Resistance Profile: Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND)

Editors note: this material is excerpted from a Deep Green Resistance  database called “Resistance Profiles,” which explores various movements, their strategies and tactics, and their effectiveness. Image credit: public domain.

Movement for the Emancipation for the Niger Delta (MEND)

  • Active: 2005 – 2013
  • Location: Nigeria
  • Type: Underground Resistance Movement
  • Success: Medium

Goal

Majority or total control of oil production/revenues in the Niger Delta (for the Ogoni people) and withdrawal of the Nigerian military from the Niger Delta.

Strategy

Totally destroy the capacity of the Nigerian government to export oil in the Niger Delta, force the multinational oil companies to discontinue operations, and likely precipitate a nationwide budgetary and economic crisis.

Tactics

  • sabotage of oil infrastructure
  • bombing near military, government or oil industry infrastructure or buildings
  • theft
  • guerrilla warfare
  • kidnapping of foreign oil workers for ransom (MEND has a very good record of returning them unharmed)

MEND uses speed boats in swarm-based maneuvers to quickly attack targets in succession. Multiple highly maneuverable, well trained and armed units have kept the government and Shell’s defensive systems off-balance defending their sprawling networks (1,000 oil wells, 6,000 km of pipeline over 70,000 square miles).

Very effective use of system disruption: targets have been systematically and accurately selected to completely shut down production and delay and/or halt repairs.

Organization

MEND, an umbrella organization, has evolved into a conglomeration of distinct militant groups with constantly shifting alliances and loyalties. Command and control is believed to be hierarchical. Leaders are frequently deposed or replaced by rivals, due to internal conflicts over proceeds from criminal and political activities, and due to Ijaw tradition of choosing tribal leaders on a rotational basis

Above/Underground

Underground cells with a few spokesmen that communicate with the international media

Security

Leaders are always on the move and extremely cautious. They do not take telephone calls personally, knowing that soldiers hunting for them have electronic devices capable of pinpointing mobile phone signals. During raids, fighters wear masks to protect their identity. All communication with the media is conducted using aliases. MEND does not reveal identities of its rank and file and conducts all recruiting clandestinely. The fluid and contradictory organization structure may or may not be by design but is very effective at obscuring the leadership and increasing the operational security of key individuals

Recruitment

Draws its fighters from communities across the delta: ethnic militias in the west and from cults (criminal gangs) in the east

Effectiveness

Has not yet achieved its goal, but its strategy and tactics have been effective, resulting in a cut of more than 28 percent of Nigeria’s oil output from 2006 to 2009. In August 2009, the government offered a 60 day amnesty: militants who handed in their weapons were pardoned for their crimes, given job training and were paid US $410 per month until they found work. But the ceasefire and amnesty ended in December when MEND attacked a Shell/Chevron pipeline amidst questions about President Yar’ Adua’s health and impatience with the slow pace of job growth.

Further learning

Articles

Posted in Defensive Violence, Property & Material Destruction, Reclamation & Expropriation | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Report says Seattle has highest number of murdered Native American women

The CDC says native women have up to a 10 times higher rate of experiencing violence on reservations but until UIHI’s report there was little data of urban living which accounts for the majority of the native population. The group says 71% of Native American live in urban cores across America.

“In Washington State and Seattle in particular had some of the highest rates of missing and murdered indigenous woman in the 71 cities in which we looked.”

Full story here

Report says Seattle has highest number of murdered Native American women

Posted in Colonialism & Conquest, Male Violence | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wasting time on bandaids in an insane system

recent article in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound describes legislation to make shipping fossil fuels through the Salish Sea safer.

It’s all about tug boats and the speed of ships and modeling risk.

At no point in the discussion–either in the article, or in the legislature–is there any mention of whether it is sane or just to be shipping any fossil fuels through the Salish Sea, given the catastrophic devastation that would occur if there is a major spill, and given the catastrophic devastation that will occur when those fossil fuels are burned or turned into plastic.

It’s like the doctors in the concentration camps in Nazi Germany who helped sick prisoners by sneaking them an extra piece of bread, or keeping them in the sick ward just an extra day or two to let them rest. These doctors did what they could to alleviate the suffering, but at no time did they question the sanity of the system–the concentration camps themselves.

