Archive | July, 2011

Direct Action All Summer Long!

27 Jul

Ecological resistance is on the rise across the US. Check out these and more events at the EF! Newswire calendar

August 4 —  BP = Big Polluter, Direct Action Protest (New Orleans, LA)

August 5 — Protest ALEC conference (Also in New Orleans…it’s a two-fer!)

August 12-15 — Midwest Rising: Convergence 2011 (St. Louis, MO)

August 20 – September 3 — Tar Sands Actions (DC)

August 18 – 22 — Reclaim Power Southeast Action Camp (NC)

Blockade against industrial wind project in Danish wilderness

27 Jul

By Peter Skeel Hjorth, WTS.com reporter (reporting from Sweden) source

Thursday morning, 15 July 2011, the local Danish police gave up removing the activists who since Friday, 15 July 2011, have prevented the cutting down of forest to make room for the planned National Test Centre for 250 metres high windmills in Thy, Northern Jutland [Denmark].

Ten police officers turned up to end the blockade, but withdrew when it turned out that there were more activists than expected. The protestors are camping in the forest area where the authorities intend to cut down the trees to create the right wind conditions in the Test Centre. “We shall be back in greater numbers,” the police said.

The Test Centre will be situated between a protected bird sanctuary, a so-called Ramsar area, and a Natura 2000 area. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation finds that the law regarding the Test Centre violates the European Union (EU) Habitat Directive, and has brought the case before the EU Commission who has requested a detailed statement from the Danish government. Furthermore, a local association has filed a case against the Danish State.

Friday, 15 July, the bird breeding season ended and by midnight the Danish authorities intended to start cutting down the forest. Throughout the day, the local population protested against the demolition of one of Denmark’s last wilderness area.

The activists simply laid down in front of the authorities’ machines to prevent the cutting down to start. They are staying in the area in tents, day and night. The ruling of the EU Commission is expected within a couple of weeks. The activists demand that the cutting be postponed until the ruling of the EU Commission and the verdict of a Danish court have been made public.

The demonstration in Thy has no central organization, but arose spontaneously. A spokesman for the activists appealed for support and assistance from both Europe and the rest of the world—support as soon as possible.

For more info, contact Peter Skeel Hjorth, spokesman of EPAW in Scandinavia and the Baltic States. Email: peter@skeelhjorth.dk Phone: +46 708 166521 Or Aleksander Sønder. Email: aleksander.soender@gmail.com Phone: +45 26160630

Click here for more photos.

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UPDATE & MORE BACKGROUND 7/26/2011:  “Camp has been shut down again. Still there are people monitoring the forest actions and reporting them… The windmill company first wanted to settle the camp on a place where the military is training for Afghanistan. Because the military argues that they are in war, they did not led the test center be built there. So the last nature reserve in Denmark has to be victimized for this project. This isn’t democratically voted, and the legal issue at the European cout hasn’t been decided. Still the workers already started cutting down. And the police are still present.” —From an anonymous source on the frontlines

For a longer list of “players” benefiting from, and/or invested in, this project go here

For some pro-industry lies promising greatness and further information on this region and this enormous wind energy project also visit here

 

26 Arrested in Blockades Outside of DeChristopher Trial

26 Jul

cross posted from itsgettinghotinhere.org

Today, Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to 2 years in prison and taken away from the courthouse without goodbyes or the option to self-report. In court, Tim said “You can put me in prison but it will not deter my future of civil disobedience and it won’t deter others who are willing to fight to defend a livable future.”

Blockading the courthouse entrance following Tim's sentencingOutside the Courthouse, hundreds of supporters had gathered from the Salt Lake City community, singing, chanting, and speaking out as they bore witness to the sentencing. Immediately after the bang of the gavel Ashely Anderson and Ashley Sanders were hauled out of the courtroom for loudly rallying people inside saying, “this court has proven itself incapable of justice. So the people will take it back – it is now our court!” foreshadowing the civil disobedience to come outside. As Henia Belalia left the Courthouse, she made an official statement declaring, “If there was ever a day in history to take action, this is it.” And people took action. Peaceful Uprising activists did a sit-in to blockade the 2 front entrances of the Federal Courthouse, to tell the world “its ours” and emphasize that if Tim was going to jail, they were too, giving meaning to the slogan “we are all Bidder 70.” Taking their lead, members of the community began to join the blockade to show their love and outrage. 26 people were arrested.

A mother who joined the blockade was with her three children during the time of arrest, and said in tears “I need you to see this, its for your future.” Those participating in the sit-in chose to emphasize their point that business as usual is unacceptable by moving to blockade a major intersection in front of the courthouse during rush hour. As supporters continued to sing and support those who locked down, Tim DeChristopher was quickly rushed out the side door in chains and loaded into a police van. We can only hope he felt our support, and that that support is carried to all people of conscience who do what is right for people and the planet.

Today a true crime was committed in every federal courthouse in the United States. Why is Tim now in prison for protecting our future, while corporate CEOs walk free with millions of dollars for destroying it? We recognized today that our justice system has failed us. It, like our economy and other branches of government, are controlled by the fossil fuel industry. And today we affirm that we stand with millions actively taking it back. Please see our official response to the sentencing for action opportunities and links to all of the remarkable actions that are being taken around the country.

Act! The movement is with you.

Tim DeChristopher Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

26 Jul

(Cross-posted from peacefuluprising.org)

Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to 2 years in prison today at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse. He was taken immediately into custody, being denied the typical 3 weeks afforded to put his affairs in order and say goodbye to his friends and family.

