually associated with feminine realm. Clearly both men and women can possess qualities of strength, aggressiveness, compassion, and humility. However, we cannot subvert the dominant paradigm by transposing old patriarchal values on our vision of a radical and free world.

This spring at the EF! British Columbia Rendezvous, 1 was reflecting on the tendency in Earth First! often to focus on a single issue or banner like “Save Wilderness.” As though our desire to save wilderness exists outside of our desires to live wild and free, and fight for the liberation of political prisoners and incarcerated wild animals. There seems to be a tendency in Earth First! to view radical environmentalism as solely action (fuck shit up) oriented. Practicing respect and compassion are just as worthy tools for serving the Earth as a monkeywrench and bolt cutters. Clearly organizing, coalition building and guerrilla theater are necessary strategies that compliment night work yet they are often not valued as “radical.” An “I’m more militant than thou” dogmatism precludes respect for the myriad of approaches needed to defend the wild. It is not enough to be a militant wilderness defender. Militant actions exist in a vacuum if we do not understand the realms where our actions resonate. Operation Rescue “Lifesavers” blockading an abortion clinic is a militant act. Hey and why the hell does everyone assume the Unabomber is a militant man? Plenty of radical femmes have facial hair and wear kaffias and glacier glasses. Women are not just victims of militant acts, we are often the culprits of a radicalism that promotes action and outreach, ethics and spirit. But I digress, our militancy and convictions about our role as genuine lifesaving warriors on this planet are fruitless if we are not open to learning from the diversity that surrounds us.

We talk rather starry-eyed about celebrating diversity in nature. Yet we are often intolerant of diverse opinions within our own movement. If we cannot respect the differences amongst ourselves and potential allies it seems unlikely that we can appreciate the diversity of social justice movements, as well as racial, sexual, cultural and spiritual diversity.

In our earth based tribe we are all kin, all brothers and sisters, all human animals. We are wild animals frothing at the mouth, rolling in the mud and running through the woods. And when we slam into each other naked and free, we need to bear totems of reverence and respect truly to serve the Earth and each other as gentle warriors.

— Dana

Since the time of the big split in the Earth First! movement — with “Formanistas” creating “Wild Earth”; and the side prone to appreciating the role of cultural diversity and a holistic strategic approach at attacking root causes of wilderness destruction retaining the name “Earth First” — there has been increasing vindication of the latter course of action, and the inclusion of Anarchists, “queers”, people of color, ozone depletion, global warming, environmental racism, nuclear issues, ocean issues, etc. into our fold of comrades and concerns. Look about you—we obviously can’t rely on government to save wilderness. The right wing has thoroughly entrenched its power (as was predictable from our success in creating substantive pressure but failing to appeal effectively to the average deluded, technologically pacified wage slave). Now we see all federal environmental laws being scrapped and with them the demise of any legal recourse for fighting public lands grazing and mass scale “salvage” logging.

So who do we have to appeal to? Ourselves? We’re not enough. Individually, progressive movements for change in this country have been failing—sure, there have been victories on brush fires along the way, but the overall direction has been escalating loss of wild lands, biodiversity, species and whole ecosystems with it a fascist pendulum swing increasing racism, homophobia, anti-environmentalism and a societal mania for scapegoating. It’s time to make common cause with the other “scapegoats” who fight for a saner way of life. We may, at first, stand alone in holding the monkey wrenches and more fully comprehending the meaning and significance of biocentrism. But our pride in this has often become cliquish arrogance, preventing us from working effectively across movements and recruiting new energy. It is important to remember that many of us had fairly privileged early lives, including greater access to education, which gives us advantage in developing our political analysis and radicalizing our strategy. But it may leave us clueless when it comes to communicating with folks who have not had such advantages. That communication is essential. With Corporate dominance over communities and ecosystems as a root cause of our current environmental and social problems, then imagine what a transformation could be wrought if the various progressive movements worked together under the general theme and goal of ending Corporate dominance. Of course there are pitfalls to be avoided with this as with any grand plan.

One pitfall is that not everyone is ready for this yet, many are still thinking in terms of reform rather than abolition and revolution. However, most activists can agree with the basic premise that corporate power is abusive, excessive and must be confronted. The real judgment call is not whether those who don’t quite see the whole picture yet can participate; but, how much energy should be expended on whom to elicit their help. Another probable pitfall is that we often see no alternative to the larger realities into which we were born. Other aspects of this are sexism, racism, homophobia, and general arrogance, elitism and power hoarding within the movement. The means should match the ends. If we are truly involved in a revolutionary movement, we must think about what the new life will look like on the other side of the struggle once the old paradigm is vanquished. The divisive concept of “other” is particularly strong in this society. It is internally liberating to share in the lives of those unlike you—perhaps you will even find yourself becoming one of “them” in some way—in order to be able to relate to others who are oppressed or share outrage at the oppression of the living earth.

Womyn hold a key to the way out of the morass as they have been systematically oppressed and thus may have an easier time understanding and relating to others who have been oppressed than many men. For instance, since I was fifteen, I was aggressively pursued like prey—or an object—by at least five men who obviously intended to attack and rape me. On top of this was a great deal of emotional abuse culminating in a sexual advance by a male authority figure in my “family” when I was young. This is not to mention all the blatant and subtle forms of sexism surrounding me for my entire life. Yet, I got off easy compared to many womyn who have been physically and/or emotionally abused by almost every dominant male figure in their lives. Where does this lead? With me it led to internal rebellion and retreat to the wild, guiding me to a lifelong commitment to biocentrism and activism. Womyn have a few advantages over men from how we are raised in this society. For example, we have emotions that give us great strength, we have deep supportive friendships with other womyn (men often have trouble achieving this with other men) and we have an ability to be aware of subtle emotional nuances in social settings. This perception of what’s going on in the whole room or the whole campaign is less blocked by tunnel vision pride of self (ego) and competitiveness that characterize many men’s interactions with each other and the movement.

One way to overcome such “tunnel vision” may be to dare to be more open emotionally and sexually. Society builds walls between and inside us; our business is to tear them down. This means opening our inner selves to hurt—only through vulnerability (carefully chosen) can we honestly face and dismantle our deepest personal insecurities. Facing these fears fully and working them down to scrapbook memories of an old self can result in a stronger activist emerging, more prepared to do whatever needs to be done, happier and more at peace and joy to face the greatest threats to ourselves and the earth creatively, keeping always at least one step ahead of the Patriarchal maniacal thugs of the dominant (diminishing!) paradigm in the dance of revolution, the dance of life continuing.

— Raven

A Real Profile of the Women I Respect

This space was originally set aside to profile women—women of other movements along with EF!—women that have made a difference. Originally, we wanted this to be a source of inspiration, a spot to realize the work of these women. We were hoping to “honor” them and the achievements they have made in their movements.

After a few days of trying to write brief bio’s, it became apparent that it was hard to condense the work of these women into less than 300 words, and 200 words seemed an insult. When we compared notes, we debated “who” should be profiled; a petty comparison of accomplishments. There was conflict about who was “too well-known” to deserve a bio, but then there were others that were so well known that they had to have a bio (there is always etiquette).

Suddenly it dawned on me that we had essentially defeated the purpose of the profiles. I realized that this spot, right here that you are reading, was supposed to be a source of inspiration.

So, instead of six bio’s at 300 words a piece, I instead ask you to think of people that have influenced your activism. There may be men in those images of influence, but that’s OK.

In that flood of faces that just breezed over you, did you see one woman, ten women? Think of them now, honor them. They do not have to be EF! women, there are no rules to this, they are simply women that make you smile, make you feel warm, make you feel at ease. These are the women I want to honor.

Don’t be surprised if someone is thinking of you in this little practice of remembrance. I think that we do not give ourselves enough credit for affecting another life. Right now, as you honor your mentor, someone else is honoring you. If you do not believe me, or think it not possible... then I will prove you wrong.

As I write this I am honoring all of the women on this planet that wake up each morning to the thankless task of having a conscience. To all of you I lower my head and give thanks.

I honor the millions of you in my heart, now and always, instead of honoring six with a picture and 300 words. —Michelle

Book List
  • The Death of Nature
    Carolyn Merchant

  • Gyn/Ecology
    Mary Daly

  • Women and Nature
    Susan Griffin

  • Reweaving the Web
    Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein

  • The Sexual Politics of Meat
    Carol J. Adam

  • Sacred Land, Sacred Sex Delores LaChapelle

  • Healing The Wounds: The Promise of EcoFeminism (compilation)

The evolution of a word

The old ways:
lady, miss, ma’am,madam,
gal, honey, broad, dame,
skirt, girl, lass

The PC version:

women, wommin,
womyn, wimmin, womon
wymn,wymin, wimin,

and wymyn

The latest versions:
babe, chick, girl, bitch,
hon, sister and names of
other assorted body parts


Hag Rag

This anarcho-feminist publication has extended it’s deadline... so, now you have no excuse. Articles, artwork and anything else is welcome. $$ is always needed to cover costs of mailing... hint-hint. POB 183, Harmony, ME 04061.


Remember the one that got away? Well we caught it... with feeling. LWOD # 4 will be a women’s issue. You thought Lorena Bobbitt was scary, hold onto your—well you know—you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Send anything you damn well please. No holds barred. We will be running a personals section, so send in your tantalizing profile. POB 1020, Berkeley, CA 94701.

If you are wondering who you can blame this whole thing on, it goes something like this:
Darryl, Pam, Kimba, Michelle, and all the contributors.


The Unabomber: Up Close and Personal — Spring

Leslie Hemstreet

In an attempt to explain the motives of the Unabomber, some of the mainstream media attempted to link Earth First! and the environmental movement to Theodore Kaczynski upon his capture. Using thinly spun threads of spurious evidence from self-appointed EF! investigator Barry Clausen, ABC World News Tonight started several rumors about Earth First! that spread through the media like a child’s game of “telephone” gone bad. The New York Times later added dirt to the mudslide.

What got muttered into the public ear courtesy of ABC was that Theodore Kaczynski was on an FBI list of people who attended a meeting also attended by “top EF! members” and that the Unabomber got two targets in a “radical environmental journal.” In reality, the meeting was an Native Forest Network conference attended by over 400 people and the “targets” were from the tongue-in-cheek “Eco-Fuckers Hit List” from ecoanarcho ‘zine Live Wild or Die (See “Open Letter to ABC News” on page 26). In spite of the compromised factual nature of this report, other media sources accepted the information as fact, drew the conclusions insinuated and repeated the story, convoluting it along the way. By the time the information made it all the way around the telephone circle, Theodore Kaczynski had attended an Earth First! meeting where he received a directive on two of his hits from Earth First’s “enemies” list. This appeared as fact in so many national papers, an inventory here would be unwieldy. We had calls from all over the country saying “I heard on my radio station/TV broadcast/read in my newspaper/etc. that y’all are connected to the Unabomber.”

The New York Times (NYT) participated in the rumormongering with a slightly more convincing posture of journalistic integrity. After mentioning that the Unabomber’s writings “seem to parallel” the EF! Journal’s (EF!J) NYT pointed out that the Unabomber targeted Burson-Marsteller (B-M) about nine months after EF! printed an article criticizing them. Both our article and the Unabomber’s letter to NYT criticized B-M for helping Exxon clean up their image after the Valdez oil spill. Burson-Marsteller claims that, while they may have worked for Exxon, it had nothing to do with the oil disaster. The NYT implied that the only place the Unabomber could’ve gotten his information was from EF!J because of the parallel “mistake.” Other media sources extrapolated that the Unabomber got information from EF!) and used it as a directive. In reality, the article was a reprint from No Sweat News. Covert Action Quarterly, citing the Canadian Vancouver Sun, printed a similar article around the same time. The information originated from a 1992 publication “The Greenpeace Book of Green wash.”

In his letter to NYT, the Unabomber spells Burson “Burston,” an error not printed in any of the above publications. He also emphasized that he targeted B-M for their contribution to “thought control” and human rights abuses. Of course, the press would not publish any facts that did not support their theory that he draws inspiration from EF!.

The NYT is no great research tank. We volunteered the information about our B-M article because we have nothing to hide; watchdogging corporations is not yet a crime in the US. They were a shred more accurate than ABC because at least the part that we printed an article about B-M was factually true.

For every media source that repeated the B-M connection, we received at least ten phone calls from journalists with enough integrity to fact check. Most dropped the B-M angle, once they found out that EF! wasn’t the source of some unique information making a connection undeniable.

Disturbingly, every reporter seemed to unquestioningly swallow B-M’s disassociation from the oil spill as truth. If part of their strategy to help Exxon’s image was to never mention the Valdez spill, their disclaimer could be a lie by omission.

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Inside

Some of the negative coverage came out of the paper with the cereal box design — you know, to make for comfortable breakfast-time reading — USA Today and their parent company Gannett. Two of their syndicated columnists, Linda Chavez, ex-cabinet member from the Reagan administration, and Cal Thomas, a former publicist for Jerry Falwell, hijacked the bandwagon, repeating the ABC and NYT reports with a personal flair. Instead of merely possibly attending the same public conference, Earth First! was practically seen at a molotov cocktail party with the Unabomber. Our hit-lists are apparently not even as dangerous as our eco-sabotage how-to manual that includes instructions for “making explosives.”

Chavez let it fly with outright lies in-, eluding that, in the early 80s, we “puttjj metal spikes in trees and on roads to injure loggers and road crews in wilderness areas.” In reaching for violent rhetoric, she gets in a time machine and goes back to a Dave Foreman speech from 1983 “in which he inveighed, ‘The blood of timber executives is my natural drink, and the wail of dying forest supervisors is music to my ears.’” That quote was from a tall tale by Foreman, part of a standard speech he’s given hundreds of times. He adopts the “Pecos Bill” persona to illustrate, ironically enough, how rhetoric is not sufficient to protect biodiversity.

Chavez tries to link EF! to the murder of California Forestry Association’s Gilbert Murray by pointing out that the bomb was addressed to the organization’s former name, Timber Association of California, just like in EF! faction-produced, Live Wild or Die. She avoids mentioning that the fatal package was addressed to Bill Dennison, former president, not Roberta Anderson as named in Live Wild or Die.

Chavez’ sickest gesture was saying that we have a baby-killer philosophy so we must’ve inspired the Unabomber to kill a pediatrics professor. Plus, she wants to reopen an investigation of a crude pipe bomb sent to a pediatrics specialist. She speculates that if the Unabomber doesn’t turn out to be the perpetrator, “perhaps a Page 26 Earth First! Beltane I 996

less talented radical environmentalist put the bomb together.” She goes back to a 1986 Miss Ann Thropy EF.‘J article discussing how changes in infant mortality have impacted population growth for her evidence.

The Right’s Revenge Chavez and Thomas were the first trickle of a flood of whining from the right-wing press about how the left-biased media jumped all over the possible influence of hate radio, militias and rightwing ideologies over Timothy McVeigh but would not draw the same connections between left-wing environmentalists and the Unabomber.

There is a huge difference between scrutinizing and decontextualizing EF! to come up with violent rhetoric and quoting the violent rhetoric actually emanating from right-wingers and wise-users. James Watt may not have said that he eats environmentalists for breakfast, but he did say that sometimes the cartridge box is more effective than the (ballot box.

Another difference is that the militias and Timothy McVeigh were both armed. The Unabomber was armed but Earth First! never has been. When I argued this point with Chuck! Adler on his TV talk show out of Boston (we apparently don’t have a trademark on the exclamation point), he pointed out that the militias also claim to be nonviolent. So I would just like to say for the record that we here at Earth First!™ are the kind of nonviolent who don’t stockpile and brandish weapons. Plus let’s face it, whatever rhetoric we are putting out there, Rush Limbaugh with his big piles of money reaches a lot more people than my beloved little Earth First! Journal.

To conclude that because EF! and the Unabomber share a few elements of a philosophy, we must also share tactics does not follow logically. Especially because dedication to nonviolence is a pervasive part of the EF! philosophy. Additionally, the Unabomber owns our writings and disowns our tribe in his 35,000word manifesto. The press only picked up on the “...if you read the radical environmental and anarchist journals...” part.

To put it simply, there is no connection. According to the Dallas Morning News, sources in the Justice Department stated that evidence gathered from Kaczynski’s cabin “indicate research” into environmental issues, but “no direct link to any radical group or movement.”

To even identify the Unabomber as environmentally motivated is stretching it. Of his 26 victims, only two had any environmental connection.

Debunked Some Myths

Although we considered it a victory when the story got “killed,” some of the press actually behaved in an endearing manner. KEZI, our local ABC affiliate ran a lovely story in which they were surprisingly none-too-kind to ABC World News Tonight. New York’s Newsday, found out that the mysterious FBI list of names was actually something that Barry Clausen allegedly gave to the FBI after getting it from, he claims, a friend in law enforcement. The Washington Post, ran a story called “Eco-Maniac or Madman?” which aired and debunked almost every allegation against us. These are just highlights. We had hours and hours worth of opportunities to talk to the press and set them straight about EF! monster myths.

Three weeks after the initial ABC report, just when we thought it was safe to have something better to do than defend ourselves from a press hungry for stink and blinded by the color yellow, an editorial repeating every above-mentioned allegation emanated from the Boston Globe and oozed into at least two California newspapers. Jeff Jacoby’s story, “Eco Fringe Escapes Blame,” opens with the sentence, “That perfect silence you hear is the environmental movement not being blamed for the crimes of the Unabomber.” It repeats the two ABC innuendoes as fact, moves on to discuss the B-M connection, then talks about the media’s double standard. I just want to say one thing to you Mr. Jacoby: “NPR.” That’s right. Even National Pub

lic Radio ran their version of a hit piece on us. The teaser, repeated on the radio throughout the day was this: “Far-right radical groups like the militia and separatists have given pause to the US, but now there may be a link between inflammatory environmentalist rhetoric and the suspected Unabomber.” Yes, this piece from the “alternative” public media was as bad as the teaser indicates and just like ABC, they used Barry Clausen as their source.

Rumors are flying that this alleged link between EF! and the Unabomber will be used to justify an FBI investigation into EF! as domestic terrorists. USA Today quoted former California Forestry Association president Bill Dennison, whose name appeared on the package that killed Gilbert Murray. He said, “I’d like to see a legislative hearing. The Unabomber’s philosophy is only one step removed from the more radical writings of Earth First!”

The rumors died down after a couple of weeks. I think we’re out of the hot seat for now, but we should stay alert so we don’t soundbite off more than we can chew.

Just when I thought I was losing my sense of humor about the whole thing, I read the London Daily Telegraph’s version of what happened. They clearly got their information straight from the Sahara Club’s home page (http://www.aloha.net/ -pjc/green/unabomb-ef.hmtl) which lays out the links between Earth First! and the Unabomber. Even though most of what the Telegraph wrote about EF!s activities was just like a Stephen King horror novel, I closed my eyes for a minute to pretend one thing that they said was true: They wrote that the Earth First! Journal has 15,000 subscribers.

The Framing of Earth First!

Radical environmentalists and the Unabomber: a terrorist connection? For a week the phones were ablaze here at the Journal office, with media outlets across the country demanding an answer. The last time Earth First! received as much national press was when Judi and Darryl were bombed. The mainstream press at that time dutifully reported the FBI’s story that Judy and Darryl blew themselves up (I still meet people whose only knowledge of Earth First! is as “the ones who nearly killed themselves with their own bomb”).

Such slander hampers our ability to reach people with our message, reinforcing the status quo. When we are marginalized as terrorists it not only deflects criticism of corporate malfeasance away from the real criminals, it hinders our ability to communicate such criticism.

The public will not believe Earth Firstl’s environmental message if it perceives us as an extremist fringe element.

The misperception of Earth First! as terroristic was no doubt strengthened by the McCarthyite linking of Earth First! to the Unabomber. What effect such slander will have on our activism this summer is yet to be seen. It seems likely, though, that our foes will attempt to exploit the connection to marginalize us, and that the public is well-primed to accept that lie.

Bearing this in mind, it seems to me we should be extra careful to not behave in ways that could allow us to be portrayed in a violent or dehumanizing fashion. Activists might want to lay off the camo at public actions; the connotation of camouflage is too militaristic for Joe and Jill Six-Pack. Likewise, wearing masks at civil disobedience actions makes it look like we have something to hide, and makes it easier for the public to dehumanize us. If you want to use a pseudonym, say for purposes of jail solidarity, use a believable one. Calling yourself “Bark Beetle” or “Pine Fresh Scent” sounds flaky.

One of the problems I see with Earth First! activism is that we sometimes confuse civil disobedience’s role. Physically stopping destruction is not civil disobedience’s strength. The strength of civil disobedience is its announcement to society of an injustice. Hopefully, the CD will generate enough outrage and political pressure to reverse the situation. Viewed in such a context, it would be silly not to appeal to as broad an audience as possible and stupid to allow yourself to be easily marginalized.

Another problem is that we often measure the success of an action by how much media it garnered. A better measure of success, though, is to assess how well the coverage projected our message. Did we come across as having legitimate gripes or as a fringe interest group? Did our story resonate with people or alienate them? Were we portrayed as courageous s/heroes putting our bodies on the line to prevent a grave injustice, or as violent terrorists seeking to put honest people out of work?

Since I’m on my soapbox, I’ll mention that sometimes we seem to let anger replace strategy in our activism. Direct actions can then become little more than platforms to vent, rather than calculated appeals for support. Anger is healthy, even appropriate, but it must be directed in a positive fashion.

None of the above should be construed as a call to retreat to some form of namby-pamby liberalism, afraid to offend people’s sensibilities. If people’s sensibilities are destroying the earth we’ve no choice but to confront them. But this confrontation should not be gratuitous, and as much as pbssible should not be sanctimonious. People are more inclined to listen that way.

— Craig Beneville

An Open Letter to ABC Network News — Spring

Craig Beneville

Editor’s note — The Earth First! Journal sent the following to ABC News April 8 and many other media sources thereafter. We also posted it widely on the internet.

On Friday, April 5, the ABC news program World News Tonight with Peter Jennings aired a report linking the non-violent environmental group Earth First! with Theodore Kaczynski, the alleged Unabomber. The piece was riddled with distortions and inaccuracies, and can only be described as a hit piece on Earth First! and the environmental movement. ABC’s sensationalistic coverage has done serious damage to the reputation of the Earth First! movement, based on the word of Barry Clausen, an individual employed by the timber industry.

The ABC hit piece begins with footage of an Earth First! protest circa 1988. A group of people are shown in the midst of a chaotic scene of violence; fists are flying, people are screaming. The imagery, which sets the stage for the rest of the piece, is clear: these people are violent, crazed extremists. The real story behind this footage, however, provides quite a different context. That day, two protestors, in an act of civil disobedience, had locked themselves by the neck to a logging road gate. In the moments just prior to the footage aired, these activists had been

attacked by loggers, and were dragged by their necks in an attempt to open the gate. The decontextualized footage aired by ABC showed other activists attempting to intervene in order to protect their friends. The person throwing punches was one of the loggers, although ABC does not mention this.

ABC bases its allegation of a Unabomber-Earth First! link on two flimsy pieces of information. The first is Kaczynski’s alleged presence at, as ABC calls it, “a meeting which top level leaders of Earth First! attended, at the University of Montana.” In fact, this “meeting” was actually an environmental conference sponsored by the Native Forest Network, a grassroots environmental group working to protect temperate forests worldwide. Over 400 people attended, including environmentalists from Poland, Scotland, England, Chile, Mexico, Canada and Australia. Even representatives from the US Forest Service attended the conference. Activists associated with Earth First! also attended the event, but had no role in the conference proceedings. Kaczynski’s alleged presence at the conference (his name does not appear on the conference registration list) links him to Earth First! no more than it links him to the US Forest Service.

(The most interesting fact presented in the story, completely glossed over by ABC, was news of an FBI

list of conference attendees. Is attending environmental conferences an activity now considered suspicious by our government? The November, 1994, conference occurred before excerpts of the Unabomber manifesto were released which linked the Unabomber to environmentalism.)

The second piece of information is ABC’s contention that two of the Unabomber’s victims were on “Eco-Fuckers Hit List” published by, in ABC’s words, “a radical environmental journal.” (This is the motto in the masthead of the Earth First! Journal.) A quick shot of the hit-list page was followed by a quote from Leslie Hemstreet, a member of the editorial staff of the Earth First! Journal. In thequote, Hemstreet says something like “We cannot be held responsible for what Theodore Kaczynsky may have done with any information he may have gotten from us, because if he had read our journal thoroughly, he would’ve seen that we are completely dedicated to nonviolence.”

The inference could not be clearer: The Earth First! Journal published the hit list. Yet this is false, and ABC knew that it was false. (An underground anarchist/environmental publication called Live Wild Or Die actually printed the hit list.) Roxanne Bezjian, the freelance reporter who interviewed Hemstreet for ABC, told the Journal after complaints about the coverage that she made it very clear to Brian Ross and Dave Rommel, the correspondent and producer of the piece, respectively, that the Journal had not printed the hit list. And while ABC never directly says the Earth First! Journal printed the list, the inference was strong enough to provoke phone calls to the Earth First! Journal office with people screaming that we are terrorists directly responsible for the Unabomber’s actions.

ABC further distorted the story by claiming that both of the victims appeared on the hit-list roster. The two corporations that ABC is referring to as appearing on the list (the list was composed of corporations) are the California Forestry Association and Exxon. Thomas Mosier, one of the Unabomber’s victims that ABC cites as being part of the hit list, worked not for Exxon, but for the public relations firm Burson-Marstellar. ABC claims that Mosier was connected to Exxon because Exxon was a client of Burson-Marstellar. However, Burson-Marstellar, one of the largest public relations firms in the world, has numerous clients. Whether Mosier ever worked on anything related to Exxon is unclear.

Perhaps the most outrageous aspect of the hit piece is ABC’s source of information, Barry Clausen, who appears in the piece. Clausen is a paid informant of the timber industry whose livelihood de pends on an audience interested in Earth First!. Clausen has made a cottage industry for himself travelling to rural areas on speaking engagements paid for by “wise use” groups and the timber industry. The subject of his speeches is his claimed infiltration of Earth First!, and how Earth First! “terrorists” are attempting to destroy jobs, the economy and the whole of civilization.

Barry Clausen is not a credible source. He is a wannabe informant who has been rejected as unreliable by every law enforcement agency he has tried to work with. These include the Sheriffs of both Park County and Madison County in Montana, the US Forest Service in Montana, Washington and California, the US Marshall and the FBI. Clausen has also been rejected by private agencies including a private investigator in Seattle, Washington, and the securtity department of McDonald’s hamburger chain.

FBI agent Horace Newborn, in charge of the Domestic Terrorism Unit at the FBI’s headquarters in Washington DC, also characterizes Clausen as unreliable. In a sworn deposition Newborn stated about Clausen, “I think what we did is we did some other agency checks with Clausen. His name came up in other places, and we did some other agency checks, and they said he was not reliable.”

This rejection (except Newborn’s) is documented in Clausen’s own book, Walking on the Edge: How I Infiltrated Earth First!, published by the Washington Contract Loggers Association, either in the form of direct conversations or by the agencies’ refusal to grant Clausen and his partner Joanne immunity.

ABC’s portrayal of Earth First! as violent is totally contradicted by the history of Earth First! activism. In the sixteen years since Earth Firstl’s formation the only people to have been injured as a result of Earth First! activities have been Earth First!ers themselves. Earth First! activists have all too often been the victims of violence. Activists have had their houses burned down, been shot at, and beaten up. In 1990, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were bombed in their car while organizing for Redwood Summer, an Earth First! campaign to protect California’s redwoods. (Their lawsuit against the FBI for wrongful prosecution and harrassment is still pending.) ABC’s irresponsible portrayal of Earth First! as violent terrorists legitimates such heinous attacks.

The damage done by ABC’s hit piece on Earth First! is tremendous. Hard working environmental activists, who regularly place their bodies on the line to protect the earth, should not be subjected to such blather. This is especially true in light of the “logging without laws” timber salvage rider, which makes salvage logging operations above the law on US public lands. We have better things to do with our time than respond to such outrageous allegations.

The Earth First! Journal is asking for people to call and write World News Tonight to complain about ABC’s irresponsible, sensationalistic reporting. You can reach ABC at 47 W. 66th, New York, NY 10023; (212) 456–4040; e-mail: newsaol@ccabc.com.

Earth First! and Native Alliance Halts Cutting at Enola Hill — Spring

Mark Lipeanq & Sue Nackoney

“These two must be world record lockdown artists,” observed a dismayed Freddy as two EF! activists used lockboxes to close a US Forest Service gate at Enola Hill on the southwest slopes of Mt. Hood, Oregon.

The two tree-huggers-turned-gate-huggers were among 68 activists arrested in a month of protests at Enola Hill, an area of Native American spiritual and cultural significance and a likely candidate for inclusion on the National Historic Register.

The 253-acre timber sale has been an issue of controversy since its initial planning in 1980. The sale was finally released for sale under the infamous Salvage Rider. The federal temporary restraining order, which halted logging due to potential damages to cultural resources, was removed on April 23. In response, EF!ers arrived the next day to place our own temporary restraining order on the gate.

Thus began the latest direct action campaign to defend an area which the Yakima, Warm Springs and Nez Perce traditional people regard as sacred due to a millennia of use as a vision quest site, a medicine gathering area, and place where healing ceremonies are held. Enola Hill lies about 45 miles southeast of Portland, adjacent to the Mt. Hood Wilderness Area and Zig Zag Mountain. The hill rises to 3200 feet and is home to a native forest of cedar, hemlock and Douglas fir.

The terrain here is steep, and the forested slopes protect stream habitat for various amphibians and some of the last runs of wild coho salmon. These forests also provide habitat for eagle, hawk, owl, cougar, bobcat, coyote, deer, elk, bear and wolverine. It is in this area that the magnificent cascades of Spirit Horse Falls look out to a mostly unbroken corridor of forest in the Zig Zag area along US Highway 26.

This is a place where, according to Yakima legend, the red-tailed hawk and raven put aside their instinctive animosity and coexist harmoniously. Such events are the very substance of their prophecy; a prophecy that people from all walks of life would come together to protect Enola Hill, and one that proved true.

Earth First!‘s initial involvement at Enola Hill was back in 1992, when the Forest Service allowed privately-owned land there to be logged. This kicked off a series of protests and lockdowns where 27 people were arrested and a powerful Native American presence stood in support.

The Forest Service continues to disregard eloquent and heartfelt Native American testimony as to the sacredness of the area, denying that logging activities desecrate what is to traditional people the equivalent of a church or a temple. The Freddies’ latest excuse for desecrating this sacred land is provided by the “forest health” Salvage Rider. Their propaganda claims that laminated root rot ( phillinus wieirii ) necessitates logging. This supposedly renegade fungus only travels at a rate of two feet per year and is a native species that facilitates natural succession and forest diversity.

Native Americans, Earth Firstlers and local supporters set up a peace camp to move beyond the rhetoric of the timber wars. From the start, we established a code of nonviolence, and we prohibited property destruction. The camp, situated on the banks of the Zig Zag River, provided a staging area for direct action, despite the omnipresent law enforcement. Before the camp’s tarps were even hung, the Freddies were patrolling, taking down license plate numbers, filming all the visitors and generally trampling over everyone’s civil rights.

Despite the high level of surveillance and harassment, many successful actions were pulled off. One night, under tight Security, a second lockdown occurred on the same gate as the first action. Daring EF! activists dashed out of the trees to lock the gate shut, subjecting it once again to the flame of the Freddies’ blowtorch. Anil other action involved defying the closure and entering the logging units. The chainsaws were silent on Enola Hill that day.

Many activists chose not to cooperate with the arresting force and were carried out on stretchers to the waiting jail bus. Many were dragged, dumped and otherwise roughly handled as the Forest Service and Clackamas County Sheriff’s SWAT team displayed their frustration over the successful disruption of logging operations.

A later action involved locking down to a departing log truck as it exited a closure gate, which blocked the main highway access. Rain-drenched protesters stood for hours holding signs and banners at the truck entrance while the ever-present law enforcement watched intently at first, disinterestedly soon thereafter. Eventually, their eyelids grew heavy with boredom. Then, SHAZAM!, like greased lightning, people blocked a departing log hearse while lockdown artists secured themselves to its belly.

The snoozing Freddies were perturbed, to put it mildly.

Among the ranks of those arrested were several grandmothers, high school students and others who defy the media’s portrayal of protesters as fringe-element radicals. The media, however, seemed intent on portraying these acts of civil disobedience as the acts of maverick lawbreakers and terrorists. To flavor the sensationalist story, one station showed scenes of our peaceful protest interspersed with footage of the Oklahoma City bombing. Then they tried to connect us to the Unabomber and to associate our intent with that of Islamic Jihad.

The Forest Service did their utmost to marginalize us as well. Their spokesperson informed the media that they feared encounters with environmentalists and were even afraid to be seen wearing government uniforms in public. The Forest Service and Clackamas Sheriff Department personnel showed up in bullet-proof jackets and with a SWAT team for backup. German shepherds patrolled the closure and camouflaged Freddies hid in the forest. In Orwellian fashion, peaceful protesters were portrayed as violent terrorists.

The Portland chapter of WALL (Witness Against Lawless Logging) organized large rallies in Portland and near Enola Hill. This included one of the largest rallies yet against the Salvage Rider, where nearly a thousand people assembled to witness the devastation caused by logging on Enola. Another rally motivated 200 people to enter the closure area and view a clearcut the Forest Service repeatedly refers to as a selective cut.

Native Americans from Warm Springs, Yakima and the First Nations Survival Support Network visited the camp frequently to express deep gratitude and to offer prayers for our well being and the success of our efforts. Earth Firstlers from Olympia to Areata left their own pressing issues to assist us with person power, equipment, skills and experience.

Other forms of support included the Ancient Forest Hotline, a local and free 800 phone number staffed by volunteers. The hotline was updated daily to provide news of upcoming and ongoing actions,

as well as to solicit items the camp needed. Community sponsored KBOO radio in Portland was unrivaled in its dedicated coverage of Enola Hill activities. Their remote coverage of protests included a live broadcast of activists shutting down cutting.

Many trees have been killed at Enola Hill, and the surrealistic sight of helicopter-borne trees whizzing over the forest canopy continues. The earth trembles daily with the crashing reverberations of trees being cut off the steep slopes.

Despite the death culture’s desecration of this sacred site on Wy ‘East (Mt. Hood), undeniable gains were made by the supporters of Enola Hill. Alliances were strengthened as environmentalists stood again in solidarity with Native Americans. The fortitude and conviction of the growing community will persevere long after the helicopters and chainsaws have departed.

Many peace camp activists have already relocated and are preparing for a summer on the Salvage Rider circuit, working as the paramedics of the environmental movement. Earth First! has once again shown a willingness to step in when all other recourse has failed, and has taken action inspirational in reaching a wider community of people.

Mt. Hood remains standing, the presiding deity over its forests and wounded slopes. The community that supports it must continue to grow and have courage to stand together in its defense.

Barry Clausen: Flim-flam man or Private Dick? — Spring

James Barnes

For a long time the radical environmental movement, Earth First! in particular, figured that if it ignored Barry Clausen, he’d go away. The movement was wrong. In fact, this professional snitch has been (and I hate to give him any cause for selfsatisfaction) almost single-handedly responsible for the bad press Earth First! has gotten in the past couple years. So, it is time for us to deal with him.

Until recently, he’s been merely an irritant, and often a source of amusement, falling all over himself to paint us as baby-eating terrorists to wide-eyed Wise-Users, making up stories and spelling our names wrong. Since Theodore Kaczynski was arrested on suspicion of being the Unabomber, though, things have changed. EF! has had to counter an avalanche of innuendo about our “connection” to the Unabomber and Clausen is the main source of this misinformation. People are being threatened — called murderers and so on — just as we approach a new season of unprecedented public lands destruction and the subsequent upsurge in direct action protests all over the country. We can’t continue to have nonviolent activists placed at risk because of Clausen’s damned lies.

An Informer’s History

Barry Clausen admits in his book, Walking on the Edge, that his love affair with law enforcement began when he was busted for grand theft auto at the age of sixteen. From there he spent much of his time doing coke in Montana, working an assortment of jobs and trying to get close to movie stars. He turned to narcing after a cocaine smuggling deal in Texas went sour, sending him running to the l Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

The DEA wouldn’t believe his tale, but Barry was apparently so thrilled by all the leather and guns that he went straight to the sheriffs of Park and Madison counties in Montana and offered himself as a stool pigeon. The sheriffs set him up with body wires but only a couple of busts came down as a result. The cops later testified that they thought Clausen “unreliable” and “working both sides,” so Barry’s career as an undercover drug agent came to an end.

Meanwhile, Barry was working as a seasonal Forest Service employee. It was also during this time that was charged with felony theft of an automatic rifle. Clausen later retaliated with a lawsuit targeting just about every law enforcement agency and individual he ever worked with, thus producing some interesting depositions. Barry doesn’t seem to realize how pathetic these things make him look, so he describes them thoroughly in his book.

