What is Deep Green Resistance?

Our world is in crisis. Species extinction, topsoil loss, deforestation, rising seas, ocean acidification, global warming. It’s no exaggeration to say that the dominant culture is killing the planet.

At the same time, societies around the world are staggeringly unjust. Neocolonialism builds up empires on the backs of indigenous peoples, sweatshop workers, unpaid and underpaid women, and the bodies of our nonhuman kin. 

Deep Green Resistance (DGR) is an analysis, a strategy, and an organization — the only organization of its kind. 

As an analysis, DGR explains that “the culture of empire”—civilization—is the social structure that is responsible for destroying life on Earth. By recognizing the roots of the problem, we can create meaningful strategy to address it.

As a strategy, DGR offers a concrete plan for how to stop the destruction through a two-pronged approach: an “aboveground” movement engaging in organizing, resistance, and building of alternative institutions such as food, housing, and medical systems; and an “underground” wing committed to strategically dismantling the institutions killing the world—using non-violent methods and coordinated dismantling of industrial infrastructure.

As an organization, Deep Green Resistance is implementing the aboveground portion of this strategy.

Our Vision

A world where biodiversity is rising, dead zones are shrinking, and land-based cultures grounded in human rights and a sustainable relationship with the planet arise and flourish.

In short: a world without industrial civilization.

What is Our Work?

In order for the planet to survive, we must act in its defense. This is why Deep Green Resistance is organizing actions to confront the power structures—patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, and civilization—largely responsible for the plunder of land and people. Deep Green Resistance focuses on the following:

  1. Education: Community outreach to develop cultures of resistance and educate about the necessity of an underground that can target the strategic infrastructure of industrialization.
  2. Recruitment: Formation of regional chapters, leadership development, and training.
  3. Mutual Aid: Development of alternative institutions for survival and community defense.
  4. Action: Direct action and campaigns against injustice and destruction of the planet. We maintain a firewall between our members and any groups or individuals who may be engaged in underground action. For an explanation of why this is necessary, see our Security page.

The Deep Green Resistance Book

The DGR organization is largely based on the book Deep Green Resistance, which was written by Lierre Keith, Aric McBay, and Derrick Jensen and released in spring 2011. The book outlines various strategic principles for modern resistance movements.

Synopsis

Deep Green Resistance starts where the environmental movement leaves off: industrial civilization is incompatible with life. Technology can’t fix it, and shopping—no matter how green—won’t stop it. To save this planet, we need a serious resistance movement that can bring down the industrial economy. Deep Green Resistance evaluates strategic options for resistance, from nonviolence to guerrilla warfare, and the conditions required for those options to be successful. It provides an exploration of organizational structures, recruitment, security, and target selection for both aboveground and underground action*. Deep Green Resistance also discusses a culture of resistance and the crucial support role that it can play.

Deep Green Resistance is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet—and win.

Read the Book

You can read Deep Green Resistance online, “name your donation” to download an eBook, or buy a physical copy of the book.

We encourage you to buy the book directly through this website, and not from Walmart, Amazon, etc. All proceeds from books purchased through the DGR website go directly to support the DGR Aboveground organization.

Price $23 — includes free shipping within the U.S.

Deep Green Resistance Statement of Principles

1. The soil, the air, the water, the climate, and the food we eat are created by complex communities of living creatures. The needs of those living communities are primary; individual and social morality must emerge from a humble relationship with the web of life.

2. Civilization, especially industrial civilization, is fundamentally destructive to life on earth. Our task is to create a life-centered resistance movement that will dismantle industrial civilization by any means necessary. Organized political resistance is the only hope for our planet.

3. Deep Green Resistance works to end abuse at the personal, organizational, and cultural levels. We also strive to eradicate domination and subordination from our private lives and sexual practices. Deep Green Resistance aligns itself with feminists and others who seek to eradicate all social domination and to promote solidarity between oppressed peoples.

4. When civilization ends, the living world will rejoice. We must be biophilic people in order to survive. Those of us who have forgotten how must learn again to live with the land and air and water and creatures around us in communities built on respect and thanksgiving. We welcome this future.

5. Deep Green Resistance is a radical feminist organization. Men as a class are waging a war against women. Rape, battering, incest, prostitution, pornography, poverty, and gynocide are both the main weapons in this war and the conditions that create the sex-class women. Gender is not natural, not a choice, and not a feeling: it is the structure of women’s oppression. Attempts to create more “choices” within the sex-caste system only serve to reinforce the brutal realities of male power. As radicals, we intend to dismantle gender and the entire system of patriarchy which it embodies. The freedom of women as a class cannot be separated from the resistance to the dominant culture as a whole.

