Archive | September, 2010

No Borders Camp—Brussels

30 Sep

The NO BORDER Camp organises debates, workshops and direct action concerning migration policy.
No Border Camp Brussels: from 25th September until 3rd October

Since Saturday 25th of September about a thousand activists have put their tents up on the site of Tour & Taxis in Brussels. Everything is ready to host them until 3rd October : mobile kitchens, dry toilets and spaces for theoretical and practical workshops.

The camp denounces the European migration policy and fights for freedom of movement and settlement. Right now, more than 32 thousand migrants are locked up in 250 centres across the European Union and Europe is controlling its borders more and more with the help of its border agency called FRONTEX.

Protests, workshops and information
Since the start of the camp, different actions took place. On sunday, 130 activists demonstrated in front of the closed center 127bis at Steenokkerzeel to commemorate the twelfth anniversary of the murder of Semira Adamu. The police used violence against the demonstrants. On monday there was a bus- and bycicletour passing different places of interest in Brussels concerning migration. On tuesday a group of 60 percussionists went through the streets surrounding the camp to meet the neighbours and inform them about the actions and message of the camp. On 29th September certain activists of the camp joined, as an anti-capitalist block, the protest of the trade unions during the gathering of ECOFIN, a council composed of the economy and finance ministers of the EU.

The No Border Camp organises a large authorized demonstration this Saturday 2nd October through the streets of Brussels to denounce the closed detention centers, migration policy and to plead for freedom of movement and settlement.

EF! Humboldt: Jacoby Creek Tree Sitter Journal

30 Sep

Jacoby Creek Tree Sitter Journal
by EF!Humboldt ~ September 29th, 2010


tree-sit Jacoby creek

Day One (Aug 23rd)

* Big moon, clear skies for the first time in over a month. Solo except for Alex in another tree up the hill. Green Diamond’s loggers have come very close to cutting the sentinel Redwoods that, once I’d witnessed first hand, captured my attention and called for action.

* Up until 4:30 am last night. Expected to wake up to the sound of saws and falling trees, but apparently someone called in and notified the company that tree-sitters had occupied the canopy in this grove slated for clear-cutting. The loggers can be heard over the hill but are a no-show here.

* Alex says they drove by and spotted him. I decide to pay him a visit. The forest is calm, cool and quiet as I walk through a forest that is soon to be no more. Fresh stumps can be seen a little ways down the hill from Alex’s tree. Full moon, a large bird of prey sleeps, perched atop a towering dead Redwood. Two large stick nests have been built below in huge gnarled branches. This sun bleached remnant of the once extensive ancient forest dwarfs all other trees as far as the eye can see.

Day Two

* Early morning. Two deer come crashing up through the woods from the valley. They act scared and loudly cry out in a way that few humans have heard, or even know they can. The deer appear to know where they are going, following a well used animal trail that traverses the ridge next to me. Alex says that people from the company definitely know he’s there and walked all around the tree he’s in. I’m already rationing water and food in case they post security guards.

Day Three

* I woke up to the sound of saws and debated whether to eat first or try to swing over to the next large tree and tie it to the one I am in. Alex yells down to me that Green Diamond is cutting trees next to him. The possibility that the loggers will try to drop it right next to me troubles me. It’s branches interweave with the branches of the tree I’m in. I re-position my climb rope and lower myself a ways down, enough to get a good pendulum effect. The other tree is 25 or 30 ft. away. It’s over-topped by the tree I’m in and probably grows from the same roots. I push off from my tree and swing out into forest canopy space. I grab a narrow live branch and pull myself the rest of the way over. Whew! Glad it went well on the first try. I tied my climbing rope to it and then went a short ways to the top of the tree, a sort of platform of contorted branches that stretch out to reach the rays of sun light. I could sleep there if I had to.

* I traverse back over and climb down to the platform/plank. Just as I settle down again, I hear footsteps approach. Two guys with orange hard hats inspect a tree nearby. One has an orange sweatshirt too. I wait for them to look around and see me but they don’t. “Yoohoo!” I shout down in a girly voice, trying to be funny. They look around and still don’t see me. “Where are you?” the sweatshirt guy asks. “Up here” I reply. I tell them about the tree I just tied in as there are no warning signs on that one. “Whats your name?” the guy asks. “I’m not going to tell you my real name,” I bluntly reply. “You can call me Frank.” “Whatever…” says the guy below.

