Dave Jacke on Ecological Design and Abundance

For Dave Jacke, a designer of ecological landscapes since the late 1970s, human culture and our “inner landscapes” are the floating variables for our future on Earth. “Western culture, psychosocially, is extremely underdeveloped,” Jacke says in the just-released Episode #9 of my podcast, Frontiers of Commoning. “We humans believe we are separate [from natural systems]. That is kind of like the developmental stage of a two-year-old.” 

The question facing the human species is whether we can sufficiently adapt our cultures to make them compatible with living ecosystems. This was a primary topic in my discussions with Jacke.  “Very few people alive today have any idea of what a healthy ecosystem looks like,” said Jacke, “because all of us have grown up in damaged ecosystems. We do not understand the abundance that is possible.” 

But paradoxically, our “under-development” is a reason for hope: “If the human species were as developed as we could be, genetically, as we face all the perils we face, we’d be screwed. But the fact that we have so much room to grow, psychosocially, is our greatest reason for hope,” Jacke claims.

Jacke has been a serious student of ecology and design since the late 1970s when he embarked on a career designing and installing landscapes for homes, farms, and communities in the many parts of the United States, as well as overseas. He is a passionate teacher and consultant about designing human cultures using ecological principles -- sometimes known as "applied ecology," or what some folks call permaculture. He pursued this work through his firm Dynamics Ecological Design based in Montague, Massachusetts. [Email: davej/at/edibleforestgardens.com]

In the permaculture world, Jacke is perhaps best-known as the lead author of the two-volume book Edible Forest Gardens (2005), written with Eric Toensmeier. The 1,068-page book lays out the vision of the forest garden and explains the basic ecological principles that make it work (Volume 1) before offering more concrete guidance on how to design, establish, and maintain your own forest garden (Volume 2).

An edible forest garden is a “perennial polyculture,” which means that many different plant species grow together and naturally regrow every year without replanting. As Jacke and his coauthor explain, “A forest garden is an edible ecosystem, a consciously designed community of mutually beneficial plants and animals intended for human food production.”

What’s refreshing about Jacke’s approach to regenerative economics and landscapes is its integrated grasp of ecosystems, human technologies, culture, and our inner lives. Jacke points out that as soon as humans make their tools, they begin to treat any natural objects through the lens of that technology. This immediately focuses and limits our perceptions of the natural world – a tendency that becomes more entrenched as economic and social institutions arise to develop the technologies. 

Jacke warns that healthy cultures acknowledge that a boundary is crossed when we convert the multi-dimensionality of nature into tools for human use. A tree that lives a complicated, embedded life of interdependence within an ecosystem is seen as something quite different when it is reduced to timber. It becomes a dead “resource” that reflects human uses alone. 

The movement for “appropriate technology” that flourished in the 1970s sought to emphasize this point – that the tools we create and use influence how we end up seeing the world. Too often, our tools have objectified the living world into “the environment” -- an inventory of inert resources with little connection to life. It’s important to acknowledge to ourselves that the very idea of “value-neutral tools” is a self-deception. Our tools invariably reduce our appreciation for the complexity of “nature.” Which is why we must constantly remember that our tools and “nature" co-evolve together.  

Informed by decades of practice in ecological design, Dave Jacke is a deep thinker about the subtle interactions of ecosystems and humanity, and the role of the commons can play in mediating this (perceived) divide. Here is the link to the full podcast interview.


Creative Strategies for Change Seeking Executive Director

Denver-based organization, Creative Strategies for Change, is currently seeking a new Executive Director! We encourage folks in our network to learn more about the position in the announcement below and find the original information on the CSC site here.

Creative Strategies for Change is expanding our team! We are currently hiring for an Executive Director to start in February of 2021, could it be you or someone you know?

Background: Creative Strategies for Change (CSC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2013, in Denver, Colorado, with a mission to mobilize arts and education for social justice, and a racial equity imperative. Our offerings include: community and youth programs, interactive performances and workshops, consultation, leadership and professional development.

Position Description: The Executive Director (ED) is a member of the team that stewards CSC mission, vision, and values. This dynamic team and community member will be responsible for the efficient administration of day to day organizational operations, budgetary and fiscal matters, organizational development and fundraising, board development and relations, as well as hiring, training, guiding, and evaluating administrative staff.

