CHANGE IS DIFFICULT, BUT NECESSARY

I have been following the work of the Orca Protection & Rescue folks in Friday Harbor from afar as I found myself volunteering to help some old friends from the Gitxsan (www.gitxsan.ca) communicate through the internet… like I know? Anyway, I do have a bit of experience setting up off-the-rail activist Live Streams around the world. So I figured what the hell.

Now I am sure that few of you know the First Nations Gitxsan. If you are Americans, surely not but in my life experience they have always showed up in my life to help with what many believed were “against all odds” adventures. Now I have a liking for that attitude myself, so back in 1991 when they decided to capture a Spanish replica Columbus ships on the way to the USA to celebrate 500 years of discovery, I was all in. Fortunately for them,  I was a heavy breather at Sea Shepherd way back then, and Watson was a want-be-Indian for some reason so the SEA SPEPHERD II was their ship of choice. They leased the ship for one dollar to carry out their plans. Now why a bunch of forest natives want to go on a couple week cruise in rough waters is beyond me, and you can image the fun… Robert Hunter wrote about some of it in his book RED BLOOD for the historical record…

I had a ball,  but my friends did not fare so well at sea. My only comment is that if I got sea sick just once, I’d be saving trees… It appears to be miserable although I have my theories, but that is a story for another day. At the time I didn’t get to know many of the activists, but I did get to know Gordon Sebastian, Art Loring, and Ralph Michele. Ralph’s nickname was tiger, and Gordon was a lawyer… enough said. Art was just a man with a mission. I was taking their orders after all so I always welcomed their presence on the bridge. Other then driving the boat, a bridge is usually hours of boredom punctuated by moments of share terror, so you talk. Even the kids talk sometimes as their cell phones don’t work. Heaven for me, hell for them.

So I spent hours each day watching as is the job of the bridge crew, and we talked. I asked questions about their families, their culture… you name it. When I heard the atrocities their thousand year old culture had suffered since “whiteman” arrived, and purposely tried to kill them off… a hundred plus years later, it was still happening in 1991. The Canadian government policies were still present then, and still wreaking havoc today. The horrific “Residential Schools” where children were kidnapped from their parents to destroy their language and culture weren’t closed until the 90s. That  this was happening in 1991 outraged me. You see I come from Cape Cod where the famous Turkey eating Pilgrims celebrated with, and then wiped out the very natives who sustained them in their first year.  My town was proud of their ancestors… me, not so much. I don’t think I have white guilt, but none the less in 1991 I said if they ever needed my help, to ask. This last winter they asked. I’m retired and had the time so I went… It was a very successful start.

Most people who follow me know that I am sort upset with open-pen salmon farms. I have travelled the world and witnessed firsthand how their introduction has led to death of wild stock, cultures, eco-systems… you name it. Oh, the INDUSTRY will give their side. It’s opinion by “biostitutes” . I’ve seen it first hand.  The fact is: farmed salmon is carp for the wild oceans and shitty food in my opinion. I feel it is healthier to eat the plastic it is wrapped in. If you are going to eat salmon, and I do, then make sure it is wild. Farmed salmon will cause the extinction of a species… maybe many species as nature is intimately connected on so many levels. It is not the panacea it has been to sold to us as. There is nothing healthy , glamorous, or green about it.  Really; look it up.

Anyhow back to the subject at hand as I have digressed. In 1991 a Gitxsan gentleman by the name of Art Loring walked on board the replica Columbus ships in Puerto Rico and claimed them for the Gitxsan, Wet’suwet’enpeople much as the Spanish Seafarers had done to them 500 years earlier. As crazy as it sounds, it worked as the Spanish noticed and signed an apology…  major celebrations were cancelled.

