Tag Archives: everglades earth first

Anti-KXL Solidarity Action Targets Deutsche Bank on Palm Beach Island

19 Nov

Four arrested as concerned Florida residents demonstrate opposition to investments in Transcanada/ Keystone XL Pipeline

See corporate media coverage from Palm Beach Daily News here.

An activist is taken into custody by Palm Beach police during a protest on Royal Palm Way.

An activist is taken into custody by Palm Beach police during a protest on Royal Palm Way.

West Palm Beach, FL – Monday, November 19, 2012 – Dozens of protesters with Everglades Earth First! and supporters of the Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas are rallied today on Palm Beach island, demonstrating opposition to the construction of the Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the nation rebounds from life-threatening droughts, raging wildfires, devastating hurricanes and ever rising temperatures, we wish to draw attention to investors financially responsible for the construction of a pipeline supporting the world’s most devastating fossil fuels project, TransCanada’s Alberta tar sands.

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When Republicans, Hurricanes and Anarchists Collide…

24 Aug

The coming Tempest in Tampa

by Russ McSpadden

The Dance

By now its old hat. Every four years the Republicans gather to formally nominate their candidate for president of the United States and every four years large scale street demonstrations vacillate between hippy parades of clever marching puppets and black clad anarchists lighting fires in the road and smashing bank windows. Throw into this mix the beefy riot squads of robocops bashing heads, spraying tear gas from industrial hoses, blasting sonic weapons and tossing noise and flash grenades into crowds and you’ve got a classic election year party. Its theater via politics, revolution and the status quo. Its passion and violence, and for all that can be said in disgust of this dance it beats the hell out the timid consumerist and soul freezing discourse our culture has come to deem civil.

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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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Earth First! Journal Volunteer Work Week set for this Summer

7 Jun

And you might even get to meet some locals from the Everglades EF! crew who pulled of this anti-biotech canopy occupation, last year…

Hey you campaign hoppers and summer travelers! If you have a way to get down to South Florida following this summer’s Round River Rendezvous, consider joining forces with the Earth First! Journal.

The Earth First! Journal Collective is hosting a Volunteer Work Week for July 16-20th. The kickoff is Saturday and Sunday (14th & 15th) with a camp out in the Everglades watershed (location TBA), including a possible canoe trip on the Loxahatchee river.
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Charges dropped on two treesitters fighting Scripps Biotech

18 May

Two others prepare for trial

By Everglades Earth First!

Treesit against Scripps Biotech in Briger forest as seen from a Ch 12 news helicopters

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida— Four activists with Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) attended a court hearing today, related to the treesits in an ongoing campaign to stop the expansion of Scripps Biotech facilities into the Briger forest.

Two of the four, Brandon Block and Courtney Claar, have had their charges dropped.

The others, Russell McSpadden, a current editor with the Earth First! Journal, and Rachel Kijewski, a climb trainer with Everglades Earth First!, were offered a plea deal barring them from the property and requiring psychiatric evaluations. They are preparing for trial. According to the affidavits from their arrest, a Joint Terrorism Task Force agent is involved in the case.

Despite these legal obstacles, the campaign to stop Scripps Biotech from expanding continues on several fronts. And these activists continue to be on the front lines. For example, on May 1, 2011, Kijewski authored a response to the Biological Opinion by US Fish & Wildlife Service regarding the protection of federally protected species in the forest.

The group is inviting support in the form of donations for their legal battles ahead.

To read more background stories from the fight to stop Scripps and save Briger forest, click here

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[If you value these stories from the front lines of ecological resistance, help keep us around by subscribing or donating to the Earth First! Journal.]

Take Back the Land: Direct action for the Earth should start at home…

14 May

Preferably a liberated home.

By Panagioti Tsolkas, Earth First! Journal

While Earth First! is most commonly associated with the direct action to defend of the wild from corporations and governments, the fight to liberate urban land (often from those same corporations and governments) is not to be dismissed. In fact, there is a case to be made that changing the way we view the immediate land we live on is a first and necessary step towards redefining our relationship to the living world around us. And if we are aiming to turn this whole ecocidal system on its head—as we must—then we would do well to pay close attention to the foreclosure crisis that is poised to implode industrial capitalism here in the US.

In this light, the group Take Back the Land is biocentric and deeply ecological at its core.

This case was made at this years Earth First! Winter Rendezvous at a workshop lead by co-founder of that group, Max Rameau. As powerful as his words were, action always speaks louder:

May 9, 2011: Take Back the Land- Rochester liberates home, moves Lennon back into house
By: Max Rameau (originally posted here.)

Catherine Lennon and Ryan AcuffCatherine Lennon, the Rochester, NY grandmother who was evicted from her home by a SWAT team , has been moved back into her home on Monday May 9, 2011 by Take Back the Land- Rochester.

After her husband died of cancer in 2008, the Lennon family fell behind on her mortgage.  Attempts to renegotiate the mortgage were stonewalled by Fannie Mae, Catherine Lennon made local and national news by defending her home from eviction for two weeks with help from neighbors and Take Back the Land- Rochester. While Fannie Mae refused to help Catherine Lennon, they gladly accepted over $90 billion in taxpayer bailout money through the TARP program.

On March 28, 2011, Rochester police executed the eviction with 2 dozen or so police and by arresting seven people, including a 70 year old neighbor still in her pajamas. Charges against those arrested are being dropped in exchange for 8 hours of community service. The Lennon-Griffin family of 11 has been dispersed with grandchildren living with friends and family and Catherine living in a local Motel.

