Protester Motivations

by Eamon Farrelly, who lives on a small homestead on the edge of Appalachia with his wife. He spent several months organizing blockades of the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. He is currently organizing new blockade efforts against the tar sands industry. To contact him concerning supporting this campaign, email him at

Earlier in the summer I got a call from a friend. They asked if I had checked my email yet, and told me to do so. My inbox had a message from a friend who is an anti-tarsands activist. The message contained a link and password where I could view a Power Point presentation that had been assembled by TransCanada (the Canadian oil firm behind the Keystone XL Pipeline) and presented to law enforcement agents including the FBI in Nebraska.

My mugshot was in this presentation, along with the mugshots of basically everyone else who had been arrested taking action against the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas. This presentation had been discovered by a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by BOLD Nebraska, and when the media got hold of it, one of the items they focused on the most was the fact that the presentation contained suggestions of charges to be used against anyone caught blockading construction of the pipeline, and there was even a suggestion that law enforcement look into applicable terrorism charges.

While it is frustrating to see each and every new aberration of so called “justice,” they no longer take me by surprise. We live in the country with the highest incarceration rate in the world, and the penal system blatantly targets non-white people. We live in a country where it’s a crime to even unknowingly cause a “public disturbance” near a “security event,” yet it is not a crime contaminate the rivers with mercury or glyphosate, where it is not a crime to eliminate the last standing old growth forests, and where it is not a crime to drive up the child leukemia rate in a community by emitting toxins from refineries, so long as that community is poor and not white. Essentially, we live in a country where causing illness and death is absolutely welcomed, so long as it is done slowly and indirectly, and so long as you make a lot of money doing it. But stand on a street corner with a sign demanding accountability or climb a tree in a bulldozer’s path, and its Tasers, pepper spray, beatings, felony charges, conspiracy charges, grand jury investigations, absurdly high bails, and a corporate media that fawns over the law enforcement structure the entire time, as if causing incredible pain in someone who has dared to point out the emperor’s lack of clothing is a high and heroic calling.

Reading through the Power Point presentation, what bothered me the most was a short little section titled, “Protester Motivations.” The drafters of the presentation cherry picked three short segments of quotes people had given at various times to media personnel that contained no real content. The section painted “protesters” as aimless hobbyists who have no real qualms with the oil and gas industry, who have no understanding one way or the other concerning the ramifications of climate change, who don’t give a damn about lives being lost — human and not — at the point of extraction all the way to refinery communities. Nope, we’re just a bunch of weirdos who have nothing better to do than to be wet and cold in the back woods, like spoiled children really, who would be off spray painting walls or smoking pot in our parents basements if we weren’t “protesting.”

Again, I’m not naive. Of course TransCanada staff aren’t going to compile a presentation detailing exactly how many lies they’ve told the public, how much land they seized through eminent domain, or how much they skimp on pipeline safety; let alone rise to a level of honesty where they would own up to the poisoning of land the Athabasca Chipewyan people still live off of in Alberta, or to the level of climatic damage mining, processing, and burning tar sands is going to level on all living beings on planet Earth.

Of course, I’m not exactly sure why they would be afraid to be honest with the FBI, DHS, and local sheriffs they had the privilege to “brief.” Were they afraid that they might stumble onto a cop who actually still had a beating heart, or some still barely functioning conscience? Were they afraid that by detailing the level of atmospheric damage their product poses, a cop in the field might not goose step up to the nearest hippie chained to an excavator and issue decisive pain compliance “in the name of the law?”

My frustration is ultimately with the deception of the entire culture, the self deluding that is necessary for the entire death machine that is industrial capitalism to function. Lies, stacked on lies, buried under yet more lies, without which a dedicated FBI agent might not feel that the best use of their time was to monitor the small handful of human beings who actually care about more than televised sports and are willing to get off the couch and to demonstrate it. The same lies that corporate paper pushers tell themselves so they’ll suffer morning traffic day after day on their way to the office where they can play their small part in the mass extinction the planet is now undergoing. These are the same lies we tell ourselves when we sit back down in our houses, hiding in our comfortable lives, pretending that we have no stake in the game and that we are powerless to affect it anyway.

