What kind of organisation is GroenFront!?
GF! is not an organisation. To quote from the BVD (Dutch secret service) annual report 1998: ´GF! is a ´nom de guerre´ [loosely translated: war cry] under which radical environmental activists in various compositions take up action.´ GroenFront!/EarthFirst! is a convenient banner to use for nonviolent direct action. At the same time GF!/EF! has become a network of radical nature lovers and anarchist eco-saboteurs.
Can I just use that name?
Yes! There are a few starting points connected to the names GroenFront! and Earth First!, though.
People are a part of nature and completely depend on it. This is also called biocentrism. Policy adjustments and technological solutions is not what GroenFront! /EF! stand for. Good solutions for environmental problems result from doing something about the arrogant part that the (western) human is playing over the rest of nature.
Violence against living beings is not done under the name GroenFront!.
GF! does not negotiate with governments and companies that destroy nature or the environment. Lobbies and petitions only work with an enormous public pressure. For that there are plenty of other environmental organisations. GroenFront! chooses to stop poluting and destuctive activities immediately, even if it is sometimes only temporarily. You cannot save nature half. We do not believe in compensation plans, ´new nature´ or other palliative measures that the more moderate clubs often settle for. No compromise in defense of mother earth!
On top of all that GroenFront! actions are organised horizontally. We do not want elite, executives or management. Actions that do not start at the bottom will only come to a dead end in a power struggle and organisations or parties that focus especially on staying in existance, in stead of on nature and action for mother earth.
What is direct action?
The difference between symbolic action (protest) and direct action (resistance) is that there is a direct effect. With symbolic actions you think about demonstrations, petitions and so on. With direct action you think about occupation, blockades and sabotage. Because of an action camp in the trees the trees can not be felled. Because of an occupation of a building site or sabotage of a gentech field the work is stopped.
Direct action is usually only started when all the other means (for instance legal) have been exhausted.
GroenFront! is not a pressure group. We do not primarily want to put pressure on politicians to get them to make different decisions about a certain issue. We also do not do an occupation or orther direct action to increase our lobbying power (even though it can be a side-effect that the actions of GroenFront! can improve the position of other environmental organisations at the negotiating table). This does not by definition mean that we never ever participate in demonstrations, and in some cases we might do symbolic actions, or attempt to increase pressure for some issue to be resolved, for example by taking action at an embassy on an international issue. The crux is that we think that we should all undertake action ourselves to stop ecocide because nobody, not the government or industry or your neighbour can be relied on to do it for you and there is no more time to lose….
What can I do for GroenFront!?
Because we are not an organisation but a network it is up to each individual to contemplate what they want to do. GroenFront! does not have a membership list or any other administration. When nature is threatened you can gather up friends, acquaintances or local residents to undertake an action under the name GroenFront!. You can also come to our annual gatherings where there are workshops and discussion about action campagnes or for example to ope information evenings about subjects that GroenFront! is taking action about. Sometimes there are open, announced actions. These are announced on the website. That way you can get involved with the existing actions/campagnes.
What kind of things can you do?
Concretely: make action materials, collect information and do research, write articles and press releases and, of course, take action! At an action camp that means: building tree huts, cooking, cleaning up, gather material, spread information, talk to interested people, answer emails, collect money and so on. You understand that many of these things do not require you to be chained to something in all kinds of weather or getting arrested. So also when you are physically unable to climb a tree every day or for example have obligations towards children or work and so on, there is always something you can do within GroenFront! It is however not as simple as just becoming a member and transferring some money a couple of times a year and thus maintain paid environmentalists – in GroenFront! nobody is getting paid for their contribution.
However… if you still want to donate money…
You can transfer it to “Vrienden van GroenFront”. The necessary account numbers etc. can be found here.