Author Archives: deterr

Vandana Shiva on the Problem with Genetically-Modified Seeds

In this interview with Vandana Shiva, she argues that everything is interconnected: pollinators, seeds, plants, and farmers are all interconnected.  In contrast, she says globalization isn’t real interconnectedness: it’s global corporate with the goal of producing commodities and profits.  Capitalism is a violent form of disconnection, constantly privatizing and enclosing land, knowledge, and nature.

She singles out Monsanto because they’re the biggest seed company in the world, and they’ve taken over so many others.  For Shiva, it comes down to seeds because that’s where life starts; it’s the source of life and its basis of renewal.  To patent a seed is a lie, because it’s a claim that the corporation has invented or created it.

Monsanto to the fight because they’re the biggest seed company.  They control 95% of cotton in India, and have taken over most seed companies in the world.

Shiva also takes on Bill Gates, who claims that GMOs increase yields.  This is totally false, she explains for several interconnected reasons.  First, the pesticide regime that comes along with GMO crops ends up killing vegetables and other subsistence crops that farmers depend on to feed themselves.  These monocultures also creates a perfect environment for weeds and pests.  Finally, the patents and inputs impoverish the farmers and create spiraling cycles of debt, as farmers need to purchase new inputs every year.


“An Open Letter to My Settler People” – Adam Barker

This video was originally posted near the time when the Idle No More movement began.  In it, Adam Barker lays out settler colonialism and its implications for settlers in a really accessible way, urging settlers to take responsibility for colonialism here in Canada: “The theft of land has enabled our incredible achievements, and also our dreadful mistakes.  It is up to us to reclaim our responsibilities as Settlers – as world makers, as dreamers and builders, and people who can work together despite our differences to achieve great things – and to use our powers, privileges, and skills differently.  We built this world, we built the nations of Canada and America, but we did it by trying to destroy many other nations as part of the process.  It’s time to reverse this process.  It is time to let go of our nations and privileges, and throw our support behind the regeneration of Indigenous nationhood.”

Adam shared his transcript with me, and I’m reposting it here, along with the video, below:

An Open Letter to My Settler People

Hello, my name is Adam Barker, and I am a Settler Canadian. If you’re listening to this, then you have probably already heard about Idle No More and the protests that have been happening over the last few weeks demanding rights, recognition, and most of all, respect for Indigenous peoples and their lands.

I am not speaking to you today to air another listing of grievances against the Harper government.  I am not going to advocate for changes to policy and law.  This is a message to my fellow Settler people about who we are and what we want to be in the future.

Maybe that term – Settler – makes you uneasy.  I’ve often heard people say ‘I didn’t take Indian land; I’m no settler!’  Let’s start with a really important point: this movement is not about historical redress.  Indigenous peoples have not suddenly risen up to demand that we educate ourselves on treaties and racist policies and laws from yesteryear.  Nor have they ‘suddenly risen up’ at all.  The Indigenous people you see protesting today are part of the same resistance against settler colonialism that has been going on for almost five hundred years.

All of us – every person who lives on and benefits from the theft of Indigenous lands – is a Settler.  We all live on someone else’s lands, and almost all of us do so illegally.  Everyday that you live in Canada or America, every day that you make a living, have freedom of movement, and enjoy a standard of living much higher than most of the world, you are part of settler colonization.  It does not matter if your family has been here since the Mayflower landed, or if you just recently moved to Toronto from abroad: you are part of this.  That is how settler colonization functions.  It’s not just about soldiers and conquest, and it’s not just about residential schools or underfunded housing.  It’s about thousands, millions of individual people, families, and communities pursuing freedom and wealth, at the expense of Indigenous people, their lands, and their cultures.

No, you alone are not solely responsible.  No one is solely responsible.  Your government is not solely responsible.  Corporations is not solely responsible.  Churches are not solely responsible.

Which means: we are all, collectively, responsible for this.

And what is ‘this’?  Settler colonization.  It’s land theft.  It’s the imposed change of lifestyle in places we claim as ours.  It’s modernity, and progress, and industry, and finance, and so many other things that we take for granted as part of our world.

But we have to recognize that our world is synthetic.  Our society is built from bits and pieces of shattered Indigenous societies.  Our wealth is ripped out of land that, for Indigenous societies, was holistically maintained and ministered to by place-based ways of being, very different from our own.

And let’s be clear, too, that this is not about more or less advanced technology.  Indigenous peoples achieved levels of good health, types of governance, and ingenious environmental technology that still surpass what we can often make with our high-tech, modern means.

