Tag Archives: Florida

Paddlers Charge Silver River Protesting Expected Cattle Ranch

30 Jun
Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch

Paddlers charge the iconic Silver River, protesting Adena Springs Ranch. Photo: Matt Keene

By Matt Keene / Earth First! Newswire

Grassfed beef ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Take Adena Springs Ranch, a proposed cattle ranch being developed by billionaire Frank Stronach in Florida. The beef project is expected to span 10,000 acres and, according to their website, hold up to 15,000 cattle. Adena Springs Ranch plans to raise the cattle on a grassfed diet, calling their industrial farming practices “healthier” and “better for the environment.”

This past Saturday, individuals concerned with the proposed ranch gathered alongside the iconic Silver River, a river formed from the discharge of Silver Springs, one of the largest natural artesian wells in the world. Continue reading

Roaches get revenge against animal trade

26 Nov

Edward Archbold, 32, “winner” of the pet store contest. Photo / AP

An autopsy has concluded that a Florida man choked to death after downing dozens of live cockroaches during a pet store contest earlier this year.

The report released Monday says 32-year-old Edward Archbold of West Palm Beach died as a result of “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents.”

Continue reading

Brandon Darby Claims “Occupy Anarchists” Plan to Take Down Emergency Medical Services at RNC

26 Aug

Earth First! Journal Offering Reward of Lifetime Subscription to Whomever Tars and Feathers Brandon Darby at the 2012 RNC

If you see this man in Tampa make his whereabouts know through the proper channels…

the following story is from Big Government, a right wing Tea Party blog.  Brandon Darby is the self proclaimed former Black Panther who, as an undercover snitch, bullied two youth protesters into felony charges at the 2008 RNC in Minneapolis, landing them in prison for years. Now he is something of puppet spokesperson of the whimpering tea party yuppy hacks.

For more on Darby check out this episode of the radio show This American Life: This American Life: “Turncoat – Act Two. Part Two.”

the following is by John Sexton

Yesterday, I interviewed my co-worker Brandon Darby as he was traveling toward the Republican National Convention in Florida. The interview focused on strategies used by anarchist protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention and how those strategies will be used once again next week by the Occupy movement.

In addition to trying to shut down bridges to prevent delegates from reaching the convention center next week, Brandon has learned that a subgroup of Occupy is looking to shut down EMS communications throughout the city.

The video that goes along with this interview is one Brandon took at the RNC convention while working undercover for the FBI in 2008. Some of it is a bit jumpy, but you’ll see some of the street blocking tactics as well as several instances of individuals throwing items onto a freeway from an overpass.

Continue reading

Mutant Mosquitoes in the Keys?

5 Aug

 


British biotechnology company Oxitec has plans to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Key West, Florida.

These mutant insects are bred in the lab to transmit a gene during the reproductive process that kills their offspring. Controversial experimental releases of 3 million GM mosquitoes produced by Oxitec have already taken place in three countries – the Cayman Islands (a British Overseas Territory which has no biosafety law) in 2009 and 2010,  Malaysia in December 2010,  and in Brazil in 2011. According to Oxitec, future experimental releases are planned in other countries, including Panama, India, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States (Florida Keys), and are also being discussed in the Philippines, Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. However, Vietnam has stated that it does not intend to release GM mosquitoes and plans in the US have been delayed pending a regulatory assessment. 

Continue reading

Endangered Species News:

13 Jun

Soon to be extinct? Schaus swallowtail butterflies

Only 4 Florida Butterflies Found; Texas Oil Tycoons Applaud Lizards Denial for Protection

BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK, Fla. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has issued an emergency authorization for the collection and captive rearing of Schaus swallowtail butterflies in an effort to save the “endangered” species from extinction.

     As a result of that authorization on June 8 — within two days after surveyors observed only three to five Schaus swallowtail butterflies at Biscayne National Park during their current flight season — the USFWS, National Park Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the University of Florida initiated an on-going emergency action to collect up to four female Schaus Swallowtail butterflies within BNP.  The surveys are continuing.

photo of dune sagebrush lizard by: Steve Jurvetson

SLEAZY WEST TEXAS OIL FIELDS, Tex. –A lizard whose habitat includes the West Texas oilfields will not be added to the endangered species list, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided

The oil and gas industry and state officials are applauding the move, which removes, for the moment, a potentially significant obstruction for the West Texas oil boom.

