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Water Is Life

On May 19th, 2017, members of Deep Green Resistance Santa Barbara attended the Water Is Life: Standing With Standing Rock conference hosted at UC Santa Barbara.  This conference was presented by the Carsey-Wolf Center, the American Indian & Indigenous Collective, the American Indian Student Association, the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and Red Lightning, in addition to receiving support from many other co-sponsoring organizations.

The conference commenced with welcomes from members of the Chumash Nation and conference co-organizers.  The history of environmental activism in Santa Barbara was mentioned, being catalyzed by two large oil spills in the Santa Barbara region.  Despite environmentalists’ efforts, fossil fuel production has only expanded in the region, most recently with three large oil & gas projects proposed in the past few years.  The conference co-organizers expressed their gratitude to the Standing Rock water protectors who traveled to the university to speak, and recognized that we have a lot to learn from them about how to protect the water and land here in Santa Barbara.  After the introduction, there were three panels centering around different themes.

The first panel, entitled “Protecting the Land and the Water,” was moderated by Margaret McMurtrey, a doctoral student in the Department of Religious Studies with an emphasis in Native American Studies.  Participants included Mark Tilsen, Jasilyn Charger, and Joye Braun.  Tilsen is an Oglala Lakota poet, and he served as a nonviolent direct action trainer and police liaison at Standing Rock.  He shared his experiences with security at Standing Rock, noting that the water protectors were aware that there were many malicious infiltrators, in addition to well-meaning “visitors” in the camps.  Their presence made adhering to security culture paramount because of the risk of these infiltrators spreading news to law enforcement or others.  Tilsen now focuses on helping communities to divest from the pipeline, criticizing the “extractive economy” of the dominant culture.  Jasilyn Charger and Joye Braun are both members of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe, and two of the first people to camp at Standing Rock in resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.  Charger helped found the International Indigenous Youth Council, and stated that she became a water protector after hearing the Earth telling her to help.  She reminded the audience that the entire Earth is connected, and that “we need water…[but] we don’t need iPhones.”  That may sound like common sense (and it is probably completely rational to anyone not infected with the wétiko virus), but it is a profound statement in a world where members of the dominant culture have perpetually destroyed the very land and water on which they depend.  Braun spoke of the universal values that united people from many difference backgrounds at the camp, including generosity, honesty, respect, and compassion.  She emphasized that hierarchical social systems like the dominant culture don’t work–those hierarchies are what have gotten us to where we are now–so we need to throw them away and decolonize in order to establish a sustainable way of living.

Panel 1: Protecting the Land and the Water.  From left to right: Margaret McMurtrey,  Joye Braun, Jasilyn Charger, Mark Tilsen.  Photo by Charlie Mountain.

After Tilsen had to leave because of a prior engagement, the conversation turned to the role of women in leadership.  Charger encouraged women in the audience to disobey the traditional feminine gender role: to be brave, powerful, and outspoken, and not to care about being pretty.  She believes women are sacred and have a spiritual connection to the Earth because they can create life.  But patriarchy has caused women to forget that they are sacred because they are so disrespected, especially native women who suffer much higher rates of abuse than the general population and are raped in “man camps” that accompany large extractive projects.  Braun agreed with Charger, and added that the western, civilized, patriarchal point of view has distorted relationships between native women and men by introducing the male supremacist power dynamic.  Patriarchy was enforced in indigenous communities through the Christian church & boarding schools, and the destruction of traditional indigenous knowledge, spiritualities, and cultures.

The second panel focused on media at Standing Rock.  Independent filmmaker Todd Darling, who spent several months at Standing Rock documenting the struggle against DAPL, moderated.  John Bigelow, Paula Antoine, and Myron Dewey spoke about their experiences as part of the media team.  Bigelow, a Hunkpapa Lakota, created the Oceti Sakowin Camp website and media team to send communications from the camp to the outside world.  He spoke of how he lost his “journalistic objectivity” after seeing the way the police abused the water protectors at Standing Rock; he also emphasized the importance of freedom of speech, especially under the current White House administration.  Antoine, a Sicangu Lakota and grandmother, co-founded the Rosebud Spirit Camp in opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.  She served the role of cultural adviser for various tribes at Standing Rock.  Dewey is from the Walker River Paiute Tribe, and founded Digital Smoke Images.  He mentioned the Water Protector Legal Collective, which is providing legal assistance to 814 people arrested at Standing Rock.  Antoine added that about 20% of those cases have been dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Panel 2: Media.  From left to right: Todd Darling, John Bigelow, Paula Antoine, Myron Dewey.  Photo by Charlie Mountain.