This is also not about people who, through ignorance, did not see what they were doing.  The first colonists from England in the 1500s understood that they were on Indigenous lands.  They recognized the complex societies that they encountered as powerful, political entities.  They signed treaties that allowed them to live in these new colonies, but in respectful relationships withwith their Indigenous hosts.

Land surrender did not happen.  Terra nullius is a lie, invented years after settlements were founded, as disease and warfare took their toll on Indigenous populations, while the teeming poor of Great Britain and Europe increasingly flooded Indigenous lands.

Settler colonization is the excuse that we make for being here.  Settler colonization is our perceived ‘right’ to live on someone else’s land, without their permission.  Settler colonization is the belief that those people are too primitive, too weak, or simply too ‘extinct’ to have a voice.

Look out your window.  Look at your television.  Look at your twitter feed, facebook page, or youtube.  Indigenous people have voices.  Their cultures are strong and vibrant even after five hundred years of theft, murder, rape, genocide, and political and legal extermination.  And by their continued insistence on BEING on their OWN land, Indigenous peoples expose settler colonization for what it is: an elaborate lie, an imagined world, a story we tell ourselves about ourselves as Settlers.

Are you uncomfortable hearing that?  It is okay if you are.  I am.  I have been for a long time.  When I first began to discover the depth of settler colonization, I did not want to believe it.  I wanted to find ways to make things right, through party politics and voting, or through ethical consumption, or human rights.  I wanted Indigenous people to have what I had: a comfortable life in Canada.

But that’s simplistic because, if you listen to your Indigenous friends and neighbours, that isn’t what they want.  They don’t want to share in the spoils of exploiting the land.  They don’t want a proportional voice in Parliament.  They don’t want to live like you do, look like you do, talk like you do.  That, my fellow Settlers, is another colonial fantasy: it’s called assimilation.  It has been the official policy of our governments in the past, and it remains the unofficial ‘idea’ behind reconciliation in the present: making things ‘equal’, but by our own measures of equality.

But would you accept that?  If someone forced you out of your house, took your possessions, beat your children, and burned your history books, would you gratefully accept room and board in that house?  Would you aspire to be just like them, to be friends with them, to do to others what they did to you?  Or would you be angry and motivated?  Would you be damn determined to get your house back, to rewrite your histories, and to get justice for those you love?

I know what I would think.  I know what I would feel.  I also know what I do feel now: scared, uncertain, and more than a little ashamed.  Sometimes I feel like there is no way out of this predicament.  I feel like the only way to make things better is to leave.  But guess what: that doesn’t fix things either.

I have been living in the United Kingdom – where my family came from, all immigrating to Canada in the early 20th century – for the past three years.  There is no ‘decolonization’ in this.  My leaving has done nothing to restore Indigenous governance, to return stolen lands.  I still have decades of privilege that allowed me to move, to pick up my life and relocate it, in ways that Indigenous people can’t.

We cannot make things right by running away.

Let’s accept something right now, Settler people: this is our mess to clean up.  This is our house to manage.  This is our legacy that we are building, and most of us build that legacy by refusing to take an active part in it.  What is that legacy going to be?  Will we be usurpers, continuing to take and take until there is nothing left?  That, my friends and family, is genocide.  Extermination.  It’s the most heinous crime imaginable and we pursue it everyday.

Oh, we lie to ourselves by pumping money into ‘social programs’ to help keep Indigenous bodies alive and breathing.  But that’s not living.  We long ago learned that we can kill a people by destroying their cultures just as effectively as by killing their bodies.  We can destroy with education, with appropriation of images and symbols, and by insisting that our way of living is the one, true way.  We destroy while convincing ourselves we are doing anything but.

If we do not want this to be our legacy, we have to change.  And I don’t mean change which party is in government: the Liberals introduced the White Paper in 1969, designed specifically to eliminate legal recognition of Indigenous peoples, making them just one more minority in their own lands.  Abraham Lincoln preceded the Emancipation Proclamation by ordering the mass hanging of almost forty Dakota people in what is now Minnesota.  Let’s be clear here: our sovereignty over these lands, the very basis of our political systems, our citizenship, and our legal rights, is based on the appropriation of land from Indigenous peoples and the imposition of our power over them.

