Archive | July, 2010

Direct Action, New Oil Spill and Increasing Protests All Over the World

29 Jul

100 Russian protesters moved in direct action in protest of the coming Sochi Winter Olympics on Wednesday night, attacking Khimki City Hall with molotov cocktails, bottles and fireworks and spraypainting slogans such as “Save Russian forests” and “No to Khimki forest clearing.”

In more traditional enviro-action style, Greenpeace shut down 46 BP Stations in London on Tuesday. Fencing off the petrol stations and putting up snarky signs stating “Moving Beyond Petroleum,” Greenpeace’s protests come at a time of rising anger towards the English company, since 30% of the UK owns BP stock, and the company has just reported over $17 billion dollars of losses due to the Deep Horizon explosion.

Greenpeace also lead a demonstration in Canada against the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, which would build a pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia, after an Enbridge pipeline burst in Michigan on Monday. The broken pipeline has already leaked over 819,000 gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River, exposing the dangers of Enbridge’s future plans to pump over a million barrels of oil across Canada every day. Back to the nitty gritty: the protest consisted of 4 activists who chained themselves to the entrance doors of the 6th floor offices of Burrard and West Pender, a company invested in the Northern Gateway Project. With oil fresh from the Gulf of Mexico, they scrawled “BC Next” on the glass doors to which they are apparently still locked after over a day of protest!

In other protest news, another environmental protest was broken up by police in Eurasia, this time in Armenia as protesters demanded that financial institutions like the VTB Bank stop funding the controversial Teghut copper mine. . This comes just a week after a mass civil disobedience environmental protest was suppressed in Croatia.

In India, activists continue to protest the Vedanta AGM mining project in Orissa, in Kansas, an uproar has been raised against a feedlot expansion in an already contaminated area, and in China a propylene pipeline burst, killing 12 and dumping thousands of tons of chemicals into local water supplies. 4.2 million people were without water for a day, marking the latest in a series of disasters, natural and man-made, which have marked this Summer in the ravaged countryside. To give an indication, due to flooding, the 3-Gorges Dam is already at 90% capacity.

News Wrap-up

25 Jul

New York City is planning on killing 170,000 geese, because of a flight that crashed last year. The massacre is opposed by State Senator Adams.

BP is beginning construction on an offshore drill in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Libya. Meanwhile, Tony Hayward is stepping down as CEO of BP. Strawmen burn faster when they’re coated with oil.

In England, 7 massive machines were sabotaged at the Cutacre Coal Mine. In Stanford, a mass die-in was conducted against the transportation of nuclear waste. Meanwhile, in Ireland, the “Beat the Boreholes” campaign of direct action to stop Shell Oil in Broadhaven Bay was launched, meeting with violence from local police immediately.

Zagreb, Croatia, seemed united in common interest as a mass, public demonstration peacefully blocked construction equipment from eliminating a pedestrian area for the sake of a traffic ramp into a parking lot. Police reacted with mass arrests, hauling 140 protesters away regardless of the outcry.

The President of Costa Rica is making executive decrees, circumventing forestry laws in order to usher in an open pit Gold Mine in Crucitas, one of the region’s most crucial ecological hotspots. Take action here.

And finally, for urban sustainability, rewilding, recycling and community organizing:

Wilderness Update, y’all

25 Jul

The Cedar Mesa Wilderness Bill seems to be dwindling in government bureaucracy. A new group is forming called Friends of Cedar Mesa, consisting of residents of Blanding, Bluff and Monticello as well as citizens from the Navajo Nation, in order to maintain activism around the wilderness designation of 450,000 acres of high plateau in Southeastern Utah. Cedar Mesa is seen as “one of the richest repositories of pre-Columbian ancestral history” according to Patty Henetz of the Salt Lake City Tribune.

A Senate Committee unanimously approved the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act, which would protect 350,000 acres in Do-a Ana County, New Mexico. The bill, which the Obama administration claims to support, contains a 2 mile buffer zone around the wilderness area, but grants Border Patrol the right to conduct operations within the boundary.

From atop the Mendocino National Forest all the way down to Lake Berryessa, a 436,077 acre conservation area is being proposed in California. Called the Berryessa Snow Mountain conservation area, the proposed land would include parcels from Glenn, Colusa, Lake, Yolo, Napa, Mendocino and Solano counties.

Southwest Regional Rondy Announced

25 Jul

Plans are in the works for a Southwest Bio-Regional Earth First! Rendezvous and Organizers’ Conference, August 20-22, in the beautiful San Luis Valley of Colorado. The rendezvous site is near the town of Saguache, in the Rio Grande National Forest. Exact site location and directions will be released some time in early August.

We’re seeking teachers and trainers to help facilitate workshops in direct action, civil disobedience, forest defense, eco-defense, and more… We must build the skill sets and face to face relationships of trust and affinity necessary to effectively defend our bio-regions and land bases.

The size and organization of this event will in many ways reflect our current state as a force to be reckoned with in the Southwest, which is to say that this will be a small gathering with less structure and organization than other rendezvous in bio-regions where the EF! presence is more established and experienced.

