Archive | January, 2012

The Canadian seal hunt is dead

31 Jan

Paul Watson with baby Harp Seal

Next stop—the slaughter of South African Fur Seals

January 29, 2012, message from Captain Paul Watson:

“I have been fighting the Canadian seal hunt since 1974. It’s been a long, hard road after nearly four decades. During that time I have taken ships into the ice six times, in 1979, 1981, 1983, 1998, 2005, and 2008. I’ve led three helicopter campaigns in 1976, 1977, and 1995. During this time we chased sealing vessels out of the ice, blockaded sealing ships in harbor, walked for miles over treacherous ice conditions, confronted Canadian fisheries officers and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, debated Senators, Members of Parliament, Newfoundland Premiers, Fisheries Ministers and Prime Ministers. Continue reading

Peabody Coal seeks strip mine on National Forest that would destroy Indiana bat habitat

31 Jan

And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

-John Prine

HARRISBURG, Ill. – January 30 – Conservation groups submitted comments today opposing a proposal by the Forest Service to trade away a parcel of the Shawnee National Forest that is home to two kinds of endangered bats to a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Company. The company intends to strip-mine the parcel for coal. The Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club oppose the land swap, which would put nearly 400 acres of wooded river bottom and upland forest along southern Illinois’ Saline River into the ownership of American Land Holdings, in trade for three other privately owned tracts within the national forest boundary.

The groups also filed a formal notice of intent to sue the Forest Service today for failing to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that the land exchange and other actions affected by the Shawnee Forest Plan do not illegally hurt endangered species.

“Swapping away the homes of endangered bats so that a coal company can strip mine them is unconscionable,” said Mollie Matteson, a bat specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Just two weeks ago, the federal government issued the staggering news that nearly 7 million bats have died over just the past few years from white-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has been spreading across the country like wildfire, wiping out bats from Nova Scotia to Tennessee. Now the Forest Service proposes to intentionally put bats in harm’s way?” Continue reading

Beyond ‘Greener Capitalism’: Activists Call for Global Day of Justice

31 Jan

By Yana Marull

PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil — Thousands of critics of capitalism meeting in Brazil called Sunday for a worldwide protest in June to press for concrete steps to tackle the global economic and ecological crises.

The World Social Forum wrapped up a five-day meeting in this southern Brazilian city, urging citizens to “take to the streets on June 5″ for the global action, which would be in support of social and environmental justice.

The forum also announced a “peoples’ summit” of social movements to be held in parallel with the high-level UN conference on sustainable development scheduled next June 20-22 in Rio.

The Rio+20 summit, the fourth major gathering on sustainable development since 1972, will press world leaders to commit themselves to creating a social and “green economy,” with priority being given to eradicating hunger.

But World Social Forum participants, including representatives of the Arab Spring, Spain’s “Indignant” movement, Occupy Wall Street, and students from Chile, sharply criticized the concept of “a green economy” that would allow multinational corporations to reap the profit. Continue reading

Occupy Talks: Indigenous Perspectives on the Occupy Movement – Videos

30 Jan

Occupy Talks took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Beit Zatoun, January, 23rd, 2012.  It was sponsored by the Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Labour Congress, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy Ryerson University, Environmental Justice Toronto. Below are several videos of speakers at the event.




Tom B.K. Goldtooth

Clayton Thomas-Muller

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Tibetan Villagers Halt Mining Project on Sacred Mountain

30 Jan

cross posted from Intercontinental Cry

Kawagebo mountain

Tibetan Villagers have successfully halted a controversial mining operation that threatened Kawagebo, one of the most sacred peaks in the Tibetan world.

In Tibetan culture, where people live in intimate relationship with the natural world around them, reality and mythology have a way of blending together. So it was perhaps no surprise to local villagers when, after a Chinese mining company and local authorities repeatedly repelled efforts stop a gold mining project on the slopes of holy Mount Kawagebo, the mountain appeared to strike back.

Mount Kawagebo, so sacred that climbing is banned, sits on the border between Tibet and China’s Yunnan Province; its eastern side is part of the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Area UNESCO World Heritage site. In February 2011, a small gold-mining operation started near the village of Abin, which is on the western side of Kawagebo, along the path of an 800-year-old pilgrimage route that circles the mountain, attracting tens of thousands of Tibetans annually.

Continue reading

Small Farmers To Face Monsanto In Court, Monsanto Opens Seed Breeding Center in India

30 Jan

“If you control the oil, you control the country; if you control the food, you control the popluation.” ~ Henry Kissinger

On Tuesday, January 31, 2012 the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) will stand before a federal judge in Manhattan to find out if their case will be heard or if the motion to have it dismissed by Monsanto will be upheld.

