Deep Green Resistance UK on the Brexit

Julian Langer / Deep Green Resistance UK

As a radical environmentalist group defending the living world, Deep Green Resistance UK (DGR-UK) advocates that activists consider any and all means available in our fight. This includes institutional means such as voting. While it is questionable that either Brexit option will significantly impact this culture’s relentless assault on the living world, or its treatment of other cultures, DGR-UK asks that you consider the following aspects.

The EU’s main “mission” is the formation of a centralised superstate, the modern manifestation of the empires throughout history. Who benefits the most from this superstate? The multinationals of neoliberal globalization, the industries and corporations destroying and polluting the living world. While being part of this “community” provides individualistic benefits for British people, these don’t justify our remaining part of this abhorrent institution. Rentier monopoly corporations and tax dodging elites freely flourish within the political body of the EU. And though Boris Johnson’s Third Reich comments were completely moronic, EU nations such as Hungary, France and Austria are seeing significant rises in their right-wing and ultra-nationalist parties. Being part of this “community” does not present the progressive prospects argued by many in the “remain” camp.

Greece gives a clear picture of the problematic future we should expect if the TTIP era of politics and economics continues unchecked. Anyone from a broadly left-wing anti-capitalist position will oppose such developments. Remaining in the EU would mandate our inclusion in this “partnership,” whose sole purpose is to make it easier for American and European businesses to conduct the practices we as activists resist. Do we really want to be included in this undemocratic and tyrannical trade agreement?

The EU is little more than a new form of colonialism. This is apparent in activities such as the “Pan-African initiative”, which continues a long history of violence and abuse in the continent. These Eurafrican policies put African people in extremely vulnerable positions of racial stratification and violence, directly rooted in Europe’s posturing. The resulting corruption has a huge impact on the lives of Africans and on the lives of African wildlife. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Africa’s poaching crisis, with its links to the ivory trade and cartels colluding with corrupt African officials. Do we want to be part of and support a political body which is worsening the situation in Africa? Corruption, sustained by Eurafrican political arrangements and neoliberal globalization, is worsening poverty and decimating species central to African bioregions. Consider this as you cast your vote.

Finally, consider the environmental effects of a Brexit. Deals that the EU are involved with, such as the Paris Climate Deal are completely worthless, with just promises, no action. With the world in a “now or never” situation, can we really afford promises without actions? Will promises halt global warming? Will promises protect the habitats and species at risk from climate change? Clearly, they wont. We are likely to see the same responses to environmental issues within the EU in the future: promises, with no action. Brexit would enable the UK to set stricter environmental legislation, improving UK ecology, which needs to be at the forefront of all political decisions. We need to act in the best interest of the flora and fauna with whom we share these islands. We are not hopeful that if we leave the EU, the Tories or Labour Party will take needed action, but we question remaining part of a political body which restricts the very possibility.

Neither a remain nor a leave decision will have a drastic impact on any of these issues: the establishment at any level won’t allow changes which undermine the status quo of this culture. But in our work as activists, we need to do all we can to support the living world, including voting for incremental improvements. To remain in the EU has obvious benefits for British people, but are these reasons of capitalist-ideological-individualism good enough? Regardless of whether you vote in this referendum, DGR-UK ask you to consider what it really means to be part of the EU.

6 thoughts on “Deep Green Resistance UK on the Brexit

  1. Apple

    Think you’re wrong on this. Brexit will hand the UK over to the far right of the Tory Party, with all the consequences for the natural world you’d expect. Not to mention the inherent support for racism, primarily, for the vilest public discource, and also for shitting on the disabled, on women, and on LGB people that goes along with supporting those people. Johnson, Gove and their vile ilk will certainly sign up to TTIP; it’s not delaying anything. There certainly are issues with the EU, but Leave is not in any way a progressive movement, it’s been built on crucifying people of colour and typically the poorest of them at that.

    It is all fiddling while Rome burns, and I don’t believe either Remain or Leave will bring the change we need. That said, I choose not to sign up to the moral, rightwing neoliberal catastrophe that Leave is.

