Ashton Wesner, Sophie Moore, Jeffrey V Martin, Gabi Kirk, Laura Dev
Left Coast Political Ecology (LCPE) is a network of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty engaged in a collective practice of political ecology grounded in strong connection to the "Left Coast" of North America. In this manifesto, we build on successful 2015 and 2018 workshops on the practice and value of political ecology today to communicate our origins, efforts, and ideas towards building a community of praxis amid the urgencies and uncertainties of our time. We first articulate those organizing and theoretical lineages that influence and inform our work. We trace the evolution of LCPE through diverse genealogies and cross-pollinations-from the "Berkeley School" to Black, Indigenous, feminist, and decolonial studies, through political struggles within and beyond the academy. In grappling with the challenges of our institutional histories of settler-colonial, capitalist, and racist dispossession, we then propose a "coastal epistemology", one that troubles the notion of a settler-colonial or neoliberal "frontier" while finding value in encounter, conversation, and emergence. We seek to make transparent our positions of relative privilege as well as the precarious contexts in which we work and live, while mobilizing and embodying political ecology's long-standing normative and liberatory aims. Next we share some of the diverse methodological approaches employed by our members and collective, with the aim of providing inspiration and solidarity to others contending with similar challenges. Ultimately, we suggest a vision for what a political ecology adequate to our moment might look like and require: a necessarily collective and hopeful project, amid processes of colonial violence, capitalist inequity, and climate catastrophe. The Left Coast Political Ecology network invites you to dream and organize with us, to share resources, experiences, and community, and to help push our field and our institutions toward more socially just and ecologically sustainable futures.
Rakia Sky Brown , Gabi Kirk, Noah Rubin-Blose, Miriam Saperstein
WE ARE A GROUP of Jews from across Turtle Island (what is currently known as the United States) who came together to create diasporic lulavim, made from plants that grow in the places where we live, and that have deep meaning to us in the places we call home. In creating our lulavim, we asked ourselves what a radical, ethical practice of Sukkot looks like in our various homes. Last year, we explored this question in The Book of Lulav, a zine that’s full of reflections, tips, and resources about creating your own diasporic lulav.
The Line 3 route traverses land that Native American pipeline opponents say is protected by US treaties with Ojibwe nations
Bay Area developers have scored a major legal victory in their push to build on the West Berkeley Shellmound site, a ground that is sacred to the Ohlone tribe.
byRakia Sky Brown , Gabi Kirk, Noah Rubin-Blose, Miriam Saperstein
The Book of Lulav is not yet sealed…
We are a group of Jews who came together virtually to offer this diasporic guide to lulav to our community. What values guided us?
Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism
Judith Butler follows Edward Said's late suggestion that through a consideration of Palestinian dispossession in relation to Jewish diasporic traditions a new ethos can be forged for a one-state solution. Butler engages Jewish philosophical positions to articulate a critique of political Zionism and its practices of illegitimate state violence, nationalism, and state-sponsored racism. At the same time, she moves beyond communitarian frameworks, including Jewish ones, that fail to arrive at a radical democratic notion of political cohabitation. Butler engages thinkers such as Edward Said, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Primo Levi, Martin Buber, Walter Benjamin, and Mahmoud Darwish as she articulates a new political ethic. In her view, it is as important to dispute Israel's claim to represent the Jewish people as it is to show that a narrowly Jewish framework cannot suffice as a basis for an ultimate critique of Zionism. She promotes an ethical position in which the obligations of cohabitation do not derive from cultural sameness but from the unchosen character of social plurality. Recovering the arguments of Jewish thinkers who offered criticisms of Zionism or whose work could be used for such a purpose, Butler disputes the specific charge of anti-Semitic self-hatred often leveled against Jewish critiques of Israel. Her political ethic relies on a vision of cohabitation that thinks anew about binationalism and exposes the limits of a communitarian framework to overcome the colonial legacy of Zionism. Her own engagements with Edward Said and Mahmoud Darwish form an important point of departure and conclusion for her engagement with some key forms of thought derived in part from Jewish resources, but always in relation to the non-Jew.
Butler considers the rights of the dispossessed, the necessity of plural cohabitation, and the dangers of arbitrary state violence, showing how they can be extended to a critique of Zionism, even when that is not their explicit aim. She revisits and affirms Edward Said's late proposals for a one-state solution within the ethos of binationalism. Butler's startling suggestion: Jewish ethics not only demand a critique of Zionism, but must transcend its exclusive Jewishness in order to realize the ethical and political ideals of living together in radical democracy.