Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 Report Back from Deep Green Philly

From Deep Green Philly:

In order for us to become productive members of society, i.e, well oiled and functioning cogs in the wheels of the capitalist empire, we must undergo a compulsory process of alienation and domestication to make us docile and compliant to the demands of our future supervisors and bosses. This process begins in early childhood and continues more or less throughout our entire civilized lives. It is in part a process of forgetting, of learning to disregard our dreams and intuition and genetic memories of a time before mankind ascended the throne to lord over the rest of creation.

The myth of human centrism, that all of the world is here for our pleasure and our benefit, can only be called into question outside of the sprawling metropolises and suburbs where such ideas are constantly reinforced, often by the very landscape itself. The sanitized and domesticated landscapes created by modern industry stand in stark contrast to the wilderness, to the glorious chaos of life. The wilderness is where we find the idea of the all powerful human master called into question; it is a place we must periodically embed ourselves in to reconnect with authentic, non-synthetic reality outside of the scope of human constructs. It is a place we must visit once in a while for the perspective denied to us by human-centric, industrial society.

As someone who lives in a big city, Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) has become a necessary yearly tradition, a way to retain a connection to (relatively) unspoiled wilderness and the deep human bonds such an environment fosters. WRFF is a loosely organized and decentralized gathering that takes place in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado (Ute territory). Working on less than a shoe string budget and with much of the supplies and food donated, a wonderful intentional community springs up for an all too brief period of time. Most people bring their own camping supplies and gear, but there are always extra sleeping bags and such things in case anyone needs them. Camp responsibilities are handled on a volunteer basis; everyone who wants to contribute can, and if you’re not in the mood to wash dishes, gather firewood or cook meals, there’s no pressure to.

One of the main reasons I keep coming back to WRFF is the people, the amazingly good-hearted and beautiful people. Sure, in past years there’s been some drama but it’s never really distracted me from the overall experience. The warmth, wisdom and sincerity I experience there nourishes me on a spiritual level; this gives me the strength and clarity I need to avoid falling into despair and nihilism concerning the nature of the human race. WRFF attracts a variety of people: college students, older hippies, drifters, radical faeries, liberals, anarchists, socialists, families with small children, musicians, train hoppers, activists, conservationists, farmers, and those who refuse to be categorized. The ethnic diversity is not quite what it could be, but the reasons for this are complex. I find it unfortunate that many POC have been seemingly irrevocably yoked to the city, pigeonholed into the category of permanent urban dwellers. Again, the reasons for this are complex and largely beyond our control, though hopefully this will begin to change in the near future. In any case, no matter what our backgrounds, we gather together at WRFF with our differences eclipsed by one common theme: a love for the land and a love of life.

This year was by far my favorite WRFF for several reasons. The hike in and out was so much easier than previous years; the vibe was incredibly relaxed and friendly with absolutely zero drama (at least none that I was aware of) and the location itself was just beyond magical. Mountain tops covered in pine, aspen stands and fields of dandelions, wild iris and a myriad of other wild flowers made each day like a waking dream. As always, the group discussions were thought provoking to the max, especially one we had on mental health in the context of living within a society that systematically destroys mental health. There were also primitive skills workshops, plant walks, an interesting discussion on natural child birthing, a solstice celebration, and clear guidelines for community practices and sober spaces for those who desired them. Outside of the planned activities there were plenty of opportunities to go hiking, splash around in the stream, or just lay on the soft grass underneath the sun listening to the birdsong.

As I reflect on my third year of attending this gathering, I realize how valuable the experience has been to both my personal and political development. Fireside chats under the stars with hardcore primitivists and nuclear power supporters alike have helped me broaden, sharpen and mold my own critiques of industrial society. Though we may not all agree on every single thing, simply being around like minded people with similar viewpoints is a welcome reprieve from constantly having to defend my position or either keep silent about it. Over the past few years at WRFF I have learned of struggles that I may not have come into contact with otherwise. In fact, I credit my first real introduction to indigenous solidarity to my first WRFF in 2012. It would not be an understatement to say that WRFF has been an important part of my life.