We who wish for no fossil fuel shipments at all are not the crazy ones. It is the system that is insane. It is the system that must be stopped. Until we stop the system, we are simply putting a bandaid on a wound, while enabling an insane system to continue killing everything around us.

We spend a lot of time and energy on bandaids. We could and should be spending that time and energy stopping the system instead.

***

In 2018 there were about 10,000 vessel transits (to and fro) through the Salish Sea including tank barges, cargo and passenger ships, articulated barges, and tanker ships.

This is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years with container and grain ships, additional oil tankers, Xylene tankers, and an unknown number of ships associated with 12 LNG projects around the Salish Sea currently under development.

In 2016, a total of 450 million barrels of oil were shipped by ship, rail, and pipeline through Washington State and the Salish Sea.

1 barrel = 42 US gallons

Posted in The Problem: Civilization, Toxification | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Seattle: A City on the Cutting Edge of Empire

Seattle is the “cutting edge” of hyper-modern industrially-outsourced capitalism.

This is why, despite having the most progressive city government of any big city in the country, Seattle has been unable to address a crisis of homelessness or pass taxes on big corporations. The liberal, progressive culture of Seattle will never provide real solutions to the problems of capitalism and industrial civilization.

Despite any claims to the contrary, Seattle is an oligarchy run by the rich, for the rich. The city was created as an imperial outpost of a society hellbent on logging all the old growth forest and stealing all the land from the indigenous inhabitants. Today, it has morphed from primarily a lumber and salmon extraction site to a central managerial site for global techno-capitalism.

The psychology of an exploitative colonial state is reflected in Seattle’s dominant news organizations.

The Seattle Times is a deeply conservative paper with entrenched business-friendly views. Like any other major news source in the country, the Times covers local corporations, war, poverty, and other topics from, at “best,” a centrist liberal perspective. They never critique capitalism and they never dig to the root of problems. The vast majority of their content consists of bourgeois trifles. The Times is a paper of and for business.

The Stranger, Seattle’s bi-weekly free newspaper, is a case study in the rise of neoliberal, post-modern culture. For decades, The Stranger has been defined by page after page of “sex industry” ads, advertising strip clubs, sex chat, and more (this weeks issue, page 17, contains this choice ad: “Sex offender registration got your down? We might be able to help you remove that requirement”).

Over the past decade, this type of content has migrated from the back pages to the front. Over the same time frame, The Stranger has also launched it’s own amateur porn festival (“Hump”).

The Stranger personifies the post-modern “sex-positive” culture, which has been driven by a multi-billion dollar corporate porn industry and a complete inability to engage with the realities of sexual exploitation. Instead of grappling with the commodification of patriarchal sexuality represented by mainstream porn, The Stranger has chosen to simply stick its head in the sand and instead promote imaginary “feminist porn.”

Originally, this article was going to recommend Real Change, the newspaper distributed by homeless people around Seattle, as an alternative to The Stranger and The Times. While not explicitly an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist publication, Real Change covers local news with a much more serious lens than either The Stranger or The Seattle Times.

However, even Real Change falls prey to the neoliberal thinking that typifies Seattle. The latest issue (March 6-12, 2019) includes an article titled “Disputed Awareness: Anti-trafficking campaigns miss the mark, sex workers say.” The article highlights the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), an organization founded by Robyn Few who was federally charged in 2002 for promoting prostitution across state lines.

As one formerly prostituted woman described, “that’s pimp shit.” Radicals have been opposed to prostitution for hundreds of years because, as an industry, it exploits primarily women and girls and because it promotes the idea that bodies can be bought and sold. Even Marx and Engels, writing in the Communist Manifesto nearly 175 years ago, said that “It is self-evident that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of the community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private.”

The relationship between the destruction of the planet, patriarchy, and the exploitation of women in prostitution has long been established. Shiela Jeffries, in her book The Industrial Vagina, writes that “as foreign mining and logging companies open up new areas for new forms of colonial exploitation they set up prostitution industries to service the workers. These industries have a profound effect on local cultures and relations between men and women.”

We can do better than this. As the world is torn by climate chaos, capitalist wars, proto-fascist terrorism, blatant and widely accepted racism (as long as the emoji are multi-racial, nobody seems willing to confront capitalism’s fundamental racism), increasing inequality, ecosphere collapse, and hyper-normalized patriarchy and objectification, Seattle deserves news sources that tell the truth.