If the NSA, FBI, DHS, and fusion center goons are really needing to understand “protester motivations,” well hell’s bells, just ask!

Personally, my primary motivation for being away from my family and dangling sixty feet in the air is NOT WATCHING EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING I LOVE GO FUCKING EXTINCT! Yes, this is a possibility, if not a probability now! I know that your pea brains function on a need to know basis, and if someone you consider higher than you on the human hierarchy doesn’t tell you to believe something, you won’t believe it, but if you have an iota of cerebral capacity that hasn’t been completely radiated into gray mush by years of state sponsored propagandizing and Pavlovian boot licking, know this: Industrial activity has set in motion a series of events that through positive feedback loops have the very real potential of wiping out the life support systems of the planet. If there is any hope left, any at all, it is in the abolition of the fossil fuel industry, and in the dissolution of capitalism. Every time you use the force of your weaponry and your fists to remove those who are merely in the way of the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, you directly aide in the holocaust that is now consuming upwards of two hundred species per day; a holocaust which will absolutely lead to the collapse of the global biosphere if it is not immediately halted. That includes you, and your kids, and my kid, and I will not sit back and let that happen.

While we’re at it, here’s some bonus info; I’m not a “protester.” I’m a human being who gives a fuck, and who hasn’t been morally and spiritually crushed despite the best efforts of those who profit off of the silence and complacency of the masses in the face of genocide. As a person of conscience and soul, I am not willing to stand by as the forests fall, as the waters run black, and as the least among us are continually exploited and made to suffer the most.

And TransCanada, you’re Power Point got one thing right. You’ll see me again. Now go rot in hell you selfish, murderous, Eichmanns.


Thanks to an abundance of contributions, there will be a new essay posted in this space every three days for the foreseeable future. McPherson’s latest for The Good Men Project kicks off a series. It appears here.

Comments 123

  • @ Thanatos Sunbum

    There’s lots of different kinds of love, you’re talking about a small kind of love, where you expect to get some love back from some person you love, as if it was some kind of commercial exchange where you got cheated, and now you’re hurt and angry.

    But there’s the big love, when you’re a really big man, a real human, which means you contain all things and all people, and love has nothing to do with getting anything form anybody.

    Sure, you open yourself, to be able to receive love and then you’re vulnerable and can get hurt. Well, you WILL get hurt. It happens to everybody. So what ? Life hurts.

    Once you understand, then you love all the people who are getting hurt for loving. You carry all their pain for them. That’s a kind of bigger love.

    And when you’re a big man, who can do that, they hate you for being able to do that, because they are small and mean and vicious. And that hurts too. So you learn.

    So what you going to do ? Become like them ? Small and sordid and poisonous ? Project all your fear and hate onto some other poor fucker and lynch them ?

    To be a real man you have to get above all that shit and have no fear and no hate and be free from it all. Fuck ’em. They want to be small and mean and nasty. I want to be vast and unlimited. I don’t mind being burned at the stake and lynched and crucified. If that’s the price, it’s cheap. The company is good. BIG LOVE. It’s like water, it can’t be broken. But don’t be a fool, either, don’t make it easy for them.

  • @ Kirk Hamilton

    Thanks for the Minnesotans For Global Warming link….

    Erm, made my day, that did…

    @ Badlands

    Don’t know what happened to the NTE ning, Brad said he changed the layout because there was going to be an upgrade of the software and the previous wasn’t going to be compatible, so that suggested he was intending to keep going… but looks like he gave up or something untoward occurred.

    @ mo flow

    U – yes, the weird dance back and forth between nothing, then one, two…

    No, look, I was talking about something specific.

