Tag Archives: New York

Jerry Koch’s Grand Jury Resistance Statement

22 May

Cross Posted from JerryResists.net

jerrykoch

My name is Gerald Koch and I have been subpoenaed to a federal grand jury based in the Southern District of New York regarding the 2008 Times Square Military Recruitment Center bombing. This is my second subpoena concerning this matter; I was also subpoenaed in June of 2009. I refused to testify at that time based on the assertion of my First, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment rights, as I will be doing again for the duration of this grand jury. During the first grand jury, the government informed my lawyers that it was believed that I was at a bar in 2008 or 2009 where a patron indicated knowledge of who had committed the bombing. When I was first subpoenaed to the grand jury in 2009 I had no recollection of any such incident— a fact that I expressed publically. Now, almost 4 years later, I still do not recall the alleged situation.

Given that I publically made clear that I had no knowledge of this alleged event in 2009, the fact that I am being subpoenaed once again suggests that the FBI does not actually believe that I possess any information about the 2008 bombing, but rather that they are engaged in a ‘fishing expedition’ to gain information concerning my personal beliefs and political associations.

Continue reading

Hundreds Protest Fracking at New York Capital

5 Feb
Cross Posted from: The Associated Press
Fracking opponents protest legislative budget hearing Monday, February 4th, 2013.

Fracking opponents protest legislative budget hearing Monday, February 4th, 2013.

 

ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has no projected date for finishing shale gas drilling rules, with completion dependent on recommendations from a health impact review, Commissioner Joe Martens said at a legislative budget hearing Monday.

“We do not have a timetable,” Martens said when Sen. Tony Avella asked him when the 4 ½-year-old environmental impact review and related regulations will be completed. He said he expects to get a report from Health Commissioner Nirav Shah in “a few weeks.”

If Shah recommends additional measures in the regulations, Martens said it will be difficult to meet a key deadline.

If regulations aren’t finalized by Feb. 27, they’ll expire and will have to be put out for public comment again, which would likely extend the drilling moratorium by months. Martens acknowledged that to meet the Feb. 27 deadline, the massive environmental impact review on which the regulations are based must be published by Feb. 13.

Continue reading

Gimme! Coffee Introduces “Fracktivist” Coffee

14 Jan

Fracktivist

EF!J doesn’t necessarily support or endorse the production, consumption, or purchasing of coffee. But being that the current short-termer is addicted to the stuff (seriously, like 3 cups/day) we couldn’t help but share this.

Gimme! Coffee, espresso bar and artisan roaster, recently released an Organic, limited edition “Fracktivist Blend” coffee which supports the fight against fracking in New York State. Two dollars from each bag sold is being donated to Toxics Targeting, watchdog group known for its long-standing efforts to protect the environment in the Finger Lakes and across New York state.

Hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”) is a controversial drilling method that has come under fire from New York state environmentalists and community groups because of the risks it poses to the water supply. Gas companies’ recent efforts to expand fracking from nearby Pennsylvania, where it is already taking place, to New York’s Marcellus Shale, have intensified the fight. Continue reading

Hudson Valley Earth First! Continue to Resist fracked gas infrastructure alongside residents in New York

5 Oct

Minisink, NY gas compressor station site was successfully blockaded for over half the day.

 On October 1st, Millennium Pipeline Llc began construction on a controversial compressor station in Minisink, NY. The facility, which will emit 61,000 tons of toxic material annually, is meant to increase capacity for storage and delivery of fracked natural gas from Pennsylvania and eventually upstate New York. The facility is located within ½ mile of close to 200 homes, and within 1 mile of a nature preserve, an animal sanctuary, and numerous organic and small farms. The federally endangered Indiana Bat has multiple possible roosting sites proposed to be cut down in the coming days. Residents are currently entering their 5th day of resistance to this project, which so far has resulted in 2 arrests and numerous work slow-downs and disruptions.

Residents in western Orange County began fighting the project over a year ago, and have taken every legal step possible. FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) approved the project with a 3 to 2 vote, unprecedented in their history as a rubber stamping revolving door for industry. The split decision was the result of an alternative site proposed by residents, which would involve the expansion of an already existing compression facility. With their decision, FERC confirmed what we already knew, that when the interests of industry come up against community, the government is no ally. The gas industry has plans to turn Minisink and Western Orange County into a hub for operations, with another compression station and an $800 million dollar natural gas power plant already in the early stages of regulatory approval.