The ED is a member of CSC’s collaborative leadership team, the Executive Committee consisting of two Co-Directors of Arts and Education and the Board of Directors. The ED’s priorities are maintaining a sustainable organization with a focus on administrative, board, and financial capacity building. The ED will galvanize our internal and external commitment to equity, excellence, and wellness.

Schedule: 40 hours/week between 8am – 6pm (some evenings and weekends will be required)

Start Date: Preferred start date February 8th (Participation in CSC Workshop is Required)

Compensation: $60,000-$80,000 annually (depending on experience)

After 60 days of employment (or the equivalent hours) employee will be eligible for health care contributions and paid time off as follows:

Health Care Contributions: $400/month (FTE)
Accrual of PTO – 2 days per month: current max total of 2 weeks per year
Minimum Skills and Qualifications

-Commitment to the CSC mission, vision, values, and racial equity imperative.
-Ability to align the organizational operational scope with the goals, mission and vision of CSC, clear understanding of the CSC 3 Model and ability to integrate it in all operations.
-Experience and expertise with managing nonprofit budget and operations or equivalent.
-Strong background in racial equity, critical race theory, intersectionality and social justice frameworks.
-Knowledge regarding community organizing, arts and arts education, youth leadership development, restorative /transformative justice.
-Expertise with board relations & development, fundraising, hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating personnel.
-Confident with organizational systems, financial, and database management
-Experience and expertise with managing nonprofit budget and operations or equivalent.
-Strong background in racial equity, critical race theory, intersectionality and social justice frameworks.
-Knowledge regarding community organizing, arts and arts education, youth leadership development, restorative /transformative justice.
-Expertise with board relations & development, fundraising, hiring, training, supervising, and evaluating personnel.
-Confident with organizational systems, financial, and database management.
-Excellent, culturally responsive interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills.
-Proactive, self-motivated and able to work independently and interdependently.
-Experience with working with diverse teams and communities.
-Critical, strategic thinking and the capacity to manage a variety of projects, priorities, and deadlines.
-Knowledge and experience with grant writing and management.
-Experience with fundraising, and client and donor engagement and development.
-Willing to engage in conflict resolution, give and receive critical feedback.
-3 years of managerial/leadership experience.

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

-3-5 years consecutive experience as an executive director or similar administrative leadership role with a nonprofit organization.
-Expertise with organizational change and growth, and experience guiding an organization through the start up to sustainable experience.
-Understanding the value of art as an expression and foundation to the work at CSC.

Duties and Responsibilities

-Collaborative stewardship of the organizational mission, vision, and values.
-Provide leadership in coordinating, executing, and evaluating CSC administrative operations.
-Work with the administrative team to design, implement, and evaluate the performance of short and long-term plans for organizational growth and development toward a thriving, sustainable, and fiscally solvent organization.
-Build organizational administrative capacity for efficient and effective management.
-Improve CSC financial capacity and fiscal solvency to increase organizational capacity.
-Organizational capacity building through Financial Development & Administration, Fundraising, -Administrative operations, board development/relations are high priorities for this position.
-Work with CSC accountant to assure compliance with all IRS, national, state and local regulations and requirements for 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, including up to date files, filing systems, necessary certificates, licenses, etc.
-Work with CSC accountant to manage all organizational bookkeeping and finances as required by law and in alignment with CSC mission, vision, and values.
-Work with the CSC board, executive committee, and administrative team to develop, review, refine, and implement annual operating budget and strategic plan.
-Work with the Program Manager to operationalize CSC fundraising plan, including grants, donors, sponsors, and special events. Increase individual and corporate donors to meet fundraising goals.
-Contributes to activating and sustaining board participation in organizational fiduciary responsibilities and fundraising plans including grant research and writing, online crowdfunding, donor relations, sponsorship, and event planning, coordination, and execution.
-Attend regular staff, board, and team meetings.
Cultivate a culture of integrity with internal and external relationships, developing and maintaining open lines of communication.
-Develop, update, and maintain organizational operations manual, and policies and procedures handbook.
-Provide administrative support staff leadership including hiring, training, orientation, schedules, contracts, evaluation, and paperwork.
-Work with the administrative support staff to develop, refine, and maintain efficient organizational systems and procedures including but not limited to: calendars, documentation, assessment, administrative work plans, handbooks, manuals, database, etc.
-Work with the Executive Committee and staff to develop and implement public relations and communications strategies to support organizational goals and community engagement.
-Support Program Manager in sustain communications: blog, newsletter, social media, website updates and maintenance, print and web based marketing and promotion, etc.
-Represent CSC for panels, community meetings, conferences, funder discussions and field-wide convenings. Nurture new and existing partnerships with cultural, artistic and social justice organizations locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
-Staying connected to developments and grant funding opportunities, significant events, and conferences.
-Fielding information requests from current and prospective donors, sponsors, foundations, and board members.
-Additional duties and responsibilities as necessary.