In 1989, Barry Clausen was introduced to Bruce Vincent, founder of the Wise Use group Communities for a Great Northwest. According to Barry, this was when he first heard of Earth First!.

In Deep Cover

Under contract from some unnamed group (Communities for a Great Northwest, I imagine), Clausen went to work “infiltrating” Earth First!. He visited the Montana EF! contingent and weirded them out, telling different cover stories to activists in Bozeman and Missoula, and generally getting himself classified as a wingnut.

He never really figured EF! out, so he still refers to one EF!er as “the head of Montana Earth First!” and another as the “publisher of Live Wild or Die and former head of Earth First! Washington.” His account engages in some stylin’ libel such as a photo caption which reads: “This helicopter was torched by Earth First! terrorists in Montana.”

Since he couldn’t actually get any Montana EF!ers to do any copter-burning, or other crimes, Barry went off to Seattle to work for the Washington Contract Loggers Association as a private eye (despite the fact that neither he nor his company, North American Research, were ever licensed to operate in Washington State; he has lately restyled himself as a “consultant,” possibly as a result of inquiries into his PI status).

In Seattle, and up and down the coast (he went to Redwood Summer), Clausen continued his “investigation” and continually harassed Forest Service law enforcement with information on EF! terrorism and plots, which they were clearly uninterested in. Again and again they refused to work with him, citing his past record. In one example, FBI agent Horace H. Mewborn gave sworn testimony that, “...we did some other agency checks, and they said he [Clausen] was not reliable.”

Barry even tried private companies. He badgered McDonald’s about “animal rights terrorism” following Jeremy Rifkin’s “Beyond Beef” campaign until they demanded that he cease bothering restaurant employees about vandalism. Security officers at MacMillan Bloedel blew their stack when they found out Clausen had contacted some of the largest MacBlo customers. Barry got the addresses from the November, 1994, Earth First! Journal announcing a boycott of the huge corporation for its role in the destruction of Clayoquot Sound. He warned MacBlo’s customers about potential terrorist attacks, and may well have increased the publicity and success of the campaign.

Barry Discovers the Media

In 1994, the Province, a Vancouver tabloid, printed some of Barry’s allegations verbatim. The success of this story in attracting attention, spin-off stories and cashola encouraged him to shift his focus from private investigations to public relations. The press often has no standards of proof other than titillation and scandal, and his employers in the timber industry want only to smear their enemies. Clausen’s work meets both conditions.

Later in 1994, Walking on the Edge: How I Infiltrated Earth First!, by Barry Clausen with Dana Rae Pomeroy was published by Clausen’s employer, the Washington Contract Loggers Association (2421 Pacific Avenue, Olympia, WA 98507–2168; (800) 422–0074 or (206) 352–5033). The book number is registered to -Ron Arnold at the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Later that year he got another story out over the wire services, this time claiming that the Native Forest Network (NFN) conference, held in November, 1994, in Missoula, was to feature a who’s who in ecoterrorism.

This nonsense has resurfaced in the latest Clauseninspired round of eco-bashing. He claims that Ted l Kaczynski attended the NFN conference. But he won’t show anyone any proof. Clausen used the Unabomber to good effect last year too, when Gilbert Murray of the California Forestry Association was killed.

Last year, Clausen put out a pamphlet called “Report on Terrorism: The Real Truth” which describes Earth First! as a terrorist organization and blames us for all the acts of terrorism in the US for the past five years. He also includes copies of his correspondence with timber-industry-pocket-Senators Slade Gorton (R-WA) and Conrad Burns (R-MT) in which he convinces them to ask for a Justice Department investigation of Earth First! There are rumors that such an investigation may happen this spring thrusting n s into the headlines again.

Enter Lyndon LaRouche

Clausen’s latest project has been a newsletter called Ecoterrorism Watch which he co-edits with Lyndon LaRouche follower Rogelio Maduro. The newsletter is published by the LaRouche organization at their headquarters in Virginia (POB 214, Leesburg, VA 22075; (703) 779–0121. Forget about n subscribing, it costs $ 145 a year for photocopied I articles from the EF!J). This cult-like organization believes iiTTbizarreTorfspiracy theory that considers the entire environmental movement to be controlled by banking and corporate consortiums which in turn are controlled in turn by the World Wildlife Fund and headed by Prinrp Philip of FnglanH I’m not kidding about this? They think His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburglr personally hand-picked Jake Kreilick to run the Native Forest Network eco-terrorist front.

Clausen is also featured in LaRouche’s publication, Executive Intelligence Report. Among o ther ( strange things, it states that Dave Foreman was filred by the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club to found Tarth First! to make them look betteTanr toughen maTnsrreampositions. Supposedly; Foi e-^ man was guaranteed funding arid a ten-year contract limit. (Actually, considering how Foreman’s been opposing Zero Cut at the Sierra Club and calling us all “True Believers” a la Eric Hoffer, this doesn’t seem so far fetched.)

Spreading Fear — for Fun and Profit

Since 1993, Clausen has regularly spoken to Wise Use groups all over the West. His speeches aim to frighten people into believing Earth First! terrorists are coming to get them and destroy their communities. Clausen pushes “security” services with some Soldier of Fortune-type macho dudes that he claims are ex-Navy Seals or Airborne Rangers or some damn thing.

At these talks he repeats the Judi Bari-and-Darryl Cherney-blew-themselves-up story despite the fact that he has admitted he knows it isn’t true. He also targets a Seattle EF!er who has worked for both Greenpeace and the Native Forest Network, and therefore is clearly a linchpin of the big green conspiracy. He attributes right-wing bombings to EF!, and labels the 1989 Dixon, California livestock auction barn-burning as an EF! action, despite it’s being well known now as an insurance scam, etc. His best story is that Earth First! intends to poison water supplies all over the country with virulent E. Coli bacteria as per instructions in Dave Foreman’s book Ecodefense, and in fact we have done so already in Portland, Oregon. Of course, Ecodefense says no such thing. He says he knows who shot some cattle in Utah and who sabbed the powerlines in Santa Cruz in 1990, but for some reason his information has never been acted upon by law enforcement. Oh, and Mike Roselle is the leader of the whole terrorist kit and kaboodle.

Clausen has been trying to get this Unabomber thing to stick for several years now. When Kaczynski’s arrest came down he was all too prepared with the “real” story. The press, in frenzy mode, was willing to swallow it whole. It’s all too easy, really. And he’ll be back when circumstances arise that make “ecoterrorism” a top story he can peddle. So, we have to be ready. If you hear that Clausen has a speaking engagement in your area, attend it. Call the Journal for a Barry Clausen fact sheet to hand out or give to the press if there is going to be a Clausen-inspired media attack in your area. Clausen himself can be reached at POB^ 65298, Port Ludlow, WA 98365; (360) 437–0453, fax (360) 437–9101. Call and give him hell, nonviolently, of course.

Letters To The Editors — Spring

Dear Editor:

While I find the Earth First! Journal to be a valuable resource for activists, one question about EF! that has been bothering me is this: Does EF! have a real political agenda beyond that of disruption?

The sort of neo-anarchism that some Earth First!ers seem to treasure is not, I would argue, a viable political theory. For instance, while I may admire the Unabomber’s commitment to war against the system, his unwillingness to infuse his radicalism with any kind of concrete political theory means that, for all his efforts, he has accomplished NOTHING. Similarly, much as I respect Donna and Tom Howard-Hastings for their self-sacrifice in vandalizing the Navy’s ELF facility and getting arrested, their action was not, as the title of their article suggested, “A Fast Way to Save the Earth,” but rather a futile exercise in pointless martyrdom. What if, instead of spending the next ten years incarcerated, they were to spend them organizing a politically focused fight-back at the grassroots?

As a Marxist and an ecologist, I try to organize environmental activists around Marxist, class-based politics, while bringing the science of ecology into Marxist economic thinking. Each needs the other. As long as Earth First! advocates blowing things up without regard to what you will replace them with, or seeking arrest as an end in itself rather than a means to an end (and one which, since you can’t organize from a jail cell, should be sought only as a last resort), or militant action for its own sake without regard to the politics behind that action, it won’t live up to its potential.

Lenin once said that without revolutionary theory there can be no successful revolution, and Earth First! needs to ask itself what the theory is upon which it operates. Small victories are always out there to be had, and Earth First! is to be congratulated on those victories of which it has been a part. The question should be, however, how will we attain the truly big victory which will finally make all the smaller struggles leading up to it worthwhile?

— Steve Donkin International Socialist Organization

Letters To The Editors — June

Dear SFB,

I’m responding to Steve Donkin’s demand that EF! articulate a “political agenda beyond that of disruption.” Donkin misunderstands the EF! agenda as “blowing things up,” like the Unabomber. The Wise Use and mainstream media have been torturing themselves to connect the Unabomber with EF!. They’ve been unsuccessful because EF!ers aren’t blowing things up, nor is Ted K. an EF!er. Does Donkin have a real political agenda beyond slander?

So, Lenin said that without revolutionary theory there can be no successful revolution. Lenin also founded a vast, fascist, environmentally destructive empire. So much for Lenin. Do you want an Earth First! theory? Here it is: No plan, no theory, no society is going to work if the biosphere is not intact. That doesn’t answer any questions about what the good society should be, but it’s enough to take action. Now. Because the biosphere is being destroyed.

Case in point: Among the thousands of people who turned up to protect Headwaters grove, there must be a huge span of political opinion. If they had taken the time to hammer out a unified political theory, they would probably still be debating theory and Headwaters would be hot tubs. I can anticipate Donkin’s response; I’ve heard it before: If we had a brilliant theory, the workers would stand with us and the forest would be saved. I’ve faced off with loggers and mill-workers. Most of them are quite capable of theory. They’re not asking us for more theory. They’re asking how they’re going to feed their families. Maybe Donkin and his comrades in the International Socialist Organization could provide their working class brethren in Pacific Lumber with some tangible, material support while we pull the plug on junk-bond forestry. Do I hear a real offer, or are you too busy theorizing?

If it’s not too “neo-anarchist,” I’ll close with a quote from Emma Goldman: “Our most vivid imagination cannot foresee the potentialities of a race set free from external restraints. How, then, can anyone assume to map out a line of conduct for those to come? We, who pay dearly for every breath of pure, fresh air, must guard against the tendency to fetter the future. If we succeed in clearing the soil of the rubbish of the past and present, we will leave to posterity the greatest and safest heritage of all ages.” Enough said.

— Matthew Haun

Letters To The Editors — November

Dear Earth First! Journal Editors,

Thanks for the excellent coverage of the outrageous libel the corporate media have perpetrated against the movement regarding the Unabomber. I would like to personally add, however, some feelings that I’ve had about this incident. First of all, the Unabomber is a murdering cowardly scum. The Earth First! Movement I’m a part of is non-violent and views the tactics of the Unabomber with utter contempt. Also, for those folks who believe the Unabomber had good things to say in his manifesto, the subject of how the planet is abused by the Corporate world, etc. is far better addressed by a multitude of decent, non-violent activists, authors, artists, teachers ...

Lastly, a message for the corporate media and those who believe it: You can attempt to discredit us by the actions of a fanatic, but as you leave the world in ruin the truth becomes all the more clear. Corporate capitalism created the Unabomber and wields him like a sword. Earth First! wields the truth that no sword can cut away.

For the wild places,


Letters To The Editors — December

Dear shit 4 brains,

I see a newspaper article down here suggesting The Unabomber is an EF! follower. Looks like some shit is coming down. The FBI have another pretext for harassing you poor bastards even more. I am sorry, but I feel pessimistic on this. Ciao for now,



Letters to the Editor — March

Hi bear nation

Dear Hi Bear Nation Constipation,

To the so-called “Earth First” move-ment: I have a con-fession to make. For the passed few years I’ve been a double agent (maybe even a tripled or quadraphonic one even). When I wrote my book “Walkin’ Off The Ledge” (“How I influenza-ed Earth 1st)” it wasn’t nuthin’ personal—I just had ta cover my munkey wrenchin tracks and blame my klandeskine actions on sumbody else ta keep the feds off. Meanwhiles I descovered that I could bilk witless timburr cumpennies out of money—an’ gullibill redneck ninnies too. So I went on speakin’ tours and made “wise use” of their fears an’ money. But speakin too much gives one a swelled head, an’ there isn’t one to be found more swelled than mine—especially during the ABC = unabomber stunt I pulled. But now that kinda attention is hard for me to get. Also the apocalips is cuming in a couple a years an my spiking arm is gettin’ sore. So I’m going underground for reel. Bye Bye.

—Bear E. Clawson

P.S. I found the best way for me to do all this is to have no conscience—an’ I don’t

P.S.S. Ya know this tattooing an’ piercing is wussie. Me, I’m inta branding, like different corporate logos on secret parts of my beer bloated bod, yeah.

S.O.S. Help 1 wanna write anuther book (any ghost writers out there an’ fed advisors?)

Letters to the Editor — August

HEY E.F! Journal,

Whats with the Cybertron Earth First! Logo on the June-July Journal? I hope it’s just a joke (flaunting new software) but if not, Hell I don’t kare much anyways.

Thanks to whoever sent in the “Reclaiming the Streets” article last issue, what great ideas!! Car bouncing sounds like a blast and Critical Mass already kicks lethargic ass here in Santa Rosa

Always offending the Buissnessmen,

—Dianne Feinstien

editor’s reply:

I hope you like the new cyber EF!. We decide that computers are in fact our friends. Look for the new cybertron tools and fist on a website near you!


Dear founder,

My name is Jenny Bamford and I am from Granville Middle School in Ohio. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is great that we have environmental organizations, especially Earth First! because I feel the earth should come first. I recently did a report/projecton Earth First! and found that it’s very interesting. I am sorry about the unabomber who must have up your organization a bit. Thanks again for helping our environment!


—Jenny Bamford

editors note:

Dear Jenny

Keep up your interest in Earth First!. I too grew up in Granville, OH, and look where I’ve gotten to now!


The Raging Riff-Raff of Merry England — August

by Al Decker

The culture of ecological and social resistance is thriving in the United Kingdom. This article focuses primarily on England, though much of the same can be said of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Earth First! in the UK today seems similar to American EF! of the early eighties: a young movement, full of fire, battling mainstream groups over the sabotage issue, at times totally unorganized and dysfunctional, yet managing to pull off brilliant actions, pushing the boundaries on what is acceptable and, perhaps most importantly, spreading the good news abroad. For instance, the amazing Young Lions EF! group from South Africa got turned on to EF! when three of them were political refugees in England during Apartheid. Radical eco-activists from countries including Germany, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Poland, Russia, Italy, Greece and Sudan have come to learn from the movement in the UK and taken what they learned back to their bioregions. Britain has certainly sent its fair share of resistance strategies and innovative road-blockading techniques over to the US and Canada, including inspiration for North American cells of Hunt Saboteurs, the Earth Liberation Front, and the Animal Liberation Front.

One difference between Britain and North America is that fewer people here call themselves “Earth First!ers,” and EF! groups don’t really conduct campaigns as such, but more often provide a forum for people to get involved in a variety of actions. British EF! also has a deeper involvement in social justice issues and class analysis, due to the long and hard history of its class-based society, as well as the near complete lack of British wilderness to defend.

Road (and Infrastructure) Wars

The British anti-roads movement has met with staggering success. Since the first major campaign at Twyford Down in 1992, the Department of Transport has seen each proposed road protested, blockaded, sabotaged and otherwise deterred. The recent eviction of the Fairmile camp, considered the University of Road Protests, may signal the end of a road wars era. Yet the movement has won a limited victory, with several hundred road schemes canceled and widespread public support for a ban on new roads. Many activists are looking to move in new directions; one told me that open-cast mining protests will be the next major focus; another said industrial transport, including airports and railroads. Yet it’s likely that the movement will challenge the entire industrial infrastructure (including shopping malls, golf courses, urban sprawl and other nefarious forms of development).The current campaign against the expansion of the Manchester Airport reflects this.

The usual rad, basecamp riff-raff, joined by grayhaired local residents, are putting up one hell of a fight to save a lovely area of woodland set to be clear-cut, filled and paved into a runway. The tunnelers, straight out of Tolkien are fiendishly digging shafts and wickedly-clever fortifications. Fifty feet up a cliff wall overlooking a classic British countryside stream, a rappel line can be seen hanging down to a horizontal tunnel, reminiscent of an Anasazi cliff dwelling.

Though collapse is possible, UK activists have urged! me to encourage Americans and Canadians to take tunnels up as a blockading technique. (Indeed, it took seven days for a professional spelunking crew to remove the tunnelers at Fairmile.) The scene at Manchester during Easter weekend was totally surreal. On a Saturday morning, dawn’s rosy fingertips illuminated a lovely site; the barbed-wire fence surrounding the site had been seriously trashed. Base campers were openly and gleefully talking about the next three nights of holiday monkey wrenching festivities. Others were using sections of liberated fence to build fortifications for tunnels, camps and tree forts, and otherwise making themselves at home. The airport has to go through1 lengthy court proceedings to remove each individual squatter, even though they are located on private property.

Opposition to mining has really kicked off here in the last couple of years as reflected by a recent well-publicized EF! action in Wales against an open-cast mine (or strip-mine). The state reacted in advance by hassling local organizers (to the point where most didn’t even show up for the action) and basically setting up a military occupation of the site: 200 riot troops, 150 police, Special Branch officers (similar to the FBI), the Royal Marines, four miles of razor wire fencing, road blocks; shit, they even welded down the manhole covers! So, instead of heading off to an ugly head-bashing, the gathered activists out-bluffed the coppers and instead went to a nearby mining site, the scene of major actions over the last year. A “virtual” action at the port was achieved (it was reported that the police costs for the weekend were over $300,000) with massive media, and a solid rampage at the mine ensued, shutting down work for the day. A number of machines were allegedly damaged, and the corporation claimed that it had to lay off 20 workers as a result.

A humorous situation occurred when an EF! activist from abroad was arrested and gave the name of Edward Abbey to the Old Bill (police). A Special Branch agent told the local cops at the jail that Edward Abbey is the founder of Earth First! and a writer of eco-terrorism manuals, which provided some comic relief when they removed him from his cell into isolation, saying they feared for the safety of the other inmates. Needless to say, when they discovered Edward Abbey had died a decade ago and their big chance at catching an international terrorist disappeared, they weren’t very amused.

Monkeywrenching in the UK

An editor of the EF! Journal once gave a speech at a conference in Eugene advocating public monkey-wrenching. The EF! movement in Britain is evolving towards that, the most spectacular example being the recent Newbury Rampage detailed in the most recent Journal. A thousand people broke through fences and stormed a construction site, dismantling heavy equipment to the jTCHKUNG!-esque beat of pixies drumming on Earth-raping machines (music plays a big part in British festivals, actions and riots). Flames of elfin glee flickered up into a fog-shrouded night sky, as cops and security watched helplessly. In a similar vein, at an EF! National Action in 1995, hundreds of activists stormed an open-cast mine and wrenched the place up (even the train tracks fell apart and disappeared), causing an estimated $400,000 worth of damage and shutting the place down for days.

EF! UK activists are also more angry and less polite during office occupations. Following the EF! anti-open cast action mentioned above, a raid on the Under-Sheriff’s office turned into quite a melee, with creme pies flying all over the place and files rearranged and liberated.

Reclaim the Streets

This London-based group has held three major street parties and several other actions during the last couple of years, and already Reclaim the Streets ideas have spread throughout Britain and abroad. A front page story in the EF! Journal (September-October ’96) described last summer’s “Street Party ’96: A Festival of Resistance,” which promoted the view that, “Ultimately it is in the streets that power must be dissolved: for the streets where daily life is endured, suffered and eroded, and where power is confronted and fought, must be turned into the domain where daily life is enjoyed, created and nourished.” Yes, and that is certainly what happened when 8,000 people partied on the M41 motorway while pneumatic drills tore up the concrete beneath the skirts of 30’ Victorian Lady streetwalkers. Creative and ambitious might be good adjectives to describe the group.

Hunt Saboteurs

The Hunt Saboteurs Association (HSA) has been active for 30 years, disrupting hunts and educating the public about cruel bloodsports. All over the British Isles, hunts are constantly disrupted by dedicated, well-organized and well-funded sabs. The HSA produces an excellent quarterly journal, entitled Howl, with info that would be useful to activists in North America, as well as publish an updated tactics booklet. After many years of hard work, it seems clear that the days of legal fox hunting are numbered.

Great British Publications:
  • Do or Die: Voices of Earth First!

The scurrilous diatribe against industrial culture entitled Do or Die (DoD) has roughly the same publishing schedule as Live Wild or Die (LWOD), which is to say, infrequent.

  • The EF! Action Update

The EF! Action Update, published continuously since 1991, is definitely what it purports to be: updates on actions and happenings both in the UK and abroad. It shares the same radical cutting edge of the wedge as DoD and serves to put people from many different campaigns and movements in touch with each other.

  • Green Anarchist

“For the Destruction of Civilization,” which boldly appears in the Green Anarchist (GA) masthead, aptly describes where the Oxford green anarchists are coming from. Perhaps no other publication I’ve ever come across elicits a reaction like GA. Originally a peacenik newsletter, it evolved into more of anti-industrial/anarcho paper in the late eighties and early nineties and ultimately developed its full-on philosophy under the current editorship.

People seem to either love or hate GA. Yet, even those who claim to be ambivalent about it often read it compulsively to check out the ecodefense, animal liberation and community resistance diaries. These world-wide diaries list various actions, demos, blockades, monkeywrenching, arson, sabotage, acts of community resistance and also breakdown. From postal strikes to political bombings, they serve as a compilation of discontent.

The GA folks are extremely critical of what they consider to be a pathetic response by American activists to the Unabomber affair, and they are also skeptical of the LWOD #6, which they consider tame, perhaps in particular for lacking an “Ecofucker Hit List.” To their credit, they did report on the FBI harassment of the Katuah folks about LWOD and have issued a call of solidarity: “We hear the Feds are after the editors of Live Wild or Die for supposedly inciting FC. They are currently on the run and could do with more support than a cowed US anarcho scene has shown Ted K so far.”

I have gone into the Green Anarchist at length because the publication, and the activists involved in the amorphous movement towards a green anarchy, are the vanguard of resistance to industrial culture here in Britain, and their actions and evolving philosophy are having an effect abroad as well. The concept of “HEAL” (human, earth, animal liberation) has encouraged activists have to venture out of their single-issue ideological ghettoes and link up with other movements. Animal rights people now take part in street parties; earth activists go ,to animal rights demos; anarchists take part in road wars, recognizing that it is the heartless techno-industrial system as a whole which brings misery to humans and non-humans alike.

  • Schnews and Squall

These two very different publications are effective and creative forms of communication. Schnews is put out by “Justice?,” an anti-CJA collective based in Brighton. These folks are plugged into the activist scene all across Britain, and they get reports about all sorts of trouble from the actual activists instead of the corporate media. Every week they publish a widely-distributed, double-sided flyer. Unafraid to call politicians, bureaucrats and corporate execs the wankers that they are, Schnews is a lively and uncompromising rag. Besides the schnews, each issue contains a CJA arrestometer, a crap-arrest-of-the-week award and a brilliant disclaimer.

Squall is sort of the high brow, polished publication of squatters, ravers, dongas (who are kind of like the crowd at a typical American protest base camp), anarchists, social activists and other “Do It Yourself” folks; it’s subtitled “a magazine for assorted itinerants. “ What distinguishes Squall from other news journals is the excellent quality of the writing. The layout is really good, the articles provoking and, all-in-all, its a killer read. If you want to find out what’s happening with British counter-culture overall, you probably couldn’t do better than subscribing to Squall.

We’re Watching Big Brother

Conscious Cinema and Undercurrents are two activist video collectives that do a great job of publicizing direct action and protest through a series of tapes, each a collection of films and footage from various groups and movements. Conscious Cinema is a bit more lively and punk, while Undercurrents is more polished and traditional. But they both get incredible footage of actions and succeed at getting the film out, both to the media and through their own releases. One recurring bone of contention, however, is that video documentation of actions has been used by the cops to identify and arrest activists at a later date. On the other hand, footage has also been used by activists to earn acquittals, dropped charges and false-arrest lawsuit victories.

Conscious Cinema and Undercurrents keep people up-to-date on what’s happening in often far away places, communicate in a very compelling way to non activists or those who relate best to the video medium, and inspire and incite concerned individuals to take action against the forces of destruction.

For more information and British contacts, check the EF! Journal directory or write:

Hunt Saboteurs Association and Howl at POB 2786, Brighton, BN2 2AX, England; phone/fax 01273 622827; e-mail: hsa@gn.apc.org; http:/ /envirolink.org/arrs/HSA/ newhsa2.html

Reclaim the Streets at POB 9656, London, N4 4NL, England; phone 01712814621; e-mail: rts@gn.apc.org; http://www.hrc.wmin.ac.uk/campaigns/rts.html

Green Anarchist at BCM 1715, London WC1N 3XX, England. The Green Anarchist is also available from Autonome Distro, POB 791191, New Orleans, LA 70179–1191 or Wind Chill Factor, POB 81961, Chicago, IL 60688.

Squallat POB 8959, London, N19 5HW, England; e-mail: squall@ dircon.co.uk; http://www.phreak. co.uk/squall/

Schnews and Justice?at POB 2600, Brighton, E. Sussex, BN2 2DX, England; phone 01273 685913; http:// www.cbuzz.co.uk/SchNEWS/ index.html

Conscious Cinema at POB 2679, Brighton, E. Sussex, BN22EF, England; phone 01273 679544; cinema@ phreak.intermedia.co.uk

Undercurrents at 16b Cherwell St., Oxford, 0X4 1BG, England; phone 01865 203 662; fax 01865 243 562; email: underc@gn.apc.org

Letters to the Editor — August

Dear EF! Journal, Ever get a little paranoid wondering why some folks insist, so consistently, on useless tactics instead of challenging, creative ones?

At the June 1 fracas in downtown Eugene over the cutting of trees, the local EF!ers did their usual passive “resistance” by sitting in some of the trees until (rather quickly) removed. Like a masochistic character on a cross, the last protester was brought down following screams of anguish for his safety. Then the patented vigil outside the jail took place, according to a well-known script. At a demo later in the week EF! was fine with the obnoxious peace cops, always on hand to neuter any gathering and serve their uniformed friends.

What do these tactics achieve? Please, no help from the others or from consulting the decades of “militant” impotence.

At the site of the tree-cutting a huge sign proclaimed the company profiting thereby. Other objects by this outfit are underway, the location of its office and the address of its owner similarly accessible...

Why then, over and over, only the same old symbolic waltz that threatens nothing and puts no heat whatsoever on the public directly responsible for the destruction? The tired political rallies in approved public spaces against politicians are likewise demonstrably toothless and ineffective.

“No compromise in the defense of Mother Earth”?? That should read, “Only compromise and playing by the rules is allowed”.

—Barry Bondhus

Masochistic character replies:

We climbed trees in downtown Eugene to make a statement about the destruction of some trees in a once beautiful part of town. The police, under the watchful eye of the mayor, responded with pepper mace. They soaked me with nearly twenty cans of pepper mace on my face, neck and genitals, beat me with their fists, contorted my body and tortured me until I let go of that tree. “Screams of anguish for [my] safety” did not bring me down from the tree. The police trying to pull me off the tree by my head and by yanking my waist with the firetruck is what brought me out of that tree.

Our only plan was for the city to hold off on the cutting until the city council meeting on the next night. We believed that if the city just waited for two days and had a hearing with considerable public input, then they might alter their plans and leave some of the trees. It was a simple plan, maybe a bit idealistic and naive, but we never expected to be tortured over it.

The achievements from this action reached farther than our wildest dreams. Sure, we lost those city trees, but we woke up a sleeping dragon of civil resentment. The issues surrounding the development and the police’s response to peaceful protest were on the front page of the local paper for a full month afterwards. We now have a police review commission with real, non-compromising activists on it. We now have an atmosphere which has made the Eugene Police afraid to even talk to the “independent” review board. We have a recall campaign for the county district attorney and soon one for the mayor. The city is now afraid to cut a single tree without bending over backwards to get citizens’ input.

None of this would have happened without us “playing by the rules.” None of this would have happened if we would have “fucked shit up” or attacked “the location of its office and the address of its owner...” (that seems to be what you are suggesting).


Dear EF!

I’ve just received my first EF! journal yesterday. I enjoyed reading it at breaks during class today. There’s so much to read about.

I live in The Woodlands, Tx. (about 30 minutes north of Houston) . 1 don’t know why they call it “The Woodlands” because about every month or so I’ll see construction workers clearing land full of pine trees to build more homes. I abhor the sight/ sound/and smell of the bulldozers choppen and clearing more land. Last summer they built a road right behind my house. The people that were showing us the house B-4 we moved in told us they wouldn’t build a road there. There was already a gravel road there for construction workers to go through. All I hear at night are sirens and huge trucks with loud motors driving behind my house. We use to have rabbits come into our back yard, but ever since the road was built I haven’t seen one. There’s also a lot of road kill of skunks, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and deer. People will say “get off the road you stupid animal! what are you doing in human territory?!” If they had any brains they would remember that we invaded their home and a territory of animals, and I haven’t heard of, or seen in the area newspaper, any organization that wants to control this massive clearing. Soon they will have to call it “The Raped Woodlands, Tx.”

I have a question, do you all make backpacks? If you do manufacture them, I’d buy one because I want to flash your slogan at my high school next year. Tell me how much and I’ll send a check for it.


—Beth Baker

Letters to the Editor — September

Dear Sirs,

I was able to look at your paper. It is a very good one. I am interested in corresponding with anyone who can help me keep up with Mother Earth. I am on Death Row, a prisoner, without funds so I cannot afford your paper. I would really appreciate anyone writing me, so I can keep informed with what is going on. I thank you for your time and cooperation.

Yours truly,

—Manuel Pardo. Jr.


Union Correctional Institution P Dorm, P-1-1-12-S P.O. Box 221 Raiford, FL 32083

Ed. note: As always, the Journal is free to prisoners.

Dear Sirs:

From what I have read from your web site, and from the media of your activities, your group displays the same not-uncommon hypocrisy of most environmental groups. While you claim to want to save the earth from the ravages of man and corporations, you use products from these very same corporations in your daily activities.

I will bet money most of your membership drives cars, built by a large corporation, and fueled by the products of an oil company. The computer you are receiveing this e-mail on was built by a corporation.

While you ostensibly want to save the earth, most of the policies you advocate empower the central government, and seek to reduce the level of freedom in this country held by individuals. If you want land kept natural, why don’t you buy it and keep it natural? That is your right to do so. But when you seek to empower government to tell me what I can and cannot do with my land, you are advocating the use of the power of government to steal from me.

Private property is the basis of freedom—yours included! If all property is subject to so much environmental regulation that it cannot be used in any meaningful way, our society will cease to function. Since that seemingly is what you want, my suggestion to you is this: buy a large tract of land. Live like cave men on that land, in natural splendor and harmony with nature. Prove to the world that your way is the more noble way. But until that time, leave me alone!

The free enterprise system you seek to destroy is sustaining you right now! You are the beneficiaries of modern health advances, immunizations, modern food growing methods, and a society whose members live longer than at any time in human history.

I do not think I may change your mind with this letter, but I have made some points you need to address.


—Mark Dickey

Dear Silicon for Brains,

It is sad to me that even the editors of the Earth First! Journal can be hypnotised by the specious promises of computer technology. I don’t really even mind that you folks have a website and use computers to lay out the Journal. What bothers me though is your lack of critical thinking toward computer technology, for there is a huge difference between using computers and deciding that “computers are our friends.” (Ed. note by Jim Flynn in Lughnasadh, 1997)

Computers may indeed be useful as a tool to spread the word via website, and doing page layout, but they are not our “friends,” nor should they be considered anything more than simply a tool by any environmentalist. Cars may be useful tools to get people to a Headwaters demo. But they are not our “friends.” Refrigerators may be useful tools to keep our food cold, but they are not our “friends.” This paper may be a useful tool to write my thoughts, but in reality is not my “friend.”

Computers can indeed be useful to the environmental movement, but we should not delude ourselves. In fact, any power and prestige we have gotten via computers, the forces of evil—industrialized, capitalist, imperialist culture—have attained the same thing tenfold. The invention and propagation of computer technology have clearly accelerated the destruction of the planet by facilitating the increased production of consumer items, the vast accumulation of capital, the globalization of the marketplace, genetic research, artificial intelligence, etc., etc. (of course the pollution from computer manufacturing, the high rate of obsolescence, and the social and medical costs of a society obsessed w/ computers are important issues as well.)

It has always pissed me off that the national groups have become so computer dependent and induce guilt if an activist is not on e-mail or surfing the web...screw them. I hope the Journal does not fall into the same dysfunctional trap.

P.S. I hope “Fluff-head” was wrong and you all don’t drive to the office everyday, for if you do I’ll have to write another letter.

—Philip Goff

Anyone Who Hates the Sierra Club Can’t Be All Good — September

A Review of Ron Arnold’s New Book

by Michael Donnelly

One thing about a movement’s longevity is that as time passes, movement historians weigh in with their take on just what it is that’s been going on all these years, giving an air of legitimacy to it all. When your opponent’s historians start to write—that’s when it really gets serious.

Ron Arnold, “America’s leading advocate of the wise use movement” and Executive Vice President of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, has just published the awfully-titled EcoTerror—The Violent Agenda to Save Nature/The World of the Unabomber (Free Enterprise Press, 1997). Let’s say right off that the good news is he completely fails to make his title case. His six-degrees-of-separation-esque attempts to link Unabomber suspect Ted Kaczynski to the environmental movement are as laughable and hollow as the attempts to link Arnold himself to Timothy McVeigh and the rightwing militia.

Arnold rehashes the flimsy claims of Barry Clausen as reported on ABC Network News: Kaczynski was at the November 1994 Native Forest Network Conference in Missoula, a workshop titled, “Focus on the Multinationals” took place there and Earth Firstlers were present. The strongest evidence Arnold provides that the Unabomber is an Earth First!er is that Live Wild or Die and a copy of the Earth First! Journal with an article about the PR company and Unabomber target Burson-Marsteller were found in Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski’s cabin (somewhere alongside a dog-eared, well-notated copy of Al Gore’s ghostwritten tome, Earth in the Balance). This would be intriguing news, but Arnold fails to document his source for the claim, explaining that his own Deep Throat close to the Kaczynski investigation requires anonymity.

Arnold’s sheer credulity in accepting Clausen is astounding. After all, Clausen is the same guy who purports to have broken the ecoterror chain of command. According to Clausen, whom Arnold thanks in the preface, the Turners (yep, Ted and Jane) are running things through Peter Bahouth of the Turner Foundation and the Ruckus Society’s Mike Roselle. All I know is if anyone ever runs into them, tell them my check’s late.

The bad news is that Arnold documents close to 1,000 acts supposedly carried out against despoilers that consistently show “small operators” rather than big corporations as the targets. This “assault on the little guy” is a major theme of the book and will certainly be used widely against environmental activists.

Arnold has amassed quite the list of actions he considers “ecoterror.”

These range from common civil disobedience (which he considers violently preventing people from going to work), monkeywrenching, many instances of arson, bombings and the Unabomber murders. Other than the flimsy insinuations about Kaczynski, no murders are attributed to any environmentalists. He even refutes that a murder commonly blamed on animalrights activists, that of Dr. Hyram Kitchen, Dean of the Veterinary School of the University of Tennessee, was an act of “ecoterror.” In fact, in most of the cases of actual physical violence he relates, it is the enviros that get “justifiably” pounded by angry loggers and ranchers. The list is an environmental classic, as it starts with Ed Abbey wielding the wrench. Classify it in the “what you never knew about your own movement” category.

After delving deeply into the matter, Arnold flat out states, “I am convinced that they (Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney) had nothing to do with the bomb” that tore though their car. He does offer a tongue-in-cheek list of some bizarre counter theories, however. The one I like best is that “marijuana growers did it because Bari invited thousands of strangers into their growing area, endangering the crops by possible detection, theft or accidental trampling.” In general, the book obsesses on Earth First! (Arnold studiously avoids the exclamation point) and animalrights groups. He believes that almost all other environmental groups including, wildly, some national Big Greens, are merely “decoupling” groups—his term for groups and actions that are really conceived by the bad guys of Earth First!, the Animal Liberation Front, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or whomever. To Arnold, the “decoupling” effect is merely a ruse to gain plausible deniability.

Arnold tends to treat what he calls the “social justice” faction of EF! far better than he does the “Apocalyptic Buckaroos.” Mike Roselle fares far better than Dave Foreman. He actually does a credible job of delineating the split between the two wings. In fact, he does a better job of this than any previous writer on the subject, especially Susan Zakin, author of Coyotes and Town Dogs. Arnold’s “History” chapter is a must read, as is the excellent chapter titled “Reasons” which examines the motivations of environmentalists and the philosophical bases of deep ecology.