We can’t vote our way out of this.  We can’t count on the NDP, or the Green Party, or anyone else seeking political power, to dismantle those same systems of power.  The Supreme Court of Canada or America cannot declare Canada or America illegal.  Why?  Because the government and courts are only empowered to make decisions and impose policies by settler colonization.  Expecting governments and courts to end settler colonization is like asking them to cut down a tree while sitting on one of the branches.

So what do we do?  If you’re like me, you might be feeling exasperated.  Votes don’t matter; lawsuits don’t fix what is broken; even just making a living, humbly and quietly, is colonizing.  But there is a way out.  And it starts with you, and me, together.

You see, all of this only happens because, despite the many, many differences between us Settler people, we all agree to relate to each other in settler colonial ways.  We think of politics as our governments and parties, not our treaty obligations to traditional Indigenous governments.  We think of economics as jobs and corporations, not the sustainable relationships to place practiced by Indigenous societies.  We think of our individual rights as of paramount importance, neglecting our collective responsibilities to our host nations.

We do this, in part, because we can.  Collectively, we are powerful beyond almost any measure.  Think about it!  We have created entire worlds!  We have imagined new societies, then built them, and regardless of the follies of war and failures of social justice, it is impossible not to be impressed by the incredible things that Settler societies have done.  Settler people, in all our diversity, over centuries, have very literally changed the world, forever.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

It is time to stop pretending that we are not powerful, that we are just individuals beholden to law, politics, jobs, and social norms.  We have made law.  We have invented our politics.  We defined and redefined our work and our social norms, again and again, in many places and many times.  But we have done all of this in part because of something we lack: land of our own.

The theft of land has enabled our incredible achievements, and also our dreadful mistakes.  It is up to us to reclaim our responsibilities as Settlers – as world makers, as dreamers and builders, and people who can work together despite our differences to achieve great things – and to use our powers, privileges, and skills differently.  We built this world, we built the nations of Canada and America, but we did it by trying to destroy many other nations as part of the process.  It’s time to reverse this process.  It is time to let go of our nations and privileges, and throw our support behind the regeneration of Indigenous nationhood.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself: what kind of person do I want to be?  Do I want to be responsible? Do I want to control my own destiny and build a different world? Or do I want to live in the illusion of freedom that is built on dispossession, destruction and the death of whole peoples and nations?  Do I want to be a usurper?

If you would rather be the former, then there are a few more questions you need to ask yourself.  First among them is: how much am I willing to give up?  And I don’t mean money or property, although that’s certainly part of it.  I mean: how much of these artificial worlds that we have built are you willing to let go of?

I identify as a Settler Canadian because I have to recognize my privileges: I carry a Canadian passport, I have the freedom of movement that goes along with that.  I can participate in and benefit from the Canadian systems of politics and economics as much or as little as I want.  And that is precisely what I am willing to give up.  I am willing to think of a day when Canada is no more, America is no more.  I’m not so arrogant as to believe that these nations will last forever.  But more than that, I’m certain that they should not.  I’m willing to think of a time when my very identity has to shift, when I have to think about how you and I are related differently, not defined by our passports or flags or jobs or status or wealth.

I don’t know what that might look like.  But I am willing to try and find out.  That’s why, in addition to being Canadian, I first and foremost identify as a Settler; I accept that along with a legacy of colonization, being a Settler comes with incredible possibility for the future.

Can you conceive of letting go of your nationalism and patriotism, seeing them for what they are: expressions of our shared settler colonial privileges?  Can you picture a world where your government, whatever form it takes, doesn’t rely on ‘sovereignty’ to assert your right on the land, but instead talks about treaties and responsibilities that earn permission to live on someone else’s land?  It’s hard to let go of the things we think we know, the stories we tell ourselves, the world we take for granted.  But as a great man once said: imagine.  It’s easy if you try.

And once you have imagined these things, you have a responsibility to act.  And by all means, go to protests with signs, march and sing and dance and make yourself seen and heard in public.  Show Indigenous people that you support their struggle.

But rejecting settler colonization is more than that.  We have to work together, in our own communities, and not just when protests flare up, but every single day.  We have to relate to each other differently before we can relate to Indigenous nations differently.  We have to be differently in our homes, our workplaces, and our lives, before we can walk differently on the land.  If you KNOW now, if you SEE now, you have a responsibility to confront settler colonialism wherever you encounter it.

Are you ready for that?  Because it means you will have to engage your families, your friends.  You can’t let racism or ignorance slide.  And you can’t ever, not for one second, think that you know enough or have done enough.  Do you want to be an ally to Indigenous peoples?  Then here is one more hard truth you must accept: ally is a verb, not a noun.  It’s something you do, not something you are. 

