Are we to be a radical ecological movement or not?
I’ve been asking myself of late the pondering question where is the movement heading? Are we still going to cause-the kind of stir, rock the boat which we set out to do 2 years ago, when just the mention of EF! worried both the planet trashers and mild mannered greenies alike? Earth First! then was the catchword to mobilise our communities, getting them to notice what was happening to their local environment and to empower them to resist. The inspiration to fight back, either on the surface with demos and imaginative direct action, or by night with a monkeywrench, were both tactics which inspired the words “No compromise”.
Or are we just evolving into the same old routine of previous Green groups, their infancy spelled with militancy and grassroots group autonomy, but eventually turning into Frankenstein’s Monster, bolts and all, a bureaucratic professional (even if only voluntary) eco-elite to dictate policy and knowledge. A movement who speaks radical with one hand, giving wine parties to influential greens with the other, succumbing to compromise and watered down direct action.
Sadly in some areas the latter is the case. The officization of EF! has begun or ‘OF!’ as dear Tinker Bell of the Dongas described it. Not a resource centre for new alliance building and essential info, distribution to groups that need it, and run by the groups who need it. But conventional networking with conventional groups. It appears that such officization sees tree issues replacing everything else, it would be different if some of it was this island’s woodland, but no, another goody-two-shoes tropical hardwood ego trip reigns and another eco-group becomes vogue again.
Don’t get me wrong, of course we need international solidarity, but we seem to concentrate our energies on amassing huge crowds when we fail to recognise that such crowds are needed to defend our own land as well. EF! evolved in the States and as much here in response to the destruction being carried out underneath our noses, be it through roads, waste disposal or nuclear power.
The rural communities are becoming restless over negative development, new networks are forming to confront greenfield site construction etc etc, crying out for direct action tactics. Some EF!ers and others (mainly Dongas) rush to the opportunity to help, getting into the spirit of agitation and field work, others just sit back in front of their Laptops and chant revolution and secret agendas.
It appears now we’re scared of even breathing the words criminal damage, even though the ELF has set up, we’re even more scared of mentioning them. We seem to care more about recruiting students than ordinary folk who have to live a life-time in poverty and pollution. We’ve forgotten the need to link up with workers, not just a token leaflet before a demo, but to actually discuss and agitate with them, putting forward alternatives and encouraging them to actively support our actions.
Some of the old fire and spit is fading, qualms about speaking our minds to our aggressors, not worrying about damn incitement, only the truth matters, are less frequent.
Are we to be a radical ecological resistance movement or not? If we are then let’s bloody well act and organise like one. Show we give no ground, make threats that we can keep, and work with our hands and gobs not just VDU screens. Promise to turn Oxleas wood and for that matter any other sacred site into a Wackersdorf or Plogoff if the DoT as much as dare build their roads.
If not then we can give up now and just watch our earth die, and our young and the earth’s other nations young die and grow weak in the process. ’93 is the 25th anniversary of the ’68 riots, a time when change was advocated but lost. This summer hopefully will set alight that fire again. The Dongas Tribe and others have stoked it up, for christ’s sake lets not see the damn thing blow out.