CSC strongly encourages applications from diverse women and leaders of color for all positions. Creative Strategies for Change is committed to a policy of equitable representation across the organization and will not discriminate on the basis of race, ability status, sex, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, religion, age, socioeconomic status, or other social identities.

Please send cover letter, resume, and 3 references (1 personal and 2 professional) to: board[at]creativestrategiesforchange[dot]com. Please include “Executive Director Position” in email subject field

Find the original announcement at www.creativestrategiesforchange.com/2020/11/23/team-csc-is-growing-we-are-hiring-an-executive-director/.

we are just more pretentious than the other beasts

The dog bounds into the house. If he were human, he’d be saying, “Mom! Mom! Guess what? We saw this squirrel? It walked right onto the sidewalk and then ran away! You should have seen it!”

I don’t believe that he has this thought or that his objective is to transfer information about the squirrel to a human. But his behavior–other than the words–is exactly like that of a 7-year-old who just had an exciting experience outside.

It makes me think that the behavior is generic: both species like to communicate excitement when seeing a loved one. You can imagine that this desire is adaptive for social animals. Humans just happen to use words for the purpose.

A bunch of geese gather in a rough circle. One is backed up and hissing. Most of them are honking and splashing their wings aggressively, perhaps forming two opposing groups. If they were humans, they would be deeply invested in the precise content of their words. “You always say …” “Yeah, well, you promised …” “I know what you’ve been saying behind my back …”

Again, the behavior is exactly the same as ours, but we care about the propositional content of our words, and the geese don’t need that to establish boundaries.

These are just some untutored speculations at the border of ethology and linguistics–which is, of course, a topic for real science. For me, the takeaway is existential. Let’s recognize that all the detailed things we think and say are not all that important; we’re just exhibiting behaviors.

who needs civic education?

The Monmouth University Poll released on Nov. 19 asked people (among other questions), whether Trump has done more than other presidents to undermine or to uphold the Constitution, whether respondents fear what their political opponents would do to the country, and whether Donald Trump has “drained the swamp” or made corruption worse. Here are the responses by age group.

Young people are the least likely to think that Trump upheld the Constitution, least afraid of their opponents governing, and most likely to believe that Trump worsened corruption.

I suppose reasonable people might debate these questions. A very conservative person might believe that Trump’s judicial appointments are saving the Constitution. A thoughtful progressive might fear what Trumpian Republicans would do to the country.

But generally, we would want people to answer these questions in the negative. Citizens should know that Trump disparages the Constitution, that it’s important to cede power when opponents win elections, and that the forms of corruption reported during the Trump administration are deeply problematic.

Of course, everyone needs civic education. The young need it most because they are the future and because they must be equipped to become more effective as citizens. But if you want to know who demonstrates the greatest deficits in basic civic dispositions, it is not the young.

Submit 2021 All-America City Award Letter of Intent by 12/1

ICYMI NCDD member org, The National Civic League, is now accepting Letters of Intent for the 2021 All-America City Award (AAC2021). For over 70 years, the All-America City Award has recognized communities that leverage civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness and innovation to successfully address local issues. Every year communities from across the country compete for the All-America City Award, telling the story of their community and their work. This coming year, AAC2021 will be a robust virtual event, lifting up communities’ work related to the theme “Building Equitable and Resilient Communities”. Submit Letter of Intent by December 1st and save $100 on your 2021 application fee. Join the free informational webinar this coming Monday, November 23rd from 12-1pm Pacific, 3-4 Eastern, to learn more about the AAC award program – register here!

Read more about the 2021 All-America City Awards in post below and find more information on NCL’s site here.

