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NOW: Support the Tar Sands Blockade, includes DIY direct action supply list!

BREAKING: Does effective direct action get more exciting than this? You can support the ongoing action: here's their wish list. At the same time, an excellent inventory of what YOU'LL NEED to scramble a tree-sit if the XL Pipeline is coming your way. To read this list is like being there, and I think, it brings you one step closer. CLIMB GEAR • 91/2-12 mm static kern-mantle/ arborist climb lines • 5/8ths CWC truck rope or Tytan • arborist throw lines and throw bags. • 6mm accessory cord (climb rated) • 1” tubular webbing • rock/tree climbing harnesses all sizes mostly medium • locking climb rated steel and aluminum carabiners • climb rated pulleys (preferably tandem speed) • Petzl steel quick links TECH • gmrs radios with silent and ear bud options • Energizer XP18000s • batteries (AA/AAA/Go Pro Batteries) • GoProHero2?s & extra batteries • Netbooks • small portable solar panels with battery • Pelican cases (large and small) • deer/trail cameras • satellite phones • MacBook Pro’s • MiniDV tapes • 16GB SDcards (Class 10 preferred) • 8GB+ flash drives • Canon VIXIA HF R300?s (and extra batteries & charger deck) • verizon wifi hotspots • ATN PVS7-3A 3rd Gen or similar Night Vision Binocular Goggles • Field watches • car inverters • 1TB USB External Hard Drives (mac&pc compatible) MEDICAL • splints • coband • braces (limb) • disinfectant/antibacterial swabs • compact girny • saline • epsom salt • joint braces • gauze rolls • ace bandage • Benedryl (anti-allergy) • nitrile gloves • trauma shears APPAREL • rain gear • warm clothes (wool or synthetic earth tones) and socks! • tarps/tents • wool blanketss • sleeping bags • camping hammocks • headlamps with blue or green (preferred) or red LED option • work gloves • towels TOOLS & MATERIALS • angle grinder • chopsaws • battery powered drills and impact drivers (makita, delta, bosch) • welder (arc) • handsaws • shovels • pickaxes • rope: seriously, anything • 550 parachute cord • chain • knives • multitools (Leatherman or Gerber) • plywood (3/8”-3/4” – 4?x8? sheets) • 2Χ4?s • decking screws • 3/8-1/2” bolts and nuts FOOD • coffee (good and strong) • bulk grains • produce • spices • condiments • non-perishables • EmergenC • tea • MRE’s ART • muslin/canvas • paint (buckets and spray) • general art supplies • projector (mac/pc compatible) • gromet kit • paint brushes • paint sticks /mops • supplies for building 15 ft + puppets OTHER • cans of rolling tobacco • vehicles (junk or drivable) • All Terrain Vehicles ATV’s • thermoses • dirt bikes • toilet paper • soap • water filters • backpacks • all-natural cleaning supplies • camelbaks • generator 600watt plus • all-natural mosquito repellant • condoms • tampons • verizon prepaid phone cards

