Hello and Welcome to R.A.G.E.
Radio Against Global Ecocide
Coming to you from occupied Amiskwacîwâskahikan.
I am your Host Seymour Lyphe.
And a special hello to all those Resisters out there stopping the destruction of the planet the best way they can.
Inspiration for this post came from: the CBFA (Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement); a post on the Energy Bulletin by Bill McKibben; my interview with the river; and a young woman who mistakenly thought I was a vegan because I bought some dairy free-trade hot chocolate, but mostly from the land base where I live.
What our planet needs are people who love their land base enough to give their lives for it. The planet needs resisters, people willing to resist industrial culture, a community of resistance to stop the destruction of the planet. People who will stop the abusers. This is what our planet needs.
Indigenous people have been resisting civilization since Humbaba, who was killed defending the Cedar forests of Iraq, to Anthony O’Brien “Dudley” George killed by Ontario Provincial Police on September 7, 1995 during the Ipperwash Crisis.
Compromise is the last thing our earth needs, which is what the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement is all about. In Bill McKibben’s article We’re hot as hell and we’re not going to take it any more he suggests “Asking for what you need doesn’t mean you’ll get all of it. Compromise still happens.” This statement is amazing. I mean, just because we need a planet to survive doesn’t mean we’ re going to have one. WTF. I think that the buffalo, oceans, forests, prairies, salmon, grizzly bears, bull trout, woodland caribou and the umpteen denizens of our planet we have who are out of sight/out of mind, have compromised enough. 98.5 % loss of Indigenous people in North America is more than enough compromise.
It’s too late for the 18,000 species that have gone extinct this year alone. For them the idea of compromise is/was laughable/beyond tragic.
Waziyatawin pointed out very well what happens when one compromises with the dominant culture. The Cherokee compromised. They assimilated as well as any group of people could and yet they were driven from their lands by the perceived entitlement of those who had massacred, slaughtered and subjugated so many other Indigenous peoples before, in the name of God, or economics (the same old god) or idea that exploitation is just what you do with the natural world or anyone in your way.
The civilized of today no more values life than they did in the past, and it’s blindness, wilful blindness and denial that makes compromise as useful as having no weapons of mass destruction. This culture takes what it wants.
As anyone who works with battered women or children will tell you, there is no compromising with an abuser. To leave a person with an abuser is to allow the abuse.
As Melina Laboucan-Massimo said, a forest that dies of a thousand cuts is still dead. To enter in to any kind of negotiation with those who abuse the planet; forest companies, oil companies, mining companies, pharmaceutical companies, the food industry companies modifying living beings, and companies that enslave humans and non-humans alike is to kill the planet with a thousand cuts.
I am not suggesting that Mr. McKibben is a supporter of abusers. He is at least trying to do something which is more than can be said for most people in this culture. If he believes he can achieve 350 without real resistance to this culture, real force however it is manifested, then he suffers from the same naiveté and wilful blindness of those who benefit from the abuse of the afore mentioned companies and the stolen land where he now lives.
All environmental groups it seems suffer from this malaise of wilful blindness as the CBFA attests. The green washing of the Canadian forest industry; thus the green washing of the abuse of the forest; the green washing of the death of the forest by a thousand (clear)cuts. Just listen to the voice of the abusers talk about how he will use the signees of the Agreement. They will be a gang to fight against those who truly love their land base and are will to defend it from destruction. There will be no compromise.
The young woman, who mistook me for a vegan, talked of being concerned for the planet and the environment. This week many young people are going back to indoctrination. (I mean school/university.) There will be many clubs and interest groups vying for your support. Some will be environmental groups and if you are thinking about joining an environmental group before you do ask them these questions
1) Whose land are they on and what is the Indigenous name of the place they are on?
2) Has their group locally, nationally, internationally ever entered into an agreement with corporations or governments that have concerned Indigenous lands who have not had Indigenous people at the table with their full consultation and agreement ? (the catch- if you are in North America it is all Indigenous land).
3) Ask them if they believe that this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living?
4) Ask them if they love their land base and why?
5) Ask them are they doing the same action over and over again expecting different results?
Then ask your land base what your land base wants from you.
Ask yourself what are the gifts unique to you and how can you use them to help your land base.
Then use the answers to those last two questions and build a resistance, a community of resistance and stop the abuse of the ones you love, and the destruction of our planet
Oh yeah one more thing
… waiting for collapse to bring down civilization is like waiting for a bulldozer to run you over. It is just better to turn off the bulldozer.
“The final piece from END:CIV is both a reality check and a call to arms.”
Click on the picture to download this as a postcard you can send to anyone who has ever said
“It is the cost of doing business”.
On the back write ” I do not support any business that supports or accepts the destruction of our planet as the cost of doing business, such as __________” and fill in whatever appropiate examples you like; pipeline spills, poisoning rivers, tailings ponds, deforestation and the list is unfortunately endless.
by Sheila Muxlow
Monday Jul 19th, 2010 10:13 AM
The ‘Unist’ot’en of the Wet’suwet’en Nation alongside their grassroots allies and supporters assembled in Smithers to organize a rally designed to assert their title and rights on their ancient lands. The rally was organized and led by the ‘Unist’ot’en leadership and had the demonstrators primarily target the Ministry of Forests offices and the Ministry of Environment office.Just after lunch on July 16th in the town of Smithers, BC on the unceeded territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation more than 100 people took to the streets holding signs and following a banner “’Yin’Tah Wew’at zënlï’ ‘Taking Care of the Land’”
The group was organized by the ‘Unist’ot’en leadership of the Wet’suwet’en Nation alongside their grassroots allies and supporters. They assembled in Smithers to organize a demonstration designed to assert their title and rights on their ancient lands. The action was a well-planned march with strategic stops at the Ministry of Forests office and the Ministry of Environment office where the Unist’ot’en asserted their legitimacy as a governing body and their right to free, prior and informed consent before any decisions about development on their land.
