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Regional Autonomy for Cascadia

The Cascadia Confederacy regional autonomy listserv is growing quickly, with 28 members now!
The Cascadia Confederacy regional autonomy listserv is growing quickly, with 28 members now! There will be a Cascadia regional autonomy workshop at the Cascadia Ecology and Activism Conference at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA on Saturday April 7. We invite you to join the discussion if it is of interest to you!


Regional Autonomy Discussion Listserv

This is a list for people living in the Cascadia region of the Northwestern United States and Western Canada (broadly described as Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and Alaska from the Cascade mountain range west to the coast) who would like to evaluate and discuss the idea of regional secession. The philosophy supporting this idea is that due to our social, economic, political and bioregional similarities, and the massive changes which economic globalization is bringing to our region, we may be approaching a time in which it will make sense to officially secede from our relationship with the United States and Canada - a relationship which many regard as an imperialist one - in order to form a   sovereign "Cascadia Confederacy."  

The bedrock of this idea of Cascadia springs from the desire for full sovereignty and self determination for all people and peoples to organize themselves into communities and other social groupings as they see fit. In particular, we hope to fully support and link up in a confederated fashion with the many indigenous peoples of the region in order to gaurantee full cultural and political autonomy and sovereignty - attributes that are repressed under the current nation-state arrangement of Canada and the United States.

Further, we look forward to moving away from the nation-state and capitalism into a social organizational form that allows for autonomous direct democracies and the flourishing of indigenous culture; all   based on a decentralized confederation-type model in which communities will work together for the mutual benefit of all. In other words, we are working on the beginnings of a sovereign society free from the oppressive systems and values of capitalism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ageism, xenophobia, and all other authoritarian forms of organizing our world.

homepage: homepage: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cascadiaconfederacy

Cascadia Swaraj! (NW Homerule) 05.Mar.2001 10:33


The Important thing to remember about bioregionalism in general and Cascadian Bioregionalism specifically, is that <B>This Bioregion is already independent!</B>
The very nature of a bioregion is that it is a relatively closed system. Our bodies are literality composed, for the most part, of the water of our watershed, and food from the soil.

Bioregions exist independent of human interactions and are, at the same time, entirely a human exercise. They are significant to human relatedness because bioregional self-reliance is fairly easy to attain on a bioregional scale.

Bioregional self-reliance depends only on a few things, <B>not moving</B> this is a really important one, because if you want this world to get any beter, you really need to sit down in one spot and really engage in a reciprocal relationship with that spot. Each Place has completely specific dynamics and it will take a few generations for the kind of understandings that will make this Bioregional hum.

Another important thing to remember, is that bioregional indpendence is not the same thing as a revolution. Because the bioregion is already there regardless of the government organization the people of the area have chosen, bioregional independence can be attained without the trouble of uprising (instead of "uprising," "downrooting" might be a good bioregional way of describing it.)

A revolution is, simply put, the rapid usurping of the ideologies of change so that they are no longer effective. It may take the people of a "nation" many years to begin to be able to articulate the ways in which their system must be changed. Along with this articulation comes the development of very specific language.

Revolutions happen when people get to impatient to impliment their ideologies into their lives, and so they require the State to do it for them. This means that, while policitcal leaders are replaced, eliminated, etc., and the state takes on the <B>language</B> of change, the dominant power structure remains intact and the people are left with no language to articulate change.

A good example of this is China where people being beaten down by the police are being "liberated" by the "People's Army." How can you use the old revolutionary language without actually reinforcing the repressive powerstructure? They were actually making a lot of headway B>before the revolution</B>.

What alternative do I propose? How do we facilitate massive, local, change in a large group of peoples' relationship to the people and places directly around them. If enough people simply stay put, they will develop bioregionally specific patterns of dress, custom, shelter, gardening, traditional ceremony, economy, social relations, aknowledgements of affiliation and relatedness, and all the things that come with real culture; not built through the massive labor of Reason, but grown over time to accomidate the specifics of rainfall, speciation, watershed shape, polluted off-limit area, soil type, and wind patterns.

This dynamic is happening all the time. Unfortionately, the dominate system creates unease, deinfisizes Place, nurishes universalistic ideas which, while they certainly do add to realizations that we humanity is very much alike, destabilized the uniqueness of individual cultures. When individual cultures are allowed to survive, they become commodified and incorporated into the "marketplace of ideas." Their uniqueness is expressed the way that a particular toothbrush at the supermarket is unique, and there is no realization the particulars of a culture dirive from the real dynamics of specific B>places</B>. We may feel connected with something meaningful and bigger than otherselves, but we loose focus of what must be nessisary in our lives, the lives of our families, communities, watersheds, ecoregions, and bioregions.

The destabilization caused of globalization is happening at such a rate that reinhabitory practice must be facilitated by B>something</B>.

In my dreams, I see my grandkids tanning hides and making basketry hats on the front porch in SE Portland, They have a conversation about "America" and noone is really sure what it means. They know that a lot of people concider themselves "Americans" but it is pretty much concidered some sort of historical Club. Noone is really sure when, or even if there was a revolution and noone really cares all that much, they come over to where I am in my rocking chair and ask me
"America became less and less important to the people when they realized that, while their Reason was tied up with the State, their actual lines of Political energy (food, water, clothing, community, shelter) came from Place. After a while, the US became irrelivent."

This will happen, don't worry. In the meantime, learn the names of the plants around you and their uses, chart out your watershed, and identify clean water and dirty, find out where work needs to be done to repair the tapastry of human/place relatedness, and tell stories.

Cascadia Swaraj!

"Civilizations come and go, but the Mountains and Rivers remain," - Dogon

How Do Cascadia's Poor Stay Put? 05.Mar.2001 12:41


Personally, I think this view is way too "biocentric" and lifestylist. To me, the point of attaining regional autonomy for Cascadia is not simply environmental, but also includes cultural, human, economic and many other aspects that make our region both unique and similar across borders of the state. It is this narrow view of bioregionalism that leads to the idea that we "don't need a revolution" because the "bioregion is already independent". What does that mean, anyway? To bridge this gap in logic, Jordan says that the problem is that we don't have a common culture because no one "stays put." It is hard to stay put in for instance, Seattle, when rents go way up due to gentrification. People are forced out to Burien and outlying areas instead. Therefore in order for people to be ABLE to stay put and develop the culture Jordan talks about, capitalism and wealth inequality would need to be overthrown. Doing that requires some form of revolution. However, I agree with much of what Jordan said as well.