US EF! organizers' conference & winter rendezvous, 15th Feb on: update; international invite; discussion on Do or Die article

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EF! no compromise US logo

Additional info to that on http://earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/?q=node/117

International Invite:
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South Florida is an accessible location for international travel, and is a social hotspot of current global commerce and politics. For several years, the globalization movement has influenced (and been influenced by) EF! But rarely has it been possible to dialogue with eco-radicals in other parts of the world, especially the majority world movements who have been inspiring direct action efforts within the U.S. empire. For these reasons, the invitation is being put out to help bring folks from other countries’ radical environmental movements and indigenous struggles here for the OC and Winter Rendezvous (this means visa assistance and some extra fundraising, so if you can be
of any help in those areas, please contact us ASAP!)

Organisers' conference 15-17th February:
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- Last year's OC seems to have been a more reflective, inner-growth and recovery focused conference. So we are proposing this year we reach towards the other end of the spectrum and be oriented towards movement strategy and vision on the broader scale; taking a look at global ecology and international movements on the frontlines.

- Reports from the Earth First! Journal- this is a standard subject of EF! gatherings, but there are some recent happenings in the eco-radical publishing world that might make for interesting discussions/proposal. For example, two prominent movement publications, Wild Earth and Do or Die have ceased production, while newer projects, such as Green Anarchy, have grown in circulation and recognition. Does this influence where the EF!J should place the focus of its content?

- Evaluating strategies, tools and tactics- in the past year and a half an article/proposal "Down with Empire, Up with Spring" (from the UK-based Do or Die, Issue 10) has been circulating the eco-anarchist networks. Essentially, it is promoting the Hotspot Theory as a global eco-defense/indigenous solidarity strategy and a SHAC style tactical approach for its grassroots application. Is it the most coherent vision of movement direction since EF! first promoted wilderness corridors for North American biodiversity restoration over 20 years ago or is it too rigid, lofty and spoiled with corporate/NGO influence?

- Examining our visions and aspirations- for the duration of EF!, the perspectives of deep ecology have been a driving and unifying factor of the movement. In the past few years, an anarchistic worldview has had a growth spurt within EF! Certain elements of anarchy have, of course, been there all along, but most would agree that there is a shift of some sort that appears to be occurring. In certain ways it is as cultural as it is ideological. The 'green anarchy' tendency seems to still reflect the principles of deep ecology but also bring some of its own aspirations and visions of a future world and how we might get there. Is the growing energy around the Feral Visions/Green Anarchy gatherings evidence of this shift? What, if anything, does that mean for EF! as a 'movement'?

- Review of State Repression- how has new anti-terrorist legislation of the past several years impacted EF! and related groups? How have folks been effective in fighting back?

- Anti-oppression check-in- How have racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other oppressive tendencies been manifesting themselves in our organizing & direct action efforts? How are people challenging them successfully? Are there still anti-immigrant sentiments in our midst? How can we expose them and send 'em on their way for good?

- Bioregional/international roundup- what are people up to within the EF! network, the environmental direct action movement and it's extended webs of affinity within the full 'activist' spectrum from local grassroots community groups to global autonomous social movements? How do we fit into the bigger picture? Whose campaigns could use some extra hands, who has hands to spare? We can also expect a direct update from the Alternative Social Forum in Venezuela.

Winter Rendezvous! feb 17-19
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This is a time to kick back, enjoy each others company, inform & inspire each other with our skillshares/workshops, eat damn good food and revel in the good times so that we can more clearly know what kind of relationships with people and with the land that we are fighting for in our day-to-day lives.

At recent EF! gatherings there has been a lull in musician participation, so tell your friends to bring their songs and instruments. This year we will be honored with a performance by Sobreviviencia, a Guatemalan indigenous Mayan rock band. We are also hoping that some of the newer generation of radical folkies that have been rousing the rabble in the streets will come serenade us in the swamps too.

Friday night will be the annual ‘Night To Howl!’ gathering of the Warrior Poets Society, so bring poems, songs and stories to share.

You can expect to see some of the following topics pop up over the weekend:

Â¥ Fighting Gentrification
Â¥ Probing the Tech-Nightmare: bio, nano, robo, cellular, etc.
Â¥ Primitive Skillshares
Â¥ Plant Walks
Â¥ Indigenous Solidarity in North America
Â¥ Coastal Ecology Issues
Â¥ Climate, Energy and the Eco-Intifada
Â¥ Defending Pacific NorthWest Forests
Â¥ Mountain Top Removal
Â¥ Community Gardens
Â¥ Earth & Animal Liberation Prisoner Support
Â¥ Deeper Effects of Civilization on our Bodies & Communities;
Â¥ Making Your Own Homebrew

Special Workshop on Sunday February 19:
From Defensive to Offensive: Strategic Latin America Solidarity

Details of this and more on http://www.earthfirst2006oc.info/