Healing the Earth is a weekly radio show based out of Guelph, Ontario, through the community radio station, CFRU. Since June 2005 I've been on the air each Wednesday from 12-2 eastern time, and if you live in the area you can listen in on 93.3fm, or online at www.cfru.ca. My interviews are also available on the rabble podcast network and the A-Infos Radio Network. You're encouraged to spread these interviews as far as you want - burn them, give them away, play them on your own radio shows, anything. And if you have any ideas of how we can work together, please let me know.
Thanks so much for coming by the site, I really hope you like it.
Defenders of the Land: Indigenous Survival and Liberation in times of Collapse
Waziytawin is a Dakota writer, scholar, and activist, who urges Indigenous People as well as non-Indigenous to think seriously about the threats of collapse and need for land defence. Recently Waziyatawin has been intertwining her interest in decolonization and Indigenous liberation with research around climate collapse and peak oil, and believes that we can't simply wait for an end to the extreme destruction caused by industrial civilization - we need to take action and help bring it to and end, so that our chances for future survival are the greatest. Waziyatawin offers something very important with this interview, that is, connecting a recognition of the great changes upon us with an anti-colonial perspective as an Indigenous woman.
Root Force: Examining the Costs of Infrastructure and Industrial Culture
Ben and Toby from Root Force explore many different angles on industrial infrastructure - from major highways, shipping networks, mines, oil and gas industries, etc - and its connections with colonialism in the western hemisphere, labour issues and the state of the economy, its cumulative costs to the earth, and the need to strategically resist industrial projects.
Ramona Africa on the 24th Anniversary of the Police Bombing of MOVE Headquarters
On May 13, 1985, the Philadelphia police bombed the home of MOVE members and murdered 11 people. Ramona Africa is the sole adult survivor, and has been organizing on behalf of the dead and imprisoned ever since. In this interview with Ramona Africa, conducted on the 24th anniversary of the May 13, 1985 police bombing of MOVE headquarters, Ramona shares life lessons about freedom, standing up for oneself and one's family, being true and honest with ourselves and our principles, and her concept of 'total revolution' - all learned through enduring violent repression, maximum prison terms, and decades of community organizing.
Swimming With Dolphins: Freedom, Captivity, and Our Many Interconnections
Leah Lemieux is the author of the book Rekindling the Waters: The Truth About Swimming With Dolphins. Leah has lectured, written about and worked on dolphin protection, education and conservation issues for twenty years, collaborating with individuals and NGOs from a number of countries, including the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Environmental and Humanitarian program. In our interview, Leah explains the dark side of the increasinly-popular tourist activity of swimming with dolphins, and touches on the shared issues of captivity that plague humans and many other creatures.
Air quality and pollution in Southwestern Ontario
Quentin Chiotti works with the environmental organization Pollution Probe, as both the Director and Climate Change Program & Senior Scientist. Pollution Probe, now in it's 40th year, focuses on researching and advocating for changes to do with climate change, energy, air, water, environmental health effects, and policy. He and I talk about air pollution, its main sources, components, health effects, and how it relates to climate change.
Developing Community Responses to Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence
Erin Crickett, the campaign coordinator with the Guelph-Wellington County Neighbours, Friends and Families campaign, and Galya, a midwifery student at McMaster University in Hamilton, and a co-founder and organizer with the SMASH Collective (Students at McMaster Against Sexual Harassment), talk about developing community responses to sexual assault, crisis support, harm reduction strategies that are non-judgmental when dealing with survivors using what might seem like risky or damaging behaviour, and supporting survivors in ways that remind them how powerful they are, and that acknowledge how strong of a person it takes to survive.
Since the Last Ice Age: Original People In and Around Guelph, and the Proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park
Dana Poulton is an archaeologist based in London, Ontario. He was commissioned to do an archaeological assessment of the proposed Hanlon Creek Business Park, based on the south end of Guelph. It turns out that humans have been using this particular land for as long as 11,000 years ago, since the land shifted from a colder tundra to a fertile garden of eden, that lasted up until European immigrants clearcut the land to create an agricultural colony, now called Guelph.
