Archive | October, 2010

Montana Protest: Latest in Movement to Stop Oil Shipments

31 Oct

Yesterday, a group of protesters gathered outside an Exxon station in Missoula to fight dependence upon fossil fuels. (Click here for more.) Rising Tide is among several organizations (see related story) seeking to halt the shipment of hundreds of pieces of equipment from the Port of Lewiston, Idaho, through Montana and into the Alberta tar sands in Canada. Each loaded rig would fill an entire two-lane road. Click here for a great article on the germinating movement to keep hundreds of big rigs off the two-lane highways of Montana and Idaho.

Indigenous Blockade of Major River Ends in Peru, New info on I-69, more

30 Oct

About 4,000 indigenous people ended their blockade of the Marañon river of the Peruvian Amazon today after meeting with representatives of the regional government and the company they are protesting against, Argentina’s Pluspetrol. After an oil spill in June, the Peruvian government had been distributing food and goods to the people most affected in the region; however, with Pluspetrol declaring the pollution problem resolved, the government has cut off aid, in spite of indigenous complains that problems continue to occur. The agreement reached maintains peace on both sides—the oil corporation and the indigenous peoples—until the government’s water authority can test the waters of the Marañon for pollution. To read more, click here.

In the US, the Huffington Post reports that inDOT is planning even further environmental damage in their proposed new route for the NAFTA Super Highway (AKA I-69): “Pressed for funds to cover the cost of building the controversial Interstate 69 extension through southern Indiana, the Indiana Department of Transportation wants to cut corners by running a causeway across the floodplain of the East Fork of the White River. That would essentially dam the wide floodplain and increase flooding upstream after heavy rains, filling the cornfields that grow along the river.” for more info, click here.

In other news, the Dam-free designation of Turkey’s İkizdere Valley is threatened by new laws presented by corporate interests. Click here for more.

Halliburton Used Unstable Cement in Deep Horizon

29 Oct

According to the New York Times:
“Halliburton and BP knew weeks before the fatal explosion of the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico that the cement mixture they planned to use to seal the bottom of the well was unstable but still went ahead with the job, the presidential commission investigating the accident said on Thursday.” Read more…
Today’s discovery about Halliburton is yet another reason to protest the oil and gas industry on Nov 3rd in Pittsburgh.

230 Animals Die in Tar Sands Tragedy

27 Oct

Workers are seen with a row of oil-soaked waterfowl at Syncrude’s Mildred Lake Settling Basin, 40km north of Fort McMurray Oct. 26th 2010. Over 200 birds were euthanized after landing on the settling pond

The Canadian Press is reporting that more than 200 birds died this week after landing on gooey, toxic tailing ponds in the Alberta oil fields — just days after oil giant Syncrude agreed to pay more than $3 millionCDN in a 2008 incident in which 1600 ducks died. This week, over 230 ducks had to be euthanized after seeking refuge, apparently from an ice storm, on Syncrude’s Mildred Lake tailings pond which, the Canadian wire service reports, contains “a thick brew of poisonous oilsands byproduct.”
Just a few hours after the Alberta government announced the incident, the Canadian Broadcast Corp. reported that similar incidents had also occurred this week at ponds owned by Shell and Suncor in the area. Suncor said “a small number” of birds had been euthanized, and Shell released a statement saying two birds had been found dead.

Activists on Second Week of Hunger Strike

27 Oct

On Oct. 22 three Costa Rican environmental activists marked two weeks on hunger strike against the projected Las Crucitas open-pit gold mine in San Carlos in the north of the country. Some 14 activists from two organizations, the North Front Against Mining and the Not One Mine Coordinating Committee, began the action on Oct. 8 in an encampment in front of the Presidential Residence in San José. Most of the 14 ended their fast for medical reasons but continued to support the three remaining strikers. Click here for more.

Idaho Refuses to Protect Wolves

26 Oct

The Idaho governor has told state officials to no longer protect endangered gray wolves or investigate their deaths.

For the past couple of months I’ve been following the story of the gray wolf’s endangered status in the US northwest. The gray wolf was originally listed as an endangered species in 1974, and the species underwent a lengthy recovery process that involved introducing populations from Canada into the US.

click here for more info.

