What We Want vs. What We Can Get:Colonizing Ourselves
Colonization can take place in many ways. One of the ways that it occurs is diverting our energy away from organizing for what we actually want, to instead organizing for what we think we can get under the current system.
Large environmental groups in the U.S. have diluted community activism for decades. When coalfield communities wanted to ban strip mining in the 1970s, the large environmental groups steered them toward “practical” alternatives, such as the regulation of the practice, rather than the banning of it. Today, of course, those laws do nothing to keep mountain tops from being blown off in West Virginia, or to prevent longwall coal mining in Appalachia from dewatering streams and polluting drinking water. Long-term effects of those practices, of course, include the combustion of coal, which is not-so-slowly cooking the
And it’s not just stories of yesteryear – today, communities who know that they need to ban fracking, factory farming, pipelines, and other developments are reminded by the large environmental organizations that banning those operations is not only impractical, but illegal and unconstitutional under the U.S. system of law
To read more, read: Community-Rights-Paper-10-Paradis-Lost