This seminal event by the Gitxsan changed history. We ,my tribe, started thinking about the million slaughtered natives this “discovery” began. We colonialists wishfully learned from that experience, but I’m not sure. As I head to make a similar stand for orca protection, I’ll think about Art Loring and the present Gitxsan Hereditary Sim’oogit in their struggle. We at http://www.gaianetwork.net side with the whales, the salmon, and ourselves. The Gitxsan are with us presently securing their fish tenure on the Skeena River in their territories. I support their efforts. Maybe, just maybe my tribe ( K’amksiwaa ) will listen and realize these people not only have territorial and constitutional rights… it’s their land, their river, their fish, their moose ,and their mountains. Why is it so hard for people like me to understand trespass? Why the arrogance? I always ask my friends if they’d be cool with Gitxsan trapping in their back yards? And if they thought that ok, wouldn’t it more civilized if the property owner was at least asked? I think most of us learned the answer in kindergarten. Hell yes!

 

Well the Gitxsan have closed the Skeena River as it flows through their territory and they have pronounced it off limits to recreational fishing. Maybe you haven’t heard? It doesn’t surprise me as I don’t think the Feds or Provincial hotshots believe them. Well I, as an outside observer of Gitxsan culture, would advise the government to pay attention. I believe in the Hereditary Chiefs’ closure, and I believe they will do it. It seems to me the government better start putting their money where their mouth is. The Trudeau government is preaching reconciliation. Time for them to put up or shut up too. And while you are at it Mr. Trudeau, can you shut down the salmon farms, clean up the tar sands, and start paying attention to First Nations elders who have kept their conservation and cultural morality for thousands of years. Maybe it is time for all of us to stand up for the future. Get your noises out of your phones, your asses off the couch, and practice a bit of your inner “wild”. The bears need your help, the salmon need your help, and the orcas need your help. Save them all and we save ourselves. Think of that when you hug your grand kids or send your own children off into the world. Change is difficult, but I have found it worth everything. The time is NOW for all of us.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF… Well, KIND OF!

I must admit that this has not been a good time for the whales. While the public seems more determined then ever to help save the Southern Resident Orcas, and whales in general, the threats from governments and industries around the world remain strong.

In Washington State, although the governor’s task force met and made solid recommendations to the governor to help protect the state’s poster children, the orca; the legislature took the guts out of the law and ignored the people and nature once again. As always the money interests won the day. Just when I felt that maybe, just maybe humanity is getting it, our leaders cave to industry once again. This is the same old thing. Coal burning power plants, smoke stack industries, and dams were all good until we discovered the truth… by then it was too late.  I know that the whale watching industry is a multi-million dollar industry, but really is that any reason to not protect nature? Are we going to let industry love these creatures to death for cold hard cash?

And the scientists, or so-called scientists, who hold one of the 75 or so research permits to get close up photos that adorn their websites should be ashamed. How much research do we need? Are scientific papers being published to change laws? Hell no! Is anything being served by these permits other than allowing these so-called scientists to get the friends and donors close? Basically as far as I can tell they fly their research flags and enjoy their special whale privileges only to sell giant posters to the public. Maybe there is some benefit, but I quite frankly don’t see it. Aren’t there enough great photos and 4k video of these endangered species? These vultures are much like the Audubon Society rushing out to kill and stuff the last Passenger Pigeon for museum exhibits. Do these whale lovers want that one last photo of orcas to hang on their wall as a species disappears? Now I totally understand humans wanting that photo, and the experience of an “up close” whale experience, but the time has come to back off.

If you are from Washington tell your governor in no uncertain terms that he should forget a “green” presidential run if he cannot even follow the advice of his own task force and protect the orcas. How can he be expected to save the planet as president if he can’t even find the cajones to protect the poster children of the state he is from?  Tell him loud and clear; protect the orcas or find a real job… you know like the rest of us. I realize it is tough to stand up to money interests and really hard to stand up to big money, but that is what you were elected for. We already have Trump, why Governor Inslee wants to be like him is beyond me. I hope Washingtonians wake up and let him know. Protect the orcas or go back to sweeping streets or whatever else he did before becoming a lifelong politician.