Since 1949, the National Civic League has designated over 500 communities as All-America Cities for their outstanding civic accomplishments. The Award, bestowed yearly on 10 communities, recognizes the work of communities in using inclusive civic engagement to address critical issues and create stronger connections among residents, businesses and nonprofit and government leaders.

The 2021 All-America City theme is “Building Equitable and Resilient Communities.” The 2021 All-America City Awards will recognize communities that have worked to improve equity and resilience. Equity is the fabric that allows communities to achieve broad-based economic prosperity and other goals. Resilience enables communities to face challenging times by not only preserving what makes their community great but adapting and growing stronger. Both qualities depend on inclusive civic engagement.

The need for equity and resilience has become more obvious in 2020, as communities have dealt with a global pandemic and racial bias incidents in law enforcement. Those communities with more equity and resilience have been more successful in combatting the pandemic and making the needed changes to improve the racial equity of law enforcement and other city services.

All-America City applicants for 2021 will be asked to discuss the strength of their civic capital—the formal and informal relationships, networks and capacities they use to make decisions and solve problems—and to provide examples of community-driven projects that have adapted and transformed the community to be more equitable and resilient.

Finalists are announced in March and invited to assemble a community team to present at the All-America City Event in June. Teams of residents; nonprofit, business, and government leaders; and young people from communities across the country will share insights with peers, learn from national thought-leaders, and present the story of their work to a jury of nationally recognized civic leaders. The transformational experience equips, inspires and supports leaders and communities to achieve more than they ever believed possible.

The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country. By celebrating the best in local innovation, civic engagement and cross-sector collaboration, the All-America City Awards remind us of the potential within every community to tackle tough issues and create real change.

We encourage you to learn more about the All-America City Award event on the National Civic League site at: www.nationalcivicleague.org/america-city-award/how-to-apply/.

Florida Council for the Social Studies 63rd Annual Conference (Now Virtual!)

In happy news, the Florida Council for the Social Studies’ 63rd Annual Conference, which had been postponed due to COVID-19, has now been rescheduled as a virtual conference!

We so hope you will join the good folks at FCSS for this virtual conference. Work is being done to line up some excellent sessions and speakers, and we expect that this virtual conference will provide a new and more flexible opportunity to engage with colleagues while expanding professional learning!

You can register for the conference here. And if you want to present (and we hope you do!), you can submit your proposal here! Proposals are due no later than 30 November.

Come join us, and make good trouble.

Putnam and Garrett, The Upswing

This is a video of Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett discussing their new book, The Upswing: How America Came Together a Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again in a Tisch College Distinguished Speaker event last night. Our dean, Alan Solomont, introduced everyone and then I interviewed and moderated Putnam and Garrett.

I really do recommend the book and intend to write about it in more detail. It’s methodologically and conceptually interesting. More importantly, it’s a hopeful and patriotic book that comes at an urgent moment.

During our conversation, I proposed a summary of the book’s position that the authors seemed willing to accept. They advocate an appropriate balance between individualism and communitarianism. They believe that a society can be too communitarian, and perhaps that was even true of the US ca. 1960. But now we are far too individualistic. The balance can be restored, as it was in the half-century after 1900. To accomplish that change requires a decentralized and pluralistic effort that encompasses social innovation and social entrepreneurship, organizing and advocacy, cultural work, leadership, and policy changes at all levels of government. This effort should be pragmatic, not ideological, although it can attract people with a mix of ideological views and agendas who overlap on the idea that America should be more of a “we” and less of an “I” society.

An excellent example was the “high school revolution,” a decentralized movement that raised the proportion of Americans who completed high school from less than 10% to more than 70% in a few decades, fueling economic growth and equity. No single law accomplished this revolution; no individual is especially associated with it. It was a “viral” movement that, in turn, contributed to a much broader movement to strengthen American community. I’m guessing that various agendas converged to make this happen, from local boosterism and immigrant assimilationism to ambitious reform agendas, including socialism.

The implication is that we can do the same again, and it might even turn out that leaders as disparate as Barack Obama, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Patrisse Cullors, and Mike Lee–plus countless founders of nonprofits and community organizers–will turn out to be early participants in a new upswing. We certainly need it.

some notes on identity from a civic perspective

In a course on Civic Studies, we recently began a unit on identity. The first readings were the biblical Book of Nehemiah; Audre Lorde, “The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House; and ”Steve Biko, “Black Consciousness and the Quest for a True Humanity.” Here are some notes.