Because this year felt extra special, I must give thanks to all the wonderful people who shared time, space and food with me; thanks for all the chats, all the laughs, for all the memories. And a special thanks to those who let me practice my tarot reading skills on you – I hope it was helpful. So much love to the folks in Durango who do the hard work of scouting out locations and cleaning up after the gathering is done; thanks for all you do and for creating a space where so much magic happens. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reclaiming the West for Wildlife: Banning Traps and Restoring Wolves

http://www.wildearthguardians.org/
1PM Thursday June 19th 
@ Wild Roots Feral Futures

Bob Brister, an organizer with WildEarth Guardians, will share information and volunteer opportunities about two major campaigns he works on:

http://trapfreenm.org/Trap Free New Mexico: a coalition of wildlife conservation and animal protection groups are working to pass legislation in New Mexico to ban the poisoning and trapping of animals on public lands. Learn how you can be part of ridding New Mexico of animal traps.

Colorado Wolf Campaign: WildEarth Guardians is organizing local wolf advocacy groups we call "Wolf Packs" to carry out pro-wolf educational and advocacy projects in their communities. Learn how you can be an "alpha wolf" and start a wolf pack in your area.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ride Share!


Car culture: it's killing the planet. Amongst other things. Alas, few will find other viable, less ecocidal options for accelerated, long-distance travel. We of course encourage anyone who's able to walk, ride a bicycle, etc., but in acknowledging the inevitability of motorized travel to Wild Roots Feral Futures, we have a ride share board on our community forum site. Please use it! (Note post dates, as some may have yet to be cleaned out from years past.)

Until we're "driving through the wilderness across over­ grown freeways on our species' last tank of gas"...

Help fund Wild Roots Feral Futures!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wild-roots-feral-futures-2014/
Wild Roots Feral Futures is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized event operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort.

This year, we are once again reaching out to the greater community in an appeal for funding donations. All proceeds go directly to acquiring essential collective supplies and food, as well as providing travel stipends for for low-income members of frontline communities fighting against ecological destruction, trainers, speakers, teachers, performers, medics, and others who are traveling long distances to provide us with their services, knowledge, skills, and expertise.

Donation records & expense reports will be openly reviewed on the ground at Wild Roots Feral Futures by the organizers' collective and any other attendees/participants interested in such transparency and accountability.

Every dollar helps. Thank you in advance!

Click here to donate!


(PS - If any event participants and/or supporters would like to offer incentive "perks" for our online fundraising campaign, please let us know, thanks!)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Decolonizing Wild Roots Feral Futures

http://unsettlingamerica.wordpress.com/
Wild Roots Feral Futures takes place on occupied/stolen indigenous territory, primarily of the Nuutsiu (occasionally spelled Nuciu or Nuchu, aka "Ute") people. In recognition of this truth and as a first step in addressing it, we seek to establish proactive working relationships with those whose stolen land we gather upon, and return the space we temporarily liberate to the centering and amplification of indigenous voices and struggles. Our understanding is that any community of resistance that doesn't center the voices of indigenous people and put their leadership in the forefront is a movement that is part of the problem.

HOWEVER, *how* to return such space and amplify such voices without engaging in tokenizing behavior remains problematic, as does (neo)colonial dynamics of further extracting yet more use value from indigenous communities by expecting and requesting their participation in such processes. 


We recognize that protocol varies from community to community and Nation to Nation, and we feel that a good first step on our part is to simply reach out and establish contact, as we are doing now.

Please feel free to call us out, send us feedback, reach out to us, offer your participation, etc., at feralfutures@riseup.net

We will also be putting together a recommended reading & resource list (coming soon!), but until then, please check out the many amazing decolonization resources at Unsettling America. In particular, please check out these guidelines, many of which WRFF may be adopting as a matter of event policy. We also recommend the texts Heteropatriarchy & the Three Pillars of White Supremacy by Andrea Smith, and White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh, and request that aspiring event participants familiarize themselves with them.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Wild Roots Feral Futures 2014!


https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/wild-roots-feral-

"The whole earth is in jail and we're plotting this incredible jailbreak."