Now I hear that the Makah from Neah Bay, Washington are attempting to start killing whales again. For cultural revival they say, but in 2000, even though activists blew that claim out of the water they whacked a whale in 2001 anyway. Did it work for the Makah then? No! Will it work for them now that Trump is in charge? I hope not. To see the tepid response from the once mighty Sea Shepherd Society, it appears that the environmental industry and ego-corporations have little interest. SSCS Seattle threatened lawsuits. Well I , for one, know the mighty legal strength of the once active society, but will it make any difference to the Mahak? What happened to the once great well-decorated Captain? Has he been co-opted? It appears so. Where are his ex-coast guard cutters named after celebrities so amply bragged about in propaganda films? Will the mythological Captain for nature show up? Will he? From what I have noticed maybe if the Mahak offer him an award to build his legacy, the 3 million dollar yacht might show up to accept it on behalf of the planet. It might help, but let’s be honest and say that even the best of us sells out and once again it will be up to the grunts to make a stand. Local grassroots organizations and individuals need to stand up and say hell no! The time of killing whales for sustenance is long past. Go to the grocery store and get over it.

I suggest we all make a stand. Show the Makah that whales mean more to the public then it does to those entrusted for years to represent and protect nature. Don’t spend your money in Neah Bay. Don’t visit Neah Bay and actively say no. Even though we are not a democracy, vote the bastards who support whale killing out of office. Lobbyists can’t pay off those not in office. What a concept… live the myth and put others more in tune to your way of thinking in charge. It is our country, our earth, own it.

For years aquariums made the excuse that it was important to capture live marine mammals to perform in public circus shows for public education. It was big money for Sea World and others, but disastrous for orcas. Sea World saw the light only after the public spoke with their money and attendance dropped. Maybe this is the only way. The responsibility falls to each and every one of us to make a stand.

As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits  who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”

Do not live in this twilight. Get off your smart phones, facebook, and youtube, and I suggest you get out there to make a difference.

Join us at www.gaianetwork.net, Orca Protection and Rescue, and local individuals to make a real difference unless you want the future of nature to sit stuffed in the museums of the future much like the Passenger Pigeon and so many other extinct species. Without nature, real wilderness, who are we? We’ll take your donations to help our volunteer crews, but I’d rather see you here on the front lines to help us all make a stand for nature.

Peter Jay Brown

It is time for a new beginning!

It is easy for humans to support projects that will be good for future generations until their pocketbook is affected. Then a whole different set of criteriums takes over. We are historically selfish and arrogant animals who feel that what is good for us is good for all. This probably worked in history when we did not dominate the planet. When areas existed for other species to live, the biodiversity and nature’s interdependence was not over all affected. Today things are quite different. With climate change upon us; whether human caused or a sun event… these are mere opinions to be debated, I prefer to deal with facts, as facts never change and are not debatable. The fact is: we are mere residents of a planet ruled by nature. As much as we try to play god, we always fail. In the future our species, as will other species will suffer our delusions, but for now we can enjoy our pretend lives.

With governments armed to the teeth set for war, and massive debt mounting, it is much easier to believe our leaders and pretend they are right. They are not. We must all reassess our lives and the governments that rule the human species… all of us. Perhaps western culture does not bring real happiness. Perhaps the myths we have lived under for the last few hundred years are flawed? Before you dismiss this outright really give it some thought. I have travelled the world and I am always amazed how alike our needs and our loves are. How similar we all are. While governments and the military industrial complex push war, has war really helped the people? Did bombing Iraq and Afghanistan back to the stone age really help anyone? While the people of Iraq and Afghanistan suffered to make George Bush feel less aggrieved, what about the families of wounded warriors… or the warriors themselves? Do they think we really did the right thing? I doubt it; as war makes us all suffer, victors and losers alike. It doesn’t matter one bit to the children of either side when their fathers don’t come home, or they do come home permanently sick, both mentally and physically. We fight wars for mostly stupid reasons. Reasons that make governments strong and corporations rich… for democracy they say!

