Prelude to Civil War

A while back, I remarked that the Netwar at Cherry Point over a coal terminal was merely an opening battle in the fossil fuel export war. The conflict over shipping Alberta Tar Sands oil and Bakken Shale crude out of Burrard Inlet and Cherry Point–under the anti-Indian Trump regime–will test the mettle of the indigenous and religious combatants like never before.

When we helped defeat the Aryan Nations/Minutemen/Christian Patriot militias in the 1990s, the key to community organizing across five Northwest states was the marriage of anti-fascist researchers with networks of religious leaders devoted to respecting cultural diversity. Churches and synagogues were our educational meeting places, and provided the nucleus of leadership in the human rights task forces established in response to white supremacy violence targeting American Indians, LGBTs, Blacks and Jews.

Using research as an organizing tool, we helped shut down a hate radio station in Montana, and gathered evidence that led to the conviction of seven Christian Patriots in U.S. District Court in Seattle. These primary documents created a larger context of history, that serves as the basis for informed opinion based on knowledge.

Our researchers set up a monitoring network to share information and intelligence on white supremacist organizing, that was used by law enforcement, major educational institutions, and news outlets in making sense of right-wing paramilitary terrorism in the US. You can read more about this history in the Public Good Archives.

Communications in Conflict, the quintessential publication on netwar, serves as a touchstone for those who realize the connection between intelligent communications and networked power. For novices, it serves as an orientation to the science of coercion.

Trump’s choice for U.S. Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, who–as Attorney General of Alabama, and as a U.S. Senator–fought against civil rights. The Attorney General is the head of the U.S. Department of Justice, that sets legal policy in the areas of civil rights and environmental enforcement.

This is not the beginning of difficult times; it is the prelude to civil war.

Tribal-Threatening Changes

As tribes and friends of the Salish Sea ponder what the election of a President who has openly demeaned American Indians might mean in terms of their hard-fought victory in the Netwar at Cherry Point, scholars of religion weigh in on the ominous implications of the election of a Vice President who has made his political career a Biblical crusade. With tribal-threatening changes in personnel imminent at the Departments of Interior, Justice and Commerce, advances made by Indian tribes over the last forty years can now be swept aside with the stroke of an executive pen.

Meanwhile, Christian dominionists are rejoicing that President Trump has said he will put Vice President Pence in charge of all foreign and domestic policy, while he makes America great again.

For readers who wish to understand Christian fascism in the US, INSiGHT journal, Volume 2, FALL 2016 examines religious hysteria in America, and the spiritual warfare of Puritanical conservatism against socialism and the indigenous peoples’ movement.

NEB v BC

As noted in the Vancouver Observer, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau’s pipeline panel released a report last Thursday on community concerns regarding the Kinder Morgan proposal to triple Tar Sands bitumen flowing from Alberta to the Burnaby, British Columbia shipping terminal in Greater Vancouver. Of particular interest is the fact that

former Prime Minister Stephen Harper removed pipeline reviews from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and handed it to the industry-dominated National Energy Board. This government “regulator” looked more like a Calgary oil company boardroom, even requiring its members to reside in the tar sands capital.

The author goes on to note that, “In the 2015 federal election, candidate Trudeau promised to overhaul the NEB and restart the review for the Kinder Morgan pipeline project. After the election, Prime Minister Trudeau apparently forgot his campaign promise. In January, the NEB hearings continued despite growing protests.”

Sensing that the NEB decision has already been made, and that the oil-industry-dominated NEB couldn’t care less about the impacts on British Columbia and the Salish Sea, Greenpeace–as reported in the Vancouver Sunannounced a Nov. 12 “workshop” in Vancouver to train pipeline opponents in methods of civil disobedience.

Tactics being presented include “peaceful sit-ins in offices, blockades to prevent bulldozers from reaching a construction site, art installations in the pipeline right-of-ways,” said spokesman Keith Stewart.

A Supportive Environment

On October 12, the Seattle School Board unanimously approved a resolution calling for the federal government to extend treaty rights and benefits to the Duwamish tribe. The resolution states that the school board’s approval would contribute to “a supportive environment for Native education in Seattle Public Schools.”

With state-mandated Native American history now part of the Washington public schools curricula, it appears that education is a beneficial pathway. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, herself a resident of Seattle, has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to leave a legacy to the Emerald City.