There is always more to be done because there are always those who, when confronted with their own illegitimacy, choose to usurp.  There will always be colonizers.  We ourselves – and I speak from experience – will always be tempted, seduced back into the easy path of taking rather than giving, of demanding our rights rather than living our responsibilities.

And it is not our Indigenous hosts’ responsibility to challenge this colonization; we brought it with us when we came here, and it is up to us to expel it from our lives.

I’ll leave you with one more thought, my fellow Settlers: a friend of mine once told me “Freedom is the other side of fear”.  What are we afraid of, really?  Freedom itself?  Or just the change it would take for us to be free?  Right now we are not free.  We’re shackled by our arrogance, our conviction that our societies are good, or perfect, or just.  We’re shackled by our own hands.  Ask yourself this: are Idle No More and the many other Indigenous movements that have and continue to thunder across our nations really calling for you to give them freedom?  Or are they really demanding that you fight for your own?

Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash – Grassroots Postmodernism: Remaking the soil of cultures

Esteva, Gustavo, and Madhu Suri Prakash. Grassroots Postmodernism: Remaking the Soil of Cultures. London: Zed Books, 1998.

This book is a passionate defense of local alternatives to neoliberal globalization.  These authors are rooted primarily in the “Third World” (specifically Latin America and India) but they are in conversation with the “First World.”  They argue that the reclamation of local tradition, and the (re-)rootedness in place is the only real alternative to neoliberalism and other permutations of “global forces.”  They insist that to defend localism is not parochial; this doesn’t preclude alliances and coalitions, but it means that the strength of these alliances (and their reason for being) will always be to defend locally-rooted, autonomous ways of living.  There’s no way to describe all the characteristics of these local alternatives, as if they could be subsumed under one big movement.  This is why Esteva and Prakash say that they can’t “speak from nowhere” (as universal intellectuals) (7).  Instead, they draw primarily on experiences and movements from India and Mexico: these are the places they know, and they continually insist that knowledge (and theory, by extension) needs to root itself in the places where we live and struggle.  Written 15 years ago, this book still seems current today.  This is because of the continued relevance of the currents that Esteva and Prakash are charting.  In some ways, this text is more relevant today, because of the continuing failure of protests and global summits, and the continuing relevance and dynamism of locally-rooted traditions.

They take on three “sacred cows” of modernity: global thinking, the universality of human rights, Homo oeconomicus (the modern individual self).  From the perspective of the radical intellectual “Left,” it’s the first take-down that is most compelling.  Most radical intellectuals seem to have dispensed with human rights and individuality, but global thinking has been a lot more resilient.  I think it’s more deeply engrained in Western thought than the other two.  In the first chapter, “From Global to Local,” they attack global thinking and defend localism.

“Grassroots post-modernism,” they explain, isn’t an attempt to invent a new school of post-modern thought.  It’s an attempt to “give a name to a wide collection of culturally diverse initiatives and struggles of the so-called illieterate and uneducated non-modern “masses,” pioneering radical post-modern paths out of the morass of modern life” (3).  They’re describing processes of detachment–happening all over the world–from the global order of dependence and control by capitalism and the state.  They also point to the “inevitable breakdown of modernity,” which is opening up spaces for this exodus, creating “opportunities for regnerating their own traditions, their cultures, their unique indigenous and other non-modern arts of living and dying” (5).  As they explain, it’s often claimed that local thinking is necessarily parochial or ineffective against the global Empire, and that it’s too parochial, “taking humankind back to the dark ages when each was taught only to look after his/her own” (21).  They insist, on the contrary, that global thinking is parochial and ineffective (and impossible).  “We can only think wisely about what we actually no well,” they explain, it’s arrogant to think that anyone can “know the globe” (22).  Even problems that seem to demand global thinking (like climate change) are poorly posed, they argue, because they encourage us to think we can transcend our culture, and play God (23).  These concepts have become reified as facts, which hide “all the socio-political and ecological dangers inherent in the illusion of the “Global Management” of planet Earth (23).  They praise authors like Wendell Berry, Gandhi, Ivan Illich, Leopold Kohr, and Fritz Schumacher, who emphasize the importance of thinking little: “on the proportion and scale that humans can really understand, know, and assume resonsibility for the consequences of their actions and decisions upon others” (23).  As I read this in a university in the hypermodern global North, it seems completely intuitive yet so detached from my everyday experience.  Almost everything, and everything I depend on for my daily life, is totally detached from my own control, and this makes it impossible for me to take meaningful responsibility for my actions.  This doesn’t mean that their argument is unrealistic, it just shows how vast this task is for those of us living in “post-industrial” contexts where we’re almost entirely dependent on globalized capitalism for everyday existence.  The only way to begin this task is through local action to regain some independence from the global system, by making us dependent and connected to our local communities.