First let’s be very clear that the US is not a democracy. We are a republic. We, the people, do not elect our leaders. If we did George Bush and Donald Trump would not be President. The electoral college in America elects our presidents. For freedom some say…  America has more laws that constrict our freedoms then most countries. What color you paint your house, what drugs are legal and/or illegal, and for years who we can or cannot marry were all laws… not laws that protected our freedoms, but laws that restricted our freedoms at every turn. Big industry with huge budgets dictate who we are and what we do. Nature has always taken second place and even those “not like us” have been relegated to lower class . Some countries like Indian even incorporate caste systems, and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia make females second class citizens and put homosexuals in prison. Is this freedom? Does this help us in the long run? I say no.

I have spent the last few months in Canada with the First Nations Gitxsan. Their culture goes back thousands of years well before ”white man” arrived to bring them prosperity and assimilate these perceived savages into our great western culture. They were herded onto reserves, their children were kidnapped and put into residential schools to be indoctrinated, and their language and culture destroyed. Did it work? For the Canadian Federal government it worked great. Many native cultures were destroyed along with the people engaged in them.

Presently the Gitxsan are re-asserting themselves, but so much has been lost. Many of the young cannot speak their language, and in a culture with a long rich oral history this has been a huge loss. I tend to agree their ancient cultural way of life is much better than our western culture. I say “western culture” with a grain of salt. Western culture to me is rooted in greed and control. Western culture is good for a few… and the rest of us needs to live in our dreams to be just like them. Really? I do not want to be just like Donald Trump or Kim Kardashian. The Gitxsan way of family, houses, and clans where people are cherished and respected is far better then used and abused. Those of us from “my tribe” have no real culture. Oh we celebrate some similar holidays and traditions, but on the whole we worship the almighty dollar. We think our happiness comes from subjugating immigrants and nature to serve or needs. We look the other way as corporations clear cut our forests and rape the oceans… hell is it worth it if we can increase our individual status by eating sushi and growing salmon in shit ponds? Once again I say no.

Maybe I’m a radical thinker, but I feel my thoughts and Ideas are conservative. Not conservative where I want to build walls to keep others out, but paths to allow others in. Maybe, just maybe they will show us a better way. Now I know it is a sin to go against a 200 hundred year old constitution written by slave holders and want-a-be industrialists, but really do we all need automatic rifles in our closets? Maybe if you want to shoot up a place of worship, be it Christian, Muslim, or Hindu, but for the rest of us… no. The founders of America wanted to protect themselves from an intolerant King and I get that, but today we are only trying to protect us from those who think differently. We have indeed become our own worst enemy. It is a never ending spiral exploited by politicians who wish to rule by fear. It works. Look at the polarization of the Americas. The elite sit back and enjoy their sushi, the rest of us watch as the oceans die and whales go extinct. Oh we will all mourn the loss and move on until there is nothing left. Then those left will spit on our graves.

It is time to re-assess what is really important. Maybe the future is more important than a new truck or SUV today. Maybe instead of spending our time laboring to make corporations rich, we should spend more time with our children so they have a real future. A future where nature, not the dollar is revered. Maybe we should look at this life and how we behave now instead of believing that just before death we can acknowledge our sins to have a better life in heaven? I’m just saying that maybe there is no heaven. Jesus, Mohammed, and Buddha were maybe just great teachers, not path ways to a mythical place in the future. Maybe the rules they preached, while true should be used today to make us all better humans today, not the future. Make us live with the trees, bees, birds and animals that make the earth what it is insteadof using them to deal death to all others, maybe we should all work for life for all.

I do this in my life, and I am often criticized for being anti-religious, anti-business, just plain anti… I want to be very clear that I am for life. For all life. Aliens will not save us. Governments of today will not save us. We need to reassert our own connection to nature and maybe we can save ourselves.
This summer I will help others save a small resident population of orcas. We will come up against whale watchers, fishermen,  and tourist whose self-righteous right to see whales surpasses the whales right for existence. Their existence depends on salmon. Our dams, our “need” for cheap salmon no matter how tainted the food product seems to surpass what is really important. Nature exists for a reason. We are part of it. We are dependent on it. Maybe our schools should start teaching our children our place in it instead of our arrogant suppression of it.