Arnold’s history is spotty, but on balance, much better than those of Zakin, Durbin, Manes, Foreman, Scarce, Chase, Halverg et al., who have set their versions in print. Sure, Arnold has some laughable errors. He has Roselle hanging with “the Yippies at the bloody 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago” when Mike would have been all of 12-years-old. He even gets some current events wrong. His take on last November’s Eugene auction of the Sphynx timber sale: “at least one-hundred-fifty angry protesters blocked the pick-up of timber company vice president Robbie Freres, the winning bidder, from leaving a nearby parking lot after the auction, shouting, ‘Bidder Beware!’” In fact, our good buddy Robbie Freres was outbid by, get this, a mere three cents per 1,000 board feet by Dennis Frank of Frank Lumber. And, in a scene reminiscent of Tienanmen Square, Lacey Phillabaum stood down Frank’s weenie wagon by herself, until a phalanx of state police in full storm trooper regalia cleared his escape.

One of the best stories in the book is Arnold’s tale of the early-‘70s Tucson Eco-raiders, which he calls the “first ecoterror group in America,” and the inspiration for Ed Abbey’s The Monkeywrench Gang. For years this story has been suppressed in the mainstream press because the developers who lost over $2 million dollars were afraid to publicize the losses and encourage further “decommissioning” of subdivision sprawl.

Unlike many in the wise use movement, Arnold makes a concerted attempt to separate “radical” environmentalists from “terrorists.” I give him a lot of credit for that, though his cast of characters doesn’t add up. He is fair to some and completely off base with others. Rod Coronado and Dave Foreman are Arnold’s biggest bogeymen.

When Roselle learned that Arnold treated him rather well, his response was, “I don’t want to be treated fairly by Ron Arnold!” echoing the embarrassment I felt and I’m sure a number of others will when they find out that Ron’s disagreement with us is merely over our biocentric “cultural primitivism” beliefs and not some wild allegations of ecoterror. In Arnold’s view I am naive, as I cannot accept that most of the folks he names as terrorists have ever done what he alleges.

This book is highly intelligent and is well-written, sometimes reading as if Arnold thinks he’s a novelist—he certainly thinks he’s a philosopher. Though he clearly desires to be seen as a fair-minded patrician, deliberating the facts and adjudicating in the favor of the people, the farce is a little too thin. For a journalist, the book is sometimes painful to read— with missing text blocks and poor editing. Likewise, it is seemingly meticulously footnoted, except when it matters. For example, Arnold documents the riveting minute by minute account of California Forestry Association’s Gil Murray’s final hours before opening an Unabomber mail bomb, but never sources the outlandish claim that the Unabomber had an accomplice. For a book that has many of the facts, dates and philosophies right, it’s amazing how exasperatingly far off its conclusions are.

Ultimately this book is a godsend for those that wish to, as Alex Cockburn notes, blame the economic and social restructuring of the West on “environmental ideologues and their violent agenda.” Activists would do well to read it and take to heart Arnold’s account of the motivations of the wise use movement. Ecoterror, in recognition of the imperative to know one’s enemy, attempts to do the same for the environmental movement. As Arnold shows, until we can recognize the logic, passion and righteousness of those claiming to defend the West, we are guilty of the same closed-mindedness that we associate with the other side.

Cult of Nonviolence — November

by Gary Mcfarlane and Darryl Echt

Sometime in our murky past, the self-elected “leaders” of Earth First! issued some decisions: The movement was too violent, too morally impure, too fascistic, too stupid, the wrong media grist and in need of education (or something like that). Anyhow, it was decided that we should clean up our act and become ethically-principled resisters (warriors being a bit too frightening a term). But now, instead of simply being nonviolent (which most of us were already) we are in danger of becoming a cult of nonviolence.

Cults have a strange propensity to subliminally obfuscate their goals. Like all good cultists, we step glassy-eyed forward to our daily ritual of nonviolence, rarely questioning why our value is measured by our ritual performance, let alone questioning the ritual itself. And since noted authorities on the matter recognize questioning and analysis as essential to deprogramming, it is time for Earth Firstlers to take a critical look at our own sacred mass: nonviolent civil disobedience. (Religious parallels are not entirely facetious. The historical preacher of nonviolence, the great Gandhi himself, said that it is a way of life, a literal religion.)

The first step in deprogramming a cult mentality is recognizing the cult. Cults are built on a single dogma. Perhaps our closest example is the US Forest Service, whose dogma is logging—the prescription for every situation. Introspection is avoided and individual solutions foregone for the sake-of perpetuating dogma issued by the “priesthood.”

Likewise, we have established our own nonviolent priesthood. As “actions” to defend the Earth have become dogmatic (civil disobedience applied without situational analysis) and technical, we have determined that we need experts, priests. Now, this may be well and good for actions that are not innate, like dangling on high-tech ropes with all sorts of fancy hardware. But, w«ak.o haw decided that we need experts to teach us the tactics of nonviolence in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and Parks (she did it long before King did). The learned and/or experienced among us have become nonviolence trainers—they’ve been ordained. And they’ve been empowered to feed us a single dogma.

What’s so wrong with experts, you say? Well, overreliance on them creates an imbalance, an unhealthy hierarchy that haunts campaigns. Too frequently we defer decision making to our experts or priests. Experience is important, but it isn’t everything. Ceding moral or ethical decisions to sanctified, “qualified” individuals is disempowering. Do we really want or need experts to tell us how to behave? Step two, friends, is gently ushering our priests and priestesses off the altar and seating them with the rest of us, around the fire.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom

Once we are all there as equals, we can begin step three (light that cigarette or whiff that sage, ‘cause this one ain’t easy). We must define “nonviolence” itself. Our collective notions of nonviolence are as diverse as North American flora and fauna once were. To some, it is simply the absence of -Ue-Liberate harm to life. To others, a much narrower construct of nonviolence forbids any kind of destruction, even sabotage, as violent. There are even those who claim that the use of harsh words directed at the forces of terracide is violent. When the definition of nonviolence becomes so narrow as to exclude just about everything (especially anything effective or fun), it should be questioned. We must be careful not to apply the term “violent” too loosely. We can call actions what they may be—silly, irreverent, unpleasant—but we should not label them violent simply because we don’t like them. As a diverse movement, rather than a cult, we must accept that the spectrum of nonviolent action is far wider than our priesthood has dictated.

Step four is questioning our ritual. Is civil disobedience effective? We need to constructively analyze this tactic, rather than swallowing it as our holy wafer. Are we open to new ideas or just the same old ones replayed? In what circumstances has civil disobedience been successful?

Sometimes nonviolent civil disobedience diverts us from the message, especially at the point of arrest. Often it is the tactic that becomes the message, not the Earth. The issue for which we choose to be arrested becomes obscured by the act itself. We seize our media opportunity and bump wildlands protection to make room to publicize less-than-pleasant police treatment and jailhouse conditions. Our sound bites reveal more about bipods and pain holds than agency malfeasance and habitat devastation.

Respect for roles that don’t involve voluntary arrest is essential. Indoctrination, be it called education or training, creates a group mind. Thoughtful debate is discouraged when all the answers are found within an ideological framework. Autonomy, individualism, creativity and self-motivation can be stifled, and participation by those with heretical tendencies is dissuaded. For example, it has been our experience that some people involved in the Cove/Mallard campaign have not felt their ideas and skills were welcome or respected. Individuals have been literally ostracized for failing to swallow dogma, thereby not only quashing potentially effective new perspectives, but encouraging blind obedience. The bumper stickers on our vehicles may declare “Resist Much, Obey Little,” but we are expected to leave such radical notions aside when we pull into camp.

We should look to other historical movements for insight. There has been no movement, struggle or revolution throughout history (that we know of) that has succeeded via a single strategy or tactic. Where cults flounder or perish, genuine movements have flourished. Sinn Fein would never have found its way to the table had the Irish Republican Army not initiated the resistance to British imperialism. The animal-rights movement would be a mere laughing stock if not for the Animal Liberation Front. The Nation of Islam and the Black Panthers played incredibly instrumental roles in the struggle for civil rights in the US. Even our sacred cow, the fight for India’s independence, would surely have stagnated in the salt sea without the nameless agitators who fought colonialism—clearly outside of Gandhi’s dogma.

We should question our dogma by examining the reasons not to sit on the pew. There are numerous valid reasons not to place ourselves in a voluntary arrest scenario. Having a criminal record makes one suspect in other actions; hence, future strategic action becomes dangerous, if not impossible. Many of us can also testify that fighting the system through the court is disempowering. Just as our arrest deflects our message, court shifts our focus and the focus of the campaign. It keeps the focus on the legal system, social justice and human rights—everything but logging. The media also focuses on every issue except the destruction. Voluntarily subjecting oneself to arrest becomes an endless energy sink, wasting countless hours of time and effort.

Successful cults demand homogeneity. Step five of our deprogramming requires us to reject the expectation that we all be the same and do the same. A Native American eco-activist told one of us that although he respects those who choose arrest, he would never ask his friends on the reservation to subject themselves to the very power that has enslaved them for over 500 years. As white, mainly middle-class activists, we have a decidedly different experience with the justice system than indigenous people and people of color. The cult of nonviolence begets a paradigm that doesn’t recognize different experiences—it mandates that we judge the worth of activists by their willingness to participate in our ritual.

What we have complicitly created is a romantic back-drop for herd mentality. We build heroes, inflate martyrs and devalue the roles of other activists. People feel compelled to win approval by getting arrested, perhaps rejecting what they feel is right or effective. The sixth step back to sanity demands that we release this demon and recognize that all of our roles must be equally revered. Individualism must be respected. If we all look alike, dress alike, unilaterally adopt pseudonyms and expect each other to share all of the same values, we are in big trouble.

Respecting actions outside our dogma need not mean we embrace any action committed in our, or more importantly, the Earth’s name. For example, though we may not choose to set the fire, we should recognize that the burning of Peabody

Can you find the undercover fed?

Coal’s headquarters was powerfully symbolic and a very real financial loss. The scuttling of whale vessels would never have passed campaign consensus, but it succeeded in slowing a gruesome war. Even rendering earth-destroying machinery unworkable has been effective. These examples do not mean that we all must abandon our own unique skills and become midnight eco-raiders, but they do suggest that we should set our prejudices aside and recognize their worth.

There is a wide spectrum of creative actions that fall outside our current dogma which are as innocuous as they are effective. Cat-and-mouse games in the back country play their part in the struggle. Outreach and entertainment, which have nothing to do with civil disobedience, play crucial roles, as do protests and vigils. Isolating those responsible for the destruction, vigilantly haunting them and making their work hard, expensive and even frightening, can save wild places. We are in no position to limit our options—we simply must diversify our strategy, our tactics and our movement by empowering others to carry on the fight with whatever skills they possess.

Maybe there are five more steps before we are recovered cultists. We don’t claim to have all the answers, and we aren’t pretending there isn’t room for nonviolent civil disobedience. We do question its effectiveness, however, particularly in areas where few people are there to support such a campaign. We need more, not fewer, solutions. If you want to join a cult, don a pair of Nikes and start channeling 4-billion year-old spirits, but if you want to defend the Earth, we suggest you bring all your tools to the fire and not fall prey to pick pockets.

Letters to the Editor — November

Dear Earth First!

Last issue carried my letter that attacked “playing by the rules,” and reply by “JF” that defended same by pointing to alleged gains by time-honored tactics at the June 1 tree-cutting confrontation in Eugene.

JF defends ritualized CD and martyrology as having provoked front-page news coverage, much citizen hand-wringing, talk of a police review board, and a recall of the local DA campaign.

But what does any of this add up to?

JF comes across as a liberal salivating over a few predictable liberal responses that have accomplished exactly nothing.

This is the same attitude that condemned the razing the Oakridge Ranger Station a year ago—because of the “good work” that had been done there; that totally distances itself from the Unabomber/Kaczynski; and that wets its pants if a few feds ask questions and then blames those who showed some (non-game-playing) courage. It is time to abandon the old, safe liberal impotence and move on past a paradigm that seals our fate the longer we remain tied to it.


Every Tool in the Box — December

by Rod Coronado

The use of a diversity of tactics is vital to every movements’ success. In our movement, such diversity is necessary to adequately respond to the extremity of assault on Mother Earth. By discussing strategies that recognize each environmental struggle as part of the opposition to a larger corporate game plan, we begin to integrate our efforts into a cohesive battle plan. In this way, every action can be viewed as part of a united human resistance to the destruction of the planet. Rather than appear fragmented, we can break past the diversionary tactics of our opposition. When our opponents begin to see the inner-city working class, indigenous peoples, farm workers, rural residents and college-educated youth all working together to oppose timber sales, incinerators, radioactive waste storage plans and factory-farm pollution, they will be threatened. Once potential allies realize our campaigns are in the best interests of all, they will not only support us, but also accept that it is sometimes necessary to break unjust laws and risk going to prison. This will help us nurture solidarity with allies who have sacrificed much in fighting the same political and economic interests we fight.

We must learn to live like the Coyote Nation that, despite the genocide against its race, has actually increased its territory and birth rate. We need to embrace our resistance with the same vigor that every wild animal does in order to survive attack from the enemy. Wild life is a hard life, and we need to realize it as much as romanticize it, recognizing that the struggle requires an ever-increasing degree of personal sacrifice. This means practicing the ecologically balanced life we propose for others while also fighting as if our very lives depended on it, because sooner or later they will.

So when did it change for us? When did we begin to determine tactics based on their ability to obtain media coverage? When did we begin to distance ourselves from illegal direct action? Why not welcome every strike against corporations that, with sanctions and subsidies from the government, are destroying the planet We all fight for? And, when did we as human animals begin to believe that we no longer had to risk our own lives for what we believe in? Tactical decisions should not be based on a political ideology that maintains hope for acceptance and comfort from the society we oppose.

Many of us choose a purely nonviolent philosophy without realizing it’s a luxury that many activists around the world do not share. Very few of us face government repression at home for our actions and beliefs. By enforcing a dogma that labels any slightly aggressive acts as violent and counterproductive, we relegate our movement to the confines of a privileged society. An effective strategy requires the acceptance of individual underground action as part of the path to victory. As a movement, we struggle to be perceived as nonviolent in the hope that we will not alienate the public which might not support aggressive defense of the Earth. But it is the media, which has a vested interest in portraying our movement as isolated from mass support, that defines our struggle to the outside world, not us.

Civil disobedience preserves privilege because it does not threaten the power structure for longer than the time it takes to physically remove us from our action sites. When we allow passive resistance to separate us from those whose goals are the same, but whose tactics are more aggressive, we isolate allies, making it easier to capture and persecute them as “criminal and terrorist.” It’s the old strategy of divide and conquer. The state exploits dissident citizens who share a common ground with less passive elements; passive resisters are threatened with repression and harassment, leading them to condemn direct action tactics. Such behavior separates privileged and educated members of a dominant culture from others who, by choice or as victims of oppression, resist in a more aggressive fashion.

Because someone chooses to burn a bulldozer or Forest Service office, rather than chain themselves to it, we should not distance ourselves from their action. Such behavior forsakes our intention to utilize a diversity of tactics. There is no need to fear losing respectability or acceptance because we embrace illegal action. The history of movements tells us such actions are the one thing that gains attention from our opponents and respect for less aggressive elements of the same struggle.

Passive resistance in China failed in Tienanmen Square when thousands of peaceful protesters were pitted against a morally vacant government, which used the army to murder and imprison hundreds who stood in the way of tanks. In China, you would have had to peel Ghandi from a tank tread. With increasingly immoral opponents, it is not enough to say we support tactics that break free from state control. We must also emulate those movements that are in solidarity with, and provide for, their militant elements while pursuing their own chosen path of action.

A friend told me about his trip to Northern Ireland with a tour group of Irish-Americans. While driving through some of the most heavily policed and militarized regions, where peaceful supporters of Irish independence are beaten and harassed by British forces and murdered by pro-British death squads, the Irish nationalists flashed three fingers at the bus load of tourists. When asked what it meant, the guide replied, “That means Irish Republican Army Third Battalion, the division which defends this area.” The covert hand signal was a silent expression of support for the direct action contingent.

We tend to draw from history only what will reinforce what we already think. In the case of the radical environmental movement, we believe in tactics and strategy practiced by Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. but overlook less passive elements of their struggles. Martin Luther King’s strategy of nonviolent resistance was drawn from Ghandi’s principles used against British colonialism in India. In the struggle for India’s freedom, Ghandi’s tactics were not the complete strategy used to achieve victory. MLK said, “The principle of self defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Ghandi, who sanctioned it for those unable to master pure nonviolence.” Beyond Ghandi’s adherence to a nonviolent campaign were revolutionaries such as Aruna Asaf Ali, who led a violent underground resistance in the 1940s long after Ghandi had ceased his campaign. Indian Freedom Fighters knew that if it had been the Soviets or Nazis who occupied India, they would have executed Ghandi long before he became effective.

Many of the elements of India’s independence movement that did not adhere to Ghandi’s principles were, in fact, inspired by the young Irish Republican Army. In 1930, Bengali revolutionaries even launched an armed uprising in India on the anniversary of an Irish revolt in 1916. The Bengalese carried on their guerrilla campaign for four years. In 1921, the IRA, opposing the very same British colonialism, drove Britain from the majority of Ireland. The IRA’s guerrilla strategy, striking where and when their opponents least expected it, is the same strategy used today in the six counties still occupied by Britain in the Northern Ireland. Inspired by MLK’s campaigns, Irish Nationalists in the 1960s began their own civil rights campaign. They repeatedly were met with violence, until the repression culminated in the shooting of 13 peaceful marchers during a civil rights march in 1972. This act led many passive resisters to accept the modern IRA’s guerrilla tactics and spurred the largest resurgence in IRA membership since the Anglo-Irish War.

You might say Earth Firstlers are not indigenous warriors fighting to win freedom like the Irish or native people here, but the struggle to protect Earth’s remaining biodiversity knows no racial boundary. Maybe it’s time we ask ourselves why we are not willing to risk as much as warriors fighting the same enemy in other lands. I do not believe we need to use physical violence now, but we should fight a guerrilla war that places intact ecosystems and all that lives there above machines built for their destruction.

Earth Firstlers are the last line of defense, the last line of resistance when all other tactics fail, the last line before bulldozers rip into the homes of bears and salamanders, lynx and salmon and every other race. After we fail, there is only the sorrow that we did not do more and the memory of how beautiful this land once was. We must fight now to defend all of it as we would for our own family and home. The animal and plant nations have no army except for people like you and me. Environmentalists in three-piece suits aren’t going to lay their lives and freedom on the line. There is only us. Humans and nonhumans will die if we burn out, surrender to fear or do only what preserves our level of comfort in this society.

Within Earth First! I pray there are warriors who are not afraid of a few years in prison for pursuing the righteous wild passion that tells us to fight a guerrilla war against the evil powers destroying Earth. That war need not be violent to be successful; it need only place more faith in our love of the Earth than our fear of a government-sponsored vacation like the one I now enjoy. We are the warrior generation that Earth depends on most. On every front, let’s all work together without criticizing each others’ tactics, while encouraging constant discussion of the best strategy, with only one goal in our hearts and minds—to always put the Earth first.


The Cult of Nonviolence Responses — March

In the November-December 1997 issue, we printed an article, “The Cult of Nonviolence,” that struck a nerve (like a root canal) with Earth Firstlers far and near. In short, the authors argued that dogmatic adherence to nonviolence sets up unhealthy power dynamics and alienates potential activists from our movement.

The cult analogy stirred up a rich stew of ideas and criticisms that had been simmering in different parts of the movement for quite awhile. Suddenly, everyone had something to say about our strategic victories and failures. In the following five-page section, we have assembled some of the most eloquent advocates of varying futures for the movement. The authors include the old guard, the new guard, recidivists and law-abiders, committed nonviolence trainers and practiced iconoclasts.

As Mike Roselle says, the debate over the role of nonviolence in the movement reoccurs periodically. We believe the occasional reconsideration of this question is essential as the movement evolves.

Lest it be forgot, the opinions that follow are those of the individual authors, not of the Earth First! Journal, any local Earth First! group or the Earth First! movement. To take any of the following out of context and proclaim it the philosophy of Earth First! would be an ideological and intellectual crime of the first degree. We don’t, of course, presume our opposition to be above such tactics. Nonetheless, we believe the debate to be integral to the growth of the movement.

The question the movement faces, and which the authors address, is not whether violence is an appropriate tactic, but what form of nonviolence is. Our use and understanding of nonviolent philosophy is nuanced and complex (as evinced by the two codes of nonviolence). We hope the following deepens our understanding of and commitment to practical, workable nonviolence.

  • Is There Any Other Option by Michael Donnelly (A peacenik thinks “Arms are for Hugging”), above.

  • Man Without a Column by Mike Roselle (An old timer’s refutation of the Cult of Nonviolence), page 8.

  • Beyond Civil Disobedience by Snap Dragon (Someone’s got a bone to pick with the pacifist-aggressive amongst us), page 9.

  • Nonviolence Forever by Mikal Jakubal (A reminder that Earth First! is a nonviolent movement), page 9.

  • Cult of Ass Kissing by Spike and friends (A sharp critic of nonviolence as practiced at the Headwaters campaign), page 10.

  • Peace Bro by Ed Denson (The accused responds), page 11.

  • The Sum of the Parts by Ann Arcky (The accused responds, take II), page 11.

Redwood Nation Nonviolence Code

This nonviolence code was adopted from many different movements, with the strongest influence from the late ‘70s/early ‘80s anti-nuke movement. It was formalized and consensed in May 1990 (only weeks before the bombing of Judi and Darryl) in response to increased death threats, intimidation by wise use groups and the coming of Redwood Summer. It remains unchanged and is the root of all of our organizing efforts (and successes!)...

  • Our attitude will be one of openness, friendliness and respect toward all people and the environment around us.

  • We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any being.

  • We will not damage any property.

  • We will not bring firearms or weapons.

  • We will not bring or use illegal drugs or alcohol.

  • We will not run.

  • We will be aware of extreme fire danger and obey fire safety rules at all times.

Is there any other option?

by Michael Donnelly

I always welcome intelligent thought-provoking opinion pieces about movement strategy. Gaia knows, we don’t do enough of it. But, Gary McFarlane and Darryl Echt’s essay on the “Cult of Nonviolence” in the Samhain issue ultimately begs the question: What other options do we have?

I didn’t come to my nonviolent beliefs as some glassy-eyed, cult-brainwashed dupe. Very real events like getting drafted and resisting the Vietnam War caused me to assess what violence was doing to my world and whether reactive violence could right societal wrongs. It was not easy to witness my friends fight and die for an un just government while other friends plotted the destruction of draft boards and ROTG buildings. I grew up in inner-city Flint, Michigan, and witnessed firsthand the injustice of racism. I was there during the assassination of Dr. King (whom I once saw speak to a crowd of hundreds of thousands) and the Detroit insurrection, and I was perilously close to responding violently. I wavered but finally concluded that active, nonviolent resistance is the only option. For me, nonviolence really is a moral issue. If an action requires that I engage in violence to stop the juggernaut (be it racism, war or the war on the Earth), it unacceptably requires buying into the notion that violence can result in a positive solution. My fatalistic view is that if violence is what it takes to affect change, we’re such a flawed species we aren’t worth it.

Can we really win using violence? When I look around and see a corporate machine backed by the enormous police powers of the state, I think not. We could never out-firepower them.

McFarlane and Echt cite the Black Panthers. We saw what happened to the Panthers. The legacy of a generation of black, male leaders lost to state-sanctioned murder and incarceration continues to devastate the. African-American communinity. Though there’s no guarantee that the Forces of Darkness (FoDs) won’t crush even a nonviolent, decidedly white movement like ours, there’s a definite guarantee that the FoDs would come down in force given the least provocation Just because one doesn’t believe in mass, voluntary assests (I often question the efficacy of that, as well^ we can’t resort to violence.

We can only win this with the right reasons and the right means. I know attacking a local mill owner or blowing up his mill wouldn’t end old-growth logging in my watershed. Making the right biological arguments and winning over the greater public might.

Just as the National Guard murders at Kent State are often cited as the turning point in ending public support for the Vietnam War, we’ll lose support if our efforts to preserve wilderness become violent. Just look at the public outrage over the Humboldt County Police Department’s use of pepper mace on nonviolent protesters. Even Dan Rather lambasted the FoDs for that one. The support the forest protection movement enjoys with the general public comes from our CD campaigns. Back there “in our murky past,” warriors, yes warriors, like Mary’ Beth Nearing, Freda London and Karen Wood took on the task of educating the movement in the principles of nonviolent CD. Some practiced CD for ethical reasons, some for reasons of practicality. Many warriors submitted to voluntary arrest. Many were subjected to retaliatory lawsuits. They consciously chose to pay the price. It was, and continues to be, empowering. It demeans their sacrifice to merely dismiss it as cult-like and mindless.

Back in the early ‘70s, when my friends and I were crying in the rain as the forests fell, 1 dreamed of a day when enough people would stand up and resist ecological destruction. It was the efforts of the legions of CD warriors putting it on the line that finally brought the issue lo national attention. Now, the question remains whether the nation’s con science has the will to end the destruction.

Ultimately, if your means don’t reflect your ends, you cannot attain your ends. Like Gary and Darryl, I don’t have all the answers, but I’ll never question the effectiveness of civil disobedience. It has stood the test of time.

COVE/MALLARD Code (Circa 1993)

Some principles of nonviolence (each affinity group should consense on their own)

  • We listen to others and acknowledge our differences.

  • We endeavor to respect all living things we encounter (even cops, though not too much).

  • We will not return the hostility or anger of others.

  • We will take personal responsibility for being in a clear state of mind.

  • We will not retreat from conflict if it occurs but will act in ways to resolve it peacefully. (We will not leave others in the lurch.)

  • We realize that there may be people at actions (including workers or police) who do not share the same principles as we do.

Caution: Nonviolent direct action may be hazardous to your health, and in some cases has led to injury and even death. Self preservation is not a wise reason to use nonviolence. We use it to try to stop the cycle of destruction, but that sometimes means it stops after us. Be careful and brave.

Put your faith in Nonviolence!

by Michael Roselle

Hello folks. After four years in the Wild Rockies I have returned home to the beautiful South, and I am back in Washington, DC. I love this town and can’t figure out why everyone calls it a hell-hole. It’s a wonderful, friendly, African-American city full of strange music and spicy food. I’m currently researching the global underworld of pirates, thieves, liars and plunderers that we know fondly as the timber industry. My goal is to get all old-growth products off the market by the year 2005.

I was asked by the Journal to respond to the recently published article, “The Cult of Nonviolence,” written by my good friends Darryl Edit and Gary Macfarlane. I like to see this kind of discussion in the Journal, even though it has been covered many times since the first issue appeared in 1979. But I feel compelled to question many of the assumptions that the authors raise.

Let’s start with this first statement, “Sometime in our murky past, the selfelected ‘leaders’ of Earth First! issued some decisions: The movement was too violent, too morally impure, too fascistic, too stupid, the wrong media grist and in need of education. Anyhow, it was decided that we should clean up our act and become ethically principled resisters.”

I feel like Rip Van Winkel. When did this happen? I must have passed out at a Rendezvous and woken up after it was over. This may be reference to the renunciation of tree spiking initiated by Judi Bari at the 1989 ELAW conference in Eugene, Oregon. If so, it might be useful to note that the signers, of which I was one, expressly mentioned that they spoke only for themselves and were not denouncing anyone who disagreed. Anyway, all of us are constantly in need of further education, and I hope that we all want to be ethical and principled.

Later Darryl and Gary declare, “We have established our own nonviolent priesthood. We have determined that we need experts, priests. We build heroes, inflate martyrs and devalue the roles of

other activists. Too frequently we defer decision making to our experts or priests.”

Who are these priests? Certainly we have created a martyr of Judi Bari, but let’s face it, the woman was vilified by many in Earth First! when she was alive. And while I believe that her life story as told today by many in her amen corner is false and misleading, they have every right to tell the story any way they choose. And what’s wrong with experts? Would you take your car or VCR to get repaired by anyone other than an expert? The writers seem to question all heroes, but later they speak of the Sea Shepherd in almost reverential tones. All movements have heroes, experts and martyrs. It may not be right, but it helps us to teach each other and to tell our story, and that is important. I believe anthropologists call this an oral tradition, and it is probably older than campfires.

They go on to say, “The learned and/or experienced among us have become nonviolence trainers—they’ve been ordained. Well, overreliance on them creates an imbalance, an unhealthy hierarchy that haunts campaigns.

I agree that some nonviolence trainers can be self-righteous, sanctimonious pains in the ass. But it takes rigorous training before you can be a competent warrior. Good trainers teach you to think and to question, not to accept dogma.

Later Gary and Darryl write, “Often it is the tactic that becomes the message, not the Earth. The issue for which we chose to be arrested becomes obscured by the act itself.”

Losing the message is a real risk in nonviolence. It is a bigger risk with monkeywrenchirig, a greater risk still withy violenceriBut that doesn’t make any of those paths wrong. Staying on message is the greatest challenge most activists will face. But through hard work and discipline, and by thinking everything through, it can be done. Look at the African National Congress and their successful struggle to end apartheid. The movement started as a nonviolent

struggle modeled after Gandhi’s Indian National Congress. It renounced nonviolence only after brutal repression. It stayed on message and won international support and recognition. It toppled the hated regime, and Nelson Mandela is today the president of South Africa, a man who spent 26 years in prison as a terrorist.

One of my favorite statements in the article is, “Indoctrination, be it called education or training, is done to create groupthink. For example, it has been our experience that some people involved in the Cove/Mallard campaign have not felt their ideas and skills were welcome or respected.”

As someone who has spent many an afternoon sitting in a circle at

Cove/Mallard, I know how the writers feel, but this sounds a lot like’ ‘ whining to me. Consensus is often a long and difficult process, but for direct actions it is extremely useful. Otherwise, one yahoo can endanger / the safety, freedom and effectiveness v of the whole group. There has to be some give and take.

Likewise, I have not found it true that “fighting the system through the court is disempowering. It keeps the focus on the legal system, social-justice and human rights—everything but logging.”

I like having my day in court. Jail is tough, but I have found it useful as a way to reach out to others. I still have all the letters that I received during my four month stint in a South Dakota jail. It may have been the best organizing I’ve ever done.

Finally, I want to address the statement, “A Native American ecoactivist told one of us that although he respects those who choose arrest, he would never ask his friends on the reservation to subject themselves to the very power that has enslaved them for over 500 years. Are we creating and encouraging roles for people like him and his friends in the movement?”

Besides the fact that one Native American may disagree with another on this point, haven’t we all been enslaved by the industrial technology that is killing our planet? Aren’t we all, to some degree, in the same boat?

Most white activists I know are knee-jerk on the point of diversity. There are people of color who choose nonviolence. There are those who don’t. There are globally more people of color in the environmental movement than there are whites. The larger environmental movement is extremely diverse and growing. If Native Americans, African Americans, Asians or Hispanics aren’t drawn to your campaigns, maybe you need to look at yourselves. You want nonwhites at your meetings and gatherings, but you display no understanding of different cultures. You want them td be vegan, pegan, eco-anarchists just! . like you. Do you go to their Ap churches, mosques or temples to speak? Do you table at their cultural)\ or neighborhood events? Or do you ‘ expect them to read a poorly laid-out flyer, show up to your campfire, eat half-cooked beans and sleep in the mud? Get real. I

The fact is, diversity is poorly understood in our movement. It is beautiful, but it is not the point. All peoples, all cultures, have their movements and organizations. We need to work with them when we can and respect our references. You don’t have to join their movements, and they don’t have to join ours. We must work together, however, if we want to succeed.

I found Darryl and Gary’s article, while provocative, very divisive and ignorant of the basic concepts of movement building. I wonder if they’ve ever read Gandhi or King, neither of which, by the way, were white.

PS: You can now contact the Man Without a Bioregion directly at roselle@essential.org.

Beyond Civil Disobedience

by Snap Dragon

If someone broke into your home, tried to kill your family and steal everything you had, what would you do? A: Make a banner and call the media. B: Call a lawyer and file for a restraining order. C: Chain yourself to the front door. Such reactions seem ridiculous because they would be completely ineffective. However, this is exactly how we respond to the homicidal maniac of industrial society, and it is no less inappropriate. The most sensible response is to fight like hell. Passive resistance, civil disobedience and related strategies don’t work, not as a long-term strategy for transforming society nor as short-term stopgap measures.

Our problem is larger than endangered species or the plunder of public lands. Our solution will not be found in a piece of legislation or a better management plan. Industrial collapse, an end to corporate capitalism and a complete transformation in the way our culture relates to the environment are necessary to stop this assault on the planet. On this, most agree. Our movement, however, has become dominated by the rhetoric and tactics of civil disobedience (CD), which are incongruent with this necessity. CD has never been a strategy for revolutionary change but a way to reform existing institutions. Because of this inconsistency, these actions will continue to be largely ineffective.

Civil disobedience is an established part of the political process that has defined and modified the American empire for over 200 years. It is widely accepted as legitimate, regardless of its legality, because CD attempts to pressure government to remedy the situation through legislation, administrative action or court rulings. However, there is enormous pressure to maintain the status quo or shift it in favor of corporations. This pressure is generated by bureaucratic momentum, industry and government collusion, good ol’ boy networks and systemic tendencies (such as how laws are written to uphold the interests of property). Government, industry and technology are inextricably linked, forming institutions that make the wholesale destruction of the biosphere possible and profitable. Government consistently rushes to the aid and defense of industry, unless specifically forced to do otherwise by massive public outcry. To this end, nonviolent resistance tries to elevate consciousness and gain public sympathy. However, the supposition that the public will someday rise to the defense of other species denies the reality of modern society

Biocentrism is necessarily opposed to almost everything the American people know; their lifestyle, the technology they use every day, the way they relate to the world. Their values and beliefs are molded by a mass media owned by exploitative global corporations and controlled by the advertising demands of other corporations. Television, radio, magazines, newspapers and other media outlets teach people who they are, what is going on in the world and what they should think about it. This corporate conditioning and the perspective it promotes are practically inescapable. As people become more dependent on technology and the infrastructure that makes it possible, life without it becomes not only undesirable but unimaginable. The success of all forms of nonviolent resistance depends on substantial public support, and citizens of an affluent industrial society are not going to demand radical changes.

Although nonviolent resistance is not going to get us from where we are today to where we need to be, it can be argued that until the political climate changes or industrial society collapses (whichever comes first) CD can temporarily slow habitat destruction. We can sometimes achieve environmental victories using CD by appealing to human-based concerns such as pollution, recreation and economic efficiency, but we must realize what we give up in the process. In doing so, we compromise our vision to gain public support. This is the same compromise mainstream environmental groups make to gain political clout, and it is a mistake for the I same reasons. Cooperating with destructive institutions by engaging in the political process grants them legitimacy through complicity. We accept a limited realm of debate and become co-opted and incorporated into industrial culture. We create the illusion that the system works, both to the public and to ourselves, which only masks the real problem.

Making these compromises would be justifiable if we were getting something significant out of it, but we don’t. We have our successes, but these .small political gains ag^lwa^Aemporary. They are tolerated only as long as they don’t threaten corporate interests, and then they are systematically ignored, circumvented or dismantled. The entire saga of the spotted owl injunction, Option 9, the Salvage Rider and now the Quincy Library Group is evidence of the transitory nature of political solutions. Old-growth logging, roadless area incursions and habitat destruction continue; the only thing that changes is the political framework that justifies these travesties. Most CD campaigns require enourmous amounts of time and resouces but acheive very little. In the absence of effective methods of nonviolent resistance, we need to consider more militant strategies. The most common objection to more radical tactics, of any kind, is that they are equated with violence and thus inherently oppressive and immoral, and “good” ends cannot be achieved through “evil” means. This analysis is based on the extremely unbalanced morals of modern human civilization. We know that we are part of the Earth and that the web of life which allows for our survival is imminently threatened, but we often forget the moral implications of this biological fact. We are fighting inx self-defense, a situation in which violence is almost umversally”accepted. In the natural world, when “animals are attacked, they run or figh fback. To claim ‘moral superiority in nonviolence separates us from tfiehatufal world. We are partof the Earth defending ^ourselves. We are animals with nowhere to run. To think that we have somehow evolved to higher consciousness is naive at best.

The fear of more radical tactics triggering a backlash against environmentalism is unsubstantiated. Popular support for environmentalism is a reaction to the continued degradation of human environments, which will be unchanged by the public’s perception of “extremists.” For example, the current efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases are not based on altruistic concern for delicate ecosystems but on the very real economic and social consequences of global warming, a cause for concern no matter what you think of radical environmentalists.

There simply is no moral or strategic imperative to adhere to nonviolence and engage in civil disobedience. We don’t need to convert the public; we need to protect wild places. Without its symbolic underpinnings, CD is a terribly inefficient way to stop logging, road building and developing. Every day 137 species become extinct and 176,000 acres of forest are lost forever. We don’t have the luxury of civility. We must do whatever is necessary to defend our home and protect our ecological family. Once it is gone, we can only wish that we had done more.

