blue-flag-thumb2_50x50Our side's flag is a thin, airlight blue, drifting almost unseen against the sky. Our military march is a meadowlark's song among the dandelions. --Ken Kesey, The Real War


Keep Fighting/Keep Evolving | Mickey Z.

Photo credit: Mickey Z.Photo credit: Mickey Z.

Mickey Z. -- World News Trust

"Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right."

- Ani DiFranco

Often, the only way to learn if a battle can still be won is to keep fighting… with ever-evolving tactics, of course.

Our existing, mostly stagnant techniques have left us with undrinkable water, polluted air, and often inedible food and have most of us believing that coal is clean, nukes are green, and climate change can be reversed by switching to recycled toilet paper.

Suggestion: When faced with a daunting task, keep your toolbox full.

Let's say you're a handy man/woman/human and you get hired for a job. I'm guessing you'd bring your full toolbox to the worksite. After all, you can never be sure what might pop up and what tools you'll need. In other words, if we have a job to do, it would be illogical to decide beforehand that certain tools are off limits.

Keep all your tools at your disposal -- even if some remain untouched -- just in case.

Some sample “tools”:

Know yourself
*We're not victims (remember: victims are helpless) but we are volunteers. Due to our compliance and/or silence and/or inaction, we've played a role in bringing our culture to the brink of social, economic, and environmental collapse.

*We're not being "attacked" for our choices. For the record, I prefer to save the word "attack" for, say, those being targeted by U.S. predator drones (subsidized by our tax dollars and thus launched in our name).

*We're not being judged as guilty. It's a little too late for that.

*We're not being judged as innocent either. We're all participants and/or witnesses.

*We may think it’s not "fair" that we're the generation that has to change everything about the way we live. We make think we deserve better but to borrow from some guy named Clint: "Deserve’s got nothing to do with it."

*We are not alone. There are more of us than you ever imagined. As Utah Phillips reminds us: "If you can't change (your community), if you can't make this place where you work and live better, then where can you? Just get busy." If you feel like you don't have a community, create one.

By the way, Utah Phillips also sez: "The earth is not dying. It is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses."

The 4 R's of defending our collective soul

Reality and Reaction

  • Self-defense "moves" rarely (if ever) work and can cause you to not trust your instincts as you struggle to remember what you're "supposed to do." Memorizing a few moves before a conflict is not unlike only learning 20-30 words prior to a spelling bee.
  • The attacker always has the advantage -- at least initially. He knows before you when, where, and how he's going to attack.
  • Your first option: run. If you can't run, create and maintain distance from your attacker(s).
  • Know your enemy: Expect the worst because that's exactly what you'll get.
  • Facing a weapon can be frightening but some weapons can serve to "limit" the attacker's psychological approach and thus, his options. Exploit that advantage.
  • Practice awareness of your habits, surroundings, routines, and overall "presentation." Don't allow yourself to be an easy target.
  • Contrary to popular belief, you are never unarmed. Use your body and/or whatever you can get your hands on. Plus, as Ice T declared: "My lethal weapon's my mind." 


  • Decide in advance to survive. Derrick Jensen explains: "The Jews who participated in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising had a much higher rate of survival than those who went along. We need to keep that in mind over the next 10 years."
  • Condition your mind to defend what you love (read: courage).
  • Condition your body to endure -- through exercise, lifestyle choices, and healthy, earth-friendly eating habits (read: vegan diet).
  • Take time to learn some useful tools like kicks, punches, blocks, etc.
  • Anything goes: There's no such thing as fighting "dirty."

Memorize these 13 "magic words" when dealing with the Blue Bloc, I mean, cops: "I am going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer."

Face up to your fears
Participating in sustained direct action is rarely a popular or easy choice. It could put us at odds with our friends, family, and community. It could jeopardize our careers. It could even lead to direct conflict with law enforcement officers. Scary stuff, for sure.

But ask yourself this: What frightens you more, being judged for getting busted for disorderly conduct or comprehending that 80 percent of the world's forests are already gone? How will you answer when future generations ask what you did to defend all life on earth?

There are good reasons to be afraid, comrades. There are better reasons to be bold.


Note: To continue conversations like this, come see Mickey Z. in person Saturday, Jan. 12, in NYC for Occupy the Climate: Hurricane Sandy, Eco-Activism, & the Vegan Option.

Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

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