Thursday, June 14, 2012

We Need All We Have

Image by Meredith Stern, Just Seeds
In these times of omnicide­­­­—the ongoing attacks on all ecological and communal integrity—every one of us must ask ourselves what gifts we have and how we can best use them in the service of life. As many as there are problems created by the dominant culture, there are opportunities to resist systems of oppressive power and renew just and sustainable ways of living. It’s urgent that each of us begin identifying and meeting these opportunities. This planet cannot afford any less.

The diversity of efforts I see in my own community is greatly inspiring. Many different people—of various ages and backgrounds—are doing many different forms of crucial work, all of which is, in the end, complimentary and intertwined.

Some of the activists I know focus on community events. They put together music and art shows that tell stories of love and resistance. They organize discussion groups about radical, meaningful, and locally relevant subjects. They establish spaces where women can meet and discuss outside of men’s habitual domination of group dynamics and subject matter. They establish spaces that are safe for lesbians and gays to meet without experiencing discrimination. They screen films about social and environmental justice, and make time afterwards for discussion.

Some of the activists I know focus on the landbase. They learn and teach about the different creatures who call this place home. They find which natural communities are suffering from industrialism and exploitation and strive to help them to restore. 

Some of the activists I know focus on food. They have started a community garden, which offers around one hundred plots available for use. They run small-scale, organic farms, and strive to teach people about growing food in a way that’s healthy for humans and the land. They run projects that help distribute good food, encouraging others to take care of their bodies and helping tie together local food systems.

Some of the activists I know focus on literature. They are radical librarians, fighting against book banning and for community. They run literature distribution projects to disseminate inspiring revolutionary information.

Some of the activists I know are healers. They learn and teach about medicinal plants, healing themselves and their friends in a natural way. They offer counseling for those struggling through challenging situations. They teach about the healing powers of food.

Some of the activists I know focus on social justice. They fight systems of oppression that negatively impact women, lesbians and gays, the poor, indigenous communities, and people of color. They fight the attacks on their community by the ruling class and the colonialism and warfare used against communities around the world. They dare to challenge capitalism in favor of a more sane and just way of life.

Some of the activists I know are artists. They make music, writing, and art with themes of fighting back. They donate their gifts and work to add an artistic element to the projects of other activists.

To know so many activists dedicating their lives to justice and sustainability is deeply inspiring. When we see the scope of the crises this planet faces in its full horror, it is overwhelming. But resistance starts with a recognition of our own agency and power. It may not be easy, but, if you love life as I do, you know it must be done. My hope is that the activists I know continue doing what they are doing, that their endeavors keep growing and inspiring others. My goal is revolution, and we’ll need all we have to get there.


  1. Absolutely beautiful words, inspiring. We do need as much as we can get. But we also can't abandon militant, violent, and organized resistance that directly attacks power also.

  2. Kyler,

    Thank you for your words. I think we largely agree. I don't believe we can abandon militant and organized resistance that directly confronts power.

    Thank you,