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Jan 17, 18

Update on the Earth First! Winter Rendezvous in Southern Mississippi

The following event announcement comes from Earth First!, and offers details about the Winter Rendezvous in Southern Mississippi. 

Greetings and a Happy Gregorian New Year to All!

An autonomous group of Earth First!ers has been busy all winter long searching for a small corner of swamplandia, deep down in the dirty gulf south, that might be willing to host the finest gathering of scumbags to ever assemble… since like seven months ago. And to our own surprise, we did manage to find the perfect place: rural and accessible, beautiful and wild, amphibian and terrestrial, noisome and moist.

From the wetland bayous of the Gulf Coast, we are excited to invite Earth First!ers and like minded accomplices from all corners of Turtle Island to join us for the 2018 Winter Rendezvous and Organizer’s Conference: February 23-28th. This year’s gathering will be taking place in occupied Choctaw territory, roughly 70 miles east of New Orleans. The event will begin with the Winter Rendezvous on Friday the 23th, which will last through the weekend. The rendezvous portion of the event is open to anyone who shares affinity with the Earth First! movement and/or its guiding principles of biocentrism, deep ecology, and direct action (of course this means law enforcement and other similarly positioned/opinionated assholes are not welcome). The weekend will be filled with workshops and panel discussions featuring local organizers and community leaders from across the Gulf South, as well as skill shares and trainings on topics like mutual aid disaster relief, fighting toxic prisons, practicing good consent, climbing on rope, and many more.

On Monday, February 26th, we will begin to transition into the Organizer’s Conference (OC) portion of the event. This half of the gathering is intended for folks who are involved in movement organizing work and want to spend several days meeting and discussing the finer points of improving on that work. We are still in the process of setting the agenda for the OC and welcome suggestions/requests to [email protected]. The OC is designed for a much narrower audience than the Winter Rendezvous, meaning we expect there will be many folks who will only attend the Rendezvous portion over the weekend and then head home sometime on Monday the 26th.

We will be camping about a dozen miles upstream from the Gulf Coast itself, but tragically this nearby coastline was colonized and adulterated long, long ago. The land was stolen by white supremacists (aka capitalists) and used as a slave-operated cotton plantation, then in the early 20th century the plantation was converted to a luxury hotel with an accompanying golf course, which was then replaced in 1979 by a 2,280 acre highly toxic titanium dioxide plant, operated by the chemical giant Du Pont. This intertwined history of structured domination illustrates why we refer to the Gulf South region as the Belly of the Beast.

Here’s another fun fact: over 80% of all US oil pipelines terminate along the Gulf Coast between Houston and New Orleans. This region is home to more oil, gas and chemical refining infrastructure than anywhere else on planet Earth, yet even here the industrial capitalists remain unsatisfied. We are inundated with new infrastructure proposals every year, including projects like the recently permitted Bayou Bridge pipeline, the tail end of ETP’s Dakota Access Pipeline system. In sum, the Belly of the Beast is where we must fight to prevent the Gulf South from devolving into the world’s largest toxic sacrifice zone.

So, if you love singing in the sun as much as you hate crying in polar vortexes (at least that’s what we assume y’all must be doing up there), then please join us in the Gulf South this February! Belly of the Beast Earth First! wants you to put on those action socks and grab a flotation device. The swamps are calling.

See ya there!

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The Earth First! Journal is the voice of the radical environmental movement. Published quarterly, it contains reports on direct action; articles on the preservation of wilderness and biological diversity; news and announcements about EF! and other radical environmental groups; investigative articles; critiques of the entire environmental movement; book and music reviews; essays exploring ecological theory and a sometimes-lively letters to the editor section. The Earth First! Journal is an essential forum for discussion within the Earth First! movement. It is meant to be bold, controversial, amusing and diverse in content and style. You won’t find hard-hitting news like this anywhere else.

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