* The other guy is bigger and wears a dark shirt with classic tree faller suspenders. They begin discussing and gesturing with their arms about cutting the rest of the trees around me. I’m hoping they at least stay on the other side of the small, seasonal stream course right next to me. Then at least I will have kept a modest amount of riparian forest intact. A much bigger creek channel is just down the hill from me too, a tributary to Jacoby Creek.

* I eat breakfast, a grilled cheese sandwich (again). Chut chut! Freegan instant coffee too.

* Working on the sit. A 2×8′ piece of plywood. I lashed the middle of it down to the thick branch it sits on so it won’t slide around anymore. The ends of the plank are tied up to other sturdy looking branches. It’s still sketchy, I can’t go out on half of it without it tipping like a seesaw.

Day Four

* Before 8 am. Crunch crunch crunch… “Hey Frank!” It’s the guy in orange. I think he’s a forestry technician. “How’s it goin’ today bro?” he asks. “Could be better.” I say. “I’d rather be fishing.” He tells me they are about to cut the trees around me. He says they will aim them away from me and that he will be there to watch. Is this supposed to reassure me? “You can come down now and I’ll let you walk away.” Tells me he’s not surprised when I don’t take him up on it. The saw is going now. Can’t see the faller. My phone battery is almost dead, must save for emergencies. Saw stops. The faller pounds a wedge into the cut, TAP TAP TAP! and a tree top 30 ft away from me drops out of sight. SCREEEAK, BOOM! Now he’s cutting it up. They’re trying not to hit me but the danger is real. Might as well eat breakfast and work on the platform. Nervous, trying not to sweat too much, need to conserve water.

* They fell a bunch of trees next to me but the biggest ones that could hit me are still to go after lunch. The Faller, James, seems experienced… but it’s a gamble. Those on the ground can run if something goes wrong, I can’t. The recent accidental deaths of two loggers is on my mind. I can see the clear-cut now. I’m seriously wishing I had a video camera for this.

* They cut a big Redwood near me but left it’s neighbor, a Douglas Fir I have my eye on. It’s very tall. I think the forester said it will be the spar tree, meaning that workers would hook up a heavy cable to it to run their log-dragging cable system through this part of the cut. I’m glad they left it because it was the one I was most scared would hit me if cut down.

* A big one just shook the ground when it fell, the tree I’m in shuddered. It wooshed through the air for a long time before it hit. Wonder which one it was…

* The forestry tech tells to the faller that they will be going after the rest of the grove next time. The remaining forest is on the slope facing Jacoby Creek Valley and has many large 150 year old trees. Redwoods, Spruce, Cedar, Maples and Alders grow on this hillside. I’m on the ridge above it. I understand the gist of the conversation from 100 ft. up because I already saw indications of this plan in their documents. They will probably try within 3-5 years, after the regs allow another clear-cut to be done next to the last one. Maybe people can do something pro-active to save it.

* A slender Redwood tree gracefully spins as it falls out of the shadows of the forest and down the hill into the dusty, sunlit clear-cut. Sunlight suddenly floods it needles and then SMASH! Its top breaks off on impact, branches shattering when it hits the tangled wreckage already layering the ground.

* Fallers Rick and James head home for the day. FYC.

* They were unable to cut the trees downhill from me due to my tree-sit and the tricky lay of the land. I’m glad to still have a forest on the north side, the south side having been largely wiped out.

[The tree-sits in Jacoby Creek continue... to read more on Green Diamonds Jacoby Creek logging visit Forest Defenders Blog and EPIC]

Greenpeace: Blockades and Banner Hangs

29 Sep

Greenpeace activists Hope Kaye, right, and Lisa Ramsden rappel to unfurl a banner on the site of Coal Ash hearings at the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky September 28, 2010. Highlighting the need for federal standards to protect public health from hazardous coal waste the activists unfurled the 23 x 23-square-foot banner that read “EPA: PROTECT PEOPLE, NOT POLLUTERS – QUIT COAL.” The protest was held at the location of the 7th of eight public hearings conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on two proposals for the regulation of coal ash disposal. Photo by Brian Bohannon

from Shetland News
ENVIRONMENTAL campaign group Greenpeace claim to have stopped the huge drilling ship Stena Carron in its tracks for the third day running.

