(Olga & Alain)
After thirty years of environmental movement in Russia, the question: "Why are we doing it?" has not found an ultimate answer even among environmentalists themselves. In his book, Sergey Fomichev, one of most experienced environmental activists in Russia, recounts his vision of the environmental movement, its history, its participants and resources, strategy and tactics, and its most important tool, direct actions. Being a member of the radical anarchist group, Rainbow Keepers, the author knows the situation from within.
The environmental movement in the Soviet Union started 30 years ago, with small groups of students and professors of Universities, and was purely nature protection-orientated, with no relation to political or ideological ideas. Through the peak of mass enthusiasm and intoxication with freedom in the late 80-s, to the deep crisis of late 90-s, the environmental movement was developing along with the political, economical and ideological changes in the Eastern Europe.
Nowadays, environmentalists in the East have adopted the habit of relying
on the money from the West, thus the whole movement depends on a small
group of organizations, who have monopolized the available resources. Which,
undoubtedly, influences not only the methods, but the very aims of the
The problem is that the system is money-orientated. But resources are not just money, or physical capital, such as comfortable offices, computers and other equipment.
People are the basic resource of any organization. Moreover, people are carriers of other kinds of resources - experience, information, contacts.
Having specified aims, tasks, ethic principles and the object of your action, you can speak of its strategy. The author criticizes the widely known strategies - reformism and "eco-fascism", strategy aimed at survival of certain regional or social groups, where "survival of all is extremely improbable".
The three classical strategies are nature conservation (the oldest), ecological education (with the aim of cultivation of new, ecological system of values), and social ecology, or eco-anarchism. The latter has the goal to create a new society along with creation of a new human. The first component of the strategy is developing an alternative civil society.
To reach this goal, to escape from the danger of isolation and confrontation with the rest of society, it is not enough to build alternative settlements and communes. It is necessary to develop social movement and draw more and more people into it.
Movement is an open community of people united by common goal, with no leaders or rulers. It should be constantly developed.
However, he is not offering a ready instruction on how to act, but gives
recommendations on many useful elements of action making. How to choose
the object of action, where to find allies. Who are your potential opponents
and what is their motivation. And how to make your opponents your allies.
There are a variety of actions, and the more you know about them, the more chances you will specify the most efficient way to solve the problem. This book will help you, as it is based not only on rich practical experience of a radical action-maker, but also on knowledge of history, sociology and ecology.