Archive | August, 2010

News from Humboldt Forest Defenders!

23 Aug

Last week, police and loggers commenced operations in Humboldt that will clear acres of redwoods if carried out.

Early Wednesday morning, forest defenders set up a 60ft high blockade to prevent loggers from accessing the Jacoby Creek watershed. With activists suspended 60 feet in the air on a platform connected by ropes to the trees in their midst, loggers and police severed the life line, seriously endangering the life of Fly, one of the suspended protesters. Police also arrested the support activist (allegedly for an outstanding traffic warrant). Hanging by a proverbial thread, Fly insisted, “This is about global eco-cide. We are doing this to preserve life on this planet, to fight climate change, loss of species and threats to our ability to survive.”

After two full days, Fly descended. In a dispatch sent on Friday, he explained, “Last night I was forced to evacuate the Skypod. Under a blanket of darkness, I evaded the security guard and walked away to safety. Because of the way Green Diamond and the Sherrifs had cut and retied my life-line, I was unable to see my anchor and my platform kept slipping farther toward the ground. By the time I rappelled down, I was hanging about 35 feet below where I had started Wednesday morning. I could not see how much of the rope was left to slip through the knot until I eventually would drop. I was in fear for my safety. If this company and the sheriffs put someone’s life on a knot, they should know a little more about what they’re doing.” The loggers were eventually able to pass through the blockade, but forest defenders are maintaining an active presence in the trees in spite of Green Diamond’s 24 hour security watch.

The company has 430,000 acres in the north coast region of California and much more in Oregon and Washington where they also clear-cut and spray herbicides on the forest from helicopters, sometimes poisoning local residents. According to their own documents, they plan to log around 500 acres more in Jacoby Creek in the next 10 years

For over 18 months, dedicated Earth First!ers have prevented the scourge of clearcutting by occupying the trees of the “MacKay Tract,” tying together 40 nodes to create a network of platforms and rigging that has been dubbed the “eco-topia” tree village. Although the tree village is not currently in danger, as cutting continues, it comes increasingly close to Green Diamond rapacious grasp.


Contact EF! Humboldt for more

email: contactefhum[at]gmail.com

phone: 707.845.8268

Update on Rod Coronado

21 Aug

by Ben Rosenfeld

On August 3, 2010, Rod Coronado was sentenced to four months in federal prison for allegedly violating the terms of his probation, i.e., for “associating” with Earth First! cofounder and former Greenpeace U.S.A. Director Mike Roselle, by accepting his “friendship” on Facebook, and for accessing an unauthorized computer outside his home. (There is no current evidence that the FBI surreptitiously surveiled Mr. Coronado’s Facebook account. Mike Roselle is a prominent environmental organizer and author, active most recently in the campaign to ban mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.)

The probation terms Mr. Coronado is said to have violated were not related to his most recent case, which resulted in a hung jury and a plea deal in 2008. In that case, a San Diego jury declined to convict Coronado for answering a question after a talk in which an audience member asked him how incendiary devices were made. (Coronado answered generally while holding up a jug of apple juice from the concession table; the government’s own presentation at trial contained far more detailed and accurate information.)

One probation term Mr. Coronado was accused of violating (the association term) was left over from his federal conviction in Arizona in 2005 for trying to disrupt a mountain lion hunt through peaceful means. The other (the computer monitoring term) was added by a federal judge in Michigan after Coronado moved there to help raise is son. The San Diego judge did not impose any computer conditions on Coronado, and had also told him he was free to associate with Earth First!ers, in part to spread the message that his views on activism had changed.

In August 2006, Mr. Coronado wrote a Statement from Prison renouncing property damage as a tactic and advocating social change through other means. He wrote, in part: “What our world needs now is a whole lot more love and a lot less violence. Nothing in this world will change overnight. But if we live peace and teach our children well, they might still inherit a world better than ours.”