    The concept of absolute nothingness. I think people have conceived of that notion from very early times, because it is in all the Creation myths, hundreds of them, from all around the world, there’s a wonderful book someone did collecting them, but there’s probably plenty on the internet.

    Them from Nothing, comes Something.

    That Something, is then represented, named, it is US, or it is the One, or the Uni-verse, the World.

    Leibniz, one of the founders of Western science, worked away at that idea.

    It does not get to the TWO, that you mentioned. He got the idea from China, from the I Ching. Zeros and Ones. Binary numbers. That is what has allowed us to have computers and the internet.

    @ TIAA,dear, Consciousness has been a net inescapable…etc

    Although I enjoy reading what you wrote there, for me, you dilute the meaning of ‘consciousness’ so much, that by the end, I no longer have any idea what it means, and any number of other words could be substituted… that’s not really a criticism… because I freely accept that we are talking about something elusive which evades definition…

  • I don’t us a computer on weekends – Mondays are tough to catch up – so much stuff, so many topics, so many posters…

    It’s getting really deep here – not sure what the topic is, glad guy has posted a new article…

    As far as Germany and USSR and all that, really? I think whenever there is war (which is “legal” murder), all bets are off. Geneva convention is a joke. Everyone is guilty, all players are equal targets. The civilians are not innocent.

  • I really don’t understand the whole trans issue.

    I’m not transphobic, for that would mean I have a fear of trannys, and I don’t fear them.

    I can’t believe any organization would even have to deal with the tiny fraction of individuals that this population makes up – I mean, really?

    And, to think that the FBI is planting trannys in DGR is hilarious.

    Is this really how you want to spend your time as NTE approaches?

  • U – “No, look, I was talking about something specific.

    The concept of absolute nothingness. I think people have conceived of that notion from very early times, because it is in all the Creation myths, hundreds of them, from all around the world, there’s a wonderful book someone did collecting them, but there’s probably plenty on the internet.

    Them from Nothing, comes Something.

    That Something, is then represented, named, it is US, or it is the One, or the Uni-verse, the World.”

    understood! yes, i don’t want to leave the impression that i missed your point about the “something specific” – it is very much the heart of things for me, this “specific” thing you are referring to, what actually is contained in my “proposition 0.”

    i suppose i will dare try to expand on “nothing” a bit, even though it is the ultimate fool’s errand.

    again, i am only going to attempt this from what i claim as my own experience. i am all for the philosophical approach, and the approach of myth and poetry, but there is so much to refer to there, as you mention, that it would be an endless effort to give it its due.

    as Robin is so fond of pointing out, there is Consciousness, and there is consciousness with content – awareness (Robin, please correct me if I screw this up).

    now, if we have Consciousness without awareness, without content, what do we really have? as far as I have experienced, we do have pure nothing. Void. the first moment “something” jumps into the picture and we have our first “content” and our first awareness.

    anyone can object – “if you have Consciousness, then by definition, you have a Something! A ha!” well, like i said, this is truly a fool’s errand, to try and actually label the Void. one of the big reasons it should just be left unsaid, or demonstrated in a different way – a flower, a smile…

    but even these demonstrations are taking place in the land of “something” and it is just understood that we cannot label, so we only smile.

    but to give your point its full due, can we go even further past this “Consciousness without content” – into an understanding or perception of a more complete nothingness? we can sure try! it is useful for inspiring wonder, and poetry and myth. but for me, I suppose, this is my ultimate closed loop. I don’t see the need to go past the place of Consciousness without content, because that is a “good enough” nothing for me! it seems timeless and spaceless enough, and all encompassing enough, and eternal enough, and powerful enough, and eternal enough, to do everything a good “nothing” should be able to do.

    Nice response to Thanatos Sunbum. For TIAA – “I no longer have any idea what it means” and that’s a good thing! i do grok where she is coming from (as do you) and never forgetting it is my life’s goal. the will to risk the yet un-risked, “if only in wild dreams and thrashings” …and “to shed our conscious curse and find the will and power within to love in that dangerous and godly way through the dark side where all light is born.” god… what joy, what daring, shivering, ecstatic joy!

