Filed under: Announcement, Civilization, Environment, US
Howdy fellow Earth First!ers.
We are excited to announce that the 2016 EF! Organizers Conference (OC) will be held once again on Chumash territory outside of Santa Barbara, CA. In an effort to create a more intentional, focused, and fun space for this year’s OC we are tweaking the format of the week a tad. Earth First! has evolved greatly as a movement in its 30+ year history, and we are optimistic that we can continue to grow and evolve as a movement by taking the time and space to dig deep into some of the issues we face today.
As most who attended this summer’s Rendezvous in Vermont know, EF! continues to struggle, stutter, and stumble when it comes to dealing with race and racism within our movement. We have indeed come a long way from the racist rhetoric that occasionally disgraced the pages of the EF! journal through the ’80s and ’90s but it is clear we still have much to learn. In light of this, and in the context of living in a country that has seen weeks on end of revolt against the white power structure’s continued terrorizing of communities of color, we are eager to dig in and explore issues of race, racism, and colonialism in the context of radical environmental organizing.
We are also dedicating time during the week to: evaluate or tactics and how we train, strengthen our prisoner support efforts and build bridges with others fighting mass incarceration, talk about creating more internal structure, strengthening regional and national efforts/campaigns, and much more!
We are dedicating a full 5 days for this year’s OC (as opposed to 3 days for the OC and 2 days for the winter rondy as has become tradition). We will be having meetings/trainings during the day and keeping evenings generally freed up for hanging out. Wednesday Feb. 10 is an arrival day, the agenda will begin the morning of the 11th and go through the afternoon of Monday the 15th. There will not be a post-camp action. This is partly due to a lack of capacity on the organizing collective’s part, but mostly out of a desire to have maximum time and energy focused on the agenda.
Who should come?
Everyone who is committed to organizing under the banner of Earth First! is encouraged to attend this year’s OC. We will leave it up to you as to whether or not you fit this definition. We are seeking to create a close-nit, intentional space where we can build trust with one another and work through some difficult issues. If you are just looking to hang out and party all week, this gathering is probably not for you (don’t worry we’ll party with you at the Rendezvous this summer). You will need to RSVP by Jan. 20 in order to get directions (yes, you can RSVP as Swamp-ass, Tickbutter or whatever you happen to be calling yourself this week). We will not be posting directions publicly.
Yeah that’s right. We are going to be doling out a little homework for you to do ahead of the OC. It is hard to have productive conversation when folks are coming to the table with radically different understandings of/exposure to issues being discussed. We hope that by providing some readings and exercises ahead of time, we can come to the OC with more of a common understanding and language with which to discuss the agenda. You’ll receive your homework after you RSVP.
Get the word out
If you’re reading this, make sure it gets to everyone in your EF! group or network. We encourage you to take the time to extend the invite to friends who may have taken a step back from EF!, or for one reason or another just aren’t in the loop these days.
Rome wasn’t burnt in a day
Earth First! has engaged in militant resistance in defense of the Earth for over 30 years. We have weathered FBI raids, attempted assassinations, internal strife and schisms. But we are still here, still fighting for the forests, swamps, deserts, prairies and communities that we love. It is important to recognize that we are engaged in long-term struggle. We aren’t going to fix it all in this one week. We are excited to take the time this winter to slow down, take a step back together, and explore how we can continue to build a movement that embraces collective liberation while fighting for Earth liberation.
See you in February!
– The DAM collective
Thoughts? Questions? Hit us up at: [email protected]Tags: Earth First!