Wild @ Heart – Part Deux
January 19th, 2007
Café deux Soleils, 2096 Commercial Drive

Hey folks! We all had such a great time at the Wild @ Heart bash,
we’re doing it again.

Cheers to everyone who came out to El Cocal on October 14th –
tree-huggers, musicians, neighbours, and supporters. For those who
missed it, here are some of the highlights.

The place was full - two dozen people came for dinner and
hobnobbing, and fifty more joined in later. The live music was
fantastic, the musicians started at 8 pm and played until almost

A posse of Western Canada Wilderness Committee folks arrived early
for the socializing and stayed for the jams. Paul George (founder of
the WCWC) and Adrianne Carr (outgoing leader of the BC Green Party)
handed out copies of Paul’s new book, “Big Trees, Not Big Stumps,”
on 25 years of campaigning for forests.

Paul complimented the directors of the BC Environmental Network on
hosting the party and joining forces with Wild Earth. “I’m glad to
see the BCEN is moving toward the grassroots again,” Paul said.

Bruce McArthur of the Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs came down
from West Vancouver with Ned Jacobs and friends, bringing Zoe a
walking stick he carved from yew wood with her name and a green
monkey etched into it.

Coop Radio was represented by Imtiaz, host of the Rational, and
Alex, host of Radio Eco-Shock, which recently took over the former
Green Monkey time slot (Fridays at 1 pm on 102.7 fm, CFRO).

Stephen Bradley of the Save Our Valley Alliance in Port Alberni won
the grand raffle prize and took home a beautiful hand-made tabla
drum from Ten Thousand Villages. Stephen was in town with his wife
Jen Fisher-Bradley celebrating her birthday. Two other winners took
home the consolation prizes - a WCWC calendar and a BCEN mug.

People were still filing in the door when Dani Rubin and Steve
Quattrocchi kicked off the first set with Steve on mandolin and
acoustic guitar and Dani on electric guitar and acoustic guitar.
Dani debuted a brand new song, “Wild at Heart,” written for the
occasion, and shared the harps with “Harmonica” Lewinsky. Jay
Burnstick took the stage at 9 pm, bringing down the house with his
gorgeous and edgy lap slide guitar, playing folk and blues. Juno
performer Leela Gilday joined him on vocals for one song. People
whooped and clapped and stomped their feet, cheered, whistled and
called for more.

Report Back from Wild Earth 2006

Wild Earth: A Radical Convergence
Activist Training and Networking Gathering
Newcastle Island, BC June 15 – 18, 2006

“I’ve never done anything like this before. I feel like I’ve just woken up and discovered a purpose in life.”

“I learned quite a bit, and my perception really changed.  It was good to be around so many different kinds of people in such an inclusive environment.”
“I was thrilled that the BCEN and Wild Earth happened together to mix those two groups and somewhat different kinds of people [and] different focuses.”

“I hope that one day I can come back to BC and work closely with you all.”
-- Feedback from Wild Earth participants, June 2006 

The coast landscape has changed dramatically since the first Wild Earth gathering seven years ago. In 1999, the environmental movement was riding a wave of public support and media interest in rain forest protection. Wild Earth was founded that year to prepare individuals and groups for direct response to destructive logging and development in BC's coastal rain forest. Now, with the environmental movement at its lowest ebb in two decades, it seems every month chainsaws and machines are lumbering into another priceless patch of wildlife habitat or an old-growth community water supply area. Often we can beat back the threats with the weapons at hand – public opinion, lobbying, protests – but what happens when those methods fail? Do we stand aside and wring our hands while the destruction barrels ahead? Or do we step up to confront the enemy head-on?

Clearly, citizen response to ecosystem destruction doesn’t stop at the limits of legality. Many take matters further, blocking roads and climbing trees to hold off the bulldozers and chainsaws. But civil disobedience carries risks to one’s freedom and personal safety. Standing up to loggers and police takes a certain strength of will and sense of empowerment that doesn't always come easily to us. Wild Earth gives tree-huggers a secure place to learn safe and effective tactics and strategies for forest defense in a do-it-yourself, inclusive, non-hierarchical environment.

2006 was a do-or-die year for Wild Earth. The earlier gatherings drew over one hundred participants, but in 2004 and 2005 only a few dozen attended. This kind of training is absolutely essential for a strong movement in the future, so we rolled up our sleeves and revived the original organizing model, reaching out to as many people and communities as possible. And it worked – 80 people took part in Wild Earth 2006, ranging in age from two months to well over 60 years. Two dozen workshops were offered at no cost to participants, along with free meals and four days and nights of free camping at Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park in Nanaimo Harbour. Workshops included tree-climbing training, non-violence training, a discussion on blockade tactics, legal rights for activists, banner messaging, herbal first aid and an introduction to the political philosophy of green anarchy. The schedule was loosely organized with plenty of time for informal discussions and networking.

Information sessions on Grassy Narrows, Skwelk’wek welt, and Mt. Elphinstone recruited dozens of newcomers to join up with the campaigns and put their action skills to the test. Veteran campaigners had a chance to come together and make plans to cooperate in the future. 