Mr. Coronado has not veered from this message. He is not accused of any crime. He has been allowed to self-surrender to begin serving the four month sentence locked away from his children, his partner, and his community. His three year term of probation will begin anew upon his release.

Ben Rosenfeld is a San Francisco Civil Rights Attorney and Board Member of the Civil Liberties Defense Center based in Eugene, OR (www.cldc.org).

Announcements, Upcoming Events, and Protests Around the World!

20 Aug


From Environmental News Service: “Several hundred climate change activists today established a camp near the Royal Bank of Scotland’s global headquarters at Gogarburn west of Edinburgh. Campaigners with the grassroots group Camp for Climate Action say they are outraged that the bank – one of the world’s largest investors in coal, oil, and natural gas – was bailed out last year with £50 billion of public money. ”

From News24.com: “A group of Nigerian women in the country’s oil-rich south said on Friday they had blocked access to a Chevron natural gas pipeline to protest poor living conditions in their community. Women from the Ugborodo community in Delta State want Chevron to provide access to electricity and address damage to the environment, community leader Thomas Ereyitomi said. “They are not allowing access to the plant and to allow any form of operation to go on,” he said of the protesters. It is immoral for Chevron not to provide basic amenities in a community in which they operate and generate money.””

From WENY-TV News: “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo came to Ithaca Thursday to outline his campaign platform. When he arrived, he found hundreds of citizens protesting against Marcellus Shale drilling. Their message was loud and clear: protesters are not convinced the proper regulations are in place yet to go forward with drilling. They want Andrew Cuomo to assure them he’ll hold off on supporting hydrofracking, if elected to office. ”

From their press release: “American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, and other environmental groups today welcomed the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency and Bayer CropScience to cease production of the pesticide aldicarb in 2014, begin phasing out its more dangerous uses immediately, and end all uses by 2018…Based upon current toxicological studies, aldicarb at levels higher than those typically found in food has the potential to cause various human health effects such as sweating, nausea, dizziness and blurred vision, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.”


From Bloomberg: Peter de Haan has a tip. He’s investing in bees. Or more accurately, he’s investing in 500 young people to behave like bees. The project is called “S’warm,” and it’s the largest performance that the U.K.’s National Youth Theatre has put on. Massed youngsters will swarm across London to create site- specific happenings that highlight the recent alarming drop in the honeybee population. Over five days, the project travels from Battersea via the financial heart of the City to Canary Wharf, and is supported by the Peter de Haan Charitable Trust.

Saturday, September 11, Scott Kellog, co-founder of Albany’s Radix Ecological Sustainability Center (www.radixcenter.org) and co-author of the book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-it-Ourselves Guide, will lead a Phytoremediation workshop. He will introduce basic concepts in phytoremediation and some of the techniques for applying these concepts to the remediation of polluted water (living machines, constructed wetlands, etc). After an introduction, you will be lead in the construction of a mini ‘floating trash island’. Made out of construction debris and old soda bottles, the island will be planted with wetland plants, and then given the ultimate challenge; an inaugural float on the infamous Lavender Lake (aka Gowanus Canal). RSVP to expeditiongowanus@gmail.com.

Women from across the Southeast will gather at the 6th annual Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference on October 1-3, at Lake Eden in scenic Black Mountain, NC. With over 60 classes by more than 30 teachers, the weekend focuses on herbal education, nourishing foods, wholistic sexuality, and ecology. The conference, which has grown to over 600 participants over the last five years, will host special guest author, and internationally renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar.

GMO Crop Sabotage on the Rise

19 Aug

“Early Sunday morning, French police stood helpless as sixty people, locked inside an open-air field of genetically modified grapevines, uprooted all the plants. In Spain last month, dozens of people destroyed two GMO fields. On the millennial cusp, Indian farmers burned Bt cotton in their Cremate Monsanto campaign. Ignored by multinational corporations and corrupt public policy makers, citizens act to protect the food supply and the planet.”
Read the rest of the article by Rady Ananda here.