Though an informal communal kitchen will be formed, please come prepared for self-sufficiency and inclement weather. Water for filtration or other purification is available on site.

Contact for more info or to get involved.

Solidarity News

22 Jul

The Teamsters teamed up with the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, Clean New York and WEACT for Environmental Justice as well as concerned parents, students and consumer activists to protest plastic toys at Toys R Us. The protest called for an end to the “toxic toy story” of exploitation.

First Nations peoples protested the tar sands in northeastern Alberta. The Athabasca Chipewyan and Mikisew Cree First Nations are resisting the tar sands due to the drainage of water resources and the destruction of ecosystems and wildlife among other things.

And for those of you who just can’t do without a little bit of direct action, SORRY! the bite back website is down. In other Animal Rights news, however, Jordan Halliday needs your support! He is facing a year in prison for refusing to comply with a grand jury investigation pertaining to an ALF mink farm liberation. Earlier this month, one of the defendants in that investigation, Alex Hall, was served a 21 month prison sentence.

And finally, for a long overdue story: five activists were arrested in a daring blockade of a primate research facility in good old Oregon earlier this month. The five are awaiting trial for obstructing traffic to the infamous Oregon National Primate Research Center, guilty of the torture and murder of healthy Rhesus Monkeys in the name of illegal and sadist scientific research.

Hugh and Tiga sign plea agreement

20 Jul

“Details of the Agreement: Hugh and Gina each pled guilty to 2 counts of trespassing (class A misdemeanor) and were each sentenced to two years non-reporting probation and a $10 fine, plus court costs. According to the deal, if they don’t violate their terms of probation, they will be able to move to have it terminated at 15 months and this motion will be accepted.”

see the full article here (Infoshop) or here (Denver ABC)

Sochi Protests, News Roundup

20 Jul

Protests in Sochi, Russia, have been getting physical, as police and activists have clashed over days of intense action. 4,000 gathered to protest in Sochi as radicals built barricades in the Khimki forests.

Two home demonstrations staged against supporters of notorious animal abusers, Hundinton Life Sciences occurred over the weekend in the DC area.

Just to keep up with policy issues, the EPA is reassessing fracking and natural gas drilling. Unfortunately, the EPA’s crackdown on coal permits has already brought on a lawsuit from the coal industry.

In mysterious news, 530 penguins, numerous sea birds, five dolphins and three giant sea turtles have been found washed up on the shore of Brazil. The University of Sao Paulo is looking into reasons for this strange incidences.

News Roundup

17 Jul

For all those saying the environmental movement needs to accept the Tea Baggers, now’s your chance. Tea party folks convened on the 15th to protest the new $303 million LG Chem lithium ion battery in Holland, MI. Don’t get too excited though. Tea Baggers are also fighting against the restoration of the Everglades in Florida – one of the only ‘stimulous’ projects that makes sense.

More protests going on in the last few days include a demonstration against off-shore drilling in Lafayette, LA, and PETA’s ongoing protests against the animal abusing and absurd circus in Los Angeles.

Earth First! News is currently sending you the news live from the Animal Rights Conference (AR 2010). Things are going smoothly, but i hear thar be pirates abound, yo ho…

Earth First! Locks Down to Forest Service Office in NC

14 Jul

On Monday July 12th, Earth First! held a large protest outside
of the Forest Service office on Zillicoa St. in Asheville to protest the commercial logging of national forests and their continued plan to cut the Globe Forest in Blowing Rock, NC. One member u-locked his neck to the office front door. As negotiations continue on this timber sale to remove an old-growth stand from the project, Earth First! wishes to call attention to the continued exploitation of our disappearing forests by timber companies. Recent studies show the United States now leads all developed countries in deforesting its land the fastest, and this trend is most prevalent in the Southeast.

The Globe Forest provides important habitat and nesting sites for woodpeckers and migratory songbirds whose numbers are declining due to forest fragmentation. The Forest Service continues to cut stands of trees that are directly connected to old-growth forest communities, causing destructive edge effects, and they have refused to provide a buffer because it is not required in their “Forest Plan.” Treating and cutting these stands will cause erosion, soil destruction, and will pollute the nearby streams with herbicides. Until all of Thunderhole Creek is protected, Earth First! will campaign to stop the cut.

Earth First! Demands That the Forest Service in North Carolina:

-stop attempting to cut old-growth habitats including any stands connected
to these rare areas.
-put an end to all commercial logging in our national forests
-immediately revise the Forest Plan to include rehabilitating previous
clear-cuts into early successional habitat instead cutting healthy, mature
forest expanses.
-an end to road building in our national forests

“Any cuts within the Globe will affect vital old-growth ecosystems and our stance is to end all commercial logging of our national forests,” says Joseph Ferguson, a Croatan Earth First! activist. “Historically the Forest Service has catered to timber companies, but we believe the public does not support logging in our National Forests.”

Radical action in UK

12 Jul

Hundreds protested at Whitsand Bay against the dumping of river waste at the Rame Head dump site.

Other more radical acts of direct action in defense of the planet have also occurred as saboteurs have destroyed 3 cell towers over the past few weeks.

Finally, two activists who locked down to blockade a peat bog extraction machinery have been found innocent.