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Mid August Report

Table at Earthfest

By Ben Barker, Coordinator of Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

For the past several months, the Wisconsin Chapter of the Deep Green Resistance movement has been building its own capacity and helping the international movement with campaigns and projects.

We recognize that one of our major goals as a chapter of the larger DGR movement is to simultaneously support DGR as a whole and bring the movement to our locale. Without a strong international movement, local resisters would have little support in their efforts. Yet, without resistance happening locally, the more broad structure would be irrelevant and ineffective.

In Wisconsin news, our group recently set up a literature table at Earthfest, an annual environmental festival in Sheboygan, WI. The mission of Earthfest is as follows:

Since 1990, Earthfest’s mission is to provide a joyful, annual, free family festival in Sheboygan to promote community spirit and a healthy environment through music, art, education, lectures, stories, demonstrations, and local foods.

From behind our table, we engaged in conversation with several folks about our organization and perspective. As is predictable given the tone of the so-called environmental movement in the United States, many whom we spoke with were not of the mind that resistance is even a possibility. They know the problems, but don’t know what we can honestly do to stop them. This is a major reason why DGR Wisconsin participated in Earthfest; we want to bring a radical analysis into the environmental milieu. The festival now being over, and many of our pamphlets seeing the fresh eyes of it’s attendees, it’s hard to say what impact our presence will have. Though, we will keep spreading the seeds of resistance and attempt to build a movement to save the planet.

Many thanks to organizers of Earthfest for putting the event on and allowing us to participate.

As always, the resistance needs you, and our group has expanded it’s options for getting involved, so please consider joining us in our fight for the future.

Late May Report

By Ben Cutbank, Coordinator of Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

The last few months have seen Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin engaging in much planning, organizing, and participating in important events.

In late March, members of DGR Wisconsin participating in the broader movement’s international members’ conference, which we helped to host in the southeastern part of Wisconsin. Roughly 30 comrades from around the world came to participate in discussions, exercises, and time for strengthening our bonds. Discussed were such important topics as leadership, community, public speaking, current organizing within the movement and visioning for the future.

One member of our group, Val, had the chance to put the public speaking training in action by speaking about aboveground environmental direct action at an event called “Occupy Spring and Beyond” Teach-in, held in Madison, WI. A video of that speech can be viewed here.

Already feeling inspired from time spent with comrades at the conference, we were extremely honored to host writer and DGR Advisory Board member Derrick Jensen in Madison, WI for a speech on civilization and resistance. A video clip of Derrick reading his piece about the ‘man box’ can be viewed here. After his speech, a member of DGR Wisconsin took the stage to give a brief but concise introduction to the Deep Green Resistance movement. It was clear that others who attended this event were also inspired, as we have been contacted by a number of people about getting involved.

In early May, DGR Wisconsin sponsored a “revolutionary music show,” featuring the activist-musician, Dustin and the Furniture, among others. In between the brilliant and political songs, I had the opportunity to recite a piece I recently wrote called “The Story of a River,” which was well received by the audience.

Thousands of protesters gathered in Chicago, IL on May 20th, to demonstrate against the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, as it held a meeting to further plot exploitation of human communities and plundering of landbases the world over. Many inspiring revolutionaries and activist groups participated, including an environmental contingent that members of Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin plugged into, and that united on the basic understanding that the planet must take priority over the profits of the rich. Many thanks to members of the Chicago DGR Action Group, who hosted and worked with us. The photos included here were taken at the demonstration.

Currently, the main project of DGR Wisconsin, and several other organizers within the movement, is planning for an upcoming action in solidarity with the Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation against the exploitation of Native Americans by liquor-sellers. The campaign specific to this action is a battle for the town of White Clay, Nebraska, which has 4 liquors stores situated on the outskirts of Pine Ridge, despite it’s human population of under 20. Upon being invited to join the struggle, members of DGR Wisconsin are trying to raise support for the action in the forms of people and funds. As part of this, we are hosting a film screening of “The Battle for Whiteclay” in Milwaukee, WI, coming up in early June.

