Archive | October, 2010

200 Protest Shell in LA, Environmental Protests Turn Violent in Italy, plus more

23 Oct

More than 200 people — led by environmental activist Erin Brockovich — marched to Shell’s oil refinery in Carson to protest the company’s refusal to take responsibility for the contamination of a tract in the Carousel neighborhood, where high levels of benzene and methane have been found in the ground. For more, click here.

Villagers, organizations and people from all walks of life have ended logging in one of India’s more aged forests. Click here for more.

Five police officers have been hurt after several hours of street fighting around a blockade set up by protesters who are fighting a new garbage dump in a small Italian town. The dump would be placed on the outskirts of a protected area of rare wildlife and plants, which includes Mount Vesuvius, itself. Click here for more.

Environmental groups all over New York state are rallying against the firing of State Environment Commissioner Pete Grannis. Pete had been resisting the firing of 200 other state environmental employees when he was let go for alleged “insubordination.” Click here for more.

Canada Tar Sands Hits Bump in the Road

23 Oct

Arguably the single worst industrial project in the world, the Canada Tar Sands is so big that if Canada stopped all other industrial projects, it still wouldn’t reach Kyoto Protocol Requirements. But the Tar Sands might be given a rest, as plucky residents of Idaho and Montana refuse to have their roads expanded to meet the transportation needs of Big Oil. “I have never really seen so many people have such a unified voice against a project,” said Nick Stocks, a co-founder of Northern Rockies Rising Tide, a climate change advocacy group in Missoula, Montana. The proposed route would shave thousands of miles off the transportation of huge machinery from manufacturer in the US to point of oil production in Alberta, but protesters and residents see this as a political choke point—no more road expansion, no more tar sands, no more climate change. As one advocate stated in a New York Times article on the subject,“We’re really very nice people… Unless you’re a big oil company.”

Political Ecology Purge in New York State, more drilling in the West

22 Oct

Pete Grannis, “the (New York) commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Conservation since 2007, was fired Thursday by Gov. David Paterson for what a state source ascribed to “poor performance and insubordination.”” click here for more. In reality, he was fired for raising questions surrounding the firing of 200 other DEC workers in New York State’s recent purging of opposition to natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. more here.

In other drilling news, the Bureau of Land Management is opening lands in the West to oil drilling. This week, the BLM’s Washington, D.C., Office has completed its review of three nominations for oil shale Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) leases in Colorado and Utah. These second-round leases would allow the proponents to test the feasibility of various oil shale recovery technologies on public lands in the two states. The nominations will now be forwarded to the agency’s Colorado and Utah State Offices for the next phase in the review process. See the whole story here

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas recently appeared at a Koch Industries shindig soon after the Supreme Court handed down a major decision on campaign finance law that Koch Industries quickly utilized, which states that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money on federal elections. Koch Industries is an energy company that deals with minerals, refining, etc., and it is also the second largest private corporation in the US behind Cargill (the multinational agribusiness conglomerate) and it spreads its money far and wide (on conservative issues).

Support Rod Coronado

21 Oct

There is a new support site up for Rod Coronado at Rod is facing four months in federal prison for probation violation after friending Mike Roselle on facebook. He is facing a renewed 3 year probation upon release.
If you can, please consider donating to his commissary fund for winter clothes, and send letters of support or used paperbacks in a manila envelope to Rod at the following address
*Rodney Coronado, Register #03895-000*
FCI Milan
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Milan, MI 48160
According to a recent post on the support site, “Over the weekend, Rod’s partner, Chrysta, and two children, were finally allowed to visit Rod! It was long overdue and eagerly anticipated. Rod seemed healthy, and reaching into that deeper place which is necessary to sustain oneself in such a place created to remove all power.
He was extremely happy to have his little ones climbing all over him once more, and they were glued to him the entire 5 hours! Unfortunately, the prison is non-contact which means Chrysta and Rod were unable to hold hands or be affectionate except at the beginning and end of the visitation.”

Vedanta Resources Denied Again, more

21 Oct

Today India denied Vedanta Resources permission for a six-fold expansion of its aluminium refinery in Orissa state over environmental concerns, dealing a fresh blow to the British company. Just two months ago, Vedanta was rejected in trying to mine bauxite on sacred indigenous lands thanks to prolonged campaigns by environmental groups, indigenous rights organization, Survival International, and an inchoate guerilla uprising in the area. Vedanta is so environmentally immoral that it is currently fighting to buy up the Indian subsidiary of Cairn, the Scottish-based company that is also exploring for oil in the Arctic, and the most recent decision against them may indicate some movement in the direction of biodiversity by the Indian government.