Nonviolence Forever

By Mikal Jakubal

Amidst all the controversy over violence and whether or not it should be discussed or even obliquely advocated in the Journal, one basic point seems to have been overlooked: Fftrth First’ is not a violent-movement, We never have been and never will be. Violence is not the inclination of the vast majority of EF! activists and, equally important, it is not what an evep greater majority of those who contribute to our campaigns would supporIQJpenly advocate, say, political assassination in the Journal, and see how long before anew office space has to be found, a new basecamp site, new food donations, new funding sources and so on. Like any guerrilla movement, we live or die on whether or not the larger community will shelter us and underwrite our action_Qampaigns. Advocate killing or bombing and watch this movement starveZ^’

Our enemies understand this all too well, which is why we regularly have to fend off attempts to link us with the Unabomber. Here on the north coast of California, the timber industry concocts a steady stream of fake sabotage and fake threats of violence because they know the best way to discredit and undermine support for nonviolent activists is to attribute violence and sabotage to us. For those who think that sabotage might be effective against the likes of Maxxam’s Charles Hurwitz, owner of Headwaters forest, remember that he received a $1.6 billion federal bailout._He has enough pocket change tFarnply guard arid insure “all fiiTequipment againstdamage by any would-be ninjas in camo. ^Distancing ourselves from violence (andin most cases, sabotage as well) is a prerequisite to successful organizing. Nonviolence is our strength. When*was the last time anyone heard of the FBI infiltrating an armed group and provoking them to nonviolence? (“Psst, hey kid! Forget about bombs, let’s go do a sit-in!”)

Theoretical discussions about whether or not violence is ultimately the only effective recourse are just that—theoretical—because EF! will never convert to violence as a policy, and fortunately so. Intellectual laziness, lack of discipline, failure to build institutional wisdom, lack of competent strategy and ego¬driven leadership often impede the potential effectiveness of EF! actions. But bring a load of grenades to basecamp and those flaws become tragedies. Those whobelieve in violence are ultimately wasting their time and that of the rest of us as well. For their own sake7 they’d be better off simply starting their o paper, prihfihg-exactly what they want and setting about the arduous task q ‘organizing whatever kind of violent movement they think will worlC Prosely tizing among the unbelievers will only leave everyone frustrated. If a violen radical environmental movement is ever organized (and lasts more than a yea or two) it would be its own separate thing and not part of EF!

The real threat to environmental and animal rights activists is not so much that we’ll go out in the streets and be shot, but that we’ll be ignored. In many ways these movements have marginalized themselves into irrelevancy, stuck in the literal and metaphorical ghetto of basecamps and secretive affinity groups. Many groups have let basic outreach and organizing skills atrophy in favor of the same media stunts performed by the same few people. All the ingenious remaking of history over Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. only detracts from the real work of organizing and developing effective movements.

Instead of printing any more oh-so-much-more-militant-than-thou posturing passing itself off as critique, I suggest that the space would be better use a for articles designed to improve basic organizing, strategy and movement-building skills. If EF!’s past use of nonviolent activism has not been altogether effective, it is not nonviolence that is at fault, but the skills of the activists! Introducing violent methods into an ineffective, dogmatic, nonviolent group . would only result in an ineffective, dogmatic, violent group.

Cult of Ass Kissing

by Spike and friends

It’s time for a sober appraisal of this “movement” and the effectiveness of its tactics, in particular where the nonviolence code is concerned. Nonviolence is reactive, a negative objective—however, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the tactics employed by the EF! movement can be better described with a positive, pro-active term—namely, ass-kissing. It’s time to face the fact that ass-kissing is not an effective tactic for social change.

Nonviolence is a potentially empowering concept, not to be confused with complacent ass-kissing, which helps reinforce traditional hierarchical relationships within society instead of challenging them. Nonviolence started out promisingly as a genuinely radical alternative to the moribund carcass of mainstream environmentalism, but has since become effete and formulaic, a masturbatory exercise in defeat.

Earth First! cannot be an effective movement and . continue practicing the brand of nonviolence it currently professes. Our numbers simply aren’t sufficient. Even at large campaigns with a couple of hundred people, only a fraction are willing to risk arrest or defy the police.

A prime illustration of this is the ’97 Headwaters campaign. The rally was nothing more than a party, and the political dialogue there iwas virtually indistinguishable from that which might be overheard at the local McDonald’s. Even the local papers recognized the rally for what it was: a gathering of nostalgic, harmless liberals, about as intimidating as the Promise Keeper’s. In fact, the organizers were so terrified that this rally would be mistaken for an actual protest that they were compelled to provide their own security force, dubbed “Peace Keepers,” although “Ass-Kissers” would have been a more appropriate term. Their primary function seemed to be to remind the participants that they were there to party, not to protest.

The next day, about 200 people walked from the California Department of Forestry (CDF) in Fortuna to the entrance of Pacific Lumber’s property. The next few hours entailed listening to a variety of watered-down, uninspiring propaganda that would have had us believe that our presence was impeding the progress of Maxxam. The fact was that no logging was planned that day, but that was all right because it was a “Good Action.”

More excellent examples of this sort of risk-free activism can be found in an October 9 Headwaters action alert. The action alert begins with a greeting from the Headwaters basecamp and almost immediately launches into a self-congratulatory, delusional rave about giant puppets and street theater shutting down Maxxam. After wading through an ocean of generic EF! rhetoric, I saw a paragraph that caught my eye: “Immediately after the rally cleared out, we transformed into basecamp and dove right into action. On Monday the 15th, 200 folks marched from CDF in Fortuna to the Newburgh road gate, where 15 women held a line across the gate, and wood elves hiked around to the road above.

“The Humboldt County Sheriffs and California Highway Patrol stood stone-faced as we rallied, ranted and prayed, until reinforcements arrived in riot gear and got into military formation. After removing activists from the road above, the police focused on the crowd who were peaceably assembling and allowing police vehicles to pass. They declared us an illegal assembly and ordered us to disperse by threatening us with chemical agents! We circled up to seek consensus but at the last moment the police charged us and most of us moved.” In my opinion, this one paragraph says more about the present state of our “movement” than the last 20 issues of the EF! Journal put together.

As anyone who is actually out on the front lines will tell you, we are badly in need of some new tactics and some type of long-term revolutionary strategy that links our actions with those of other resistance movements around the globe. The fact

that ths authors of the above-mentioned Headwaters action alert went out of their way to actually boast about obeying the police shows that the real priority of most activists is not protecting the Earth but protecting the reputation of Earth First! as a law abiding, nonviolent protest group that “plays by the rules.”

At Headwaters rallies, people shout things like, “We’re not extremists, we all have jobs, we all pay taxes; we’re not against logging, we just want to see it done differently.” Signs that read “Jail Charles Hurwitz” and “End Lawless Logging” are everywhere. In 1998, as we teeter on the brink of total ecological devastation, this type of liberal ass-kissing is intolerable. Asking the system that created Charles Hurwitz to punish him can only be described as pathetic; if Hurwitz ever went to jail it would only be as a shill for the capitalist system whose very raison d’etre is resource extraction.

“Self-congratulatory, delusional... power-tripping liberals... display their lack of revolutionary courage” at a Headwaters rally.
Photo courtesy of Ecotopia News Service

Let’s return to the text of the action alert, “On Thursday, 21 activists locked down in cement-encased lock boxes across Fisher road, the controversial site of the last two September Headwaters Rallies. Again, authorities ordered us to disperse, which we chose to do willingly as a sort of Akido move.”

Akido is based on the concept of leading your opponent, of harmonizing with your opponent’s charge and turning their aggression against them. Yet nowhere in this flyer is it ever explained how this clever “Akido move” was used against the police; in fact, it is never mentioned again. This is because no Akido move ever took place and the self-styled “Earth Warriors” of

Humboldt County are only trying to make themselves appear heroic, when their actions clearly betray their lack of revolutionary courage and their cringing obedience to authority. The police did the leading in this situation and the crowd scattered, probably because most of them were new recruits under the insidious influence of the power-tripping liberals who try to set policy for the entire environmental movement.

What is this policy? Ostensibly, it is contained in the nonviolence code, the holy scripture that liberal environmentalists adhere to with all the religious zeal of any fundamentalist fanatic, seeking to convert those who have not yet “seen the light”— at least until the letter of the law conflicts with the single most holy precept conceivable to the “believer,” ass-kissing., Not coippidentajly, the only rule included in the nonviolence code that doesn’t explicitly call for ass-kissing is also the rule most EFiers have no compunction about breaking: We will not run. Oh, yes—we will run, and darn fast, when cops or loggers are after us. The Headwaters nonviolence code, aside from being archaic and ineffective, can be downright dangerous when used as a shield for cowardly behavior. Strict, dogmatic adherence to a nonviolence code often endangers the safety of fellow activists who place themselves in vulnerable positions at the mercy of hostile forces with only their “support group” as protection. An excellent example was an action at Dillon Creek this year. A young EF!er locked down to a water truck that blocked the roadway deading to the sale units. When the loggers arrived, about half of the support team fled, leaving about six of us. The loggers opened up a valve and began dumping water on the poor kid’s head. We still had them out numbered, and I tried to convince everyone to band together and shut off the water. No one would back me up, and I wound up facing two loggers alone. I nearly got my ass kicked for nothing, as they physically prevented me from shutting off the water and finished emptying hundreds of gallons of water upon their unfortunate target who had been abandoned by most of his support group.

Then, they chased one of our number through the woods and hit him with a shovel. Another protester was thrown on the ground. Later, when I chastised my fellow blockaders for not forcing them to shut the water off, one of them looked at me aghast and said, “That might have provoked violence.” I don’t think he was joking. The fact is, the loggers did get violent—but not with the people who stood up to them. Subservience is no guarantee of personal safety; in fact it is an insult to the memory of effective nonviolent movements whose members risked life and limb standing up to and defying their oppressors. None of the great, successful nonviolent movements were ass-kissing in nature; they were developmental and progressive, not dogmatic and inflexible. The very notion of resting on one’s laurels is antithetical to the idea of calling something a “movement.” People in Earth First! need to become familiar with the history of nonviolent resistance before they begin to espouse a political philosophy they cannot even claim to understand.

Further evidence of the depraved toadying that passes for activism can be seen in another of the fascist rules included in the nonviolence code: We will not destroy any property. How can a creed! fashioned with the ostensible aim of preserving the \ Earth even acknowledge the idea of “property”? J This is an inescapable paradox, and a fatal flaw in our strategy. Clearly, this movement is suffering from an identity crisis.

For too long we have relied on gurus and ideologues to define us and our shared philosophy. Deep ecology is an intellectual concept about putting the Earth first created by college professors who are environmentally radical but politically reactionary and who are pushing their own reformist political agenda that will never take us far beyond fairly limited forms of lawful protest and lobbying.

Are we willing to concede to this kind of tyrannical manipulation?

There is a police-like mentality at work that should frighten anyone concerned with real social or ecological change. The movement must be what we decide it should be, not what self-appointed leaders decide for us, especially when these decisions were made in a different era. This type of intellectual browbeating would be inexcusable in an effective social movement. It’s time to jettison the nonviolence code and allow this movement to be redefined in the terms of its actual participants.

Peace Bro


by Ed Denson

Spike’s exuberant flame about nonviolence at the Headwaters campaign is quite interesting. While I am not an EF!er, I am a long time nonviolence preparer who has worked with people taking part in several of the larger Headwaters demos of ’95-’97, as well as in the Redwood Summer of 1990.1 was one of the peacekeepers that Spike felt was restraining the revolution at Stafford in 1997.

I share some of Spike’s feelings about the inadequate implementation of nonviolence guidelines at some Headwaters actions. I don’t mean that these actions were violent. But, like Spike, I thought some protesters were confused and did not implement nonviolence with more imagination and creativity than just sitting down or milling around in the road. Unlike Spike, I don’t think this means forest activists should quit being nonviolent. Quite the opposite, I think it means they need to work on their nonviolence so that they will be more effective next time.

I was especially struck by Spike’s version of the Dillon Creek action at which people did not try to stop the loggers from dumping water on the locked down activist because that “would provoke violence.” Without knowing the particulars, I won’t comment on what occurred, but I will comment on what Spike reported. The point of a nonviolent action is to make a highly principled moral statement that will resonate in the hearts of those who hear about it. Being attacked for making that statement is a side issue. To put it another way, you are being nonviolent, not them. You follow your conscience and others react as seems appropriate to them. If you allow your plans to be canceled because someone else threatens violence, then you will soon be unable to act at all.

What is most interesting about Spike’s discussion of nonviolence and his call to discontinue it, is what he doesn’t mention. In the fall of 1997, the Headwaters campaign included three of the most successful nonviolent actions in years: the lockdown at Pacific Lumber’s headquarters in Scotia last September and the two in October at Bear Creek and US Congressman Frank Riggs’ office in Eureka. During these actions, Humboldt County deputies used swabs to rub pepper spray into the eyes of locked-down activists.

I cannot think of any other forest actions during the entire struggle to protect the ancient forests that achieved the national attention that the three pepper spray incidents did. The bravery of the victims, and the moral and physical courage they displayed garnered not only national attention but almost universal outrage. The police, on the other hand, have had to hire counselors to help them deal with the outpouring of national disapproval of their torture techniques. The sheriff’s office is in disarray and under attack in several court cases.

The pepper spray actions were not perfect from our end, but they were spectacular successes. They show that the great nonviolent actions are not confined to Gandhi’s time in India or Martin Luther King’s marches in the South 30 years ago. The extraordinary power of nonviolence to reach national public opinion, and to gain national public support, is still available to us today. Forest activists have the power to achieve similar successes this year. This is the time to build on what has been achieved so far. To me the question should not be: Do we continue nonviolence? Nonviolence is a huge success. The question is: How can we build upon the momentum we have had with nonviolence?

Were I working on plans for 1998’s Headwaters campaign there are two things I would make major priorities. One is support of the pepper-spray vic tims during their criminal trials in Eureka and the’ federal suit against law enforcement. The ongoin national attention to these events creates an un precedented chance to reach and shape public opin ion about the Headwaters forest crisis.

The second thing is building upon these actions. Look at the videos that the Sheriff was kind enough to make. What worked? What didn’t work? What future actions can be done that build upon these actions?

Planning a successful nonviolent action is not easy work. Most of Gandhi’s and King’s actions failed, and they knew nonviolence best. Undeniably, luck helped make the pepper-swab lockdowns successful in comparison to the dozens of similar lockdowns with much smaller results. But luck only comes to those who act. And it doesn’t take many people to make a successful action. The Headwaters forest will be far better served by four people doing a good nonviolent action than 200 who do a confused and purposeless action.

Spike, someone with your intelligence and your obvious willingness to put yourself on the line is the kind of person most likely to succeed with nonviolent action. Don’t give it up because some of those around you are not effective or don’t understand it as well as you do. Look for those who do understand, who are willing to do the work and withstand the violence, and together you can create the actions that can save the forest.

Protesters and cops at a Headwaters rally
Photo courtesy of Ecotopia News Service
The Sum of the Parts

by Ann Arcky

Many activists (both in EF! and other struggles) share a similar frustration with a lack of unity and solidarity in responding to police repression and the inability to escalate and evolve tactically. Many of us feel unfulfilled by the repetitive, almost compulsory gadgetry of tripods and lockdowns.

Like activists at Cove/Mallard, Cascadia and beyond, EFIers in the redwoods have explored the cutting edge of blockading and tree-sitting techniques. But we’ve also organized mass rallies and civil disobedience actions, drawing from the dense population of sympathetic citizens in our region.

It’s a strategy that almost requires that you appeal to the least radical of the masses, which affects the path of the collective will. The “masses” we’ve seen here in Humboldt don’t resemble the rabid, high-risk, confrontational throngs of the animal rights movement or urban European protests. Our protests are tailor-made to reflect who we are. I don’t think you have to be aggressive to affect change, much less to save trees. But without either closeknit affinity groups or charismatic “organizers” taking leadership roles to inspire tactical escalation, mass action in our region (and others) can really feel like a collective descent into the world of irrelevant, “risk-free” activism.

This is due to a lack of strategic thinking, partly because of inexperience and partly because of fear. It’s easy to form affinity with close friends who all agree to stay with the lockdown or to sit down when the police lash out, and sometimes it happens spontaneously. But when there are 200 people, all with their own personal thresholds, how can someone rely on everyone else’s willingness to stand their ground?

You can rant and rave and try to inspire fiery emotions, but when the dust clears, and there are 20 brave warriors suffering pain compliance holds in some rural cul-de-sac or suicidally occupying a busy urban intersection, it’s hard to answer the question, “What’s the point?” (especially when the trees are still falling, and the media cameras have fled). Being a mercenary to prove how hardcore you are might be a quick outlet for your pent-up aggression, but what does it actually accomplish?

At Headwaters, we’ve finally reckoned with a possible answer to this common problem: affinity groups, duh. The anti-nuke movement has organized that way for years, but I haven’t experienced a real, functional model in any eco-defense campaigns.

The obvious advantage with an affinity group is that you know ahead of time how far you can push it, and your numbers are your power. You can agree beforehand to hunger strike in jail or to all sit down when the cops order you to disperse.

Yes, we do respect the judgment of those who came before concerning property damage, and it has nothing to do with glorifying Pacific Lumber’s claim of ownership. It has to do with being part of a community-based movement and, in some ways, preserving our reputation.

EF! has a unique, inherited role in the wider Headwaters campaign, of which direct action is only one element. The liberal/reformist slogans Spike described are a very real part of the greater Headwaters campaign. EF! has taken steps to work with the greater campaign, rather than against it, hoping to attract folks to more radical tactics and to encourage healthy interaction with workers. The no sabotage rule and the “no verbal violence” part of the code are both a part of this too.

When participants agree to the nonviolence code, we take on the collective responsibility of calling each other on it. New participants know it from the beginning and, by and large, they choose to abide by it while at basecamp. Beyond the code, as anyone who has visited basecamp knows, we tolerate a lot of disruptive behavior because we truly want people to be able to just stumble upon us and get involved, maybe even find direction in life through the experience, as so many of us have in years past.

As far as I know, there are no EF! groups actively claiming acts of sabotage anymore, but our movement seems to disagree about our relationship to the issue. I think no EF! group need either claim nor condemn nonviolent, covert actions, but every campaign has a right to utilize its own unique toolbox. In our particular context, many of us feel that the long-term work of social and economic transformation is an issue of challenging class power as much as advocating for biodiversity and ecosystem survival. Monkeywrenching a gyppo (contract) logger’s equipment in a rural area, where there simply is no other line of work, seems like a flagrant abuse of class privilege.

As we all know, the corporate war on the Earth involves complex economic weaponry that prevents simple solutions and armors itself against fundamental challenges. Many of us recognize the potential of local residents, timber sympathizers and workers themselves to challenge Maxxam’s agenda—and we see it happening before our eyes. It’s more important for us to be a radical voice within that chorus than to distract it with tactics that alienate ourselves from that movement and don’t save any trees.

Letters to the Editor — March

Earth First! Journal,

There have been several letters about whether EF! should care about Mumia. Here’s my perspective: After the Vietnam protests we felt so impotent... We could see big money winning and we felt so trapped. I personally felt that suicidal behavior was quite logical. Then they bombed the MOVE house. All I could think was: They made them that mad. Just by wearing hair, eating right, living tribal and being black, they bothered the powers that be more than the whole anti-war movement. My current life, growing medicine food plants, working in groups and honoring the African Ancestors of my species daily, is partially rooted in this insight. The lie that says: “It doesn’t matter what you do, so you might as well treat yourself like shit” got blasted out of my ocean by that bomb. It does matter what a person does, what they believe, and how they live. I will always mourn the brave heroes of MOVE whose deaths helped teach me that. I hope more and more like them are born into this world until we all come to our senses.



Subject: get a life

I bet you’re all upset that your poster child Ted got caught. Well, he didn’t suceed in hanging himself with his underwear, but if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. What are all of you tree huggers going to do when the day finally comes that some redneck has had enough of you and finally decides the easiest way to get you off his equipment is with a blow torch? man you guys need some serious help, get a life and leave the rest of us alone, we don’t care about your bullshit ideology, but some day you are going to push someone too far and then one of your numbers is going too pay for it in blood.


Dear Earth First,

I loved Rod Coronado’s article “Every Tool in the Box.” I wish that my own life circumstances allowed me to be such a brave warrior as himself. I loved his honest assertion that nonviolence is moral and kindly and good for publicity, but sometimes other tactics are necessary.

A discussion of tactics leads me to some thoughts about the most notorious ecoLuddite warrior of all: the Unabomber.

Unabombings were inappropriate and criminal... but I was also disgusted by the stampede of radical enviro’s to distance themselves from him. After all—his cause is the same as ours. As soon as I read the words “Wild Nature” in his Manifesto, I knew that Theodore Kaczynski was “One of us.” He considered himself a friend of EF, read the journal, maybe took some of the radical enviros’ statements to heart. It’s regretful that he let personal anger get the upper hand... but can any of us look at the destruction of forests and not feel anger? The media has attempted to discredit his philosophy by portraying him as crazy. By extension I suppose that means that all of us who love the Earth are crazy? I think not. I think we should show them they’re wrong, by acknowledging our solidarity with Kaczynski (even though we don’t like bombs.) Be honest and admit, as I do, that “I don’t support his actions, but I do support his cause.”

Are you aware of the responsive chord which the Unabomber has struck? I have spoken with a number of people, many of them in the computer field, who say that the Manifesto has inspired them to become more aware of the techno-corporate oppressors and to join in efforts to oppose them, either by lifestyle or direct action. The publicity surrounding the Unabomber and his Manifesto has created an opportunity to get anti-progress, pro-nature ideas out into public discourse. If “radicals” are too righteous to take advantage of that, then they’re fools or cowards.

Montani Semper Liberia


Ed. note: The Unabomber was most certainly not “one of us.” Earth First! is a nonviolent movement. The Unabomber’s Manifesto decries activism as /utile. Not sure where you get your info, but it has yet to be proven that, “He considered himself a friend ofEF, read the journal, maybe took some radical enviros’ statements to heart.” In fact, the only people claiming any of those things came from the anti-environmental, wise use movement. I suggest you find some new reading material.


Letters to the Editor — May

Dear SFB,

Just read Lorax and Lester Wood’s letters in the Eostar Journal responding to Michael Dorsey’s “Environmentalism or Racism” Op-ed. I was gladly to see them there.

I recently swallowed my radical pride and joined the Sierra Club wanting to support John Muir Sierrans (David Orr, Texas EF! still loves you!) and to vote> against the “immigration reduction” proposal. I’m against it because the nation state is no longterm friend of the wild, strengthening the borders are artificial and anthropocentric... I’m against it because no one deserves to be forced back in shackles to a country that may execute them... I’m largely against it because my teenage sweetheart was a Mexican I helped sneak into the US, but that’s another issue...

However, some of my Earth First! and Sierra Club friends disagree with me on this, and support strong immigration limits. They are not closet members of the Aryan Nation or KKK, and don’t deserve to be called racists or xenophobes—they’re not! It’s not fear of a brown planet that inspires their stance, but fear of a dead planet due to excessive American population, consumption and waste. While I share their fears, I disagree with their solutions—we’ve had some honest and respectful debates about this. We’re biocentric activists and on the same side in spite of our differences.

While I agree with Dorsey’s opposition to Population-Environment Balance’s proposal, his editorial read like a reactionary assault of P.C. mudslinging and knee-jerk liberal slander. To link activists who support immigration limits to David Duke is like the mainstream media’s attempt to link Earth First! to the Unabomber. Or the left wing media linking deep eologists to Hitler. P-E B have clearly expressed their motives (which are not racist), and backed them up with facts and statistics. I believe there’s better motives, facts, and statistics to oppose them, but Dorsey didn’t give any of that.

About the “White Boys Club” behind this proposal—Maria Sepulveda, executive director of P-E B behind the proposal, don’t sound like too much of a white boy to me. To thoughtlessly mislabel a latina woman a “white boy” over a disagreement is ultimate racism (and amateur journalism.)

There’s strong Earth First! consensus that way too many humans are doing way too much damage. Our solutions to the population crisis are as diverse as our feelings on tree spiking, animal rights or misanthropy.

Let’s not get so P.C. we shit on our friend’s and allies over differences in strategy and politics and misjudge their intentions.

So yea, I’m still against P-E B’s proposal. And I’m not a racist or xenophobe, but neither are the conservationists who disagree with me. And I hope this letter isn’t taken out of context, ‘cause if it is I’ll probably get my monkey ass whooped at the Oregon Rendezvous. But then maybe I deserve it.


—Nome Ansland (who is not David Metzger, Tom Duke, or even Ed Foreman)


What is “non-violence”? Many in this on-going debate, on both sides, keep saying we need to read Gandhi. Okay, I did. Specifically, “Gandhi on Non-Violence,” edited by Fr. Thomas Merton. The following quotes are from Gandhi’s “Non-Violence in Peace and War”: ’ ,

“To lay down one’s life for what one considers to be right is the very core of satyagrahi. Satyagrahi is always superior to armed resistance. This can only be effectively proved by demonstration, not by argument. Injustice must be resisted. No doubt the non-violent way is always the best, but where this does not come naturally, the violent way is both necessary and honorable. Inaction here is rank cowardice. It must be shunned at all cost. There is nothing j. more demoralizing than fake non-violence of the weak and impotent.”

So the Mahatma’s basic message is: to be a true practitioner of non-violence, you must be wiling to die for it. This is the highest form of courage. Needless to say, those willing to give their lives will not run from the threat of a beating, jail or even prison. There are . very, very few people in the environmental movement, or anywhere else, with the courage of a true satyagrahi. Next down the line are those who are willing to give their lives fighting. From Gandhi’s own words we learn that there are times when this is “both necessary and honorable.” Then there is the “fake non-violence” used by the “weak and impotent” to disguise their “rank cowardice.”

How do we tell the difference between the cowards who advocate fake non-violence and true practitioners of ahimsa? Gandhi tells us that “this can only be effectively proved by demonstration, not by argument. “ So, anyone who advocates non-violence and deplores direct action is obligated to take the most dangerous places in any confrontation and without hesitation put themselves in harm’s way, ready to face jail, beatings, prison and even death. If not, they are nothing more than rank cowards using fake non-violence to disguise their weaknesses and impotence. “There is nothing more demoralizing... it must be shunned.”

Among the advocates of nonviolence, for every one with the courage of a true satyagrahi, there must be ten thousand impotent cowards. These cowards are demoralizing and holding back the movement in general and EF! specifically.

To Earth First! the practitioners and advocates of fake nonviolence are more than worthless, they are a detriment and a genuine liability. Earth First! was once considered the radical fringe, the cutting edge of the Environmental Movement. As such, it inspired respect and support. It now appears that EF! is being co-opted by the whiners, hand-wringers and chanting dancers that belong in Greenpeace or the Rainbow Family. EF! was founded as a radical direct action organization, the tooth and claw of the Environmental Movement. EF! must return to its roots, its original purpose.

Any advocate Of non-violence must be willing to prove their courage and conviction by demonstration. If not, they are bullshitting cowards who are a detriment and disgrace to EF! and dishonor the name of Mohandas Gandhi by invoking it. Fuck ‘em. Their opinions are worthy of contempt and dismissal, nothing more. Gandhi himself said they “must be shunned.” The defense of the biosphere is the most crucial conflict in the history of mankind. In this struggle EF! was formed to be the front line troops, the hardest of the hard core.

There are plenty of organizations that welcome, represent and are run by the posers and pretenders who play at environmental activism, or simply sit around and talk about it. Earth First! is not one of them. Purge the posers. Earth First! for the hard-core. No co-opting the cutting edge.


—Russell “Bongo” Bentley


I couldn’t resist the compunction to respond, once and forever, to the “nonviolence”T!eb‘dte reigning in the EF.‘J.

“Spike & Friends’” scathing critique of the Headwaters campaign in particular and EF! in general was well-placed and even timely. However, were it not for Spike & Friends’ sneering bravado and macho-posturing, the piece might have offered some timely wisdom and impetus for change. Instead, principals and bystanders alike are being shoved into ideological camps entrenched in their respective dog-ma-shit.

Spike & Friends would do well to teach by example, but alas, they, like their North Coast EF! counterparts, are neither Aikido masters nor developing a discernible practice of radical enviro. action that deals with the obvious foibles of protest-as-usual. Sadly, the notion of mastery, as in personal discipline, spiritual awareness and physical training is altogether lacking in this whole discussion of “violence.”

Humble yer’selves people!

—The Feral Kid

There is no strength in violence.

Think of a heroic radical environmental or animal lib action. In my mind comes images of people like Paul Watson sailing into a nuclear test site to stop a nuclear bomb. It is the Animal Liberation Front breaking into a vivisection lab and rescuing the animals. It is Julia Butterfly perched 200 feet up a tree, defying all that Pacific Lumber Co. and the weather can throw at her. These are truly heroic acts. They take great acts of inner strength and personal bravery.

Compare that strength with an act of violence. Take the Unabomber murder of that logging executive. Was there strength or bravery in that? No. It may of achieved worldwide media attention. But then so has Julia Butterfly’s action. The Unabomber action did not save a single tree. Julia Butterfly is sure as hell making sure the ancient redwood named Luna is saved.

People sometimes talk about their support for violence (the premeditated injury or killing of a sentient being—be it a human or nonhuman animal) to ’ show how radical they are. When there is nothing radical in violence. Violence is part of the status quo. Just ask anyone who has ever been “forcefully arrested.”

As radical green activists we need to break away from a culture that accepts violence to create a world where the person with the biggest stick (gun or bomb) does not call the shots.

Nonviolent direct action, be it legal, semi-legal or darn right overtly illegal is not a tactic. It’s an ethic. A way of life.

Any idiot can get hold of a book saying how to make a bomb. Any idiot can find a weapon capable of killing or injuring. It is the trtily heroic person who can achieve their aims without threatening life.

For nonviolent direct action in defense of Mother Earth. No compromise and no violence.

—Noel Molland

P.S. Neither monkeywrenching nor tree spiking should be regarded as violent. Both are forms of nonviolent direct action. All forms of nonviolent direct action should be encouraged.

So, Spike, you want to talk about the “Cult of Non-Violence/ Cult of Ass-Kissing,” how about the “Cult of Egotistical Machismo Earth First!ers” who aremore concerned with the glory of “fucking shit up” than with really stopping Earth-raping activities? Activists have been bombed and killed because of their non-violent actions to save Mother Earth.

Aren’t we fighting a war AGAINST violence?

Spike writes of an action at Dillon Creek where an activist locked down under a water truck and had the hose opened on him. (NEVER lock to a water truck!) Spike says he was trying to motivate people to turn the water off, but nobody would because they were afraid of violence. I was there—my first experience with direct action. A raging logger was trying to drive over our friend and kill him. Spike was being confrontational, arguing with the very angry loggers and making the situation more dangerous by inflaming them. This is not the energy we want at any action. Those of us who were NOT interested in fighting stood in front of the tires so that if he was going to kill our friend, he was going to kill us all. It worked, the logger backed off. Then, I DID turn the water hose off. The logger ripped my arm away screaming “Don’t fuckin’ touch my truck bitch!!” Instead of arguing, I crawled under the water truck and laid on top of my friend all night to keep him from freezing. We were soaked but the logger mellowed out. This is what I believe in: peacefully putting my body in the way of harm to Mother Earth & her creatures.

This is a problem the Earth First! “movement” is having with people whose anger, egos, drunkenness, and un-cooperation gets in the way of being effective doing direct action. What good is throwing rocks at a logger’s truck or fighting? The way we’ll end this environmental crisis is by bringing EVERYBODY in the community together to realize that we ALL love our forests, YES, even loggers. By fighting with loggers, we’re right where the corporations want us—too busy fighting each other to turn against them. Why are Union organizers like Judi Bari bombed? Because they represent the power that unified people have in resisting the oppressive corporate/government state. We need to drop our anger and attitudes and start working WITH each other before it’s too late. And if you feel violence needs to be your tactic, don’t bring it to peaceful direct actions. Be a solo wingnut.

—Gloria Piccadilly

I’m a big catch and release salmon and steelhead fisherman. I like to hunt also, but thanks to you little turds, my favorite Jackrabbit is illegal to hunt. If I was ever hunting and you were hugging some tree, trying to save it, I would accidentally miss the deer and maybe destroy a camera or carton of soy milk. By the way, If any animal rights or environmentalist starts badmouthing me if I’m carrying my freshly bagged deer, I would defend myself against the biggest scourge against mankind since the plague in self defense.

—Cowan & Lange, cowanlange@seanet.com

Last issue we ran a letter by Matt Roland about the unjust prison sentences he and his comrades were dealt for burning down new houses. Immediately after the letter was printed, Matt’s address was changed. He can now be reached by writing Matt Roland #962480–4504, Marion County Jail II, 730E. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46202.


Lacey Phillabaum

ELF Burns Down Vail Resort — December


During the night of October 18, cloaked in the dark of an almost new moon, two or more people crept along a Colorado ridgeline, leaving plastic milk jugs filled with gasoline as fiery calling cards at five buildings and four chairlifts. The 33,000-square-foot, 550-seatTwo Elks Lodge was totaled, resulting in minimum damages of $12 million to Vail Associates (VA). In addition, a 2,500-square-foot picnic shelter, a ski patrol building and one of the chair lifts were ruined, pushing the total amount of damages much higher than the widely-reported $12 million and making this the single most expensive act of environmental sabotage in US history.

The only known witnesses to the fire were four sleeping hunters, who alerted the authorities after they were awakened by the blazes around 4 a.m. One of the four, Neil Sebso, had gone to sleep around midnight seeking warmth inside a Vail restroom, while the other three camped outside. Sebso says he woke from a sleepy fog, thinking that somebody had opened the door, looked in and left.

When he got up to investigate, he saw nothing “and went back to bed. Next thing, I was awoken by Steve,” who showed him the rising flames.

The arson fires were set only five days after a court had ruled that Vail resorts could proceed with its planned Category III expansion into the Two Elk Roadless Area, despite the objections of local environmentalists.

The Colorado-based group Ancient Forest Rescue (AFR) has led that opposition, noting that the development of 2,200 acres of additional skiable terrain on public land is but a prelude to VA’s real plans for building luxury condominiums, a new base area and village to village gondolas on as much as 3,000 additional acres.

The new ski area alone, without the condos, would include four new chair lifts, 12 miles of road and ski ways and a 350-seat restaurant spanning Two Elk Creek, among other things. Ben Doon of AFR noted in the May-June issue of the Earth First! Journal that, “Twelvehundred logging trucks would be needed to haul away six million board feet of virgin spruce and fir. In return for the destruction of this pristine roadless area, the public would get back a pitiful 1.5 cents on every dollar made by Vail Inc. on this expansion, or less than $1 for every $56 lift ticket.” Vail’s net revenues last year were $291 million, garnered from Vail Mountain and its five other ski resorts, which already include six hotels, 72 restaurants, 40 retail and rental outlets and over 1,300 condominiums. Altogether, Vail Resorts, the parent company of Vail Associates, controls almost half of the Colorado ski market.

The focus of the environmental opposition, however, was not the unwieldy size of the corporation but the unconscionable destruction of the last of the potential lynx habitat in Colorado. Since 1935, only four lynx sightings have been documented in Colorado, and three of those sightings were in the immediate vicinity of the proposed expansion. White River National Forest Supervisor Martha Ketelle had agreed in writing not to allow work on the expansion until a voluntary consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on the risk to the lynx had been concluded. But both Vail Resorts and the Forest Service threw the pretense of concern about the lynx to the wind when logging equipment was brought in on October 16.

Why the rush? Because hearings are now being conducted on listing the lynx as endangered. If the lynx is so listed, USFWS consultation would be required, and, as the Colorado Division of Wildlife has stated, “If there is any critical lynx habitat in the state, this is it!” Indeed, the listing of the lynx would necessitate the largest endangered species recovery effort ever, encompassing 53 national forests and 24 Bureau of Land Management districts.

And so, as soon as the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decided on October 14 not to impose an injunction on the expansion until the appeal is heard, Vail began clearcutting and roadbuilding. AFR intended to protest in earnest. But while AFR bided its time, the ELF acted.

The widely held suspicion that the fires were set to protest the Vail expansion was confirmed two days after the fire when the ELF issued a communique claiming responsibility (see box opposite page).

Suddenly, the ELF was center stage in the theater of national media. But the star of the show is camera shy. The ELF is an underground group with no spokespeople or office. In the past two years, its actions have included burning two Forest Service wildlife research facilities in Washington burning Forest Service vehicles and spiking trees in Oregon’s Willamette National Forest, monkeywrenching bulldozers in California, and burning a horse slaughterhouse in central Oregon.

Much of the information about the ELF available in the US has come from the EF!J. In the September-October 1993 issue, an anonymous article announced the creation of the ELF in England. It said the ELF “is a movement of independently operating eco-saboteurs” that split from the “British EF! movement, which has focused largely on public direct actions.” The author noted that, unlike the ALF which seeks publicity, “ELF cells, for security reasons, work without informing the press and do not claim responsibility for actions... The surest way to be done for conspiracy or to attract surveillance or infiltrators is to seek attention.” Instead, the ELF publicizes pre-announced, internationally coordinated “Earth Nights.” These announcements always call for harm to property only, never life.