Deep Green Resistance Seattle aims to tell the truth, but our ability to cover major issues is hampered by our small numbers and lack of funding. If you are interested in getting involved in this organization for the purposes of providing an alternative to these media failures, or to support our work, please contact us.

Posted in Repression at Home, Strategy & Analysis, The Problem: Civilization, Women & Radical Feminism | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Porn, Trafficking and the Social Construction of Masculinity

Posted in Male Supremacy, Pornography, Prostitution, Rape Culture | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Arundhati Roy on Armed Struggle vs. Passive Resistance

“Fighting people will choose their own weapons. For me, the question of armed struggle versus passive resistance is a tactical one, not an ideological one. For example, how do indigenous people who live deep inside the forest passively resist armed vigilantes and thousands of paramilitary forces who surround their villages at night and burn them to the ground? Passive resistance is political theater. It requires a sympathetic audience. There isn’t one inside the forest. And how do starving people go on a hunger strike?

In certain situations, preaching nonviolence can be a kind of violence. Also, it is the kind of terminology that dovetails beautifully with the “human rights” discourse in which, from an exalted position of faux neutrality, politics, morality, and justice can be airbrushed out of the picture, all parties can be declared human rights offenders, and the status quo can be maintained.”

– Arundhati Roy, via https://bostonreview.net/global-justice/arundhati-roy-thinking-about-empire

Posted in Strategy & Analysis | 1 Comment

The Erasure of Reality

Here at Deep Green Resistance, we have been censured and attacked for believing that women are female and men are male. The fact that disagreeing with basic biology, millions of years of human evolution, and our own lived experience is politically dangerous is reflective of what our society has come to. It is not considered acceptable to go against mainstream dogma. And currently, mainstream dogma is erasing the entire concept of woman, in favor of amorphous “self-definition” which could harm or eliminate every single sex-based protection women have fought for.

We are a holistic organization. We see the inherent connections between the oppression of women, racism, and the destruction of the planet. These systems of power are all interlinked. It is no surprise that in late capitalism, basic realities of human existence are being dismantled. We live in a “post truth” era that is distinctly Orwellian.

In the face of this, we must be relentless truth tellers. We call males males. We call green technology bullshit. We call this culture one of colonialism and imperialism. We call this “democracy” bankrupt. And we have a plan to dismantle the bloated power of this society.

Posted in Male Supremacy | Tagged | 1 Comment

Cliff Mass Isn’t a Climate Denier—But Deniers Sure Love Him

By Max Wilbert

In 2015, I wrote a story alleging that Cliff Mass, a Professor in the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Washington and something of a regional weather celebrity, is “a dangerous new breed of climate skeptic.”

In the article, I wrote that:

“Cliff Mass is convinced that anthropogenic global warming is not a big problem, at least not now. He has made a theme of downplaying the role of global warming in extreme weather events, and in exposing what he calls “overzealousness” in the scientific, media, and activist community.”

I highly recommend reading the original article, which picked up a good deal of steam. It was widely read regionally, and referenced in later articles by The Stranger (which concluded: “Cliff Mass is not a climate denier, but he is their ally, which is as good as being a climate denier”) and other publications.

The sage continued on December 12th, when Judith Curry, a prominent climate contrarian, published an article titled “Cliff Mass: victim of academic political bullying.” In the post, she references our blog and a spate of other attacks on Mass for his opposition to I-1631, the Carbon Tax law in Washington State, which was voted down in November.

Curry’s blog has since been taken up and reposted on other right wing and climate contrarian websites, includes Watts Up With That?—the most prominent climate denier website on the internet. Watts Up With That has included bullshit from authors like Christopher Monckton and Fred Singer, among other well-paid idiots. (I won’t link to these sites, as we don’t provide platforms for counter-revolutionaries).

In his post, Watts Up With That creator Anthony Watts asks readers to send “calm, on point, and polite” letters in support of Cliff Mass to the University of Washington President, Dean of the College and Environment, and Secretary of the UW Faculty.

Ironically, Cliff Mass—who says he isn’t a climate denier (and who isn’t, technically speaking)—is now being supported by climate deniers across the internet. He may not support them, but they support him.

