Original Article – Resistance Ecology
In 2012, a coalition of animal advocates and social justice organizers in the Pacific Northwest committed to reframing the animal liberation movement. Frustrated, stagnant, isolated, and largely neutralized, the movement for animals in the United States was–and still is–in a state of ambivalence that threatens the possibility of substantive change for animals in captivity and on the land. It seemed an overhaul was needed to shift the discourse and organizing towards a new framework, one in which the situation of animal oppression is located in the histories and logic of larger structures of power.
For us, this shift was the emergence of Resistance Ecology. Resistance Ecology started as a project to better understand the “ecology” of power and how to organize more effectively through an “ecology” of resistance. In our initial formulation, Resistance Ecology was intended to build a grassroots network of animal liberation advocates, to tour as means of establishing and sustaining this network, to organize campaigns that would flow from this network, to produce a movement publication in the tradition of No Compromise as a medium for discourse, and to organize an annual conference as a face-to-face forum to center and assess this work in a concerted way. Although we have followed through to varying extents on all of these fronts, our annual conference has come to occupy a unique place in our history, and has since become tantamount to the work of Resistance Ecology itself.
Our friends and supporters have no doubt noticed a lack of activity since our 3rd annual conference in June of 2015. We have made no mention of future plans or current organizing activity, nor have we made any announcements of a 4th annual conference for 2016. This is not due to an absence of diligence or any growing political lethargy. The stillness of the last ten months should not be mistaken for idleness – we are advancing towards different and exciting horizons.
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is becoming clear that the situation here is moving toward an escalation point. Chevron has set up a base in Houston in order to do work on the secton of Pacific Trails Pipeline that crosses our traditional territory.
In recent days a low-flying helicopter has flown over the camp several times following a route that corresponds to the path of the proposed PTP pipeline. We were also visited by the head of the RCMP detachment who clearly stated to Freda that they intend to “ensure the work crews can do their work safely.”
Our supporters maintaining an Unist’ot’en check point on Chisolm Rd were also visited and threatened by the police. In both cases, the officers asserted that we could be arrested for blocking a “public road”.
It is clear by the timing of these recent police actions that they are working in tandem with the pipeline companies.
We have made it clear to the police and industry that we are not blockading the road. We are establishing check-points on the boundaries of our unceded Unist’ot’en territories. People and companies who gain our consent are allowed to enter.
Many of you have visited our yintah (territory) and have experienced first-hand our critical infrastructure of water, salmon, berries and medicines. We are determined to protect this land for future generations, and in the process do our bit to shut down the toxic fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens all forms of living life on this planet.
At this time we would like to ask our supporters for the following things:
1) If you have been to our camp before and/or if you feel comfortable to put your self on the front-line to stand with us against Chevron, you can register here: http://www.jotform.ca/unistoten/actioncamp
2) If you are unable to assist in person but would like to send financial support to help us with equipment and operational costs, donations can be sent by email transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or if you would like to donate online you could contribute to the Healing Centre fundraiser: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/axsMd/ab/24dGu0
Cheques can be made out to “Tse Wedi Elth”, 620 CN Station Rd, Smithers, BC, V0J 2N1.
3) You could organize solidarity actions where you live, either against Chevron directly or one of their investors.
Sne Kal Yah!
As law enforcement officials and national media gear up for a St Louis County Grand Jury’s announcement as to whether it will levy charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown Jr., activists have issued a 9 minute video communiqué providing an intimate look at the climate on the ground.
The video communiqué displays a cross section of the myriad groups activated in the region and includes exclusive footage of Vonderrit Meyers Sr., Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III, celebrated artist and HandsUpUnited.org cofounder Tef Poe, Taurean Russell, Lost Voices organizer Low Key, Millennial Activists United co-creator Ashley Yates, activist and Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams, Damon Davis — a volunteer with The Don’t Shoot Coalition, Canfield Watchmen founder David Whitt, as well as local Ferguson business managers.
Viewers are encouraged to tweet, share, and embed the video using the accompanying hashtag #FergusonSpeaks —extended raw clips of each of the video’s subjects are available upon request.
Grassroots Mobilizing for Animal Liberation
Animals in captivity or whose habitats are being destroyed live in a constant state of resistance. When their lives are threatened, they kick and bite and scream. When their homes are taken, they attempt to rebuild and regroup. When they are confined, they desperately grasp for an existence beyond captivity. Animals fight to live, to be wild, and to be free, and their fight is always urgent. If we are fighting in solidarity with animals, where is our urgency? What are we missing in our movement for animal liberation?
An effective movement for animal liberation must challenge the systems in which animal use is rooted — capitalism, colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy. Our organizing must be informed by solidarity and inspired by the passion with which animals fight. We need a path forward that is forged through on-the-ground actions, movement building, strategic campaigning, a diversity of tactics, and coalition organizing. We need a movement that is grounded in the urgency of the animals’ own resistance.
Join us for a presentation and discussion about effectively resisting the use of animals and embracing the urgency of the fight for animal liberation. We will explore the recent history of animal advocacy and share our experiences of organizing within the context of the current state of the movement, and discuss ideas about how we can work together for a stronger animal liberation movement — a movement that is driven by grassroots activism, resistance against all of the systems that support animal exploitation, and solidarity with the animals and others who fight for liberation and self-determination. We will also share our plans for next summer and invite you to take part. We are working to create a summer of regional campaign development and nationwide mobilization of grassroots activists, and we look forward to talking with you about how your community wants to be involved.
Dec 13: Bay Area
Dec 14: Southern California
Dec 16: Phoenix, AZ
Dec 18: Denver, CO
Dec 20: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 22: Reno, NV
Dec 31: Florence, MA
Jan 2: Philadelphia, PA & Washington, DC
Jan 4: Charleston, SC
Jan 5: Gainesville, FL
Jan 7: South Florida
Jan 9: Dallas, TX
Jan 11: Seattle, WA
For more info
The National Weekend of Action Against the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is September 5-7.
The AETA labels animal activists as terrorists and is one of the most unconstitutional laws since COINTELPRO. In response to new indictments under the AETA, this weekend of action has been called as a show of solidarity, to increase the visibility of ongoing counter-intelligence, and to encourage activists to organize and resist in the face of repression.
In Portland, Resistance Ecology and Oregon Jericho are coordinating an afternoon of presenters and panels to discuss the AETA, and to use it as a platform to connect the more expansive processes and histories of repression that are incurred by systematically marginalized, colonized, frontlines, and resistance communities. We want animal and earth liberation activists to understand that all captivity must be ended. It is important to underscore the reality that many communities are always under state repression, not just so-called “activists” communities. It is imperative to stress the need for communities to show solidarity with each other to increase capacity and resilience against surveillance, state violence, and the prison industry. We must reject the misconception that prison or surveillance serve any sort of positive function and instead recognize repression for what it really is: a process engrained into colonial-capitalist society.
In the Face of Repression: Organizing in Spite of the Surveillance State will be a day of workshops, history lessons, strategy sessions, and solidarity. We invite you to join us and take part!
Lauren Reagan – Civil Liberties Defense Center
Kent Ford- Founder of Portland Black Panther Party and father of Political Prisoner Patrice Lumumba Ford
Saed Bannoura- Editor-In-Chief of the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC)
Peter Bohmer- Activist scholar and former COINTELPRO target
Jonathan Paul- Longtime animal and earth liberation activist and former Green Scare prisoner