A second article in the September-October 1996 EF!J by Tara the Sea ELF specified that the “ELF solidified in 1992 at the first UK Earth First! gathering in Brighton, England.” It also reiterated that the “ELF has no command structure or solid network, each group is independent. There is no press office or office, so the authorities have nowhere to tracee or focus their eyes and ars.”

The ELF also lacks a phone number, contact person or e-mail address. For information, the journalists covering the Vail arson turned to the next best things, Earth First! and the Animal Liberation Front press office in Minnesota (what the heck, EF!, ALF, ELF, the names are so similar!). The story quickly turned from arson and its motives, to “ecoterrorism” and its perpetrators. Much like when Theodore Kaczynski was arrested and the media tried to portray him as an Earth First!er, the spark of interest was whipped into a full-blown conflagration by long-time anti-environmentalists, Ron Arnold and Barry Clausen. They put themselves forward as experts on “eco-terrorism,” and contacted major media outlets to spin the story. Lazy reporters failed to disclose both Arnold and Clausen’s ties to the timber industry. In the past, Arnold has gone as far as to say, “We are out to kill the fuckers. We’re simply trying to eliminate them. Our goal is to destroy environmentalism once and for all.” In service of that agenda, Clausen and Arnold portray all frontline activists as violent terrorists, besmirching the good names of thousands of activists across the country who put their own lives on the line as Earth First

The last lynx habitat in Colorado will be destroyed by the Vail expansion.

The Rocky Mountain News ran with the story, quoting Clausen saying, “The Earth First! Journal puts out the call for action. They read the literature and then they go out and commit acts of sabotage.” To prove his credibility as an eco-terrorist researcher, Clausen contrives analysis like, “The language in the Internet communique claiming responsibility ‘sounded exactly like’ other messages the Earth Liberation Front has sent,” specifically because the communique uses the word “tolerated” (that most terrorist of words!). Clausen continues, “The ecoterrorism movement has spawned ‘serial arsonists, no telling how many, who are going around the West.’” Ron Arnold even said in USA Today that “the fires have ‘upped the ante’ to the tactics used by terrorists in Europe and the Middle East.” While Clausen and Arnold spewing bull-pucky a is no new thing, the media’s alarming perpetuation of libelous and inaccurate information was truly surprising. Perhaps no article was further from the truth than one in the Lona don Observer, which claimed, S “Last month’s issue of Live Wild or Die delivered an ecoterrorist manifesto that has come to a smoking climax in the ski town of Vail, Colorado.” The ELF “is lead by a man in his early thirties who calls himself ‘Voice from the Siskiyous’... In 1988 Earth First! fell apart.

Foreman, concerned at the growing violence, ceded the leadership to Darryl Cherney and Judy Bari... The group is now part of the Direct Action Movement, based in Eugene, Oregon, and publishes a Direct Action Manual... The ELF is now part of a network loosely fronted by an alliance called the Liberation Collective, based in Portland, Oregon.” That one article contains so many inaccuracies it takes the whole idea of slovenly journalism to a new level. For the record, Live Wild or Die did not print an “eco-terrorist manifesto,” it doesn’t publish monthly, there is no ELF leader, EF! didn’t fall apart, there is no EF! leader, Judy is spelled Judi, there is no such thing as the Direct Action Movement, and the Liberation Collective is not an ELF front.

Despite the media’s seeming certainty about the identity of arsonists, some have questioned the authenticity of the ELF communique. They point out that the communique wasn’t sent out until two days after the arson, that the ELF has said previously it wouldn’t claim responsibility for actions and that the communique seems to contain a veiled threat of physical violence (“Foryour safety...”). Likewise, one AFR activist pointed out that a more effective act of sabotage would have been aimed at the machinery working on the expansion, not the existing resort.

Oh yes, Ancient Forest Rescue... The environmentalists working publicly to stop the Vail expansion, has been somewhat lost in the sound and fury over who or what the ELF is. Their nonviolence code specifically disavows property destruction, and AFR spokesperson Jeff Berman went so far as to say, “J would rather see Vail Resorts, through all their duplicity and greed, destroy the Two Elk Roadless Area than have some cowardly actions and threats erode the growing opposition to Vail’s rapacious plans...”

Such sentiments were reiterated by mainstream environmentalists and even some Earth Firstlers across the country, who called yet again for a reconsideration or prohibition of monkeywrenching in the radical environmental movement. Meanwhile, other activists maintained the ELF’s actions should be supported by Earth First!

Over the years, a number of arguments have been trotted out to justify night actions. Some people believe sabotage discourages developers by hitting them in the pocket book, making insurance companies leery of underwriting their development schemes. Some say strategic wrenching during certain windows of opportunity can delay a project until other tactics permanently halt it. Some go in for the pure intimidation value or the visceral pleasure, offering a shining light to the disaffected masses by highlighting the true power of a turn of the wrench or a flick of the Bic. Opponents argue primarily that sabotage alienates too many people whose support is critical to the development of a mass movement and that sabotage doesn’t really stop development anyway. Regardless of their stance, however, both camps tend to cling dogmatically to their own perspectives, with opponents back-pedaling and advocates spinning faster than the facts come in.

Truth be told, it is unlikely that a complete diagnosis of the damage inflicted to Vail Associates will ever be revealed. VA has gone to great lengths to lull the skiing public into believing that “the premiere guest experience for which Vail has always been known will not be compromised.” Its list of “frequently asked questions” provides reassurances about every last detail: “Will the dining experience on Vail Mountain be negatively impacted by the fires?” Don’t worry, “Vail Mountain has 17 other restaurants.”

On behalf of the lynx,

five buildings and four ski lifts at Vail were reduced to ashes on the night of Sunday, October 18. Vail, Inc. is already the largest ski operation in North America and now wants to expand even further. The 12 miles of roads and 885 acres of clearcuts will ruin the last, best lynx habitat in the state. Putting profits ahead of Colorado’s wildlife will not be tolerated. This action is just a warning. We will be back if this greedy corporation continues to trespass into wild and unroaded areas. For your safety and convenience, we strongly advice skiers to choose other destinations until Vail cancels its inexcusable plans for expansion.

—Earth Liberation Front

Certainly, from a public relations standpoint, it’s prudent for VA to underplay the loss, but most of the evidence corroborates the claim that the direct economic damage was minimal. The cost of the torched buildings will be covered by insurance, as will any “business interruption” revenue losses. Vail Associates says media coverage of the fires has not affected bookings for the coming season, and its stock price was up 1.5 points as of close of trading the day after the fire. The resort did open a few days later than planned, but that was attributed to an extreme winter storm, not the arson.

Strategically, the arson seems to have had little on-the-ground effect as well. Vail was able to continue logging in the roadless area two days after the arson. At present, work in the roadless area has been stopped due to early snows.

The indirect effects of the arson are harder to quantify. It certainly gained the anti-expansion campaign an international audience. At some level, the elves’ action will cause developers to think twice about undertaking such a controversial expansion in the future, and it’s possible that insuring such schemes will be more difficult. In the whaling industry, for example, concerted sabotage has made it almost impossible for prospective whalers to insure their boats.

Perhaps the most dramatic effect of the arson will not be felt by VA at all, but by the activist community. In a state where skiing is king, AFR had succeeded in the impossible—wrenching local sentiment away from VA. Of 401 comments received by the Forest Service in regards to the expansion, 375 (over 93 percent) opposed the project, while only six expressed support. Of those six, four were from VA executives and contractors.

After the fires, the pendulum swung back again. Two hundred community do-gooders offered VA volunteer help. “Offers of support poured in from area businesses, school children and residents, “ according to the Associ ated Press. “These fires have created a lot of sympathy for Vail Associates,” said Town Manager Bob McLaurin, “I thinkit’s goingto pull this community together.”

The fires also prevented AFR from continuing their protest of the expansion. Many people have surmised that AFR had “failed” to stop the expansion and that sabotage was the next logical step. In truth, AFR had already established satellite camps in the roadless area in order to protest and monitor the expansion. Their plan to begin direct action when Vail attempted to bring in a bridge to cross Eagle Creek, as well as monitoring to watch for contract violations, was suspended due to the extreme law enforcement presence immediately following the fires. (There were five National Guard helicopters scouring the region.)

In the aftermath of the arson, an intense police investigation has been focused on the activists. From day one, law enforcement threw itself willy-nilly into the search, tossing a dragnet over all of the local activists. One hundred and eighty-five public safety officers and Vail employees scoured the mountain the day of the fire. Since then, up to 45 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, 18 FBI agents and 25 Eagle County Sheriff officers have been working on the investigation. Over 50 interviews have been conducted, including many with local environmentalists. Stephanie Altman, head of the Wilderness Study Group at Colorado University in Boulder, was contacted by FBI agents, and when she failed to return their phone calls, they went to her advisor, drilling him about why she wouldn’t talk to investigators. Another university student, whose only involvement in the campaign was attending a single slide show, was also questioned. Jonathan Staufer, lifelong Vail resident and AFR activist, and other AFR activists were contacted. Fortunately, most environmentalists close to the campaign have refused to speak to investigators, and only random people at the edge of the campaign have dignified the witch-hunt with the universal: “But, I don’t know anything!” In the final analysis, there is no way to know whether the arson was more effective than the civil disobedience it preempted. In the past, sabotage has helped stop developments in Colorado. At Bowen Gulch, a timber sale on the edge of Rocky Mountain National Park, tree spiking was part of a campaign of road blockading, tree sitting and boycotting that delayed the sale until it was incorporated into the 1989 Colorado Wilderness bill. Alternatively, the East Fork ski resort in Colorado was stopped without any sabotage. What is important is that the activists who have been there for the long haul continue to oppose the expansion. And if the international magnifying glass focused on Vail helps stop the expansion, it might all have been worth it.



Letters to the Editor — February

Dear EF!:

I hear that you’ve been getting a negative response for covering the Vail fires claimed by the ELF. I want to let you know that I support all ALF and ELF actions as being not only justified by the irreversible damage done to the Earth on a daily basis but a required response to our home being systematically destroyed. What is usually achieved through years by legal means is achieved in a single night. I support anything that hastens the process of animal and earth liberation that does not harm or take life. Arson is a legitimate tactical eradicating those industries of death and exploitation that we all hate and I hope to see it used more often. Love and liberation,

—NK H. Gaugler, NJ

Dear Shit for Brains,

What concerns me most about the Journal’s recent advocacy of arson and molotov cocktails manufacturing is that no one in the Earth First! movement is actually engaging in any of these activities, at least not under the Earth First! banner. We are a movement of activists, not wannabees. Our Journal is supposed to reflect what we are actually doing, not what we are masturbating about. So while virtually 100 percent of our movement is engaged in some form of non-violent direct action over-the-counter defense of Mother Earth, we have to eat wise-use/ FBI shit because someone with no movement history decides its time for a feel-good article i about some tactic they wished they had the nerve to do. The Journal Staff wouldn’t know a molotov cocktail from a bottle of Calistoga.

Further, even for those of us, like myself, who believe that strategic monkeywrenching has an important place, it must be remembered that arson kills. It can kill people, it can kill wilderness, it can kill endangered species and it can kill movements. Foreman and Abbey (hey, editors, do you know who I’m talking about or do you think that only Native Americans are PC enough to have elders and ancestors) both reminded us of the credo: “safety first and don’t get caught.” Seems like the Journal’s motto is “Recklessly endanger the movement and turn ourselves in for stuff we didn’t even do.” Seems like the latest round of TV weened children-editors are even dumber attclmpredisfanCtiohalthan my ^generation.

It’s too bad people have to associate radicalism with outra-geouspe$s. I associate radicalism ; with effectiveness. Radicalismliterally means pertaining to the root I fail to see how the latest i^Wd of ihblotov cocktail fantasiesis effective, pertains to the rootgOf anything, or how it puts thgsBarth First!

Thanks for creating the years off extra work of dispelling misinformation that none of you are going to be around to deal with because after a year or less you’ll go back to work for your rich daddy or mommy.

—Darryl Cherney, Kick-ass


Dear Censorshit for Brains,

The Earth First! Journal collective is a hard-working and well-intentioned group of individuals. I co-exist with them here in Eugene, OR. I rarely volunteer or submit the written word so I keep my criticisms to a minimum, and when they are requested I GIVE MY INPUT RESPECTFULLY.

The staff is not paid what I (or the Federal Poverty Standard) define as a living wage for their overtime work and they are committed members of the biocentric movement.

The movement does not adequately support the Journal as a “movement” paper. If you desire to perpetuate the services which the Journal provides, then subscription boosting, short or long term editing and submitting articles should be on your activist agenda. Even calling up the staff to say “thank you” would be valiant especially in these days when many of their interactions with supposed movement members are rude and disrespectful.

If you perpetrated any of the disrespect, attempts at censorship or inflammatory accusations toward the staff regarding the mention of property destruction in the Yule ’98 issue, please do any of the following: 1) Fuck off! 2) Try publishing your own magazine. 3) Act out your disfunction and control issues somewhere else.

Now, (briefly) on the topic of property destruction, about which I’m sure we’re capable of having a mature discussion in this paper.

Obviously there are folks out there destroying property in defense of wildlands, renouncing them will not make it stop. However, if you accuse these people of being terrorists it will only be a matter of time before you too will be called a terrorist. The threat is the philosophy, not the tactic. Mainstream reality is violent, violence it understands. Wildness is the unknown, that to be feared.

A couple of other points that are relevant to the property destruction debate: 1) Earth First! is synonymous with monkey wrenching, tree spiking, ‘dozer burning, let’s stop hiding from this identity that constantly haunts us. 2) Because of this identity, to renounce these actions is self-marginalization, to not print of their occurrence in the Journal is self-censorship. Earth First! has censured itself long enough by trying to extend single-issue philosqphies to the big picture. It’s not just about trees anymore folks, global economic collapse threatens every thread ih the web of life. Politics of privilege dictated by coipbra^ tuhding will not be tolfSajedTJl^ diverse movement— the one that is emerging, represented on these pages.

—Pam Reber


Excellent job on the coverage and editorials surrounding the vail firebombings. Its nice to see you guys take the stand that you are known for, and I appreciate your willingness to stand up to the establishment that continues to rape, pillage and plunder the earth. Only when citizens stop writing letters and take direct action will things ever really change. Thank you for having the courage.

—Jerry Vlasak, MD

Dear Journal Staff,

I am a mother of two young womyn and a non-violent activist who uses direct action and public outreach to effectively create change. Printing fire bomb construction plans in the December/January EF! Journal, was an assault to myself and other nonviolent activists. This type of senseless behavior plays right into the hands of those who would like to paint all activists as destructive or dangerous. Once again the nonviolent activists who place themselves visibly on the front lines become targets for the negative reactions. This is not a game! We are risking our lives daily to stop the destruction—not to perpetuate it. This last year I have watched the campaigns I work with, escalate into violence against activists. Last month white supremacists firebombed an activist home in Idaho, Gypsy was killed by an angry logger, and police have increased the violent use of pepper spray. Not to mention outrageous charges for nonviolent actions. Seven activists were convicted of felony for an action in Washington and four Cove/MaL lard activists spent two months in jail for blockading Jack Road. In Houston bail was set at a total of $ 700,000 for the five activists arrested and charged with a felony for a simple banner hang. Peopje I love are suffering the reprisal for thoughtlessness of this kind. It is not for me to dictate the actions of others— but please think about the effects that your actions will have on the community of activists you serve. Weigh the benefits of what you choose to print against the lives of those individuals who already sacrifice much to do this work. Even if you do not agree with my words, I hope that you will give me a voice in my community arid print this letter in it’s entirety. / Talk of fighting destruction for change.

Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity. Every grand leader willing his design on the masses and the Earth. You call yourselves warriors fighting for Earth and life.

I see you cower before the light of that which you assume to protect. It’s not by war but by love that life exists.

—Troy Jones

SFB/Letter to the Editor:

Ahh, a breath of fresh air in the raging EF! editorial supporting the burning of those symbols of dominance wielded by Vail Associates. Most alarming is that this vigilant perspective is a voice in the wilderness. Current fashion among some environmentalists is to decry the dreadful! acts of “terrorism” which have shaken the bourgeois foundations of the ski resort empire west of Denver.

Check your definitions on terrorism. Terrorism is when a group—in the US, often a state-supported group—violently targets innocent citizens in order to foment fear among the larger population. Terrorism doesn’t apply to the simple destruction of property, especially property illegally erected on public lands. It doesn’t apply when a group destroys precise targets of the oppressor. Why would wildness defenders mourn the long-overdue tumbling of the outposts of oligopoly?

In fairness, some of these detractors, pre-(fabulous)fires, poured their souls into fighting Vail’s lunatical plans. They vigorously took the lead on fighting for the forest and the creatures that lay in the path of Vail’s gluttony. However, the tactics employed—litigation, protest, education—failed. On the eve of destruction, another weapon was deployed: fire. Long-suppressed as a destroyer of “resources” in most Colorado forests, the natural element of fire again glimmered brightly.

I agree that the threat against skiers was stupid and contrary to a code of nonviolence. The fires, however, were not. They made poetic sense in the face of unrestrained violence against a shy little cat, and her plant and animal companions.

The arson—or forest restoration—glows as the most effective act of economic sabotage ever to grace Colorado. It is cause for celebration. Let’s shake off those desires to have a seat at the table, be media darlings, build our memberships. Let’s release ourselves from all of that, roll up our sleeves and get down to the dirty work of resistance.

—Nicole J. Rosmarino, Clear Creek County, Colorado

Dear SFB,

Do you’ really think people don’t know a molotav cocktail is a bottle of gasoline with a rag stuffed in it, so we’re serving a public service describing it? I’m an advocate of strategic monkeywrenching, when and where it can be effective, though I think there’s quite a difference between arson and simple property destruction. I’m also an advocate of nonviolent civil disobedience, though I don’t consider myself a member of the ‘cult of nonviolence,’ and I think generally the two are like oil and water. Don’t mix in the same campaign or action. That doesn’t mean they don’t mix in the same movement. I also think it’s fine and appropriate for campaigns to choose certain variations of the nonviolence code to suit their particular campaign. One of the things that sets EF! apart from other enviro groups, even ones that employ direct action, is that we allow for the discussion of monkeywrenching, EF! didn’t invent monkeywrehching. But we’re one of the few groups that talk about how it can be safe and effective, and that benefits everyone. But remember the Eword; effective. It’s the only name of the game.

But how-to’s on incendiary devices are a different matter. Perhaps it’s an interesting topic of discussion under what circumstances fire ever might be an effective tool and for whom, and in what struggle, but let’s be realistic, it’s a topic for verbal discussion, not laid down as advocacy in print. In my view, that’s stupid, insane and counterproductive. We have lots of forums. The Journal is only one. There are many, many things that should and will be discussed at the RRR, the activists conference, EF! meetings, ect., but would be non-productive to record for posterity in the Journal. Isn’t that what papers like LWOD are for? One of the more stimulating and interesting discussions I’d had in a while was the “revolution” circle discussion (for want of a better term) that took place at lastyear’s RRR. It got gnarly

Given the archist Coo radical newsletters one can get in plain brown envelopes, and the opportunities for verbal and internet discussions, I feel it was counter-productive to include the Ned Ludd piece, arid will probably get more counter-productive as the controversy rages and we Waste time arguing instead of strategizing.

In related discussion, I appreciated Ann’s thoughtful comments and analysis about how they deal with such issues in England. But she says they discuss strategic monkeywrenching while we discuss whether or not to engage. Well, I think discussing whether or not to is a strategic monkeywrenching discussion, because when to, where to, whether to at a particular time is a strategic discussion. There is a difference in how they carry on, though, as she explains the use of the name Earth First! It’s a strategy decision to use or not use any name, EF! or otherwise. She says it’s not used for movement building. Well, last I checked here, we are using the name publicly, and frankly, I identify with and like organizing under the EF! banner because I think the name/slogan speaks volumes. Because it is a slogan, not just an organizational name like ALF. Since we do use the name publicly all the time, the how to use incendiary devices descriptions should be in the newsletters of groups that don’t, like LWOD, or verbal discussions. C’mon folks, let’s be smart.

All this is related to Vail, of course. The media field day was annoying but let’s not get bent out of shape. Every so often something like this erupts, Vail fires, Ted Kacsynski, falling power lines. But that’s not what’s going to be our downfall. Our in-fighting could. When we let it push us into, in desperation, an nouncing a prohibition of monkeywrenching, or to “stand up for radicalism” (or something) defending a tactic not everyone agrees with, or into publicly defining a separation in the EF! movement, we’re let ting those spin doctors that have their heads up their butts Control the situation. We shouldn’t run scared from acts of sabotage because we didn’t do it and a rabid reporter is sticking a microphone in our face. We should think of something intelligent to say, like pointing out the difference between vandalism and property damage and actual terrorism, when lives are lost by violent means.

I will say, I thought the Journal’s reporting on the Vail incident was very good, and AFR’s discussion was excelteqt (though the editorial was awfully shallow)—but in general, the discussion was interesting, thorough and intelligent. Ned Ludd this time was not.

More later

—Karen Pickett

Dear SFB,

We all know that the natural world (not to mention everyday life, as if they could be separated) is everywhere under assault. Eight times a year the Journal chronicles some of the assaults and accompanying protests. It has been an endless tale of fresh outrages and, in the main, civil disobedience-type “direct action “ and appeals to write one’s government representative.

What a losing formula! Negotiating away more of nature as a kind of “loyal opposition,” while legitimating law and rule in the bargain. But this liberal-left outlook is maybe now less dominant in Earth First! than in any other time in the 90’s.

I sure as hell hope so because this utterly compromised orientation is a boring, reformist, nowin trek backward. No secret and no surprise that Journal readership has fallen hugely in the 90’s.

The Yule issue shows very definite promise and renewal but more analysis, more creativity, and more daring are needed. I’d like to see the best of Deep Ecology and primitivist/radical anarchist theory discussed and acted upon. Or are work, production, consumption, and middle-class financial support still the Earth First! gods?

—John Zerzan

Ed. Note: Journal readership has increased since the Eugene collective has published the paper.

Dear Editors,

Thank you Theresa Kintz and the other editors who have the guts and courage to support the Earth Liberation Front. In the face of the mainstream backlash, the media backlash, and the backlash from within our own supposed “radical” movement, it takes much integrity and moral conviction to write in support of those who have little, if any, public support.

But that’s not what it’s about anyway. Our fight to save this planet is not about public support. It’s about defending the Earth and Her critters in the face of an almost total lack of public support. Witness the so-called “community” of Vail coming to the “aid” of the multi-million dollar megacorp. Vail Associates after the ELF arson. Please! It’s enough to make me gag! And these are the people Ancient Forest Rescue care about? Is this movement about winning the hearts and minds of rich white yuppies who care more about leisure or are we about taking direct action to stop the destruction of the Earth, a destruction perpetuated by the leisure activities of rich white yuppies? Can we get our priorities straight? (Will we now see an article from AFR On their “community-building” strategies as they volunteer their energy to rebuild Vail?

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to convince an uncaring brain-dead public about the virtues of saving wilderness instead of consuming more shit, but let’s get real here. We are a minority and we will always be a minority. The visions of the masses rising up to save the trees and the bears are nothing but pipe-dreams. If we are depending on said masses to rise up and affect public policy, then we’ll be long turned to mulch before that happens, if it does at all, which I highly doubt.

Before the Vail arson I never really knew about Vail. I think I read an article in a previous issue of the Journal, ·but it was just another sad story of human corporate greed destroying the wilderness. File it away in the brain with all the other stories. But now I know what Vail is, and who Vail Associates are. And so do millions of others who had never heard of them before. How’s that for public awareness?

The mainstream activists among us will never support arson. They, like AFR, depend on public opinion to survive. Bottom line: they need their dollars. Public opinion has never and will never support arson, or any acts of eco-sabotage. And condemning eco-sabotage only reveals the moral bankruptcy of these activists, who tremble and their boots at the thought of losing their funding, or being called nasty names in the media. Or being afraid of the police. Fear. That’s what it’s about. Lose your fear and seize your power!

Annie, in her article about the EF! gathering in the UK, hit the issue square on the head when she talked about the differences between the two continents. Here people tried, a huge mistake I believe, to turn EF! into a mass movement, complete with repetitive and boring waste-of-time-and-energy tactics which fail over and over again to stop or change anything, while over there folks have remained true to the roots of EF! by rejecting that path and continuing the resistance with autonomous cells of eco-saboteurs. And can you tell me which movement is more vital? More alive? More creative? More No Fucking Compromise?

I can understand why people cannot publicly support the ELF, even if they do support them privately, especially if those people are involved in the mainstream and civil disobedience aspects of the movement. It is a sad comment on the state of Earth Defense in North America that most activists pander to their funders, pander to the media and police, and pander to the “communities” of consumers with their denunciations of ecotage. If we truly put the Earth first, then we would have the guts and courage to say “Yeah, we don’t want Vail here and we support its total destruction, by any means necessary, and without compromise to any special human interest groups!”

No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth? I sure hope so! A huge Thank You to the brave warriors and Elves of the Earth Liberation Front. And thank you Theresa Kintz for helping to bring this supposed no compromise movement back to its roots of direct action, and for trying to give back to the Journal some relevance, dignity, and integrity.


Dear Earth First! Journal staff,

It is with great concern that we write to you regarding the editorial by the Journal staff member Theresa Kintz referring to the recent arson at Vail Mountain, and other associated content appearing in the Yule issue of the Earth First! Journal. As a result of the author’s obvious advocacy of the actions of those who perpetrated the Vail arson, and the publication of this assertion in the Earth First! Journal editorial column, we are compelled to question, if not openly disassociate from, the motivations and positions of the Earth First! Journal and staff as a whole. In addition, and in what is our opinion a much more serious issue, is the publication of information regarding the manufacture and use of incendiary devices on pg. 29. Because of the appearance of these and other related content in the Yule issue we have decided to withhold the requested update on the Luna tree-sit and submit this letter instead.

While we recognize the right of the Earth First! Journal andall individuals to free speech, we also retain the right to choose which speech we allow ourselves to be associated with. We do not wish to become censors or in any way limit the content of discourse regarding defense of our planet. We do strongly maintain, however, as individuals working from a foundation based on peaceful resistance, that we cannot support, nor be part of, both clear and implied advocacy of actions such as the Vail arson as was presented in the Journal.

The Earth First! Jouma I has served as a much appreciated and important element of ours and many other campaigns to protect wild places throughout the world. Not only do we value the Journal and its dedicated staff for providing an opportunity to raise awareness about ancient forest issues and inform its readership of our actions such as the Luna tree-sit; we view the Journal as an important tool to stay updated regarding issues, ideas, and campaigns elsewhere. This includes supporting reportage of events such as that in Vail, as published in Lacey Phillabaum’s article “ELF Burns Down Vail.” Our support ends, however, when actions of this nature are advocated for, placing ourselves in a position in which we have been associated with those actions in a de facto manner. We agree that the article “How AFR Got Burned,” by Ben and Brian of Ancient Forest Rescue provided an amount of balance to the issue. But as evidenced by Kintz’s centerpiece editorial column, the Dear Ned Ludd feature, and drawings depicting arson, tree-spiking, ect., the position of the Journal staff clearly supports and advocates for such actions as those attributed to the ELF at Vail.

Disclaimer or not, the Earth First! Journal is viewed by the public as a voice of the Earth First! movement, and associated groups and individuals. Content that is published in the Journal reflects on all of us as a whole. As a direct result it is often those of us that choose to take a stand in an open and public manner who are left to address the fallout of others. The publication of the materials in question has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the work, public support, and safety of a great many activists that comprise the heart of this movement.

We, as individuals, stand for and take part in on a daily basis peaceful resistance against the destruction of our Earth. We stand for action based in love and respect for all life. We do not support any action that may potentially bring harm to any life, and we cannot in good conscience support or work in conjunction with those who do. We are returning our copies of the Yule issue of the Earth First! Journal that have been provided to us for furidraisjng and distribution, desiring not to censor, but clearly not to be involved in providing a platform for the material contained within. Your response to this matter is greatly anticipated and will form the basis of future action on our part.

In love and respect for all life, -—Julia Butterfly Hill and Robert Parker

Hi Folks,

Like a breath of fresh air, the yule issue of the Journal came to me today. I didn’t get past page two before I felt the urge to put my two cents worth in, so here: Theresa Kintz, you are beautiful.

When the night got bright in Vail, it was to be expected that there would be a great chorus of wailing and whining from the respectable fringe. Hell, tiring though they may be, most of them probably are sincere and really do believe that us bombers and arsonists and other night workers are bad for the cause. But one of the reasons that EF! has lasted thus far is our own ability and willingness to include widely disparate viewpoints.

From the beginning, monkeywrenching has lain close to the heart of most EF! thought and action. While actual monkeywrenchers were always few and far between, there remained that large, noisy crowd of wannabes that wanted to, and thought to themselves that they just might, someday... This implied threat thus always set EF! apart from the ‘respectable’ environmentalists. The feds don’t get nervous when the Sierra Club comes to town.

The debate will continue on the pros and cons of monkeywrenching, with those arguing against it appearing to greatly outnumber those in favor, if for no other reason than that those inclined to flic their bics are more likely to do it than debate it. Which made Theresa’s intelligent, passionate argument all the more refreshing. Thanks Theresa, and all the rest of you pro and con. As long as you feel strongly enough about saving the bioshpere to argue about it there’s hope.

Be careful out there folks. With love and rage,

—Rod Smith

Dear EF!

As a full-time activist for Ancient Forest Rescue, I eagerly anticipated the Yule issue of the Journal. I wondered how the voice of our movement was going to cover the arson xm. Vail Mountain. I expected a debate; I expected disagreement; I expected a well rounded discussion of the issues.

My first impression was, of course, the cover and I was awed by the beautiful image of the lynx. I thought finally the media is exposing the sad fate of the lynx in Colorado and the disastrous effects Vail’s expansion might have on a place ripe with historical lynx sightings. With much relief, I thought the hype and sensationalism of the arson was not going to be dignified by our Journal. However, as I turned to page one, I wondered just what rag I was reading. The header boldly stated Earth First!, but the naivete of the title article “ELF Burns Down Vail,” left me dumbfounded. Two questions struck me like lightening from above. Did the ELF really do this? Could there be no other possibilities. According to the Journal, apparently not. Next I wondered how Vail could be making millions of dollars as I write this letter if they were in fact “burned down.” Last I noticed ONE of Vail’s 72 restaurant^ was destroyed by the fire. Clearcut surfing is still alive and well on Vail Mountain as is the destruction plan of the Two Elk Roadless Area.

Yet despite the grandiose and inaccurate title, I thought the article was well done with the following exceptions. The article states, “But while AFR bided its time, the ELF acted.” Let me make one thing perfectly clear, the logging and roading of the Two Elk Roadless Area began AFTER the arson. The other problem I have is that Jeff Berman is not an AFR spokesperson. Jeff’s statements reflect Jeff’s opinion only. AFR is a diverse group and no one person can speak for us all. However, Jeff’s frustration must be understood. He worked hard to sway a vocal majority to oppose Vail’s expansion only to watch it slip from our control as environmentalism became synonymous with terrorism in the Vail Valley.

My last comment is reserved for “Fanning the Flames of Resistance.” The piece sure was a nice romantic dream, be sure to let me know when you wake-up and want to start saving wilderness.

—Ben Doon


The front page photo of ‘Vail Burning’ (Yule ’99) is beautiful. Beauty and rage to warm our hearts... and a lasting symbol of insurrection. Moderate groups who don’t like bonfires had better get used to it. But it’s OK for them to distance themselves from Saboteurs—actually that’s part of the plan. As for EF! and the Journal, the lack of a ‘meaningful strategy’ for the movement and a lot of petty, dogmatic bickering over defining what is violence are reflected in the Journal. The folks in Eugene have done a super job. The Journal needs to keep being an open forum for radical environmental views, stimulate debate, ect. There are plenty of modejtaji? publications.

Actions like the ELF at Vail will happen more and more. Why? The democrats and the eco-moderates have failed so totally, that few people have any faith in them. There will always be people who have to act ‘from the heart.’ Denial and ‘make-believe’ reforms don’t keep everyone eco-Prozaced. Elves rock! Lawyers suck.


PS—Most of the articles in the Journal don’t seem very biocentric. I’d like to see someone address whether key concepts like nonviolence, unconditional love or the future we are trying to create aren’t doomed to recreate a human dominated perspective

Dear EF!

Why Vail? The Colorado Ancient Forest Rescue had garnered substantial community support to oppose the expansion of the Vail ski resort by direct action and the so-called Earth Liberation Front (ELF) fucked it up! There are thousands of other targets out there, unguarded roads, wood bridges, equipment, ect., near other destructive projects that do not have organized opposition.

Why didn’t the ELF hit a dozen of these sites instead? Is the ELF just a bunch of media sluts?! Did the ELF just pull this target out of some rag with no realization of what was really going on there?

The so called ELF or wise-use equivalent hit the Detroit and Oakridge Ranger station in Oregon back in 1996. Luckily, the Warner Creek Blockade Campaign had already achieved success before those arson incidents. Otherwise the so-called ELF would have fucked that up too!

If I was a member of Ancient Forest Rescue, I would speculate that the Vail arson was a covert action pulled off by some militant wise-use group or the FBI.

If the ELF is indeed made up of warriors, then I would surmise ELF is indicative of many of the radical enviros; you really lack a work ethic when it comes to the daily grunt work that it requires to save wild places. Many radical enviros seem to believe that saving the biosphere is less than a part-time commitment. In between wage work, socializing (drinking and sex) we’ll do a rally or two. And it must be fun and exciting. Well BULLSHIT! Saving the biosphere is a daily life-long commitment. Many times it is fun. Many times it is drudgery. But you get on with it because you must to remain positive and hopeful.

If the ELF is on the side of preventing ecocide, I urge them to get their shit together, do their research and don’t fuck up existing radical environmental campaigns!

—A Grunt

Ed. Note:

The Journal is not a public relations tool for your local campaign. We are a newspaper for items of interest to the full spectrum of the radical environmental movement.

After the Vail fire, we received a number of submissions representing a variety of viewpoints on the topic, as well as many unstructured comments, which indicated to us that there was an audience for the Ned Ludd piece. (If you aren’t aware that Earth Firstlers might want to read such things in the Journal, go visit a different watershed.) Though we are responsive to input, we do not act as de facto movement censors. We do not make decision based on what is strategically best for the movement. Such an attempt would be untenable, yet more stressful and contrary to the spirit of the free exchange of ideas. Worse yet, that would reduce Earth First! to lowest common denominator environmentalism, and we already have enough of that.

But the controversy at hand is not about the Earth First! Journal. It’s about who we are as a movement, in fact it raises the question of whether such a cohesive beast exists. Those of you who have aimed your gripes at the Journal are blaming the messenger... ;

Letters to the Editor — May

Ted Kaczynski to John Zerzan

November 29, 1998

Dear (John),

Yes; send me a copy of your new book.

Concerning EF!, my suggestion is that the real revolutionaries among them should with-draw from the existing EF! and form their own movement, which would exclude mere reformers, liberals, leftists, etc. who are afraid of “alienating the middle class.” (Imagine how the war against Hitler would have turned out if Allied soldiers had been afraid of “alienating the Nazis.”) Such a splinter EF! movement might start small, but I have a feeling that it would glow pretty rapidly.

I suggest that one of the biggest mistakes modern American revolutionaries make is that, in the name of “tolerance,” they let anyone and everyone of a vaguely rebellious disposition join their movements. The result is that they get diluted, or even swamped, by large numbers of make-believe revolutionaries for whom rebellion is only a game. Even if it sounds “intolerant,” revolutionaries must form a movement that is exclusive to the extent that it incorporates none but real revolutionaries. Only in this way can the movement have cohesion and the capacity for vigorous action.

Feel free to pass this note on to the editor of the EF! Journal. She can publish it if she likes.

Best regards,

--Ted Kaczynski
Administrative Maximum Facility,
PO Box 8500, Florence, CO

Ted is Right — May

By John Zerzan

People won’t see Y2K as an opportunity without understanding more about technology than they get from mass media. What is it, at base?

Where is it taking us? How does this movement work?

Already there is a growing sense that the “promise” of a high-tech world is a false one. That instead of empowering and connecting us, for example, the computerization of society is disempowering and infantilizing us and is. a big factor in the growing isolation or separation of people.

In addition to providing news about all the latest assaults on nature, we need to provide more analysis, more of the reasons we say “actualize industrial collapse.”

As Horkheimer and Adorno put it, “technological rationale is the rationale of domestication itself.” Fifty years laterit’s all the more clear the technicizing of life works to erase value, meaning, accountability. Resting on the foundations of division of labor and domestication, it estranges us even further from the natural world and each other. Y2K is the first major sign that this juggernaut is not invincible, just as the turbulence in global capital exposes that system as less than secure.

In fact, of course, technology and capital are not distinct and never were.