In contrast, many alternative organizations refuse to “think little” and so engage in global campaigns, but in doing so these globalists “inadvertently function on their enemies’ turf” (24).  They indict anti-globalization protests here too, which might mobilize millions of people, but ultimately do little or nothing to stop the forces like the WTO or GATT that they are protesting (28-29).  Even if they succeed in impeding neoliberal plans of austerity and privatization, “they will only get more or less of the same from the machinery of the state to which they are presenting their “rights” or demands (29).  Furthermore, concentrating on these emblematic institutions,t hey say, “render even more opaque the technological system that maintains the myth of global power” (30).  Protesting the World Bank or the WTO, in this sense, concedes authority and legitimacy to it.  In contrast, they advocate “turning away from political structures… to spaces where they [ordinary people] can exercise their capacity for self-rule” (30).  This “renders redundant” these institutions by short-circuiting their authority.  This doesn’t mean ignoring the WTO or its implications.  This is extremely useful, they insist (31).  I think they’re making a distinction here between an analysis of institutions with global reach and their local impacts, on the one hand, and the idea that there can or should be a global resistance to these institutions or that they should be challenged on their own turf, on the other.  These institutions, along with states and corporations, “have no more power than the power people give them by “believing” in what they offer” (31).

Empires don’t go away because of some equally powerful challenge to their dominance.  Discussing the former Christian Empire, they explain, No global challenge to its world-wide domination ever succeeded.  But sooner or later, most local challenges to its domination can and do succeed” (32).  Embracing localism isn’t about “blindness, parochialism, or anti-intellectualism” (32).  Allies are important: “local peoples often need outside allies to create a critical mass of political opposition capable fo stopping these forces.  But the solidarity of colitions and alliances does not call for “thinking globally.”  In fact, what is needed is exactly the opposite: people thinking and acting locally, while forging solidarity with other local forces that share this opposition to the “global thinking” and “global forces” threatening local spaces” (33).  These local alternatives follow their own traditions of reprodcution and self-government, avoiding universalizing claims (35).

They clarify this in a discussion of autonomy.  The concept of autonomy “does not exist in any of the hundred languages spoken by the Indian peoples of Mexico” (36).  In this sense, they borrowed a concept from the dominant order to resist its force, but they also revalued this concept, because these concepts of autonomy “do not imply separatism or fundamentalism.  But neither can they be reduced to a mere search for democratic decentralization of the functions of government” (37).  This is about the autonomy of while ways of life from control and dependence of the market and the state.  The modern Western conceptions of autonomy and self-government are misleading, they explain, because these concepts tend to express the “process of absorption and integration of local or indigenous patterns of government” (39).  This isn’t about secession or creating a new state, either.  Instead of grafting local traditions onto capitalism and the state-form, these struggles aim at autonomy from the state form as such.  And they’re diverse: “local autonomy has a hundred, a thousand, a million incarnations.  In a pluriverse, there can be no one dominant notion of autonomy.  In a pluriverse, there are local spaces for endless diversity” (41).

This blog is pretty awesome, and makes a lot of the connections I’ve been looking for. In this post on Detroit, the authors briefly connect permaculture, cooperatives, and community land trusts as systems that could ward of gentrification in Detroit (if they are led by poor people of colour who make up the vast majority of the city).

Punk Rock Permaculture E-zine

Here is some completely heretical news in for the world of eco-capitalist dreamers; no silly white multi-million dollar media men will ever solve the worlds ecological or social problems.  Yeah I know what your thinking blasphemous right?  Specifically, I am referring to the uber opportunistic and freshly greenwashed faces of Al gore, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Richard Rainwater, and now John Hantz.  Hantz, a big time financial investor and longtime Detroit resident is proposing to put 30 million down of his own money to build a high tech farming operation that will be coupled with “green” estates.  In Fortune Magazine’s limited interview Hantz said that Detroit is suffering from a lack of scarcity and that the only way to save housing prices is by taking as much property off the market as possible, hence the massive farm and real estate combo.  But, couple this seemingly benign idea with a…

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thaw presents “Food Not Bombs”

A short interview with a long-time “Food Not Bombs” organizer, explaining the significance of FNB as a global movement. FNB chapters cook food and serve it for free on a regular basis. As Luke explains, FNB is dangerous to the dominant order, because it’s a constant reminder that people could be sharing with each other to get what they need, rather than consuming and relying on the corporate death machine. FNB has been around for 30 years, and has now spread to hundreds of cities worldwide.

