Archive | September, 2011

September’s Eco-Villain Photo of the Month

30 Sep


Benoit Bosquet, Coordinator of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, defends the bank’s role in “forest conservation” in Indonesia, where forest-based communities have been forcibly evicted at gunpoint, and their homes burned to the ground. Behind him is a photo of one such eviction. Photo: Petermann/Global Justice Ecology Project To read the full article about REDD in Indonesia in our blog Climate Connections, click here ———————————————————————————– GJEP’s photos of the month usually feature the work of Orin Langelle, GJEP’s Co-director/Strategist, who is also a professional photographer. This month, with the World Bank annual meetings just passed and the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa coming up soon, we decided to post this photo by GJEP Executive Director Anne Petermann. Orin Langelle is currently working on a book of four decades of his concerned photography. From mid-June to mid-July Langelle worked on the book as an artist in residence at the Blue Mountain Center in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Also check out the GJEP Photo Gallery, past Photos of the Month posted on GJEP’s website, or Langelle’s photo essays posted on GJEP’s Climate Connections blog.

Eco-prisoner Justin Solondz spends birthday behind bars this Monday

30 Sep

This Monday, October 3rd, marks the first birthday Justin Solondz will spend in a US prison. He is currently awaiting trial on allegations of involvement with ELF arsons in the Pacific Northwest. Justin was recently extradited to the US from a prison in China and is now facing the gauntlet of green scare informants, including ex-girlfriend Brianna Waters.

Send him a note today and let him know you’re thinking of him. Remember, do not talk about the case in your letter, as he has a trial pending. Pre-made cards or photocopied pictures are a safe bet (hand made cards risk rejection by prison officials.)

Justin Solondz #98291-011, FDC SeaTac, PO Box 13900, Seattle, Washington 98198

And while you have the pen and paper out, below are some other eco-prisoners and freedom fighters who also have birthdays in October. A political prisoner birthday list also comes out in the printed Earth First! Journal in time to send cards, but our print schedule is a bit off do to funding needs. So we wanted to be sure some people get this in time to drop a timely letter to these prisoners, as well:

Eric McDavid #16209-097, FCI Victorville, Medium II Federal Correctional Institution, PO Box 5300, Adelanto, CA 92301

Birthday: October 7th Eric McDavid was arrested and charged with “Conspiracy to damage and destroy property by fire and an explosive.” His arrest was the direct result of a government informant—known only as “Anna”—who spent a year and a half drawing him in and working with the FBI to fabricate a crime and implicate Eric in it. Eric was imprisoned for what amounts to thought-crime – no actions were ever carried out.

Michael Davis Africa #AM4973, SCI Graterford, PO Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-0244

Birthday: October 6, 1955 

Edward Goodman Africa #AM4974, SCI Mahoney, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932

Birthday: October 21, 1949  Michael Davis Africa and Edward Goodman Africa are two of the people who make up the MOVE 9. There are currently eight MOVE activists in prison each serving 100 years after been framed for the murder of a cop in 1979. The 9th defendant, Merle Africa, died in prison in 1998. MOVE is an eco-revolutionary group dedicated to liberation struggles.

Herman Wallace #76759, Elaine Hunt Correctional Center Unit 5 E-Tier, PO Box 174, St Gabriel, LA 70776

Birthday: October 13, 1941 Wallace and two others began a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1971.The men then organized prisoners to build a movement within the walls to desegregate the prison, to end systematic rape and violence, for better living conditions, and worked as jailhouse lawyers helping prisoners file legal papers. They organized multiple strikes and sit-ins for better conditions.

Lynne Stewart, #53504-054, FMC Carswell Federal Medical Center, PO Box 27137 Fort Worth, TX 76127

Birthday: October 8th Veteran New York criminal defense attorney Lynne Stewart was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the crime of defending a terrorist too vigorously in court. She was convicted of “providing material support to the Gama’a Islamiya”, which was on the Bush administration’s list of terrorist organizations. “Whatever I did, I did as a lawyer. It’s nothing different than I have done for 20 years.”