“An estimated 10,000 peasants gathered for a massive march in Central Haiti on June 4, 2010, to protest what has been described as “the next earthquake for Haiti” – a donation of 475 tons of hybrid corn seeds and vegetable seeds by the US-based agribusiness giant Monsanto, in partnership with USAID. None of these crops will produce viable seeds for future plantings and all require massive chemical inputs.”
Read more at Food for Freedom

Change, not victory. . .

19 Aug

Authorities in Honduras last week filed criminal charges against senior officials of Entremares – a wholly-owned subsidiary of mining giant Goldcorp – based on evidence from aid agency CAFOD of severe water contamination. This raises numerous questions about the ability of international courts and the Honduran judicial system of prosecute corporate criminals on criminal charges, which lay in a jurisdiction beyond that of Free Trade Agreements and the protection of international financial institutions like the WTO.

After raucous protests that have raged throughout the year, China may shut environmentally hazardous plants. The largest smelter of copper in the world, China has doubled its amount of ecological disasters this year, and the government is making a show of tightening regulations. In this case, the battle may be won, but the war is far from over.

Great article about fracking in Wyoming, Texas and Pennsylvania.

In attempts to remove pollutants from the diets of livestock, scientists are lacing cattle feed with oregano and decreasing its protein content. Although Atkins would be totally pissed, this seems to reduce the nitrogen present in the cows’ manure. Problems remain, however, as the totally cruel methods of livestock raising, mixed with the methane gas produced by ruminant animals, still provides what is arguably the worst source of pollution in the world.

From Bloomberg Businessweek: “Scientists have noted a possible increased risk for attention disorders in children who were exposed to organophosphate pesticides while in the womb. The effect was not significant at the age of 3 but clearly showed at age 5, according to the report from California researchers that appears in the Aug. 19 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.”

Also from Infoshop: “Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, among others, have been in a tizzy recently about the unpaving of roads. One result of Congress’s refusal to renew counter-cyclical stimulus grants to state and local government is that fiscally strapped governments are cutting back on highway maintenance. Specifically, dozens of counties in several states are replacing asphalt roads with gravel. As Maddow summarized, in her August 9 broadcast:
“The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the growing number of places across the country where local governments are unpaving the roads. They are turning paved roads into gravel roads because paved roads too expensive to maintain. It is not one little town‘s whacky Luddite solution. It‘s happening in North Dakota, more than 100 miles of road in South Dakota, in 38 counties in Michigan, and it‘s happening in Ohio, and it‘s happening in Alabama, and it‘s happening in Pennsylvania.”
… YAY!

Radical News from All Over the World!

18 Aug

To begin with, let’s follow up on the 15 activists arrested in Chile in simultaneous raids over the weekend. Yesterday they stood before a judge for the first time, as protesters railed against the justice system outside. Protesters were met by a ring of 120 police officers encircling the courthouse with firehoses, but that didn’t stop the mostly anarchist crowd from expressing its dissent publicly. We’re not quite sure what happened after that other than the fact that 25 activists were arrested for property damage.

In another follow-up story from last year, activists accused of organizing the peaceful protests that confronted the elitist fifteenth annual Conference of Parties (COP15) with the motives of egalitarian change for sustainable communities are calling out for solidarity. According to the group, calling themselves the Climate Collective, “The coming trials is [sic] not just about the fact that innocent people might be convicted, but about everybody’s fundamental right to demonstrate, protest, take action and organize politically. It is important that we do not sign away these rights, but continue the fight.” Check out their full statement and how to help here

Please visit Infoshop.org for their incredible article about the BP Oil Spill. According to the Huffington Post, University of Georgia scientists are contradicting BP’s claim that only a quarter of the oil spilled into the Gulf from their Deep Horizon well remains. Scientists are now saying that somewhere around 75% of the oil is still there. Props to Infoshop for keeping the environmental news flowing – 4 out of 10 of their top posts today are green, including the following.

