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People routinely approach each of this book’s authors—Aric, Lierre, and Derrick—and tell us how their hope and despair have merged into one. They no longer want to do everything they can to protect the places they love, everything, that is, except the most important thing of all: to bring down the culture itself. They want to go on the offensive. They want to stop this culture in its tracks. But they don’t know how.

This book is about creating a culture of resistance. And it’s about creating an actual resistance. It’s about creating the conditions for salmon to be able to return, for songbirds to be able to return, for amphibians to be able to return.

This book is about fighting back.

And this book is about winning.

Direct actions against strategic infrastructure is a basic tactic of both militaries and insurgents the world over for the simple reason that it works. But such actions alone are never a sufficient strategy for achieving a just outcome. This means that any strategy aiming for a just future must include a call to build direct democracies based on human rights and sustainable material cultures. The different branches of these resistance movements must work in tandem: the aboveground and belowground, the militants and the nonviolent, the frontline activists and the cultural workers. We need it all.

And we need courage. The word “courage” comes from the same root as coeur, the French word for heart. We need all the courage of which the human heart is capable, forged into both weapon and shield to defend what is left of this planet. And the lifeblood of courage is, of course, love.

So while this is a book about fighting back, in the end this is a book about love. The songbirds and the salmon need your heart, no matter how weary, because even a broken heart is still made of love. They need your heart because they are disappearing, slipping into that longest night of extinction, and the resistance is nowhere in sight. We will have to build that resistance from whatever comes to hand: whispers and prayers, history and dreams, from our bravest words and braver actions. It will be hard, there will be a cost, and in too many implacable dawns it will seem impossible. But we will have to do it anyway. So gather your heart and join with every living being. With love as our First Cause, how can we fail?