1. The overall civic question is: “What should we do?”  An identity is an answer to the question: “Who am I?” (Or, “Who is he/she/they?”) For instance, Lorde self-identified as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.”

How are these two questions related?

  1. You must consider who you are in order to figure out what “we” you are part of.
  2. Sometimes the “we” is defined badly, and that is the civic problem. People are excluded unjustly or included against their will.
  3. Even when the “we” is right, it may encompass differences of identity that create or reinforce injustices.

2. When discussing Elinor Ostrom and others in the first segment of our course, we were primarily focused on interests. The main solutions included various forms of negotiation and management. When discussing Jürgen Habermas and others in that segment of the course, we were primarily focused on opinions. The main solutions involved various forms of dialogue, deliberation, and communication. Now we turn to identities.

3. Interests, opinions, and identities are interconnected but are not the same. 

  1. Interest: “I want/need …”
  2. Opinion: “We should …”
  3. Identity: “Speaking as a …”

When interests conflict, they can be negotiated, and it is sometimes possible to design and maintain systems to manage interests fairly. When opinions conflict, they can be discussed, and well-structured conversations may (sometimes) convince individuals to converge on the same opinions. When identities clash, it is not clear that individuals should negotiate, compromise, or give reasons for their differences. But it can be controversial whether a given characteristic, such as adhering to a religion, constitutes an interest, an opinion, an identity, or more than one of these. Disagreements about such questions can lead to disputes about whether individuals should be open to negotiation and responsive to arguments, or not.

4. It can be problematic to talk about identity in general terms. Some identities are vastly more significant to social justice than others. For instance, racism is the USA is not just an example of an identity-difference. You can imagine two random groups that don’t happen to like each other and who demonstrate bias or division. That is a challenge, but it is not a good description of the differences that matter to our assigned authors. For Biko: conquest, colonialism, apartheid. For Lorde: 400 years of slavery, terror, and subjugation.

5. Each form of identity has a unique history. It may also have a particular logic. For instance, it’s possible to imagine a society with significant racial diversity that is also equitable. It is not possible to imagine a society with an upper class and a lower class that are equal.

6. Nevertheless, we can also gain some insights into important differences among identities by developing general theories of identity.

7. Two general theories are worth contrasting:

  1. When two groups of people act and think very differently and have little contact, a powerful identity distinction emerges that can be hard to bridge.
  2. When people are very similar, intimately connected, and liable to mix or exchange places, there is a powerful incentive to erect and insist on identity distinctions.

Examples of (a): Europeans encountering indigenous peoples, and vice-versa. Examples of (b): Modern antisemitism in Europe or the invention of race in 17th century Virginia. My understanding of the 17th-century story is that slavery came first; racism followed. The first rationale for enslaving people from Africa was religious: Christians could enslave “heathens.” But once the enslaved people converted, a different rationale was necessary. For a few decades, colonists tried the idea of “hereditary heathenism” (Goetz 2012), but that was incompatible with core Christian doctrine. So they invented, or re-invented, race. Since then, whites and African Americans have been in constant and intense interaction and have exhibited profound similarities. White privilege is a “common pool resource” in the specific sense that it benefits all white people, whether they want it or not, yet any of us can undermine it by promotion equity. All common pool resources are fragile, and it has taken concerted, sustained effort to maintain white supremacy in the face of actual similarities and actual interactions.

8. A synthesis? Identity distinctions are made by people in response to incentives created by institutions (such as states and markets), power differentials, network ties, and path-dependence, among other factors (Wimmer 2008).

9. Identities are made, but it does not follow that they are easily unmade. They become powerful realities. E.g., modern Americans racially classify a photo of a face in less than one tenth of a second and form affective reactions to that classification (Kubota & Ito, 2007).

10. Power influences how identities are created, but it does not follow that identity-creation is necessarily bad. It can be creative and empowering.

Lorde: “Advocating the mere tolerance of difference between women is the grossest reformism. It is a total denial of the creative function of difference in our lives. Difference must be not merely tolerated, but seen as a fund of necessary polarities between which our creativity can spark like a dialectic.” 

11. Questions from the readings:

  1. Do identity distinctions and boundaries enable collective action? If so, can we solve collective action problems without perpetuating unjust exclusions?

