Nov 202018

Derrick Jensen from What a Way to Go, Life at the End of Empire,   time – 1 hour, 50
This is the complete and slightly edited interview footage we shot with Derrick Jensen in 2005, in preparation for our feature-length documentary, What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire.
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From the long list of Derrick’s Published works (at bottom), 2005 was in the time he was working on EndGame.  Age 45 (he was born in 1960.) 
Six years later,  2011,  the book  Deep Green Resistance:  Strategy to Save the Planet was published.  Age 51.
Too radical for some.
Canadian Border Services (CBS) turned back a car with people en route from Washington & Oregon to a presentation in Vancouver by Chris Hedges (2015).   Persons in the car were members of Jensen’s  Deep Green Resistance.   Border Services turned the car back.   Between Canadian and American Border Services,  the car was detained at the border for the equivalent of a day.  Computers were taken away at the beginning of interrogation by American Border Security, and returned after the 3.5 hours of interrogation.  These were people who live in the Pacific Northwest and had traveled many times back-and-forth across the border.   Of one person:

“Two days later he got a new computer and says he plans to get rid of the one seized by border agents. Despite assurances from the border officials that nothing was “added or removed” he says, “We feel like everything we do on those computers will never be private.”

“It was pretty clear to us that it was an information gathering excursion,” says Wilbert. “They had an opportunity to harass and intimidate and gather information from activists who they find threatening.”   2015-09-30 Environmental Activists Continue to Face Interrogations at US-Canada Border, Earth Island Journal


I didn’t find Derrick Jensen (Deep Green Resistance) to be a scary person  (after attending a four-day workshop).  My take:  in a very abusive childhood, he found awe, beauty, solace and companionship in Nature.  He has a deep connection to the Earth, delves into the why of things, reasons well, and he is prolific.   He is a compassionate person, and passionate in his defence of Nature.   Some see his statements as provocative.   Today, when he points out the absurdities of what our culture does,  in one-liners, he brings about good hearty laughter.

Here’s my good laugh:  it’s a Tommy Douglas thing.   Radical in one decade,  not radical in another.

Jensen was radical because he knew we have to stop destroying the Earth we are part of, and dependent upon for our health and survival.

A whole lot more people today, know what he knew then.   It is not radical.

Here’s Derrick in a 9 minute video, reading “The Man Box” at the 2014 Earth At Risk Conference.

Maybe it’s not my place to say, because I can’t speak for him:  it seems to me that the abuse, including physical and sexual, experienced by him, his sister, and brother; the painful work done to try and understand, has led Jensen to a pretty deep understanding,  expressed in “The Man Box”.   The reasons behind the violations of human beings are not different from the reasons behind the violations of Nature.   And either way it’s murder of life.

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For years, Derrick Jensen has asked his audiences, “Do you think this culture will undergo a voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of life?” No one ever says yes.

Deep Green Resistance starts where the environmental movement leaves off: industrial civilization is incompatible with life. Technology can’t fix it, and shopping—no matter how green—won’t stop it. To save this planet, we need a serious resistance movement that can bring down the industrial economy.

Deep Green Resistance evaluates strategic options for resistance, from nonviolence to guerrilla warfare, and the conditions required for those options to be successful. It provides an exploration of organizational structures, recruitment, security, and target selection for both aboveground and underground action.

Deep Green Resistance also discusses a culture of resistance and the crucial support role that it can play.
Deep Green Resistance is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet—and win.

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At the Deep Green workshop I attended,   role-playing was critiqued through the lens of what scholars have learned about the French Resistance in World War Two.   La Resistance did not exist in 1940 when the Nazis invaded France through the Ardennes Woods.  I googled “analysis of resistance movements”,  there’s lots of information out there.

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Published works


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