  • (with full credits to TIAA, Terrence McKenna, Nick Drake, and all the originators)

    the subtle
    and undoing

    the subtle
    takes the unwilling

    nothing lasts
    but nothing is lost

    no meanings
    that Consciousness can speak

    only livings
    and riskings
    and a Pink moon
    to bounce

  • @ mo flow

    understood! yes, i don’t want to leave the impression that i missed your point about the “something specific” – it is very much the heart of things for me, this “specific” thing you are referring to, what actually is contained in my “proposition 0.”

    Yes, which was why you received my effusive congratulations, hahaha, because not many people get that, in fact I can’t think of anyone else who did, at this moment…although there must be plenty… mustn’t there ? If you and I and Leibniz…. ?? :-)

    I think there re two ways to consider this absolute nothingness.

    One way is to think about it deeply, as a concept, which imo, is very worthwhile, because if you really dwell upon that idea with great intensity for a long time, and then contrast it with what actually exists, the contrast is, well, kinda mind boggling, yes ? :-)

    The second way is via deep meditation, as taught by buddhist and other traditional wisdom paths, where it is not something that is thought about, but something that is experienced directly, sensually.

    …can we go even further…

    I myself and many others have tried to see how far it is possible to go and whether it is possible to penetrate further.

    I think we are limited, because we are human beings.

    I can enter and leave any of the jhanas at will.

    We can become cosmic buddhas. Then what ?

    We are limited, because we are cosmic buddhas…

    Ninth Jhana

  • And for the scientifically inclined, who think this is all mumbo jumbo, here’s that link again, that Badlands supplied a couple of weeks back, brain scans of meditators who experience nirodh or ‘cessation’.

  • U – “because not many people get that”

    oh, how I wish I could take credit! that would be something. but aside from probing in various ways, and reading a great deal, the personal extinction event, and the real and complete meaning of “nothing” was not “gotten” by me, it was “given” to me, almost 30 years ago now. though I was a rather young lad at the time, I wisely thought, “hey, I think I will just live a very ordinary life, and spend the rest my life really living, and just spend some of my spare time trying to sort all that out.”

    so I have, and many things are now, finally, coming into real clarity.

    but I will take your congrats anyways :) because like i said it means something to me coming from you, it feels good, and because I have done a fuck of a lot in the process of internalizing and practicing, and it is now time for some more serious playing.

    i just read the whole link about the Jhanas. to be really clear, again, I spend almost no time involved with philosophy, terminology and dividing things up like this, but at the same time I am really glad someone does, and takes the time to write it all down! it is so important. the power of the Upanishads, the Gita, though it is all just words, cannot be underestimated. i hold the bastards who wrote those things, and more, personally responsible for screwing me up as badly and happily as I am. :)

    everything there rings completely true. everything.

    “One way is to think about it deeply, as a concept, which imo, is very worthwhile, because if you really dwell upon that idea with great intensity for a long time, and then contrast it with what actually exists, the contrast is, well, kinda mind boggling, yes ? :-)”

    this was the first thing I tried, as soon as I was old enough to think in any real way. it was great, encompassed my period atheism and pure materialism, and I relished, and still do, pushing the limits of this path to the place of endless wonder, endless questioning. but it became so mind boggling, and I was still so young, that I thought, well, i have the time, so why not go further?

    so then, this part:

    “The second way is via deep meditation, as taught by buddhist and other traditional wisdom paths, where it is not something that is thought about, but something that is experienced directly, sensually.”

    and here, as I mentioned above, I was blessed with something so extraordinary, so pure and sublime, that it nearly stopped the rest of my life in its tracks. it could have easily derailed my life into something else, something mistaken and delusional, but because it was in itself so complete, I wasn’t really tempted. there was instantly and permanently nothing and everything, and thus no point at all in trying to make it into something it was not.