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin #99974-555, USP Florence ADMAX P.O. Box 8500, Florence, CO 81226

Birthday: October 4, 1943 Also known as H. Rap Brown, came to prominence in the 1960s as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party.

David Gilbert #83-A-6158, Auburn Correctional Facility, PO Box 618, Auburn NY 13021

Birthday: October 6, 1944 David Gilbert was a founding member of Columbia University SDS and a member of the Weather Underground. After about ten years underground, he was arrested in October 1981, along with members of the Black Liberation Army and other radicals.

Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280, Sullivan Correctional Facility, 325 Riverside Drive, PO Box 116, Fallsberg, NY 12733-0116

Birthday: October 15, 1948 Robert ‘Seth’ Hayes is one of the longest-held political prisoners in the USA. Seth was imprisoned due to his activity in the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, a fighting formation which grew out of the Black liberation movement of the 1960’s.

Dave Foreman still aligning with bigots

30 Sep

A co-founder and former editor of the Earth First! Journal, Dave Foreman, once again spotlighted for his association with Apply The Brakes and other anti-immigrant organizations. This time by the Center for New Community’s new article, “Environmentalists Risk Reputations by Aligning with Bigots,” By Jesse Sanes. The following is an excerpt:

In a blog post on the website of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS), environmentalist Dave Foreman got a great deal of praise for his recent book Man Swarm [Ravens Eye Press LLC, 2011] and his message of overpopulation reeking havoc on the world’s ecological systems. The author of the article, Leon Kolankiewicz, is a familiar face from anti-immigrant circles. He is both on Tanton-network front group Progressives for Immigration Reform’s advisory team and is an advisory board member of CAPS.

CAPS is California’s leading anti-immigrant organization and is listed on FAIR’s website as a state contact. CAPS, like FAIR, has received funding from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that has a long history of promoting the genetic superiority of white, European-Americans through the study of eugenics. Kolankiewicz is also the co-creator of the Sprawl City website, writes for Center for Immigration Studies, and is a former member of Carrying Capacity Network. The Carrying Capacity Network’s president, Virginia Abernethy, is a self-described white separatist.

For Dave Foreman’s part, a long-time ecology activist, he is an Apply the Breaks leader, an organization that helped pioneer the current anti-immigrant co-optation of the environmental movement. He also founded The Rewilding Institute (TWI), which received funding from the Weeden Foundation so that TWI and Apply the Brakes could  “work closely […] to get conservation groups and activists to endorse a position recognizing the role of population growth in harming biodiversity and causing climate change.”       Click to continue reading the article

Bolivia suspends road project after indigenous protest

29 Sep

cross posted from Survival International

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales has suspended plans to build a major highway through indigenous peoples’ land in the Amazon rainforest.

His decision follows a 40-day protest march, which was brought to an abrupt halt on Sunday, when police used tear gas and truncheons to dispel 1,000 protesters.

Morales faced pressure from within his government to use less force. His Defense Minister Cecilia Chacon resigned in protest at plans to intervene in the march.

There are also reports the teargas caused a baby to die of asphyxiation.

Morales said on Monday his decision to suspend the road was made in the ‘midst of this national debate’ and that he would ‘let the people decide’.

The proposed 300-kilometer highway would cut across the heart of the Isiboro Sécure national park. It is home to Chiman, Yurucare and Moxos Indians.

On Sunday protesters were near to completing their 500km march from the northern town of Trinidad to Bolivia’s capital, when police used teargas to disperse them.

Prior to this crackdown, a police blockade detained indigenous protesters for several days, allegedly to prevent clashes between angry colonists and the marchers.

Brazilian company OAS has been contracted to construct the road with funding from the Brazilian Development Bank.

Mass Mobilization Defeats GM Rice in Spain

29 Sep

Cross Posted from Amigos de la Tierra

Translation by Lilac

Valencia’s local government has revoked the permit of an Italian pharmaceutical company to experiment with GM rice combined with human genes in Vinaros, Castellon. After protests from social, ecologist and peasant organizations, the Valencian Committee of Genetically Modified Organisms, which depends on the Council of Agriculture, has rejected this dangerous crop.

