[permaculture] [Bioreg] Permaculture Education Bus Seized by Twin Cities Police at RNC

Johnathan Yelenick yelenick at riseup.net
Sun Aug 31 14:05:03 EDT 2008

This is crazy! 

We just finished our antics here in Denver for the past DNC (Democratic 
National Convention).

We at Blacktail Permaculture Cooperative are very interested in 
defenestration of the current dominant authoritarian capitalist 
structure and are simultaneously implementing and developing our 
productive forces within the permaculture and bioregional contexts to 
prefiguratively realize an ecologically liberated society.  In 
conjunction with the DNC we have actively pursued organizational and 
practical support to the radical community here in the Denver area.  I 
guess the pigs and their bureaucratic stewards don't really like it 
because this last week we have been the targets of overt political 

This last tuesday, right after we hosted Scott Kellogg of the Rhizome 
Collective, who gave a synopsis of his new book, "Toolbox for 
Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Yourself Guide" on monday night,  the 
Denver SWAT team raided our farm without a warrant or any legal 
pretext.  Over the last week we have also had daily visits by Army 
Blackhalk Helicopters, which were mobilized by the the State for the 
DNC, and by Denver Police Helicopters; all the time taking photos and 
film of us working in the forest garden, from above.  

Permaculture is actually a very subversive praxis, by the very nature of 
its fundamental ethics /ipso facto/.
*Care for the Earth. Care for People. Share the Surplus.*
But my general experience with permies has observed a disconnect with 
this subversive nature.  Time and again I have felt certain so-called 
permies think the design process of permaculture can be separated from 
an analysis of this Society of the Spectacle, while still calling what 
they ostensibly do "permaculture". What ends up happening is a 
recapitlulation of dominant, authoritarian social relations completely 
antithetical to what permaculture is. It seems imperative to bridge this 
gap and develop permaculture's "class consciousness", for lack of a 
better word.     When I say "class" or "working class" I mean a notion 
not of a pre-designated identity, economic or otherwise, but the 
identification of oppressed subject positions, which are increasingly 
products of economic forces.

Warm Regards,
Johnathan Yelenick
Blacktail Permaculture Cooperative
South Platte River Bioregion