Dewey echoed Bigelow’s concerns about freedom of speech and the importance of independent media, as the mainstream media largely ignored the events at Standing Rock.  He live-streamed video footage from the camps on Facebook many times, providing one example when law enforcement was harassing him.  Dewey believes that had he not had his camera rolling at that time, his life may have been taken.  The morally reprehensible behavior of law enforcement towards the nonviolent water protectors was a constant theme throughout the struggle against DAPL, and drawing media attention to these events helps to garner public sympathy.  Corporations and governments know this, which is why they attempt to intimidate journalists and curtail freedom of the press.

The third and final panel of this conference was titled “Decolonization and Indigenous-Centered Leadership,” moderated by Paula Antoine.  Terrell Iron Shell, one of the founders of the Indigenous Youth Council, Michael Cordero, an elder of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation, and Joye Braun participated in the panel.  Iron Shell, an Oglala Lakota and Eastern Band Cherokee, conducted nonviolent direct action trainings at Standing Rock.  He believes that the youth must be the spark to light a fire in the next generation, and we must take our power back from those who are currently in charge.  He asked the audience, “How long are you going to let someone else make decisions for you?”  Cordero helped to found the Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition and to write the resolution in support of Standing Rock, which was passed by the Santa Barbara City Council in November 2016.  He drew parallels between the struggle against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Chumash’s struggle against a proposed LNG plant at Point Conception in the 1980s.  He believes that one of the most important messages he learned from Standing Rock was that alliances must be formed, especially between native peoples, in order for movements to be successful.  Braun shared the story of the day that the Treaty Camp was established on land that the pipeline was meant to cross, but had never been legally ceded by the tribe.  She described the experience as freeing, and encouraged us all to think outside of the box like she and her comrades did that day.

Panel 3: Decolonization and Indigenous-Centered Leadership.  From left to right: Paula Antoine,  Joye Braun, Michael Cordero, Terrell Iron Shell.  Photo by Charlie Mountain.

Extraction Economy

Oil pipelines are everywhere, and they affect everyone.  If you are white enough, rich enough, and/or lucky enough, the pipelines might not be built in your backyard, but no matter who you are, they contaminate the water, air, and land upon which you depend for your life.  The distance does not keep you safe, it only delays alarm.  There are no safe places to hide from a culture and economy based on extraction, drawdown, theft, genocide, and ecocide; this culture eats beautiful forested lands, rich seas, and clear skies and leaves behind deserts, toxic dead zones, and, possibly in the near future, an inhabitable planet.  If it doesn’t seem like this culture and its economy steals wealth of all sorts for the benefit of a few, it’s very likely that you live in an exclusion zone rather than a sacrifice zone.  The exclusion zones are where resources are sent, where power is concentrated, where the in-group is nourished.  Sacrifice zones are where resources are extracted, where power is enforced to maintain subjugation, where the out-group is impoverished.  Even if you recognize the material problems this culture produces, its strong tradition of silencing dissent, erasing indigenous cultures and knowledge, and spreading self-serving disinformation obscure the root cause of these problems.  For thousands of years, the dynamic of the haves and the have-nots has been at the core of an evolving culture that dominates and erases other cultures.  It has taken many forms, including city-states, empires, kingdoms, feudalism, mercantilism, colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, and fascism.  The common denominator is a selfish urge to profit at the expense of others, beginning about 10,000 years ago with the advent of agriculture and male subjugation of women.  This developed into various socioeconomic structures that depend on and thus facilitate the destruction of life.  The dominant culture abuses the earth just as it abuses women.

People who live in the Santa Barbara area know firsthand what oil infrastructure means.  Whether the infrastructure takes the form of offshore oil platforms, oil pipelines, or something else, spills are almost a guarantee.  In 1969, an estimated 3 million gallons of oil spilled from Union Oil’s Platform A into the Santa Barbara Channel; the spill continued at over 1,000 gallons an hour for about a month.  This was the largest oil spill that had ever occurred in US waters, and is considered by many to have catalyzed the modern environmental movement.  Stretching over 35 miles long, the oil slick covered beaches, birds, and marine life, the blowout was caused by inadequate safety measures taken by Union Oil (aka Unocal), similar to how the more recent spill from the Plains All American Pipeline in May of 2015 was caused by inadequate maintenance.  When approximately 143,000 gallons of oil are spilled into the ocean, someone should be held accountable for his actions. Plains All American, the company responsible for the pipeline, is still under investigation for their disastrous operational record of the pipeline.  Since the spill in 2015, the pipeline has not been in operation.  This has recently forced Venoco, an oil company who operated an offshore oil platform in the Santa Barbara Channel as well as onshore facilities, to file for bankruptcy, leaving the decommissioning bill to the State Lands Commission.  The global economy is based on the unsustainable extraction of natural resources.  The top decision-makers of corporations, mostly white men, take what they can and try to sell as much of it as soon as possible.  When some of the real, non-financial costs come to light, these rapacious entities move out and leave the clean-up to somebody else.  There is no justice under business as usual.