Greenpeace swimmer leaning against the Stena Carron’s hull – Photo: Will Rose/GreenpeaceStena Carron left Lerwick harbour on Saturday after serving a court order on Greenpeace forcing them to abandon their protest attached to the vessel’s anchor chain.

However when the ship was 100 miles north of Shetland on Sunday morning Greenpeace campaigners entered the sea from their support ship Esperanza and swam in front of it.

When the ship sailed through the first wave of swimmer, a second wave swam out and penned the ship in. The ship has not moved since as Greenpeace maintain their cordon on a rota basis.

The ship is just nine limes away from its destination, the Lagavulin oil prospect where Chevron want to drill an exploratory well in 500 metres of water.

One of the swimmers, Ben Stewart, was in the team that swam in front of the ship until midnight on Monday.

Speaking on Tuesday morning by satellite phone on the Esperanza he said: “It’s getting tiring being out there but we’re determined to keep going. It’s a bit scary to paddle away beneath the huge bow of that ship, it’s the size of a skyscraper on its side, but every day we keep it here is a day less it can drill for oil in deep water.

“We need to go beyond oil, we have to invest in clean energy otherwise there’ll be BP-style disasters hitting the coastlines of Europe and the fight to beat climate change will be lost.”

The swimmers are spending four hours in the water before resting for eight hours then going in again. They are wearing immersion suits to keep warm and lifejackets to stay safe.

Greenpeace is threatening legal action against the UK government in an effort to stop the granting of new permits for deep water drilling.

Last month Greenpeace lawyers wrote a ‘letter before action’ to ministers as a precursor to seeking a judicial review of the decision to push ahead with new deep water drilling before the lessons from the BP disaster have been learned.

A ban on deep water drilling is being considered by the European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday.

Environmentalists are concerned that the committee may block the move and could also weaken measures to reduce emissions from vans in a separate resolution today.

Meanwhile oil giant Chevron, who are operating the Stena Carron, appealed to Greenpeace to end their protest.

“This latest act is extremely dangerous and once again demonstrates that Greenpeace is willing to put its volunteers at risk by entering the path of the Stena Carron while the vessel is in transit,” the company said in a statement.

“We hoped that Greenpeace would continue to respect the interdict granted by the court, which prohibits the activists from returning to the Stena Carron, but this gesture shows no regard for the law and for the safety of all involved.”

The Black Fish cuts nets to free dolphins in Taiji, Japan

28 Sep

Divers from the European conservation organisation The Black Fish have last night cut the nets of six holding pens in Taiji, Japan, that were holding dolphins caught during a dolphin drive hunt a few days earlier. During this hunt a number of dolphins were selected for the international dolphinarium trade and transferred to these holding pens. In rough weather conditions the divers swam out and cut the nets of six of these holding pens, allowing a number of dolphins to swim back out to sea. No arrests were made.
Fishermen transfer selected dolphins caught at the drive hunt to sea pen for the dolfinarium trade

Fishermen transfer selected dolphins caught at the drive hunt to sea pen for the dolfinarium trade

by The Black Fish

Every year, between September and April, the sea around the fishing village of Taiji on the east coast of Japan turns red as it becomes the scene of one of the biggest mass slaughters of marine wildlife in the world. The dolphin drive hunt, which recently made global headlines through the Oscar winning documentary ‘The Cove’, is responsible for capturing and killing over 2,000 dolphins of Japan’s annual quota of 20,000. Fishermen drive the dolphins from sea into a cove, where some animals are selected for dolphinariums while the others are killed for their meat.

The Black Fish and other marine conservation and animal welfare organisations run ongoing campaigns to push for the closure of the remaining dolphinariums in Europe, where some of the dolphins caught at Taiji inevitably end up. Dolphinariums are already banned in United Kingdom. The Black Fish believes that it is unacceptable to keep dolphins, orca’s and other marine wildlife in captivity, given the vast areas which these animals normally inhabit, the miserable and squalid conditions under which they are often kept and the stress that public performances put on them.