Tyendinaga: The Struggle for Drinking Water and the Health of the Land Continues
I spoke with Dan Doreen, a Mohawk from the community of Tyendinaga, which is located in Southeastern Ontario near Belleville. Dan has been on Healing the Earth several times before; he is one of many people from Tyendinaga who are fighting a new police station that the band council and the provincial and federal governments are trying to bring in to their community. Tyendinaga is one of 37 First Nations communities within the borders of Ontario that is on a boil water advisory. Approximately 50% of people on the reserve have to deal with a boil water advisory, mainly due to provincial authorities failing to properly line and cap a landfill, which led to toxic waste leaking into the watershed. This has led many people to have to rely on bottled water trucked in from elsewhere, or filling up buckets at a public tap to use for drinking water. Much of the water is so toxic that children get sores and boils on their body from being washed in it.
For a Soft Landing: Transition Towns, Peak Oil, and Climate Change
Sally Ludwig is one of the people involved in a project called Transition Guelph - an effort to transition off of a dependence on fossil fuels and other unsustainable and exploitative aspects of the modern era, modelled on the Transition Town movement that began in the UK.
Land Defenders from Six Nations and Tyendinaga Speak: Audio from Guelph's 4th Annual Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving Dinner
On October 17, 2008, Guelph's 4th Annual Anti-Colonial Thanksgiving Dinner brought together many anti-colonial allies, families, farmers, students, community organizers, and warriors. These include speakers Boots Powless and Skyler Williams from Six Nations, Jackie of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, Dan Doreen from Tyendinaga, and Sarah Dover from Toronto. These five speakers spoke very passionately about their struggles and efforts to defend their land, their families, communities, and culture.
The Long-Standing Conflict With the Algonquins of Barriere Lake
I spoke with Marylynn Poucachice from the Algonquin community of Barriere Lake, which continues to deal with the problems of colonization of their land and people. They have had long-standing problems with the government of Quebec and Canada, mainly centering around the governance of their community and the exploitation of the surrounding resources. The community of Barriere Lake is suffering tremendously as a result, and have been taking various actions aimed to pressure the governments. A very clear example of how colonization is alive and well in Canada.
Speaking About Land Reclamations with Boots from Six Nations
Boots has been living in a teepee on a construction site in Brantford, Ontario, since July. He's from Six Nations, and they've been shutting numerous development sites over the years due to concerns of land rights and ecology. What most people think began in February 2006 on the edge of Caledonia, the site that blew up into a world-renowned conflict, actually began long before that, and has kept going ever since. The site Boots has been living on was slated to be a fiberglass insulation factory, right next to a large Hampton Inn hotel, which has also been shut down.
Ending Industrial Culture, Building Cultures of Resistance: An Interview With Lierre Keith and Aric McBay
Lierre Keith and Aric McBay are both authors, small farmers, activists in their own way, and over the last couple years have been organizing weekend-long conferences entitled Deep Green Resistance. If you'd like to read it, their statement of purpose from their first gathering sums up where they're coming from better than I can. In our interview, they speak of a systemic analysis of what we're facing, including the environmental and social costs of industrial culture, tying together the problems of climate change, peak oil, the power of the right-wing/fascist elements, economic collapse, and so on. Most importantly, they ask the crucial questions that few others are asking: given the crises we face, what, really, are we going to do about it? Thinking with seriousness, long-term strategy, and courage, what can we as caring people do to save this planet? What are some essential elements of a culture of resistance that offers any hope of a securing a peaceful and sustainable future? Definitely worth listening to.
Industrial and Military Operations vs. Marine Life: Turns Out They Can't Co-exist
I spoke with Kim Elmslie, a campaign coordinator for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who spoke about a recently-published report by IFAW, about the threat to marine life from noise pollution. It made me recall reports I had read about whales washing up dead on shore, with hblood coming from their ears, and hemmorhaged brains, just after the US military conducted underwater sonar testing. It turns out that not only is military testing killing marine life and otherwise ruining their lives, but all the noise from oil rigs, shipping, and other industrial activity is also to blame. Another sad example of how the basic operations of this military-industrial society are destroying animal populations.
The Revolution Will Not be Microwaved: An Interview with Sandor Ellix Katz
Sandor Ellix Katz is the author of Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America's Underground Food Movements. His work has become enormously popular, helping bring the ancient rituals of fermentation to new generations of people hungry for a connection with these life processes. In our interview, Sandor talks about his encounters food activists, and all the ways people are taking food back from large corporations and are reviving food systems locally, and all the ways people are finding to preserve the health of the earth, the health of people, and the health of localized economies. His first book, Wild Fermentation, has been especially notorious for getting people excited about fermenting food. It has the special quality of being one of those rare books that changes a lot of peoples lives.
