By Deep Green Philly
“Sometime during the middle of the rondy a rupture took place that led to much discussion as well as many emotional outbursts. It also led to a general malaise which in turn led to a mass exodus of about half the camp. It was sparked off by the usual suspects: identity politics, issues of cultural appropriation, and general feelings of discontent with demographics. I’m not going to go into detail about that situation because I’m sure others will be chiming in with their own perspectives on this situation. All I will say about it is that I’ve encountered this sort of thing before at other non-EF! gatherings. There has definitely emerged a certain group of people who take it upon themselves to disrupt what they see as white supremacist organizations. While I wish that they would take that shit to a Hillary Clinton rally or something, I can respect the spirit of it if not the specific tactics and general anti-social, juvenile and trollish behaviors of some of these people (one of whom almost got a fist to the face for trying to get up in mine). Radical communities are struggling enough as it is and don’t really need that sort of social justice warrior adventurism malarkey, but hey, this is the landscape we currently inhabit and what we must endure by having spaces that are open to everyone.”
In the days and weeks leading up to this year’s Earth First! rondy my thoughts were often preoccupied with the state of this world that is lurching from crisis to crisis and slipping deeper into chaos. In a time when our victories seem increasingly few and strictly symbolic, and as the machinery of industrial capitalism continues its assault on the earth and those who depend on it for survival, I was very much hoping for the rondy to be a place of reflection, strategizing, commiseration with like minds, and yes, escape from the mental stress of the city. To a certain degree I was not disappointed; there were a lot of great conversations, interesting workshops and time for reconnecting with nature. Yet, as is often the case, there’s no real escape from the intellectual and emotional quagmire of civilized life.