    “I think we are limited, because we are human beings.

    I can enter and leave any of the jhanas at will.

    We can become cosmic buddhas. Then what ?”

    and oh yes… then what? but first, I would ask you to be careful about how you consider your limits. your limitations, all of them, are yours by choice – mostly. choose the good ones. or maybe… don’t choose any, and just let the chips fall where they may.

  • sorry, should read: “the power of the Upanishads, the Gita, though it is all just words, cannot be overestimated” is the correct way of phrasing that. it is curious how this little backwards phrasing has crept into common usage. i catch it myself when others do it, and then I slip and do it myself!

  • I stand strongly opposed to DGR’s anti-trans policy. I don’t care how “small of a percentage of the population,” trans people make up, telling them that they are a post-modern psychological sickness is fucked up.

    DGR is also strictly hierarchical, and DJ and Lierre planted themselves on top of that mountain, despite Derrick’s admitted inability to do anything remotely destructive (let alone militant) and despite both of their clear lack of experience.

    That said, I love Derrick’s books. I’m actually glad to see him make a fool of himself on the trans issue, because it humanizes him. His cult status needed a take down.

  • @Eamon Farrelly

    I admit I have not read any DGR stuff, but did they really say that trans people are a post-modern psychological sickness? I have to agree, that is fucked up, and not even close to true. They were/are found in most N. American Indigenous tribes, known as “Two Spirit People”, usually thought to manifest both male and female spirits within one body, sometimes with very specific roles in the tribe, sometimes cross-dressing, sometimes with mixed gender roles. Nothing new, certainly not post-modern. Other than that, I cannot critique their writings as I have not read them.

  • @ Badlands, Eamon Farrelly

    I read the book when was briefly available as an illegal pdf download.

    I think it should have been left as as a free down load, That would have been slightly more revolutionary that clinging to establishment copyright laws. I thought spreading the word was the priority.
    Anyway, I thought it was great, some great writing, great logic, great rhetoric.

    I have never met any trans people, I find the idea of playing with one’s gender by taking hormones weird and creepy, but I accept that I live in a very different world where these matters never cross my path.
    People’s private business, not mine.

    I think it’s nothing new in India, either, they have had bi-sexual deities in the Hindu pantheon since ancient times.

    The fascinating thing is, I wonder who the trans people look down on and exclude ? Because that’s what this seems to be about. Whatever marginal group arises and then gets accepted, some other sub-group then appears on the fringe, which in turn has to fight to be recognised.

    I don’t know a lot about this, but I got a free magazine for disabled people a couple of times a year. The angry voices, virulent letters, and the contention might be surprising. The mainstream public see the ‘Super-crips’, the cripples who enter the paralympics, and get contracts to do tv and magazine adverts, and make a lot of money, for having ‘overcome’ their disability. Those people are bitterly hated and resented by another set of ‘ordinary’ disabled people who suffer in great poverty, distress and hardship, who nobody cares about or hears about, who will never ‘overcome’ their disability.

    There are all these silly stereotypes that the media exploit. Whatever group of ‘people’, they are all individuals, and all the individuals are different.

    And what Rob said, re the FBI, trannys, completely misses the point. They don’t need to disguise themselves and infiltrate, do they Rob, don’t be so fucking naive. They just stir up shit the way you do here sometimes, on the forums, pretending to be trans, and causing contention and discord to discredit Jensen and Keith and DGR by making up rumours and accusations. It’s all elementary psy ops and character assassination and to be expected.

  • My point was simply this: why would any organization even have to ACKNOWLEDGE a small, insignificant, minority in their midst? Why not just move along and ignore them? The fact that the tranny issue is getting this much air time is totally unwarranted and even the trannies should recognize that! I’m not a supporter of DGR and I’m not a supporter of trannies, just my opinion.

    All I can say is this: it is apparent to me that people are simply never going to get along and NTE is exactly what we deserve.

    saw this on another doomer website:

    Don’t run. You’ll just die tired.