Oil surrounds the feet of local resident Morgan Miller as he patrols the beach for oiled wildlife on May 19, 2015 north of Goleta, California.  Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

Resisting Ecocide

How do we effectively resist something that is powerful enough to eliminate entire species and cultures from our world, colonize and enslave many lands and populations, pollute and scar our homes, and even drastically change the global climate?  Effective resistance begins with properly identifying a few key points: the problem, our goal, and a strategy, i.e., a path to achieving said goal.  The problem we face is immense and complex.  It is a global network of systems that consolidate power by taking it from others.  It is huge and powerful, but it is vulnerable.  We can’t sit idly by out of fear, incompetence, or naive hopefulness.  We must act.  As Tilsen said at the Water Is Life conference, “We need incredibly brave, unreasonable people to step up… and we need to follow them.”  If we don’t, civilization will eat our planet until there is no life left.

But what does it meant to resist?  Speakers at the event discussed the decision that water protectors made in differentiating themselves from protesters.  For many people who spoke at the conference, the distinction is dedicating your life to protect the water, rather than  committing a one-time act that accomplishes no material change.  Resistance isn’t a fad, it is a state of living.  It is not a lifestyle choice, it is a life-changing choice.  We must stand collectively against fossil fuel and other key infrastructure that maintain the global industrial complex.  The tactics we employ must be specific to our goals, but we also must be wary of the unintended consequences of our actions.  Michael Cordero advised that in order to be successful as a movement, we each need to look at the material impacts of the status quo and understand what it will take to resist, what are the specific challenges we face, and who are these challenges going to affect; this is necessary to consolidate smaller, more individualized efforts into a more effective collective effort and helps to create an effective long-term strategy.  The easiest way to form an effective strategy is to look at what worked in the past.  When a nearby sacred place known as Point Conception was threatened by the construction of an LNG plant, local Chumash and their allies used similar tactics as were employed at Standing Rock to ensure it was never built.  But victories like this will only be temporary as long as corporations still have the power to steamroll local communities.  And no matter how peaceful the resistance is, the backlash will be extremely violent.

Indigenous peoples on this continent have been resisting the dominant culture for centuries.  Photo by Orlando Begay.

Restoring Indigenous Cultures

Contrary to what most “environmentalists” say, there is no sustainable future with solar panels and wind turbines or some other “green” energy.  Do you ever wonder why the question is: how do we keep the power flowing and growing? instead of: how do we improve our landbase? how do we enter into mutually beneficial relationships with those around us, both humans and non-humans?

Instead, we should look to those who have continued traditions that have lasted for thousands of years.  We need to listen to indigenous voices for many reasons, and self-preservation is just one.  Restoring relationships between people is another.  Healing the land is yet another.  Civilization has been destroying landbases for thousands of years.  Contemporary environmental destruction is so starkly “destructive” only because it is industrialized and mechanized.  In the US, specifically, the governments have been committing ecocide and genocide since their arrival.  The attack on indigenous peoples has not stopped, the tactics have just shifted.  We can’t keep trying to reform the global culture of colonial imperialism.  We need a serious resistance movement to create biophilic human communities, for the sake of life on Earth.  And to figure out what that means today, we can start by listening to those who have been fighting this fight for generations.

The third meeting of the DGR Santa Barbara book club was held on Sunday, May 7th at the Eastside Library.  We discussed chapter 4 of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet.  The following questions were posed to inspire discussion:

1) How did the “Alternative vs. Oppositional Culture” comparison affect your understanding of this distinction and your understanding of political action?
2) Do you believe that an alternative culture built around the project of an individualistic experience (whether spiritual or psychological) can create a resistance movement?
3) Where have you seen millenarianism in political movements? How does this affect the effectiveness of those movements, especially ones you have been a part of?
4) Do you see a culture of resistance forming in this country, in this state, in Santa Barbara? How could we help to encourage a culture of resistance here?
5) How does the dominant culture teach us to ignore the wisdom of our elders? Do you agree with the analysis presented in this chapter that resistance movements need both the young and the old to succeed?
6) What was your favorite part of the reading?