The march also provided the ‘Unist’ot’en with an opportunity to offer support to the allies who had come in to support the action. The Tsilhqot’in Nation members from Tl’etinqox (Anaham) and Tl’esqox asserted their rights to stop proposed plans for Prosperity Mine to develop a copper and gold body that will destroy and drain a sacred lake called Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) in their traditional territories. The Lubicon Cree of central Alberta spoke of their work to have their rights and title asserted on unceded lands. The Athabasca Dene and Mikisew Cree of Northeastern Alberta are fighting for their very lives with the ongoing Tar Sands contamination of their aquifers and ecosystems which are creating a deadly epidemic of rare cancers among their population.
The struggles of the Wet’suwet’en and their allies are linked. The Tsilhqot’in are a neighboring nation fighting mining development not only on Fish Lake, but also on the historic site of hungry hill, a burial ground shared by both the Wet’suwet’en and the Tsilhqot’in peoples. Meanwhile, communities were represented from Tar Sands-impacted communities, from those resisting their devastating impacts at ground zero, to those resisting the construction of tar sands pipelines and refineries.
At present there are 7 pipelines planned to cross through the territory of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations, including the Gateway (Enbridge) and KSL pipelines, proposed to bring tar sands oil to the coast of BC. In response, the Unist’ot’en have set up a permanent camp on their territory where the proposed pipeline is set to be laid. Unfortunately as Carla Lewis, from the Gitdumden clan and band council member with the Wet’suwet’en First Nation pointed out, unwelcomed development is not something new on Wet’suwet’en territory.
“Many years ago the BC government allowed forestry companies to log on our lands with out the consent of our communities,” explained Lewis. ”Because of this, the logging was done with extremely unsustainable pratices bringing on environmental crisises such as the pine beetle. This would not have happened if our local knowledge and principles were used to decide the type of development here. We are not going to allow this same process to be repeated through these pipelines.”
The group marched confidently down the road parrallel to Highway 16 receiving honks of support from passing vehicles. One group called the Youth On Water Program with the Skeena Headwaters Conservation Coalition even stopped their van and joined in with the march.
“Part of the Youth on water project is to get the kids excited about rivers and to get them aware about the watershed,” described Florien Sherlock a facilitator with the group. “As part of that we were highlighting the concerns with both the proposed coal bed methane as well as the pipelines, so it was very fitting that we saw the march and were able to join in.”
Following the joyous chants of “Protect our Rights! No Enbridge Pipes!” the group made its way to the main street of Smithers. With quick professionalism, 5 members of the group hung a banner over the main street reading ‘No Pipelines’. Cars streamed underneath continuing their supportive waves and honks, while more bystanders joined in and gave comments of support.
“I think it’s fantastic. It is a large group of First Nation’s people with very definitive ideas,” commented Biz Bastien, a local resident in Smithers. “I saw the demonstration was about environmental issues and the tar sands and the Enbridge pipeline and them very definitively saying they don’t want either one and that they need their rights recognized and the voices heard. I think its fantastic to see them out there and I certainly support them.”
As the group rounded Main street they stopped at the local branch of RBC. The Royal Bank of Canada has been criticized for being the largest financier of the Tar Sands which undermine the Aboriginal rights of numerous Metis and First Nation communities including the Athabasca Chipewyan and Lubicon Cree. The Rainforest Action Network successfully campaigned Royal Bank to adopt the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to guide their investment decisions, but the bank continues to fund tar sands projects.
“Open pit and In-situ mining devlopments have destroyed the land of the Athabasca Chipewyan and continue to poison our community members,” warned Suzanna Deranger, member of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “Our community has never given consent for these projects so to ensure the principle of FPIC, RBC must stop all investments in tar sands projects including the pipelines crossing Wet’suwet’en territory!”
In front of the BC Ministy of Environment youth from the group impressed everyone as they held up a cardboard mimic of a pipeline with the words ‘Greed’ ‘Cultural Genocide’ and ‘Toxic Spills’ written on the side to convey what the pipeline threatens to bring to their future. In a powerful move, another group of youth ran at the cardboard pipeline with cut outs of salmon and paddles holding the words of ‘Love’ ‘Culture’ and ‘Language’ breaking apart the pipeline with a powerful metaphor that holds so much truth.
The final stop was at the CN rail station, another piece of infrastructure that crosses Wet’suwet’en territory and contributes to the tar sands giga project. Freda Huson finished the rally with a strong reminder “It is time for the Governments of Canada and B.C. to start honoring our traditional governance system of the ‘Unist’ot’en Chiefs. We have never ceded or surrendered our territory. Distruction of forest, waters, and wildlife will no longer be tolerated. True meaningful consultation must start taking place regarding all our territory.”
Onlookers admitted this type of demonstration is not something common in their small Northern town with a population of just over 5,000. But, the encouragement from the community suggests it may be a turning point with the Unist’ot’en leadership as they takie back their traditional role as protectors to take care of the land and create a healthy, safe, clean future for local people in the region.§”Not your land, not your decision”by Sheila Muxlow Monday Jul 19th, 2010 10:13 AMUnist’ot’en rally and set up a permanent camp to block proposed pipelines on their land. photo: Ben Powless§Sheila interviews Mel Bazil of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. photo: Adam Thomasby Sheila Muxlow Monday Jul 19th, 2010 10:13 AM