  • @ Rob

    Well, it’s actually a very good question, and I think it’s because we are human beings and this is how we behave.

    If you have a top down, authoritarian, fascistic structure, the boss says what the rules are and what the policy is, and anybody who dissents gets disciplined and kicked into line or kicked out.

    That’s the military model, that’s also adopted in much of industry and bureaucracy. It sort of works, to a point. It’s the sort of Microsoft pyramid with Gates and Ballmer at the top yelling into their phones.

    But if you want volunteers, especially very smart anarchistic ones, they are not going to put up with that, are they, and it doesn’t make best use of all their talents.

    And if you’ve got a loose tribe of free individuals, who all claim an equal say, like we have here, someone always wants to nitpick about some little thing that really bugs them, that they feel strongly about.

    Personally, I do support DGR, because my loyalty, my constituency, is the wildlife, nature, the animals and birds and plants, and any organisation which is on their side, I tend to like.

    I have no idea what happened re the trannies, I don’t know anything about them, it’s all as foreign to me as space aliens. But I gather there’s another ‘out group’ fighting for recognition, the Otherkin, or somesuch, who are the folk who want cosmetic surgery so they can be part animal, and have fur and long animal ears, tails, and similar additions to their anatomy.

    So I expect before long, they’ll be making a fuss and wanting to be included… where are they going to fit in ? Will the lesbians and gays and the trannies accept them, or reject them ?

    The trouble is, all these division are exploited by the well organised enemy, who have no trouble doing the divide and rule thing which they’ve been doing for centuries. Malcolm X’s House negroes and Field negroes.

    We know from what FBI did to EF! and to Dave Foreman and Judi Bari and many other groups, the policy is, to identify potential trouble early, infiltrate, encourage them to break the law with agents provocateur, and then jail them as a deterrent. So it’s to be expected that DGR would be subjected to all kinds of disruptive attacks.

    This is kinda related I suppose

  • “I wonder who the trans people look down on and exclude ?”
    I dunno, but I lived in a part of town where there was a restaurant run by lesbians. It was supposed to be pretty good, so I went in with a male friend. The waitron —this was in the 1980s when people were actually being encouraged to use this gender-free word for what we would now call a “server”-—any way, she was civil enough, and I think they probably had to serve us by law, but t the other women in the restaurant, including those working in the back and possibly the owners for all I know, hissed during our meal. I was oblivious as to the reason; I just thought it was some oddball form of communication that had nothing to do with us. But at some point I figured out: they were hissing AT THE MAN. Later on I got clued in to Mary Daly and the separatist “battleaxes” (their term).

  • U – “is the wildlife, nature, the animals and birds and plants, and any organisation which is on their side, I tend to like.”

    just as long as there is no discrimination against trans rams or gay ducks.

    “Otherkin, or somesuch, who are the folk who want cosmetic surgery so they can be part animal, and have fur and long animal ears, tails, and similar additions to their anatomy.”

    please tell me you made that up.

  • @ Lidia

    Most distressing to hear about your difficult predicament re chemo , Lidia. I see you as a fine, noble, strong lady, a person of sincerity and integrity, quite rare and valuable in this trashy culture. I guess we are always alone with these difficult decisions and choices. The medical systems are a racket, especially when commercial like yours. Here it’s more bureaucratic. I can recommend this qi / chi / ki thing, if yu ever recover enough to get into it. I think I’m stronger now than I have ever been in my life, which amazes me, and is very unexpected, from inner qi gong type practices :-)

    Yes, my wife was hissed at by punks, in a somewhat similar situation, because she was conventionally dressed. Funny, because underneath the attire, was the radical politics. People are rude and stupid since forever.

    @ mo flow

    just as long as there is no discrimination against trans rams or gay ducks.