I am sure nature will win out in the end no matter how clever we feel we are. No technology, or industry can hold back one night of a storm. No bulldozer can move as much sand from a beach as one night of waves. How many floods will convince us otherwise. When will we see that cutting down of our forests, or controlling nature through dams and levies does not work in the long run? I am hoping soon. There is no economy or privilege on a dead planet.

We as humans have progressed our way to a cliff. Do we continue on our present track and step off to oblivion or for those believers, heaven?  Or do we pause and do a 180 degree turn and move back to what is really important? We can start today where ever we are and stop dumping sewage into our oceans, quit cutting down rain forests to grow bananas to feed the new religion of veganism, and get back to protecting the nature we have left so future generations can survive. Maybe the western proclaimed “savages” were right after all.

My hope for a future for my grandchildren and their grandchildren is that the few humans that survive the future we are heading toward will take a saner path. A path of living with nature in co-operation as many ancient cultures such as the Gitxsan and the Hawaiians lived. We are meant to be a part of nature, not abusers of wilderness… but part of it. Let’s use the lessons of the past and move forward each in our own way. I will help the Gitxsan today, and I will spend my last years on earth protecting nature… working in a positive way to make others understand that the Southern Resident orcas have as much right to live in peace as you and I. The time is now for all sane individuals to stand up, not only for themselves but for all life.

Before you dismiss me as a nut, think about it. Take a walk in the forest, a swim in the ocean, or climb a mountain and you will become renewed by the over whelming power and spirit of nature. We will all be better off for it.

Help others help the earth!

Gaianetwork.net is presently working on two projects and both are in need of old iphone 6. In one month’s time we will be patrolling the waters off the San Juan Islands in Washington State protecting the Southern Resident Orcas from human harassment. There are laws that protect these endangered whales and we will bring technology to bare to keep the public and shipping at bay. It is amazing how video surveillance deters crime  on land… we will now operate a similar LIVE STREAM system at sea from our boat the Wii Seeks. After much experimentation we have discovered that iphone 6s work great with our streaming system to keep watch. We need your help.

We are also presently helping the First Nation’s Gitxsan in Northern B.C. to communicate their treaty negotiations with the Canadian Federal government over fish tenure. Their need to assert hereditary rights to their traditional territory continue today. The Gitxsan governance negotiations need to be understood, not only by their own people, but by the rest of us. Colonialism is dead , and needs to be buried.

We at gaianetwork.net are helping set up a communications that fits the need…. AND iphone 6is our present camera of choice. They work great and fit nicely in the system we have set up. Check out what’s happening at www.gitxsan.com.

I know many of you have these older model phones stashed away somewhere. Well get them out, and send them to us… we can really use them. We will use your old devices to make a difference, and can give you a tax deductible tax receipt to boot. PLEASE contact me at gaianetwork0@gmail.comand I will tell you where to ship. THANK YOU and your old phones will really help.

The Time is NOW!

I am up in Canada presently working with the First Nations Gitxsan Treaty Society trying to give them a voice in their re-establishment of territorial and fish tenure to the Skeena River. I’ve known the Gitxsan for years and was proud to ally with them this summer on the salmon issue. They have never given in to the feds no matter the pressure and have gained control of 33000 square miles of hereditary territory in Northern BC. Their territory includes the Skeena River, one of the last great salmon rivers in Canada. Their fight is my fight for sure, and it should be everyone’s fight as it involves the future of the oceans, bears, eagles, orcas, and ultimately humanity. The Gitxsan get it, why don’t the rest of us? Why are we so short sighted to not see the importance of nature? 

I got involved with the Gitxsan for the same reasons that I am involved saving orcas. Much like the federal government of Canada and the US has a history of lying and breaking promises to their indigenous populations, the governor of Washington has stuck one to the rest of us. I know, I know in this era of Trump where lying doesn’t matter;  are we really going to roll over and allow our orcas to suffer? Or are we going to stand up and force our governments to protect our futures?  