Indigenous Activist Killed by Indonesdian Police

25 Oct

The West Papuan highlands have been plunged into a state of tension and fear, as Indonesian police shot dead a member of the indigenous community security group, Defenders of the Land of Papua. Indigenous Papuan activists are operating in a state of increased repression, surveillance and militarization backed by the Indonesian state’s supporters in the …

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Animal Rights Activists Jailed in UK, Week of Action Rages On

25 Oct

Amidst a stirring week of solidarity protests against animal cruelty, British courts jailed five animal rights activists today for “violence and terror” against Huntingdon Life Sciences.
The five activists work with Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an organization dedicated to ending the sale and breeding of animals for systematic torture in the name of “science.” According to, “Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) are the largest contract testing laboratory in Europe. They have about 70,000 animals on site, including rabbits, cats, hamsters, dogs, guinea-pigs, birds and monkeys. These animals are destined to suffer and die in cruel, useless experiments… Taking action is coming on demonstrations, writing letters, making phone calls, sending emails or faxes, telling other people about the campaign, distributing leaflets, fundraising, putting up posters and stickers. Action is whatever you can do to close down the hell-hole that is Huntingdon Life Sciences. We all have our part to play and we can all take effective action to close HLS down.”
After a lengthy police investigation involving the equivalent of about $8 million dollars, Sarah Whitehead, Nicole Vosper, Thomas Harris, Jason Mullan and Nicola Tapping were given prison sentences of between 15 months and six years. Mullan, Tapping and Fitzpatrick all admitted conspiracy to harm HLS from 2005 to 2008 under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 by interfering with companies supplying Huntingdon Life Sciences.
For the alleged crimes of mailing hoax bombs to homes and offices, making threats of violence, daubing abusive graffiti on property, and sending used tampons in the post, Whitehead has been jailed for six years, Harris for four years, Vosper for three and a half, Mullan to three years, Tapping to 15 months. Whitehead also received a 10-year Antisocial Behaviour Order banning her from taking part in animal rights activities. The others received five-year ASBOs on the same terms.
Alfie Fitzpatrick, the sixth and youngest member of the group of co-defendants, received a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.
This recent wave of repression is nothing new to SHAC. Seven SHAC activists (or SHACtivists) were imprisoned in the UK in January 2009—including its founders Avery and Nicholson, who received nine and eleven year sentences respectively—for allegedly blackmailing companies linked to HLS, and in the US, six members of SHAC were imprisoned for up to six years for nothing more than running a website.
Still, SHAC maintains its international network of activists who came out in force this week to drop banners, stage protests and express their dissent against an industry that subjects the wild to its sadistic urge to torture and kill. This week’s “Scary Science Solidarity” actions include a banner drop at the home of an executive officer of US NOMURA, SHAC financier; home demonstrations against a big Fortress shareholder and HLS customer, as well as a protest at the UK Embassy in Washington DC; a protest outside of HLS in Suffolk, and more protests in London among other places.

44 Activists Illegally Plant Trees Against Mountaintop Removal

24 Oct

44 volunteer ‘reclamation workers’ (activists) illegally marched onto a supposedly reclaimed mine site to plant trees. Why? Because the ‘reclamation’ efforts done by the mining company resulted in a barren hillside with sparse grass and baking sun – a far cry from the lush and diverse forest destroyed in the process.
After negotiating with the police and planting all the trees, all activists were allowed to leave the site without repurcussions. Former EF! journalista John Johnson said, “The coal industry does not attempt to return the landscape to its previous biodiversity – leaving it up to the citizens to reclaim it themselves. Fixing the ruined landscape will provide long term jobs for those put out of work by the abolition of mountaintop removal.”
Click here for more.

Biomass Plant Raises Concerns in Oregon, plus Major Protest in Russia

24 Oct

About 275 people gathered at a local church this month to share information and to organize testimony for a Monday night hearing before Clackamas County planning commissioners. Nearby residents and farmers fear the facility could forever alter their neighborhood with increased traffic, noise and dust and threaten their water supply in an area dependent on well water. Click here for more.

Greenpeace and other organizations brought together 200 activists today in the centre of the Russian city of Saint Petersburg to protest the impact on the environment of a series of government projects. Among the schemes at the centre of the protest was a plan to reopen a cellulose factory on the shores of Lake Baikal in Siberia as well as a stalled project to build a highway through a forest near Moscow. Click here for more.