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Deep Green Resistance had the honor recently of conducting a video interview with long-time peace activist and organizer with Veterans for Peace, Doug Zachary. Zachary, an Austin resident and now a DGR member himself, describes personal experiences seeing and feeling the tragedy of industrial civilization’s destruction of habitat and life.

This interview was conducted for a DGR documentary in progress, On the Side of the Living.

Walk in the Woods, by Linda Crockett

On Saturday, 11/19, DGR Austin hosted our first Edible & Medicinal Plant Nature Walk. Our local experts Eric and Chris took thirty people (!!) on a walk in the woods, where we learned about how to identify and use a bunch of plants. Leaves to heal a cut, berries that one should not eat, a cactus that you can make into a container to boil water, bark that can treat a sore throat! Eric and Chris also demonstrated how to make fire with a bow and hand drill, and we had a discussion on how all of this relates to DGR’s goal to protect and heal the Earth.

We will do this again, for sure. Next time, I will post information about this event on this website before the event happens. I made a Facebook event, sent out an email, and told folks about it, and spaced on the website. Please accept my apologies. (Trevor)

Here’s some follow up information from Eric…

Thanks for coming out for the DGR plant walk! I really enjoyed the energy and excitement centered around cultivating a communal knowledge of local plants and their uses. I’m hoping to do a plant walk like it once a month or so. It’d be awesome if we had people trying out different remedies or edible plants and reporting back to the group (please use caution of course). It’s imperative that you are sure of the identification of the plants before you try anything though. You gotta know what plant it is before you try eating it! I got a few questions about good ID books and online resources so I have compiled a list below with some commentary about each resource. You can check out most of these books in the libraries for free by the way. Oh, also, a lot of people just want one book that both IDs plants AND describes their uses; unfortunately, this is rarely the case and I know of no book that does both for Central Texas effectively. You have to look at ID books to figure out what they are and other books to figure out what they’re good for. I use all of these resources, but I will highlight the best one for beginners who are trying to learn identification. Hope this helps and thanks again!

BOOKS:

*Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country by Jan Wrede – Really useful for IDing trees, shrubs, and vines. Not many uses listed, but really a good ID book.

*Wildflowers of Texas by Geyata Ajilvsgi – Really good color coded (by flower color) ID book for wildflowers. Some uses. Not totally comprehensive of Central Texas but has good stuff for all of Texas.

*Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest by Delena Tull – Not great for IDing but awesome for learning uses.

*Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country by Marshall Enquist – Awesome for IDing wildflowers in Central Texas and pretty comprehensive. No uses. Categorized by plant family so more useful for more advanced foragers.

*Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West by Michael Moore – Awesome herbalist talks in depth about how to prepare remedies. Most plants in the book are found locally, but not all. I don’t think it’s in the libraries…

*Remarkable Plants of Texas by Matt Warnock Turner – Really cool in depth accounts of our common natives. This book has more detail than all the other books because it talks about only a few plants but for like 3 pages each. Not good for ID. Also   tells history of the plant uses.

*Botany in a Day by Tom Elpel – Not a local book, but awesome for learning botanical trends. For example you’d learn what shape the leaves and flowers are for the bean family or whether a plant family has alternate or opposite leaf structure. In short, it’s not for identifying specific species, it’s for identifying characteristics of certain groups of plants so you can figure out what group a plant belongs to that you haven’t ever seen before. Awesome for those who are starting out but are sure they want to get into foraging and plant ID for the long haul. It also has edibility and uses.

ONLINE RESOURCES:

http://www.bio.utexas.edu/courses/bio406d/PlantPics_archive.htm – Has a fairly comprehensive list of the plants of Central Texas but is not very user friendly. You have to click on each scientific name to see a picture and read the common name… Really good for IDing, but no uses.

http://herb.umd.umich.edu/ – Really cool site where you can type in the scientific or common name of a plant and see if there are any uses known to this guy in Michigan. Sometimes our local plants are not in his database, but a plant like it might be. So if it doesn’t show anything the first time, try just typing in the genus name (the first word in the scientific name) and see what comes up.

http://www.foragingtexas.com/ – This is a pretty neat site for learning uses of our plants. Scroll down the page and on the left side will be a list of plants that you can click on to view. The guy is in Houston so not all the same plants are here, but my main caution is that he recommends some questionable things sometimes. Like I think he’s the guy that says he’s eaten Lantana berries. So just a word of caution, use your best judgment. You can email me if you have specific questions about something he says.

Happy foraging!

Eric

If you’d like to get in touch with Eric, please send an email to dgraustin@riseup.net.

I am with Deep Green Resistance, also known as DGR. My message is for everyone here.

I implore the Department of State to stop the KeystoneXL. Exploiting the tar sands would further the global climate disaster. If you refuse to protect our home, then it’s time for the people to start fighting back effectively.

Tim DeChristopher is a climate activist currently in prison on a two- year sentence for a successful act of civil disobedience. Tim has said, “I think the consequence of not fighting back is far scarier than the consequence of going to prison for a few years.”

The consequence of not fighting back is business as usual, the continued destruction of our home. We are running out of time. Meanwhile, TransCanada gets rich, while others work multiple jobs just to get by. The poor are poor not for lack of jobs, but b/c the rich and the powerful are stealing from the poor.

DGR is a new, radical environmental movement with a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for the planet – and win.

Our strategy involves two separate parts of the movement – an aboveground and an underground. We are the aboveground and therefore our day-to-day work is strictly limited to nonviolence. We are helping to build a strong, effective, aboveground movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to stop the destruction of the planet, and we are promoting the necessity of a militant underground.

Throughout history, many resistance movements have included an underground that does actions against infrastructure, because it is effective. We need to be effective. So for those here today who are able and willing, this part of our message is for you: We need to stop industrial civilization. This will require an underground organization that can engage in decisive attacks on a continental scale. There are manuals—written by your tax dollars—that can tell you how to do this.

For those here today who prefer to be in an aboveground movement and use nonviolence, as we do, our message, like Tim’s message, is that our nonviolent movements will have to do much more in order to be successful.

We can only succeed in our aboveground work if there are massive waves of nonviolent civil disobedience, in sustained campaigns at key nodes of industry. We are currently building a coalition of individuals and organizations to make this happen to stop the Keystone XL.

This means we do a campaign and we don’t go home till it’s done. This means sacrifice; clogging the jails, possibly for months. We will also need a wide base of people willing to support those who put their bodies between industry and the planet. TransCanada and others who profit from the destruction of our lives and the planet are relentless and 100% committed. We must be as relentless and committed in our strategy, bravery, and sacrifice.

Approve the KeystoneXL if you must, but my friends and I will not let it be built.

To find out more, or if your organization is interested in joining the coalition, please speak with me and visit our website – deepgreenresistance.org – to watch for our upcoming announcement of a next step toward stopping the tar sands.

To the Department of State: do what is right. Protect your home. Do not allow the Keystone XL project to go forward. Don’t mess with Texas. Thank you for your time.