Archive | November, 2010

COP-16 in Cancún: Day 1

30 Nov

Entering the city of Cancún—site of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change’s sixteenth Conference of Parties (COP-16), which began today—one is struck immediately by the number of ‘areas de revision’—checkpoints, effectively—maintained by the Mexican police, with the support of the Mexican military. The checkpoints on the highway leading north from the coastal Yucatan cities of Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Chetumal, like their counterparts throughout Cancún itself, seem for the most part to be mere formalities: drivers are asked to slow down but not stop and are then subsequently hailed on.
click here for more.

Indigenous Peoples in Latin America Unite Against Mining

30 Nov

Indigenous Peoples from across Latin America have issued a unified declaration demanding an end to large-scale surface mining by transnational companies on indigenous peoples’ lands. “We state emphatically: no to mining, yes to life,” they declared.
The Lima Declaration calls for governments to revoke mining titles and concessions granted without proper consultation of Indigenous Peoples.
“This is a significant step forward in the process of building proposals from Indigenous Peoples and social movements against mining impacts, extraction by transnational companies, and the climate crisis,” said indigenous leader Miguel Palacin Quispe, general coordinator of the Andean Coordinating Committee of Indigenous Organizations.
For more, click here.

Wikileaks Exposes Cold War-style Diplomacy Over Nukes

29 Nov

The US along with Saudi Arabia and Israel have been pressing hard to halt Iran’s nuclear power program, they say, in fear of nuclear weapons. According to one cable, “King Hamad pointed to Iran as the source of much of the trouble in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He argued forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary. ‘That program must be stopped,’ he said. ‘The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.'” Meanwhile, the US is bartering with Pakistan on transportation of enriched uranium as China and Russia seem to protect the interests of Iran, and the US itself debates whether or not to extend its nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia in the midst of North Korea’s bombing of South Korean territory.
In the ’50s, the US was in a nuclear arms race with Russia while China backed the North Korean assault on South Korea, and the US destabilized the democratically elected government of Iran (Mosaddegh) while undermining democracy throughout the Middle East in favor of oil interests.
Not much seems to have changed.
Click here for more Wikileaks.
The Guardian has a pretty extensive reporting of the latest Wikileaks. Click here for more.

Huge Victory For the Sea Lions!

29 Nov

After a year of deliberation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled to block the National Marine Fisheries Service’s killing of federally protected sea lions on the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington. In Defense of Animals (IDA) and the Sea Lion Defense Brigade (SLDB) have campaigned against the state-sanctioned sea lion killing for more than three years, and congratulate the prevailing plaintiffs, The Humane Society of the United States, Wild Fish Conservancy and two private citizens.

Dispatch from EF! Italia

28 Nov

The protest (against the expansion of an enormous garbage dump near Naples) continues with road blocks near the landfill site.
Waste collection is still broken, and the people set fire to rubbish bins—while all this happens in Terzigno, the landfill is closed, but government wants to open others. The government says the situation is resolved, even if everyone sees that is not true on the news and there aren’t any regions that want Naples’s rubbish.
Nessun Compromesso in Difesa di Madre Terra!
— EF! Padova

EF! Roma is starting a campaign to stop urban sprawl on November 30, consisting of:
1) Publication of the dossier, “STOP E…SPANSIONE URBANA” about consumption of territory.
2) Protesting against construction that encroaches on surrounding environment.
3) Direct action in resistance to the sprawl.
ROME invites you to give their moral and economic support to the campaign against the building and urban expansion which kicks off on Tuesday 30 November 2010.
Always committed to the preservation of free land, in the defense of natural ecosystems and in the struggle against building speculators and profiteers, WE NEED YOUR HELP.
— EF! Roma

Tar Sands Resistance Summit a Success

27 Nov

The inaugural International Tar Sands Resistance Summit wrapped up near Missoula last Monday, November 22, with a packed house at the Missoula City Council meeting. As the first true snowstorm of the season coated the street outside, inside the council was voting unanimously to double the cost of hauling oversize loads through the city in reaction to community backlash against plans by oil sands companies to route equipment through Missoula. Click here for more.

Animal Rights Militia Liberates 20 Turkeys

27 Nov

During the early morning hours of November 14th, members of VT ARM liberated 20 turkeys that had been wrongly separated from the wild and cruelly forced into a small pen without shelter. According to a communique,
“We will use whatever means necessary to liberate animals, prevent cruelty and punish those who commit acts of cruelty. To the Bushway criminals, Happy Thanksgiving.”
For more, click here.

Arctic Drilling Granted, plus international protests

27 Nov

The government of Greenland said Friday it has awarded oil and gas exploration licenses for the Baffin Bay area of the country to seven international energy companies amid what it described as fierce competition for access to the frontier province.
Exploration licenses were awarded to ConocoPhillips (COP), Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN), Statoil ASA (STO), GDF SUEZ SA (GSZ.FR), Cairn Energy PLC (CNE.LN), the oil production unit of shipping giant AP Moller Maersk AS (AMKBF, MAERSK-B.KO), Denmark’s DONG Energy and Greenland’s state oil company NUNAOIL. Click here for more.

As part of a lead-up to the Sierra Student Coalition’s National Action for a Clean Energy Future, students at colleges and universities across Oregon organized to educate their peers about the need for a transition to clean energy, and let the EPA know we need the agency’s help. At Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Lane Community College, Pacific University, Linfield College, Reed College, and Lewis and Clark College, students sparked discussion about clean power by creating displays of paper pinwheels – aka mini wind turbines. Students set up pinwheel displays on campus lawns and in busy cafeterias, giving their peers a glimpse of what the clean energy future looks like. Now hundreds of pinwheels from across Oregon are in the mail headed for Washington, DC where they’ll be used for a national media event on December 1st. Click here for more.

In England, demonstrations have occurred against nuclear power and state repression. 30 people gathered with campaign group Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy (Sane) at Oldbury-on-Seburn to protest the construction of Horizon Nuclear Power. The company hopes to finish construction by 2019 next to the existing reactor that is being shut down next year. Click here for more.

National Day of Mourning, the Build Up to Cancun

26 Nov

That was in 1970, during the first National Day of Mourning, an annual protest by Native Americans of the recounting of the Thanksgiving holiday. Each year since, they have gathered on Cole’s Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, to recount their people’s history, and the arrival of the Pilgrims and other settlers — which they say resulted in the loss of their lands and harmed tribes.
click here for more.

Next week 193 governments meet in Cancún, Mexico, to thrash out a new climate deal. There is no prospect of a legally binding agreement for several years. Instead, there is a massive gap between the pledges made so far by the rich and the actions that science says are needed to avoid the worst of climate change. Latin America, home to 500 million people, will lead the world in demanding more ambition and urgency. Click here for more.

Copenhagen Climate Activists Found Guilty

25 Nov

Two Danish activists who took part in the Copenhagen climate demonstrations last December have been found guilty of organising and instigating violence and vandalism, and have both been given four-month suspended sentences. One of the three judges in the case disagreed with the verdict.
Click here for more.

In other news, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo has joined Filipino celebrities in opposing the construction of coal-fired power plants in the country. Click here for more.