The community, however, has no plans to bow to industry or FERC. They have responded with a promise for daily action. On day 1, the site was successfully blockaded for over half the day, and only one resident was arrested (he was released within 2 hours with a ticket for disorderly conduct). On day 2, there were numerous work stoppages as a result of soft blockades (one brave individual was arrested), vehicular intervention, and the actions of one resident who jumped on top of a piece of heavy machinery (and amazingly managed to avoid arrest). On day 3, around 75 people, including many children and local families marched from the site through town and back again to continue to spread awareness about the toxic compressor station and strengthen resolve. On Day 4, a flash mob stopped traffic to the site for about an hour, with CBS news coming to cover the story. As we approach the 5th day, it remains to be seen how this campaign will escalate in the near future.

One thing is certain; no one in this area saw resistance of this magnitude coming. Hopefully this signals a sea change in the way things have been in the Hudson Valley. This bio-region has suffered enough suburbanization, gentrification, pollution, and downright dirty dealing. From Indian point (the nuclear plant with no evacuation plan) to PCBs, natural gas infrastructure to green-washed incinerator projects, we are here to let it be known that the heyday of industry is over. No compressor station! No compromise! Long live the Indiana Bat!

The next day of action is this Saturday (10/6/12) with another march, followed by a direct action training presented by Hudson Valley Earth First! 

For more information e-mail: hudsonvalleyearthfirst@gmail.com

Protesters chained to fence outside Inergy gas facility in New York

6 Sep

[UPDATE: 3 arrested for blockade.]

By Yvonne Taylor, Co-Founder, Gas Free Seneca

I am chained to a fence outside an Inergy facility near Watkins Glen, New York, and I am not alone.

We are protesting the gasification of New York. We don’t want fracking in this state (or any state), and we don’t like Inergy’s plans to build a gas storage hub in Seneca Lake salt caverns.

We believe that:

1. Inergy’s plans are reckless and dangerous. Salt Cavern storage facilities are more accident prone than any other type of gas storage facility.  Continue reading

Occupy Well Street [OWS Stands in Solidarity Fighting Extraction]

17 May

New York, NY- May 12-

Occupy Wall Street  partnered with Occupy Well Street, a regional, direct action oriented anti-fracking group, and other city and regional environmental groups to voice resistance to the Spectra Energy Natural Gas Pipeline and the issues associated with hydraulic fracturing. A broad coalition of groups were present, including New York’s Sane Energy Project, Reverend Billy, OWS’s Environmental Solidarity Group, Times Up, Eco-Buddies, and Earth First!. Colorful and joyful, many protesters arrived in a costumed bike brigade and participated in some clown trainings on Pier 54, the proposed entry point for the pipeline. Some of the groups present say they were acting in solidarity with a day of action called for May 19th by Occupy Well Street.

There was unity in the broad coalition in the message that those opposed to the Spectra Pipeline will not compromise in protecting the safety of their communities and will pursue a variety of strategies to see this project ended. “The Spectra Pipeline isn’t being built in a vacuum,” said a protestor affiliated with Occupy Well Street. “There is a natural gas boom in our region right now that’s threatening our rivers, our homes and the eco-systems that we rely on. We stand in solidarity with all the groups resisting fracking and the transportation infrastructure that will allow the natural gas industry to expand.”

The Spectra Pipeline is a 16 mile natural gas pipeline that will run through Jersey City, Hoboken, and Bayonne under the Hudson River to New York City’s West Village. Spectra Energy claims that it will provide necessary natural gas for New York City and surrounding areas. Activist groups opposed to the pipeline claim that inadequate safety standards, a history of accidents and the fact that the gas will be provided by hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale are unacceptable risks for the highly populated areas the pipeline will pass through. There have been numerous protests at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hearings throughout the environmental review process.  Continue reading

Occupy Retakes Zuccotti Park As Cops Distracted by New Year’s Eve in New York

1 Jan

Occupy Wall Street protesters jump on the barricades they removed from Zuccotti Park in New York Saturday Dec. 31, 2011.

Hundreds of anti-wall street protesters have made use of the massive police presence in Times Square on New Year’s Eve to retake their former campsite at Zuccotti Park in New York.

The demonstrators took some of the metal barricades that surrounded the park, and tossed them into a pile in the hours before midnight on Saturday night.

