This film is a pre-released version of the documentary “Earth First!: The Politics of Radical Environmentalism” produced by Chris Manes. Its an examination of Earth First! in the early days, filmed at, and around the time of, the 1987 Grand Canyon Round River Rendezvous–a definitive work of that era. While Manes has not been present in the Earth First! movement for well over a decade, he was featured recently in the “Where Are They Now” section of the Earth First! Journal 30th Anniversary edition.
The documentary features live footage of tree spiking, monkey wrenching, early blockades and tree sits. And along with totally 80’s hair styles under camo hats and eco-militancy expressed in Sesame Street-sounding sing-alongs, it’s also chock-full of powerful interviews: Earth First! co-founders Nancy Morton, Howie Wolke, Mike Roselle and Dave Foreman; former EF! Journal editor John Davis; prominent voice for deep ecology, author Bill Devall (who passed on last year); and voices from government agencies, the timber industry and mainstream groups like the Sierra Club.
This version of the film was posted on Youtube summer 2011 by longtime EF! activist and movement documentarian Andy Caffrey. Since this summer, Caffrey has added over 50 historical EF! videos online via his Youtube channel. He’s also running for Congress in 2012. And while we could more-or-less give a shit about who gets elected, we’re glad to see some of these videos back in circulatation amidst his campaign endeavors.