Emma Goldman on Direct Action

Yes it was Emma Goldman who said "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." It was no mere quip. The turn of the last century activist was a fierce advocate of every social reform and was ultimately exiled to Europe for challenging forced conscription. Do you wonder what else Goldman had to say, about political violence, prisons, patriotism, puritanism, the traffic of women, suffrage, poverty, birth control, and the struggle of minorities? Far from being a cynic, Goldman offered an alternative to the false hope of the ballot box. What does the history of parliamentarism show? Nothing but failure and defeat, not even a single reform to ameliorate the economic and social stress of the people. Laws have been passed and enactments made for the improvement and protection of labor. Thus it was proven only last year that Illinois, with the most rigid laws for mine protection, had the greatest mine disasters. In States where child labor laws prevail, child exploitation is at its highest, and though with us the workers enjoy full political opportunities, capitalism has reached the most brazen zenith. ... It may be claimed that men of integrity would not become corrupt in the political grinding mill. Perhaps not; but such men would be absolutely helpless to exert the slightest influence in behalf of labor, as indeed has been shown in numerous instances. The State is the economic master of its servants. Good men, if such there be, would either remain true to their political faith and lose their economic support, or they would cling to their economic master and be utterly unable to do the slightest good. The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue. The political superstition is still holding sway over the hearts and minds of the masses, but the true lovers of liberty will have no more to do with it. Instead, they believe with Stirner that man has as much liberty as he is willing to take. ... Universal suffrage itself owes its existence to direct action. If not for the spirit of rebellion, of the defiance on the part of the American revolutionary fathers, their posterity would still wear the King's coat. If not for the direct action of a John Brown and his comrades, America would still trade in the flesh of the black man. True, the trade in white flesh is still going on; but that, too, will have to be abolished by direct action. Trade-unionism, the economic arena of the modern gladiator, owes its existence to direct action. It is but recently that law and government have attempted to crush the trade-union movement, and condemned the exponents of man's right to organize to prison as conspirators. Had they sought to assert their cause through begging, pleading, and compromise, trade-unionism would today be a negligible quantity. In France, in Spain, in Italy, in Russia, nay even in England (witness the growing rebellion of English labor unions), direct, revolutionary, economic action has become so strong

Backing Obama when you know better

Overheard from a celebrated activist who normally advocates direct-action over electoral wait-and-see, having joked that voting only encourages false expectations:   "I voted for Obama, but after he renewed the Patriot Act, I vowed never to vote again." (Applause.) "But if Sarah Palin runs again, I'll vote." (Applause.)   And that's the role Sarah Palin plays: bad cop to the lesser evil.

Earth First! Destroy What Destroys You!

It's your last chance to see the EARTH FIRST! ROADSHOW as it passes through Denver, on its way to the Round River Rendezvous. Tonight, 7PM at Capitol Hill's Gypsy House Cafe, at 13th and Marion. From High Country Earth First: A multi-dimensional presentation with an introduction to and history of Earth First!, News from the front lines of the radical environmental movement, information on local campaigns and struggles, puppet shows, skill sharing, music, movies, and much more! Come to the Tuesday night event to learn more about High Country Earth First!, Colorado's very own Earth First! group, and all of the awesome campaigns we are kicking off!

Animal experimentation is messed up

The homes of two UC Santa Cruz researchers were attacked by animal rights extremists with fire bombs, purportedly for using lab animals in UCSC scientific experimentation. "I don’t know what they did to deserve that," a 19-year-old student bystander told the NYT "I think that’s kind of messed up to do that to someone’s home.”   Sure it's messed up. Too bad not even the news articles about this case could spare a sentence about how lab animals are mistreated. What is it that has the animal liberation extremists so upset?

July 5 protest Starbucks unfair labor

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union has declared a Global Day of Action to protest Starbucks' anti-union termination. According to their press release: Coordinated Actions Across the U.S., Europe, and Latin America Could Be Largest Ever Against Coffee Chain. Grand Rapids , MI ( 06-30-2008 )- Union members and social activists are gearing up for what may be the largest, global coordinated action against Starbucks ever. Protesters will decry what they see as an epidemic of anti-union terminations by the world’s largest coffee chain. Starbucks and its CEO Howard Schultz have exhibited a pattern of firing outspoken union baristas ever since the advent of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union (SWU) in 2004 and are demonstrating the same practice against the CNT union in Spain. "On July 5th people around the world will show Starbucks that we, baristas along with our supporters, will have a voice and Starbucks discrimination and repression of our efforts will not go unchecked," said Cole Dorsey, a fired Starbucks barista and a member of the SWU. ...Actions against Starbucks will take place in: Argentina, Chile, the British Isles, Italy, Japan, Norway, Serbia, Poland, Slovakia, 4 cities in Spain, 6 cities in Germany. In the US: Phoenix, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles.