As always, the resistance needs you, and our group has recently expanded it’s options for getting involved, so please consider joining us in our fight for the future.

“The Battle for Whiteclay” Film Screening, fundraiser for upcoming action (6/2)

Poster: distribute

Join Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin at the Peace Action Center on Saturday, June 2nd for a film screening of The Battle for Whiteclay and a presentation about an upcoming action in solidarity with Lakota peoples against the ongoing genocide facing Native Americans. The event will start at 5:00 PM at 1001 E. Keefe Ave. in Milwaukee, WI.

The State of Nebraska’s refusal to halt alcohol sales to the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from its border town of Whiteclay gets an in-depth look in this new documentary about a century-old problem. Four off-sale liquor stores in this 14-person hamlet sell over 12,000 cans of beer a day to an Indigenous clientele with virtually no legal place to drink it. Struggling with crippling poverty and epidemic alcohol abuse that afflicts 4 out of 5 families, the Oglala Sioux Tribe has for decades banned the sale and possession of alcohol on their reservation.

On June 9th, 2012, Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation will march for justice against the genocide committed by the opportunistic alcohol dealers in White Clay. A caravan will be leaving from Wisconsin on June 7th to join them, and other members of Deep Green Resistance, in the struggle. To help make this action successful, we are calling for allies willing to come to the action in solidarity, or support the effort materially. If this speaks to you, please attend this event to learn more about the battle for Whiteclay and how you can help in this fight for justice.

Learn more by watching this short news clip via http://battleforwhiteclay.org/:

DGR Wisconsin Joins Battle Against Whiteclay, Call for Support

On June 9th, the Oglala Lakota people of the Pine Ridge Reservation will march for justice against the genocide of opportunist alcohol dealers in the border town of Whiteclay, Nebraska. A caravan will be leaving from Wisconsin on June 7th to join them, and other members of Deep Green Resistance, in the struggle. To help make this action successful, we are calling for allies willing to come to the action in solidarity, or support the effort materially. If this speaks to you, and you want to help, please get in touch, or visit here to donate monetarily.

 

Brief History of Whiteclay

Whiteclay is an unincorporated village with a population of 14 people in northwest Nebraska. The town sits on the border of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota (also known as the Oglala Sioux Tribe). Whiteclay lies on disputed land, merely 200 feet from the official reservation border and less than 3 miles from the center of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, the largest town on the reservation. Sale and possession of alcoholic beverages on the Pine Ridge is prohibited under tribal law. Except for a brief experiment with on-reservation liquor sales in the early 1970s, this prohibition has been in effect since the reservation lands were created. Whiteclay has four off-sale beer stores licensed by the State of Nebraska which sell the equivalent of 4.5 million 12-ounce cans of beer annually (12,500 cans per day), mostly to the Oglalas living on Pine Ridge. These retailers routinely violate Nebraska liquor law by selling beer to minors and intoxicated persons, knowingly selling to bootleggers who resell the beer on the reservation, permitting on-premise consumption of beer in violation of restrictions placed on off-sale-only licenses, and exchanging beer for sexual favors. The vast majority of those who purchase beer in Whiteclay have in fact no legal place to consume it, since possession and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the Pine Ridge Reservation remain illegal under tribal law. Many people have died in the streets due to exposure, as the state of Nebraska fails to uphold state law or police Whiteclay. As long as the liquor stores in Whiteclay remains in business, the genocide of the Oglala Lakota people will continue.

In 1999 two Lakota men were brutally murdered in Whiteclay. This sparked a series of marches and rallies led by various activist groups, including members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and Nebraskans for Peace, demanding that Nebraska revoke the liquor licenses of Whiteclay’s stores and increase law enforcement in the area. Tribal activists of the Strong Heart Warrior Society have conducted annual blockades since 1999, trying to intercept alcohol and drugs being brought into the reservation. In June 2006 tribal activists protested beer sales by blockading the road from Pine Ridge to Whiteclay and confiscating beer bought in Whiteclay. These activists hoped to prevent bootlegging and illegal sales on the reservation. This action in June will be a continuation of these efforts, and will potentially be an attempt to block both sides of town. Help us send the message: “No more liquor in Whiteclay!”