    Seriously, from what little I know of the subject, there is a naturally occurring percentage in very many species, which presumably has some evolutionary benefit, however, I suspect the recent huge numbers of gays, lesbians, trannies, whatevers, very likely has something to do with our bodies being contaminated with more than six hundred artificial chemicals which we cannot excrete, or which we have never been exposed to in our previous evolution, many of which have significant effects upon our metabolism, some are known to disrupt our endocrine system. So right from the start as human embryos in the womb and all through childhood. we are being bathed chemicals which I suspect very probably interfere with sex and gender.

    please tell me you made that up.

    Of course I did not. There are already people who have had cosmetic surgery to alter their appearance in line with various, what might be called ‘artistic’ visions. As I understand it, there are contentious divisions amongst what I called Otherkin. They’d probably resent and dispute my labelling. I’m no expert on this, I’v only noticed it in passing, I don’t want to venture any opinion, I’m as ignorant of them as Jensen appears to have been about trannies. I’m probably even more ignorant about trannies than Jensen.

    I mean, I don’t even understand the gay and lesbian cultures. The town where I grew up, the attitude was that ‘homos’ should all be killed. But there weren’t any. So that made it easy. Of course, there were, but they, very sensibly, kept a very low profile, because it was a criminal offence. Then the culture and the laws changed. I’ve never had any problem with gays or lesbians or anyone else, for that matter, in that I hate stereotypes, i try to deal with the individual in front of me, as an individual human being. They often tell me bizarre crazy stuff, sometimes quite astonishing and shocking to me. The world is full of weird crazy stuff. As I understand it, the hope of some of those folk is to genetically engineer themselves into being part animal, whatever.

    I only mentioned this, because it seems merely a logical extension of what trannies do, by moving their sexual orientation and physical appearance, by taking chemicals. These Otherkins want to do a similar thing, only with a slightly different aim, and I wondered if the trannies would object or find it offensive.

    Heaven only knows, if they succeed, what the next sub group will find to do…

  • U – “The world is full of weird crazy stuff.”


    good points both about the chemical bath (it is amazing how far we have taken this – and I will be really careful there and say “we” is only in the most general sense, i know many here, maybe all, would not have chosen anything like this result) and the need of tolerance.

    I am not too surprised to hear of the Otherkin for the first time just now, but then I found myself afraid to google or wiki it to find out more! and I’m still not going to click on that link just yet. :)

    there is certainly room for them here, no doubt about that.

  • @ mo flow

    ..but then I found myself afraid to..

    Gosh, mo flow, I’d taken you to be made of sterner stuff ;-)

    there is certainly room for them here, no doubt about that.

    Yes indeed, I think we’d welcome them warmly, in fact there’s probably a lot here already, possibly some who have not even been conscious of their Otherkin-ness until now..

    For those too timid to click, it’s maybe not quite as terrifying as you imagine… well, apart from the vampires, and werewolves, perhaps… but we have them here already, don’t we ?

    Otherkin are a community of people who see themselves as partially or entirely non-human. They contend that they are, in spirit if not in body,[2] not human. This is explained by some members of the otherkin community as possible through reincarnation, having a nonhuman soul, ancestry, or symbolic metaphor.[1] According to Joseph Laycock, “scholarship has framed this claim as religious because it is frequently supported by a framework of metaphysical beliefs.”[3] Not all otherkin necessarily share these beliefs; some may simply prefer to identify as non-human.
    Otherkin largely identify as mythical creatures,[4] with others identifying as creatures from fantasy or popular culture. Examples include: angels, demons, dragons, robots or androids, elves, fairies, sprites, plants, aliens,[5][6][7] and cartoon characters.[8] Many otherkin believe in the existence of a multitude of parallel/alternative universes, which would explain the existence and the possibility to relate to fantastical beings and even fictional characters.[9]
    With regards to their online communities, otherkin largely function without formal authority structures, and mostly focus on support and information gathering, often dividing into more specific groups based on kintype.[9] There are occasional offline gathers, but the otherkin network is an almost entirely online phenomenon.[9]
    Some otherkin (such as elvenkin) claim they are allergic to iron (and products of modern technology), whilst other otherkin (such as dragonkin) claim that having no allergies is a sign of being an otherkin.[6] Some otherkin also claim to be especially empathic and attuned to nature.[6] Some claim to be able to shapeshift mentally or astrally—meaning that they experience the sense of being in their particular form while not actually changing physically.[1][10]
    The therian and vampire subcultures are related to the otherkin community, and are considered part of it by most otherkin, but are culturally and historically distinct movements of their own despite some overlap in membership