After the eviction, Lennon was called the ‘Rosa Parks of the foreclosure crisis‘ for her heroic stand against the bank. Offers of assistance came from US Representative Louise Slaughter (NY-28), Senator Kirsten Gillabrand and Senator Chuck Schumer. Negotiations with Fannie Mae broke down after they made bad faith demands.

“We believe it is immoral for Fannie Mae to leave another home vacant in our community,” argued Ryan Acuff of Take Back the Land- Rochester, “while Catherine Lennon depletes her life savings staying in a motel. We must show at least as much mercy towards Catherine Lennon as we have towards Bank of America, Citibank and Fannie Mae.”

Police have not intervened thus far. Here is local media coverage: Democrat and Chronicle Article    Channel 8 News Rochester The New York Daily Record

For previous coverage of Take Back the Land in the Earth First! Journal, check out the following article:

Taking It Back in Miami By Max Rameau, and Miami’s Take Back the Land: Superbowl Week of Action By jhon luna, both published in 2007.

Activists with the Everglades Earth First! group even made a cameo in this video clip below (see if you can spot them!)

April Fool’s Tree Sit against Deforestation and Biotechnology

1 Apr

Earth First! editor Aguamala takes to a tree at the Palm Beach Gardens city hall to protest the development of a biotech city on an endangered forest.

Dressed in sad clown make-up Ana Rodriguez (Everglades Earth First!er and member of the editorial collective of the Earth First! Journal) scampered up a pine tree at Palm Beach Gardens city hall this morning. She is part of the coalition that is fighting a Scripps biotech development, which will be built on an endangered forest, in Palm Beach County, Florida.

April 1st, Fool’s Day, marks the one year anniversary of the Palm Beach Gardens city council deciscion to rezone the Briger Forest for development.

The Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition, Executive Committee of the Loxahatchee SierraClub and the Conservation Chair of Audubon Society of the Everglades have all taken a position against the plan to clear Briger forest. The groups join Everglades Earth First! in opposing the current Briger plan and call for an alternate plan which preserves and enhances the endangered species habitat, recreational value and educational opportunities that the forest provides.

Treesitter Ana Rodriguez commented “The public needs to know that Mayor Levy and the County Commissioner have given Scripps $579 million in tax dollars to clear the Briger Forest and create one hundred jobs. That is one million per job. In this time of drastic budget cuts we call on the Mayor and County Commissioners to redirect public money into the budget, not the deep pockets of the Scripps Corporation.”

The new tree-top protest comes a week after Palm Beach Gardens Police arrested two tree sitters. The Police were also responsible for cutting multiple large native pine trees down in two areas of Briger forest—one of these being an area listed as a “preserve” in the Development of Regional Impact (DRI) permit, the other being in land owned by Palm Beach County taxpayers. Several members of the group have filed public records requests for details on the reason for tree-cutting. No official response has been made by the city to these requests, and their requests for a meeting with staff have gone ignored.

The activists have found that, according to Treasure Coast Regional Planning Committee staff, cutting trees in the designated preserve area constitutes a violation of the conditions of the DRI approval, which requires a “Preserve Management Plan” that will “enhance and restore” habitat. Activist have 10 foot branches and large stumps from the felled trees with them at City Hall and plan to rally later today from noon – two.

The group asserts that the fight to protect Briger is gaining momentum, similar to the 2006 effort that resulted in Scripps being forced off Mecca Farms due to environmental impacts. A group member Panagioti Tsolkas commented that “More and more people are realizing the importance of protecting the endangered species on the Briger Forest. We get calls daily from people who want to participate in our efforts to protect the Briger Forest.”

In 1990, Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resource Management (ERM) selected the Briger forest as a candidate for preservation through a bond to purchase land for protection. At that time, it was called Indian Creek Flatwoods eco-site #23. While it was not selected in the final purchases, it was recognized to be valued as endangered species habitat by ERM, over 20 years ago.

For more photos and background, visit www.ScrapScripps.info

Video of One Month Anniversary of Florida Tree Sit

16 Mar

A group of protesters gathered outside of FAU in Jupiter Monday to help save one of the last forests in eastern Palm Beach County. The protesters have positioned multiple tree sit-sites with hopes it will stop Scripps Research Institute from clearing the area for a building site.

Follow the link for the video: Save the forest: Protesters positioned multiple tree sit-sites.

One Month of Canopy Occupation in Florida against Bitoech, Deforestation, Vivisection

14 Mar
Hanging out in defense of the wild and against the corporate ownership of life.

Hanging out in defense of the wild and against the corporate ownership of life.

The canopy occupation in the Briger Forest to hault the destruction of the endangered habitat at the hands of a Biotech development is celebrating its one month anniversary.

The occupation includes two separate sites in the forest, one along side of Interstate 95 to garner public attention and one in the section of the forest specifically designated for the Scripps Biotech and vivarium labs.

It has been a long, but rewarding month.” commented treesitter Rachel Kejewski via phone from her treetop encampment “The Briger Forest is critical habitat for endangered species, it is one of the last forests in the eastern corridor from Palm Beach County to Miami.  Scripps was given $579 million in public funds for their development.  Scripps might have deep pockets, but we have the courage and grit to protect this forest.”

Scipps Biotech Development of the Briger by the numbers*:

$579 million in public dollars

683 – Total number of acres

100 – Acres designated for Scripps spinoffs

1.6 million- Square feet planned for Scripps office and biotech research

2.4 million – Square feet planned for spinoff office and biotech research

500,000 – Square feet planned for commercial/retail/office

2,700 – Residential units

*Palm Beach Post March 30, 2010

for more info visit:
scrapscripps.info
or
evergladesearthfirst.org