Government of Newfoundland Labrador Seeks to Evict Innu from Their Traditional Homeland
More than 100 Innu families who are now occupying and using their traditional homeland in Newfoundland Labrador recently received eviction notices from the provincial government of Newfoundland Labrador. The Removal Notices direct Innu families to "remove all structures from Crown land and restore the site to its original conditions within 60 days of notice." Failure to do so will result in the Crown Lands Division demolishing their homes and charging the costs of demolition to the Innu families. This eviction is seen as part of an escalating confrontation over land rights, led by the desires of the government of Newfoundland Labrador to step up resource development and hydroelectric projects. I interviewed Innu lawyer Armand Mackenzie about this, and he told the story of the lives and history of the Innu people, one which renders the provincial and federal borders, and their laws, irrelevant in the face of such a deep sense of place and kinship with their territory.
The Story of Eric McDavid, Entrapped by Paid FBI Informant and Recently Sentenced to 19.5 Years in Prison
Eric McDavid had the misfortune of falling in love with an FBI informant, a young woman who went by the name Anna. She was being paid by the FBI to fish for people at protests who she could convince to conspire with her to engage in illegal direct actions. Eric and two others, Zachary Jenson and Lauren Weiner, were involved in a plot 'Anna' led; Zachary and Lauren decided to plead guilty and testify against Eric, while Eric held out as not-guilty, maintaining that the whole thing was a trap. Eric was recently found guilty and sentenced to 19.5 years in prison. His lawyer, Mark Reichel, explains the ins and outs of this shocking story.
What Does Decolonization Look Like? Minnesota Turns 150 and Nothing Much Has Changed
In early May 2008, the state of Minnesota turned 150 years old. People fond of such things sought to have a celebration of this sesquicentennial anniversary, which included several days of events. What the organizers of this anniversary neglected to include in their accounts of history is the genocide against the Dakota nation, whose homeland was destroyed in order to create the state of Minnesota. This involved state-sanctioned ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, hangings, bounties, massive displacements, and an overall campaign of violence and fear. In this interview I speak with Waziyatawin, a teacher, author, community organizer, and mother, among many other things, about the events surrounding Minnesota's anniversary, her involvement and arrests, and her important perspectives on decolonization.
Two Six Nations Men Facing Extraordinary Imprisonment in the US for Acts on Six Nations Territory
Two Six Nations men, Albert Douglas and Trevor Miller, are being indicted to a US federal grand jury for incidents stemming from the 2006 Six Nations land reclamation outside the town of Caledonia. Both Albert and Trevor have dealt with Canadian courts and are now simply on probation, yet the US government wants to put them in prison for a maximum of 70 years for the exact same charges. Albert Douglas was allegedly with Trevor Miller when a US Border Patrol vehicle was seen on their territory during the height of the land reclamation. It turned out that the vehicle was carrying a member of the US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and members of the Ontario Provincial Police, and contained surveillance equipment and confidential documents about undercover OPP and US agents used to infiltrate the land reclamation. In this interview I spoke with Angel and Arnold Douglas, Albert's sister and father, about the situation Albert and Trevor are in.
Tyendinaga Mohawks Successfully Stop Another Illegal Developement on Their Land
I spoke with Dan Doreen, from the community of Tyendinaga, about an illegal residential development that was stopped from occurring. The land in question is part of the Culbertson Tract, which includes the small town of Deseronto, in southeastern Ontario. On Monday morning, people from Tyendinaga blocked the main road going through Deseronto, and after a 24 hour period, the Nibourgs have agreed not to do anymore work on the land. Those involved in the blockade are committed to not allowing any kind of development within the Culbertson Tract.