6th Annual Direct Action, Eco-Defense, & Rewilding Encampment in the Wild Rockies of Southwest Colorado, June 14-22, 2014

Site location & directions now announced!

Update: Fundraiser live!

Greetings from the occupied Nuchu (Ute) territories of Turtle Island, colonially known as the "American Southwest"!

We are very happy to announce that, for the 6th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 14-22, 2014. WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

We would like to invite groups and individuals engaged in struggles against the destruction of the Earth (and indeed all interconnected forms of oppression) to join us and share your stories, lessons, skills, and whatever else you may have to offer. In this spirit we would like to reach out to frontline community members, local environmental groups, coalitions, and alliances everywhere, as well as more readily recognizable groups like Earth First!, Rising Tide North America, and others to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

We would also like to reach out to groups like EF!, RTNA, and the Ruckus Society (as well as other groups and individuals) in search of trainers and workshop facilitators who are willing to dedicate themselves to attending Wild Roots Feral Futures and sharing their skills and knowledge (in a setting that lacks the financial infrastructure to compensate them as they may have come to expect from other, more well-funded groups and events). We are specifically seeking direct action, blockade, tri-pod, and tree climbing/sitting trainers (as well as gear/supplies).

Regarding the rewilding and ancestral earth skills component of WRFF, we would like to extend a similar invitation to folks with skills, knowledge, talent, or specialization in these areas to join us in the facilitation of workshops and skill shares such as fire making, shelter building, edible and medicinal plants, stalking awareness, tool & implement making, etc. We are also seeking folks with less "ancestral" outdoor survival skills such as orienteering and navigation, etc.

Daily camp life, along with workshops, skill shares, great food, friends, and music, will also include the volunteer labor necessary to camp maintenance. Please come prepared to pitch in and contribute to the workload, according to your abilities. We encourage folks who would like to plug in further to show up a few days before the official start of the event to begin set-up and stay a few days after the official end to help clean up.

Site scouting will continue until mid-May, at which point scouts and other organizers will rendezvous, report-back their scouting recon, and come to a consensus regarding a site location. We are also planning on choosing a secondary, back-up site location as a contingency plan for various potential scenarios. Email us for more info on getting involved with scouting and site selection processes.

WRFF is timed to take place before the Earth First! Round River Rendezvous, allowing eco-defenders to travel from one to the other. Thus we encourage the formation of a caravan from WRFF to the EF! RRR (caravans and ride shares can be coordinated through our message board at http://feralfutures.proboards.com/.

We are currently accepting donations in the form of supplies and/or monetary contributions. Please email us for details.

Please forward this call widely, spread the word, and stay tuned for more updates!

For The Wild,

~The Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers' collective

Email: feralfutures(at)riseup(dot)net

Blog: http://feralfutures.blogspot.com/

Message Boards: http://feralfutures.proboards.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WildRootsFeralFutures

Mailing List/Discussion Group: http://groups.google.com/group/wild-roots-feral...

For the sake of comprehensiveness, we are including below our original call-out as used in years past, which is a living document, changing and evolving as we ourselves learn and grow:

We are looking for folks of all sorts to join us and help facilitate workshops, talks, discussions, skill shares, direct action and medic trainings, wild food walks, conflict transformation, and much more! We will be focusing on many things, including but by no means limited to anarchist theory and praxis, unpacking privilege, decolonization, rewilding, ancestral skills, indigenous solidarity, direct action, forest defense, earth liberation, animal liberation, security culture, civil disobedience, hand to hand combat, survival skills, evasion tactics, green anarchism, anti-civ, post-civ, star watching and navigation, maps and orienteering, shelter building, permaculture, and whatever YOU care to bring and provide. But we need everyone's help to make this as safe, positive, and productive a space as it can be. Our own knowledge, skills, and capacities are limited. We need YOUR help!