A new pamphlet entitled Space for Movement has been released in order to broaden the discourse on the Bolivia Climate Conference and the global Climate Justice movement. You can order it for a donation here

Planet Drum Foundation is seeking volunteers for its Ecological City projects in Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador for durations of one month to three months. The projects are year-round, and we are always looking for help in furthering our bioregional mission.

The resistance in Honduras is calling for help. The coup that took over last year has flouted environmental laws, allowing illegal deforestation, retracting laws to curb the coastal devastation caused by fishing and tourism, and perpetuating cyanide leach mining by one of the worst international conglomerates on the planet, Goldcorp. Join with solidarity activists to see and understand the Honduras situation with your own eyes from Sept. 14-22, 2010. September 15 (Central American Independence Day) is the day the Honduran Resistance will present the results of their Consulta calling for a Constitutional Assembly. Our presence will help insure their safety. The cost is $750, which covers hotel, transportation, and most meals. International airfare is not included. For more information and an application, contact Dale Sorensen, 415/924-3227 or geodale1@earthlink.net. Sponsors are Alliance for Global Justice, Nonviolence International, SOA Watch, Task Force on the Americas

In Colombia, tomorrow the 1052 families that make up the Afro-Colombian community La Toma will be evicted from the land that they have lived on for almost 400 years. Afro-Colombians comprise among the top group of displaced peoples in the world, next to Darfur and Palestine, due to the Colombian government’s rapacious demand for rainforest timber and mono-crop palm oil production in one of the world’s top ecological hotspots, El Choco. Click here to make a difference

Peace Village Manchester is opening up on the 22nd. With just one week remaining before a brand new grass routes community sets up camp in the city, we are putting the final call out for villagers, visitors, performers, artists, healers, cooks, musicians, craftspersons, gardeners, and anything you feel our tent village may be able to use, if not another neighbour.

And finally, a reminder (blatant commercial) that the Very Very Basic Strawbale Workshop is coming up at the end of Sept. So if you were wondering if you might someday want to build your dream cabin in the woods – but didn’t want to spend a fortune only to find out that manual labor is not for you – come spend the weekend with us. We will touch on all the various steps required to build a much larger project, but in very small manageable bits. The weather is usually quite nice this time of year, so no excuses. Check out this workshop at Blue Rock Station web site.

Oil Pipeline Explosion, 14 arrested in KC Nuclear Power Protest, Florida Action Against Scripps

17 Aug


Against Nuclear
75 protesters blocked the entrance of a construction site where a new nuclear power plant is being built to replace an old nuclear facility, which became notorious for ignoring safety violations and contamination. Protesters came from 12 states to protest the Honeywell site, close to the Missouri border. They planted seeds and sang songs until being issued an order to disperse by police. 14 people refused to leave and were arrested.

Pipeline Explosion
An oil pipeline explosion accident happened in Dalian, North-Eastern China. The fire was put out after approximately 15 hours of burning. The cause of the accident is still under investigation. At least one man has died during clean-up efforts. According to CCTV, about 400,000 gallons of oil was spilled into the Yellow Sea. Five days after the explosion oil had reportedly spread over an area of 430 square kilometers (The BP oil spills at the Gulf of Mexico was over 100 million gallons).

Anti-Scripps
On August 11th anti-vivisection and anti-Scripps activists held a demonstration at the offices Primate Products Inc in Miami, Florida. Over twenty activists gathered at the facility making the connections between Primate Products, Hunting Life Sciences and the new vivisection labs proposed for the Scripps Biotech Phase II project in Palm Beach County (one hour north of the Miami site). The protesters overheard that employees of the primate dealer were tipped off by police about the
protest and left the office early that day.

These demonstrations have been increasing in size and frequency as the time draws nearer for the final permits to allow Scripps Biotech to break ground on the largest vivarium known in the Southeast U.S. To top off this ultimate clash between life and science, the Scripps development also
proposes to clear 700 acres of rare pine flatwoods, home to threatened and endangered species of the Everglades bioregion.

