I recently finished reading Rebecca Solinit’s Hope in the dark: untold histories, wild possibilities (find it at a library near you). It’s a small, wonderful window into hope, written in the midst of the apparent failure of the anti-war movement. It inspired me to watch a little more closely in the news for hopeful stories in the news. I came across two stories about inspiring victories that will both (hopefully) lead to large new areas of land being protected and allowed to return to their natural state. They also show case an interesting contrast in tactics.
How an Indigenous Community Defeated a Logging Giant
Among other things, this victory is the result of a direct action blockade campaign by the Anishnaabe people in Asubpeeschoseewagong (Grassy Narrows), Ontario. Christian Peacemaker Teams had a team in Asubpeeschoseewagong starting in 2002 that accompanied the ongoing action. There was also a parallel campaign with the Rain Forest Action Network to encourage corporations to stop buying wood from AbitibiBowater, the logging company cutting down the trees.
Florida to buy 187,000 farmland acres to preserve Everglades
300 square miles of sugar cane fields (same size as New York City) will be returned to their natural state as part of the Everglades. That’s a staggeringly large area, especially for the Eastern United States. Although I don’t know nearly as much of the back story for this deal, on the surface it appears to be a victory for the working-in-the-system folks since it’s the State of Florida shelling out $1.7 billion for the land. Among those claiming credit are Earthjustice, a legal fund that works through the US court systems to bring suits against polluters.