Archive | May, 2013

New Zealand Makes Deal with Shell: Bans Protests Near Oil Rigs

31 May

by APNZ / The New Zealand Herald

protestorsatseaNewly released documents show Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce made a “backroom deal” with oil company Shell over the ban on protesting in the exclusive economic zone, the Labour Party says.

The law change last month banned protesters from demonstrating within 500 metres of ships or oil platforms within New Zealand’s 500km exclusive economic zone.

Penalties include fines of up to $100,000 and a year in prison.

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DIY Nuclear Safety at Fukushima

31 May

Photo from Energy News

"[...] this photo, which was taken inside of the crippled Unit 4 reactor building, showing a orange safety cone which has been flipped upside down to direct leaking materials into a hose which has been attached with duct tape."

This photo was reportedly taken inside the crippled Unit 4 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant. An orange safety cone has been flipped upside down to direct leaking materials into a hose which has been attached with tape. Workers have reported that there is nothing left that they can do about the damage anymore.

For more on the current state of the leaking nuclear facility, see:

Leaks, Rats and Radioactivity: Fukushima’s Nuclear Cleanup Is Faltering

Was the Fish You Had For Dinner Caught By Slaves?

31 May

by Flora Bagenal / The Christian Science Monitor

A Thai fisherman catches freshwater white tilapia fish at a fish farm in Samut Prakarn province, June 2012. Sukree Sukplang/Reuters/File

A Thai fisherman catches freshwater white tilapia fish at a fish farm in Samut Prakarn province, June 2012.
Sukree Sukplang/Reuters/File

Thailand‘s multibillion-dollar fishing industry is facing allegations of using slave labor, following the publication of an investigation into the exploitation of migrant workers on shrimping ships.

The report, “Sold to the Sea: human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry,” was published Wednesday by the British-based NGO the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF). It documents the case of 15 Burmese workers, beaten and abused at the hands of a Thai fishing crew, who forced them to work more 20 hours a day for little or no money. The men, who are now in custody after being rescued, reported seeing other Burmese workers murdered by crew members on the ships in Kantang in southern Thailand. 

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B.C. Officially Opposes Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline

31 May

Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press

Cross Posted from CBC

The B.C. government has officially expressed its opposition to a proposal for the Northern Gateway pipeline project, saying it fails to address the province’s environmental concerns. 

The province made the announcement in its final written submission to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel.

“British Columbia thoroughly reviewed all of the evidence and submissions made to the panel and asked substantive questions about the project, including its route, spill response capacity and financial structure to handle any incidents,” said Environment Minister Terry Lake.

“Our questions were not satisfactorily answered during these hearings.”

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Botswana Government at War with Indigenous San

31 May
photo by hobgadlng / flickr (cc-by-nd 2.0)

photo by hobgadlng / flickr (cc-by-nd 2.0)

by Richard Lee / OSISA

Despite court defeats and international condemnation, the government of Botswana is continuing its assault on the San by attempting to forcibly relocate another community from land they have occupied for decades, says the Khwedom Council, a non-governmental organisation advocating for the rights of the San (or Basarwa) people.

“It is another sad season for the San in Botswana as the government seems to have declared war on our people,” said Keikabile Mogodu, Director of the Khwedom Council. “It appears that the government will never tolerate San in Botswana and will do everything it can to destroy any trace of the first people of this land.”

The latest confrontation between the state and the San is taking place at Ranyane, around 220 km south of Gantsi, where there is a San community of more than 600. The community has access to a borehole but lacks all other basic services since the government has always refused to recognise it as a settlement. Continue reading

Israel-Mexico Military Cooperation to Crush Zapatistas in Chiapas

31 May
 Mexico has gone public about military coordination with Israel in Chiapas, home to the Zapatistas liberation movement. (Omar Torres / AFP/Newscom)


Mexico has gone public about military coordination with Israel in Chiapas, home to the Zapatistas liberation movement.
(Omar Torres / AFP/Newscom)

by Jimmy Johnson and Linda Quiquivix / the Electronic Intifada

Earlier this month, Jorge Luis Llaven Abarca, Mexico’s newly-appointed secretary of public security in Chiapas, announced that discussions had taken place between his office and the Israeli defense ministry. The two countries talked about security coordination at the level of police, prisons and effective use of technology (“Israeli military will train Chiapas police,” Excelsior, 8 May [Spanish]).

Chiapas is home to the Zapatistas (Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional), a mostly indigenous Maya liberation movement that has enjoyed global grassroots support since it rose up against the Mexican government in 1994. The Zapatistas took back large tracts of land on which they have since built subsistence cooperatives, autonomous schools, collectivized clinics and other democratic community structures. Continue reading

Brazil Police Shoot Indians – More Violence Feared

31 May
Police in southern Brazil yesterday killed a Terena Indian and wounded several others.

Police in southern Brazil yesterday killed a Terena Indian and wounded several others.
© Marcello Casal Jr/ABr

Cross Posted from Survival International

Police in southern Brazil yesterday killed a Terena Indian and wounded several others while violently evicting them from their land. Members of the tribe had returned to live on part of their ancestral territory currently occupied by a rancher who is also a local politician.

Elsewhere in Brazil, an eviction order was served on Kayapó, Arara, Munduruku, Xipaya and Juruna Indians occupying the controversial Belo Monte dam site. Armed police have surrounded the protesters and tensions are rising amid fears that there will be similar violence.

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