Roles we REALLY need filled:

• Kitchen! (last year's informal kitchen was supported by Durango Food Not Bombs and upheld communally by event participants, but this year we are once again reaching out to the likes of Seeds of Peace and Everybody's Kitchen in hopes they'll provide kitchen support this time around)

• Conflict transformation team (we need people of diverse gender/sexual orientations who know how to give support to survivors of sexual assault and to people with PTSD)*

• Medics! (especially WFRs, WEMTs, & EMTs of diverse gender/sexual orientations)

• Child care! (We will have a kids space and support parents in participating in communal child care)

*There is a need for both womyn (cis and trans), queer, genderqueer, gender-variant, gender-nonconforming and trans folk  (etc.) on both the Conflict Transformation and Medic teams because many people in our communities aren't going to trust men, cis people, or heteros with their health or to help with conflicts. We do not expect womyn (cis and trans), queer, genderqueer, gender-variant, gender-nonconforming and trans folk (etc.) to do the support work, but seek to create and maintain a safe and welcoming space that allows for plenty of room for it.

We at the Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers collective feel that white dominated spaces & racism within our communities are a significant problem, & feel the need to confront that. Due to the legacy of racism within our communities of resistance we will be holding workshops on white privilege, settler privilege, & cultural appropriation.

We also feel that cis-hetero, male dominated spaces and hetropatriarchy within our communities are equally problematic, and will also be holding workshops on patriarchy and (anti)sexism.

We would like to put out a request for workshops on white privilege, hetero privilege, cis privilege, and male privilege. We recognize that it's not the job of those of us oppressed by white supremacy and heteropatriarchy to facilitate those workshops. We don't expect oppressed people to attend, but you are welcome to. While it is not the responsibility or duty of queers, POC (People of Color), and other oppressed and marginalized people to assist white, cis-hetero, and privileged people unpack, deconstruct, and confront their own privilege, these processes will be open to all.

We intend to create clinic space with some privacy provided for patient care so that the bodies of trans people (and also cis womyn) aren't on display during vulnerable moments. We will also be implementing a safe(r) space policy to keep perpetrators of sexual/physical assault out of our community and support survivors by respecting any processes of accountability they initiate.

Womyn (cis and trans), queers, and trans folk have full support of the Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers collective to establish safer spaces for themselves, including spaces that are only for people who are oppressed by sexism, people who are queer, and people who are trans. We recognize the need for those spaces because no matter how much we work on our privilege, as recovering hetropatriarchists still in the process of mental and psychological decolonization and recovery, we're still going to be bringing heteropatriarchy into the space (hopefully unconsciously and unintentionally, which does little to change its effects).

We also intend to create family/child friendly space that includes multigenerational workshops and activities appropriate (and fun!) for kids.

Camp guidelines (in progress):

We seek to create safe(r), accountable space for all, including families and children, the sober, and those who identify as GLBTQI (etc.).

Please do not make assumptions about an individual’s gender, and if you feel unsure, do not be afraid to ask what someone’s gender pronoun is. If you use the incorrect gender pronoun, you will be corrected, but it is not something to be ashamed of. We have all been raised within a gender binary culture and breaking free of these false binaries is a process of learning and growing for all. It is also appropriate to introduce your gender pronoun when first introducing yourself to new people, if you feel the desire.

Accessibility

The WRFF organzers' collective recognizes the dynamics of accessibility and ableism as a form of societal oppression in our culture, and strive to select sites with maximum accessibility, considering the context of an event located in forest and wilderness areas. Due to natural circumstances and the lay of the land (rocky trails on steep hills, etc.), ableism and “disability” may hinder accessibility for some to the inner reaches of the gathering. This is a reality of the natural world that is beyond our ability or desire to alter or control. We will, however, make very effort to help folks of differing abilities get their gear into the woods. Please contact us or ask an event organizers if you or someone in your group needs assistance hauling gear. Together as a community we're able to do anything!