MOVE Women Denied Parole, Despite Being Innocent and Already in Prison for 30 Years
On Tuesday, April 22, three members of MOVE were told they are denied parole, despite already being in prison for 30 years. Debbie Sims Africa, Janet Hollaway Africa and Janine Phillips Africa, the three remaining MOVE women incarcerated, were sentenced to a 30-year minimum, 100-year maximum sentence, for allegedly killing a cop while hiding out in the basement of their home, enduring a massive police shootout. The only problem is, the Philadelphia cop, James Ramp, was across the road from their house, facing them, and he was shot in the back of the neck, from above. MOVE members were inside the basement of their home, and despite it being physically impossible for any of them to have shot this man, 9 people were sentenced to prison, and have been there for 30 years (with the exception of Merle Austin Africa, who died in prison in 1998). I spoke with Ramona Africa, a spokesperson for MOVE, about all this.
Native Bumblebees are Going Extinct
I spoke with Sheila Colla, a PhD candidate at York University in Toronto, about the extinction of several species of bumblebees who once lived in Southern Ontario. Many people are familiar with how honeybees have been affected by Colony Collapse Disorder, and now bumblebees are experiencing significant declines in population. While honeybees have been imported from Europe and Africa, bumblebees are native to Turtle Island. Since so many native plants have co-evolved with bumblebees, requiring them for pollination, these extinctions could pose serious trouble for the rest of the ecosystem.
Pre-Dawn Paramilitary Raid on Bear Mountain Tree Sit
Just one week after the first interview with people from the Bear Mountain tree sit, a force dozens of armed RCMP officers stormed the forest to evict them. As people were being led away in handcuffs, workers were already beginning to cut down the forest. The massive attack by police involved as many as 300 RCMP officers, dozens of them with assault rifles drawn and pointed at the campers.
Bear Mountain Tree Sit Under Threat
Since April 2007, there has been a tree sit happening in the town of Langford, near Victoric, 'BC'. It is intended to stop the destruction of a forest to build a highway interchange, part of a proposed multi-billion dollar highway expansion that would open up huge tracts of Saanich Inlet to more roads and development. This would profit a handful of developers, while destroying pristine forests, creeks, springs, wildlife habitat, and Indigenous cultural sites. In this interview, I speak with Luke, one of the organizers of the ongoing blockade, about their feelings of coming conflict with authorities.
Lierre Keith is the author of the novels Skyler Gabriel and Conditions of War, as well as the forthcoming The Vegetarian Myth. In this interview we talk about the topics she explores in that most recent book, which mainly include an ecological and social critique of agriculture, and the dilemmas of vegetarianism in light of those critiques. For me, Lierre's is the most solid critique of agriculture I have come across. She talks about how it is at it's most basic level a war against life and the earth, and how sustainable agriculture will always be an oxymoron. With the fossil fuel era coming to a end, we have to start thinking out of the agricultural box, and re-valuing a wild world.
Betsy Hartmann writes fiction and non-fiction about critical national and global issues. In this interview we talk about some of the issues she covers in her articles, War Talk and Climate Change, and Gender, Militarism, and Climate Change. In particular, the roles patriarchy plays in creating and encouraging climate change, and how patriarchy effects the responses to it, and how the term "ecological refugees" masks the fact that people are by and large refugees because of social forces such as race, class, industrialization, militarism, and so on.
Waziyatawin is Wahpetunwan Dakota from the Pezihutazizi Otunwe in southwestern Minnesota. In this interview she talks at length about colonization and decolonization - the physical and mental aspects of decolonization work for both indigenous and non-indigenous communities, how to recognize that there is another way to live that is radically outside of institutions like federal, state, and provincial governments, how to break through our identification with the colonizer, and so on. She also talks of appropriate ways people who are not indigenous to Turtle Island can work not only in solidarity with indigenous people, but in active decolonization in our own communities as well.
The continuing blockade of a proposed uranium mine near Sharbot Lake is an incredibly important struggle that is getting very little media coverage. Unfortunately that's the way it goes, and that's one of the reasons I do this show. I spoke with retired Ardoch Algonquin chief Bob Lovelace back on August 29 (our first interview is below this one), and here we speak again to learn how things have been progressing. As it stands most of the leaders of the blockade have warrants out for their arrest and are facing a $77 million lawsuit. Despite this, they are absolutely firm in their stance that the mine will never go through and they will not leave their land.