Direct Action versus Indirect Inaction

One hundred years on, we're still told we can elect representatives to look out for us in Congress. But do they represent us? Do they end the war, reject FISA, impeach the president? The register-to-vote work-through-official-channels folk take us for HOW stupid?

Eugene V. Debs “When I shall fight”

I am not opposed to all war, nor am I opposed to fighting under all circumstances, and any declaration to the contrary would disqualify me as a revolutionist. When I say I am opposed to war I mean ruling class war, for the ruling class is the only class that makes war. It matters not to me whether this war be offensive or defensive, or what other lying excuse may be invented for it, I am opposed to it, and I would be shot for treason before I would enter such a war. Capitalists' wars for capitalist conquest and capitalist plunder must be fought by the capitalists themselves so far as I am concerned, and upon that question there can be no compromise and no misunderstanding as to my position. I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth; I am a citizen of the world. I would not violate my principles for God, much less for a crazy kaiser, a savage czar, a degenerate king, or a gang of pot-bellied parasites. But while I have not a drop of blood to shed for the oppressors of the working class and the robbers of the poor, the thieves and looters, the brigands and murderers whose debauched misrule is the crime of the ages, I have a heart-full to shed for their victims when it shall be needed in the war for their liberation. I am not a capitalist soldier; I am a proletarian revolutionist. I do not belong to the regular army of the plutocracy, but to the irregular army of the people. I refuse to obey any command to fight from the ruling class, but I will not wait to be commanded to fight for the working class. I am opposed to every war but one; I am for the war with heart and soul, and that is the world-wide war of social revolution. In that war I am prepared to fight in any way the ruling class may make necessary, even to the barricades. There is where I stand and where I believe the Socialist Party stands, or ought to stand, on the question of war. -- Eugene V. Debs, When I Shall Fight - Appeal to Reason (September 11, 1915)

Tim Robbins is an activist god

Maybe it's the start of baseball season -- I'm watching the 22nd inning of the Rockies-Padres game! -- that has me remembering the first time I saw the movie Bull Durham. It was a movie that had everything I love -- sport (baseball), romance (Costner and Sarandon) and humor (in the form of an idiotic-yet-talented young pitcher). The imprint of Bull Durham remained on me for a long time. I pictured Crash Davis and Annie Savoy living in Happily Ever After, and hoped that someday I might be as lucky. Imagine my horror when I heard that Susan Sarandon had taken up with, not Crash, but the nimrod pitcher Nuke LaLoosh. In real life! The guy was named Tim Robbins, he was twelve years her junior and, worst of all, he was a complete moron. Or so I thought, and continued to stubbornly think, for many years. Well, no more. Tim Robbins is now the object of my fantasies. He is a guy who is brilliant and passionate about not only sex and sport, but social issues as well. The thing that sets Tim Robbins apart more than anything is his ability to clearly articulate his positions, bravely defy social norms and niceties, cleverly connect historical dots, and positively SKEWER lesser mortals with their idiocy, hypocrisy, dishonesty, immorality and overall worthlessness, while making them laugh at the same time. He is so completely likeable that those who have been ripped to shreds by his razor wit invite him to have another go. When social change is a goal, when mindsets must be shaped and molded, we need more activists like Tim Robbins. People who strike us as pompous and obnoxious, who are heavy-handed and unlikeable, are rarely successful change agents. To educate, to influence, to sway an opinion requires first to be heard. I know that I personally refuse to listen to anyone who browbeats me, provides no inspiration, and displays a complete lack of social awareness. I refuse to cooperate in any way, even if I agree with the vision. I doubt I'm the only one. If you haven't already done so ten times, you should listen to (not read) Tim Robbins' keynote address to the National Association of Broadcasters. He plays the audience in a masterful progression from inculpation to inspiration, while they cling to his every word. In the end he's left them feeling that he's an ally, that they can work together. The broadcasters are free to walk out the door feeling empowered, dignity intact, eyes opened, ready to go. Tim Robbins possesses keen social intelligence. Unlike many activists, he isn't an obstacle to change.

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