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Earth Activist Training: January 2014

How do we bring the skills and tools of ecological design and permaculture into the communities that most need them? That’s the question we ask ourselves at Earth Activist Training—then we do two basic things. First, we support organizations within those communities that are already working on issues of social, environmental and food justice, sharing resources and building relationships. Then, we go out and fundraise like hell to offer scholarships to our residential trainings to people from those communities.
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International Permaculture Convergence 11 in Cuba!

Cuba—in late November and early December I spent two weeks there to attend the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence and participate in the related tours...Some of the highlights: hearing from the Cubans how they survived the ‘Special Period” after the Soviet Union fell by growing food in and around their cities and shifting to organic agriculture.
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Permaculture in Palestine

The olives are flowering on my land in California right now, just as they are in the olive groves of Palestine. In a few weeks I’ll be heading there to coteach a permaculture course at the Marda Permaculture Farm on the West Bank, together with Klaudia van Gool from England and Murad Al-Khufash, who runs the demonstration farm and who is bringing the tools and insights of permaculture to Palestine...we need to raise five thousand dollars to support the costs of the course and to make it available for Palestinians who suffer many economic privations under the Occupation. Donate online here: http://www.thefarm.org/etc.
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My State of the Union

During Obama’s State of the Union message, I was scheduled to give a talk at Northern Arizona University on “Women Taking Action: Using the Insights of the Feminist Movement.” As part of it, I decided to write the State of the Union as if Obama were suddenly possessed by the spirit of the nurturing, caring, [...]
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Now That The Election is Over…

Organizing after an Obama victory is like bicycling with the wind at your back, instead of peddling into a stiff head wind. I’ve lived and organized through the victories of Nixon, Reagan, Bush and Bush, and believe me, this is better! And we have a lot of organizing to do.
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Emerald City–Some Milestones

Our Emerald City Green Entrepreneurs Training is going strong—here’s some highlights of our first three weeks.
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Emerald City–Starting a Green Entrepreneurs Program in Bayview Hunters Point

We are finally starting our new Emerald City Green Entrepreneurs Program—a collaboration between Earth Activist Training, our program that combines permaculture, spirit and activism, and Hunters Point Family, which runs programs for youth and young adults in Bayview Hunters Point, the San Francisco neighborhood with the highest rates of poverty, crime and violence...In the afternoon, we have our first real hands-on project, starting seeds and making soil mix. And they all dive into the work—once we hand out gloves! Actually putting your hands into the dirt will be another long-term learning process. I find it enormously sweet to watch these big, burly guys so seriously and delicately planting the tiny seeds of collards.
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Travels and Occupies

But even more than troubles with the cops and city authorities, the biggest challenges the Occupy movement faces seem to be internal. How do we make decisions together? How do we resolve our own conflicts within our groups? Once we’ve said “We are the 99%”, how do we set standards of behavior and say what is okay and what is not? Once we’ve renounced force and coercion, how do we enforce those standards when we do set them?
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The Truth About Lisa Fithian

What do you do when a friend is slimed by Fox News? If you respond, do you simply feed the venom? But if you don’t respond, do their lies stand, unchallenged? Or is it a badge of honor to be called out by Fox, however nasty it feels?
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My Day–The Short List

Something is happening. Occupations are springing up all over the place. One of the young women organizers told me she’d passed on my consensus download to someone about to start Occupy Mississippi! There are union folks here from Wisconsin, displaced stockbrokers from New York, laid off policy wonks from here in DC, affable former corporate managers from Texas, ex-cons from the ‘hood here in DC, a lot of homeless people, and students who’ve woken up to the fact that they are debt-slaves. What will happen if ordinary folks all over the country get addicted to having a say in the decisions that affect their lives?
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