Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Red Green Politics

The interview with Judi Bari discusses the collaborative efforts between EF! and workers in addressing the issues related to logging industries and the communities that depend on it. Bari describes communities that were controlled or created by large corporations and the economies that are based primarily on logging. In the 1970’s urban “hippies” came in and began to influence small groups and there began a movement that weakend the communty foundations. This practice went against the social/cultural groups within the communities and created a “bipolar social situation”, playing "hippie against logger" (2). Unlike many of the environmental groups that were popular at the time Earth First! appear to go about addressing the logging industry in an alternative way, responsibly. Being a small grass roots operation (at the time) they used alternative non-violent means to protect the forests. They also did something the bigger environmental movements failed to address, the people who would be devastated if their livelihood was taken away. More...
They (EF!) concentrated on the practice of clear cutting and proposed alternative ways to harvest timber in a more long term management process. In the active efforts to stop logging the folks of EF! had the opportunity to meet face to face with the workers, separated the workers from the production. They found some workers did not agree with that the way the big corporations conducted business, it was at the risk of the worker and the land. EF! created relationships with loggers and millers, it was a risky alliance but it helped impact not only logging but also working conditions in the mills. In doing this it helped address the problems that were created economically by the clear cutting process and the rights of the workers. Logging was the focus but it brought light to others issues that plagued the industry.

Judi Bari bared a lot of the weight of creating a movement that was blurred the line between the environmental and social movements. Being framed for bombing herself was an example of how corporations/capitalism influences government structure; we still see examples of that. What EF! created was a movement that targeted not only industry but also labor inequalities. Creating ways for the worker to confront problem within their own venue may open up avenues in addressing environmental issues, “The potential for bringing out change is greater if the radical ideas are held by the workers” (29).

1 comment:

  1. I think Judi Bari is the bomb! I mean it takes a women with a lot of balls to continuiously fight for what is right especially after numerous and often deadly threats, one consisiting of a odd pipe bomb inccident in which she suffered serious injuries from. As a enviornmentalist, Bari brought a lot of support with her contributions to the organization Earth First! which helped fight against the logging in some of the pristine redwood forests of Califonia. This world needs more hippies. Well this world needs a lot of things but Baris contributions sure as hell are some good steps in the right direction to help bring attention and cause to our enviornmental tragedies.