A couple weeks before the gathering, the BC Ministry of the Environment, which has jurisdiction over Newcastle Island Park, came out of left field with threats to shut down the gathering. The district supervisor said Wild Earth posed a danger to environmental and cultural values in the park. He later tried to insist Wild Earth was a “commercial gathering” and needed a special use permit. We were able to show that our gathering was non-commercial and our activities complied with the Park Act, so the Ministry had no reason to harass us any further.  But the district supervisor warned that he was “watching us,” and in fact he took it upon himself to visit the gathering twice, as did the RCMP. Happily, they found nothing to cause any concern. 
Funding support from Rainforest Action Network and Global Greengrants Fund covered the travel costs for the workshop presenters and volunteers, plus our camp supplies and tree-climbing gear. Donations of food and supplies came from community businesses in Vancouver, Nanaimo and Victoria. Volunteers took on cooking and childcare, plus a thousand day-to-day details at the camp. Organizing for Wild Earth 2007 and beyond continues this fall and winter. Folks can get in touch with us by visiting the website at http://wildearth.resist.ca or emailing earth_first@resist.ca.  

If you would like to keep up to date about future gatherings, sign up for the listserve:


WILD EARTH 2006:  A Radical Convergence
          Newcastle Island, BC - June 15-18, 2006

Is a four-day campout featuring workshops, training, music, and

strategizing for future radical campaigns. Wild Earth is an inclusive gathering,
dedicated to forging alliances across boundaries of race, class, gender,
and age. Join us for hands-on training in non-violence and civil
disobedience tactics, tree-climbing, forest defense, survival skills and more.

Network with activis
ts for environmental and social justice, share skills and learn

from others.


*Guerrilla Blockading
*Ropes, Knots and Safety
*Tree climbing Training
*Communicating with Plants and Understanding their Medicine
*Action Planning
*Natural Selection Forestry
*Intro to Green Anarchy
*Green Anarchy Part 2
*Wilderness Survival Skill share
*Activist Security
*Bannerama – Banner Messaging
*Grassy Narrows DVD, “As Long As the River Flows,”
*Mt. Elphinstone Campaign
*Using Media for Ecodefense
*Non-violent Communications and Playback Theatre
*Non-violence Training
*Legal Brief for Activists
*Global Rainforest Protection
*Skwelk’wek welt Campaign
*Wild Women
*Natural Cleansers vs. Domestic Hazards film
*Herbal First Aid/Herb Walk
*Roots of Resistance
*Big Wild Roundup – Campaigns Across the Region
*Wild Earth 2007

Indigenous Welcome and Blessing
BCEN Keynote Speakers, Panels and Roundtables
Campaign Hotspots, and lots more!


Newcastle Island Provincial Park, Nanaimo Harbour, British Columbia

The Snuneymuxw Nation manages Newcastle Island Provincial Park,
which is part of their traditional territory.  Snuneymuxw members
run the ferry, take care of the grounds, deliver firewood,
administer day-to-day operations and serve wonderful meals in the
park concession. We would like to thank the Snuneymuxw Nation for
welcoming Wild Earth!

Newcastle Island is accessible by public transit and ferry from
Vancouver. From downtown Vancouver, catch the #250 or 257 Horseshoe
Bay bus. Bus fare is $3.25. In Horseshoe Bay, board the ferry to
Departure Bay (Nanaimo). The Departure Bay ferry is $10.30 for
walk-ons. Crossing time is one hour and forty-five minutes.

In Nanaimo, the passenger ferry to Newcastle Island is located about
two kilometres south of the BC Ferries terminal. Take the #2 City
Centre bus to the Civic Arena at Comox Street. Bus fare is $2.25.

Newcastle ferry departs from Maffeo Sutton Park (Island Highway and
Comox St.) every hour on the hour.

Thursday: 10 am to 5 pm
Friday: 10 am to 7 pm
Saturday: 10 am to 7 pm
Sun: 10 am to 5 pm

Fare: Tell the captain you're with Wild Earth and the fare is only
$5.00 (includes return). Bikes are $2.00 and well-behaved dogs are

Please Note: The Newcastle Island ferry only accepts cash. (No credit cards or
debit cards.)

See schedule and fares here:

This year's Wild Earth Gathering is being hosted in conjunction with the
British Columbia Environmental Network (BCEN) Spring Gathering: "Powering
Up BC Environmentalism," on beautiful Newcastle Island.
Accomdations are outdoor camping, and you will need to bring along your
own camping gear.  It is a Provincial Park, and there are public washrooms

Two vegetarian meals will be provided on each day of the gathering.  If you
have any special dietary needs or restrictions including allergies; please ensure
you describe them when registering.  Please bring a water bottle; and you
may want to bring snacks.


click here to register for this year's gathering.

Bring your rain gear, tent, sleeping bag, food to donate, musical instruments,
and a wild heart. Please do not bring weapons, drugs, or alcohol.


Have skills to share? Want to get people informed and aware? Sign up to

facilitate a workshop or training session!
Email earth_first at resist dot ca and let us know:
  • Your name and contact info
  • Name of workshop or training session
  • A brief description of the workshop
  • Preferred dates and times for the session
  • Special materials or set-up needed


Have organizing skills? Help make Wild Earth a wild success! Volunteers

are signing up to help in crucial areas.
  • Posters and promotions
  • Communal kitchen
  • Food and supply donations
  • Childcare
  • Driving a shuttle van
  • Welcoming folks
  • Security
  • and many more


To post an ad to offer or request a ride, please click here.


To download a copy of the Wild Earth 2006 poster please click the following
link.  If your web browser does not support PDF files, please try right-clicking it
and selecting "Save Target As..." to save the file to your computer.  You will
need Adobe Acrobat or another PDF file viewer.



Wild Earth 2006 is a family-friendly event focused on inclusion and
equality, and free of violence, abuse, or harassment.
We ask that all participants abide by the camp's standards for
behavour and hygiene to protect our health and safety.

wildearth at resist dot ca or earth_first at resist dot ca

If you would like to keep up to date about the gathering, sign up for the listserve:

bigtree        coginthewheels