Tonight (Monday, April 20) at 6:00 pm at Black Sheep Books on State Street the Earth First Roadshow comes to Montpelier in hopes it will “(provide) a variety of skills, topics, and resources including a history of Earth First!, local news from campaigns and projects in Vermont, community organizing strategies, and more. A primary goal of the tour is to build the skill base of our movement, and promote the vibrancy and visibility of radical ecological resistance.” If you’re like me, you’re hoping to find the time to go down there to ask them exactly how their message and tactics are relevant to the working class and appealing to the average person.
Listen, I don’t know these folks personally (at least, I don’t think so) nor do I have anything personal against them. I’d bet most of their intentions are pretty decent. I also find “defense of the earth”, though a convoluted phrase, to be an incredibly important idea. There is no joke about the seriousness of the ecological problems we face. However, I have serious doubts about the tactics and overall logic of Earth First!– for starters, environmental destruction will continue so long as the economic, agricultural, and social means of our communities are controlled by centralized forces (capitalists, the State). Working to put the means of society into the direct control of the people themselves seems to me to be the best and most efficient way of ending ecological destruction; when everyone is able to effectively say “not in my backyard” well, then there is no backyard where toxic waste, resource pillaging, or carcinogenic “by-products” will be welcome. Worse, the tactics of “green anarchists” like EF! do much more to trivialize, isolate, and disempower regular, working people rather than engage and empower them- not the stuff of revolution, but rather genocide and dictatorship are the logical conclusions.
It’s likely I’ll be busy working, but if I get the chance you can be sure I’ll be there to ask these sorts of questions. You should consider doing the same.