James Lee and Eco-Xenophobia

After protesting the Discovery Channel-US for years, James Jay Lee broke down. Entering the Discovery Channel building in Silver Springs, Maryland, and taking three hostages, Lee released a series of demands for what he believed to be true environmental solutions. He is dead now, shot by police, and his hostages have been rescued. His legacy is now the only thing that remains.

According to his demands, war is bad, immigration is bad, food production leads to starvation, human reproduction is disgusting, and it is incumbent upon the Discovery Channel to mend global warming as well as overpopulation. (Oh, and by the way, according to Demand #1: The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s My Ishmael pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other’s inventive ideas.”)

With regards to the anti-immigrant position of groups like Apply The Breaks, and people like James Lee who echo their rhetoric, The Earth First! Journal Collective has drafted this statement on our position:

While we agree that civilization, population and human consumption are pressing issues creating obstacles to biodiversity and environmental justice, we do not see how the anti-immigrant, pro-border solutions of keeping people and wildlife walled into divided territories and militarized borders, re-enforcing historical colonization, addresses any of those issues.

We, as a collective, and as members of a movement, share the common goal of making connections with other cultures of resistance to the many ill symptoms of industrial civilization which belittles, exploits and destroys all forms of life on this planet.

The current members of this collective are allied to movements struggling against racism, class-domination, capitalism, globalization, sexism, homophobia, urbanism, speciesism, etc. because we believe that all these struggles are inherently connected in fighting the same ills.

While we recognize the urgency of ecological crisis, We see no reason why scapegoating immigrants is anything but a distraction, and much worse, a lingering sentiment of the Manifest Destiny mindset.

For a more complete response from the Earth First! Journal to Apply The Brakes and eco-xenophobe hysteria click here

Earth First! Journal Collective

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  1. What is Earth First’s stance on insane misanthropes that hold random people hostage with explosives in the name of the Earth? It’s typical that the only thing EF really addressed in this ‘response’ is that James Lee was anti-immigrant. I guess you have no ideological qualms with strapping explosives on your backs and taking hostages? Maybe you should address this before you alienate the rest of the people that still think you all are in your right minds

    • Moderator’s response: The Earth First! Journal neither condemns nor condones Lee’s action. We see the logical grounding of Lee’s act as flawed, as we conveyed in our posting. One can feel sympathy for Mr. Lee or one can not. That’s not the point. If you want us to condemn the taking over of television stations, we would point to Oaxaca in 2006 or to Greece in 2008, and to other inspirational moments where the occupation of news stations and the transformation of popular media led to positive change.

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