And in other news…

With a tinge of frustration and anger, Monsanto India’s Managing Director Amitabh Jaipuria clarified that the breeding station inaugurated in Chikkaballapur, India on Monday will not violate the Bio Diversity Act and will be a non-biotech center.

The Rs 25 crore facility will develop and test new hybrid seed varieties of corn, tomatoes, watermelon, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, pepper, onions and beans. With research and development, labs, trial fields and greenhouses under one roof, the breeding station located in Kallinayakanahalli is second of its kind in India, the other being in Aurangabad. 

The breeding center is spread over 118 acres of which 100 acres was leased out from local farmers. The remaining 18 acres is owned by Monsanto.

At least 50 households in the vicinity of the station have consented to give away their agricultural fields to Monsanto for testing its hybrid seeds. The process of attaining consent has been purely through legal methods and the farmers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Monsanto, claimed V K Kishore, R&D Lead – Vegetables.

Water Crisis in the Sierra Tarahumara: Illegal Logging, Monocrops, and Environmental Disaster

30 Jan

from Frontera NorteSur

Chihuahua's Sierra Tarahumara near the US/Mexico border

In many cities, Mexicans are responding to the environmental and hunger crises in Chihuahua’s Sierra Tarahumara with an outpouring of material aid donations and declarations of solidarity. Indigenous Raramuri leaders from the drought-stricken mountains were among rural activists who staged a demonstration last week in Mexico City, claiming a lack of government support for alleviating the worst effects of what National Water Commission chief Jose Luis Luege called “one of the biggest drought years in the historical registers of the country.”

In response to the burgeoning rural protest movement, the Calderon administration announced a series of initiatives aimed at rehabilitating irrigation systems and tapping into more groundwater.

Continue reading

Snowy Owls Soar South from Arctic in Rare Mass Migration

30 Jan

A snowy white owl takes flight in this undated handout photo courtesy of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration th

by Laura Zuckerman / Reuters

SALMON, Idaho – Bird enthusiasts are reporting rising numbers of snowy owls from the Arctic winging into the lower 48 states this winter in a mass southern migration that a leading owl researcher called “unbelievable.”

Thousands of the snow-white birds, which stand 2 feet tall with 5-foot wingspans, have been spotted from coast to coast, feeding in farmlands in Idaho, roosting on rooftops in Montana, gliding over golf courses in Missouri and soaring over shorelines in Massachusetts.

A certain number of the iconic owls fly south from their Arctic breeding grounds each winter but rarely do so many venture so far away even amid large-scale, periodic southern migrations known as irruptions.

“What we’re seeing now — it’s unbelievable,” said Denver Holt, head of the Owl Research Institute in Montana.

“This is the most significant wildlife event in decades,” added Holt, who has studied snowy owls in their Arctic tundra ecosystem for two decades. Continue reading

No compromise, no defeat. Defend Blair Mountain!

30 Jan

Cross-posted from

Hello friends,

We’re writing you from Blair, West Virginia, in the heart of the coalfields. We are in Logan County, which is the belly of the beast for the coal industry. We fight directly in the trenches against the corporate fascists who have ruled central Appalachia for 120 years. Our heritage draws on the Battle of Blair Mountain, where in 1921 ten-thousand miners fought a coal-operator backed army. They fought for five days, and were breaking through the defensive lines when federal troops were called in to stop the war.

Now, Blair Mountain, where the largest open class war in US history took place, is threatened with obliteration by the coal companies. They are trying to do mountaintop removal coal extraction, which blasts our mountains, destroys our communities, and poisons us. We are fighting back. As our communities are being destroyed, we are organizing bottom-up. We engage in direct action. We will continue to fight to save our lives, homes and communities. Continue reading

Trial for Coal River Mountain treesitter coming up…

27 Jan

Banners in honor of Judy Bonds hand from treesit, Summer 2011

and other updates from Appalachia

The trial for Squirrel, one of the treesitters from Coal River Mountain campaign featured in the last Earth First! Journal (Mabon 2011 issue), is scheduled at 9:30AM on February 9th in the Raleigh County Magistrate Courthouse in Beckley, West Virginia. The other sitter, Becks, had their pre-trial postponed and is still awaiting a trial date.

In other updates from the good folks at RAMPS: “Finally, we have a campaign space! We welcome you to come live and work with us in our cozy one-room cabin in the woods of Pax, WV.  We’re completely off the grid! The cabin boasts solar panels that provide our electricity, a woodstove that burns salvaged wood for heat, and a spring where we can collect drinking water.” Continue reading