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Marcellus Shale Earth First! Aerial Blockade Celebrates 2 Weeks

27 Sep

DONATE TO THIS CAMPAIGN NOW! KEEP HELLBENDER & THEIR CREW SUPPLIED!

To get directly involved, reach a spokesperson for comment, or donate supplies (tarps, blankets, bulk foods, hand warmers, ropes, harnesses, carabiners, winter boots/clothing, etc.) please contact MarcellusEarthFirst@Riseup.net

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Just south of the “New York” and “Pennsylvania” border a battle is raging to defend the Loyalsock state forest in what isknown as Sullivan County, PA, about a half hour north of what is known as the city of Williamsport which lies at the southernmost part of traditional Haudenosaunee Confederacy territory. The high elevation wetlands, and mature forest ecosystems of Loyalsock are home to rare and threatened species such as the Timber Rattlesnake, Northern Water Shrew, Wild Sasparilla, and carnivorous Pitcher Plants. 114,494 acres of this lush forest sit atop the Marcellus Shale, an underground formation that spans from West Virginia to as far north as Ithaca, NY. Houston based corporation Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC) has been craving to penetrate this shale formation. APC has proposed developing 26 fracking well-padsalong with multiple pipelines, access roads, and other supporting infrastructure which are poised to devastate the lively streams that sustain all animal and plant life in the Loyalsock. In nearby, Sproul State Forest, Anadarko has spilled over 12,000 gallons of carcinogenic drilling mud. Andarko was also a key investor in British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in 2010 killing 11 workers and releasing 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico forever altering the ecosystem. APC was ordered to pay $272 million towards cleaning up the Gulf. Anadarko refused.

People united under the banner of, Marcellus Shale Earth First! (MSEF!), whose tagline is, “No Drilling! No Compromise!”, have sworn to defend the Loyalsock forest from Anadarko’s ecocidal ways.  On September 13th, two weeks ago today, the first aerial blockade was erected at the site of a proposed well pad. Should Anadarko continue with their plans, activists say there could be many more blockades in this forest. High in the canopy of the forest  sits a brave tree sitter on a platform who chooses to identify themselves as Hellbender, the name of the giant salamander of the North East who makes it’s home in the Loyalsock forest.  Continue reading

Indigenous Activists Living In “Chemical Valley” Disrupt Pro-Tar Sands Conference

27 May

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Stop The Tar Sands – No Line 9 (The Media Co-Op)

by Amanda Lickers (Onondowaga Haudenosaunee) / Coalition Against Line 9

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The impacts of industrial development in the area now known as Chemical Valley are deep. The relationship between the 63 petrochemical industries and the occupied lands they are on is not a coincidence. The devastating affects corporations like Imperial Oil, Enbridge and Polysar have had on the environment, through contamination and corporate irresponsibility disproportionately impact bordering, and downstream Indigenous communities such as Aamjiwnaang and Walpole First Nations. The SunCor Energy refinery alone is responsible for processing 85,000 barrels per-day of gasoline, kerosene, jet and diesel fuels.

The Aamjiwnaang & Walpole First Nations are across the U.S.-Canadian border from Port Huron, Michigan.

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Vanessa Gray, an inspiring Anishinabe-kwe, community organizer and member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation successfully disrupted a pro-tar sands conference, in Sarnia, Ontario. During the conference, “Bitumen Adding Value: Canada’s National Opportunity”, Vanessa took over the stage while the keynote presentation was being given and unfurled a banner reading, “YOU ARE KILLING MY GENERATION”.

In the face of already environmentally devastating conditions in a political context of apartheid against Indigenous peoples, those already impacted by Chemical Valley now seek to say No to further industrial expansion – the proposed Line 9 reversal which will bring Tar Sands crude project much further East.

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Residents of Houston’s Toxic East End Speak Out

29 Mar

Call Out Keystone XL Pipeline Profiteers as Perpetuators of Environmental Racism

The Valero refinery overlooks Manchester;s only park. Photo by Laura Borealis

The Valero refinery overlooks Manchester;s only park. Photo by Laura Borealis

Residents of Houston’s toxic East End have been organizing their communities to resist further industrial development, specifically the Keystone XL and the tar sands it will carry to be processed in refineries there. For the record, tar sands are NOT oil! Tar sands are a thick mixture of sand, water, clay, bitumen and crude oil which must be mixed with volatile diluents to get them to move through pipelines. Yudith Nieto, was born in Mexico and raised in Manchester, one of the most polluted neighborhoods on Turtle Island. Yudith has been speaking out and standing up for her community who are saying “NO!” to toxic tar sands. Continue reading

From Texas to Appalachia, Putting Our Bodies on the Line

14 Mar

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WED, 03/13/2013

By Eric Moll

The directions take us just outside the New York City sprawl-zone: up through the hills and bare forests of late winter, the houses and yards getting bigger until they disappear altogether and suddenly we’re nearing the highest point in New Jersey and one of the more strenuous parts of the Appalachian Trail.

We’re here to check on the last stand of trees to be cleared for Loop 323 of the proposed Tennessee Pipeline, which would run through the heart of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, opening new areas to fracking and fueling the proposed Newark Generating Station.

My friend and I have been working with a group called Tar Sands Blockade to oppose the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline in Texas. We came east to offer our support to locals in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who have been locking themselves to trees and blockading access roads in order to stop the Tennessee Pipeline since mid-February.