“This is a huge win for the Texas economy,” said Comptroller Susan Combs,  “it’s a huge win for private property rights, and I think it’s a big win for [the] species.”

Greenwashed Certifications of Longlines Kill Sea Turtles, Sharks

20 Feb

cross posted from global animal.

The Marine Stewardship Council allowed two eco-certifications for the use of longlines for swordfish fishing that will effect sea turtles and sharks drastically. For every swordfish caught, two sharks are killed.  Every year 1,200 endangered sea turtles are hooked by longlines, resulting in drowning. If swordfish are caught by longlines, consumers need to know what they’re buying and that the fishing method used resulted in preventable deaths. Read on for why many are arguing why longline-caught swordfish should be labeled in the market.

Two back-to-back eco-certifications of Atlantic longline fisheries for swordfish that capture and kill thousands of sharks and endangered sea turtles by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a death knell for the credibility for the industry-funded sustainable seafood eco-labeling scheme Continue reading

One of the world’s top 10 oldest trees dies in Florida

4 Feb

January 16, 2012 in Central Florida a 3,500 year old Bald Cypress tree known as the “Senator”, passed away.

This tree burned to the ground, due to a fire assumed to have started from a lightening strike it sustained in mid-January, causing an internal fire. The remains of the tree will be left in the park.

From Floridata: “It is a certainty that this tree sprouted about the time when the Egyptians were raising their first pyramids along the Nile. At 15 centuries The Senator was already a forest giant when Christ was born. And by the time Ponce de Leon explored Florida this tree was a 3,000 year old landmark that looked much as it does today, guiding the native people as they traveled the nearby Saint Johns River.” Continue reading

A Bad Wind Blowing: resisting industrial wind turbines from the Everglades to the Boundary Mountains

16 Jun

By Panagioti Tsolkas, Earth First! Journal editorial collective

In a Palm Beach Post article from earlier this year: A St. Louis company, Wind Capital Group, says they hopes to build Florida’s first wind farm, on thousands of acres of sugar land east of Belle Glade. The region is known as the Everglades Agricultural Area, and thought to be a crucial component to restoring the greater Everglades watershed. But has been increasingly  encroached upon by industrial development proposals, including rock mines, an ‘inland port’ and FPL’s controversial 38oo megawatt West County Energy Center.

The company has been meeting with Palm Beach County planners to change to the county’s development rules that would be needed before its turbines could be built. Now they are courting environmental groups to accept the proposed changes.

The Chamber of Commerce loves the idea of the $250 million project. “That is tremendous,” Brenda Bunting, Executive Director of the Belle Glade Chamber of Commerce, said of the project. “We would be excited to see something like that come. We are always looking for things that benefit this community.”

The company wants to build between 84 and 100 wind turbines, on land near the intersection of State Road 880 and Browns Farm Road. The150-megawatt turbines would stretch across 11,000 to 15,000 acres, said Robin Saiz, Wind Capital’s director of project development. Each turbine would stand between 262 feet and 328 feet tall, roughly the height of a 30-story building.

Environmentalists say they are concerned spinning turbines could harm birds and bats. “There are a lot of questions that remain to be answered, before we jump on the wind energy bus,” said Joanne Davis, a community planner with 1000 Friends of Florida.

Migratory birds flying through the region could be struck by the fast-moving blades. The endangered snail kite, for one, could be devastated if even a few were killed, environmentalists say. “When you talk about birds like the snail kite, we can’t afford to have any mortality,” said Drew Martin, conservation chairman for the Sierra Club’s Loxahatchee Group.

In June 2007, Florida Power & Light Co. announced plans to build the first wind farm in Florida, on Hutchinson Island, 8 miles south of Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County. The plan met resistance from nearby residents and wildlife biologists and has been put on hold.

Wind Capital says it hopes to have its turbines running by the end of next year.

