Note: Waking up this morning to Brian Willson being interviewed on Democracy Now! had great meaning for me. Many years ago, around 1996 or so, I received a letter from Brian urging that the group I then worked with, Native Forest Network, to please get involved in the effort to stop the destruction of Nicaragua’s Bosawas Rainforest which was, at that time, the largest intact rainforest north of the Amazon. We did become involved and I’ve been to Nicaragua many times. In 1997 we had a major victory for the Bosawas jungle when we worked with Mayangna People to stop a 150,000 acre illegal logging concession on their ancestral lands. Thanks to Brian, I became so active in the region that I co-founded a new organization: ACERCA (Action for Community and Ecology in the Regions of Central America) in 1998. I first met Brian in La Realidad, Chiapas, Mexico where the Zapatistas held the “First North American Encuentro” in the spring of 1996. GJEP’s Anne Petermann and I have visited with Brian many times since then on both coasts of the US–though not recently. It was great to see Brian again today, albeit via satellite dish. I encourage you to watch this interview and learn of Brian’s remarkable journey of personal discovery and resistance to the dominant paradigm–including the infamous incident in 1981 when he lost both of his legs after being run over by a train that he was blockading. The train was carrying munitions to the Contras in Nicaragua in a US-backed attempt to overthrow the Sandinista revolution that had ousted the long stranglehold of the Samoza family’s regime.
Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team
Click here for today’s Democracy Now! interview with Brian Willson
Also, Climate Connections featured Blood on the Tracks: The Life And Times of S. Brian Willson on June 17, 2011.