  • I was taken by surprise by the “transphobia” accusations against DGR a few months ago, not knowing much about trans* issues, radical feminism, or DGR’s history with trans* people. I’ve read a lot about the issues since then, including books and essays by trans* authors and recommended by trans activists, and books and essays by radical feminists. My research has been a really interesting journey into the practical differences between liberalism and radicalism, and a horrifying uncovering of the ways that men are successfully shutting down the ability of women to organize, speak, and be heard (and how many within supposedly progressive activist circles are going along with that silencing.)

    My conclusions, in short: DGR works to end discrimination and abuse against all oppressed people, including those who identify as trans*. DGR welcomes trans* folks into the organization (given an agreement on radical feminism, which is one of DGR’s basic principles) and/or as allies (with whom total agreement on everything is not necessary; allies can work together in the areas where they do agree). DGR is not “transphobic” in any meaningful sense of the word.

    DGR does have a different political analysis of gender than do queer
    theorists, and many (or most?) trans* people seem to have adopted the
    liberal queer theory analysis. DGR applies the same radical analysis
    of systems of oppression to gender as it does to discrimination and
    abuse based on species, class, race, indigenous status, etc. DGR stands firmly with women oppressed from birth as a class, and defends their right to define safe spaces for themselves. DGR doesn’t generically regard transgendered women, born as males into a privileged class, as “threats”, but does oppose anyone (transgendered or not) who violates the boundaries biological women establish for themselves. Trans activists started attacking DGR a year and a half ago after a transwoman demanded access to female-only areas within DGR (including an area of the online discussion forum); the women felt uncomfortable opening up their spaces in that way. DGR staff proposed creating a forum area for women and trans* folks to discuss common issues together while preserving the women-only space, but that wasn’t good enough for the transwoman.

    It all seems to come down to a really straight-forward question of whether biological women, as an oppressed class, have the right to establish and maintain spaces of their own.

    More about DGR’s analysis of gender here:

    And a response to Aric’s post:

    PS Regarding Thanatos Sunbum’s problems at the Derrick Jensen forum: from what I’ve seen over years of observation, the only people who
    get banned from that forum are banned for one of two

    1) They pretend to agree with the premises from Endgame to get access to the forum, then want to argue about those premises. The forum is
    explicitly set up as a discussion place for people who share those
    premises as a starting point. No one there wants to rehash
    “Civilization is Bad 101” with every troll who comes along.

    2) They repeatedly demonstrate themselves unable or unwilling to
    engage in respectful discussion. Differing opinions, ideas, and
    challenging questions are welcomed, but rudeness and violating the
    boundaries of others is not tolerated.

  • How long have you felt it?
    Your fingers filled with dull ache whenever you use them for too
    long, your shoulder-blades tickling with the sensation of phantom
    limbs, that sense that you’re swimming in a body too big to make
    use of, the confusion of being.

    You weren’t meant to walk among humans.

    Maybe you’ve just shrugged it off, assuring yourself that everyone
    feels this way sometimes. Maybe you’ve been going crazy for the
    answer. There is no easy way to doubt your body.

    There is no comfortable way to fall apart.

  • DGR is going to love this:

    FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) — Bradley Manning plans to live as a woman named Chelsea and wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible, the soldier said Thursday, a day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for sending classified material to WikiLeaks.

    Is he a Hero or a Freak? Or both?