This fact is proving the point from our original article: that Cliff Mass is not a climate denier, but rather a dangerous new breed of climate skeptic who will constantly downplay the importance and severity of global warming. As acceptance of climate science and basic global warming literacy grows, this sort of skepticism is what climate deniers will look to as the next frontier.

A few additional side points. First, right wingers make a mistake by lumping us in with those who attack Mass for his vapid climate views. We don’t see Carbon Taxation as a solution, because we are a revolutionary organization. A carbon tax is simply a way to monetize the atmosphere; to create a new market for capitalism through taxing one form of industry and using it to pay another (largely “green” energy industries). Many of the world’s largest polluters support some sort of carbon trading system, which should tell you all you need to know. Frankly, we don’t really care about initiatives that simply rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic. We need to dismantle capitalism and industrial empire to have a chance of stopping global warming. Minor tax changes will not do a damn thing.

But we absolutely do agree that Mass’s use of the image of pigs at a trough to refer to what he called “special interest groups” like tribal nations was racist and stupid.

In the last few days, dozens of comments from right-wing climate deniers, doubtlessly led to our site by links from Watts Up With That and other sites, have left comments in support of Cliff Mass on our site, calling him an “excellent and very factual scientist.”

Here’s one of the funniest comments, for the sake of entertainment (grammar and spelling mistakes have been corrected): “If you truly seek to understand reality, we all know: particles moving “up” in a gravitational field slow down, i.e.: cool; those moving down speed up, i.e.: heat… [this] explains the temperature profiles of all planets whatever their atmosphere.”

Any scientist who studies climate is laughing at that one. (If you don’t know the basic science of how global warming works, you can learn here).

Cliff Mass is a meteorologist. When he speaks about weather, it’s sometimes worth listening; he knows what he is talking about. When he speaks about climate, politics, and other issues, there is no reason to pay any attention to him.

As we move further into late stage capitalism, neoliberals like Cliff Mass represent a major threat. Like most of the Seattle political elite (and the liberal political elite nationwide), Cliff Mass wants us to go dancing merrily to our doom via business as usual. He denies reality and invites us to join him. It’s a popular position to take in a world on the brink. But we need sober reality, not reassuring fantasies.

Rather than listening to hacks like this, revolutionaries should look for political leadership to individuals and groups with critical analysis of capitalism, the state, patriarchy, and other systems of power, and which have legitimate strategies to defeat these systems.

Posted in Climate Change, Human Supremacy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friday: Breach the Lower Snake River Dams

On Friday, November 16 at 2 pm Pacific Time, a group will be presenting the Governor at the State Capitol in Olympia with a demand to remove the lower Snake River dams immediately.

Event details:

The Southern Residents need you !!!! Now more then ever.

The Orca Task force’s preliminary recommendations do not include Breaching the LOWER 4 DAMS ON THE SNAKE RIVER. It is our position that these Dams need to be breached ASAP using the 2002 EIS, OPTION #4.

We hope beyond hope the breaching of the 4 LSRDs in first months of 2019 will be at the top of the list of recommendations (due that day, November 16th). If not, we will be poised to respond and remind Governor Inslee, as well as the world, exactly what 74 starving Orcas look like & that the breaching of the dams is the most impactful action to be taken for lasting salmon recovery. Please join us to hold an Orca representing one of the #74remaining Southern Resident Killer Whales. We will assemble on the steps of the Temple of Justice building at The Washington State Capital in Olympia. If you aren’t interested in holding an Orca please come with with your own signs & show your support for the Southern Resident Killer Whales. This will be a powerful Demonstration with speakers, Visuals & Native Voices. If you are interested in holding one of the Southern Residents, PLEASE POST IN THE EVENT BELOW and be prepared to arrive 1 hour early. THANK YOU!!!!!

https://www.facebook.com/events/254931905370101/

 

Posted in Biodiversity & Habitat Destruction, Lobbying, Property & Material Destruction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sign up for the DGR Newsletter

DGR now produces a monthly newsletter which includes resistance news from around the world, as well as updates from various chapters of the organization. To sign up for the newsletter and view the archives, click this link.

If you are interested in working with us on this project, we are interested in turning this into a print newsletter. If you have the skills to do such a thing, get in touch.

 

Posted in Movement Building & Support | Tagged | Leave a comment