14 Detained in Simultaneous Raids throughout Chile!

16 Aug

On Saturday, Chilean police raided four houses simultaneously throughout the capital of Santiago, arresting 14 people suspected of a spate of bombings against banks and businesses. Most of the bombings were carried out in defense of the Earth and animals.

The houses that were raided include squats and radical collective houses:
Okupa La Crota, CSO Sacco y Vanzetti, CSA Jonny Cariqueo, Okupa La Crota.

A partial list of the arrested follows:
Diego González Muños y el de Vinicio Aguilera Mery, Rodolfo Retamales Leiva, Freddy Fuentevilla y Marcelo Villarroel, Felipe Guerra Guajardo, Cristian Cancino Carrasco, Carlos Riveros Luttgue, Camilo Pérez Tamayo, Iván Goldenberg González, Pablo Morales Furiman, Omar Hermosilla Marín Andrea Urzúa Cid

Learn more here:Urgente! Golpe represivo del Estado/Capital: 14 detenidos en allanamientos simultaneos por “caso bombas” [chile]

In other news, The Forest Service is releasing plans for managing off-road vehicles across Arizona and New Mexico, which, if done right, would protect millions of acres of land after decades of mismanagement. But if they fail to focus on protecting wildlife habitat and watersheds from fragmentation and erosion, the long-overdue plans could be profoundly damaging, leaving thousands of miles of unneeded roads on the ground and wreaking havoc on forest ecosystems. (from a press release by the Center for Biological Diversity)

And in Finland, as a response to frightening developments in nuclear energy, the anti-nuclear movement is blocking the roads to the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant and construction site. On August 28th, 2010 the Olkiluoto Blockade will take place. The action day was first launched by Nuclear Free Finland, Women for Peace, Action Group for a Nuclear Free Åland, Friends of the Earth Finland and Women against Nuclear Power. By now, 24 groups in have endorsed the action and this number grows daily. Join the blockade today!

Michigan Heats Up, Fingerlakes anti-Fracking, Thousands Protest Climate Change

15 Aug

From AAP: “Tens of thousands of protesters – and a few sceptics – have taken to the streets across Australia to urge the major political parties to take action on climate change.”

Debate is raging in Syracuse over a new law that is set to be in the books by August 26. A community forum was scheduled for this Thursday, but has been put off, allegedly due to the huge number of people expected to come lend their opinions. Get ready for a raucous meeting, whenever it’s scheduled for.

Eagle Rock encampment is back in force.
From savethewildup.org:
“On Sunday, after the walk to Eagle Rock we set up camp on the Yellow Dog Plains. It is a new camp to bring awareness to the world of how Sulfide Mining in the Great Lakes is going to pollute our fish, wildlife, and people. We are going to fish, hunt, and gather on our Ceded Territories of the Anishinaabeg people. We will be learning how to live off the land like our ancestors did before we were moved to reservations. By having this camp we are continuing our presence in opposition of the Kennecott Mine. We will not give up fighting to protect our water. Come join us to help preserve the health and safety of our future.”

All are welcome to camp or visit at the new location: AAA Road 1/2 mile east of the mine entrance on the south side of AAA, there is blue flagging tape on the tree. This is private land owned by the Rydholm family, much of it older growth with ample shade and protection. The camp maintains a spirit of nonviolence and sobriety. Donations of food and supplies are welcome.”

News Roundup: Radical Action in Ireland, Greece, and more. . .

13 Aug

A new Climate Camp was set up yesterday in County Tyrone, Ireland, to stand in the way of a proposed highway— the A5 Western Transit Corrodor between Londonderry and Augnacloy. Forging alliances with the local communities and activists at the Alternative A5 Alliance, the Climate Camp is an explicitly anarchist project determined to continue staging actions until Monday in order to draw attention to the unnecessary and foolish increase of an already bloated traffic system.

