The protest camp to stop an open-pit mine at Thacker Pass, Nevada has entered it’s second week! Camp is standing strong. We are putting a call out for additional support. Help us spread the word and sustain this resistance to greenwashed mining!
Join our resistance to this mine: https://protectthackerpass.org
Support is needed at the mine site, reach out to us if you can come join us here – for a afternoon, a weekend, a week, or a month!
We’ve launched our fundraiser! Support camp now: https://givebutter.com/protectthackerpass
Hello everyone, good to see you. It’s Max Wilbert here. I am currently in Thacker Pass, Nevada. This is the northern part of Nevada, Paiute territory. And I’m here, as many of you already know, because this area, Thacker Pass, is the site of a proposed lithium mine. A corporation called Lithium Americas wants to come here and build a 1.3 billion dollar open-pit lithium mine to extract lithium metal primarily for use in electric car batteries and grid energy storage to enable this so-called “green energy transition” that is such a popular idea among mainstream environmentalists.
As many of you know I’m the co-author of a forthcoming book called Bright Green Lies: How the Environmental Movement Lost Its Way and What We Can Do About It. That book looks at why these types of “solutions” quite unquote to the climate crisis are not real solutions. They’re false. They’re bright green lies.
This mine would destroy between five and six thousand acres of this habitat here behind me. This is old-growth sagebrush. It may not look quite as stunning, to people who aren’t familiar with it, as a redwood forest or a forest of old oak trees. But these sagebrush plants, big sagebrush, Artemisia, can grow to be hundreds of years old. They are host, they are home to a flourishing ecosystem, the natural community of life who relies on them. They rely on this pass right here, this habitat. This area is one of the last most important areas for sage grouse that’s left. The greater sage grouse, threatened with extinction. The Lahontan cutthroat trout downstream threatened with extinction. The pronghorn antelope – tiny fragments of their population that reached 60 million before colonization. This is habitat for golden eagles. For California quail. For all kinds of wildlife. You know, being out here and being on this land, we’re trying to stand against this mine, stand against these lies that we are being told. My friend Travis is a talented artist and he made us this banner which some of you have already seen the image of it right here. “protectthackerpass.org – Lithium lies” We’re set up right here on the site of the open-pit. This area around me right here, within a year – less – could be an open-pit. Bulldozed. Every bit of life gone. Buried for half a century.
And even then, even if the mine ends after half a century, how long will it take the land to recover? How long will it take this soil to rebuild, you know? How long will it take these fragile desert lands to recover? The sage grouse will never recover. The pronghorn may never recover. The Lahontan cutthroat trout may never recover. They are dying of a thousand cuts and we need to stand against projects like this that threaten to destroy the last remaining habitat of our kin. Our kin. These are our family, these species, literally. I do not mean this figuratively. These are our relatives. We share the same genes, we share the same genealogy.
So we’re out here to stand. To help protect this place. We’ve been here today as day eight of our occupation. We’ve faced 50 mile an hour winds. We’ve faced frigid temperatures – single digits. It’s pretty nice out right now. Little bit of snow this morning but not much. Barely anything. Expecting a bit more tonight. We had the BLM law enforcement come through yesterday and they were trying to lay down the law, to let us know they want to move us out of here. We’re gonna work to maintain a permanent protest occupation here. That is our plan and we need to stick with it. We don’t mean to be intimidated out of our resistance to this project. Lithium Americas Corporation, for any of them who are listening…right now they are trying to raise a billion dollars to finance their project. Investors should be afraid. They should be very afraid because they have woken the people. They have woken our resistance and we’re not going to let them tell these lies anymore.
We’re not going to let them claim this is a green project. We’re not going to let them destroy this desert. Excuse me, I keep saying desert. This isn’t a desert. It’s a sagebrush step. It’s wetter than a desert out here. So we need support. We need help. We need people to come out and join us here at camp. Come for a day, come for an hour, come for a week, come for a month. Get in contact with me. Get in contact with us via our website and come join us here. That’s our number one need. And we especially need people by next Thursday, January 28th. So if you can come out for a week, a couple days, a month, towards the end of January into early February, this will be very helpful to our plans. And going forward into February, into March, into the spring we will continue to need people. Our hope is that if Lithium Americas comes and attempts to build the mine, actually bulldoze this place, that we can mobilize a large contingent of people to stand in their way. So be prepared. That’s number two, be prepared. Be ready to come out here if we put the call out to come out here and stand. We don’t know whether that will come in two months ,in a year, we’re not sure. It’s unclear. But until then, we’re going to keep building resistance. And working to show the investors that this is not a good project to invest in. Just like the fossil fuel pipelines, just like the gold mines, just like all the other extractive industries. We need to change the way we live. And so we need to put pressure on these industries and these companies to not do this. We won’t let you do this. So that’s number three. Join our email list on our website, protectthackerpass.org. We should have our first blast going out pretty soon. Those will include more information on how to move forward. Number four, donate. We need financial support. We need financial support to help get people out to the site, to buy supplies, to purchase the equipment we need to survive out here. We’re trying to raise $5,000 as an initial goal, and we will need more than that. Again, this is a 1.3 billion dollar mine project that will produce billions of dollars in profits for the shareholders. We need funds if we’re going to resist them, so if you can help, donate on our Give Butter page. It’s linked on social media. It’s linked on our website. If you’re interested in making a larger contribution or can hook us up with somebody else, let me know, okay? These funds will be very useful. We’re going to need get people here. We’re going to be doing media production. We’re going to be flying some important people out here from different areas. Look, this is important. This is important. If we make a small investment, we can help protect this entire land and we can send a message to the industry that we will not stand by and let this place be destroyed.
So those are the ways that we need your support for now. Help us spread the word. Help us get this story out there. We’re trying to force the media to cover what’s happening here. So if you can, share our material, come out here, you know, we want writers, we want poets, we want artists, we want painters, we want videographers, photographers, anybody who has an artistic talent, anybody who’s a storyteller, anybody who’s connected to their own community, who’s a leader in their own community, who knows people. Even if it’s just your own family, the people who you work with, come here and learn what’s happening. Start telling the story, start watching our videos and sharing this material. Go back and check out the other videos in the series and help us spread the word.
This place needs our protection, right? These sage – they need our protection. They can’t stop the mining themselves, but this is my relative and so I can help and you can help too. So come join us out here. Once again, thank you very much.