A couple people agreed that this is their favorite chapter in the entire book because it really clarifies the difference between the alternative culture of, for example, the hippies, and an oppositional culture.  Alternative cultures cannot create a true, effective resistance movement because they do not challenge the structures of power that maintain the status quo.  This distinction is really valuable, especially for young people exploring different groups and discovering what they want to do with their lives.

The discussion then turned to the concept of challenging monogamy as an integral part of certain alternative cultures.  In most cases, this is nothing more than a convenient, radical-sounding excuse for misogynistic men to share sexual access to women.  However, some women have also critiqued monogamy from a feminist perspective.  In their vision, relationships should be based on women’s and men’s wants being equally important.  Harmful, gendered socialization, which perpetuates the patriarchal idea of men owning women, would not exist.  This led to a few attendees sharing their views about how another, egalitarian society could look and how relationships in that culture would be different than those in the dominant culture today.

During the meeting, we did not have time to fully cover the discussion questions; a discussion about chapter 4 will be continued through email.  If you would like to be on that email list, please contact us at santabarbara@deepgreenresistance.org.

If you are interested in attending future book club meetings, subscribe to our local chapter news using the box on the right side of our website.  The book club is taking a break for the summer.  Our next meeting will be in late August.

The second meeting of the DGR Santa Barbara book club was held on Sunday, April 9th at the Eastside Library.  We discussed Chapters 2 and 3 of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet.  The following questions were posed to inspire discussion:

1) Do you think civilization, industrial or otherwise, is redeemable? Why or why not?
2) How did the “Liberalism vs. Radicalism” comparison affect your understanding of this distinction and your understanding of political action?
3) How has your understanding of any of the four main categories of action discussed in Chapter 3 (legal remedies, direct action, withdrawal, and spirituality) changed?
4) Do you think an underground movement should mobilize to dismantle civilization?
5) Do you think it is ever appropriate to use violence as a political tool?
6) What was your favorite part of the reading?

After the DGR members present at the meeting described our definition of civilization, nobody agreed that it could be redeemable.  Civilization is inherently unsustainable, because cities–the defining features of a civilization–require the importation of resources.  This means that civilization is not synonymous with culture or community; for the majority of humanity’s history we did not live in cities, but we still had communities and various cultures.  The rise of civilization severed humans’ connection to the land and led to widespread cases of what are known as the “diseases of civilization:” cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.

There was a lot of interest in understanding the difference between liberals and radicals.  One attendee pointed out that in the reading, Lierre Keith states that the left starts with a rejection of capitalism.  So the major political party that posits itself as on the “left,” the Democratic Party, is not really on the left at all.  During the meeting, we talked about how liberalism views the individual as the basic social unit, while radicalism views groups or classes as the basic social unit.  In the US, local communities cannot legally stop giant corporations from poisoning their water, soil, and air because an individual’s right to commerce is more important, and corporations are individuals under US law.  Radicals understand that corporations are generally a class of rich, white men exploiting others for power and that local communities should be able to protect themselves from exploitation and environmental disaster.  Liberals believe that racist, misogynistic, and other hateful & violent individuals should have their recruitment strategies protected because of “freedom of speech.”  However, radicals recognize that someone’s right to free speech should not supersede oppressed groups’ right to safety.

DGR members appreciate how the organization recognizes that legal remedies and some form of leadership can be very beneficial to resistance movements.  Many other leftist groups have a knee-jerk rejection of any authority and the pursuit of legal strategies, regardless of their effectiveness.  We believe there can be a difference between how our resistance movements are organized and how the new society that we want to replace civilization will be organized.

DGR is a strictly aboveground organization, and so we have no knowledge about underground movements that is not already public information.  We are outspoken that an underground movement is needed to dismantle industrial civilization for the sake of life on Earth.  One potential danger of an underground movement is that destroying infrastructure in one place could allow civilized people elsewhere to ramp up their destruction.  That is why any underground strategy must target key points that will result in global, cascading systems failure.  The examples of Chernobyl and the Northeast blackout of 2003 were brought up.  Even after the vast nuclear fallout at Chernobyl, the region has began to recover and now there are even packs of wolves in the area.  Just hours after the 2003 blackout, air (and light) pollution had significantly diminished.  Both of these cases resulted from operator error, not a targeted attack.