Also in Ireland, the Beat the Boreholes campaign, coming out of Rossport Solidarity Camp, has produced several dynamic, direct actions against Shell’s plans to build a pipeline through Ireland to a refinery from a drill site off the coast of Rossport in County Mayo. According to EF! UK, at the end of July, “10 campaigners waded out to one of the rigs drilling boreholes in the Sruwaddacon estuary the rig at high tide, fixed rope around the legs of the rig, and occupied the space underneath it to prevent the being moved to a new site. Work was delayed for around two hours.”
One week later, “11 people from Rossport Solidarity Camp waded and kayaked out from the camp to again delay Shell’s survey work in Sruwaddacon Estuary. Overall drilling work was stopped for over 5 hours, with one person climbing up one of the legs of the drilling platforms. Several people also attached themselves to the 2 outer drilling poles which are under the platforms.”
The next day, “9 Campers wadded and kayaked out to the platforms this morning and halted work for 1 and half hours. IRMS workers eventually secured the area by pushing people away and dragging their kayaks down the estuary. Kayaks were deflated by security and some people were dangerously forced to swim in high currents. There were no arrests.”
Less than a week later, 6 kayakers evaded half a dozen security boads and two coast guard-style boats, to reach a survey barge being towed to its destination, the Sruth Fhada Chonn estuary Special Area of Protection, by “claiming free passage of the public estuary.” 2 out of the 6 kayaks made it to the moving barge, after giving chase for an hour and a half. No arrests were made.
More here

In news from the US, the Buckeye Forest Council is calling out for people to write in to protect Ohio’s forests. The Forest Stewardship Council is already assessing Ohio’s forests to come to terms with timber companies by ensuring that “responsible” timber harvesting is possible (not likely!). Now, Ohio Senators seem poised to move towards harvesting trees for “renewable biomass.” In other words, they want to burn trees instead of coal to stop global warming.

Finally, for Greek Environmental radicalism. Thracean Gold, is waiting for permission from Greek authorities to move forward with mining in Thrace. Despite the defeat of Canadian gold mining giants TVX in Halkidiki through decades of direct action and legal challenges, Thracean Gold seems to remain hopeful. Click here for more.
The use of cyanide Gold Mining, which has been outlawed in other European countries, has seen health problems and even deaths of local people and the death of birds and other wildlife.

11 years ago a bombing attack was attempted against the government agency responsible for approving gold mining in Greece. Click here for the statement of Nikos Maziotis taking responsibility for fighting the TVX
gold mine plan as a manifestation of the impacts of capitalism and state.

Maziotis was again picked April 10, 2010 up on charges relating to
ongoing underground resistance, and has since gone on hunger strike to demand visitation with his pregnant partner, who was also picked up for her role in the same group:

both can be written at:

Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis
Dikastiki Filaki Koridallou
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Nikos was arrested on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, together with Gournas and Roupa, he admitted to taking part in said group.

Panayiota “Pola” Roupa
Kleisti Kentriki Filaki Ginaikon
Korydallos
T.K. 18110 Athens
Greece

Roupa was arrested with five other comrades on April 10, 2010 and charged with participating in Revolutionary Struggle. On April 29, she admitted to taking part in said group via an open letter co-written with Nikolaos “Nikos” Maziotis and Constantinos “Costas” Gournas. Due to her advanced stage of pregnancy, she has been transferred from Elaionas to Athens, where she is currently waiting to be brought to hospital.

From ‘Revolutionary Struggle Three’: A POLITICAL LETTER TO SOCIETY
“Anyone who looked closely at the trajectory of Revolutionary Struggle would understand the obsolescence of the assertions by the political establishment and its henchmen in the media about how our actions “constitute a threat to all of society.” Which of our actions terrorized society or were directed against it?…Did the attack against the multinational Shell—which for decades has plundered the natural resources of many countries, exploited entire peoples, and contributed to the destruction of the planet—terrorize the population?”

Other greek prisoners addresses can be found in English here.

For an EF! Primer in Greek, go here