Principle 1: The United States and Canada are foundationally broken. We need to start new, with all voices represented.
The United States and Canada are foundationally broken systems built upon hundreds of years of slavery, indentured servitude, exploitation, genocide, cultural erasure, colonialism, and torture. Written into the constitutions of these nations were that Indigenous and Black Americans were not human, women were property and that only white men should be land owners. Ideas we have had to fight against ever since it was created. In these documents, it codifies the dominion, parceling and privatization of “unclaimed”, “undiscovered” and “unoccupied lands” into an endless series of subdivisions and private ownership from which there is no escape to this supreme law of the land, and no true form of self governance, determination, sovereignty possible.
We are tired of legitimizing a system, through our tax dollars and our votes that denies people their basic rights, tries to control their bodies and decisions, tortures and kills millions of people around the globe, overthrows democratically elected governments, and actively promotes racism and white supremacy. Only by removing ourselves from these systems, and sitting with each of us at the table, can we hope to build something more equitable and just.
Principle 2: Bioregionalism is the best pathway forward
Bioregionalism reflects perhaps one of the most important, yet least known or understood philosophies that may exist today. It can be utilized by any person, business, cause, movement or organizer, from any background. Together, bioregionalism provides a unifying set of principles and organizing methodology, and is a powerful tool for connecting and breaking down large, urgent global issues to specific areas, and creating simple, accessible pathways for action and change.
Bioregionalism is an alternative to capitalism and the nation state, and we believe that bioregionalism is the best pathway forward for us, our communities, our region and our planet. Rather than something negative, that we are fighting against – it is positive, that we are all working for, and defining and building together. This philosophy requires a fundamental shift in how we relate to ourselves and our world, not as a citizen of one country or the other, but rather as citizens of our watersheds, and of our home. No matter your work – root it into place, and value people and inhabitants over short term profits. Bioregions are the natural countries of the planet, defined not by arbitrary line, but by the reality of mountains, rivers, deserts and forests and can be used as a lens to break global issues down to a local level, where our impacts can be measured and in which every person can go out and be involved.
Cascadians believe in finding ways to live in a responsible and ethical manner, that not only does no damage, but improves the well being of those living here, for this generation, and generations to come. The colonial borders of the United States and Canada are arbitrary, built on gerrymandering and disenfranchisement, rather than co-operation and abundance, and will never be truly representative of people, place or inhabitant.
Principle 3: Climate change and economic exploitation are profound and urgent threats to all life on the planet and we have a responsibility and duty to act.
Climate change is already wreaking havoc in vulnerable communities everywhere: wildfires, flooding, drought – communities that are low-income, indigenous, and/or communities of color. We will take guidance from scientific and data driven policy, those on the frontlines of extreme weather and sea-level rise, as well as those on the frontlines of fossil fuel extraction, and support their fight for immediate and aggressive action on climate.
No matter what other ‘ism’ out there, capitalism, nationalism, socialism, communism – they all are based in a 19th century view that uses humans as economic units, and relies on a model of infinite economic growth based on the extraction of very real, precious and finite natural resources. Nature is the invisible hand of the market. It is not infinite and we rely on it for our very survival. Until we root our economic and societal models with that truth, we are destined for failure, disconnected and out of balance with the available resources we have left in an increasingly toxic environment. Cascadia has an outsized ability to impact and duty for being able to affect this change, with 7 of the 10 largest carbon capturing forests in the world; home of massive corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Nike and many others; and as the thin green line between fossil fuel extraction in the east, and manufacturing ports in the west.
If the change we want to see happen anywhere in the world is going to happen, it will start here.
Principle 4: Change starts here, and change starts with each of us.
We not only resist systemic oppression, but recognize that these issues are all interconnected, and that without changing the root problems of capitalism and the nation state, they will never change. We believe that bioregionalism is the best path forward, and building interconnected, intersectional movements with a healthy culture of organizing, and that are transparent and accountable.
The Cascadia movement is a pro-democracy, bioregional, sovereignty based, pro-human rights, BLM loving, anti-racist, anti-Fascist, carbon negative type of group.
Divided, we will never create the real change that our world needs. Each one of us has something special to offer, and we want to empower every person to be able to walk out their front door, get engaged with those already out there making a difference and who have the solutions, and make the difference our planet needs. Do the work. Be an ambassador for the things you care about, support others working to do the same. We’re all in this together.