Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflections on EF! Action Camp



Though different in character from other Action Camps I've attended, this one marks an important milestone in a shifting landscape. Pacific Lumber is no more. Their violently confrontational bully tactics against activists are hopefully gone too. We face a new situation in that other companies, who's logging practices were hidden in the shadow of PL's logging for years, are now receiving attention from direct action activists. Regardless of the gap toothed environmental laws of this state, Salmon and Spotted Owls continue to slip towards extinction, clearcutting of forests is rampant. Action must be taken.

I think the difference in the camp had to do with the fact that past camps were able to easily slip into the framework of the Earth First! campaign that had been ongoing for years and predated all of our involvement. The campaign to save the ancient forests being liquidated by Maxxam/PL was heated and intense. Though we are still in a state of emergency regarding the extinction of species and mass human suffering related to environmental degradation, we have stemmed the flow in one area (PL) and need to use our triage skills to assess our next move. We face a new, yet familiar, set of challenges and introspection and situational analysis played a big part in the camp.

If the past 20 years have taught us anything as a bio-centric culture, it's how to wage a non-violent direct action campaign in defense of the Earths life supporting eco-systems. That knowledge has grown and evolved and I'm hopeful that as we move forward as a movement it will be applied effectively and strategically. Much that we fought for was logged, however individual ancient trees, and whole forests of them, remain standing thanks to the hard work of this community and those who came from around the world to join in the defense of these globally recognized ancient forests.

We have accomplished things no one thought possible, but sadly, forests are still being exploited at the hands of the few and at the expense of the many. We will continue to stand up for the Earth as long as the web of life that we all rely on for survival is under assault.


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