Co-founder of The Black Fish, Wietse van der Werf, explains about their decision to intervene: “The connection between the dolphin entertainment industry and this annual drive hunt can no longer be denied. To be successful in our campaigns in Europe we need to get to the root of this illegal trade, which is right at Taiji.”

The Black Fish is aware of the sensitivity surrounding the hunt at Taiji this year. With an international media spotlight on the Japanese dolphin hunts, tensions within the country have heated up and Japanese nationalists have seized the opportunity to defend this ‘traditional’ activity. While we acknowledge that change also needs to come from within Japanese society, we vow to continue to work for the protection of these defenceless dolphins and push to make dolphinariums and the drive hunts which supply them history.

Solidarity Protests against FBI Raids

28 Sep

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss – By Arthur Smilios, Sparrow Media Contributor

If, in fact, there is anyone left who still believes that Barack Obama is a progressive, I offer this past Friday’s raids on peace activists in Minneapolis and Chicago as proof to the contrary. The homes of eight activists were invaded and their belongings confiscated due to their support of the Palestinian cause and the resistance in Colombia, as well as their criticism of the hegemonic wars being waged by the US.

In a nation whose de facto motto is, in Randolph Bourne’s words, “War is the Health of the State,” this should come as no surprise. The powers that be (Wall Street; defense contractors; private militias, etc) and the government they control have a vested interest in maintaining and expanding the status quo of mass, state-sanctioned violence and misery. It is common knowledge that the oil cartels and the inner circle of elite corporations have made obscene profits off of the hell unleashed by the US on the Middle East. It is also a point of dark humor among the rest of the world that Israel is the 51st state in the Union, as the US government consistently, with no deviation, condemns any UN resolution critical of the former, however effete and benign that resolution may be. What is not as widely known is that Colombia, with its repressive (and capitalist-friendly—surprise, surprise) regime is, as former FBI agent Coleen Rowley points out in an interview on Democracy Now!, the third largest recipient of US military aid. It stands to reason, then, that anyone who is shining the light of truth on these horrible events is a target of the war machine.

The raids were clearly political, in nature; obviously a means of attacking an ideology, as the victims were affiliated with a number of groups opposed to US policies, including the Freedom Road Socialist Organization—not the “S” word! As Colombia solidarity activist Tom Burke, one of those handed a subpoena by the FBI, said, “[The raids] are designed to suppress dissent and free speech, to divide the peace movement, and to pave the way for more US military intervention in the Middle East and Latin America.”

Aside from the obvious problems with the national police arbitrarily invading citizens’ homes, what is even more disturbing is that, while virtually ignoring truly dangerous people, such as murderers of health-care providers and armed, racist paramilitary groups, they are targeting peace activists. But this is nothing new. Eugene Debs served years in jail for refusing to recant his statement that the First World War was “a capitalist’s war.” Emma Goldman was deported for similar sentiments.

Former Agent Rowley, when asked if there is any difference in the way the FBI conducts its business—consciously and deliberately abrogating civil liberties—now and during the Bush II years, categorically states that there is, in fact, no difference.

Rallies are scheduled for tomorrow, around the country. A full listing of where and when they are being held can be found at Fight Back!

Tuesday 9/28:

NYC, NY – 4:30 to 6pm Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza

Newark, NJ – 5 to 6pm Federal Building Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA – 4:30pm Federal Building, 6th & Market,

Washington DC – 4:30 – 5:30 FBI Building, 935 Pennsylvania Ave NW.

Boston, MA – 5 pm, JFK Federal Building

Detroit, MI – 4:30 pm McNamara Federal Building, Michigan Ave. at Cass

Raleigh, NC – 9 am. Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave

Asheville, NC – 5 pm Federal Building,

Atlanta, GA – Noon, FBI Building

Los Angeles, CA – 5 pm, Downtown Federal Building, 300 N Los Angeles St

Tucson, AZ – 5 pm Federal Building

Wednesday 9/29:

Albany, NY -5 to 6 pm Federal Building

As Barack Obama proves that he is nothing more than a handsome, intelligent and eloquent version of Bush II, and this nation moves closer to outright totalitarianism, it is imperative that we exercise our right to freedom of speech while we still somewhat can. The word “terrorism” has been bandied about as carelessly as that other bette noir, “socialism.” Webster’s defines terrorism as “the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion.” Following this definition, it is clear that the greatest purveyor of terror, at home and abroad, is the corporately owned, militarist US government and its agents. We have to let them know that we will not be cowed into submission and indolence by their Stalinist tactics and that we refuse to allow them to continue funding mass murder with our tax dollars. If you can, please attend these rallies and show your support for free speech and thought.