 

Deep Green Resistance Code of Conduct

All societies – including the most peaceful; especially the most peaceful – have understood the necessity of codes of conduct, which are nothing more than behavioral norms. All serious organizations have codes of conduct by which people are meant to abide. The Spanish Anarchists did. So did the IRA. The Freedom Riders had a code of conduct, as did Nat Turner’s fighters. Codes of conduct are even more important in militant resistance movements which have a history of behaving badly.

To reject the concept of a social compact is to reject all responsibility (which comes from the root “to give in return”) and ultimately all human relationships. The modern, Western, individualist, capitalist, code of conduct is that there can be no such thing as a code of conduct other than what benefits an individual the most. Our movements can’t use this as a measure of liberation or as a model for our organizations or communities. If we are to be successful in such a monumental task, we must invest time and energy in our relationships.

Agreeing to abide by a code of conduct is not limiting, it is liberating. It will ensure that all involved are in agreement on the basic protocols that will guide us in this struggle. Civilization, especially industrial civilization, is fundamentally destructive to life on earth. Organized political resistance is the only hope for our planet. Our task is to create that resistance movement.

With this goal in mind, we agree to adhere to the following Code of Conduct in our organizing groups:

 

Political Action: DGR groups will only engage in aboveground, nonviolent activities. These can include legal demonstrations as well as civil disobedience.

Solidarity: Non-indigenous members of DGR remember that we are living on stolen land in the midst of an ongoing genocide. The task of the non-indigenous is to build solidarity with indigenous people in defending the land, preserving traditional cultures and protecting sacred ceremonies from exploitation.

Justice: We are enmeshed in overlapping systems of sadistic power built on stolen wealth, white privilege, misogyny, and human supremacism. As individuals, it is our responsibility to acknowledge those systems, overcome our entitlement, and make alliances with the dispossessed. Collectively, it is our task to bring those systems down.

Liberty: DGR groups have a zero-tolerance policy for abuse of anyone, human or nonhuman. Physical integrity and emotional safety are basic human rights that DGR is sworn to defend. DGR will banish any members who rape, batter, or abuse any living creature. Masculinity, with its militarized psychology and its violation imperative, has to be abandoned personally and dismantled globally.

Character: DGR is a serious undertaking that requires loyalty, commitment, integrity, and courage. Being in an organization doesn’t mean that everyone will like everyone else. Members are expected to treat everyone with respect, and are required to participate in conflict resolution if requested by the Board.

Security: All DGR members are required to abide by principles of security culture and to address breaches directly. Both lax security and paranoia are dangerous to our organization. All non-political illegal activity puts everyone at risk and is inappropriate for members. DGR groups are required to educate new members on security culture.

“When I talk about a resistance, I am talking about an organized political resistance. I’m not just talking about something that comes and something that goes. I’m not talking about a feeling. I’m not talking about having in your heart the way things should be and going through a regular day having good, decent, wonderful ideas in your heart.

 

I’m talking about when you put your body and your mind on the line and you commit yourself to years of struggle in order to change the society in which you live… A political resistance goes on day and night, under cover and over ground, where people can see it and where people can’t. It is passed from generation to generation. It is taught. It is encouraged. It is celebrated. It is smart. It is savvy. It is committed. And someday it will win. It will win.”

 

— Andrea Dworkin

The different branches of a resistance movement must work in tandem: the aboveground and belowground, the militants and the nonviolent, the frontline activists and the cultural workers. Without dismantling the global industrial economy, there will soon be nothing left of the world. And without alternative systems, people will continue to be dependent on the globalized economy that is killing all life on Earth. We need it all. 

“I do not deny that I planned sabotage. I did not plan it in a spirit of recklessness nor because I have any love of violence. I planned it as a result of a calm and sober assessment of the political situation that had arisen after many years of tyranny, exploitation and oppression of my people by the whites.” 

— Nelson Mandela

Join the Resistance

 We must be tenacious, smart, strategic, careful, bold, and self-reflective. We must be unapologetic and non-compromising. We’ve got to sacrifice. Those who are ready have to get together and do the tedious work of organizing and building organizations and communities, engaging in political struggles, and carrying out realistic strategies for success. We don’t hope to be effective, we plan to make it happen. And we’re recruiting.