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Mink and Foxes Freed from Ontario Fur Farm

27 Aug

anonymous report / Bite Back

“In the early morning of August 26, 2013, the ALF raided Royal Oak Fur Farm in Simcoe, Ontario. We approached the fur farm and laid down in the tall grass so we could watch the guard’s building for any sign of movement. Once we were satisfied it was empty, we cut the bands that attach the chainlink fence to the poles and then tore a large area of fence down at the back of the farm and opened the front gate. We estimate we released about 750 mink and 50 fox. The fox almost seemed to understand what was happening because once they realized they were free, they wasted no time leaving their cages and escaping through the holes we made in the fence. After the fur farmers house lights flicked on, we quickly started pulling off breeding cards and tossing them around the empty cages, and then made our retreat through the corn fields with a noisy group of mink experiencing their first taste of freedom. We won’t stop until this, and all fur farms are empty. – ALF”

Activist Group Black Fish Using Drones to Defend the Ocean from Driftnets

26 Aug

by Alex Chitty / Vice

The Black Fish’s founder Wietse van der Werf. Photo by Chris Grodotzki.

The Black Fish’s founder Wietse van der Werf. Photo by Chris Grodotzki.

On a warm night in July 2012, off the island of Ugljan in the Croatian Adriatic, two activists slipped into the water near a line of huge fish farms. Security boats patrolled the perimeter of the vast circular nets, as guards stationed on a nearby hill kept watch through the night. And for good reason: the thousands of bluefin tuna in the farms, destined for the tables of Japanese sushi restaurants, are worth millions. Individual fish routinely sell for more than $1,500 at wholesale markets in Tokyo and closer to home. The Croatian tuna had been caught as juveniles under a loophole in international law, and were being “fattened up” before heading to market.

Wearing tactical diving gear, the divers arrived at the first net, slicing three-quarters of its length and sending bluefin streaming out. The divers swam to another net, repeating the process, and then headed home. The security teams circling above were none the wiser until the following day. The activists, from a group known as the Black Fish, were long gone. The raid was similar to a previous attack in September 2010, when Black Fish divers freed dolphins from holding pens near Taiji, Japan.

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Pilot Whale and Dolphin Slaughter in the Faroe Islands

25 Aug

by Erwin Vermeulen / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

On August 13th, 135 long-finned pilot whales were brutally slaughtered in Húsavík.

On August 13th, 135 long-finned pilot whales were brutally slaughtered in Húsavík.

It’s been an extremely bloody few weeks in the Ferocious Isles, even by Faroese standards. On August 8, 107 Long-finned Pilot whales were slaughtered in Sandavágur. On August 11, 21 were butchered in Leynar and on the 13th, 135 lost their lives in Húsavík.

The grind(adrap), as the Pilot whale drive is called, has a recorded history since 1584. There are 23 whaling bays assigned to six districts in which the meat and blubber are divided among the population. A drive is initiated when fishermen or ferries offshore sight dolphins. The dolphins are driven into a bay with boats and even jet skis and pulled up onto the beach with a hook in the blowhole. Then the spinal cord is cut with a knife.

The Húsavík massacre on the 13th was not the only one that took place that day. In Hvalba, the incredibly high number of 430 Atlantic White-sided dolphins were driven into ‘whale bay’ and brutally murdered. Some people might be surprised to hear that these islanders are targeting species other than Pilot whales, but they have always hunted smaller dolphins, especially in Hvalba. They last killed Atlantic White-sided dolphins in Hvalba in August 2010 and Risso’s dolphins earlier that year in April. Oravik took 100 Atlantic White-sided dolphins in August 2009. That same month, Hvalba killed two Northern Bottlenose whales that were reported as stranded, and a month later Klaksvik took three Risso’s. In June 1978 that town even butchered 31 Orcas.

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Cattle Auction Website Hacked

22 Aug

from Bite Back

received anonymously (translation – seguir adelante para español):

“In these images you can see the before and after of our visit, you can see a small modification. Similarly other modifications were made to the website which, though not visible on the main page, surely will take them a few hours to return to how they had it, if they can. On the page, all references to the sale of cattle were removed. All the orders, auctions, types of animals auctioned and some news.
The hacked website is http://www.unionganadera.com and although our way to enter it was with tools to get user names and passwords, the lack of security on the page was surprising. The user name was ‘Admin’ (without quotes) and the password was ‘123456’ (again without quotes).

While there are those who benefit from suffering, we’ll be there.
We will not allow the torture and murder to happen freely.
FLA”

before

after

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Hunting Towers Destroyed in Sweden

21 Aug

from Bite Back

According to media reports, as many as 20 hunting towers in Jämtland County were cut down or overturned early on August 18. (photos: Pär Eriksson)

Sweden_hunting_Aug13

Sweden_hunting_Aug13b

What The US, Russia Are Really Quarreling Over: Pipelines

21 Aug

For both countries, the Snowden affair is just another ho-hum spat in the greater imperial rivalry.

by Steve Horn / Mint Press News

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, listens to a translation as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters during their meeting in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The much-discussed Snowden affair is only the latest surface-level event in a geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russa over natural gas. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Secretary of State John Kerry, right, listens to a translation as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks to reporters during their meeting in Washington, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The much-discussed Snowden affair is only the latest surface-level event in a geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russa over natural gas. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Nearly two months ago, former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden handed smoking-gun documents on the international surveillance apparatus to The Guardian and The Washington Post in what’s become one of the most captivating stories in recent memory.