In other news on industrial wind: A Campaign by the American Bird Conservancy pushes for mandatory standards on turbines


 In a June 14, 2011 press release, the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) stated the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) says it received nearly 30,000 comments on the draft Wind Energy Guidelines and Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance. About 21,000 comments coming through the efforts of ABC calling for mandatory wind energy standards and mitigation for impacts to wildlife and habitat. The comment letter sent by ABC and other groups is available at http://www.abcbirds.org/Wind_Guidelines_Comment_Letter.pdf.

Nearly 30,000 was an unusually large number of comments for the Division of Habitat and Resource Conservation, which took the comments down from the FWS wind energy website after running into technical trouble posting them.

Meanwhile in Maine…

Last July, four demonstrators were arrested while blocking a turbine blade from reaching the development site of the Kibby Mountain Wind Project. The four protesters are expected to face a jury trial in Franklin County Superior Court in Farmington beginning Monday, June 20th.

Courtney Butcher was charged with criminal trespassing. Erik Gillard, Ana Rodriguez, and Willow Cordes-Eklund were all charged with failure to disperse. Cordes-Eklund was arrested after U-Locking her neck beneath a tractor-trailer carrying a 15-ton turbine blade on Rt. 27.

Over 60 protesters gathered on the morning of July 6, 2010 at the development site to oppose the construction of 22 industrial wind turbines on the ridge of Kibby Mountain. The protestors claim that industrial wind development destroys the delicate Alpine ecosystems of Maine’s western boundary mountains. Protestors also object to Kibby Mountain wind developer TransCanada’s involvement in the practice of tar-sands oil extraction in Alberta, Canada.  The activists claim this shows that TransCanada is not interested in green energy, one of the supposed justifications for the Kibby project and other wind developments in Maine.

“We recognize the value of developing alternative energy systems,” said protester Meg Gilmartin of Maine Earth First! at the time of the blockade. “But these projects are an example of how corporations take advantage of the climate and energy crises to make profits while avoiding accountability. This is pristine, sensitive ecosystem being destroyed for a project that will not displace any fossil fuel energies from the grid.”

The protest preceded a Land Use Regulation Commission meeting on July 7th, where a plan for additional 15 turbines on neighboring Sisk Mountain was voted down. A later version of the proposal was approved in January. Friends of the Boundary Mountains has since filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Court to overturn the approval, citing violation of due process, as there was no public hearing for the second Sisk Mountain proposal.

Noted for it’s extreme ecosystem sensitivity, development on Sisk Mountain was opposed by such groups as Maine Audubon Society, Appalachian Mountain Club, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Earth First!, The Native Forest Network, Friends of the Boundary Mountains, and the Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power.

For more on impacts of industrial wind on wildlife, check out other recent press releases from ABC:

Conservation Groups, Thousands of Citizens Call on Feds to Protect Birds from Wind Turbines, May 19, 2011. View Release

Dramatic Video Shows Bird Strike at Wind Turbine: One Bird Currently Killed Every Minute by Wind Power in the US, April 5, 2011. View Release

Bird Group Says Cancellation of North Dakota Wind Farm Reflects Seriousness of Bird Issues April 4, 2011. View Release

Call for Public Debate on Wind Power after Misleading Industry Release on Bird Deaths March 3, 2011. View Release

New Federal Guidelines on Wind Farm Will Not Stop Bird Deaths. February 8, 2011. View Release

Wind Power Could Kill Millions of Birds Per Year by 2030. February 2, 2011. View Release

Wind Development Threatens Iconic American Birds. December 29, 2011. View Release

Rough Start for Primate Vivisection Conference in South Florida

8 May

According to Primate Products, a 4-day workshop entitled “Primadaptation” begins today at their remote vivisection lab and and primate breeding facility, which is called the Panther Tracks Learning Center (on account that its perimeter borders the Panther National Wildlife Refuge) located in Hendry County.