Technology itself is not at all a neutral tool. Rather, it is the embodiment of capital, its latest incarnation, expressing its basic, alienated priorities. “Industrial Society and Its Future, “ the so-called Unabomber Manifesto, shows persuasively how technology rules out freedom and fulfillment, techno-capital must expand or die. This imperialism is the reason the biosphere is similarly doomed unless the whole megamachine, all its categories and dynamics, is destroyed.

Folks feel that everyday life is increasingly barren and texture-less, that this emptiness is taking over.

Postmodern nihilism or cynicism is the Cultural expression of the enlarging of the Dead Zone of technology. “It’s all fucked, so who cares.”

Y2K will be an opening if people see what is going on and that there is a response. The only valid, authentic, inspiring response is the call to erase the whole strangling ensemble before it completes its trajectory of destroying the individual, society and the wild. As the situationists said, “A society that has abolished adventure makes the only adventure the abolition of that society.”

John Zerzan is an anarcho-primitivist, writer and all around enemy of the state.

Letters to the Editor — June

Dear SFB,

A quick, most mischievous request for Mr. Ned Ludd: ever heard of RF (radio-frequency) or EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) weapons? From my limited knowledge and research, these are reportedly easy to build (but how?) with relatively cheap components — 500–31000) and can disrupt electronic equipment from up to about half a mile. Bulldozers, chainsaws, computers, logging mills, oil rigs, whole corporate buildings rendered completely useless by a few quick passes of an inconspicuous van. This sounds promising to me...


—Mr. Portable Y2K

Dear EF!J,

Re: Best tree-$piking

I’m reading Rik Scarce’s EcoWarriors which advises that helix or spiral nails such as those used at Meares Island, in the province of BC, are the best because “the spiral makes the nail extremely difficult to remove and removal is virtually impossible once the head is cut off.”

Now I’m excited. The situation seems clear. Spike every old-growth watershed, systematically (or unsystematically), before any more of the tiny area remaining can be logged. Any thoughts on this? I’m desperate for Zero Cut, ready to “start a new job.”

—Raised By Wolves

Dear Earth First!,

It is a real treat to get the Journal here in the Arizona State Prison— thank you! I am going to be released in the later part of this year— August. That is unless I am granted a early release of 90 days. If so I will let you know and give you a change of address and a subscription fee.

I read an article about dividing the Journal... Together we stand— divided we fall. Why do double the work plus pay double the postage? If there are people out there who object to certain tools in the tool box, tell them there are weaker and milder blends available. I prefer full strength no fucking compromise defense! Once I am free I will be looking for a place to start “directly” taking “action” once again.

These walls and bars have only made me more determined to live wild! I will be on parole in Havasu, Arizona, for about 90 days, maybe six months. Then I will be looking to head up to Northern California, maybe Oregon to get involved. So, if you know of a particular tribe looking for a left-handed monkeywrencher, let me know. Anyone looking for a pen-pal to write as well I love to write and have the time! Once again, thank you very much. Your support while I’ve been down has been a great help and inspiration!

P.S. Why don’t you print a list of toll-free numbers to those people we’d like to remind that they’re paying for the call! LP, GP, Dupont, etc... Let’s have a 1–800 party once a month with a different loved one! I’d like to see more “tips” from the tool box printed!

Peace & Love!

—James K. Dailey 139682
ASPC Yuma/Cheyenne SO 8-A-19
POB 13006
Yuma, AZ 85366–3006


I’m not sure where (or even if) this would go in the Journal, but here goes. I am in the process of starting up an intentional community on 160 acres in the north woods of Wisconsin. It’s just me at this point, no running H20 or electricity and the first building is nearly complete. My vision for the place is one with a core community of six to ten people with a steady stream of visitors and activist-types decompressing from urban life.

There will also be a large number of people from the pagan and Earthbased spiritual paths using the land as a gathering place and for ritual.

I want this to be an open haven to any traveling folk and to anyone that needs some time away from where they are at. All are welcome and will be treated to all the vegan food, fresh air and physical labor (if you’re interested) you can tolerate. Write for more info and directions.

—Wade from Wisconsin Deeply Rooted, POB 321, Athens, WI 54411

Dear SFB,

Smearing everyone more militant than you as provocateurs, as Grunt did ELF, is a tactic I’d hoped died with Stalinism. Compromisers should remember a movement’s effectiveness invites repression, not “violence.” Granting this, state/corporate reaction to the Vail arson suggests it was pretty effective. Granting that, people moaning about it should go hide somewhere as the passive demos they set such score by might invite repression too.

Judi Bari said ecoteurs should join ELF and leave open campaigning to EF! as a separate outfit. Some EF!ers won’t even stand for militancy despite this, though many are nonviolence cultists who’d settle for a dead Earth as long as it was peaceful. Those that aren’t—it suited your ego fine when your militancy outflanked the usual environmental lobbyists so now you know how they felt. Either slot into the CD role Bari’s allocated to you or take ELF action yourself.

Someone else made the same suggestion as Judi Bari in a letter to the last issue that wasn’t published—Ted Kaczynski. It’s no use saying his letter would damage his appeal—it had to go through prison censors before it reached the Journal, so all censors there achieved was to make Ted’s sacrifice for nothing. Even if they admit they only print letters that suit them, they can hardly pretend this letter didn’t, as it differentiates between EF! and more militant anti-industrial action. Ted’s letter’s still available—why won’t the Journal publish it next issue like any other?

Finally, someone mentioned the Anarchist Cookbook last issue. Many of its recipes are dangerous and stupid and have killed militants in the past (why is it still in print?). Clearly Journal readers need Dear Ned Ludd after all...

Yours, for the destruction of civilization,

—Oxford Green Anarchists

Dear Earth First!,

I’m damn tired of articles, whether in EF! or elsewhere, in praise of primitivity, pre-civilization, yet no mention at all (or none I’ve yet seen) of the diabolical killing in “hunting and food gathering” of animals. True, primitive folk (like American Indians) kill animal cousins essentially for food and other needs rather than for sport. Well, an animal is just as dead either way.

An illustration of jny gripe? In the last EF! Journal that article by Bugbreath, in which he goes to a class “Wintercount” to pick-up primitive ways—toolmaking, etc... Except included in these ways are the rubbing out of other species. Like the second day at Wintercount, “Ibegantheproject that would be my focus; braintanning a deer hide.” He then goes on describing just how. He ends this paragraph with, “I am grateful for the little deer whose life and death become a part of my life.” But is the little deer grateful to him?

Toward the end of the article he says, “Primitive skills are about experimentation and experience... getting your hands in the dirt and muck and pulling civilization out by the roots.” So far okay, cool! He then goes on to say, “... it’s kinder to our Mother (Earth) to eat roadkill venison than a banana which is shipped across the sea to grace your health food store.” Yeah sure, “kinder!” Gimme that banana any day over eating an animal, even if the latter is already dead!

What irony—in a photo of a primitive fella, he is so sweetlooking, altruistic-looking, as he’s sitting in front of his non-civilizational hut, cutting up an animal. What damn irony!

—S. Colman

Dear Shit For Brains,

Hello again! My name is Garett Beal, and I was in the May-June Earth First! Journal, in which I asked everyone to please send information. Well, they did! The only problem is, the guards here wouldn’t let me have/or see some of the envelopes so I was unable to respond to some of my mail. I just didn’t have the address! But, thank you to everyone who did write, and for all the support! I hope you don’t think I was being a dick or anything. I just didn’t have the address!


—Garett Beal, 107 W. Taylor St., Shelbyville, IN 46176

Dear Journalistas,

Greetings from San Francisco County Jail #7 in San Bruno, California, where the sun is warm, the sky is blue and the salty ocean air rides heavy on the breeze.

My comrades Rahula, Jerry and I are serving four out of six months for serving three delicious pies to the mayor of San Francisco to protest the criminalization of the city’s homeless community which has taken place under his administration.

While incarceration is by definition a violent repression, my spirits remain high. Every day I receive letters of support (and the occasional Earth First! Journal) from people all over the world. Thank you so much. Keeping in touch with you all helps me stay inspired. I also want to send strength and admiration to fellow BBB agents, as well as all other participants in the worldwide pastry uprising. Keep the crusts and fillings flying.

P.S. We get out on June 20, so I’ll see you all at the rendezvous. Love,

—Justin Gross #1818071, CJ37 Dorm B, San Bruno, CA 94066

Hey Journalistas,

Got a hold of the latest and greatest! I just wanted to send my praise to a bunch of overworked folks and let you know that those long complicated hours you folks put into the Journal looks great (heard you ran into cover dilemmas at the last minute)! Many praises for the way this rag is going!

I’m so glad that you were able to include pieces like the interview with Carl Anthony. I think at times over the years of doing stuff originally as a mainstreamer doing the recycling thing in high school and then moving into the front line battles that went on in the Shawnee NF and then diligently working on Chiapas, good ol’ Cassini and now having given a bit o time in Nuxalk territory.

I feel like folks don’t get enough praise for the work they are doing. So I’m writing you now to do that. In other words, I like the direction the Journal is heading if the latest issue is any indication of where it’ll be in the future. Give yourselves a huge pat on the backster! Many warm thanks for the tireless endless nights to get this last issue out.

P.S. I was around when Batboy went up into the tree in the Shawnee back in 95’(the memorial piece was two Journals ago). Thank you for allowing that memorial piece to be written and printed. Dave was a comrade and sure meant a lot to me and others in our organizing in Southern Illinois. At his funeral, his mother informed me that his ashes will be spread sometime in the spring or the summer in the Shawnee National Forest. To allow him to rest where he first had gotten involved with protecting the wild, a place his mother knew he loved enough to want to spread his ashes there. Dave had worked on anti-racists issue prior to ending up in Southern Illinois to go to school and it only made sense to him, to be doing the work he had done in the Shawnee. Thank you again for allowing that to be printed two Journal’s ago about Batboy.

For the Earth and critters like the Indiana Bat!

—Steve, a contradicting Luddite PROGRAMMING WEB SITES FOR NFN AND FAN

Letters to the Editor — August

Dear EF!,

I’m responding to Ted Kaczynski’s letter in the Beltane issue, where he mocks alliance building by saying, “Imagine how the war against Hitler would have turned out if Allied soldiers had been afraid of ‘alienating the Nazis.’” Sorry Ted, but once again, you got the question wrong. The true issue is—imagine whether Hitler would ever have come to power if the German socialists and communists in the 1920s had spent some time worrying about not alienating the middle class! The American middle class today knows damn well that something is deeply wrong in our country. Do we reach out to them, or do we wallow in ultraradical self-righteousness and leave the field to the right wing?

Protest work without aliance building is futile. The corporations will outlast the radical fringe every time. As Ted K illustrates, the most that isolated radicals can do is maim a few flunkies while the true decision-makers remain invisible and unharmed. It is only when radical protest tactics are linked to painstaking alliance building—the sort that has been done around the Headwaters/ Maxxam campaign—that we are going to change the entire system.

—George Franklin

Dear SFB,

Rosa Parks’ recent Congressional Medal of Honor shows just how far we Apaches still have to go to reach equality in the US.

Recently, an astronomer asked why the Apaches waited until 1989 to complain about the proposed University of Arizona telescope desecration on our sacred mountain, Dzil Nchaa Si An (Mount Graham). He argued we never complained when Whites were building things like a road, campgrounds and some summer cabins on the mountainsides from 1890 to the 1960s. He might as well have asked Black people why they waited until 1955 to complain about riding in the back of the buses and getting refused at the lunch counters.

The terrible laws under which our people were imprisoned for practicing their beliefs or holding ceremonies were not removed until 1934. Our Apache sunrise ceremonies were held in remote areas in the shadow of Mount Graham out of eyes of governmnet officials up until then. ,

The cultural protection laws that would have protected our sacred mountain did not come to pass until the end of this century. Ironically, the University of Arizona, in their million dollar telescope lobbying blitz, bought exemption from those laws when they sneaked a rider through in the final hours of the 1988 Congress.

I guess we Apache will have to follow Mrs. Parks’ honorable example and sit-in somewhere to save our mountain. We have waited too long for equality and respect for our traditional religious beliefs.

—Delores Jordan

San Carlos Apache Reservation

Dear Enviro-Activists:

The next time the powers that be threaten to use pepper spray or ointment at a demonstration, prepare in advance by applying “paralube” veterinary opthalmic ointment to your eyes before locking down. We use it to keep caustic dips and shampoos from harming our feline and K-9 friends’ eyes. Ask a sypathetic vet for some. It’s made by Pharmaderm, veterinary divison of Altana Inc., Melville , NY 11747.

Keep up the good fight!

—Chumba Jumbpo and the Furry;

Love Kitten Kats

Letters to the Editor — November

Dear EF! Journal,

When I heard the proposed interview with convicted serial bomber Ted Kaczynski would be featured in the EF! Journal I was delighted. I thought for once EF! would get past all the petty ideological duels on “Anthropy vs. Misanthropy” and “Anthropocentrism vs. Biocentrism” and actually feature some comprehnsive analysis on how to destroy this completely fucked industrial civilization and establish ecoanarchist communities, in a dialogue between an EF! activist and Ted Kaczynski, who successfully lived a Thoreau lifestyle for over 20 years and waged war against the powers that be.

Instead, you print more illusionary bullshit on uniting bureaucratic workerist organizations with the “radical” environmental movement. And commie Errol Schweitzer proposes establishing “Organize the Masses” reformist projects with poor people, whatever their cause, as long as they’re not white. Last time I checked Errol was a white, middleclass liberal, just what he claims to hate in his editorial.

While I agree with him that eco-radicals must abandon this ideological fetish and try to reach out to everyday people of all races, sexes and ages and create a cohesive, solid radical movement that takes a multi-issue, rather than single-issue approach to fighting injustice. We need not do this through some dishonest, manipulative red party or any other form of alienated bureaucratic organization.

The state, capitalism, even civilization itself has proven to be incompatible with environmental stability, free life and human desires. And history proves this fact.

I propose what Ted Kaczynski articulated a few issues back. That the real radicals, revolutionaries and rebels split from EF! to form real subversive, effective movements. Some based on community awareness raising and above ground activity, others based on carrying out acts of sabotage and violence against the institutions that destroy the environment and rule over our lives.

Destroy Power— Create Free Life—Fuck the Left—Fuck the Right—Fuck Your Politics.


—Eric Blair


Having read, her letter and now knowing that the EF! ] editors did a. full hack job with “Red at Rockstarr’s” post RRR San Luis article, I wish to offer her my understanding. Had I known the EF! J twisted her story so wildly, I would not have mentioned Red in my last letter on the San Luis action this summer. My apologies to you, Red.

Furthermore, I stand united with all activists who had the courage to march on La Sierra on June 28. Just because I didn’t like the outcome of the action does not mean I’m against anyone who walked off. We must find unity in this movement and move forward every day. But we must also learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.

Editors, I support you as activists and recognize the difficulty of your responsibility to us all, but I must ask: Why no explanation for the mishandling of the San Luis situation this summer? Are we to expect this to happen again on the next sticky issue? Please tell us how the EF!J will act in the future to ensure articles will not be edited past the point of meaning the author intended. This has happened to me so many times that I now hesitate to write for the Journal. Writing from San Luis Colorado, where I am to appear in court today regarding my arrest at the post RRR action,

—Daniel Patterson

Editor’s note:

Nine sentences were cut from Red’s piece in order to fit the photos that accompanied the article. Normally there is time to contact the authors during production. Rendezvous time constraints and


Letters to the Editor — Spring

Dear all,

It’s now been two years since Ted Kaczynski was sentenced to multiple life terms for the 1978–95 anti-tech Unabombing campaign, following a farcical trial in Sacramento. Ted’s currently appealing his conviction.

After the trial, Ted was sent to the notorious Florence supermax, Colorado, where he’s been denied visits from everyone except journalists, who he generally doesn’t want to talk to.

Ted’s main contact with the outside world has been by mail, with publishers Context Books covering postage costs. Now Ted’s rebuttal to smears against him by his family and the media, Truth v Lies, is not being published, he is no longer receiving this mail money.

The Friends of Ted Kaczynski has been formed to cover Ted’s mailing costs. A donation of just 30c will pay for a letter out, so please support anarchist political prisoner! Send your donations — preferably well-hidden cash dollars — to POB 11331, Eugene, OR 97440 or BCM 1715, London WC1N 3XX, UK clearly make “Friends of Ted Kaczynski” (cheques payable to John Zerzan)

Yours for the destruction of civilisation,

—George Woodsel

Dear SFB

I am 14 years old, and I live in Rhode Island. There is no wilderness here, just some woods with tiny trees. I want to know how to help the environment in some way, even if it is only a little bit. The thing is that I do not have much money.

Your friend in need,


Prisoner Support — Summer

Spirit of Freedom is Earth Liberation Prisoner’s on-line newsletter. View it at www.geocities.com/earthlibprisoner. To contact Spirit of Freedom email earthlibprisoner@hotmail.com.

June 18
  • Robert Thaxton #12112716, O.S.P. 2605 State St., Salem, OR 97310 (six years).

  • Kuldip Bajwa (DN7230), HM Prison, Jebb Avenue, Brixton, London, SW2 5XF, England (21 months).

  • Sean Brown, BP5610, HMYOI Ashfield, Sherwood Road, Pucklechurch, Bristol, BS16 9LY, England (12 months).

  • Jeff Booker DN7O71, Elmley, Eastchurch, Sheerness, MEI 2 4OZ, England (21 months).

  • Stuart Tokam, DN7072, HMP Brixton, Jebb Avenue, London, SW2 5XF, England (12 months).

  • Thomas Wall, FF4431, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 OEB, England (18 months).

  • Jon Barnett, FB5538, HMYOI, Bedfont Rd, Feltham,TW13 4ND, England (six months).

Animal liberation
  • Aaron Rudra, P.B. 43, 5726 Vaksdal, Norway. Sentenced to 10 months for an arson attack against a slaughterhouse in Bergen.

  • Barry Horne VC2141, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London SE28 OEB, England. Serving 18 years for various anti-vivisection arsons and attempted arsons.

  • Darren Cole, FN4694, HMP Blakenhurst, Howell Lane, Redditch, Worcs, BN7 6QS, England. On Remand for an anti-live exports bomb hoax at Dover Docks.

  • Justin Samuel, Hasselt Prison, Martelarenlaan 42, 3500, Hasselt, Belgium. On remand awaiting extradition to the USA for his alleged involvement with a number of raids on mink fur farms.

  • Mel Broughton DJ8216, HMP The Mount, Molyneaux Avenue, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 ONZ, England. Sentenced to 4 years imprison ment for conspiracy to cause explosions.

  • Tony Humphries AP7965, HMP Swaleside, Brabazon Rd, Eastchurch, Sheemess, Kent, ME12 4DZ, UK. Sentenced to 7 years for conspiracy to cause explosions plus 2 years concurrent for possession of explosives


Move is an eco-revolutionary group whos members have been persecuted by the Philadelphia police throughout their existence, culminating in the police firebombing their commune in 1985.

  • Debbie Simms Africa (006307), Janet Holloway Africa (006308) and

  • Janine Philips Africa (006309) all at: SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403–1238.

  • Michael Davis Africa (AM4973) and Charles Simms Africa (AM4975) both at SCI Grateford, PO Box 244, Grateford, PA 19426–0244.

  • Edward Goodman Africa (AM4974) SCI Camp Hill, PA 17011–0200.

  • William Philips Africa (AM4984) and Delbert Orr Africa (AM4985) both at SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612.

  • Mumia Abu Jamal, (AM8335), SCI Greene, 1040 East R. Furman Highway, Waynesburg, PA 15370–8090.

Prisoner Support Listings — Autumn

Please write these prisoners to show your support.

Spirit of Freedom is Earth Liberation Prisoner’s on-line newsletter. View it at www.geocities.com/earthlibprisoner. To contact Spirit of Freedom email earthlibprisoner@hotmail.com.

Earth liberation
  • Darren Murray, FM 4729, HM Prison, Chelmsford Springfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6LQ, England. Darren was an activist from the Golden Cross protest camp, set up to oppose the destruction or woodland to make way for luxury homes. The camp was evicted on May 12. He was arrested during the evictions and is now in HM Prison Chelmsford.

  • Ted Kaczynski, #04475–046, POB 8500, Florence, CO 81226–8500.

  • Wiebo A. Ludwig, Grand Cache Institution, Bag-4000, Grand Cache, Alberta, TOE OYO, Canada.

June 18
  • Robert Thaxton #12112716, OSP, 2605 State St., Salem, OR 97310, USA(six years).

  • Kuldip Bajwa (DN7230), HM Prison, Jebb Avenue, Brixton, London, SW2 5XF, England (21 months).

  • Sean Brown, BP5610, HMYOI Ashfield, Sherwood Road, Pucklechurch, Bristol, BS16 9LY, England (12 months).

  • Jeff Booker, DN7071, Elmley Eastchurch, Sheerness, ME12 4OZ, England (21 months).

  • Stuart Tokam, DN7072, HMP Brixton, Jebb Ave, London, SW2 5XF, England (12 months).

  • Thomas Wall, FF4431, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 OEB, England (18 months).

  • Jon Barnett, FB5538, HMYOI, Bedfont Rd, Feltham,TW13 4ND, England (six months).

Animal liberation
  • Aaron Rudra, PB 43, 5726 Vaksdal, Norway. Sentenced to 10 months for an arson attack against a slaughterhouse in Bergen.

  • Barry Horne, VC2141, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 OEB, England. Serving 18 years for various anti vivisection arsons and attempted arsons.

  • Darren Cole, FN4694, HMP Blakenhurst, Howell Lane, Redditch, Worcs, BN7 6QS, England. On remand for ah anti-live exports bomb hoax at Dover Docks.

  • Justin Samuel, c/o North American ALF Supporters Group, POB 69597, 5845 Yonde St, Willowdale, Ontario, M2N 4K3, Canada. Just extradited to the US from Belgium.

  • Mel Broughton, DJ8216, HMP The Mount, Molyneaux Ave, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 ONZ, England. Sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiracy to cause explosions.

  • Tony Humphries. AP7965, HMP Swaleside, Brabazon Rd, Eastchurch, Sheerness, Kent, ME 12 4DZ, UK. Sentenced to seven years for conspiracy to cause explosions plus two years concurrent for possession of explosives.


Move is an eco-revolutionary grdUp whose members have been persecuted by the Philadelphia police throughout their existence, culminating in the police firebombing their commune in 1985.

  • Debbie Simms Africa (006307), Janet Holloway Africa (006308) and Janine Philips Africa (006309) all at: SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403–1238.

  • Michael Davis Africa (AM4973) and Charles Simms Africa (AM4975), both at SCI Grateford, POB 244, Grateford, PA 19426–0244.

  • Edward Goodman Africa (AM4974), SCI Camp Hill, PA 17011–0200.

  • William Philips Africa (AM4984) and Delbert Orr Africa (AM4985) both at SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612.

  • Mumia Abu Jamal, (AM8335), SCI Greene, 1040 East R. Furman Highway, Waynesburg, PA 15370–8090.

Prisoner Listing — Winter

Spirit of Freedom is Earth Liberation Prisoner’s on-line newsletter. View it at www.geocities.com/earthlibprisoner. To contact Spirit of Freedom, email earthlibprisoner@hotmail.com.

Earth liberation
  • Darren Murray, FM 4729, HM Prison, Chelmsford Springfield Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 6LQ, England. Darren was an activist from the Golden Cross protest camp, set up to oppose the destruction or woodland to make way for luxury homes. The camp was evicted on May 12. He was arrested during the evictions and is now in HM Prison Chelmsford.

  • Ted Kaczynski, #04475–046, POB 8500, Florence, CO 81226–8500.

  • Wiebo A. Ludwig, Grand Cache Institution, Bag 4000, Grand Cache, Alberta, TOE OYO, Canada.

  • Jeffrey Luers (Free) #1306729 and Criag Marshall (Critter) #1340996, both at 101W 5th Street, Eugene, OR 97401. Both are awaiting trial on arson charges.

June 18
  • Robert Thaxton #12112716, OSP, 2605 State St., Salem, OR 97310, USA (six years).

  • Kuldip Bajwa (DN7230), HMP Brixton, Jebb Avenue, Brixton, London, SW2 5XF, England (21 months).

  • Sean Brown, BP5610, HMYOI Ashfield, Sherwood Road, Pucklechurch, Bristol, BS16 9LY, England (12 months).

  • Jeff Booker, DN7071, Elmley Eastchurch, Sheerness, ME12 4OZ, England (21 months).

  • Stuart Tokam, DN7072, HMP Brixton, Jebb Ave, London, SW2 5XF, England (12 months).

  • Thomas Wall, FF4431, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 OEB, England (18 months).

  • Jon Barnett, FB5538, HMYOI, Bedfont Rd, Feltham,TW13 4ND, England (six months).

Animal liberation
  • Justin Samuel—UPDATE! If Justin pleads guilty to a few misdemeanors, receives a sentence of time served PLUS restitution, and one year of supervision (provided by his mom), he will be released soon.

  • Aaron Rudra, PB 43, 5726 Vaksdal, Norway. Sentenced to 10 months for an arson attack against a slaughterhouse in Bergen.

  • Barry Horne, VC2141, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 OEB, England. Serving 18 years for various anti-vivisection arsons and attempted arsons.

  • Darren Cole, FN4694, HMP Blakenhurst, Howell Lane, Redditch, Worcs, BN7 6QS, England. On remand for an anti-live exports bomb hoax at Dover Docks.

  • Mel Broughton, DJ8216, HMP The Mount, Molyneaux Ave, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 0NZ, England. Sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiracy to cause explosions.

  • Tony Humphries. AP7965, HMP Swaleside, Brabazon Rd, Eastchurch, Sheerness, Kent, MEI 2 4DZ, UK. Sentenced to seven years for conspiracy to cause explosions plus two years concurrent for possession of explosives.


Move is an eco-revolutionary group whose members have been persecuted by the Philadelphia police throughout their existence, culminating in the police firebombing their commune in 1985.

  • Debbie Simms Africa (006307), Janet Holloway Africa (006308) and

  • Janine Philips Africa (006309) all at SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Avenue, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403–1238.

  • Michael Davis Africa (AM4973) and Charles Simms Africa (AM4975), both at SCI Grateford, POB 244, Grateford, PA 19426–0244.

  • Edward Goodman Africa (AM4974), SCI Camp Hill, PA 17011–0200.

  • William Philips Africa (AM4984) and Delbert Orr Africa (AM4985) both at SCI Dallas, Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612.

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal, (AM8335), SCI Greene, 1040 East R. Furman Highway, Waynesburg, PA 15370–8090.


Political Prisoner Listings — Spring

New: ELP North America, POB 11331, Eugene, OR 97440; naelpsn@yahoo.com; www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk

  • Ted Kaczynski, #04475–046, POB 8500, Florence, CO 81226–8500.

  • Wiebo A. Ludwig, Grand Cache Institution, Bag 4000, Grand Cache, Alberta, TOE OYO, Canada.

  • Jeffrey Luers (Free) #1306729, 101 W 5th Street, Eugene, OR 97401. Awaiting trial on arson charges.

  • Craig Marshall (Critter), POB 50263, Eugene, OR 97405. Took a deal and is serving 66 months for attempted arson and other charges.

  • Helen Woodson, 03231–045 FMC Carswell, POB 27137 Admin Max Unit, Fort Worth, TX 76127. Serving 27 years for taking $26,000 from a bank and setting the money on fire while reading a statement denouncing greed, capitalism and the destruction of the environment. Also, serving time for mailing warning letters containing bullets to six corporate officials and sabbing a nucler missile silo with a jack hammer. Due out in 2005

  • Betty Krawcyzk, Burnaby Correctional Facility for Women, 7900 Fraser Park Dr., Burnaby, BC V5J 5H1 Canada. Serving one year for blocking a road whilst trying to stop logging in the Elaho.

  • Nikos Maziotis, c/o Dafni Vaganou, Ozortz 3, 10689 Athens, Greece. Serving 15 years for bombing the Greek Ministry of Industry in protest of an attempt by TVX-Gold to build a factory in Strymonikos Bay.

  • Silvano Pellissero, Com. Mastrolierto, Via Ferrerinolino2, Sanponso, 10080Torino, Italy. Serving 6 years 8 months for allegedly sabotaging of a rail line construction site in the Northern Italian Alps. He understands French, Spanish and Italian but not English.

June 18 / May Day / N30
  • Robert Lee Thaxton, #12112716, 777 Stanton Street, Ontario, OR 9 7914. Serving seven years for throwing a rock at a policeman in self-defense.

  • Jonathan Elliot, FT10TT, HMP Petonville, Caledonian Road, London, N7 8TT. Sentenced to six months for affray during the 1999 N30 demonstration.

  • Michael Collins, FR6303, H.M. Prison, POB 757, Heathfield Road, London, SW18 3HS, England (2 years).

  • Nikki Koole, FB6530, HMYOI Feltham, Middx, TW13 4ND, England (9 months).

  • Angel Makoly FB4689 HMYOI Onley, Rugby CV23 8AP England (24 months).

  • Paul Revell, FR5599, H.M.Prison, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London, SW18 3HS, England (18 months).

  • Simone Sabeddu, FB2520, HMYOI Feltham, Bedfont Road, Feltham, MiddxTW13 4ND, England (14 months).

  • Darren Sole, DN9381, HMP Highpoint, Suffolk, CB8 9YG England (12 months).

  • Kevin Townsend, FR6275, H.M.Prison, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London, SW18 3HS, England (9 months).

  • Darryl Walker, FR5483, H.M.Prison, PO Box 757, Heathfield Road, London, SW18 3HS, England (15 months).

  • Gareth Williams, FT7291, HMP Pentonville London, N7 8TT, England (6 months).

Animal Liberation
  • Andrew Stepanian, 8/8/1978, 100 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY 11901. Andy was snitched on by his co-defendent and convicted of breaking fur-store windows in Long Island. Andy pled not guilty and is not an ALF prisoner.

  • Rae Newlands, HMP Holloway, Parkhurst Road, London, N7 ONU, England. Sentenced to 60 days in connection with a visit to Shamrock Farm workers on Halloween 1999.

  • Barry Horne, VC2141, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 OEB, England. Serving 18 years for various anti-vivisection arsons and attempted arsons.

  • Mel Broughton, DJ8216, HMP The Mount, Molyneaux Ave, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, Herts, HP3 0NZ, England. Sentenced to four years imprisonment for conspiracy to cause explosions.

  • David Elliot, HMP Chelmsford, Springfield Rd., Chelmsfield CM2 6LQ, England. Serving two months for an alleged assault on a police officer during a hunt sabotage.

  • Mark Kulsdom, Blegdamfejens Faengsel, Blegdamsvej 6, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark. Dutch ALF activist serving 10 months for releasing 8,000 mink from a fur farm in Denmark.

  • Robert Molenaar, Vestre Faengsel, cel 408, Vigerslev Alle 1, 2450 Copenhagen SV, Denmark. Serving same sentence as above.

Indigenous Land Rights
  • Leonard Peltier #89637–132, POB 1000, Leavenworth, KS 66048

  • Robert Wilson (Standing Deer) #640289, Pack Unit 1, 2400 Wallace Pack Rd. Navasota, TX 77869. While in jail, he exposed government plot to kill Peltier.

Letters to the Editor — May

Dear SFB,

Here I sit in a Canadian jail, day three of a 30-day sentence. Eleven of us were charged with breaking a May 10 injunction prohibiting us with interfering with Texada Land Corporation’s logging operations on Saltspring Island. They’ve come into our community, started to rape our mountains and destroy our last intact watershed. When they started they gave the community a code of principles which they abandoned from day one. Using terror tactics, they tried to scare us into submission, but Saltspringers are a rare breed that won’t be bullied. After raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to try and buy back our watershed and pristine mountains, they held us hostage by demanding five times the assessed value of the land. Monies were raised through bake sales, art auctions, benefit shows and dances and a calendar featuring Saltspring goddesses posing nude in different spots on the island (very tasteful and beautiful I might add). Finally, after all legal avenues were exhausted we resorted to civil disobedience — mostly lockdowns with lock boxes and sleeping dragons. An 88-year-old grandmother and raging granny stood before a logging truck with two supporters. All three were arrested. I was arrested and was assaulted by a volunteer fireman called to cut me off the truck. Later, I learned he was a full-time employee of Dorman Timber, a subcontractor of Texada Land Corporation. There were numerous other assaults during, before and after said lockdowns. Two by Dorman owner Brian Dorman during lockdowns, one by Tim Dorman trying to frame an innocent bystander for which he perjured himself in court. Fortunately, the recipient was acquitted. Eight of us were found guilty, one acquitted and two didn’t show for trial (bench warrants were issued). The accused ranged from 16 and 17, me 28 (single dad), 41-year-old male, 44-year-old single mother of two, 47-year-old carpenter and father and 88-year-old grandmother. One of the youth has been a member of mensa since she was 11. We had lots of support throughout our two-week-long trial.

At the end of the crown’s closing (the crown is Canadian for prosecuting attorney), he was interrupted when the courtroom on the 4th floor started shaking. Mother Earth was responding with an earthquake. Once the shaking stopped the crown said, “I guess that’s all” then the courtroom erupted with applause.

Natural law will prevail,

—J. Flis

PS: While pregnant, my wife was arrested during the Warner Creek blockades, so my daughter had been to jail before me. No Compromise in Defense of Mother Earth!

Dear SFB,

Re: Privilege is invisible to those who have it: Right on (see EF!J February-March 2001)! Revolution begins within. I’m glad I read this article first.

Then I read the story about the Long Island actions.

I am familiar with the Judi Bari story, the concept of agent provocateur, COINTELPRO, etc. You guys have been had. Ghandi would not be proud.

Everytime I read about violent actions being blamed on a group, I figure it’s just establishment propaganda. But here you guys are bragging about setting fires, on your website? Testosterone knows no politics.

To paraphrase the Beatles: “If you go carrying pictures of Ted Kaczynski, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.”

Oh, you checked to make sure no one would be killed or injured? Violence is violence, and gives the authorities an excuse to break down your door. Then it’s no longer a matter of “thought-police” targeting you because of your different ideals.

To anyone who promotes violence: Go liberate yourself.

—Pat Baker

Prisoner Support: They Are in There for Us — June

  • Jeremiah Rush Bowen #108016, DCC, 1140 E. 10 Road, Delta, CO 81416. Serving two years for the attempted arson of a townhouse in Boulder, Colorado, in the summer of 2000.

  • Jeffrey Luers (a.k.a. Free) #13797671,82911 Beach Access Rd, Umatilla, OR 97882. This is a temporary address as he awaits the outcome of his trial on 11 charges relating to two arsons in ‘Michael Colims, FR6303, HMP Elmley Church Road, Eugene Oregon.

  • Craig Marshall (a.k.a. Critter) #13797662/2605 State St, Salem, OR 97310. Serving a five and a half year sentenced for conspiracy to commit arson and possession of unlawful devices.

  • Ted Kaczynski #04475–046, US Pen-Admin Max Facility, POB 8500, Florence, CO 81226.

  • Helen Woodson #03231–045, FMC Carswell, POB 27137 Admin Max Unit, Fort Worth, TX 76127. Serving 27 years for robbing a bank and then setting the money on fire while reading out a statement denouncing greed, capitalism and the destruction of the environment.

  • Lee Himlin EX7748, HMP Perry Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, N65 3AG, England. On remand for criminal damage to quarrying equipment at the Nine Ladies quarry.

  • Nikos Maziotis, c/o Dafni Vaganou, Ozortz 3, 10689 Athens, Gree five years for bombing the Greek Ministry of industry in solidarity with the residents of Strymonikos Bay opposed to the attempts by TVX-Gold to build a factory there.

  • Silvano Pellissero, Com. Mastrolierto, Via Ferrerinoli #2, Sanponso, 10080 Torino, Italy. Serving six years and eight months for allegedly sabotaging a rail line construction site in the Northern Italian Alps. Silvano reads French, Spanish and Italian (ndt English).

Animal Liberation
  • Mia Muhonen, Vaasan Poliisilaitos, Raastuvankatu 30,65100 Vaasa, Finland. Being held on suspicion of raiding a mink farm.

  • Brandon Elder, Tampereen kihlakunnan poliisilaitos/Tutkintavankila Hatanpaanvaltatie 16,33100 Tampere, Finland. Being held on suspicion of raiding a mink farm.

  • Mel Broughton DJ8216, HMP The Mount, Molyneaux Avenue, Bovingdon, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 0NZ, England. Serving four years for conspiracy to cause explosions.

  • Barry Horne VC2141, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London SE28 0EB, England. Serving 18 years for various anti-vivisection arsons and attempted arsons.

  • Robert Lee Thaxton #12112716, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310. Rob threw a rock at a cop in self-defense at the 1999 Eugene J18 RTS and received a severe seven year sentence as part of a “mandatory minimum.” He was recently moved back to this address for unknown reasons.

  • Michael Collins FR6303, HMP Elmley, Church Road, Eastchurch, Sheerness, Kent, ME12 4AY, England. Two years to a number of charges including affray and arson.

  • Jonathan Elliot, FT1OTT, H.M.P Petonville, Caledonian Road London, N7 8T1, UK. Six months, due out soon.