    1. Jackie Carpenter

      I say vote LEAVE. The leave campaign says hardly anything I agree with, and I don’t like the politicians who are leading it. But I honestly think that leaving the EU is the best way forward for Britain. I shall not be voting for the ‘LEAVE campaign’ and their unpalatable ideas – I shall be voting to LEAVE, which is a quite different thing. I would like our country to leave, then form a strong independent nation that moves towards a compassionate, sustainable future – doing good in the world, welcoming refugees in with love, doing more for the environment than other countries, practicing non-violent communication with all countries in the world to promote peace, going down new routes of promoting joy and happiness as more important than economic gain . . . all of these are possible both in and out of the EU, but I think they will be so much more difficult if our country is part of a big, huge union. So I shall vote LEAVE for a quite different set of reasons to those put forward by the LEAVE campaign. Politics is changing . . . look at the movement supporting Bernie Sanders! The young will rise up and make the future bright . . . Britain can become good and green and wonderful . . . it will not be governed by the dying breed of unkind, fearful, materialistic politicians for long. Let’s go for independence and give our young people the best chance for the deep changes that are so necessary in order for us to get through the coming crises (climate change, resource depletion, the end of the big banks) in the best way possible, for us and for the world.
      In my opinion, we need to work towards a world of small, strong tribes – ethically strong, wise, culturally diverse – who then hold hands in friendship across the WHOLE world – no fixed allies or enemies. I expect wisdom to develop along with sustainability, peace, well-being, compassion to all (including refugees of course), local, non-materialistic, declining economies . . . resulting in more kindness, love, happiness, wellness, individual empowerment and freedom . . .
      I feel confident we shall, as a nation, decide to leave, then the real work will begin.
      The following describes the world I would like human beings to work towards; yes, it is utopian, but OF COURSE it would be possible if we all believed in it. I myself cannot create a world like this. I can’t say that if we vote LEAVE, this is how the world will turn out. All I can do is use my own little vote to make a small step towards the sort of world I want. I feel that to vote REMAIN would be part of a move towards an ever bigger European Union, moving further away from my ideal and towards an even crazier materialistic, unjust, capitalist, unsustainable world. For me, a growing economy, a powerful bloc of countries, a huge tribe of civil servants making controlling rules are anathema.
      So let’s leave and then put our shoulders to the real work – the work to move us and our children along a path towards the following vision:
      • Tolerance, forgiveness and understanding between all nations, religions, cultures, types of people: finding the light of love inside each person, with admiration and gratitude for diversity.
      • Everyone living in harmony with the planet, the animals and the plants, with each generation leaving a cleaner and more beautiful legacy for the next generation. Diligent action to make everything better, reducing pollution everywhere. No fossil or nuclear fuels.
      • Care of the children, putting love and the 7th generation yet unborn above all else.
      • Regional self-government, with all decisions taken at the lowest level that makes sense e.g. village schools deciding their own curriculum, but a world council deciding fishing quotas.
      • Each region self-sufficient in food, energy, building, crafts. Wise use of resources, so things are built to last and to be good for future generations; never just to make money.
      • Each region making or growing surplus goods to trade if they want to, e.g. swapping apples for oranges, but no dependence on trade – no trading economy.
      • Appropriate technology – the simpler the better – with excellent education and empowerment.
      • Each person, each community, each tribe, each region to be strong, robust, healthy, capable, confident, full of wellness and well-being. A culture aiming to make each person ad all people happy, recognising that happiness is far more important than money.
      • No way for rich people to achieve dominance, power or control. Diversity in wealth, as in all things, is good, so it is OK to have royalty and rich people as iconic and symbolic – holding the gold coach and the beautiful parks in trust for the people, exercising care and responsibility.
      • No wars or weapons. Defence only by building shields, never by using any kind of attacking weapon. Practice of non-violent communication with all countries in the world to promote peace.
      • Interdependent: choosing to give favours to others (other people, or other tribes or nations), freely and happily, in return for favours returned, so that both parties benefit in a win-win way.
      • Being rewarded (by cultural and social approval, by an increased sense of well-being) for being caring, compassionate, loving, kind, generous, heroic, authentic and honest.

      So what of the way forwards after the vote? I hope we (the people with good hearts) find a way of bonding together and forging a new compassionate way forward in British politics, whatever the outcome. If the result is LEAVE, we need to follow the example of Jo Cox, not those of Boris and Nigel. We need to find a way to ensure that people who don’t have a heart of goodness are removed from any position of power. I am not disconcerted by the REMAIN self-appointed leaders. Perhaps 20 million people will vote LEAVE, of which there will be 19,999,998 ordinary people like me, most not at all right-wing, and 2 people like Boris and Nigel. Whatever the current rules, if we ordinary people are strong in our hearts, we can change the rules and remove the bad people. The same holds if we REMAIN. We need to find some good-hearted people to ‘change the EU from the inside’ – not the likes of Dodgy Dave. Come on, we are empowered, we are not in thrall to these crazy sociopathic leaders!

      1. Brigitte Lechner

        I appreciate your passion but you are positing far too many ‘ifs’. The reality is that the EU and the UK are both creatures of neoliberalism. The EU did not start out like this but under the influence of the UK in the main, who has been pushing for a free market (and TTIP) it has lost its people remit. The opposition to neoliberalism is actually in Brussels because the Labour and Green bloc work together. The opposition to neoliberalism in Westminster is barely breathing. If we should get lucky and have a future Corbyn government, this will also improve the EU because it is only as good as the Commissioners sent over to fight our corner. ‘Leave’ is pointless IMHO.

      2. apple

        I agree with Brigitte, Jackie, I hate to say it but you’re living in a dream world. How can you say that people voting Leave are mostly not right-wing, when they are in large part made up of people who read the Tory press or vote Tory or UKIP?

        You won’t be voting alongside people like you, you’ll be voting alongside people who think Nigel Farage is a good guy, who read the Express and the Mail because they tell them comforting lies, and who really just want all the darkies sent home where they belong. You’ll be voting for the Tory hard right and everything they want to turn the country into.

        I hope you don’t, down the road, realise you’ve made a shocking mistake. We need to arrest the damage where it stands at an absolute minimum, and handing power to the most neoliberal Tories and to UKIP is the furthest thing from that I can imagine.

        Also, a beautiful albatross just flew past my window, and I’m rather jealous of him for not knowing what either Leave or Remain is.

  2. Brigitte Lechner

    I agree on all accounts. In addition, I am mystified why we are being asked to make such a Hobson’s Choice and suspect it is really about Tory infighting. Or someone had the brilliant idea of shifting attention away from the austerity fall-out and collect a few more external effects to shift blame on. I attended a Remain event in Manchester where an MEP spoke out passionately in defence of the EU as a platform for peace in the Middle East (and democracy in Africa). As this MEP is a member of the relevant committees, this tells me the hawks may be in charge but the doves are undermining their agenda. There are quite a few more of them in Brussels than at Westminster. On account of this reflection, I decided to hold my nose and vote Remain.

  3. Pingback: Eco-anarchist thoughts on the Brexit – eco-revolt

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