According to an anonymous communique received this morning, with the accompanying photos, its off to a rough start already:

“May, 8, 2011

A message was sent this morning to Primate Products and Scripps Biotech at a remote primate testing and breeding facility in Hendry County…

A road blockade appeared earlier this morning, obstructing potential participants in an animal testing conference scheduled this week in a remote location near the rural town of Immokalee. The blockade consisted of large debris, including tires, tree stumps, concrete block and pallets, interwoven with chain and cable, cover in tar which obstructed the entrance way to the laboratory facilities owned by Primate Products. A message left on a banner, read “Stop Primate Torture” and a sign was painted “Go Vivisect in Hell.”

According to the program for the primate research conference, this week’s activities include trainings on “behavior modification” for primates, to make them into “willing workers” in scientific studies where they are tortured through animal testing practices including forcing diseases and drug overdoses, sensory deprivation and unnecessary biomedical procedures. The event also boasts classes on how to convince facilities to “buy in” on animal research. The PDF with details on the conference can be viewed on Primate Products website, http://www.primateproducts.com.

Several participants in this conference have been the target of animal rights advocates around the world, due to their records of profit-driven abuse and mistreatment of animals, including non-human primates, the closest known genetic relatives to human beings.

A messages was also left for Scripps Biotech, based in Palm Beach Gardens. If Scripps Biotech moves forward with plans to expand their laboratory facilities, using $579 million in public money, for vivisection and genetic engineering in Palm Beach County, they will become one of the largest animal testing facilities in the southern United States.”

For those thinking they’d like to attend, The cost for the workshop is $1095…

If you have any further questions, the invite suggests contacting:

Stefanie L. Nelsen
PPI Behaviorist
(239)867-2042 (Office)
(239)821-9006 (Cell)
stefanienelsen@primateproducts.com

See this video on Primate Products from earlier last year:

Earth First! means a world without borders

29 Apr

By an editor of the EF! Journal

Jaguar photographed in arizona

Solidarity with immigrants against borders is one of the most practical and relevant places for the biocentrist—deep ecologist, eco-anarchist, Earth First!er.. or whatever you may call yourself—to present our vision of the world beyond civilization. The border is not just a line between two places. Its a scar on the earth, and in our lives, where empire and ecocide have met. Millions of people in North America feels this environmental and social tragedy in a deep and direct way.

The reality of this has been close to home for us here at the Earth First! Journal/Newswire, from life in Arizona in the midst of the SB 1070 law and the militarized border lands, to our new office in the south, which is now embroiled in the battles surrounding anti-immigrant legislation. Georgia became the first state following the footsteps of Arizona’s “Papers Please” law—HB 87, they are only awaiting the Governor to sign it into law—and, despite mass opposition, Florida is not far behind, with SB 2040.

"We will not comply," blockade at Sheriff Arpaio's Maricopa County Jail in Arizona after SB1070 goes into effect, July 2010

Arbitrary borders divided by walls and high-tech surveillance are becoming one of the most drastic symbols of literal human division and disconnect from the wild world around them. The same principles of rewilding that apply to keeping healthy, biodiverse habitats also apply to the re-wilding the free spirit of our species. What borders walls do to the endangered Jaguar, immigration laws due to our own wild spirits.

The past two issues of the EF! Journal have run excellent articles on borders, immigration, biocentrism and ecological resistance. Check ‘em out below.. May they assist in fueling the flames of immigrant solidarity and rebellion.   For freedom of movement to all species!

The Capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida is occupied by immigrants, predominantly from indigenous campesino communities in Central America.

Razing Arizona: the ecological battle against borders (an overview of pro-immigrant, anti-border articles from the past 10 years of the EF! Journal. In Spanish and English.)

Borders & Bodies (a personal reflection from an EF! Journal editor of borders, colonization and empire from the Arizona border to the coasts of Florida.)

(Also, don’t miss the coming issue of the EF! Journal, this June, for a fresh new article on the Center for Biological Diversity’s effort to defend Jaguars from extinction in the US by the racist border wall.)

Check out news and video from the growing resistance in Florida.

Simultaneous protests for immigrant farmworker solidarity take also place this week. Here, at a grand opening of Grocery chain Public in Lake Worth, FL, new home to the Earth First! Journal.