The aim of this transgenic rice is getting enzymes to treat Gaucher disease. However, there are already several treatments for this disease derived from genetic engineering in confined, laboratory environments, which make this experiment clearly unnecessary and purely for commercial purposes. The risks of such experimentation are too high, and there are now several cases of food chain contamination by genetically modified organisms (GMOs) experimental, some of them with rice crops also.

The strong social pressure took place through the efforts of various social organizations, environmentalists and farmers, in which the movement Castellón 15M was also involved, setting up information booths on GMOs in various places of the province, sending this issue to civil society. Talks and discussions were held openly, a cyberaction was held in which more than 5,000 people participated, and the registration of more than 500 petitions requesting the annulment of the permit were presented. As a result of this citizens’ movement that has been achieved, Vinaròs full council declared the municipality free of transgenics. However, they continue to hold dozens of experiments with transgenics in the country, and Spain remains the only EU member state that commercial transgenic crops (maize) on a large scale [see following article].

Portland ADL Locks Down to Protect Wolves

28 Sep

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is planning on killing two more wolves from the Imnaha pack because of supposed livestock predation. This would reduce the pack size down to only two wolves! It would leave only the alpha female and a pup born in spring. This is could effectively destroy the pack altogether.

In response to this issue, Portland Animal Defense League held a rally yesterday at the ODFW office in Salem. Two activists locked down to the front doors with ULocks around their necks.

The ODFW is responding to pressure from the state’s ranching and livestock industries, not sound science or ecological knowledge. Under the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, ODFW kills wolves after chronic livestock depredation. It has clearly become policy to slaughter wolves in this state. The ODFW needs to be held accountable! The Department of Fish and Wildlife is facade of an organization. It has become nothing more than a puppet for the livestock and ranching industries. We need to hold these corrupt agencies accountable. We need to demand justice for the wolves!!

Our dear activists, Stephanie Taylor & Justin Kay, spent last
night in Marion County Jail and will have court tomorrow at 3pm. Please
continue to follow their case and politely request they receive vegan

Marion County Jail
100 High St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 581-1183

Also please consider Donating to Portland Animal Defense League for our
continued campaign in Defense of Oregon’s Wolves.


ALF Sets Fire to an Idaho Fur Store that sells Wild Coyote and Bobcat Furs

27 Sep

No one was injured in the early morning blaze at Rocky Mountain Fur & Fireworks, a retailer in Caldwell, Idaho, about 30 miles northwest of the state capital. The company sells wild coyote and bobcat pelts.

The North American Animal Liberation Press Office, which says it conveys messages for unnamed animal advocates, distributed a statement from a group calling itself the “arson unit” that said it set fire to a store stocked with “chemically treated skins of thousands of tortured animals”.

“By oppressing innocent life, you’ve lost your rights. We’ve come to take you down a notch. Stay in business and we’ll be back,” the unit said.

Investigators were taking the arson claim seriously, and it was one of several leads in the case, said Mark Leiser, assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle Field Division of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

To read full article click here

Hey Dirty South! Are GE “Forests” Coming Your Way?

26 Sep

Much of the US  South (N. and S. Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida) are home to test plots of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees which ArborGen, a GE tree developer, hopes one day will supplant the South’s pine silvaculture industry.

Click here for a map of GE eucalyptus test plots (exact locations are proprietary to ArborGen for fear of slash and burn protests)

The Global Ecology Justice Project and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a lawsuit against the USDA for violations to the Endangered Species Act. The hearing is set to take place in Miami sometime before the end of the year (date to be announced).

By the way  Dirty South, if you know where these test plots are more specifically (as in an exact location) we’d love to publish that information for all to see.