 

The Action

We will leave Wisconsin on June 7th, camp out in Jefferson, SD with an organizer from DGR Great Plains. On June 8th, we will rendezvous with other allies at the Wounded Knee Museum in Pine Ridge, SD, at 3:00pm, and camp out that night. The next morning, we will gather at Billy Mills Hall in the town of Pine Ridge, SD at 11:00am and begin the march to Whiteclay, NE at 12:00pm noon.

DGR Wisconsin is inviting all allies in the state, and beyond, to join us in the caravan or help us to raise funds for food and gas. Your solidarity and support are appreciated.

To learn more or ask questions, please contact Ben Cutbank by e-mail or phone: (262) 208-5347

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Grassroutes Caravan Calls for Bicyclists, Welcomes DGR

Flyer for kick-off event. View facebook event here.

Grassroutes Caravan is a mobile bicycle village of resilience that is heading to Chicago to protest NATO this May. GRC organizer and member of DGR Wisconsin, Thistle Pettersen, says there is still room in the village for more riders and a DGR crew would be welcomed with open arms!

A recent article on Examiner.com explains more about Grassroutes Caravan and this year’s ride:

Each year, the Grassroots Caravan sponsors a cycling trip to different points in the Midwest. This year’s event is entitled Cycles of Revolution: ¡Brake the Banks!. Forty people participated in the group’s annual trip in 2008 to the Republican National Convention in Minnesota. This year’s trip is limited to 50 participants.

According to their website, this trip is to “promote and demonstrate peaceful forms of cooperative, collaborative democracy in the face of the endless wartime rhetoric of NATO.” Using bicycles as the vehicle to travel to Chicago is in tune with the NATO summit, because the wars NATO engages in are frequently fought “to secure oil and gas resources,” of which the bicycle uses none.

The Cycle of Revolution will stop in three communities along the route to participate in community events. As has been tradition in the previous three trips the group sponsored, particpants engage in community service in exchange for places to stay during the journey. Currently, approximately 20 people have signed up for the event, which leaves Madison on May 13. A kick-off fundraiser is scheduled for May 5 in Madison. The group has been holding fundraisers since January.

To get involved in Grassroutes Caravan, you can apply to ride or get in touch with the organizers.

Derrick Jensen speaking event in Madison, WI (4/17)

Poster: distribute!

Our planet is under serious threat from industrial civilization. Yet activists are not considering strategies that might actually prevent the looming biotic collapse the Earth is facing. We need to deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. We need a serious resistance movement that includes all levels of direct action–action that can match the scale of the problem.

Writer and activist Derrick Jensen has been discussing the inherent destructiveness of industrial civilization and urgently calling for resistance against it for decades. Derrick is the acclaimed author of fifteen books, including A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Endgame, and Deep Green Resistance, a book, co-authored with Lierre Keith and Aric McBay, which inspired the formation of a movement by the same name. Author, teacher, activist, small farmer and leading voice of uncompromising dissent, he has been hailed as the philosopher poet of the environmental movement.

We are pleased to host Derrick Jensen for a public speaking event on “Civilization and Resistance,” with a Q&A session after the talk. Please join us for this exciting opportunity at the University of Wisconsin’s Varsity Hall (inside Union South), located at 1308 W. Dayton Street in Madison, Wisconsin, on Tuesday, April 17th starting at 6:00 p.m.  This is a free event and is sponsored by Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin, UW Society & Politics, Distinguished Lecture Series, and The Madison Infoshop.

Derrick will speak to the following questions during his talk:

  • How do I know civilization is not redeemable? Why does industrial civilization need to be dismantled?
  • Do you think our advanced society has the capability to find technological solutions to the energy and resource problems facing us?
  • If Industrial Civilization is dismantled, what about people who live in cities or rely on it for their subsistence or medical needs? What makes you think that a small group of people have the right to bring down an entire system that will result in countless deaths?
  • The dismantling of civilization would be a violent act, and violence is never the answer. Ghandi was a pacifist that led a successful revolution, so couldn’t a nonviolent movement of the masses put enough pressure on those in power to transform our society?
  • I am skeptical that any actions I take will be useful towards bringing down civilization.  Why should I take large-scale direct action against the system when almost nobody else, especially in the first world, is?

