Why Deep Green Resistance is Not Coming to The Flying Brick Library
About a month ago, a group called Deep Green Resistance asked to come speak at the Flying Brick. We ultimately decided not to host them, and since it is rare that we turn down events or touring groups, we thought that we owed an explanation to our volunteers, friends, and comrades.
Deep Green Resistance describes themselves as a group whose goal “is to deprive the rich of their ability to steal from the poor and the powerful of their ability to destroy the planet. This will require defending and rebuilding just and sustainable human communities nestled inside repaired and restored landbases. This is a vast undertaking but it needs to be said: it can be done. Industrial civilization can be stopped” (from the “About” section on deepgreenresistance.org).
Based on this description, many of us were extremely excited, as it tied into our interests, passions, and our work regarding environmental and anti-civilization projects.
However, after we sent the request out over the list-serve for feedback and approval, we were surprised and dismayed by the reaction. There were several responses that brought up issues of transphobia, transmisogyny, classism, and racism within the organization– specifically, this following passage, part of an email written by Lierre Keith, co-author of the DGR book:
“Try this on. I am a rich person stuck in a poor person’s body. I’ve always enjoyed champagne rather than beer, and always knew I belonged in first class not economy, and it just feels right when people wait on me. My insurance company should give me a million dollars to cure my Economic Dysphoria.
Or how about this. I am really Native American. How do I know? I’ve always felt a special connection to animals, and started building tee pees in the backyard as soon as I was old enough. I insisted on wearing moccasins to school even though the other kids made fun of me and my parents punished me for it. I read everything I could on native people, started going to pow wows and sweat lodges as soon as I was old enough, and I knew that was the real me. And if you bio-Indians don’t accept us trans-Indians, then you are just as genocidal and oppressive as the Europeans.
Gender is no different. It is a class condition created by a brutal arrangement of power. I can’t fathom how mutilating people’s bodies to fit an oppressive power arrangement is frankly anything but a human rights violation. And men insisting that they are women is insulting and absurd.”
When we responded to DGR, we made it clear that we were willing to host them as a group – as long as they were willing to discuss these issues and how environmental and anti-civ work are intrinsic to resisting gender oppression – and vice versa.
Sadly, Deep Green Resistance made it clear that they are not willing to let anybody but themselves guide the conversation, and that as we insisted on such, that we are not ready to fight the (so-called) “real fight”.
We find it necessary, in return, to make something perfectly clear:
The Flying Brick Library is intended as a safe space. Transphobia and transmisogyny are not welcome in this space any more than racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, sizeism, or other oppressive or hierarchical viewpoints.
As such, we reserve the right to choose whether to host – or not to host – any group, person, band, etc. at our own discretion.
This is a space for building knowledge.
This is a space for building support.
This is a space for building alliances across issues.
This is not a space for people to come proselytize to others without welcoming input, constructive criticism, or differing opinions.
And this is not a space where people can refuse to accept that our struggles are all connected.
If you are unwilling to adhere to these guidelines, then take your oppressive and destructive beliefs elsewhere – because they are not welcome here.