Federal prosecutors asked for Tim to receive an extra harsh prison sentence in an effort to intimidate the movement that stands with him. They hoped that by condemning him to years behind bars, they would “make an example out of him” and deter all of us from taking meaningful action. But Tim is already an example. He’s an example of the courageous acts that people across our movements are taking to fight for justice and a liveable future. We support Tim by continuing to organize. Our response to this sentence is an affirmation: we will not be intimidated.  What’s your response?

The government’s statement is clear. Tim has been sentenced to 2 years as punishment for his politics; for the uncompromising content of his speeches and organizing in the two years since his act of civil disobedience protected 150,000 acres of land. Ironically, his principled views and motivations behind his actions he took were never allowed to enter a courtroom, due to their “irrelevance.” In a highly political trial, the jury was unjustly stripped of its right to be their community’s conscience and manipulated into making a political prisoner of a peaceful and concerned young man.

Tim DeChristopher

Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams said, “To think that a young man in an act of conscience might [do any amount of time] in a federal prison for raising a paddle in an already illegal sale of oil and gas leases, compared to the CEO of BP or the financial wizards on Wall Street who have pocketed millions of dollars at our expense  – and who will never step into a court of law to even get their hands slapped, let alone go to jail, is an assault on democracy.”

She’s right. But we have the power to turn this assault on democracy into a battle for democracy. Today the Salt Lake City community is expressing both their love and their outrage.

Fossil fuel lobbyists knew that Tim would be indicted the evening before it was officially filed, Jury members explained that they were intimidated throughout the process. The fossil fuel industry should not control our justice system.

Unless we decide to respond accordingly, as Tim serves his time, the real criminals — the fossil fuel industry wrecking our planet and our communities — will continue to run free, unaccountable for the countless oil spills, asthma attacks, contaminated waterways, cancer clusters, and carbon seeping into the air we breathe every day. If the justice system is intent on prosecuting the people protecting rather than pillaging the planet, we must confront the real criminals ourselves. With our heads held high, we continue to stand on the moral high-ground – and will do what’s right, despite the consequences. We know that mother nature’s consequences of inaction are far harsher than any imposed by a court system.

But we are not isolated individuals. We come together with our communities as groups of empowered agents of change who know our system is broken and does not represent us. Our communities represent us, and our vision of a resilient, just, and sustainable world that we are fighting for.

Tim’s sentence is a call to action.

For those of us who’ve been following his story fervently, our hearts were broken today. It is a sad moment. But we now have an opportunity and a responsibility to act on those feelings of hurt and outrage. For Tim’s sacrifice to truly mean something, for the spark it ignites in each of us to burn, we all must take action.

2011 has already become a year of peaceful uprisings around the country. As Tim once said, we were never promised that it would be easy. We know it will take courage, sacrifice and a willingness to sustain our resistance in our fight for real Justice. Tim has taken a step and we will take the next thousand.

Here are a few upcoming action opportunities to join:

We’ll see you on the streets,

—Peaceful Uprising and Tim’s community of courage.

Eco activists detained at industrial wind energy test site

26 Jul

By Jakob Vesterager

cross-posted from here

COPENHAGEN, July 26 (Reuters) – Police in Denmark detained six environmental activists on Tuesday protesting the felling of trees in a forest to make room for a research centre for wind turbines.

Protesters said they were not opposed to the centre, but to the location.

The test centre is meant to further Denmark’s position as world leader in wind power, commonly seen as environmentally friendly renewable energy as it consumes no fossil fuels and produces no emissions.

The protest began 10 days ago at Thy in windy northwestern Jutland where Denmark’s wind industry aims to test giant turbines up to 250 metres high (820 feet).

“We are not against the centre, we are not against the wind industry — on the contrary,” Kent Klemmesen, chairman of the campaign against the project, told Reuters. “We are against the location, because we feel there are far better alternatives.”

Protesters argue that the effects of the huge windmills on human and animal life have not been studied adequately and the 1,200 hectares (2,965 acres) of forest should be preserved.

Though tree felling has begun, Amos Stenner, an activist who spent five hours up in a tree on Tuesday, said he was not giving up. “It is very possible, that I will go up a new tree tomorrow,” he told Reuters.

The test centre project is run by the Danish Technical University DTU, with support from industry, including wind turbine manufacturers Vestas and Siemens and state-owned DONG Energy.

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Tasmania’s forests defense groups ramp up protest action

25 Jul

By Danielle McKay

For full article go here

Tasmanian Still Wild Still Threatened activists scaled Parliament House in Canberra yesterday in protest at Sunday’s Heads of Agreement signing and have pledged to continue action.

Huon Valley Environment Centre also vowed to continue non-violent actions yesterday, including illegally boarding woodchip ships, chaining protesters to forestry equipment, blocking roads with tripods, and community walk-ins.

Environment centre spokeswoman Jenny Weber said the agreement failed to offer immediate protection to high conservation areas because verification of the final 430,000ha would take months. Ms Weber said it also fell well short of protecting the initial 572,000ha that conservation groups identified as high-conservation-value forests.

“We will be maintaining our vigilance and will continue to engage in non-violent action until the forests are protected as promised,” she said.

For further coverage go here

Help celebrate 200 Years of Luddite Uprising

25 Jul

November 2011 – January 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the Luddite uprisings, in which artisan cloth workers smashed machines which were destroying their trades, undercutting wages and forcing them into unemployment and destitution.

Today, the industrial system that the Luddites were rebelling against has led to climate change and huge losses of biodiversity, and new technologies, such as nuclear power, genetic engineering and nanotechnology which raise equally profound issues… For more news on plans for action to celebrate Luddite revolt check out the Luddites at 200 site.

Educational and organizational events have already begun in England. The Earth First! Journal is looking for submissions to publish in the next issue reflecting on Luddite rebellion past and present. And we are hoping to see more plans as we get closer to November.