This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Deep Green Resistance" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) The factual accuracy of part of this article is disputed. The dispute is about DGR's supposed advocacy of dictatorship, mass murder and genocide. Please help to ensure that disputed statements are reliably sourced. See the relevant discussion on the talk page. (December 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Deep Green Resistance
FounderDerrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Aric McBay
FocusEnvironmental justice, Social justice
  • USA
MethodDirect action, education

Deep Green Resistance (DGR) is a radical environmental movement that views mainstream environmental activism as being ineffective. The group believes that industrial civilization, as they define it, is endangering the environment, and that it must be destroyed using a broad range of tactics including militancy.[1]


In the 2011 book Deep Green Resistance, the authors Lierre Keith, Derrick Jensen and Aric McBay state that civilization, particularly industrial civilization, is fundamentally unsustainable and must be actively and urgently dismantled in order to secure a future for all species on the planet.[1]

The term was created for a 2007 conference entitled Deep Green Resistance, Confronting Industrial Culture in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Lierre Keith was the main organizer.[citation needed]

DGR holds bright green environmentalism to be inadequate. DGR believes that lifestyle changes, such as using travel mugs and reusable bags and taking shorter showers, are too small for the large-scale environmental problems the world faces. It also states that the recent surge in environmentalism has become commercial in nature, and thus in itself has been industrialized. The movement asserts that per person the industrial waste produced is orders of magnitude greater than the home waste produced; therefore, it is industrialism that must be ended, and with that, lifestyle changes will follow.[1]

Critics point out that DGR does not offer a feasible method for accelerating the massive numbers of human deaths predicted,[2] but Keith and Jensen contend that while the reality of them not being actually able to slaughter millions of people is unpleasant, an apocalypse is inevitable anyway and delaying mass murder will only result in more suffering and that they are merely trying to prepare the world for the forthcoming death and wide-scale violence. Jensen states that if activists do not wish to participate in terrorism and murder, they, at the very least, should prepare to set up local committees to reduce or channel the additional violence.[3]

In a November 2019 article published on the Deep Green Resistance News Service website, the group elaborated on their ideology, responded to their critics and denied that they support mass killings and genocide:

Most fundamentally, we are not a human supremacist organization. We believe that environmentalism exists to defend the health and freedom of the whole living world, of which human beings are merely a small (but precious!) part. Further, we believe that, when our way of living comes into conflict with the health of the land and the non-humans with which we share it, our way of living is what must go. For many people, these are upsetting statements; for those activists whose idea of liberation is tied up with air-conditioned subway cars and automated luxury goods, they can be downright terrifying! It’s no wonder, then, that so many techno-utopians are quick to assume that we support sterilization, eugenics, “population control,” or even mass killings or genocide. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. All those things are both morally unacceptable and practically foolish. DGR advocates for the targeted abolition of industrial civilization, not indiscriminate destruction or mass extinction. To be honest, we find it particularly sad that so many “environmentalists” simply cannot imagine a biocentric worldview apart from these atrocities – but their lack of imagination is not our fault, and we’d appreciate it if they stopped making up nonsense.[4]

DGR is a radical feminist organization,[5] and has been described by critics as transphobic and TERF.[6] A transitioning member, identifying as a woman, requested to join a women's communal sleeping and showering space and, later, a women's caucus space; this was refused.[5] McBay claimed he "left the organization at the beginning of 2012 after a trans inclusive policy was cancelled by Jensen and Keith. Many ... people ... left the organization for that reason".[7][8][9] DGR views gender as a brutal and corrupt caste system that requires destruction.[5]


Operating under the assumption that the majority of global society will not voluntary starve or die, the DGR believes armed warfare is unavoidable. It dismisses that any gradual shift to sustainability is possible. DGR believes that industrial civilization will inevitably collapse, that they must act decisively before the collapse to ensure that the Earth remains inhabitable for all organisms, and build a more sustainable society after the collapse. DGR supports an active resistance movement with the objective of accelerating the collapse of industrial civilization.[1] Jensen has concluded that "the mass of civilized people will never be on our side."[10] This has led to organizing a strategy that is pessimistic about popular involvement, and therefore aims at forcing change without the majority's consensus.[11]

