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Road to new biotech development in Florida stopped

18 Oct

Occupied gopher tortoise burrow in the path of Hawkeye’s biotech plans, picture taken during Everglades EF! site survey

Last month, activists with the Everglades Earth First! group joined forces with residents of Limestone Creek, a historic Black community, near the city of Jupiter. This week the alliance succeeded in defeating a plan related to Scripps Biotech in Palm Beach County. Following a County Commission hearing on Tuesday, the road proposed by Hawkeye Jupiter LLC to go through a neighborhood leading to 82 acres of endangered species habitat was voted down. 

The plan for plowing through the quiet Limestone Creek neighborhood of Kennedy Estates and paving over the nearby pine flatwoods for more biotech laboratories was the latest in a failing attempt to establish a “biotech hub” in the south Florida region.

The effort to expand biotech venture capitalist investment in the area has been fought since its initial inception in 2004, when then-Governor Jeb Bush unloaded hundreds of millions in corporate welfare to entice the industry. A long journey of agency whistle-blowing, environmental lawsuits, protests and civil disobedience actions has kept their progress at bay. Despite the compromise deals of several Big Green NGOs, grassroots resistance has kept the “biotech hub” from breaking new ground on large undeveloped tracts of land, as initially desired.   Continue reading

Earth First! Blockades TECO Coal Plant at RNC in Tampa

31 Aug

by Everglades Earth First!

“You Built This Disaster” banner spoofs RNC motto (“We Built this”)

UPDATES: Seven people in total were detained for blocking the roads which stopped all traffic into the coal plant for near four hours. Six were locked down in the road and one was dragged off the top of the truck.

Over one hundred people showed up to support the blockade, many on the buses who traveled down with the Occupy Wall Street contingent from NYC, and dozens of media outlets in town for the RNC reported on the action.

In the end, no one was arrested, as it seemed the police used a strict policy of controlling the perception of protests by avoiding conflict all week.

Regardless, in the end this action not only succeeded in closing access to a massive coal power plant for hours, it also linked the plant’s operations to the corporate-funded political system, and even shut down the Port of Tampa temporarily (as well as freaked out a nearby IKEA who happen to be in the midst of an old-growth logging controversy), just by the threat of our presence!

What follows is a press release from Everglades EF! released at the start of the action:

Apollo Beach, FL—In the climax of the 2012 Republican National Convention, protestors with Earth First! have blocked access roads to TECO’s Big Bend coal plant on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. The environmental action group is citing corporate influence in politics and ecological impacts of fossil fuel dependency as reasons for the disruption.

One of two lockdowns along the road, blocking all truck access to the TECO plant

This year’s RNC was funded by an estimated $55 million in corporate pay-offs, with corporations including the Tampa based-TECO Energy, along with Chevron, Duke Energy and Exxon Mobil.

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The RNC, Koch Habits, and Uprisings in District 12

28 Aug

Everglades EF! and the EF! Journal take the stage before the March on the RNC to express solidarity with the growing rebellion in District 12 (hell yeah, that’s a Hunger Games reference.)

by Clinton Tyree, reporting live from the streets of Tampa Bay.

So Hurricane Issac didn’t blow the political elite and their flock far into the oil-slicked, algae blooms of Florida’s dismal Gulf Coast, like we had hoped. As it turns out, those of us who showed up in spite of the storm (or enthusiastic to witness its beauty and fury) have have had to do a little hell-raisin’ of our own.

While numbers have been small, the pain in the ass which protests have inflicted thus far has not gone unnoticed. Thanks to the over-reaction of the police state swarming the city, life in the Tampa area has been a glimpse at the true face of industrial-strength democracy.

Despite the rain and cops, rabble-rousing wingnuts of the 99% (yeah that’s us, and y’all) have marched in the militarized streets. And despite the extreme paranoia, folks have consistently breached security to disrupt business-as-usual for politicians that pave the way to growing corporate control over the planet.

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Blow, Blow Seminole Wind…

23 Aug

If you thought the anarchists could really piss off the US Empire, check out the Seminole resistance to honky expansionism. The story mentioned above is a bit lopsided in favor of the establishment, but give it a read, you’ll get the idea…

Blow across the home of the bureaucrats, the lobbyists and the cops

by Clinton Tyree

While the Tampa police and several media outlets obsess about whether or not some bricks and pipes on top of a building were intended to be launched at their heads during the RNC next week, the potential for much more substantial projectiles is brewing off the coast.

According to a recent report, Hurricane Isaac Threatens to Swamp Republican Convention, the Mayor says he’s ready to call it all off. So far the storm, already as big as Texas, has succeeded in hitting the empire where it hurts, causing hundreds to evacuate to the US military base in Guantanamo Bay.

This lovely report reminds us, “The last Hurricane to hit Florida, Wilma, was a Catagory 1 but did billions in damage.”

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Earth First! group calls for eco-action during RNC in Tampa

16 Aug

EEF! blockades Loxahatchee FPL plant construction, 2008

by Clinton Tyree

Organizers from Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) invite eco-activists far and wide to join us in bringing our message to the RNC this month.

While we stand in solidarity with those who will be out struggling for social and economic justice, we also feel there is a need to contribute an action-based analysis which views the ecological crisis as a central concern for those of us struggling to change the direction of this society.

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