Growing Land and Future Farmers

A short video on lack of access to land for farmers on Vancouver Island (where I’ve lived for the past four years), including interviews with farmers and policymakers.  Southern Vancouver Island is a popular retirement destination, and this has driven up the cost of farmland.  Numerous farmers are retiring, and new ones can’t afford to lease (let alone buy) farmland.  Recommendations call for a land bank, community land trusts, co-ops and infrastructure support for farmers, all of which has been on the lips of farmers and farmer-advocates for a number of years in Southern Vancouver Island.

Growing Farmers – New Farmers and The Peconic Land Trust

This short video begins with a common story: land prices are skyrocketing due to speculation, farming is increasingly cost-prohibitive, and farmers can’t get access to the land and equipment they need.  The video focuses on new farmers and the Peconic Land Trust of Long Island, which helps provide land and equipment for farmers.  Land trusts are one of the only legal means to acquire land and protect it from the pressures of speculation and urbanization.  The video has interviews with new farmers who are starting out, and some older ones who mentor them.  It’s fairly romantic and celebratory of local farming, which they kinda acknowledge themselves.

The Absurdity of Industrial Agriculture and the Promise of Agroecology

In this 1/2-hour-long power point presentation, prominent agroecology advocate Miguel Altieri presents a critique of industrial agriculture, and the importance of agroecology.  This is a very clear introduction to the problems of contemporary industrial agriculture and the potentials of agroecology, drawn primarily from examples in North, Central and South America.

Industrial agriculture is totally unsustainable, continually depleting soil and relying on finite (and destructive) fossil fuel inputs.  Altieri dispels the myth that (only) industrial agriculture can “feed the world” because it’s more efficient.  Dead wrong: industrial monocultures are less efficient than agroecology and polycultures.  Compared to monocultures, integrated systems of animals and a diversity of plant species is proven to produce more vegetables, more protein, and more of other useful resources on the same amount of land.  Polyculture farming systems are being displaced not because they’re less efficient, but because they’re less profitable for capitalist firms and corporations that are trying to increase their control over food systems.  Altieri argues for a marriage between Western science and traditional knowledges to create sustainable, highly productive food systems.  Agroecology and agroforestry are more resilient in the face of climate change, more conducive to equitable local food production, and less reliant on water and external inputs.  In the latter part of the lecture, Altieri introduces the concept of food sovereignty, advocating for a combination of state support for agroecology (including agricultural extension programs), land reform, urban agriculture, rejection of biofuels and speculation, and grassroots social movement action (like the land reclamations of Sem Terra in Brazil).

The Garden (2008) Documentary

This documentary follows the struggle of a poor, primarily Latino community in South Central LA to save a huge community garden/farm–the largest urban farm in the U.S.  It’s among the best food documentaries I’ve seen, because it doesn’t romanticize food and it gets at the deeper issues surrounding urban farming, including poverty, gentrification, racism, development, and subsistence.  The farmers self-organized to save the farm and used court injunctions, public outreach, media campaigns, and direct action to defend the farm from destruction, after the owner decided he wanted to evict the farmers.  It was never entirely clear what the land was going to be used for instead of a garden: a soccer field?  An industrial development?  In the end, it doesn’t matter: from the point of view of capital, anything is better than people using land for subsistence.

It came out in 2008 and is available as a DVD… or as a torrent, if you’re into that.

Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (Oka Crisis)

A documentary of the Oka crisis: one of the most significant conflicts between indigenous peoples and the Canadian state in recent history.

From the NFB website:

On a July day in 1990, a confrontation propelled Native issues in Kanehsatake and the village of Oka, Quebec, into the international spotlight. Director Alanis Obomsawin spent 78 nerve-wracking days and nights filming the armed stand-off between the Mohawks, the Quebec police and the Canadian army. This powerful documentary takes you right into the action of an age-old Aboriginal struggle. The result is a portrait of the people behind the barricades.