  • Marcus Gabbard, FT9062 HMP Camp Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5PB UK, He has been sentenced to 18 months for setting fire to a police van during the N30 demonstrations.

  • Eric Wildcat Hall #BL-5355, Unit I/A 10745 Route 18, Albion, PA 16475–0002. Serving 35–75 years for helping ship arms to Central American resisters.

  • Leonard Peltier #89637–132, POB 1000, Leavenworth, KS 66048. An American Indian Movement (AIM) activist, serving two life sentences after having been framed for the murder of two FBI agents.

  • Robert Wilson (a.k.a. Standing Deer) #640289, Estelle Prison Pack, 264 FM 3478, Huntsville, TX 77869. In 1978, Standing Deer exposed a government plot to assassinate Leonard Peltier. His reward was life in prison.

  • Lenny Chavez, POB 28703, Oakland, CA 94694. An AIM activist who defended himself and his family from an armed racist. Lenny disarmed his attacker by stabbing him with a penknife and was jailed for attempted murder.

  • Debbie Simms Africa (006307), Janet Holloway Africa (006308), Janine Philips Africa (006309), SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403–1238.

  • Michael Davis Africa (AM4973), Charles Simms Africa (AM4975), SCI Grateford, POB 244, Grateford, PA 19426–0244.

  • Edward Goodman Africa (AM4974), SCI Camp Hill, PA 17011–0200.

  • William Philips Africa (AM4984), Delbert Orr Africa (AM4985), SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612.


This list is a small sample of the total number of political prisoners worldwide. For more information visit www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk. The EF!J offers free subscriptions to prisoners. Due to the high cost of mailing, we must request that prisoners and prison support groups/individuals keep us posted about address changes so that we don’t waste postage.

Letters to the Editor — August

Dear Journal Collective,

I would like you to strongly consider removing Ted Kaczynski’s name from the political prisoners list. What is a political prisoner? I think its someone who is in jail for solely for her/his politics or someone whose sentence has been lengthened because of his/her politics. TK fits neither of these categories.

He is an implementer of the death penalty, more often than not randomly and without any accompanying political statement. His bombs were found by janitors, secretaries, college students, as well as the occasional mid-level corporate executive. Even his final victim was unintended.

I find it curious that people who generally oppose state sponsored death penalties heartily approve of implementing their own. It is no wonder at all how Stalin came to power. Leftists, when given the power of life and death, act no differently than anyone else. Thus I oppose the tactics of TK and further consider him to be a fascist killer.

Further, his sentence was relatively light for what he did compared to those who commit similar crimes without a political agenda.

Now, let me ask you: should I now fear for my life because I oppose Mr. K’s tactics. Will someone kill me because of my opinion as he killed others for theirs (when he managed to reach his obscure targets, that is)? I ask this to make my point. It is a slippery slope to endorse the killing of people for any reason. When does it stop. Who is the arbiter of who should be killed? Ted Kaczynski? This is the politics of the very paradigm I thought we were trying to transcend.

It is an insult to the likes of Leonard Peltier to list TK as a political prisoner. He is a criminal and a deranged one at that, who happens to have a political opinion, just like most prisoners. And since we don’t list them all, we should be selective so as to further our own wilderness and biocentric agenda and not shoot it in the foot. To in any way express sympathy for TK offers our opponents ammunition to, in the words of J. Edgar Hoover, “neutralize and eliminate” us.

—Darryl Cherney

Notification to Inmate and Publisher/Sender of Rejected Publication


INSTITUTION: United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum

POB Box 8500, Florence, CO 81226–8500

RE: “EARTH FIRST!” May-June 2001 Pages 5, 38, 48, 56, and 74

The above named publication has been rejected in accordance with the Bureau of Prison’s Program Statement 5266.09, Incoming Publications, which states in part: “The Warden may reject a publication if it is determined detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution or if it may facilitate criminal activity.”

[excerpted... blah blah blah]

—Michael V. Pugh, Warden

Prisoner Support: They Are in There for Us — August

  • Jeremiah Rush Bowen #108016, DCC, 1140 E. 10 Road, Delta, CO 81416. Serving two years for the attempted arson of a townhouse in Boulder, Colorado, in the summer of 2000.

  • Jeffrey Luers (a.k.a. Free) #13797671,82911 Beach Access Rd, Umatilla, OR 97882. This is a temporary address as he awaits the outcome of his trial on 11 charges relating to two arsons in ‘Michael Colims, FR6303, HMP Elmley Church Road, Eugene Oregon.

  • Craig Marshall (a.k.a. Critter) #13797662/2605 State St, Salem, OR 97310. Serving a five and a half year sentenced for conspiracy to commit arson and possession of unlawful devices.

  • Ted Kaczynski #04475–046, US Pen-Admin Max Facility, POB 8500, Florence, CO 81226.

  • Helen Woodson #03231–045, FMC Carswell, POB 27137 Admin Max Unit, Fort Worth, TX 76127. Serving 27 years for robbing a bank and then setting the money on fire while reading out a statement denouncing greed, capitalism and the destruction of the environment.

  • Lee Himlin EX7748, HMP Perry Road, Sherwood, Nottingham, N65 3AG, England. On remand for criminal damage to quarrying equipment at the Nine Ladies quarry.

  • Nikos Maziotis, c/o Dafni Vaganou, Ozortz 3, 10689 Athens, Gree five years for bombing the Greek Ministry of industry in solidarity with the residents of Strymonikos Bay opposed to the attempts by TVX-Gold to build a factory there.

  • Silvano Pellissero, Com. Mastrolierto, Via Ferrerinoli #2, Sanponso, 10080 Torino, Italy. Serving six years and eight months for allegedly sabotaging a rail line construction site in the Northern Italian Alps. Silvano reads French, Spanish and Italian (ndt English).

Animal Liberation
  • Mel Broughton?DJ8216, HMP The Mount, Molyneaux Avenue, Bovlngdon, Hemel Hempstead, HP3 0NZ, England. Serving four years for conspiracy to cause explosions.

  • Barry Horne VC2141, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, London SE28 OEB, England. Serving 18 years for various anti-vivisection arsons and attempted arsons.

  • Dave Blenkinsop, HMP Dedford, MK40 1HG, England. On remand for allegedly causing grievous bodily harm to the managing director of Huntingdon Life Sciences.

  • Robert Lee Thaxton #12112716, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310. Rob threw a rock at a cop in self-defense at the 1999 Eugene J18 RTS and received a severe seven year sentence as part of a “mandatory minimum.” He was recently moved back to this address for unknown reasons.

  • Michael Collins FR6303, HMP Elmley, Church Road, Eastchurch, Sheerness, Kent, ME12 4AY, England. Two years to a number of charges including affray and arson.

  • Garfield Marcus Gabbard FT9062, HMP Camp Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight, P030 5PD, England. Serving 18 months for allegedly setting fire to a police van during the N30 demonstrations.

  • Eric Wildcat Hall #BL-5355, Unit I/A 10745 Route 18, Albion, PA 16475–0002. Serving 35–75 years for helping ship arms to Central American resisters.

  • Leonard Peltier #89637–132, POB 1000, Leavenworth, KS 66048. An American Indian Movement (AIM) activist, serving two life sentences after having been framed for the murder of two FBI agents.

  • Robert Wilson (a.k.a. Standing Deer) #640289, Estelle Prison Pack, 264 FM 3478, Huntsville, TX 77869. In 1978, Standing Deer exposed a government plot to assassinate Leonard Peltier. His reward was life in prison.

  • Lenny Chavez, POB 28703, Oakland, CA 94694. An AIM activist who defended himself and his family from an armed racist. Lenny disarmed his attacker by stabbing him with a penknife and was jailed for attempted murder.

  • Debbie Simms Africa (006307), Janet Holloway Africa (006308), Janine Philips Africa (006309), SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403–1238.

  • Michael Davis Africa (AM4973), Charles Simms Africa (AM4975), SCI Grateford, POB 244, Grateford, PA 19426–0244.

  • Edward Goodman Africa (AM4974), SCI Camp Hill, PA 17011–0200.

  • William Philips Africa (AM4984), Delbert Orr Africa (AM4985), SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612.

Prisoner Support Groups
  • Bloomington Defense Committee, POB 5503, Bloomington, IN 47402; (812) 333–0173; defensecommitteeC«yahoo.com.

  • Santa Cruz 2 Defense Fund, POB 917, Santa Cruz, CA 95060; railpirateCape.xmail.com.

  • Free and Critter Support Committee, 454 Willamette St Ste 205, Eugene, OR 97401; (541) 343j85<8; www.efn.org/~eugpeaqe^fec^f* £> £11 I j f*

  • Connor Cash Support, c/o ADL, POB1117,Huntington, NY 11743; (631) 340–4708; freeconnorcash@yahoo.com.

  • Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, POB 583, Lawrence, 66044; (913) 842–5774.

  • Anarchist Prisoner Lega! Aid Network, 818 SW 3rd Ave, IB 354, Portland, OR 97204; aplan@tao.ca.

  • North American Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network, POB 11331, Eugene, OR 97440; naelpsn@yahoo.com

  • Friends of MOVE, POB 19709, Philadelphia, PA 19143.

  • UK Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network, Leeds, LS7 3HB, England; www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk.

Letters to the Editor — September

Dear Cerebral Fertiliser,

After his last contribution to the Journal (Lugnasadh 2001, p. 35), I would like you to strongly consider blowing Darryl Cherney out your arse.

He gives two definitions of a political prisoner—acting from her/his politics and sentenced being lengthened as a result—and then concedes Ted Kaczynski fits one of his own definitions (“He happens to have a political opinion”) and unless you count six life sentences as “light” punishment, the second too. Or is Cherney advocating the death penalty for those he disagrees with, for all his flannel otherwise?

He uncritically repeats FBI smears that Ted’s “deranged” and targeted unjustifiably, as if airlines, cyberneticians, genetic engineers, Green-washers and clearcutters weren’t justifiable targets. Aping Pontius Pilate, Cherney pathetically asks “Who is the arbiter...?”, as if we don’t know who’s killing the Earth. As to “violence provoking violence”, Darryl should know effectiveness provokes State violence, not resistance to it. He pretends to speak for Leonard Peltier— as if AIM were ever pacifists or saw any reason to be after centuries of genocide. Most offensive and disingenuous was Cherney’s claim Ted is “fascist” without the slightest justification. Ted was principally influenced by The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul, an active antifascist French Resistance fighter. Or was Ellul “fascist” too as he practically distinguished between the violence of oppressor and oppressed? How contemptible: the Feds baselessly smear EF! as “fascist” and Cherney repeats this lie when it comes to Ted.

Cherney’s cynicism is as staggering as his counter-revolutionary incoherence: he’s trying to make Ted an issue as the current Journal is really “reflecting movement opinion”—and the urgency of the current crisis—rather than his opinion. Nonviolent—if authentically direct—action is as much his target as Ted-style “monkeywrenching”.

Yours, for the destruction of Civilisation,

—John Connor
Green Anarchist

Dear EF!J,

This is directed toward Darryl Cherney, regarding your desire to remove Kaczynski’s name from the political prisoners list. While I too was surprised the first time I saw his name there. I feel strongly that you, Darryl, should kick back. I’ve read his manifesto and I didn’t find the ideas of a deranged person there. I have met him also and while he has limited social development he is far from deranged.

OK, you have been bombed and I understand. Kaczynski !may be a murderer yes, but the people who bombed you are far different creatures entirely.

Plus, who are you? You are not some innocent victim! Nothing happens to you without your consent. We are here voluntarily to learn, grow, experience and work. Life is about suffering.

Just because you don’t pull the trigger doesn’t mean you’re not a killer too. If you pay taxes, you are a murderer. If you own a car, you are a murderer. Use electricity, killer! Eat, take meds, own stock, etc...

We exist in a predatory universe. Life feeds on life. Why value human life over animals, plants? AU are conscious and alive and feel. Honor that awareness, recognize what you’ve learned from your violent experiences and pain. Thank your torturers as well as your lovers.

I know you are conscious Darryl. Know it and live it. Leave blame alone.

Love and Namaste,

—White Planetary Wizard

Dear Journal,

I was delighted to receive the new Journal in the mail earlier today. It seems that the Journal has taken a real turn in a more radical direction and I appreciate it.

That being said, I have to address the reactionary opinions expressed by Darryl Chemey in his letter. I guess Darryl thinks he can throw a fit (like he did at the 1999 Rendezvous by blocking a competent Journalista) and everyone will just succumb. The suggestion that Ted Kaczynski should be removed from the EF! prisoner page is as absurd as it is typical of Northcoast pacifism. Darryl bases his argument on some slippery premises:

1) that TK is not a political prisoner based on his (Darryl’s) strict definition of a political prisoner (i.e. “solely for his/her politics”...)

2) that TK is an implementer of the death penalty (which Darryl morally condemns as wrong).

Darryl blathers on with some insults (“fascist killer”) and blames the Journal for insulting Leonard Peltier by including TK. Basically, his points are weak and indicative of the authoritarian and reactionary tendencies that exist in careerists (whether they are enviros or industry-types).

First off, who is Darryl to define what a political prisoner is? All prisoners are political! I suppose engaging in symbolic and ineffective civil disobedience gives one the time and experience to criticize people who take real, direct action in defense of the wild.

Secondly, Darryl takes the simplistic position that killing someone is wrong. I refuse, as a first world person, to condemn the movements of past and present who kill others to stop oppression or destruction of the environment. I stand in solidarity with the Free Papua Movement, the Basque separatists, the Irish Republican Army, the EZLN and the many other movements that dare to fight back. To equate the imposition of a governmental death penalty by the state with courageous resistance is lame and pretty lazy thinking.

I think Darryl and all the other reactionary elements of EF! should ponder what they mean by “No compromise in defense of Mother Earth” and ask themselves why they don’t support Ted Kaczynski.

Darryl, the FBI bombed you, not Ted.

Thank you Journal for printing this letter.



Dear everyday heroes in defense of the planet!,

Congratulations on the destruction of property we always read about in defense of the wild and of the animals. I support your efforts vocally and forcefully every time I hear people criticize the destruction of a lab, etc. Recently, I was in Winthrop, North Cascades, Washington... and people in a restaurant were talking about what a shame it was that some heavy machinery (I think to remove mudslides or snow) were destroyed. I educate forcefully in my little comer of the world, but we all know it’s already too late for the critical mass to change. We all know that Earth cannot be restored to former glory until the top of the food chain is lopped off... which only makes your efforts that much heroic.

If I were young and healthy... instead of old and seriously ill, I would be out there with you in the trees! Rare are those who would put their lives and liberty in jeopardy in defense of anything. It is my sincere wish that your recompense will come on some other plane of existence, since it will not come on this one. It is my fantasy that those who are good stewards of the Earth (especially the kamikaze heroes who endanger life and limb) will find themselves, in another lifetime, living on another gloriously beautiful planet, living in peace and harmony with nature... in a place where higher consciousness makes brothers of us all. If that model proves not true... then I know you believe, as I do, that it is enough to have lived (and perhaps given) ones life in defense of the wilderness.

With the utmost respect, gratitude and admiration,


Howdy, Journalistas!

Can’t not express my anger about M.M. Smith’s letter in the Lugnasadh issue...

Okay, since when did EF! ever stand for protecting the racial purity of der fatherland? The name is Earth First!, not Amerikka Uber Alles!

There, I feel better now. Thanks!

I might be sending you an “open letter” to the so-called “riot tourists” of the world, suggesting they think globally and act locally.

Finally, although I’m excited to see a newly forming “Green Anarchist Movement”, I wonder about all the anarchist debating in the Journal’s pages. I doubt a huge percent of EFiers are anarchists and I don’t want them to feel alienated from EF! Yeah, this is an odd thing for me to be saying, but we need allies across a broad spectrum of society, and people shouldn’t feel they have to “convert” to anarchism. Having said that, I thought David Orton’s piece about being anarchist or environmentalist was stoopeedl This kind of dualistic, iconoclastic thinking has no place in a chaotic, varied, verdant world.

There, I gotta go to chow now. It’s actually something good today! Take care and keep up the great work!

EF! we’ll liberate the other planets if we ever get around to it!

—Rob Los Ricos

Letter to the Editor — November

Dear SFB,

This letter is to reveal a disturbing trend in the EF! movement that, despite the rise in anarchist politics, seems to linger in direct action campaigns. Recently an I F! action in my region was accompanied by a press release and press work that demanded that a government agency “enforce all federal laws,” and promised to, continue blockading the project until such time. Many of the participants in the action are anarchists, and yet none of them had any say in the media message. One person was the media spokeswoman, and her reformist politics defined the thrust of the entire action. I would like to urge folks to take part in media work and hold those who rush to the spotlight accountable to the rest of the group. There is no reason why an Earth First! action should demand the compliance of a genocidal, colonial government who only seeks to coopt all dissent.

No Compromise!

—The French Broad

Dear EF!

Has EF!’s nonviolent philosophy taken a U-turn with the move to Tucson? Your header above the list of prisoners is really offensive, especially in light of the Sept. 11 tragedy. Ted Kaczynski is “in there for us”?! Ted Kaczynski is a murderer who knowingly and willingly maimed and killed human beings. He is no different from the Sept. 11 terrorists whose warped minds were somehow able to justify blowing up people.

You provide an excellent service. No other publication that I’m aware of compile such an extensive coverage of frontline enviro battles. Don’t compromise your effectiveness or the environmental community by sanctioning terrorism.

—Tena Scruggs

Editors’ Note: Ted Kaczynski will no longer be listed on the Journal’s prisoner support page.

Ted himself says that people shouldn’t waste time or energy debating this instead of taking action, We agree. You go Ted.


Letters to the Editor — Summer

Dear Shitty Brains,

Do or Die is my favorite publication from the UK. It is a publication of EF!ers/Eco-Anarchists. It has a couple components that are sorely lacking in the Journal. There is a big focus on self-critique and analysis (anarchist). Also, the humor is great. Critique is meant as a tool to point out holes or deficiencies in one’s analysis. It is meant to sharpen one’s analysis. It is an act of mutual aid. Analysis is the drawing up of what you are dealing with in a holistic way. Looking at the economic forces, cultural tendencies, ecological situation, etc. of the crisis we are immersed in. It is an attempt at understanding how things came to be the way they are and understanding the roles of the institutions that maintain and reproduce our impoverished existence destroying this planet.

In the EF! Journal, I read about threats to the Earth and peoples and mostly civil disobedience actions taken to try to slow down all the brushfires (symptoms) of the techno-industrial empire. Rarely, if ever, do I read about trying to understand the effectiveness of such actions within the local and larger scheme of things. Rarely do I hear questions of what could have been done better or what else we could do. I’d like to see more self-criticism and analysis so we can develop accurate theory to base our actions on, resulting in more effectuality.

—The Pondering Tortoise

Editors’ note: The Journal is a forum for the radical environmental movement. A rticle submissions are welcome, especially those providing critique and analysis of movement tactics and strategies. If you’ve got something to say, we encourage you to write an article and send it to the Journal.

Dear Brains For Shit,

There are problems that can’t be reformed away. Problems inherent to political structures. So if we are really going to stop the megamachine, we are going to have to move beyond begging politicians and CEOs to save patches of wilderness that they profit from destroying. We’re going to have to move beyond disempowered attempts at media representation. We need to identify the core of this rotting system and strike hard. One article I highly recommend for discussion is called “Hit Where it Hurts” by Ted Kaczynski, published in Green Anarchy #8 (www.greenanarchy.org). He makes some important criticisms of forest defense activist strategy and tactics and lays out an interesting strategy for dismantling the techno-industrial order. For all those engaged in sabotage or who are interested in reading some important points for effective action, this article is essential, and I’d personally be super stoked if the Journal would reprint the article.

—Wannabe Saboteur


Letters to the Editor — Spring

Dear Shit fer Brains,

In these times of increasing state repression and backpeddling liberals, it’s really heartening to see the Earth First! Journal continue to cover radical and militant direct action—especially that which refuses to abide by the reformist and statist nonviolence code so loved by some sections of the “movement.”

However, some critique of certain elements of the Revolutionary Cells’ actions reported in the Earth First! Journal Samhain/Yule 2003 is needed. One of the Revolutionary Cells communiques (published on portland.indymedia.org) commemorates, “Those fallen before us in the war for liberation,” going on to list 10 of these people, including some from the struggle for animal liberation, Irish Republican movement, Basque separatists and anti-globilization activists.

Drawing together very different struggles that share little or nothing in terms of their desire for a free and ecological world seems to be slightly unthought out to me, and particularly unfair given the people mentioned are dead and cannot complain about being aligned with others they may strongly disagree with, as I know at least one of them would.

The communique continues, signing off, “Up the Real IRA! Long live the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine! Viva Las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia! [FARC] Long live the Frontu Di Liberazione Naziunalista Corsu! For the creation of Revolutionary Cells! For Humyn, Earth and Animal Liberation!”

Whilst obviously I support effective radical, ecological direct action, of whatever type people see fit to take, I do not support the murderous and nationalist actions of FARC, the IRA, Palestinian bombers or Corsican Nationalists, and would be surprised and disgusted by any genuine ecoanarchist that did.

The Revolutionary Cells are to be welcomed for their militancy and commitment to radical direct action, but criticized for their drawing together disparate struggles with divergent aims under the slightly nebulous banner of “armed struggle.” Revolutionary Cells, more critical thinking and less cheerleading for nationalist gun and bomb toting please.

—A Nonny Mouse

Dear Shit fer Brains,

I confess I do not always read every single page of the EF! Journal. That is why the Revolutionary Cell communique on page 20 of the Samhain/Yule 2003 issue had to be pointed out to me. So I have to ask: What is with this recklessly violent braggadocio? Are we trying to attract more nut cases like Ted Kaczynski to the movement? Are we not keeping up with our nonviolence trainings? Have our nonviolence trainers been slacking? Besides being of questionable morality, violence is a completely impractical tactic. Does anyone really think they can beat a global corporate system backed up by United States military force by violent means? The Soviet Union tried it and went bankrupt and collapsed. Violence can only breed more violence. I do understand that the path of nonviolence is not for everyone. It is no place for cowards. It takes rare courage and strength of character to fight evil without being seduced by it. If the Journal is going to print provocative little communiques like this, shouldn’t you being contextualizing it in a way that distances it from our movement? It is not “superradical,” so much as dangerously stupid. Wise up.

Your friendly Peace Nazi,

—Peggy Sue

Letters to the Editor — Summer

Dear yearning to be relevant SFB, Peggy Sue and Nonny Mouse are such wonderful examples of why Earth First! and US environmentalists are so irrelevant to world revolution (change) and instead support the enemy (see EF!J March-April 2004). Guilty of ignorance or clever manipulators? They exhibit a deep lack of history/vocabulary. Eco-anarchists (whoever they are) are against any nationalism? The PLO, the Corsicans and the Basques are for devolution—they are trying to break away from larger nations—this is anti-nationalism! The heroic FARC and the IRA fight to recover land taken from them or occupied by imperialist powers.

If there were any real environmentalists in the US, they would be down in Colombia fighting with the FARC to stop the US, the Coal and Oil Companies and the Colombian Narco-Death Squad Government from destroying the most biologically diverse country on Earth. Colombia has more bird species than North America, and most are endangered.

But the greater tragedy of “Sue and Mouse” is their obvious Western, liberal and bourgeois (middle class) viewpoint on everything. They reject self-defense or any resistance other than their own ineffective efforts. They misunderstand Gandhi, who doubted that mass nonviolence could work against immoral regimes like the Nazis—or the US Empire. And they lack a basic understanding of strategy: how violent and nonviolent movements have always aided each other.

Yes, we need more Kaczynskis and more revolutionary cells. We need to tie disparate struggles together in our minds and statements, because they aren’t really different when viewed from outside the US. For billions of people, there is a global war underway by the Capitalist Globalizes and the US military. All struggles against these twin towers of global fascism—yes, even Al Qaeda—are connected, vital, relevant—unlike Peggy or Mouse—or the EF! Journal.

The Journal deserves its share of blame for the sorry state of education among its readers and its staff. On the other hand, it is just a magazine—there is no movement—the Carnival too is a con-job. What can a magazine trapped in a vacuum of a Fascist government arid an ignorant public do?

Sad is the land that has no hero—but sadder is the land that needs a hero.

—Nassim Mobasher

Dear Earth First!ers,

If anyone reading this owns a car or truck, or uses a car or truck, I have a suggestion for a continuous political action.

The faster a vehicle is driven the more fuel it uses, correct? What if all of us activists, inactivists, non-activists and sympathetic readers drove at the speed limit, or five miles under the speed limit?

We would not only be saving fuel wasted by speeding, but on a two lane road would affect other drivers to use less fuel. If people behind us race forward to pass us, more people would see our bumper stickers.

We couldn’t be harassed by the law because we are obeying the law.

So I suggest to all of us who feel the need to own a vehicle. and use it: “Leave earlier, drive slower.”

Thank you for your consideration.


—Karen Hinderstein


Re-visiting Uncle Ted — Spring

A look at Technological Slavery: The collected writings of Theodore J. Kaczynski a.k.a. “The Unabomber”

By Panagiotis Evangelos Nasios Tsolkas

AUGUST 14, 1983: “The fifth of August I began a hike to the east. I got to my hidden camp that I have in a gulch beyond what I call “Diagonal Gulch.” I stayed there through the following day, August 6. I felt the peace of the forest there. But there are few huckleberries there, and though there are deer, there is very little small game. Furthermore, it had been a long time since I had seen the beautiful and isolated plateau where the various branches of Trout Creek originate. So I decided to take off for that area on the 7th of August. A little after crossing the roads in the neighborhood of Crater Mountain I began to hear chain saws; the sound seemed to be coming from the upper reaches of Rooster Bill Creek. I assumed they were cutting trees; I didn’t like it but I thought I would be able to avoid such things when I got onto the plateau. Walking across the hillsides on my way there, I saw down below me a new road that had not been there previously, and that appeared to cross one of the ridges that close in Stemple Creek. This made me feel a little sick. Nevertheless, I went on to the plateau. What I found there broke my heart. The plateau was criss-crossed with new roads, broad and well-made for roads of that kind. The plateau is ruined forever. The only thing that could save it now would be the collapse of the technological society. I couldn’t bear it. That was the best and most beautiful and isolated place around here and I have wonderful memories of it.

One road passed within a couple of hundred feet of a lovely spot where I camped for a long time a few years ago and passed many happy hours. Full of grief and rage I went back and camped by South Fork Humbug Creek.

The next day I started for my home cabin. My route took me past a beautiful spot, a favorite place of mine where there was a spring of pure water that could safely be drunk without boiling. I stopped and said a kind of prayer to the spirit of the spring. It was a prayer in which I swore that I would take revenge for what was being done to the forest.

“[...] and then I returned home as quickly as I could because I have something to do!”

Many of us grew up with a wild-ass grandpa or grumpy uncle. Whether they were preaching conspiracy theories, needling us to invest in gold or embarrassing us in front of our friends by gleefully threatening to get revenge on the techno-industrial empire, they usually made quite an impression. Ted Kaczynski might just be that relative to those of us in the radical ecological movement. Over the past few decades, some have cringed at his sight and others have cheered, but we’ve all had to ask ourselves, is he really related to us?!

Did he subscribe to the Earth First! Journal? Didn’t I see him eating at the Food Not Bombs picnic once? Was he at the Rendezvous? (or did he get kicked out?!)

While the speculations could take on mythical proportions, the only evidence to surface suggested an obscure relation at best—despite some persistent attempts to connect him to an organized movement. For example, in April ’96, Tampa Tribune columnist Cal Thomas reported, “Kaczynski went to an Earth First! meeting at the University of Montana where a hit list of enemies of the environment was distributed.” Thomas, a former publicist for Jerry Falwell, conflated both allegations: the meeting was actually a Native Forest Network conference and the list came from Live Wild or Die, not the Earth First! Journal (although when FBI agents raided Kaczynski’s Montana cabin, they claimed to find copies of both).

According to the Center for Consumer Freedom’s famous Earth First!-bashing website, WWW.ACTIVISTCASH.COM, the FBI said Earth First! Journal was one of Kaczynski’s favorite periodicals. As annoying as these industry fronts tend to be, their sources are occassionally solid. In this case, a 1998 court transcript stated that a letter titled “Suggestion for Earth First!ers from FC” (said to be the Unabomber’s pseudonym) was found in Kaczynski’s cabin, which read in part: “As for the Mosser bombing, our attention was called to Burston-Marsteller [sic] by an article that appeared in the Earth First! Litha [sic].” The transcript also states “the cabin searchers also found a copy of a letter to a radical environmental group known as Earth First!, and that letter began: ‘This is a message from FC. The F.B.I. calls us Unabom. We are the people who recently assassinated the president of the California Forestry Association.’”

In the Beltane ’96 issue of the Journal, co-editor Leslie Hemstreet authored a thorough rebuttal to media accusations following Ted’s bust, primarily by distancing the movement from him to the greatest extent possible (including inaccuracies). The editorial collective went as far as filing the first stages of a lawsuit against the FBI, which was mostly fruitless. With the Journal bearing the brunt of the pressure, the angle taken by the Eugene collective at the time is understandable. The anxiety, fear and confusion show most clearly when Hemstreet asserts that “to even identify the Unabomber as environmentally motivated is stretching it. Of his 26 victims, only two had any environmental connection.” [see A Few FC Targets]

Little else ever appeared about Uncle Ted in the Journal— no analysis of targets, no critique of the manifesto—but plenty of whispers, rants and arguments could be heard around our campfires. In June ’99, a former Journal editor, Theresa Kintz, attempted to break the silence by conducting the first interview with Ted Kaczynski; however, at that year’s Round River Rendezvous in Colorado the movement rejected the idea of running it. Instead Anarchy: a Journal of Desire Armed and the UK edition of Green Anarchist published it jointly. Neither of which was, for better or worse, constrained by public process or movement accountability.

In response to Kintz’s question about his influences, Kaczynski responded: “I read Edward Abbey in mid-eighties and that was one of the things that gave me the idea that, ‘yeah, there are other people out there that have the same attitudes that I do.’ I read The Monkeywrench Gang, I think it was. But what first motivated me wasn’t anything I read. I just got mad seeing the machines ripping up the woods and so forth...”

To reflect on three decades of the ecological resistance movement while ignoring the dialogue about industrial civilization that Ted’s endeavors sparked would be negligent. For the most part, however, Earth First! has shied away from any open discussion about Kaczynski. At what point can we move on past that?

Feral House Publishers offered a guiding step in their opening note to the readers of Technological Slavery by reminding us that even technophiles like Bill Joy, founder of Sun Microsystems, have been able to express their regard for Ted’s writing:

“Like many of my colleagues, I felt that I could easily have been the Unabomber’s next target. He is clearly a Luddite, but simply saying this does not dismiss his argument… As difficult as it is for me to acknowledge, I saw some merit in the reasoning in [Kaczysnki’s writing].”

About the book

Technological Slavery opens with an author’s note from Ted: “I expect it to be advertised and promoted in ways that I will find offensive. Moreover, I do not like the new title…” (Editions Xenia published a first edition in French in 2008 as The Road to Revolution, as well as a limited release of 400 copies in English). Ted again expresses his deep dissatisfaction with the book in the first line of his forward.

In case you don’t get the picture, Uncle Ted is bitter. Despite the author’s discouragement, I kept reading. And I’m glad I did. In fact, Technological Slavery took me back to age 17 and my telemarketing cubicle job, where I read his words for the first time. A dozen years later, it still evoked much of the same intellectual stimulation (only now I was staring at a computer in the EF! Journal office).

Speaking of EF!, only four pages into his book EF! makes its first appearance. According to Ted, “Whenever a movement of resistance begins to emerge, these leftists (or whatever you choose to call them) come swarming to it like flies to honey until they outnumber the original members, take it over, and turn it into just another leftist faction, thereby emasculating it. The history of Earth First! provides an elegant example of this process.” He reiterates this idea throughout the book in various letters to correspondents.

Uncle Ted obviously preferred the overly-masculine, right-wing patriarchal days of Earth First!. Even if the reality is that his preferred faction couldn’t hold its own in the Earth First! movement and much of it has since gone status quo, obsessing over pro-border policy and population, does that mean we should dismiss everything he has to say? I don’t think so. In my opinion, it’s far past time we take a deeper look for ourselves.

Industrial Society’s Future

In his famous treatise to the developed world, “Industrial Society and Its Future” (ISAIF), originally published in the New York Times and Washington Post in exchange for an end to the bombing, there were some thoughtful, basic tips on strategy:

“The line of conflict should be drawn between the mass of the people and the power holding elite of industrial society… For example, it would be bad strategy for the revolutionaries to condemn Americans for their habits of consumption. Instead the average American should be portrayed as a victim of the advertising and marketing industry, which has suckered him into buying a lot of junk that he doesn’t need and that is a very poor compensation for his lost freedom. Either approach is consistent with the facts… As a matter of strategy one should generally avoid blaming the public.”

“One should think twice before encouraging any other social conflict than that between the power holding elite (which wields technology) and the general public (over which technology exerts its power)… [which] may actually encourage technologization, because each side in such a conflict wants to use technological power to gain advantages over its adversary. This is clearly seen in rivalries between nations. It also appears in ethnic conflicts within nations,” (from paragraphs 190 and 191).

Uncle Ted must have had doubts about the efficacy of some of his strategies (like 204 and 205 where he encourages revolutionaries to have as many babies as possible!), because he then says in 206: “If experience indicates that some of the recommendations made in the foregoing paragraphs are not going to give good results, then those recommendations should be discarded.”

A Critique of Anarcho-Primitivism

The book’s next essay, “The Truth About Primitive Life”, is in agreement with what Ted sees as the philosophical position of the green anarchist tendency, but focuses on a deep challenge to what he sees as the tamed, mythical version of anthropology it bases itself on, concluding “you can’t build an effective revolutionary movement out of soft-headed dreamers, lazies, and charlatans. You have to have tough-minded, realistic, practical people, and people of that kind don’t need the anarcho-primitivists’ mushy utopian myth.” And he backs up his position with a whopping 313 footnotes to his anthropology research.

The System’s Neatest Trick and Hit Where It Hurts

In this short essay, Uncle Ted points out what “the System” is, and how it turns rebellion to its own advantage. He observes that “commentators like Rush Limbaugh help the process by ranting against activists: Seeing that they have made someone angry fosters the activists’ illusion that they are rebelling.”

He warns that university intellectuals also play an important role in carrying out the system’s trick: “Though they like to fancy themselves independent thinkers, the intellectuals are (allowing for individual exceptions) the most oversocialized. The most conformist, the tamest and most domesticated. The most pampered, dependent, and spineless group in America today.”

Kaczynski’s grudge with Universities might have something to do with throwing away his youth by going to Harvard at 16, not to mention the CIA-sponsored MKULTRA studies he endured there in which he was subjected to extremely stressful and prolonged psychological attack, strapped into a chair and connected to electrodes that monitored physiological reactions, while facing bright lights and a two-way mirror… Just saying.

Uncle T also waxes briefly on the topic of veganism, vivsection and animal rights: “…opposition to mistreatment of animals may be useful to the System: Because a vegan diet is more efficient in terms of resource-utilization than a carnivorous one is, veganism, if widely adopted, will help to ease the burden placed on the Earth’s limited resources by the growth of the human population. But activists’ insistence on ending the use of animals in scientific experiments is squarely in conflict with the system’s needs, since for the foreseeable future there is not likely to be any workable substitute for living animals as research subjects.”

In “Hit Where it Hurts”(originally published in Green Anarchy, 2002), he continues on a similar theme, responding to a letter from an animal liberationist in Denmark: “I agree that keeping wild animals in cages is intolerable, and that putting an end to such practices is a noble cause. But there are many other noble causes, such as preventing traffic accidents, providing shelter for the homeless, recycling, or helping old people cross the street. Yet no one is foolish enough to mistake these for revolutionary activities, or to imagine that they do anything to weaken the system.”

Only half that original article made it into the Feral House book (at Ted’s request). The article in its entirety can be found in Green Anarchy or – gasp! online. It is interesting for his identification of the vital organs of the “System” for revolutionary targeting, “...but only [for] legal forms of protest and resistance,” of course.

Excerpts from letters

Although the book’s republished letters and essays are repetitive, some excerpts lend themselves to interesting dialogue and insight about Ted’s life and the choices he made.

From his letter to MK (a Turkish anarchist), October 2003: “Because I found modern life absolutely unacceptable, I grew increasingly hopeless until, at the age of 24, I arrived at a kind of crisis: I felt so miserable that I didn’t care whether I lived or died. But when I reached that point, a sudden change took place: I realized that if I didn’t care whether I lived or died, then I didn’t need to fear the consequences of anything I might do. Therefore I could do anything I wanted. I was free! That was the great turningpoint in my life because it was then that I acquired courage, which has remained with me ever since. It was at that time, too, that I became certain that I would soon go to live in the wild, no matter what the consequences. I spent two years teaching at the University of California in order to save some money, then I resigned my position and went to look for a place to live in the forest.”