Since the morning of June 29, the Ardoch Algonquin and the Shabot Obaadjiwan Nations have taken to physically being on their land to stop a proposed uranium mine, in what is likely both the most under-reported action of the June 29 Day of Action and the one with the biggest impact. They are situated just north of Sharbot Lake, which itself is north of Kingston. On Monday a court order was issued that ordered everyone to leave the site and open it up to Frontenac Ventures, and it is at this point unclear what the Ontario Provincial Police will do next. Frontenac Ventures wants to clearcut and strip-mine the land so it can exploit uranium.
I first came across Eric's work while searching for critiques of wind farms, since so many are going up all around the world, and there are so many questions not reaching the debate around them. I see very little discussion of big energy companies, capitalism, industrial infrastructure, colonialism, and so on, inform people's ideas of these new 'alternative,' 'green,' energy projects. Eric is the president of National Wind Watch, an organization that promotes awareness of the negative impacts of wind farms.
On August 11, 2008, the MOVE 8 (still mostly known as the MOVE 9) are up for parole. On that date they will have spent 30 years in prison for a crime none of them ever committed. Their story is intense and heartbreaking, and incredibly injust. Ramona talks with me about their story, the organizing going on around their upcoming parole, and their continuin motivations for freedom and self-determination.
On December 7, 2005, one of the largest roundups of environmental and animal liberation activists in American history began. Using the code name "Operation Backfire," the FBI arrested seven people in four different states, for allegedly taking part in a wide variety of actions the government attributes to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Since then, many other people have been caught up in what has been called The Green Scare, and just recently, most of the defendants were sentenced to prison.
Rising Tide North America is "an international network born out of the conviction that corporate-friendly and state-sponsored 'solutions' to climate change will not save us.... Rising Tide is a grassroots network of groups and individuals who take direct action to confront the roots causes of climate change and promote local, community-based solutions to the climate crisis.
At the time of our interview, Zoe had recently descended a tree she was sitting in to do her part to halt the destruction of a sensitive ecosystem. This destruction would pave the way for what passes for development nowadays, a resort, a golf course, condominiums, a bridge, and a highway. Just lovely! She talks with me about this area, near Langford, BC, and her experience with this form of resistance.
Qwatsinas joined me again for a more detailed interview than our interview back in January. He was interested in talking more about his traditional Nuxalk territory, the 'spirit bear,' the tradeoff between logging, jobs, and intact ecosystems, and much more. Qwatsinas was also a speaker at this year's Wild Earth gathering, and has been committed, for a very long time, to working to protect the rights of First Nations communities and the rights and health of the earth.
The Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters (GUTS) is a local grassroots anti-poverty group that works on a multitude of projects in Guelph. These include weekly free picnics at a downtown location, supporting people in their interactions with landlords, welfare and disability support officials, promoting and initiating harm reduction programs for drug users, and challenging police brutality. One of their members, Aaron, spoke with me in depth about their various campaigns, illuminating some very interesting and disturbing facts pertaining to how the city of Guelph and the Guelph police deal with marginalized people, including people with mental and physical health issues, people of low-income, street youth, drug users, and more.
Following the trail of trade deals like the notorious North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the failed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), Plan Pueblo Panama (PPP), and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), a new trade deal is in the works, called Atlantica. Atlantica, the International Northeast Economic Region (AINER), is charting a course towards breaking down barriers for big business in Atlantic Canada, Eastern Quebec, and the Northeast United States.
Tre Arrow's arrest, alleged crimes, and his three-year imprisonment while awaiting extradition has attracted a lot of attention in Canada and the US. Once on the FBI's top 10 most wanted list, and now in prison in Victoria, BC, Tre is busy trying to fight his extradition to the US based on fraudulent allegation of arson. Tre's legal team was recently in court working in the next stage of their fight to keep him in Canada. I spoke with Shawna Scarpitti, Tre's sister, outside the Vancouver, BC, courthouse.
Kanahus Pellkey is a Secwepemc and Ktnuxa warrior who is a spokesperson for the Secwepemc chapter of the Native Youth Movement. The NYM describes themselves as "a Warrior Society for Indigenous Peoples & Native Youth! Our role is to Defend our Peoples and Territories! NYM uses Education, Agitation, and Direct Action to achieve our goals. Our objective is Freedom!" One of the main issues the NYM has been mobilizing around has been the 2010 Olympics, which has inspired politicians and earth-destroyers to initiate an intense campaign of destruction and displacement. This has seen the further gentrification of the city of Vancouver and the surrounding area, and the destruction of wild areas, habitat for so many beings, in order to make new highways and ski hills... and so much more.
