Archive | March, 2012

Hundreds protest oil tankers at march and rally in Vancouver

26 Mar

Vancouver protester Hunter Johnson covered herself with molasses to highlight concern about oil spills.

Hundreds of people marched through downtown Vancouver streets today (March 26) in a boisterous display of opposition to oil tanker traffic along British Columbia’s coast.

Organized by first nation and environmental groups, the demonstration came just days after the 23rd anniversary of the infamous Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska.

A noon rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery drew an estimated 1,000 protesters who chanted and held signs that read: “No tankers on our coast” and “Oil and water don’t mix”.

Speakers criticized Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline to Burnaby and the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline to Kitimat.

For full article see source as cross-posted from here

Ngäbes protest hydroelectric dam

24 Mar

Ngäbes block the highway in protest of potential hydro projects

“It was not nice work, but given the pattern of the country’s development, it had to be done.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden

After an early February victory against proposed mining projects, the indigenous Ngäbes (pronounced naw-bey) continue to struggle to prevent construction of hydroelectric dams that could negatively impact their environment. Negotiations continue, now with UN involvement, but it seems unlikely the Ngäbes will be able to stop hydroelectric construction much longer.

The struggle of one indigenous group in one small Central American country may seem irrelevant in the face of more publicized world issues, like Jeremy Lin, but their fight represents a consistent human choice to sacrifice the environment in favor of economic development.

Hydro in Panama

Panama’s government has its sights on 31 hydro projects by 2013, including seven near the borders of indigenous territory. The government claims that the projects will reduce national energy costs and increase national income through export. However, these have proved inadequate motivators for the indigenous of whom only 1% have electricity and who already do not trust the government to compensate them for absorbing the potential environmental impacts. 

While it is difficult to say exactly what negative impacts will result, previous hydro projects on indigenous land in Panama resulted in displacement due to flooding, increased mosquito breeding grounds (in a country with a dengue problem) and submersion of trees, vegetation and farmland.

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Environmental protesters target Dominion Va. Power

24 Mar

William Pickett of Richmond and Erica Gray of Henrico, members of the Coalition Against Nukes and the Alliance for Progressive Values, were among the anti-Dominion protesters in Kanawha Plaza this afternoon.

RICHMOND, Va. —

More than 100 people representing a slew of environmental groups gathered in downtown Richmond this afternoon to protest the policies of Dominion Virginia Power.

The protesters braved a drenching rain in Kanawha Plaza to listen to a series of speeches from activists decrying what they said is Dominion’s overreliance on fossil fuels and nuclear power and opposition to clean-energy legislation.

They then crossed Canal Street and encircled the Dominion headquarters building while chanting slogans and waving signs.

The groups participating included Greenpeace USA, Chesapeake Climate Action Network,  Climate Action Alliance of the Valley, 350.org, Virginia Alliance for a Cleaner Environment and the Alliance for Progressive Values.

cross-posted from here

Indigenous Peoples Protest Mining in Ecuador

23 Mar

Cross Posted from the Times-Union

More than 1,000 indigenous protesters reached Ecuador’s capital Thursday after a two-week march from the Amazon to oppose plans for large-scale mining on their lands.

The protesters were joined by thousands of anti-government protesters in Quito, and some of the demonstrators clashed with police outside the National Assembly. Police repelled rock-throwing young men using tear gas and charging at the demonstrators on horseback.

Police said at least four officers suffered minor injuries in the violence.

The indigenous protesters were joined by students, activists and government opponents who criticized President Rafael Correa for signing off on plans for mining projects including open pit mines that are to extract copper and other minerals from the traditional lands of the Shuar Indians in southern Ecuador.

Historic Action at Vermont Yankee Headquarters, 130 Arrested

23 Mar

Cross posted from Boston.com

A 93-year-old anti-nuclear activist was among more than 130 protesters arrested at the corporate headquarters of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Thursday, the first day of the plant’s operation after the expiration of its 40-year license.

Frances Crowe, of Northampton, Mass., said she wants Vermont Yankee to cease operations because she feels it’s a threat to the people who live nearby.

“As I was walking down, all I could think of was Fukushima and the suffering of all the people, and I don’t want that to happen to New England,’’ said Crowe in referring to the Japanese nuclear reactor damaged last year after an earthquake and tsunami.

When asked how many times she’d been arrested, she answered: “Not enough.’’

Click here for the full article

Click here for another article on the day of action

Chevron CEO’s Criminally Charged For Oil Spill

23 Mar

   

Re-posted from Democracy Now.

Brazilian prosecutors have filed charges against 17 executives from oil giant Chevron and the rig operator Transocean in connection with a recent deepwater oil spill. George Buck, Head of Chevron’s Brazil operations faces up to 31 years in jail. Some 110,000 gallons of oil leaked off the shore of Rio de Janeiro in November. Last week, Brazil announced more oil was leaking from cracks on the ocean floor near the off-shore Chevron well. The executives are accused of a number of environmental crimes, as well as deceiving Brazilian officials after the spill.

Read full Wall Street Journal Article here

Hsinchu magistrate protests river pollution

22 Mar

At a public hearing held at the Legislative Yuan yesterday afternoon, Hsinpu Township Council Speaker Wang Tseng-chi, left and wearing a headband, takes a cup of water collected from a polluted river at his home town in Hsinchu County, and challenges Minister Shen Shu-hung, front right, of the Environmental Protection Administration to drink the water.

The China Post news staff–Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu Ching-chun  yesterday led county residents in a protest at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei against the pollution of the water source of Hsinpu Township, and called for the central government to do something about it.

The protest was mainly triggered by the fact that the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) suddenly reversed a decision which would have required two manufacturing plants — Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. (CPT) and AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) — located in Longtan Township of Taoyuan County to release their waste water into rivers in Taoyuan County, instead of Hsinchu County.

The protesters called for the Legislative Yuan to help return justice to county residents by asking the EPA to stop the two high-tech firms from continuing polluting the river that supplies water to Hsinpu Township for drinking and irrigation purposes.

CPT and AUO have for 10 years released industrial waste water to Hsiaoli River in Hsinpu Township, a reservation area.

At the rally in front of the county government earlier yesterday morning, protesters wore headbands that read “Refuse to Drink Toxic Water” and shouted slogans that pledged their determination to stop CPT and AUO from polluting their drinking water source.

Magistrate Chiu said yesterday that EPA Minister Shen Shih-hung told lawmakers on March 19 that if AUO and CPT fail to find another waste water drainage location by the end of the month, their plants should be shut down.

“But we received on March 20 an official notice from the EPA declaring that Hsiaoli River will no longer serve as a source of drinking water, and that Hsinchu County residents should go upstream to where Hsiaoli and Fengshan rivers merge,” Chiu cited the EPA notice as saying.

He accused the central government of “legalizing a controversial measure” by permitting the two companies to keep polluting the river, damaging the health of local residents and imposing on the rights of local farmers to irrigate their crops with clean water.

The EPA notice to the county government reflected a Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) decision on March 13 that Hsiaoli River will no longer serve as a source of drinking water and advising local residents and farmers draw water upstream where the river merges with Fengshan River.

To read full article go to source as cross-posted from here