The meeting went very well and we were having such a great conversation that we ran out of time to talk about the last 2 questions!  A discussion about chapters 2 and 3 will be continued through email.  If you would like to be on that email list, please contact us at santabarbara@deepgreenresistance.org.

If you are interested in attending future book club meetings, subscribe to our local chapter news using the box on the right side of our website.

The first meeting of the DGR Santa Barbara book club was held on Sunday, March 12th at the Eastside Library.  We discussed Chapter 1 of Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet.  Some questions were posed to inspire discussion: 1) What was your favorite part of the reading? 2) How does this relate to what’s happening in the Santa Barbara area? 3) How can you apply this to your activism? 4) Do you believe this culture will undergo a voluntary transition to a safe and sustainable way of living?

One of the first remarks about this chapter was the disturbing realization that all the statistics mentioned (the average female polar bear’s weight before hibernation has dropped from 650 to 507 lbs, plastic in the Pacific outweighs plankton 48 to 1, etc.) are probably much worse now that is it 2017 (the book was published in 2011).

The group discussed the question of whether or not technology will save us–the implication was that “us” means “humans” and not “the planet.”  The following question was posed: is technology serving us or are we slaves to technology?  One attendee commented that we are living in a time where some people are talking about humans going extinct in the next 50 years, while others are talking about becoming immortal by uploading their consciousness onto a computer.

The conversation later turned towards the issue of what sustainability means.  It was pointed out that the word “sustainable” has become practically meaningless in the mainstream because of its widespread use to describe things like mining & asphalt corporation’s “environmental stewardship.”  If humans were to truly live sustainably, that way of life could look something like the way our ancestors lived before the advent of agriculture.  The vision for a better way of life will vary from person to person, and some do not necessarily include humans in that vision.  However, if humans are to survive after industrial civilization has ended, how would we culturally reproduce?

All of those who attended appeared to agree that the clarity of the writing inspires us to action.  We wondered how anyone could read something like this and not agree that this destructive way of life must end immediately.

A discussion of this chapter will be continued through email.  If you would like to be on that email list, please contact us at santabarbara@deepgreenresistance.org.

If you are interested in attending future book club meetings, subscribe to our local chapter news using the box on the right side of our website.

The Women’s March took place on January 21st, the day after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, in Washington, D.C.  Upwards of 500,000 participated in the march, over twice the anticipated 200,000 and three times the estimated 160,000 in attendance at the inauguration.

View of the National Mall, taken by the National Park Service EarthCam at noon ET, an hour before the march was scheduled to begin.

Sister marches also occurred throughout the U.S. and across all seven continents; a total of 673 marches were organized.  Political scientists have estimated that somewhere between 3.3 million and 4.6 million people marched in the U.S., making it the largest protest in the country’s history.  The highest turnout was in downtown Los Angeles, where over 750,000 people filled the streets.

This view does not capture the entire crowd in downtown Los Angeles, where traffic was completely shut down for blocks around Pershing Square for the march.

The organizers said that they did not plan the event as a protest, but instead as a response to “rhetoric of the past election cycle.”  They do not even describe their non-confrontational demonstration as anti-Trump.  The official website states that the march “will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights.”  Their language is very timid and insubstantial, with no mention of patriarchy, female liberation, or the fact that men are the oppressors of women.  Let alone naming the misogynist who was just inaugurated as head of “our new government”!
Fortunately, women did not listen to the “not an anti-Trump protest” message.  We showed up in D.C., chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go” and, “not my president.”  One sign at the Los Angeles march read “EXPECT RESISTANCE YOU FUCKING NAZI,” clearly addressing Trump and his racist hate speech.

A sign at the DC march reads “abuser in chief” with a red circle and line through the text.  Donald Trump raped Ivana, his ex-wife, and has been accused of sexual assault by several other women.

In a country where “vagina” is a bad word, where women are not allowed to make choices about our own bodies, where a rapist who has made disgusting comments about women has been elected to the highest political office, women are fighting back.  In D.C., women loudly exclaimed “my body my choice,” and “a woman’s place is in the struggle.”  Protest signs read “keep your rosaries off my ovaries,” “pussy grabs back,” and “we need to talk about the elephant in the womb.”  We refuse to shut up about our anatomy, despite how uncomfortable it makes men, as long as those same men continue to oppress us by restricting our reproductive freedom and objectifying our female bodies.

A sign at the LA march reads “we were all born from womyn.”