Qwatsinas is a hereditary chief who has been involved in the struggle to protect the Great Bear Rainforest for years. Him and his community has been co-opted and lied to by both the Big Greens (Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, et al) and the government. Not a single piece of land in BC has been legally ceded, yet clearcutting is actually increasing. It was bad enough before, but forests are being destroyed at a faster pace so that the logging companies can get all they can before 2009, when they will be forced to scale back a bit.
Zoe provides her perspective on things as a journalist as well as a participant in the efforts to save what's left of the Great Bear Rainforest. She goes into more detail about the particular deals made between 'environmental' organizations and the government, and talks of other ecological issues in BC, including the Haida Gwaii, and Burn the 2010 Olympics.
Derrick and I talked at length about some of the subjects within a couple books of his which are not yet published, and the interview ended up being quite unique and broad. He talks about how different parasites and viruses have the ability to take control of hosts, and how human behaviour is affected by this. He also talks about our perceptions of shit and waste and different ways of being in relationship with the earth, and how many Native Americans regarded (and still regard) European colonialists as insane - not metaphorically, but in that their cannibalistic, violent, self-destructive way of life is truly a psychosis for which there is no cure.
Near the eastern Ontario town of Deseronto on the morning of January 10, a group of approximately 30 people from the Mohawk community of Tyendinaga blockaded a quarry that would supply cement to an illegal condominium development on their land. It is undisputed that the land, known as the Culbertson Land Tract, was never legally sold or given to any government agency, yet the land claim settlement has been stalled since 1995. The blockade of the quarry is only planned for today, with the purpose of raising awareness. As a result, today the government appointed a negotiator to deal with the issue.
Gwen Olsen spent 15 years as a drug marketer for some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, before suffering adverse reactions from some of the drugs she was taking, leading her to quit her job. Four years after she quit her job, her neice killed herself, a victim of the very drugs Gwen once encouraged doctors to diagnose. Gwen has since become a powerful whistle-blower, authoring a book called Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher: God's Call to Loving Arms, as well as speaking on radio shows and events around North America.
Shannon Keith is an animal rights lawyer and the producer of Behind the Mask, a film that came out in 2006 that explores the animal liberation movement. Shannon is the founder of ARME (Animal Rescue, Media, and Education), which "rescues homeless animals and is focused on stopping the problem at it`s roots, by making educational documentaries that teach people what really happens to animals and about those who risk their lives and freedom to save them." Shannon is also the founder of the production companyUncaged Films, which she started after she learned that she had been an FBI target, labeled as an 'animal rights extremist'. Shannon works to infiltrate the media with a strong message about animal liberation and fighting back against the accusations that people who support animals are 'terrorists,' and Behind the Mask has been screened around the world in the last year.
Ryan Newell is a musician and songwriter, among many other things, who lives in Guelph, Ontario. He has helped develop the indy record label Burnt Oak, which has been active in the region in their work to promote the work of various musicians who share a similar ethos. Ryan and I talked about the politics within his music, primarily the influence the Six Nations land reclamation had on him, and we also talked about life in Guelph, activism, his attempts to infuse politics into the indy music culture, and a lot more.
Stephen Buhner is an earth poet, deep ecologist, and herbalist, as well as author of nine books, including The Lost Language of Plants and The Secret Teachings of Plants. We talked about some of the differences between earth-based worldviews and the scientific, mechanistic worldview, as well as the non-linearity of nature and some of the energetics of life. We also got into talking about the current ecological catastrophe that seems to be everywhere, and how exactly we can go about being alive and response-able in such a painful time.
Richard Heinberg spoke at length with me about his new project, the Oil Depletion Protocol, and discussed different options remaining to industrial civilization at this point in time. He also gave a brief overview of the many problems fundamentally endemic to civilization, and shared his thoughts about what is worth keeping and what is realistic to expect within the next few decades.
Dorothy Smith first became known to me attached to the field of institutional ethnography, which admittedly meant nothing to me at the time. Dorothy and I had a brief conversation about some of her work throughout her 80 years of life, which included how she has come to recognize the perspectives attained by an institutional ethnography to be valuable for knowing what in the world to do about the world. Don't be deterred by the academic wording, for what it comes down to is quite simple.