Security Culture

We expect everyone to observe good security culture. If you are unfamiliar with security culture, check out our security culture workshop(s), check the zine library for security culture literature, or just ask an event organizer for a basic overview. Basically, don’t talk about your or someone else’s involvement in illegal activity, and don’t make jokes, because even jokes can be used in court as evidence against you. Keep in mind that ANYONE could be an infiltrator or informant. While we must act accordingly, it is also important to not let this reality sow seeds of distrust and suspicion within our communities that leads to self-repressive restrictions on our ability to form and build relationships with one another as human beings and creatures of this Earth. Following good security culture allows us to interact and build relationships without placing ourselves in unnecessary and risky situations because of potential surveillance.

Consent

When it comes to physical intimacy and sexual contact, ASK FIRST! No Compromise In Defense of Consent!

For more on consent, attend our consent workshop(s) or inquire with event organizers.

Assault & Accountability

Violence, physical assault, emotional assault, and/or sexual assault will NOT be tolerated under any circumstances and anyone who engages in such assault will be asked to leave. In instances of assault we will trust and believe the survivor and respect any processes of accountability they initiate.

For more information on how our communities deal with assault and accountability, check out our Anti-Oppression Policy & conflict de-escalation/resolution workshop(s) or inquire with event organizers.

Conflict Transformation

In attempting to manifest the world we desire, we will pursue non-coercive means of conflict resolution and non-coercive processes of accountability. Decisions affecting the group will be made horizontally through the utilization of consensus process. If you are unfamiliar with consensus process, check out consensus workshops. A Conflict Transformation team will also be formed on the ground and in the woods. To get involved in the Conflict Transformation team, click here.

Help Out/Volunteer!

We seek to create a temporary autonomous zone which functions as an egalitarian community. In this spirit of cooperation and mutual aid, we request that people attending the gathering sign up for work shifts such as cooking meals, cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes after meals, digging latrines, doing supply/water runs, security & welcoming, etc. A shift sign-up sheet will circulate at communal meals.

Camps/Fires

We ask that people establish communal fires in the various neighborhoods within the gathering and refrain from making personal fires. Communal latrines will also be constructed in the various villages and we ask that people refrain from digging personal cat holes. This will minimize our overall impact on the land.

Substance Use Policy

Drugs and alcohol are discouraged, but a rowdy fire/area will be established, where we request the partying be restricted. NO illegal drugs, please. All other space, including celebratory and ceremonial space, should be considered sober space. Your personal space is, of course, your personal space, and you may do what you wish within it. Please respect others. For safety reasons, we request total sobriety when attending workshops and trainings. Unlike many similar gatherings, a space IS being designated for partying. This is more than you will find at most gatherings of this sort. So let’s have some fun! (See our new and expanded policy [below the Anti-Oppression policy] here.)

Dogs/Pets

Dogs increase our impact on the land and local wildlife, and are thus discouraged, though we understand and accept the fact many human beings and their canine companions are inseparable, and they will undoubtedly remain a part of our rewilded and feral futures upon this planet. We request that if you bring your dog, you keep it on a leash. If your dog attacks wildlife, other dogs, or human beings, you will be asked to leave the gathering. Please bury your dog shit!

Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. Also see the information from last year as much of it will remain applicable this year as well, though there are also many changes in store to make this year's gathering a much wilder experience than last year's. See you in the woods!

May the forest bewitch you,

—the Wild Roots Feral Futures organizers collective

feralfutures@riseup.net

http://feralfutures.blogspot.com/
http://feralfutures.proboards.com/

http://www.facebook.com/WildRootsFeralFutures

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wild Roots Feral Futures 2013 Mix Tape!


"After a few weeks of work, this is the Feral Mixtape for 2013. We cannot thank enough the tireless effort of organizers of the event, all the people who participated in the mixtape, all of the people and animals who supported the idea, everyone who attended the gathering and everyone else we're forgetting. The tracks are credited as well as we could, although our tiny notebooks could never describe to an internet textbox how much fun we had and how many smiles there were." —Rooster and Chelsi July 2013