READ MORE: http://occupy.com/article/texas-appalachia-putting-our-bodies-line

Earth First!, Appalachia Resist Blockade Fracking Waste Water Storage Facility

19 Feb

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Following the annual winter Earth First! rendezvous Green Hunter Fracking Waste Storage Facility in New Matamoras, Ohio has been Shut Down and Blockaded.  10 confirmed arrests, with monopod preventing operations at facility.  Please consider making a donation to bail funds.  

For lives updates visit our friends at Appalachia Resist!  More photos can be found here. 

In an unprecedented show of unity against the extraction industry, members of  Appalachia Resist!Tar Sands BlockadeRadical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival (RAMPS), Keystone Blockade, a coalition of indigenous leaders including representatives from No Line 9 and the Unis’tot’en CampGreat Plains Tar Sands Resistance, and Earth First! chapters from across the country have gathered in Southern Ohio to blockade and shut down Greenhunter fracking waste water storage facility.  This is the latest in an ongoing and escalating campaign of resistance to the dangerous and exploitative resource extraction industry that is threatening the existence and survival of the earth and all of it’s inhabitants. Continue reading

Exciting Photos from Tuesday’s EF!, Appalachia Resist Fracking Blockade

19 Feb

Following the annual winter Earth First! rendezvous Green Hunter Fracking Waste Storage Facility in New Matamoras, Ohio  was blockaded and forced to shut down. Swarms of white-suited, soggy protesters and a monopod prevented operations at the facility for hours drawing 10 confirmed arrests. Below and here are more photos of the day’s dramatic event. For more info read the action report

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Indigenous Leaders Confront Ecuadorian Government in Houston

6 Feb

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Coalition storms lobby of Westin Hotel where sacred Amazonian lands are being auctioned by Ecuadorian Government

Westin Hotel at the Galleria in Houston, TX, 2/4/2013–  Tar Sands Blockaders joined indigenous leaders from the Achuar and Shuar tribes who inhabit the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador along with their allies from Amazon Watch and representatives from Idle No More – Gulf Coast. United in solidarity against dangerous and exploitative resource extraction, the group stormed the lobby of the Westin Hotel in Houston where the Ecuadorian government was making arrangements to auction off land for oil exploration and industrial development without the consent of the tribes who live there.  Continue reading

Indigenous Organizers to Hold Round Table Meeting on Tar Sands Resistance and Decolonization

30 Jan

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Re-posted from our friends at the Tar Sands Blockade

Tar Sands Blockade has been working to amplify the voices of communities who will be most impacted by tar sands exploitation; Indigenous peoples and lands at the point of extraction and Latin@ and African American communities in the Gulf Coast where the tar sands will be refined and shipped to overseas markets in a tax-free trade zone.

On February 14th -18th Earth First! will be hosting it’s annual organizers conference and winter rendezvous. Indigenous land defenders and anti-pipeline organizers will hold a round table on tar sands Resistance and decolonization.   Continue reading

After 46 days Gulf Coast activists end hunger strike, express solidarity with Theresa Spence

16 Jan

Gulf Coast activists Diane Wilson and Bob Lindsey pictured here with Tar Sands Blockaders in Houston, TX after 46 days on a hunger strike to protest Valero’s involvement with TransCanada and their presence in the fence-line community of Manchester.

Our friends at the Tar Sands Blockade have been working with anarchist community organizers in Houston’s toxic East End. Many Latin@ communities are being disproportionately effected by industry, a blatant example of environmental racism and classism.  The small Latin@ neighborhood of Manchester is completely surrounded by industry and their only park sits in the shadow of a Valero refinery emitting known human carcinogens like benzene, ethylene, 1-3 butadiene, etc.  Through projects based on mutual aid and solidarity organizers aim to amplify the voices of people in the community.  They have faced endless police harassment and intimidation.

Gulf Coast activists Diane Wilson and Bob Lindsey engaged in a 46 day hunger strike to call attention to Valero’s involvement with TransCanada and their presence in the community of Manchester.  After ending their strike they made the following statement:

On November 29th, 2012 in protest of Valero’s involvement with the KXL pipeline we locked our necks to industrial trucks just outside the Valero refinery. We were arrested and immediately began a hunger strike in solidarity with the struggling people of the community of Manchester. We demanded that Valero not only cease all business with TransCanada but vacate the Manchester neighborhood that they have exploited for decades. Continue reading

Manchester: An Environmental Battleground

31 Dec

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On Thursday, December 27th, in Houston, TX, residents of Manchester gathered with allies to issue new demands on Valero. “We demand to know what you are forcing us to breathe!  ¡Exigimos saber lo que nos están obligando a respirar!”  The community came together in a celebration of unity and strength.  Manchester is populated almost completely by Latin@s, and surrounded on all sides by industry.  A massive Valero refinery looms over the community’s only park and its smokestacks poison the people who live there 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  Manchester is plagued by a long list of diseases and ailments including asthma, respiratory disease and inflammation, infertility, birth defects, and a myriad of deadly cancers.  The National Disease Clusters Alliance reports (pg. 2) that children living within two miles of the Houston Ship Channel have a 56% higher likelihood of developing leukemia than those who live more than ten miles away.

Anarchists and Tar Sands Blockaders helped to facilitate the gathering based on principles of mutual aid and solidarity. A barbecue was held less than one block away from the Valero refinery that poisons the neighborhood.  A sign proclaimed, “EVERYONE WELCOME! TODⒶS BIENVENIDⒶS!” accompanied by a free store containing many warm clothing items, books from Tony Diaz’s project, Librotraficante, live music from an Occupy Wall Street member, and toys for children collected and donated by Cherri Foytlin. Cherri, an indigenous woman, and mother of six, chained herself to a Keystone XL Pipeyard gate on October 24th, a Tar Sands Blockade action.

Continue reading