Snowden now lives in Russia after a Hollywood-like nearly six-week-long stint in a Moscow airport waiting for a country to grant him asylum.

Journalists and pundits have spent countless articles and news segments conveying the intrigue and intensity of the standoff that eventually resulted in Russia granting Snowden one year of asylum. Attention now has shifted to his father, Lon Snowden, and his announced visit of Edward in Russia.

Lost in the excitement of this “White Bronco Moment,” many have missed the elephant in the room: the “Great Game”-style geopolitical standoff between the U.S. and Russia underlying it all, and which may have served as the impetus for Russia to grant Snowden asylum to begin with. What’s at stake? Natural gas.

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Wild Wolf in Kentucky, First in 150 Years, Killed by Hunter

19 Aug

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

According to a recent announcement by state wildlife officials, a 73-pound, federally endangered female gray wolf was shot dead by a hunter in Munfordville, Kentucky earlier this year. Were it Alaska or Idaho this wouldn’t be news, but Kentucky has not seen wild roaming wolves since the mid 1800s. The gray wolf was shot in March —but state officials were skeptical that it was even a wolf, believing that it was more likely someone’s German shepherd.  But following months of DNA analysis, scientists confirmed it was indeed Kentucky’s first wolf in over a century and also its last.

This photo posted on KentuckyHunting.net shows the first wolf to wander Kentucky in over 150 years, dead and exhibited as a trophy.

This photo posted on KentuckyHunting.net shows the first wolf to wander Kentucky in over 150 years, dead and exhibited as a trophy.

DNA from the wolf was analyzed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado. According to the analysis, the Kentucky gray wolf had genetic traits akin to wolves in the Great Lakes Region. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon carried out independent analysis and confirmed the USDA’s findings.

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UK Anti-Frack Activists Shut Down Cuadrilla HQ, PR Office and Frack Site

19 Aug

from No Dash for Gas

Blockade outside Cuadrilla fracking site in Balcombe

Blockade outside Cuadrilla fracking site in Balcombe

Anti-fracking protestors Reclaim the Power have targeted Cuadrilla at locations across the UK shutting down their HQ in Lichfield, their PR company in London, and Balcombe drill site. Campaigners condemned violent policing at the gates of the drill site, where police charged, shoved and kettled a group that included children, people in wheelchairs, pensioners, MP Caroline Lucas, and journalists.

Protestor Ewa Jasiewicz, who is at the kettle said: “This an outrageously aggressive response to a day of principled civil disobedience. All of our actions have safety, dignity and respect at their core. Cuadrilla and the government were desperate to discredit fracking opponents. We offered them no aggression so they are creating it themselves.”

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Disruption in Oil Supply in Syria Spurs Amateurs to Build Make-Shift Refineries

19 Aug

by Jeffry Ruigendijk / Al Jazeera

One of Abu Zechariah's sons covers his mouth and nose while working with the refinery to avoid inhaling smoke emitted from the rusty tank.

One of Abu Zechariah’s sons covers his mouth and nose while working with the refinery to avoid inhaling smoke emitted from the rusty tank.

Ras al-Ain, Syria – Abu Zechariah and his two sons are farmers in the Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain, in northeastern Syria. They are one of many families throughout Syria that have decided to start privately refining crude oil as a way to make money.

Trucks come from Ramlan to Ras al-Ain, where they then begin to extract the low-quality fuel using rudimentary and dangerous equipment.

Rival rebel groups and regime forces continue to battle for control of strategic oil and gas fields in Syria’s northeast. Since the war began, local demand for oil has soared due to the disruption in supply from the West, which has led to small, privately owned refineries being built throughout Syria. Though profitable, this process of refining “rock oil” is unhealthy, and explosions are always a risk.

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Gezi Park Forums Have Spread Across Turkey

13 Aug

by Saygun Gökarıksel / Occupy.com

gezi forums“Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere resistance” is one of the most famous slogans of the popular uprising that emerged out of Taksim Gezi park protests in Istanbul in May and June. Ironically, the June 15 police crackdown that violently pushed the protesters out of Gezi park has given occasion to organize more elaborate “forums” and “people’s assemblies” in different public parks of Istanbul and other, predominantly western cities of Turkey.

Today many of these parks offer the much needed space to speak, discuss, criticize and organize cultural events (e.g. film screenings, photography exhibitions) around social issues to build a common political vocabulary and a sense of solidarity for thousands of protesters from all walks of life. However, the questions that often confront uprisings of such massive scale — where millions have taken to the streets for systemic changes, not for a cosmetic makeover — remain to be engaged. They are questions of political strategy and organization, such as: How to sustain and expand the popular force of the uprising and transform it into a movement that will produce lasting revolutionary effects? And what is the role of the forums in this regard?

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