A group of radical feminists (perhaps inspired by Meghan Murphy’s article) marched in DC with a huge banner reading “WOMEN RISE UP! AGAINST TRUMP AGAINST RAPE AGAINST THE SEXIST STATE.”  They also had signs reading “ANGRY, HAIRY FEMINISTS UNITE!” and “SISTERHOOD IS POWERFUL.”  Women will not quietly ask for our dignity, our rights, and our humanity, we will demand them.  Because we know that the Trump administration and all the other misogynists of the world will not listen to our appeals.  They will only listen to political force.  Sisters across the globe, join the resistance to fight for your liberation!

A sign from the DC march reads “POWER CONCEDES NOTHING WITHOUT A DEMAND,” a quote from Frederick Douglass.  Keep this in mind over the next four years.

On Sunday, November 6th, the Santa Barbara chapter of Deep Green Resistance hosted the first stop of the Women’s Resistance Tour in Los Angeles, CA.  There were approximately 25 attendees, traveling all the way from Sacramento in the north to San Diego in the south.

 

smash

The focus of the Women’s Resistance Tour stop in LA was to give attendees the tools to engage in effective radical feminist activism to end patriarchy.

 

There were two presentations in the morning:

1. “Radical Feminist Resistance” discussed the distinction between liberals and radicals, described the categories of patriarchal control & examples of ways to respond, outlined the difference between alternative and oppositional cultures, and presented some examples of effective resistance movements.

2. “Misogyny and Ecocide” discussed the link between our woman-hating culture and the devaluation of the natural world, including the fact that the advent of agriculture & civilization contributed to both the formation of patriarchy & militaries as well as marking the beginning of widespread ecocide & the severing of humankind’s connection to nature.

 

The afternoon consisted of different workshops for the female and male attendees.  The women’s group started off with a kickass presentation from Warrior Sisters, an organization that provides free self-defense classes to women in order to combat the high rates of violence against women in our culture.

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Warrior Sisters gave a presentation about their organization. You can learn more here: http://warrior-sisters.org/.

 

The two representatives from Warrior Sisters demonstrated some helpful techniques in setting boundaries and, when necessary, physically stopping perpetrators.

WS

Two Warrior Sisters trainers showed us how to break free of a wrist grab.

 

Next, the women heard from a Board member of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), a radical feminist organization dedicated to the total liberation of women.  WoLF is currently in the process of suing the United States federal government over the recent joint DOJ/DOE guidance that redefines “sex” to mean “gender identity” under Title IX.  This sets a dangerous precedent for the rights of women & girls in the United States, as Title IX is the only piece of federal legislation which protects females as a historically oppressed class.  Redefining Title IX to erase biological sex, the basis of the oppression of women & girls under patriarchy, will eliminate a multitude of protections for women & girls, such as: certain scholarships in STEM fields, separate locker rooms and showers for females in public schools, anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, and much more.

wolf

WoLF is suing the U.S. federal government to protect the rights of women and girls.  You can donate to the legal fundraiser here: https://womensliberationfront.nationbuilder.com/.

 

The women’s group concluded with a discussion of how to strategize when organizing radical feminist actions, inspired by this video by Zoe Blunt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vS4dJ2WWLE.  The end of the workshop consisted of a discussion on a topic that the women attendees chose: ending sexual exploitation of women & girls (i.e., pornography and prostitution).  I was so inspired by the group’s passion about this topic and look forward to working with them on this issue in the future.

 

The men’s group participated in two discussion-oriented presentations entitled “Male Violence: A Men’s Problem” and “How to Be a Better Pro-Feminist Ally,” led by two male members of DGR, Kyle and Dillon.  “Our discussions went very well.  It was nice to sit down and talk in a group of similarly-minded men about how to improve our activism, especially when we shared and critiqued each others’ stories of what to do and what not to do in relation to bystander intervention,” said Kyle.

Men are not feminists, but they can ally themselves with feminists to help fight patriarchy.  You can read DGR’s Feminist Solidarity Guidelines here: http://deepgreenresistance.org/en/what-we-do/deep-green-resistance-feminist-solidarity-guidelines/.

 

It was great seeing all the attendees talking to each other and getting excited about the activities throughout the day.  I really felt like we were coming together as a radical feminist community, and this was an essential part of creating a resistance movement against patriarchy here in southern California.

 

If you are interested in seeing the presentations from this event, or want to be involved with organizing events like this in the future, please email us at santabarbara@deepgreenresistance.org.