DGR holds that lifestyle change is not effective. Mainstream environmentalism is criticised for its emphasis on individual lifestyle changes and technological solutions, instead of confronting and holding individuals, industries, institutions and society accountable.[12][13] The founders of the DGR view technological solutions, no matter how well-intentioned, as unsatisfactory and warn that they could even lead to accelerated environmental destruction.[1]

In the organization's eponymous book, Keith lists a number of reasons where she finds violence justified, although she understands that people "who care about justice want to reject violence".[1]

The organisation supports conflict and militancy in order to achieve its goals.[14] The foundational book of the DGR details how a network of "well-organized underground militants" are to rise up in "coordinated attacks" to obliterate industrial infrastructure "perhaps using electromagnetic pulses".[15] The DGR describes militant action as a potentially necessary means to achieve the drastic changes they desire. The DGR endorses violent strategies for social action.[citation needed] In a YouTube video they posted McBay and Keith promote the idea of clandestine networks organized along hierarchical lines, with frontline troops disciplined by a command structure,[16] and hierarchies are best for organizing an insurgency.[1]

Jensen predicts that in the future the authorities will try to arrest members. He dismisses mass genocide as acceptable considering "global economy is murdering humans and non-humans" and "don't blame those who want to stop ... exploitation... help to stop the exploitation".[17] He has clarified such ideas on Democracy Now!: "I get accused of being the 'violence guy' ... I want to put everything on the table ... it's appropriate to have militant response or non-militant response."[18]


In 'Deep Green Resistance' – How not to build a movement - A path to certain defeat, a 2012 review of the 2011 DGR manifesto, Ian Angus criticizes DGR's ideas as polarizing, elitist, extremist or asocial.[15] Regarding advocacy for dictatorship, eco-terrorism and genocide Bron Taylor argues in Resistance: Do the Ends Justify the Means? that "radical tactics tend to be counterproductive" in winning the general public.[11]

Anarcho-primitivists John Zerzan, Kevin Tucker and others criticise the promotion of hierarchy in organising militants, the code of conduct, the historical understanding of revolution and radical history, and the cult of personality around Jensen and Keith.[19][20][21][22]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g McBay, Aric, Lierre Keith, and Derrick Jensen. 2011. Deep Green Resistance. New York: Seven Stories Press.
  2. ^ "Deep Green Resistance: Occupy Until It All Falls Apart". 2012-01-02. Archived from the original on 2016-08-04. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  3. ^ Jensen, Derrick. "It's Time to Get Out". Endgame.
  4. ^ "Against Eco-Fascism, Against False Accusations". Deep Green Resistance News Service. November 16, 2019. Retrieved December 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c "Radical Feminist FAQs". 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Deep Green Transphobia". 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  7. ^ McBay, Aric (2013). "DGR and Transphobia". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Deep Green Resignation and Reclamation | Earth First! Newswire". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  9. ^ "Resistance Ecology Comes To An End". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  10. ^ Derrick Jensen (3 July 2012). The Derrick Jensen Reader: Writings on Environmental Revolution. ISBN 9781609804053. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  11. ^ a b Taylor, Bron (2013-04-26). "Resistance: Do the Ends Justify the Means? | Latest News | Earth Island Journal | Earth Island Institute". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  12. ^ "Forget Shorter Showers". Orion Magazine. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 9, 2009. Retrieved October 6, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Decisive Ecological Warfare". Deep Green Resistance. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Ian Angus (May 10, 2012). "'Deep Green Resistance' – How not to build a movement - A path to certain defeat" (Book review). Climate & Capitalism. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  16. ^ Deep Green Resistance - Strategy to Save the Planet. YouTube. 12 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2021-12-20.
  17. ^ "Millions Killed?". Deep Green Resistance. Retrieved February 2013. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  18. ^ Jensen, Derrick (26 November 2010). "Author and Activist Derrick Jensen: "The Dominant Culture is Killing the Planet...It's Very Important for Us to Start to Build a Culture of Resistance"". Democracy Now! (Interview). Interviewed by Amy Goodman.
  19. ^ "Deep Green Resistance: A Book Review". Sprout Distro. 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  20. ^ Matisons, Michelle; Ross, Alexander Reid (2014–2015). "Deep Green Resistance — a critique". Earth First! Journal. Archived from the original on 2014-08-03. Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  21. ^ "Anarchy Radio 03-08-2011 : John Zerzan : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved 2016-06-25.
  22. ^ "Authority and civilization". Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012.