The Nehemiah story is about building a common pool resource and excluding outsiders. (A city wall is a common pool resource. The Jerusamelites have strong social capital. They apply many of Ostrom’s design principles, such as taking turns and enforcing the rules on the leaders) Must self-governance and exclusion go together?

  1. When should we accentuate “many differences,” and when should we look for “solidarity”?

Lorde: “It is a particular academic arrogance to assume any discussion of feminist theory without examining our many differences, and without a significant input from poor women, Black and Third World women, and lesbians.” Biko uses “the black man” as a category that explicitly encompasses Zulus, Xhosas, Vendas, and South Africans of Indian origin, and implicitly includes black women. He discusses a “strong solidarity” that allows Blacks to “respond as a cohesive group.”

  1. Who has what responsibility for learning and teaching about what?

“Let us talk more about ourselves and our struggles and less about whites” (Biko). Asking oppressed peoples to educate their oppressors “is an old and primary tool of all oppressors to keep the oppressed occupied with the master’s concerns.” For instance, to say that women of color must educate white women “is a diversion and a tragic repetition of racist patriarchal thought” (Lorde)

  1. How radical a change is needed?

Lorde: tolerance is “the grossest reformism.” We need to “seek new ways of being in the world.”

Free Webinar: The 1920 Ocoee Election Day Massacre

Good morning, friends. I wanted to share with you an opportunity that you might find beneficial. Earlier this year, the Florida legislature mandated that teachers be prepared to teach about the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Massacre by the 2021-2022 school year. While Florida does have a task force working hard on how it should be taught, we are honored to bring you a new learning opportunity in December.

We will be joined by noted expert and researcher Dr. Robert Cassanello on Wednesday, December 9 at 3pm to talk about what you need to know about this tragic and horrific event, and how you can approach it in your classroom. We hope that you can join us, even if you aren’t in Florida. This event is symbolic of so much of the effort to secure voting rights in the face of oppression, and aligns well with instruction on both the civil rights effort and the backlash to it.

You can register for this webinar here. Questions? Contact us!

Stop the Enclosure of Montenegro’s Pastoral Commons

Update, December 14: The campaign to protect Montenegro's Sinjajevina pastoral commons and the communities that steward them has succeeded for now! More at this excellent overview piece by Pablo Dominguez at FreedomNews.org.

For years, the US Navy deliberately used the lush Caribbean island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, for target practice. It shot all sorts of projectiles onto the island until 2003, when huge public protests and civil disobedience made the wanton destruction too hot for the Navy. It withdrew from Vieques, by then a severely contaminated tropical wasteland that is being "cleaned up" (if possible) and turned into a wildlife refuge.

Now we are at the dawn of a similar situation in the highland pastures of the Balkans known as Sinjajevina.The region’s large mountain grasslands – home to eight native tribes with 22,000 people and a rich biodiversity – has been used for centuries as pastoral commons, “katuns.” The area’s biodiversity is recognized by two nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites. Until recently, Sinjajevina had been a place of stable lives lived in happy coexistence with the land.  

Obviously, such things cannot be allowed.The government of Montenegro, supported by key NATO allies, has established a military training ground on the pastoral commons. NATO saw no need to hold any public hearings or consultations with the people who live there. With the government’s assent, it just barged right in, sidelining government plans for a regional park to protect the local ecosystem and communities.

It is astonishing that these developments have received virtually no European or American press coverage. This is surely because Montenegro is a small nation and a supplicant to Europeans. It wants to join the European Union. Its government is surely disinclined to object to the military intrusion on its lands while trying to join the EU. Farmers from Sinjajevina and local activists are demanding that the Montenegrin parliament urge the EU Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, to suspend EU membership talks until it stops militarizing Sinjajevina.

A resistance movement has sprung up to fight NATO’s intrusion, however. A basic challenge is making this issue known to the wider world, especially Europe. First: if you’d like to learn more, here is a blog for the resisting commoners.And here is the hashtag they are using – #MissionPossible.

I encourage you to sign the petition that will be sent to the European Union and the EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi.The petition demands EU solidarity with the local communities of Sinjajevina and their ecosystems; removal of the military training ground as a precondition for Montenegro’s EU membership; and creation of a community protected area in Sinjajevina. 

Here is the petition in English; in French; and in Spanish.