Minutemen Slammed at Screening
On the 15th, about ten protesters met Robert Crooks outside the theater with chants of “No Nazis No KKK No Fascist USA” while holding a banner that said “World Without Borders” while dozens of festival attendees, curious bystanders and security observed. Robert Crooks wasn’t hard to spot in full body camouflage fatigues as he arrogantly taunted the crowd. Later after Crooks had several drinks at the bar, he was slammed with eggs as he was trying to leave the festival.
The film screened again the next day at the same time as protesters marched just a few blocks away on Michigan Avenue for the Midwest Regional Anti-war action. As the Q & A session started after the film, several people were able to disrupt Robert Crooks with shouts of “Racist Pig!” to Crooks and the film crew, bringing the screening to an abrupt end as security shut down the Q & A session while struggling to escort protesters outside.
The antifascist work activists are doing against paramilitaries on the border fit in nicely with the deep ecological understanding of the superficial nature of political borders. The environmental destruction of the border wall and border security, from helicopters to offroad vehicles, leads us all to the same confluence of struggle, while the economic causes of migration illustrate the necessity to resist infrastructure, development and free trade.

Roselle, Climate Ground Zero Activists Granted Continuance
EF! cofounder, Mike Roselle, and two other activists with Climate Ground Zero received a continuance from the court that is hearing the case against them for locking down to the coal company, Massey’s Headquarters, in protest against mountaintop removal. In what appears to be a case of dirty tricks, Massey took too long to submit important trial documents, leading the judge to postpone trial.

One More Day Left to Become a Part of Publishing the EF! J 30th Anniversary Issue

20 Oct

Click here to be a part of publishing the EF! Journal’s 30th Anniversary Issue! There’s an awesome new video up, check it out and help us reach our fundraising goal of $5,000. A little bit goes a long way.

Daniel McGowan Moved to General Population

20 Oct

Daniel McGowan was granted his request to transfer out of the Communication Management Unit yesterday. He’s in general population at Marion. McGowan was put in prison on charges related to the Green Scare, and was put in the CMU to repress his ability to inspire other activists. Now that he’s out of the CMU, Daniel will be able to embrace his visitors again, receive letters that he would not have had access to, he will be able to move with more freedom and will generally be more open.

Write to Daniel and congratulate him! His address is still the same, w/o the “CMU:”
*Daniel McGowan
USP Marion
P.O. Box 1000
Marion, IL 62959

We encourage you to maintain caution when writing to Daniel.

CrimethInc. Special Report: Eco-Defense and Repression in Russia

20 Oct

[This article was also published in the Earth First! Journal, 30th Anniversary edition, Volume II]

Prelude: A Spiking We Will Go

We learned of Moscow city authorities’ plans to destroy the Khimki forest in summer of 2008, when local environmentalists started an outreach campaign to drum up support for their cause. Even then it was already late, since the forest—one of the three major forests surrounding Moscow—had already been extensively logged and was pockmarked with tumors: cottages for the nouveau-riche, warehouses, parking lots, and malls.

So without a minute to lose, we grabbed some spikes and rushed in. The logging site was patrolled by guards, but their attention was distracted by the official “eco-camp” in front of their cabin so it was easy to sneak in and spike every tree we could get our nails into. This was our first experience of eco-action and it was exciting and inspiring: we didn’t get caught and we accomplished what we had come to do. We were sure that between our action, the constant pressure liberal ecologists were putting on the authorities, and the popular movement gaining momentum in the local suburbs, the tree-killers would retreat and leave the forest for good. Soon we learned better…

To read the full story click here

Global Week of Action for Climate Justice

20 Oct

So far, 33 action reports have come back from this weeks Global Week of Action for Climate Justice. Activists from London to Jakarta, Toronto to Buenos Aires, have taken action in defense of the planet. Demonstrations spanned from anti-GMO protests to demands for clean drinking water. Click here for more.

RNC 8 Take Non-Cooperating Plea Deal

19 Oct
Earlier today, Max Specktor and Rob Czernik pled guilty to gross misdemeanor Conspiracy to Riot, and Garrett Fitzgerald and Nathanael Secor pled guilty to gross misdemeanor Conspiracy to Damage Property. These are all non-cooperating plea agreements; they will not be called upon to testify against anyone else. All of them received 100 hours of community service to be served over 10 months, no jail time or restitution, and a $200 fine. Max and Nathanael were sentenced to one year supervised probation; Garrett and Rob, two years. The prosecution originally branded the RNC 8 “terrorists” and was still committed to securing felony convictions for certain defendants only two weeks ago.