Late March Report

By Ben Cutbank, Coordinator of Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin

Now at the end of March 2012, Deep Green Resistance (DGR) Wisconsin is looking forward to a lot of major happenings in our area and involving our Action Group.

Over the horizon are many events that we have helped to plan, including: two Occupy the Machine events with a member of the OTM Coalition, the weekend-long International DGR Members’ Conference, a music show with Big Dudee Roo and Thistle in the middle of the aforementioned conference, and a speaking event with Derrick Jensen.

In addition, members of DGR Wisconsin are working within the Occupy the Machine Coalition, as it plans it’s first action, which involves blockading an oil refinery in Houston, TX, happening in mid-to-late April of this year.

Our group does have much to look forward to, but also are not without reasons to celebrate.

T-shirts with our logo have now been printed and distributed among members. It took the effort of multiple people involved in Deep Green Resistance to make this happen: An International Volunteer drew the logo, I designed what would be printed, a member bought t-shirts, and the Co-Coordinator found a sympathetic friend to print them for us. The end product looks great and gives us a way to identify our involvement in the group at events and other gatherings.

Members of DGR Wisconsin had the opportunity to do just that at a fundraiser event that happened on Sunday, March 25th at the High Noon Saloon, in Madison, WI. The Co-Coordinator of the group, with the help of other members, set up the event which included well-known jazz bands, raffle prizes from local business, and time for us to speak about our group and provide literature to at least forty people. The photos included here were taken at the event.

With all of the activity here in Wisconsin, we’d love to recruit more members to join our DGR Action Group and take part. For all who are interested, you are invited to contact our Recruitment Officer via e-mail, here.

In love and resistance, the time to act is now.

Music Show Fundraiser for DGR Conference (3/31)

Poster: distribute

In March of this year, members of the new radical environmental movement, Deep Green Resistance, will be coming from around the world for a weekend gathering. Throughout this weekend, the group will participate in exercises, listen to talks, and share ideas, for the purpose of strengthening the community within DGR and the movement itself. The goal of Deep Green Resistance is to deprive the powerful of their ability to steal from the poor and destroy the planet. This conference will be a major step in helping the movement continue to grow towards that goal.

To help fund this conference, musicians Big Dudee Roo and Thistle will be playing a benefit music show on Saturday, March 31st at 8:00pm. The event is happening at Candlelight Collective, located at 258 N. Main St. (Lower) West Bend, WI.

Both music groups play music that is aligned with the core values of the Deep Green Resistance movement, encompassing themes of resisting the dominant culture’s ideologies and structures, deeper connection with other humans and the natural world, feminism,  and social justice.

This event is sponsored by Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin.

Fundraiser Event at High Noon Saloon in Madison (3/25)

Poster: distribute

Join us for a Deep Green Resistance fundraiser event on March 25th, 2012, beginning at 7:00pm, at the High Noon Salon in Madison, WI, located at 701 A E. Washington Avenue.

The event will include musical acts by: Harmonious Wail, Lovely Socialite Mrs. Thomas W. Phipps, and Arp of the Covenant.

In addition, there will be prizes raffled off including: Two tickets to Gypsy Swing Fest, a one-on-one acupuncture session, and dinner for two at the Weary Traveler.

There is an $8 cover charge for this event. All funds go towards the Deep Green Resistance movement and its Wisconsin chapter.

Deep Green Resistance (DGR) is an analysis, a strategy, and a movement being born—the only movement of its kind. The goal of DGR is to deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. This will require defending and rebuilding just and sustainable human communities nestled inside repaired and restored landbases. This is a vast undertaking but it needs to be said: it can be done. Industrial civilization can be stopped. With around 20 chapters internationally and a one-of-a-kind campaign over the horizon, the Deep Green Resistance movement is growing and needs your support in funding the resistance.