On July 5, 37 activists were arrested outside of Oak Ridge, TN, protesting nuclear weapons. Two days later, anti-war activist and environmentalist Jim Bohen, pioneer of Greenpeace, died at the age of 87. On that same day, Earth First! honored the No Compromise stance towards environmentalism by executing a beautiful action that cut to the heart of local organizing, bio-centrism and direct action in defense of the Earth. Earth First! concluded this year’s Summer Rendezvous in Maine with a dynamic and intense blockading an access road to the latest land destroying development scheme—the clearcutting of Maine’s Sisk Mountain for TransCanada’s wind turbines.
Beginning in the early morning, more than five EF!ers eluded police tails and entered Plum Creek land on Sisk Mountain, the site of TransCanada’s prospective wind farm, with the intention of blockading the access road. Although police assisting the corporations found the activists quickly, the access road was blockaded for the entire morning by a cavalcade of police and, interestingly enough, border patrol. They did our job for us, and nobody was arrested; only warnings were issued to the brave activists who sparked the blockade.
At around noon, police issued an order to disperse, and many EF!ers returned to the Rondy site pleased at the fact that, for that morning, the blades of wind turbines did not pass through the power of the people. At the access road, however, things were just getting started.
Earth First!ers remained to continue protesting, most moving to the opposite side of the highway to get support from passing automobiles. One person, Turtle, was arrested for refusing to move from the access road. Soon, a massive truck emerged from the bend, hauling behind it the blade itself, the awesome length of which resembled a small airplane. As the truck entered the access road, EF!ers made their move, rushing to stop it from entering the site. Meanwhile, Willow, locked herself to the undercarriage of the truck. The trucker hauling the blade began revving the engine, revealing the intention to drive on with an activist locked to his rig. Heroically, Anna jumped on top of the truck and thrust a sign over the windshield, obstructing the truckers’ view. Finally, the police, realizing they had been defeated for the moment, told the trucker to stop his engines.
When all was said and done, the truck had been blocked for hours and three people had been arrested. Their bail was set for $500, and they were released that night. Through the intensity of the day, the gathering stood strong, successful action in tow. Earth First! is showing that the attention to oil and offshore drilling is only the tip of the iceberg. We protested off-shore drilling in Santa Barbara in February, months before the Deep Horizon spill. We need to look forward to a future of resistance to the false solutions of wind power in wild areas, “clean coal” and biomass.
This years’ Rondy action has been called the Green Tea Party, and that might not be far off. With the irrevocable ecological damage done to this planet, a new era must come about. The most recent global protests in favor of environmentalism indicate that more and more people are taking up the slogan, “We won’t stop until they do. Earth First!”