Statement from the Yellow Finch tree-sit in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline

An “Earth Day” statement from the Yellow Finch tree sit blockade in the path of the Mountain Valley Pipeline— April 22, 2020 — by Biryani Cudweed

pic via Appalachians Against Pipelines

To our friends, true hearted allies, and especially our accomplices — we here at the tree sits hope life finds you and yours healthy, well, and joyous this springtide, in spite of these sometimes scary and tragic (46000+ lost to the virus in the so-called US! WTF) and sometimes hilariously weird (Missouri is set to sue China, apparently) times.

Gonna say it again: wash your damn hands, and mask up like it’s “The Great Train Robbery!”

Well, I’ll get to the point and the proverbial snag in the forest today folks: we here at the sits wish to tell you to have a very good, pleasant day.

“What the hell, no Earth Day greetings!? No chirpy, pithy jewels of woodsy wisdom!?” I can already hear the good readership folks murmur in surprise and confused, disappointed dismay as they put away their smartphones in disgust.


One single measly day of giving the Earth the proper attention and respect, one day of concern (heck, even a well intentioned Friday school strike or tree planting campaign), one day of remembering our place within the vastly intricate ecosystems of the planet is simply a performative bandaid and neoliberal capitalist dog and pony show for social media clout and the easing of settler consciences, if one does not remember the continued theft and genocide committed by capitalist white supremacist settlers upon the Indigenous people here on Turtle Island, who have always been here as long as their stories have said and have been always and ever the caretakers of the land.

“Yeah, yeah, I know Miss Cudweed, but what am I supposed to do? My friends and I planted like a zillion trees today, and we know that the land is stolen and occupied and that banks fund and prop up the fossil fuel behemoths killing the planet! So what do you want us to do?!”

Aside from continued support, land reparations, and forming your own various blockades (however that looks for each situation), here are some ideas to consider!

COVID 19 disproportionately affects elders, folks with auto-immune deficiencies, Black and Indigenous communities, and detained migrants and prisoners. Mutual aid should not be thought of as mere buzzwords, and rent strike is not just a good band! These forms of resistance and direct action are absolutely critical right now! Check up on folks, make sure people who have community and resources to live well. Make sure out of school children are getting fed.

Protest the actual non-essential services: the prison and imperialist military industrial complexes which drain resources and pollute the Earth, robbing people of life and freedom, ICE detention centers which separate families and cage innocents whose only crime is to cross arbitrary lines set out by colonial robbers, and the bloated fossil fuel industry!

$1200? LOL. While the most at risk who yet have the privilege of being documented receive a pittance, Trump is promising the oil and gas industry yet another handout in the form of a bailout. And we the poor and marginalized are supposed to accept our charitable scraps gratefully, shut up, and thank the nice men in suits? Fuck that.

Now more than ever, let us stand firmly and bravely united in solidarity together — six feet apart, of course — and reevaluate and reject the capitalist and utterly untenable mindset that reduces both us and the planet we inhabit to a means of profit and power for the bankers and CEOs who control government policy and write the mainstream historical and cultural narrative.

Capitalism is the most dangerous and destructive pandemic we face.

Solidarity with Wet’suwet’en! Abolish ICE! Doom to the pipeline! Be well and blessed folks!

– Biryani Cudweed, “Worst Trans Girl Ever”
(And everyone at Yellow Finch)

Show your solidarity on May Day!

Happy May Day!

pic via Just Seeds

On this May 1st, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re finding ourselves in a very different world than we imagined two months ago and it’s very clear that we need solidarity and mutual aid to meet the challenges of the time.

Across North America, groups are fighting the corporate bosses and politicians that continue their drive for power and profit despite the precarious and desperate times. Essential workers are walking out of their jobs demanding safety and benefits, prisoners are fighting incarceration, tenants are going on rent strike and community-based mutual aid groups are providing support to those in most need.

These Groups need your support, now more than ever.

All of these fights are connected. We’re asking you to support these groups listed below with a donation (large or small), so they can continue their important work of mutual aid and solidarity.

We need you to show your support this May Day:

Please donate to these groups today, so that they can keep leading in inspiring and necessary work keeping communities safe and healthy. 

Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!

Love and Solidarity, Rising Tide North America

Film Review: The Messy World of Movements

The Messy World of Movements

by Ananda Lee Tan

After hearing mixed reviews about “Planet of the Humans” – released by Michael Moore on Earth Day, I had to watch. So, here’s a quick review:

This film has certainly caught some of our Big Green friends with their pants down, and while singling out these groups and individuals was probably unfair, the script is generally quite accurate.

I say unfair because, while many national environmental NGOs have been promoting some shitty things for years, like biomass burning, fracked gas, waste incinerators, carbon trading (and the list goes on), the Sierra Club and Bill McKibben are far from the worst culprits. There are wealthier, more influential NGOs whose hands are far dirtier. And these folks that director (Jeff Gibbs) goes after, have tried in recent years to make up for their past stupidity and misguided (usually misled by funders) support for a number of polluting industries.

That said, I couldn’t help but smile when Gibbs referred to “The Logging Conservancy”, because that’s what some other, very big greens like The Nature Conservancy continue to do – where much of our grassroots movement time is wasted getting them out of the way, so that we can deal with the polluting, extractive industries they provide cover for.

The first half of the movie is flimsy (boring, really), with timeline inaccuracies around the transitions from coal to gas and biomass, some misleading perspectives on wind and solar, as well as some cringe-worthy moments involving hippy academics dropping Malthusian, population bomb mumbo-jumbo.

Perhaps most egregious is what is lacking in the film. Where there are thousands of Environmental Justice organizers from Black, Brown, Indigenous, Migrant and Poor White communities across the U.S. – folks who have, most directly and successfully, been fighting the dirty energy industries on the frontlines for decades, the best Gibbs can do is interview a visiting activist from India? Really? And while Vandana’s brief spot is a good one, this lack of representation from the climate justice movement is the biggest miss of the plot!

Perhaps, if Gibbs had taken the time to meet with our movements working directly on the frontlines of climate chaos, collaborating with allies in labor and social justice movements to advance Just Transition strategies that serve people and planet, he would have discovered a more positive, hopeful and inspiring way to end the film.

Overall, I’d say this Earth Day release is only worth watching if you’re keen to know the complexities, contradictions and internal conflicts of our environmental movement.

However, unless you’re already an activist, don’t look to this film to provide any direction or clarity on the global ecological mess we’re in.

And if you are already active in our movements, I’d recommend skipping to around the 55-min mark where Josh from Energy Justice Network takes the film crew to look at the biomass incinerator in Vermont. The film only starts getting informative after that point..


LA Times: In the redwoods, logging and tree sitting continue, even as the pandemic shuts mills

cross-posted from Redwood Forest Defense

Outside Trinidad, Calif., in an area known as Strawberry Rock, Walter, a 22-year-old UCLA student, is taking part in a tree sit-in to prevent a logging company from cutting redwoods and other trees.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

In the redwoods, logging and tree sitting continue, even as the pandemic shuts mills

By Susanne Rust

April 16, 2020