I spoke with Sean from Daniel's support committee, who shared with us the story of Daniel's arrest, charges, and legal battle, as well as the larger context of the Green Scare and the targeting and jailing of other ecological and animal liberation activists. Daniel is one of 17 people swept up in what has become known as the Green Scare, and is pleading Not Guilty to the charges levelled against him, which include arson and conspiracy. The mandatory minimum sentencing for Daniel, if found guilty, is Life in prison. There would be no chance of parole.
"We need to start imagining a world without the great predators. It is about to become a reality. I stand before you completely defeated. So little has been done since we exposed this last year. The countries involved - India, China and Nepal - have done so little to curb the slaughter. India will soon have no tigers. It's just a handful of years before you have none left." So began another sad day of reading the news... This quote above was from Belinda Wright, someone living in India who is working to stop the illegal killing of tigers. I got a hold of Judy Mills of the Save the Tiger Fund, which is an organization that, "sponsors effective efforts to stop the killing of wild tigers and to enable wild tigers to recover and flourish, while empowering local people to live in balance with natural resources and providing tangible benefits to them whenever possible.
John Seed is an Australian deep ecologist and rainforest activist, who writes and speakes extensively on issues relating to deep ecology, and facilitates workshops designed to break people's identification with the dominant paradigms. He is a co-author of Thinking Like a Mountain - Towards a Council of All Beings, he founded the World Rainforest Report, and has produced five albums of environmental songs.
B. Blake Levitt is an award-winning journalist who has specialized in medical and science writing for nearly two decades. She has researched the biological effects of nonionizing radiation since the late 1970's, and has authored two books, Cell Towers, Wireless Convenience? or Environmental Hazard?, and Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer?s Guide To The Issues And How To Protect Ourselves.
Lynx is an awesome longtime hiphop artist based out of Oakland, California. He recently returned from a tour of the Celtic Nations, and we talked about his insights and experiences gained from touring in such places. One important thing we discussed was the importance of identity, particularly for white folks, and the ways in which knowing one's identity is an extremely empowering thing. We also got into hiphop, colonization, anarchy, and revolution, and Lynx ends our interview with a recently-written rhyme about what revolution means to him.
Steven Best is the co-editor of the recently-published book, Igniting a Revolution: Voices in Defence of the Earth, available from AK Press. Steven is an animal rights activist, author, and associate professor of humanities and philosophy at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he teaches courses such as ethics, social philosophy, animal rights, environmental theory, and philosophy of science and technology. He has written and edited seven books, including Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals (2004). And he is co-founder of the Center of Animal Liberation Affairs, the first group dedicated to the philosophical discussion of animal liberation.
Danny Beaton is a Mohawk of the Turtle Clan, who's grandparents lived on Six Nations territory along the Grand River, where the current Six Nations reclamation is taking place. Danny is a writer, filmmaker, and a whole-heartedly committed speaker of truth. He has produced and directed five nationally broadcast films that feature indigenous spiritual elders voicing their concerns for the need of society to return to spiritual values and the protection of Mother Earth.
Diane Wilson, author of An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas. Diane Wilson was arrested in Houston on December 5th while infiltrating a fundraiser for recently-indicted U.S. Representative Tom Delay. At the time of her arrest Diane was wanted in Texas on Criminal Trespassing charges from 2002, when she had climbed a tower at Dow Chemical to protest the company's continued irresponsibility following its 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, where 150,000 people were poisoned. Diane refused to turn herself in for the trespassing charges until Warren Anderson, former CEO of Union Carbide, turned himself in to the Indian government, where he has been wanted for thirteen years for the Culpable Homicide of thousands in Bhopal. Diane eventually served a 150-day sentence.
Ramona Africa is a lead member of MOVE, a Philadelphia-based organization, which "is a family of strong, serious, deeply committed revolutionaries". A powerful speaker, Ramona explains the principles MOVE organizes around, and talks of the growth of MOVE and the violent reactions by those in power in different levels of government. Eight members of MOVE are in prison, framed for shooting a cop in the back of the neck while they were across the road, in the basement of their house, enduring a massive military operation in which thousands of bullets were fired into their home.
Don't forget there are also lots more interviews on the themed pages at the top left.