“All week all year, we’ll still be here,” protesters chanted as they jumped on top of the pile.

Zuccotti Park hadn’t been occupied since protesters were evicted in mid-November in an early morning police raid. That led to police raids on other encampments across the US from Boston to Los Angeles.

Most anti-Wall Street encampments in the country have been forcibly cleared.

Scuffles broke out between demonstrators and police as the NYPD presence started to amass again shortly before midnight and at least one police officer fired an arch of pepper spray into the crowd.

Occupy Wall Street protesters and New York Police clash over barricades at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan on New Year's Eve Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080939/Occupy-activists-retake-Wall-Street-police-busy-dealing-New-Year-s-Eve-Times-Square.html#ixzz1iEIjQqqn

Hudson Valley Earth First! joins fight to close Indian Point Nuke plant

16 Jun

On June 2nd the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had a meeting to talk about the safety of Indian Point reactors # 2 & 3.  Over 500 people showed up to voice concerns over the deteriorating power plant. Below are excerpts from a statement put out by Hudson Valley Earth First! for the event:

“Our bioregion is under attack! Entergy Nuclear Northeast and its lackeys the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have plans to rubber stamp a 20 year renewal license of the Indian Point Power Plant in Buchanan, NY.  The Hudson River Valley; the place we call home, is under threat from 20 more years of fish kills, unsafe spent fuel storage and numerous safety violations/exemptions that we cannot predict. If we haven’t learned from the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters, the recent meltdown at Fukushima in Japan should remind us of the inherent risks of Nuclear Power, not to mention that we have NO place to store the radioactive waste from Nuclear energy. WE MUST PERMANENTLY SHUT IT DOWN to protect the water and land we are part of! 

Hudson Valley Earth First! has joined over 50 organizations calling for the PERMANENT SHUT DOWN of Indian Point. For decades; diligent activists and citizens have signed petitions, picketed, protested, filed lawsuits and worked to close the plant down, or at the very least abide by regulations. However, none of these have worked thus far. We are at a pivotal point and must escalate with more creative action and be willing to take risks to defend our home. We are dealing with a powerful industry that prides itself on being “green.” We must expose their lies and take direct action to close it down and prevent anymore plants from being built!”

For more info contact: hudsonvalleyearthfirst@gmail.com

Puerto Rican Pipeline Protests Extend to New York

10 Jun

NEW YORK—Local Puerto Rican leaders and activists gathered outside Federal Plaza on Thursday to demand that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deny the permits for a proposed gas pipeline requested by the Puerto Rico Electric and Power Authority (PREPA).

“This gas pipeline project being proposed for Puerto Rico is very destructive, very costly, and it’s unnecessary,” said David Galarza, organizer of the protest. Mr. Galarza organized a group called NY Against PR Gas Pipeline to rally support from New York City Puerto Ricans.

The protest comes days before the Puerto Rican Day Parade, which has been dedicated to the country’s natural environment. The parade will march up Fifth Avenue in Midtown on Sunday, June 12, beginning at 11 a.m.

“This 92-mile gas pipeline project is going to run through the central mountain range, up and down rivers, up and down mountains, through communities, by the schools, by homes, [and] near the beachfront. It’s going to displace thousands of people from their homes,” Galarza added.

The 24-inch diameter pipeline would cut through 92 miles of the roughly 100-mile-long island. Dubbed Via Verde (Green Way) by the Puerto Rican government, but referred to as Via de la Muerte (Death’s Way) by those in opposition of the project, the proposed pipeline traverses Puerto Rico from the EcoElectrica Liquid Natural Gas Terminal to the northern thermoelectric power plants, affecting some 200,000 Puerto Ricans.

“The people of Puerto Rico have already decided that this is not what they want in their yard, in their home. President Obama is about to visit Puerto Rico. He’s looking for alternative energy sources. What better source of alternative energy than the island that has sun, that has air, [and] that has water. There are so many different ways that energy can be produced and this is what they have decided to do,” said Martha Loriano, representative from the New York City Chapter of the National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights.

President Obama will be the first U.S. President, since John F. Kennedy, to visit Puerto Rico in half a century next Tuesday.

The project faces fierce public opposition in the mainland. A May 1 protest this year drew over 30,000 protesters, despite torrential rain. According to a March 11 poll by El Nuevo Dia, 70 percent of the citizens of Puerto Rico oppose the project.

For more information click here

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!)