Maybe the governor figures we’ll allow him to disregard the whales. Maybe he’s lining up a war-chest from monied groups and lobbyists to run for a higher office? I don’t know, but the Gitxsan know full well about broken promises and depleted resources. Maybe we can learn from history and not allow these short sighted individuals to destroy our future too? 

www.gaianetwork.net will stand up and fight. Orca Protection & Rescue is needed more now, than ever and with the public eyes of the state, country, and world focused on the plight of these magnificent creatures, we can force the government to listen. Let the governor of Washington know that we are mad and will not take it anymore. Let him know the you believe more in the future of all species than oil tankers or lobbyists’ pay offs. This is our future. Once the orcas are gone, they will not come back. If we give in now , why not make the future poster child of Washington State the spineless jellyfish. Stand up and join us. 

COURAGE

I am presently in the north of BC, Canada in Gitxsan Territory helping out an old friend Gordon Sebastian, the Executive Director of the Gitxsan Treaty Society. As a retired television director I have been asked to consult on how best to communicate the Gitxsan treaty discussions with the federal government… a new reality. The Gitxsan, having never given up their rights to anyone, including the Canadian Federal Government; are now reasserting these rights over 33000 square kilometers of British Columbia. This includes their tenure to fishing rights in the Skeena River watershed. It is an important time for the Gitxsan people and Canada, and I am proud to help.

We at gaianetwork.net will help them produce videos and train local tribe members to operate and maintain an internet Live Stream network so the Gitxsan Treaty Society and the Tribal council can provide clear transparent communications as this process proceeds. I have some experience in this regard and being retired, have the time to help out.

The Gitxsan have a long history going back thousands of years in self-governance and activism in general. I met Gordon in 1991 when a contingent of First Nations warriors travelled to Porto Rico to occupy and seize the replica Columbus ships on their way to celebrate the 500th anniversary in 22 cities across America. For those who missed the celebrations, you can thank the Gitxsan… they were cancelled.

After Art Loring, maybe best known for the Canadian Rail blockade in 2014 , along with three others occupied the Santa Maria, claiming the ships for the indigenous people of America, and ultimately negotiating with the Spanish Government for their safe return. Unbelievable I know, but this really happened. Not only did the Gitxsan receive an apology from the Spanish Government, but avoided jail to boot. Canadian writer and founder of Greenpeace Robert Hunter wrote of the incident in his book: RED BLOOD.

This action stopped the entire planned year-long celebration, and helped change America’s opinion of the once revered explorer. Today, Columbus is considered not only not the first European to “discover” the new world, but he was a butcher… not a hero as I was taught in school. The changing of public opinion is often attempted but seldom succeeds. This time the courage of Art Loring and others changed the world. Why and how you might ask? By having the courage to stand up against all odds to do the right thing.

As one looks at recent Gitxsan history the scenario of courage to stand up rings true with their history. From the 1985 CNR blockade, the Delgamuukw court decision in 1997, to the more recent treaty discussions, the idea of courage comes to the fore. We can all learn from the Gitxsan.( http://www.gitxsan.com/culture/culture-history/gitxsan-history-of-resistance )

When I first met the group in 1991 the Canadian Indian Act was still removing children from their villages to incarcerate them in Government schools where their language and culture was stolen from them. When I first was told of this practice I could not believe what I was hearing. I had always thought of myself as a highly educated individual, and thought practices such as these were ancient history. In Canada it was happening as late as the 90s…. I was appalled to say the least.

Today the Hereditary chiefs have control of their traditional territories and govern themselves with laws and traditions that have served them well for over a thousand years. Their culture of conservation and their governing practices of self-reliance and fairness is something we from the lower 48 should emulate…

That being said, we can all learn something from not only the Gitxsan wilps and ayookw, but specifically from their examples of their courage. They have stood up for their people and traditions against all odds. Many other first nations bands lost or were co-opted by the white man, and white man ways. It was not easy I am sure, but their courage will win out in the end. It is a lesson for us all and I am proud to be a small part of what should become a future for us all. ( http://www.gitxsan.com/about )

Ego- corporations vs. eco-activism, which do you stand for?

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a film for the last few years as a sequel to CONFESSIONS OF AN ECO-TERRORIST, a passion-project I started that became a major part of my life and a movie that has been seen by millions of people all over the world. The original film did well to re-direct dialogue about the “T” word being thrown around at eco-activists; like sexual misconduct accusations are today.  Hey, I was known as the eco-monk, so I have absolutely no issues there… Thank God. 