Starhawk wrote:
> Hey friends, we need your help!  Our Earth Activist Training 
> Sustainable Skills Bus has been seized without cause by the police. 
>  Below is an account from the Wilsons, who have been travelling in the 
> bus for the last seven months doing trainings in permaculture and 
> sustainability, including ways you can help.  My own accounts from the 
> action can be found on www.starhawk.org and I'll be posting daily as 
> long as I can---or sign on to my own list by emailing 
> starhawk-subscribe at lists.riseup.net.  If you're on that list, my own 
> account follows.  Please support these folks who have been doing such 
> good work for us all.  Thanks!  
> Please Post Far and Wide including any Media Contacts You May Have
> At approximately 6:25 pm on August 30, 2008 Minneapolis Police, 
> Minnesota State Troopers, Ramsey County Sheriffs, Saint Paul Police, 
> and University of Minnesota Police pulled over the Earth Activist 
> Training Permaculture Demonstration Bus (Permibus) by exit 237 on 
> Interstate 94. Initially the police told the people on the bus to 
> exit. When the people on the bus asked if they were being detained 
> they were told that they were but police wereunable to provide 
> justification. When asked why they pulled the bus over they refused to 
> answer. After repeated requests to explain why the bus had been 
> stopped Officer Honican of the Minneapolis Police explained that this 
> was just a routine traffic stop though he did not explain the reason 
> for the traffic stop. The police then told Stan Wilson, the driver and 
> registered owner of the Permibus, that they were going to impound the 
> bus in case they wanted to execute a search warrant later. Afte r more 
> than an hour of being questioned by Stan and Delyla Wilson as to the 
> legalities of their detainment and the impoundment of the Permibus, 
> the police then informed Stan that the bus, which is legally 
> registered as a passenger vehicle in the state of Montana, was being 
> impounded for a commercial vehicle inspection. Shortly afterward 
> Sergeant Paul Davis, a commercial vehicle inspector arrived on scene. 
> Despite the polices insistence that the reason for impoundment was for 
> a commercial vehicle inspection the Permibus crew were not allowed to 
> remove anything from the bus including computers, toiletries, and 
> 17-year-old Megan Wilson's shoes. The police finally allowed the 
> animals to be removed from the Permibus before it was towed, leaving 
> the Permibus family standing beside their chickens and dogs, homeless 
> on the highway.
> The Permibus was relocating from the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis, 
> where they had spent the day teaching Urban Permaculture, to a 
> friend's house in Saint Paul for a well deserved break. The Permibus 
> has been in the Minneapolis area since August 2nd when the crew 
> appeared at the Midtown Farmers Market for a morning of Permaculture 
> education including Permaculture 101, chicken care, seed ball making 
> for kids, and the Permi-puppet show. During the past month the 
> Permibus has parked at several local businesses and, as a neighborly 
> gesture of respect for local police, Mr. Wilson contacted the 
> appropriate precincts just to let them know the Permibus was in the 
> area and had permission from the business owners to be parked on their 
> lot. Through this, as well as other casual discussions with 
> Minneapolis and Saint Paul police officers, the Permibus crew fo und 
> the local police to be interested and respectful. However on August 
> 30th all that changed when, for no apparent valid reason the police 
> pulled over and seized the Permibus. After the incident Stan Wilson 
> said, "If the combined law enforcement of Minneapolis, Saint Paul, 
> Ramsey County, and the State of Minnesota can pull over and impound a 
> vehicle and home used to teach organic gardening and sustainability, 
> one has to wonder what it is our government really fears. After all, 
> we seek to teach people that the real meaning of homeland security is 
> local food, fuel and energy production. For that we have had our lives 
> stolen by government men with guns."
> As of now, after repeated requests to be present at any vehicle 
> inspection, with an list of what they are inspecting for, as well as 
> requests to be served any warrants for searches of the vehicles prior 
> to a search and to be present during  the search the Permi-family has 
> been unable to ascertain the current status of the Permibus. On site 
> Mr. Wilson was told that Officer Palmerranky was the inspector in 
> charge of the case and would determine if the Permi-family's rights 
> protecting them from unreasonable search and seizure would be 
> respected. Neither Officer Palmerranky nor his supervisor has yet to 
> return Mr. Wilson's calls. The loss of her home and possessions is 
> particularly difficult on seventeen-year-old Megan Wilson. Megan, a 
> shining example of what this country asks of today's youth, has 
> dedicated herself to making positive changes in the world. She was the 
> youth keynote speaker at the Local to Global co nference in Phoenix 
> AZ, has taught conflict resolution at youth shelters and is the 
> outreach coordinator for the Skills for a New Millennium Tour, the 
> family traveling educational project. Megan believes that, "While I 
> understand that the world we live in is not as it should be I strive 
> to live and teach in a way that shows the world how life could be. 
> What I don't understand is why I can't get dressed for an evening out 
> with friends in my own home without armed men stealing my life out 
> from under me." The Permi-family, along with their dogs and 
> Permaculture super-hero chickens are currently being housed by folks 
> in the Twin Cities.
> The Skills for a New Millennium Tour is a family education project 
> that travels around the United States teaching homesteading, 
> citizenship, and life skills at farmers markets, community gardens, 
> churches, intentional communities, schools, and in people's living 
> rooms. The Skills Tour is a donation supported project dedicated to 
> providing tools for sustainable living, including Permaculture, to 
> anyone who is interested, regardless of income. "We believe that any 
> solution that is not accessible to the poor and urban areas is not a 
> real solution for the future," states Delyla Wilson. Permaculture is a 
> design system with ethics and principles that can be applied to food 
> production, home design, and community building in order to increase 
> sustainability in food production, energy production, and social 
> systems. The Permibus is a rolling demonstration of small scale 
> sustainable living with three people, three dogs, three chickens, and 
> a box of worms as permanent residence. The chickens and worms are part 
> of a closed-loop food productions composting system that supports the 
> Permibus's traveling garden.  For more information on the seizure of 
> the Permibus, the Skills for the New Millennium Tour, or Permaculture, 
> the Wilson's can be reached at 406-721-8427 or through email at 
> skillstour at gmail.com. You can also see pictures and read stories about 
> the last six months of their educational adventures at 
> permibus.livejournal.com.
> To our supporters: First we ask that as many people as possible 
> contact precinct one in Minneapolis, MN at 612-673-5701 and Mayor Rybak at
> *Phone:* (612) 673-2100 or
> call 311 or call (612) 673-3000 outside Minneapolis.
> Also call the Ramsey County Sheriff   
> Sheriff - Bob Fletcher 651-266-9300
> and demand the immediate release of the Permibus.
> We are also in desperate need of donations. Though we do not yet know 
> the full cost of getting the permibus returned we know that it will 
> include tow fee, impound fees, and legal fees. To donate contact us 
> directly for a local address or...
> Donate On-line:
> Go to: www.earthactivisttraining.org/donate.htm
> Click on: Donate Now!
> Under "Gift Information" write: Permibus
> Under "Please send acknowledgment of this gift to" write: 
> _skillstour at gmail.com
> _
> Donate by Mail:
> Make check payable to: A.C.T.
> On the "For" line write: Permibus
> Send check to: A.C.T. 1405 Hillmount St. Austin, TX 78704
> __._,_.___
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