– Arthur Smilios is an unapologetic anti-capitalist, musician rabble rouser. Arthur was the co-founder of the seminal New York punk band the Gorilla Biscuits. Since his days of performing “Cats & Dogs” (a song that encouraged thousands to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle) Arthur has strived to braid his art with his passion for social justice. The Sparrow Project has invited Arthur to continue to sound off on the issues he holds most dear through their blog on http://sparrowmedia.net . Arthur’s articles are written exclusively in his own voice, and may not reflect the views of The Sparrow Project

Appalachia Rising: Photos

27 Sep

Climate scientist, James “Handsome Devil” Hanson, gets arrested along with 100 other protesters who refused to disperse from the sidewalk in front of the White House

Larry ‘Git Along’ Gibson, a longtime opponent of mountaintop removal, is among about 100 people arrested outside the White House following a march by hundreds of Appalachian Rising protesters opposed to the use of the coal-mining technique in Appalachia.

Congratulations to Appalachia Rising for a wonderful day of action! Support the prisoners! Go to Appalachia Rising for more.

More photos here: http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Appalachia Rising: Mass Arrest outside of White House

27 Sep

About 100 arrested in DC mountaintop mining rally

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER (AP) – 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Around 100 people have been arrested outside the White House while protesting against mountaintop removal mining.

The protesters were arrested Monday after refusing orders from U.S. Park Police to leave the sidewalk outside the White House. They staged a rally at nearby Freedom Plaza earlier in the day.

The crowd of mostly youthful ralliers carried signs like “Blowing Up Mountains for Coal Poisons People” and “Mountain ecosystems won’t grow back.” Some carried small white crosses adorned with messages such as “water pollution” and “corporate greed.”

In mountaintop removal mining, forests are clear-cut, explosives blast apart the rock, and machines scoop out exposed coal. The earth left behind is dumped into valleys, often covering intermittent streams.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmentalists and other protesters rallied Monday in the nation’s capital to urge the Obama administration to end mountaintop removal mining, saying the coal removal process pollutes water and causes other environmental calamities.

The crowd of several hundred mostly youthful ralliers carried signs like “Blowing Up Mountains for Coal Poisons People” and “Mountain ecosystems won’t grow back.” Some carried small white crosses adorned with messages such as “water pollution” and “corporate greed.”

In mountaintop removal mining, forests are clear-cut, explosives blast apart the rock, and machines scoop out the exposed coal. The earth left behind is dumped into valleys, often covering intermittent streams.

Coal operators say it’s the most efficient way to reach some reserves, supports tens of thousands of jobs and provides coal for electric power plants across much of the South and East. They staged their own pro-mountaintop mining rally here two weeks ago

The Environmental Protection Agency has taken steps to rein in mountaintop removal mining, but the protesters Monday called for a total ban.

“You cannot regulate destruction,” organizer Maria Gunnoe told the crowd at Freedom Plaza, a few blocks from the White House.

The ralliers had a hippie, counterculture vibe, with some sporting face piercings and many of the young men bearded. Some stood in circles holding hands, and folk music played from the stage.

Jeremy Cherson, a senior at American University in Washington, had a mandolin around his neck and held a carrot and stick in his hand. He said the carrot was a plea for clean energy and the stick was actions like Monday’s rally. He said he skipped a class on critical social thought to attend the rally.

“My professor said that was fine — this is critical and social,” he said.

Joe Stanley, 60, a retired coal miner from Prichard, W. Va., said he wasn’t against coal. He said the country couldn’t get off coal even if it had a plan — “and we don’t have a plan. But we can take problems out of coal. Mountaintop mining is too high a price to pay.”

The protesters planned a march and protest at the White House later in the day.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 18,000 other followers