Now for the subject at hand: I’ve been involved with ocean conservation since I was a child on Cape Cod. After I moved to California as a TV Producer, I found myself lucky enough to hook up with Paul Watson, Al Johnson, and Bob Hunter… all early eco-activists. This was 1981.  As a Producer for the number one rated NBC television program “Real People”, I was a perfect fit to cover the activities of a small group of very special activists hoping to save the oceans. Lucky us… we were there for the birth of the modern media world.

Paul Watson had recently left Greenpeace under some minor rule violation… some say thrown out by a lawyer scared of his activism. He claims the lawyer said: “You obviously do not know what Greenpeace is all about!” He formed Sea Shepherd to be able to stay active and not only continue his mission, but make it more powerful, efficient and effective. This is his claim, and I believe him.  Let’s face it; lawyers are like bad parents just there to tell you why not to do things, and why to abide by a bunch of stupid rules.  I know, I know… they keep you out of trouble, but we were out to change the world…and so we did, and continue to do so.

I was told Sea Shepherd’s Rule #1 was no lawyers on the board of directors. The second rule that won me over was: you had to have gone on a campaign to be eligible to be a director. My “active” political participation was ignored by my boss, George Schlatter, a TV and film legend, but also an unknown eco-hero… He broadcast the first major “hero” piece on the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society (SSCS) in the early 1980s. Big deal you say? Back then 40-50 million people watched every week. George broadcast stories I did on Paul twice, and brought him on-air live both times. This was a big deal. A huge deal!

 I actually got busted covering Paul in Japan in 1981 for George. This is a story for another day, but I became hooked on what we could accomplish. It was very clear to me on how useful my services could be for the growing cause of conservation.  I was very heavily involved in many of the early campaigns, and handled all media with a photographer named Mark Gaede back in the day. Gaede bought the first flag and T-shirts and the rest is history. After what seemed like a blip in time, because of our tactics, the camera, and television broadcasts worldwide, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society became known all over the globe, as a major force, fighting for the good of the planet.

I resigned from the Board of Directors in 1992 along with directors Sue Rodrigues-Pasture and Myra Finklestein when the good Captain wanted to pay his then girl-friend Lisa De Stephano. None of us but Paul could see Lisa’s talents, and to pay her…  for what services? I look back at this day to my never being “all in” again.  This directors’ meeting was held at Nat’s café in Santa Monica California.  Sea Shepherd was an all-volunteer organization at that time. Now I understand basic pay for services, but I also believe the fight cannot be taken to the enemy without real volunteer activists.  At the time offices like SSCS maintain today were for Greenpeace.

I spent the next years on my mission to save the oceans… sometimes with SSCS, sometimes not.  I often say in my talks that I’ve been thrown out of the Sea Shepherd organization 4 times… until I resigned officially this summer. Through the years, I continued to help Paul with campaigns I thought important.  My position with the Society has been spotty, but Paul was like a brother, godfather to my children and visa versa…. Looking back, a kind of shitty brother… as he never once stuck up for me against any number of tactical, and/or money disputes with any number of ex-wives and girl friends…and so on and so forth.

How could I take it for so many years, you might ask? 

Well I think if you research my history in the eco-movement, you’ll find me animal and eco-issue-oriented. I could give a damn about the politics of this group or that. I called a spade a spade and tried to win for the oceans. I do this today.  When I was recently removed as captain, and replaced as campaign leader on the 2017 Virus Hunter Campaign for being too aggressive and uncompromising… really… I have the email! I travelled to British Columbia and did my own thing. Today I am involved in the Skeena River management on behalf of the Gitxsan people as they fight for total territorial sovereignty.

I feel it is everyone’s duty to do what they feel is important. I’ve been involved in the “salmon issue” longer then SSCS and 100% support their actions, assisting Dr. Alex Morton.  I think Alex and the First Nations warriors should get everyone’s support (www.alexandramorton.ca)

These actions will continue and I hope SSCS will continue to support Dr.Morton’s efforts to get salmon farms out of BC. I will continue to work toward that end with the resources at hand.