‘Green desert’ monoculture forests spreading in Africa and South America

26 Sep

Eucalyptus forest for paper manufacturing at Aracruz Celulose in Barra do Riacho, Brazil Photograph: Paulo Fridman/Corbis

Artificial single-species forests are expanding fast in countries of the developing South, fuelled by low production costs and incentives from governments, and causing severe social and environmental impacts, warned experts from around the world who met last week in the Uruguayan capital.

The so-called “green deserts” are encroaching on the fertile soil of South America and other regions, with the proliferation of plantations of fast-growing and high water-demanding trees to be used to produce pulp and paper, and for other industrial uses, displacing local communities and threatening native ecosystems.

Many governments in the global South support this model of investment, production and consumption, which is replicated from the North, said the participants in theInternational Symposium on Forestation, held Wednesday Sep. 21, the International Day of Struggle against Tree Plantations.

“Some 350 kg of paper per person a year are consumed in Europe, half of which is packaging, while in Brazil and Uruguay the average is 50 kgs per person annually,” Brazilian activist Winfridus Overbeek, international coordinator of the Uruguay-basedWorld Rainforest Movement (WRM), told IPS.

Overbeek said that in Europe as well as North America, there is no longer enough space to plant the trees required for that high level of consumption, so companies are shifting production to countries of the developing South.

He also pointed to the different opportunities found by transnational corporations in the developing world, where fertile land abounds and production costs and wages are lower than in the industrialised North.

In several countries of Latin America, as well as in southern Africa and in Asia, monoculture eucalyptus and pine plantations are advancing, to supply paper pulp factories. Plantations of oil palm, first established in Indonesia, are also expanding in those areas.

read the rest of the article at the Guardian Environmental Network is NOT an Earth First! movement website

26 Sep

For several years now, the Earth First! Journal collective has been attempting to bring accountability to the website, with no real response from webmaster, Greg Thorne. After the most recent attempt to have people involved with the movement get a say in the site, which is still the primary site that appears in online searches for the EF! movement, it appears Thorne may have shut down the site, rather than communicate openly with EF! activists that his site claimed to represent “worldwide.”

Among the many frustrations with the site were: no transparency on where the paypal ‘donations’ went; posting news from flagrant greenwashers and industrial apologists; and the large amount of extremely outdated, irrelevant information. While the preferable option would have been to convert the site to an accountable Earth First! media source, we feel it is to the movement’s benefit for this site to be offline as it was. We encourage anyone who may have unintentionally donated money through to pursue having the money returned. Contact the Earth First! Journal to find out more about this.

Another site,, has also appeared in recent years. While it does not claim to affiliate itself with the EF! movement, it is clearly using interest in the Earth First! movement to market green capitalism and spineless liberal environmentalism, taking advantage of the fact the Earth First! has always stayed present in the real, wild world more-so than the virtual techno-matrix.

A similar phenomenon of online marketing and website speculation has occurred as a result of increased interest in the Earth Liberation Front (ELF)  in recent years.  

October 1998: Earth Liberation Front activists burn ski resort on endangered lynx habitat in Vail, Colorado,

According to a notice of fraudulent ELF websites, from the most clearly activist-oriented website of ELF supporters: “A primary example of this is the domain, This domain, once the domain of the first North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office, was acquired a few years ago by someone desiring to profit off the ELF name and movement by using the sites to sell viagra. This individual refuses to allow the environmental movement to access and use this domain, listing it for sale for no less than $10k (U.S.) per domain.”

Also: “[T]he domains, and… have no affiliation with the Earth Liberation Front or the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office. These sites were created by someone desiring to personally profit off of the Earth Liberation Front name and movement. These sites attempt to link the Earth Liberation Front to a group the sites call the “Environmental Life Force.” The Earth Liberation Front was not started by this group or by an individual known as John Hanna. The Earth Liberation Front began as an offshoot of the Earth First! movement in England in 1992.”

Note that we intentionally did not include ‘live links’ to the annoying websites, so as not to generate any additional traffic to them. Feel free to look them up yourself, but know that they likely generate their revenue through amounts of visits and presence in online search engines, increasing their value to advertisers and web speculators.

Comic by Benjamin Hummer