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Land returned to Ho Chunk tribe

Great news for the Ho-Chunk tribe!

The federal government has given back almost 16-hundred acres of land it seized from ancestors in the Ho-Chunk Indian tribe. Tomorrow the tribe will hold a celebration of the land transfer, which involves property along the Wisconsin River at Baraboo.

Tribal president Jon Greendeer will speak at a ceremony, along with U-S Senate Democrat Tammy Baldwin and Randy Poelma of the Ho-Chunk’s environmental health department. There will also be a round dance, and public tours of the land — which will eventually be developed into a grazing area for bison. The transfer was part of a larger Defense Department bill passed by Congress last December. That was 16 years after the Ho-Chunk filed a claim for federal surplus lands.


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)

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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

The Story of a River

By: Ben Cutbank

The words that make up this piece were given to me by the Milwaukee River.

The Milwaukee River runs through the place where I live. Really, it is the place where I live, or at least part of it. This place would not be what it is without the river.

On a warm, sunny day the river will call to me in a bodily way to come into the water, or at least to feel it with my hands or feet. I’m sure this relationship between river and human, river and bird, river and insect, is older and more sacred than I can imagine.

When the river calls to me in this way, I want so badly to get in. I want to spend all of the warm and sunny days heeding this call, and the other days watching from the river’s side, listening and learning.

What breaks my heart is that I will not enter this river and let its waters caress my body, at least not today or any time soon, because its waters are full of poison.

Less than ten years ago, my friends and I would swim in the river on every warm and sunny day. Then, a number of them started experiencing rashes on their skin or felt sick from accidentally letting some of the river water into their mouth. We stopped swimming in the river. The poison dumped or seeped into the river continues to build, and the river continues to be killed, while we essentially stand aside and mourn.

I’m tired of mourning and I’m tired of hearing that this destruction is natural, inevitable, “just the way things are.”

What made clear in my own life that this river was changing for the worse, that it was being killed, was when I no longer wanted to let its waters touch my body. While obviously bad in itself, there’s a larger picture here that must be looked at.

There are living beings—including the river itself—whose lives depend on this river. When the river dies, so to do the fish, bugs, birds, and other animals who drink and eat from the river, who call the river home. Thus, each year that there are more and more pollutants from agricultural run-off in the river, there are less and less songbirds and frogs.

Prior to the arrival of Europeans on this continent, there were human beings who lived here that loved the Milwaukee River. They were indigenous peoples called the Menominee, Potawatomi, and Fox, among other tribes. The lives of these human beings were firmly intertwined with the life of the river. These human beings ate and drank from the river, prayed to the river, and listened to the river’s wisdom.

Those sustainable human cultures were victims—and continue to be victims—of large-scale murder—genocide—at the hands of white settlers. The same people who committed these atrocities against the indigenous humans are now killing the river. Both the river and the human beings who love it—and know how to live sustainability with it—are targets of the dominant culture, industrial civilization. In order to control, exploit, and pollute the river, the humans who depend on it for sustenance must also be displaced or eradicated. We can see how this happened here at home in the case of the Milwaukee River, but we must see further that this has happened everywhere and is the story of civilization.

Currently, every stream in the United States is contaminated with carcinogens. 99% of native prairies have been destroyed. 99% of old growth forests are gone. 90% of the large fish in the oceans are gone. It’s estimated that unless there is a dramatic shift in course, global warming will become irreversible in around 5 years, eventually rendering all life on this planet doomed.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The destruction can be stopped and we must stop it. Clearly, the river, the land, indigenous humans, and so much more life, are the victims of an abusive system. Like all perpetrators, the way to stop them is to aim at the root of the problem and remove or block their ability to abuse. Basically, the goal is to return the circumstances to the way they were before the abuse started, with the victims free and safe. The abuse of civilization has been a campaign of 10,000 years, so obviously there is much to be done to stop it. But, what choice do we have other than to start now and try?

Who or what do you love? Surely you love something or you wouldn’t be here. What would you do to defend your beloved?

I love the Milwaukee River. I want to see this river come back to life, year after year regaining health. I want to see no more poison seeping into the river, no more dams suffocating it, no more destruction of any kind. I want to see all of that destruction reversed and those who would commit abuse stopped and held accountable for their crimes against life.

I love the Milwaukee River and I love life. I will do whatever is necessary to defend the living, before the planet is killed entirely. Will you join me?

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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Revolutionary Music Show with Dustin and the Furniture and more (5/7)

Poster: distribute.

Join Deep Green Resistance Wisconsin for a revolutionary music show event on Monday, May 7th, 2012, beginning at 7:00pm, at the Candlelight Collective in West Bend, WI, located at 258 N. Main St. (Lower).

The event will include musical acts by: Dustin and the Furniture, Y-Lime, and Bonesaw.

Dustin and the Furniture, based in Tennessee, plays folk music inspired by walks in the woods and relationship with nonhuman plant and animal neighbors. Dustin lyrically embraces resistance to industrial civilization and agriculture, while calling for a serious transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. Dustin and Furniture is currently traveling around the U.S. on a tour, sowing the seeds of revolution one music show at a time.

Here is a video of Dustin and the Furniture playing, “It’s Up To You”:

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)

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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)

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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.