For the last few years I was lucky enough to become associated with legendary Conservationist Doug Tompkins. Doug’s untimely death has set me on my own path. Doug will still be remembered in one thousand years time long after little pirates like Peter Brown and Paul Watson are forgotten.  http://www.tompkinsconservaion.org

Doug felt that some times to progress as humans, we must do a 360 degree turn and look back to the future… The future of sustainable local food and resources… 

My new film looks at this very subject. Does more money and progress win out when we become them, and allow corporate branding to squash the very innovative approach that got us this far?  My 30 year involvement in the “Branding fight” between Paul Watson and Greenpeace taught me one thing: 

BRANDING KILLS WILDLIFE , while enriching individual entrepreneurs, and allowing populations to be brainwashed by controlling media and press. 

This is straight out of the book of FASCISM 101…. Hitler did it best, and where did that leave the world? 

I was brought up to QUESTION AUTHORITY… I suggest the time is now. Today eco-groups living inside their little social media bubbles are becoming ego-groups. Supporters need to ask what is really getting done?

I am continuing to develop a project I started with Doug, GAIANetwork.net . It is a step back to throw support to the grassroots organizations.

Perhaps the Greenpeace way of doing nothing and depending on the “feel good” money factor to let them continue to bitch… maybe Sea Shepherd’s new approach of signing on with, in my opinion, dubious third world governments to attempt projects the governments aren’t willing to do themselves; if this is your thing. 

Go for it! I will take a different path.

President Eisenhower when he retired and warned America: “beware the industrial military complex”, America should have listened.  As an ocean activist continuing a life long cause I say to all: “beware the corporatization of activism”.

I have fought hard to keep the visual history of the eco movement free to all to use and peruse. If Sea Shepherd or any other eco-corporation tries to control “the story” beware. If you want the public to believe and follow, then turn on the cameras and let your actions speak for themselves. Good actions, good press. Forget the exclusivity and let those who made history tell it.  CONFESSIONS II: “we have met the enemy…” addresses just this. I think the discussion will lead to others see the light and continue the fight where it does most good. 

I guess what I want to say as the year comes to an end and you are looking for solid eco-donations… look local. Projects and small groups close to your home.  If you want the T-shirt and all the PR material from coffee cups to beer coolers, I can’t save you… but if the group has a larger “e-commerce” then “operations page … then I advise that you are spending more on salaries then results.  Look for and promote results. I’ve been promoting Orca Protection & Rescu, but there are good groups and individuals out there if you look. You might not get the cool T-shirt as seen on TV, but you’ll get the results.

For Wild Oceans!

This week a year ago my worst nightmares all came true as The Sea Shepherd Society sued me to stop release of my new film. They now claimed exclusivity on the film library I only recently donated to SSCS.  I have had to hire a lawyer to get the rights back to my footage so I can use it to tell the real story and express opinions of any, and all involved… unbelievable! Sea Shepherd was acting with some sort of cult mentality. Their actions have turned off many original activists and all who question the emperor get canned, or so it seems.  

Today I can say that we settled and the film will be released! A great big never mind… Never mind?? Really? 

If you have opinions and want to keep involved, join us. We won’t pay you, but your passions will be acknowledged and supported. Although Mr. Watson appears to be trying to secure a legacy he really doesn’t fully deserve, I hope his present supporters who believe the myth will take a few minutes to look at their financials and decide for yourselves. They , too, are welcome.

As the 60 foot super Sea Shepherd yacht “ALCHEMY” sails south for the winter, The gaianetwork.net boat the Wii Seeks remains in Friday Harbor to start working to protect the Southern Resident Orcas come spring. Every dollar we raise will be spent on enforcement.

The fate of the planet and all who live on it is up to you and me; to all of us. Whatever your talent is, utilize it – as everyone is unique and your personal abilities and passions put to good use is what makes a positive difference.

Keep on fighting the good fight.