“A brilliant spark that will fly through the air and set the vapors of our insurrectionary imaginations alight.”John Jordan, founder of Reclaim the Streets
Earth First! is a worldwide movement of small, bioregionally-based groups of radical environmentalists. Formed in 1979, Earth First! claims to have no members, only “believers” — self-proclaimed deep ecologists who equally value and protect all life by acting locally. Their actions range from public education, grassroots organizing and involvement in the legal process, to blockades, tree sits and demonstrations. In alignment with their motto, “No compromise in defense of Mother Earth,” some Earth First!ers go a step beyond civil disobedience, sabotaging industrial equipment in ecodefense. Such nonviolent and “productive” forms of property destruction include road reclamation, destruction of genetically modified crops and tree spiking. Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching — a compilation of articles and letters sent to the Earth First! Journal by dozens of individuals, edited by Dave Foreman and published by Earth First! Books — outlines methods for decommissioning bulldozers, flattening tires, burning machinery and pulling out survey stakes, and discusses the security, safety, strategy and justification behind such actions.