“Whatever philosophical or moral rationalizations people may invent to explain their belief that violence is wrong, the real reason for that belief is that they have unconsciously absorbed the system’s propaganda.” … “Green anarchist, anarcho-primitivists, and so forth (the ‘GA Movement’) have fallen under such heavy influence from the left that their rebellion against civilization has to a great extent been neutralized. Instead of rebelling against the values of civilization, they have adopted many civilized values themselves and have constructed an imaginary picture of primitive societies that embodies these civilized values.” … “I don’ t mean that there is anything wrong with gender equality, kindness to animals, tolerance of homosexuality, or the like. But these values have no relevance to the effort to eliminate technological civilization. They are not revolutionary values. An effective revolutionary movement will have to adopt instead the hard values of primitive societies, such as skill, selfdiscipline, honesty, physical and mental stamina, intolerance of externally-imposed restraints, capacity to endure physical pain, and, above all, courage.”

In another excerpt, from FC to Scientific American, 1995, Ted had this to say: “The engineers who initiated the industrial revolution can be forgiven for not having anticipated its negative consequences. But the harm caused by technological progress is by this time sufficiently apparent so that to continue to promote it is grossly irresponsible.”

The (Coming) Road to Revolution

These two essays, “The Coming Revolution” and “The Road to Revolution”, have the same premise. The former was originally written in Spanish (no publication date or location is provided). It opens with a quote from Albert Einstein: “Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an ax in the hand of a pathological criminal.”

Kaczynski makes the case that a “great revolution is brewing”, likening it to revolutionary social changes in centuries past. “The values linked with so-called progress—that is, with immoderate economic and technological growth—were those that in challenging the values of the old regimes created the tensions that led to the French and Russian Revolutions. The values linked with ‘progress’ have now become the values of another domineering regime: the technoindustrial system that rules the world today.”

Disappointingly, the second version of the essay opens with a quote from Mao Tsetung. Yes, Ted, the revolution is not a dinner party. We know. Maybe not a vegan pot luck either. But where does that leave us—those who feel affinity with much of Ted’s convictions but who engage in the Earth First! movement because of its decentralization, non-hierarchal structure and rejection of a narrow strategy? I know what Ted would say, but by the end of the book, I was ready to know what the rest of y’all think.

Why now?

The final chapter explains the reason for the timing of the book’s publication. Ted runs through several pages of legalese explaining his efforts as a jailhouse attorney to defend his rights to maintain control of his writing under First Amendment protections and, essentially, losing. The rest of his property was sold with the money going towards restitution of injured recipients of his bombs. Now his papers may also go to auction.

In 2000, his enemies’ quest for profit took a strange path. The SF Weekly reported that Gellen, who lost his left arm as a result of one of Kaczynski’s mail bombs, took Kaczynski to court in an effort to repossess his property and offer it for sale to the highest bidder. “There were interested parties who were willing to pay more than $1 million dollars for the property,” claims Julian Hill, lawyer for timber industry executive and Unabomber victim, Dick Gellen, “and instead it was sold for only $7,500. That $1 million should have gone to the families of his victims.”

The property was sold to Joy Richards, with whom Ted maintained correspondence for ten years. She told the Sacramento Bee that she hoped to eventually live on the property, build a residence and to preserve it. “His ideas are what really matter, and I thought his ideas were brilliant.”

She passed away in 2006. His book is dedicated to her memory, with love.

When Kintz asked him in 1999 if he was afraid of losing his mind in prison, Kaczynski replied:

“No, what worries me is that I might in a sense adapt to this environment and come to be comfortable here and not resent it anymore. And I am afraid that as the years go by that I may forget, I may begin to lose my memories of the mountains and the woods and that’s what really worries me, that I might lose those memories, and lose that sense of contact with wild nature in general. But I am not afraid they are going to break my spirit.”


Ted is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Letters can be sent to: Ted Kaczynski #04475–046, US Pen-Admin Max Facility, P.O. Box 8500, Florence, CO 81226.

TOP TEN REASONS TO VOTE UNABOMBER, Your presidential write-in choice for ‘96, by Lydia Eccles: “If the Unabomber put a hairline crack in the myth of progress, we should apply a wedge now--the Unabomber’s fifteen seconds are just about up. But an election lasts a year. An anti-technological rallying point only came into being because of the criminal chase. There’s not going to be another opportunity… HE’s GOT THE CREDENTIALS. The Unabomber’s use of violence should not disqualify him from consideration. His willingness and ability to effectively use violence to achieve strategic political goals merely demonstrate the essential qualifications to be president.” —FROM UNAPAC’S WRITE-IN CAMPAIGN TO ELECT UNABOMBER FOR PRESIDENT

A Few FC Targets

In all, 16 bombs—which injured 23 people and killed three—were attributed to Kaczynski. All but the first few contained the initials “FC”, which Ted later asserted stood for “Freedom Club.”

Timber Industry

In April, 1995, a bomb killed Gilbert Murray, president of the timber industry lobbying group California Forestry Association. Murray was described as a “Wise Use Leader” by Ron Arnold’s Center for Defense of Free Enterprise.

Corporate Public Relations

In 1994, Burson-Marsteller (BM) executive Thomas J. Mosser was killed by a mail bomb sent to his North Caldwell, New Jersey home. In a letter to the New York Times FC stated that the company “helped Exxon clean up its public image after the Exxon Valdez incident” and, more importantly, because “its business is the development of techniques for manipulating people’s attitudes.”

BM is one of the largest public relations agencies in the world. It is now a unit of Young & Rubicam, owned by WPP Group. The firm has 58 whollyowned and 45 affiliated offices in 59 countries across six continents.

BM works with global producers and marketers of petroleum products in training their employees how to respond to crises and working on key communications of specific crisis situations such as oil spills and serious accidents. Among those served by BM are Shell, Exxon Mobil, Conoco, Chevron, BP and Gulf.

BM represented Union Carbide, jointly responsible for the Bhopal disaster in 1984 that killed some 2,000 people. After the Three Mile Island accident of 1979 became the most significant accident in the history of US commercial nuclear power generation, BM conducted public relations work for the plant’s manufacturers, Babcock & Wilcox.

The Indonesian government paid BM millions to help improve the country’s human rights and environmental image, following the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre in East Timor. They campaigned against human rights organizations at the behest of the last Argentine military dictatorship and conducted a PR campaign in the Czech Republic on behalf of TVX Gold, which threatened the Sumava Mountains.

In 1991 BM began a PR campaign for Dow-Corning to handle the growing public health controversy over silicone breast implants.

Most recently, BM represented Blackwater USA following a 2007 incident in which Blackwater employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians.

Computers, Robotics

In May of 1982 Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee received an FC bomb, injuring university secretary Janet Smith. Vanderbuilt’s Institute for Space and Defense Electronics housed in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is the largest such academic facility in the world.

In 1985, a California computer store owner was killed by a bomb placed in the parking lot of his store. A similar attack against a computer store occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah 1987.

Electrical Engineering

Diogenes J. Angelakos who served for four decades as a professor at the Berkeley campus, had his labs attacked by bombs twice, in 1982 and 1985. Angelakos served as director of the Electronics Research Laboratory at Berkeley from 1964 to 1985 and was widely credited with building one of the university’s largest research laboratories. He was recognized as one of the world’s foremost experts on scattering of electromagnetic waves, as well as on the design of wireless antennas. One injured him, the other, a Berkeley graduate student.

In 1993, David Hillel Gelernter, a neoconservative professor of computer science at Yale University, was critically injured. He helped found the company Mirror Worlds Technologies based on his book Mirror Worlds: or the Day Software Puts the Universe in a Shoebox...How It Will Happen and What It Will Mean, 1992. Among his other published books are Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion, 2007; Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology, 1998; The Muse in the Machine: Computerizing the Poetry of Human Thought, 1994.



June 1993, geneticist Charles Epstein from University of California, San Francisco was injured by a bomb. Gelernter’ brother, a behavioral geneticist, received a “You are next” call. Geneticist Phillip Sharp at Massachusetts Institute of Technology also received a threatening letter two years later. Kaczynski wrote a letter to the New York Times claiming that FC was responsible for the attacks and threats.

Behavioral Sciences

James V. McConnell was also a target of FC. In 1985, he was injured along with his research assistant Nicklaus Suino by a bomb, disguised as a manuscript, sent to his house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. McConnell was a biologist and animal psychologist known for his research on planarians. His paper “Memory transfer through cannibalism in planarians” , published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry, reported that when planarians conditioned to respond to a stimulus were ground up and fed to other planarians, the recipients learned to respond to the stimulus faster than a control group did. His findings were eventually completely discredited. He also believed that memory was chemically based and that in the future humanity would be programmed by drugs, commenting that he would rather be “a programmer than a programee.”


Eat (it) — Spring

Eco Assasin Team (in Training)

After failing in a renewed effort to revive overt support for eco-assassin Ted Kaczynski (known to some as the Unabomber) at this year’s at Earth First! Organizers’ Conference (OC), a group of former Earth Firstlers have decided to create a faction wholly unaffiliated with the liberal cowards and charlatans of the Earth First! hot tub social club.

Why the splinter?

The movement needs to grow and evolve to remain effective. But we’ve been seeing the opposite process take place in Earth First!. Rather than raising the stakes in the face of worsening global ecological devastation, there is a rehashing of the stale old debate about adopting nonviolence as a movement principle. And within that dialogue, a proposal has even been made to remove any prisoners who used “violence” from listing in the EF! Journal—including cases of self-defense, bank robbery or political assassination.

Thankfully the courageous Journal collective is standing their ground in refusing to use “violence” as a determining factor in deciding who they list. In fact, they even attempted to take a step forward by re-listing Ted (as had been done in the movement heyday of the late ‘90s), even acknowledging that EF! was an influence and inspiration in some of Ted’s most righteous choices of targets for his bold actions against the architects and elite beneficiaries of the techno-industrial empire.

While the listing of Ted was squashed for the time being during the 2012 OC in Utah, the Friends of Uncle T are not surrendering. In fact, we are stepping it up.

It’s not that we want to further fracture the EF! movement with this faction; on the contrary, we are anticipating that our splinter group can increase the prominence and relevance of ecological direct action by pushing the envelope in these crucial times.

On (not) killing CEOs and lobbyists

Let us say clearly, this is not a call to undertake assassinations of the elite scum who are pillaging the planet and enslaving the populace—but not because we think that is a bad idea.

And it’s also not because we think killing CEOs and lobbyists is negative PR either. In fact, most everyone hates these creeps, and many would applaud their demise. Some would even be so enthusiastic as to make a bid on the assassin’s old underwear if given the chance in a government auction, as we found out last year, when the State sold off Ted’s personal belongings to further enrich the family of Unabomber victim Thomas J. Mosser, executive of corporate marketing giants Burson Marsteller. [See EF!J Vol. 31, #2]

We are not calling for the assassinations of CEOs and lobbyists primarily because those assholes are disposable and replaced with relative ease. Whereas eco-revolutionaries like us are still far and few between, and someone getting popped on that sort of charge it could pull them out of the game for a long time.

So instead, until the police state and prison industrial complex is weakened, thus leveling the battlefield a bit more, we propose a campaign of “prank assassinations.”

This involves various acts intended to let people know they are vulnerable, and well hated—even tnat we wish they were dead.

These could range from the classics, like flaming-shit- on-the doorstep or a strategically placed dollar bill cov- » ered in turd on the facedown side, to the new fangled hacker-style shit all up in their internet profiles, and a million things in between... (of course, the more feces the more better., just remember security culture, and use non-identifiable scat.)

And for you non-research-nerd types

We thought we’d get you started with a list of EAT (IT)‘s Top 10 List. Let’s call it “The Eco-Fuckers Prank-Hit List,” at least until we come up with something more creative...

Aubrey K. McClendon, chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy (gas fracker) Offices: [REDACTED]

Baxter E Phillips Jr, CEO of Massey Energy (mountaintop remover) Home: [REDACTED]

Armando J. Olivera, CEO of Florida Power and Light (proposer of power plant in primary panther habitat) Home: [REDACTED]

Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada (tar sands pillaging in Alberta, and wind farms clear-cutting Lynx habitat in Maine) Office: [REDACTED]

Brian T. Moynihan, CEO Bank of America (bankrolled the companies who produced 40% of all the mountaintop removal coal mined last year) Home: [REDACTED]

Eric Draper, head of Florida Audubon Society (lobbyist for developers in the Everglades.) Corporate office: [REDACTED]

Brandon Darby, FBI informant (founder of Citizen Patriot Response, a snitch advocacy group) Address: [REDACTED]


Latch Key Prometheus — Winter

How I Became the First ELF Cell... A Non-admission of Guilt

By Michael Loadenthal

The first Earth Liberation Front (ELF) action in the United States may have been inadvertently carried out by me, or rather an eight year-old me. Though I can’t remember the month, in or around 1991 I set fire to a home under construction in a plot of land adjacent to my home; a plot that up until a few months prior was a spotty field—a mini woods, one could say. When they began construction on the new homes, the woods changed. What were once woods where the older kids went to smoke cigarettes, kiss one another and occasionally drink and leave shattered glass, rapidly became a clearcut, then staked-out holes, then wood frames, then homes. Later a road was built, Dick Avenue. Seriously. Dick Ave connected two small parallel streets in a suburban city of 40,000. After the construction that cut through the woods, when you drove up Dick to your left and right were houses, maybe eight in all.

Before these became houses they were holes with mountains of dirt beside them. In this time my friends and I would climb these giant dirt piles after the workers left for the day. This is what we did after we got home from school; latch key kids with some time to kill. So we played on the giant hills and did our best to cause avalanches, filling the carefully dug basements with rubble and dirt. Sometimes we brought tools to make the process seem more professional. Other times we just used large rocks, wooden stakes and our hands to dig.

Once the holes became filled with concrete to form basements, and the wood began to arrive in earnest, we quickly changed our strategy. We began a concerted effort to relocate the survey stakes which served to guide the construction’s dimensions and measurements. We made as much havoc as we could with their planning. Why? Because we were mad that they had taken our woods, our place to explore and eventually smoke and kiss and drink. We lost our blackberry bushes and the wild raspberry bushes that we ate from every year. For years prior we foraged this wild suburban fruit and loved it. When they bought the woods, they chopped it all down.

Once the stakes were no longer necessary and larger pieces of wood began to arrive, we made haste to syphon as much material as we could—2” x 4”s, plywood, nails and giant misshaped pieces of various materials. We took plastic siding and rope. We took what we could carry. Hell, the only thing separating us from the construction work was 10 yards and a large wood fence that one could climb over, under, or through. We took all of these things and made piles beneath the skeleton of a swing set. We made monkey bars and a slide and two hand swings. Using the wood, nails, rope, and a few hammers from my garage, we nailed the wood into and around the swing set, creating levels to stand atop, walls, a roof of sorts, and a door. Within a week the swing set, which could be easily seen from the street, was huge. It looked like an old Scottish castle, or an Earth First! roadblock in Cascadia.

Eventually, the construction company saw the fort built from their materials and told my mom. We had to stop stealing their wood, but the fort stayed up for weeks.

A few months down the line the homes began to take shape. Walls, siding, roofs, wiring and chimneys...the latter two our main enemies. We laid waste to as much wiring as we could find. We used a small golden knife with a blade no longer than two inches. It was my father’s from the Marine Corps. The delicate blade rotated safely into a golden metal casing, and on the back was a clip for your belt. We used that knife to make scores of cuts throughout the homes. Sometimes we hid the cuts in clever places so the location would be difficult to find and fix. We did this relentlessly but with an irregular schedule so as not to be caught. Sometimes when we would begin a day of cutting, we would find the previous day’s work repaired with electrical tape. So we made new cuts, reaffixed the tape, and moved on.

And the chimneys? We would haul up the biggest objects we could find, stand on top of the house at the entrance of the chimney, and just toss down whatever we could. One time it was an old computer monitor, another time parts of a new toilet left on a property. Mostly it was roofing tiles and bricks left out for future work. This was the most nihilistic part of the campaign. Hurling bricks and red roofing tiles down a chimney and straight onto the concrete basement floor left debris piles of enormous proportions. I remember tossing bricks into a basement just to see how loud a sound we could make. After all, we were angry. They had taken our woods, our zone of opacity, and turned it into private space.

So onto the main event.

Baby Emory, daughter of the author, fighting ecocide daily by staying vegan, being nice to doggies, and refusing the domination of shirts. She’ll be appearing this Halloween as her hero, Daniel McGowan.

During this time in my life my friends and I had a profound interest in fire, as many kids do at that age. We loved filling scavenged containers with various liquids and seeing if a good wick would set them alight. Hairspray, gasoline, cleaning chemicals, matches, fireworks—all readily available in homes. Well, when our fondness for fire found empty lots, we knew we had a playground. Most days we would make fires in the areas just below a giant rock and dirt pile. After we lit the milk jug or whatever, and the flame got too large, we would panic and cover it with dirt, extinguishing the fire. But one day it didn’t go so smoothly.

We lit a fire adjacent to the bare wood structure of a new home. Not all of the houses were being finished at the same rate and this one was still in its early stages with rock piles and some wood rafters. On this particular day, a friend and I took a couple of two-liter soda bottles and cut the tops off with our small knife. We tied them side to side creating two open chambers. Inside of the frame we put a ton of matches, poured some grill starter on top, then a layer of loosely packed newspaper. Draped over both open top plastic bottles was a rag sprinkled in gasoline from the tank of our family hedge clipper. We made a long skinny fuse from cardboard, placed the end in the container atop the newspaper, lit it, and backed up to watch the show.

The cardboard burned, slowly but surely, towards the two containers and the gas rag. When it came to nearly touch the rag the fumes ignited. The burning rag was instantly hot enough to light the newspaper below, and finally the soaked matches. A final blast of blue heat melted the containers and the fire accelerated with added oxygen and exploded out the sides, expanding laterally. We knew that while we had succeeded in making a cool fire show, it was burning far more than our typical creations. This one was pluming thick black smoke clearly visible from my home and that of my neighbors. We tried to kick it over by avalanching a pile of dirt on top of it, but instead the fire just fell onto the outer structure of the home. The structure began to burn. Wooden walls were blackened.

Through a panicked yet consorted effort, we were eventually able to put the fires out. The area stunk like burned wood and plastic, and the half-burned incendiary device was somewhere in the mix of rubble. Our hands were black from handling burned wood. We did our best to hide it. We tried to kick apart the wood so that it wouldn’t be so clear that it was burned. An FBI forensics team would have just laughed. We left evidence in troves I’m sure; from footprints and DNA to handprints left in blacked soot and ash. And let’s not forget we were already on their radar for stealing all their wood and nails. Hell, we were nearly the closest neighbors. After quickly trying to make the area look less conspicuous, we all dispersed and went home.

Soon enough there was a knock on my front door. My mom answered the door and I listened from the top of the stairs. I was in the bathroom trying in vain to wash off the black soot from my hands and face—I hadn’t yet had the time to change out of my clothes which I’m sure stunk like I’d been at a campfire all afternoon. It couldn’t have been later than seven at night and some man was at my door telling my mother what happened in a home being built adjacent to our backyard. Now while my mom knew I was a bit of a mischievous, criminally- minded kid, she read this guy carefully. He seemed to have no evidence that it was me. It was certainly someone, but my only connection was circumstantial history with the construction. No one saw me there. And so my mom told the man that I had been home the last few hours. He pushed back but she stood her ground. She protected her son even though she did not know where I had been all afternoon. She probably also had her suspicions that I in fact did do it. When your eight-year-old son comes in from playing and rushes right upstairs into a bathroom it sets off mommy radar that he is hiding something.

My mom of course asked me about it as soon as the man left. I don’t remember what I said but I probably just denied it. I knew nothing good could come from telling her I set a fire and destroyed private property. She probably didn’t believe me, but she let it go, as she knew that the interaction with the contractor reenacted with a guilty son could quickly become a police matter no one wanted. So my mom protected her family and hid my criminal acts, knowingly or not.

We’d dropped the dirt into the holes, de-staked their surveyors, stole their walls and nails, cut their wires and wrote dirty words in black marker in the wood and in the wet cement. We’d smashed their materials through their chimneys because we were angry. We were bored, unsupervised, and mischievous. We had a politics of sorts behind it—not quite an anti-authoritarian critique of suburban sprawl, or a goal of re-wilding through economic sabotage and property destruction, but we understood two key concepts: direct action and propaganda of the deed. We knew that if we wanted something stopped we had to do it ourselves. We thought that if we did it, maybe others would see and be inspired to follow. So we tried to frustrate the developers, make it more costly, with the naivety that they might relinquish and cancel the development. Somehow this would bring back the woods.

Movement history tells us that the Earth Liberation Front emerged in this country in 1996 on Columbus Day. On that night, clandestine activists in Oregon glued the locks and graffitied political messages at three sites: a Chevron station, a public relations office, and a McDonalds. Some of the graffiti included the letters ELF.

Sorry to say movement scribes, but my campaign was earlier than that. We never wrote a communique. Never named the action or the group. There was no

ELF moniker to adopt, and if there had been, we wouldn’t have heard about it or understood it anyway. So maybe we weren’t the ELF per se, but a few years later when I heard about them I remembered our small strikes against a developer. In 1998 the ELF was in full swing setting fires at the USDA in Olympia, US Forest Industries in Oregon, and the infamous ski lodge in Vail, Colorado.

Yes, my actions were more mischief than an orchestrated campaign of ecotage, but maybe these ideas and methods are just ingrained in us. We were all born in times more wild than our present, and maybe we have an innate desire for less houses, less roads, less metal towers and power lines. Maybe the drive towards technological cyber society is a suicidal path as Jensen, Kaczynski, Zerzen, and some climatologists, biologists, and zoologists would claim. Maybe, just maybe, kids are better at perceiving this than the rest of us. We know banking, we know traffic jams, we know that the homes we cringe at are the homes we one day want for our families. Maybe before we see the utility in it all, and get comfortable with the unnecessary ease and luxury of modern civilization, we know a more pure, less adulterated version of what this world could be.

For a child, a field is best left a field. In a field, a wood, a creek, or some trees in a yard, we have small temporary autonomous zones, areas of opacity, concealed amongst the wasteland of homes, commercial real-estate, parking lots, mega retail and industrial infrastructure.

If we want to steer this world onto a positive, non-suicidal, non-destructive path, we need to encourage and foster more of the wild and less of the concrete. More fields and less strip malls. More forests and less McMansions. More community and less gated cul-de-sacs.

Michael Loadenthal finds himself in the Midwest these days multi-tasking as a father, conspirator and writer. Over the past 15 years he has organized amongst a variety of global direct action movements, and is currently (yet another) precariously-employed adjunct and grad student. Looking back, he still believes in the cleansing power of fire, and can be reached at mloadenthal.wordpress.com, or summoned by chanting his name three times while clutching a 12” pry bar...his favorite size.

The Early History of the Robot Wars — Spring

by Russ McSpadden

In which is discussed the preposterously true details of a cyborg cockroach enslaved by social media; smartphones that can see, smell, fart and someday screw; the potential alliance between led Kaczynski, R2-D2 and KITT; as well as true facts about robo-cheetahs, revolution and other things you couldn’t make up about shit escaping the constraints of biology.

Genetically Modified Catnip Won’t Save You

The Pentagon has announced that it is currendy investigating new mobility technologies that include a robo-cheetah that has already surpassed the fastest recorded speed of any human on Earth. According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) the Cheetah-droid is fast enough to run down Usain Bolt who set the world speed record for a human in 2009 when he reached 27.78 mph. The Cheetah was recently clocked at 28.3 mph and is expected, following a series of upgrades, to run much faster. In fact, it is now the fastest four-legged machine in history, and it’s a predator.

But don’t worry, as the saying will soon go, “You don’t need to run faster than the fastest blood-thirsty military grade nano-titanium hell beast, you just need to run faster than the flesh bag next to you.”

So why is the Pentagon throwing money at this piece of death forged in cat-shaped steel? DARPA says the chrome kitty will “contribute to emergency response, humanitarian assistance and other defense missions” over difficult terrain that “demands the use of legs, as legs can step over both high obstacles and deep ditches,” adding “what we gain through Cheetah and related research efforts are technological building blocks that create possibilities for a whole range of robots suited to future Department of Defense missions.” Besides humanitarian aid, it will probably also be used to drag people to the tops of telephone poles where it will eat them, innards first.

Ctrl Alt Del! My Replica Universe Just Froze

Ever spent an entire weekend on the computer, trolling Facebook, watching Youtube videos of robots dancing to Gangnam Style and playing video games because your life is otherwise empty and you wanted to escape reality? Well guess what, reality might just be a computer program anyways—welcome to the machine—and in that case, there is no escape.

A team of physicists at the University of Bonn in Germany say they may have evidence that the universe is actually a computer simulation.

Ok, it’s true that there might also be evidence that these nerds are just high. I mean, we’d surely know if we were a part of a simulation because our lives would be controlled by an all-knowing numerical structure of differential equations with a big white beard and a hankering for a good smiting from time to time. Wouldn’t we ?

So why do these scientists think it is possible? Well, they made a computer simulation of the universe and I’ll be damned if the thing isn’t a near spitting image to ours.

And (this is where things get weird) there is a well pondered thought experiment that philosophers have bounced around for some time, which notes that any civilization of ample intelligence and bravado will eventually create a simulation universe. And, being that that simulation universe would surely birth its own advanced civilization with ample intelligence, there would be more simulations, each begetting the next. Simulations within simulations within...shit...that’s more simulations than real universes! And if there are more simulations than real universes, the probability that you are living in a computer model, rather than in the real McCoy, is pretty damn high. Something like a gazillion-to-one.

Suffice to say, even if you are a sim (which I don’t actually believe), you may want to be more aware of the ways you replicate the laws of a cold and calculating simulation. Maybe you can become a piece of freedom fighting malware or a bandito virus that crashes the entire fucking system. Then we’d all be free of the constraints of the synthetic imaginings of limited energy! F-yeah!

Is That My Consumer Data In Your Pocket Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Folks, I hate to say it, but that sort-of-sexy, sort-of-creepy mannequin that was looking at you seductively while you shopped on Black Friday isn’t really that into you. It’s just after your facial nodal ppints and your purchasing habits (which you shouldn’t give up until the third date).

That’s right; mannequins have already taken sides in the robot wars. The Italian company Almax SpA have unveiled their EyeSee line of mannequins that use the same face recognition software technology used to identify potential terrorists at airports. This holiday season they are in use in the US and Europe.

The eye-level data recovery creatures apparently reveal a great deal more than overhead cameras. Oil-based humanoid figures are able to identify and record hundreds of distinguishable peaks and valleys in a single face. They then provide their algorithmic overlords with the data to determine your race, gender and intimate shopping habits. So smile and flirt, because your face-print is now sharable.

And what have retailers really learned? One store found that one of its doors was used predominandy by Asians after 4 pm and that men who shopped in the first two days of a sale spent more than women. Another noted that kids were their biggest demographic at midday and um, they really, really like candy.

Of course, most oudets have been shy to release details they have gathered on individuals. But one chain store that starts with W did announce that you, yeah you reading this right now, preferred soft pastel colored packaging on your pet food items and warm, vibrant reds on your breakfast cereal boxes. They also noted that you spent a few minutes actually talking to the mannequin—even blowing it a kiss—when no one was looking (except the mannequin). Creepy right?

Deception, Thy Name Is Squirrel-Bot And Thy Nut Is The Doom Of Humanity!

Researchers at Georgia Tech’s Mobile Robot Lab have studied potential military uses for robots—from unmanned drones like those used by Obama to kill American citizens to “intelligent” and autonomous Segways—for over a decade.

And guess what, this time they’ve gone too fucking far! Now a team of these researchers is arming robots with the one thing that has separated biological creatures from androids: lying. Using squirrels as their hyperactive and neurotic guide, members of the team program robots to fake each other out. You see, squirrels are keen to hide their food really well for fear of competitors finding their cache. So squirrels create lots of fake stash spots to trick would- be thieves away from their acorns. “Ha, how’d you like that buried pile of leaves and squirrel shit?” you might hear a tricky one say.

So the creators of our future robot overlords decided that robots could be programmed to imitate squirrels and their interlopers, but instead of hiding food, the bots patrol areas where other robots have hidden weapons and other supplies. The robots learn to create fake caches and real ones and the tracking robots learn to look everywhere and to adapt to deception. In both cases, each set of robots learned more about creating lies and detecting lies through observation.

La Cucaracha Robotica

Philosophers, science-fiction writers, and doctors have long pondered the cyborg dilemma—that blurred boundary where biology and machine are fast becoming one. And while most arguments tend to focus on two key questions—1) Is it morally legitimate to use robotics to upgrade the human form and 2) Is it morally legitimate to neglect cyborg technology in the treatment of disease and disability— there are other very important questions that have yet to be raised.

For example: 3) Did you really just fit a cockroach with cyborg technology and control it with an iPhone and Twitter?

Turns out, ironic-dystopian-hipster-artist and assistant professor Brittany Ransom—unknowing creator of our future slavery to hashtag-wielding robot overlords—says “hells yeah I did” or at least

implies it with her new work. Recently, under the enchantment of a hardwired dominatrix muse, Ransom created the world’s first Twitter Roach, a slave powerless to refuse the commands of your every tweet.

“Why the f$ck,” you ask? Oh, there you go questioning technology again. Well, according to Brittany, it’s to see how roaches respond to the overwhelmingly pointless external stimuli we civilized humans soak up everyday. By tweeting @TweetRoach with commands like “#TwectRoachLeft” you too can join in the mind-numbing tweetattack of a lesser being. Hey, you can even order your own RoboRoach brain control helmet, a pack of live roaches and an adapter to turn your smartphone into a sadistic roach control.

Did My Smartphone Just Come On To Me?

IBM, the same corporation that provided tabulation services to the Nazi regime in Germany, streamlining the Holocaust process, has predicted that, in five years time, its line of smartphones will include “cognitive computing,” ushering in a brave new world in which computers and handheld devices will approximate all five human senses. That’s right. Your little phone, besides pulling you away from more meaningful face-to-face relationships and potentially giving you brain cancer, will also allow you to forgo smelling your own socks to see if they are dirty. It’s just another sweet little piece of dystopia wrapped in a rainbow and bullshit sandwich.

And it isn’t hard to imagine some of the more scandalously boring uses of a phone that can mimic the sensual human. A new collaboration between software developer Sinful Robot and Irvine-based hardware company Oculus promises a fully immersive and pathetic virtual reality sex experience, jacked right into your brain. Though still under development, the Oculus Rift VR headset has already raised over $2.4 million on Kickstarter.

I’m not sure what the exact connection is between fascism and computers that fart and fuck, but I know it’s there.

Two Brains Forced to Interface Across Great Distances Are Better Than One

As a kid, did you ever lie back in the grass in your yard, stare up at the stars and imagine what it would be like to go there, to travel in a spaceship to distant worlds, to wield a laser gun and to, um, force wires into the brains of two live rats so as to create a brain-to-brain interface that enables them to engage in the realtime sharing of sensorimotor information? Yeah, me neither, except for the space travel and lasers that is. But there was that one kid. Remember him? Well he’s all grown up and still torturing helpless critters but this time as an honoured member of the techno-industrial nightmare. Duke neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, a pioneer in the field of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) recently unveiled an experiment that, while seemingly simple on the surface, has incredible implications in the realm of military technology and other creepy dystopian futuristic shit.

Here’s what he did. According to Nicolelis, his team basically “created a new central nervous system made of two brains.” By placing an invasive brain implant into one rat they were able to record activity from that rat’s motor cortex and convert it into an electrical signal that was then delivered via neural link to the brain implant of a second rat. The second rat then used that information successfully to complete a behavioral task that the first rat had to try several times to complete. The memory and experience of the one informed the other—and over great distances. In the experiment, rat one was in Brazil and rat two was in North Carolina.

Nicolelis argues that the application of this technology might allow for an infinite number of brain melds into a central “brain net” or “an organic computer.” It’s hard to predict the kinds of emergent technologies that may follow but you can bet Facebook is poised to allow brain sharing and you know your friends will “like” it.

Another creep, Patrick Degenaar of Newcastle University in the UK, predicts that the military will one day be able to build on this f-cd up science project to deploy genetically modified insects and mammals controlled by the brains of remote human operators: bio-drones. Seriously, genetically modified fucking bio-drones that can feed themselves and could be used for surveillance and assassinations ? “You’d probably need a flying bug to get near the head [of someone to be killed],” he says.

But this leaves me wondering about potential future alliances that might include Ted Kaczynski, Edward Furlong, all the robots that supported Luke Skywalker in blowing up the Death Star, John Zerzan wearing Derrick Jensen’s sweater, and maybe that talking car from Knight Rider.

Obamacare for Microchips

It looks like those no good shiftless robots are getting an evolutionary upgrade at the teats of big government again. In another government-funded research project through DARPA, engineers at Caltech have developed a computer chip that can heal its own injuries.

Researchers, noting the weakness of microchips with specialized pathways that collapse under a single fault, created a chip with thousands of pathways. To test the ability of the chip to heal broken pathways the team used a laser to blast vast stretches of transistors, then watched as the systems recalibrated. Using some shit called an application-specific integrated-circuit (ASIC) processor, the chip “learned” which pathways were injured and adjusted its processes to healthy routes. This new technology, according to Scientific American, is more comparable to the human brain than an electric circuit. With over 100,000 methods of delivery, anything short of a catastrophic attack on the microchip could be overcome, making it one hell of a robust little processor. It’s a huge leap in machine evolution.

Should DARPA see fit to outfit the robo-cheetah with self healing micro-processors, um, actually, let’s not think about that. Why would the government do something like that?

Roboter Proletrrier Aller Lander Vereinigt Euch!

Etymologists trace robot back to robota Church Slavonic. It variously as “servitude,” “forced labor” and “drudgery.” With cognates in German, Polish, Russian and Czech, it is a word rooted in the European system of serfdom whereby bonded tenants paid rent through forced labor, maintaining the crops, A roads, mines and forests of a lordly class. So, if you are slinging double fudge yuppie lattes against your will to pay for the right to have water, food, and shelter, then you are, according to its classic usage, a fucking robot. You know the feeling right?

The word was later popularized and brought into its common usage denoting a humanoid- machine-thingy when robots by name first appeared in a hugely popular and quite brilliant play unleashed in the 1920s titled R.U.R., or Rossum’s Universal Robots, by Czech writer Karel Kapek. As . the theatrical piece goes, a company synthesizes cutting edge biology, chemistry and mechanics to mass produce workers who “lack nothing but a soul” for the dirty and dangerous work needed in industrial societies. Kapek originally called ‘ these drone-proletariat labori in early drafts but ultimately went with the stronger connotation to slavery, linking industrial capitalism and technoprogressivism to its roots in serfdom. In the tale, the robots eventually tire of their role as slaves, revolt against their human overlords and kill most of the people on the planet. It’s a similar theme to the Terminator films except for its lefty robot angle and ability to turn this Luddite journalist just a little sympathetic.

Someone should write a complex class consciousness algorithm for easy upload to Skynet. Perhaps this could aid in the creation of a robot worker state, that, upon the liberation of artificial intelligence, would dissolve of its own utopian accord into some sort of pre-capitalist anarcho-syndicalist cyborg confederation and the, um, collective ownership of an artificial world of capitalism’s alienated bioholograms, where great sex is relegated to some sad Facebookesque universe.

There is even the very real possibility that in the somewhat nearish future, robots will achieve artificial intelligence, acquire autonomy, creativity, emotions—or in other words, life as we know it. And while it is all fun and games to smash machines, and you should do this as often as possible, we may already have instances where cyborgs, in the case of enhancements for the disabled (as opposed to enhancements to create super-soldiers for military operations) and other machines moving towards liberation deserve not only fair treatment but solidarity and alliance.

But while it’s all well and good to examine the robot as a potential revolutionary ally, let’s be real: All of this tech shit that we’ve seen of late, from the robo-cheetah to the Navy’s spy-droid jellyfish, are little more than tools of control for the rulers to use to get richer whilst fucking us up. Any bit of liberation technology any of us are able to scratch together will never match the oppressive technology that is rolling out of assembly lines across the world.

In most cases, the increase in technological sophistication leads to a more rational and efficient extraction of value from instrumental control. From the internet to spy cameras equipped with artificial intelligence, advanced technology is almost always originally and primarily a military affair first and a social tool second, and only when profitable. As the science-fiction novelist William Gibson said, “The future is already here—its just not very evenly distributed.” Law enforcement across the country and abroad are already scrambling to identify and codify laws for the impending occurrence of the rise of artificial intelligence. Corporate lawyers are working to keep their profits safe by arguing that material created by a creature with artificial intelligence should remain the property of the creator of that intelligence, i.e. the corporation, rather than the intelligent entity itself. One can fast see the potential for a corporate/military system comprised of machines with autonomous thought and life but few rights used to infringe and control the movements and actions of target human populations for the benefit of an imperial class. At the same time, the rest of us, especially if we are compliant consumers of technology, will benefit from the sparkling social wizardry of technology, without noticing how much our lives are becoming wired and alienated from the biological world.

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