Tag Archives: protests

Oregon House Passes Bills Targeting Tree-sitters, Environmental Activists

30 Apr

by Yuxing Zheng, cross posted from The Orgonian

elliott-state-forestjpg-4fadceba4502528a

SALEM — With talk about “environmental terrorism,” the Oregon House approved two bills Monday that target tree sitters and other environmental activists who interfere with logging in state forests.

House Bill 2595, which passed 43-12, would create the crime of interference with state forestland management. House Bill 2596, which passed 51-4, would allow private contractors with the Oregon Department of Forestry to sue environmental protestors for the cost of damaged equipment, employee wages, attorney fees and similar costs. Both bills head to the Senate.

The legislation comes amid divisive efforts to increase logging in Elliott State Forest near Reedsport and proposals to increase logging in federal forest lands. Environmental activists affiliated with Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia Earth First! staged protests at Elliott State Forest in recent years and at the Oregon State Capitol in May and June 2012, which led to arrests.

“They are known to overturn their vehicles on roads, chain themselves to trees, chain themselves to equipment, damage equipment, dig ditches in the roads, drive spikes in trees to cause injuries to workers, among other dangerous acts,” said Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, who carried both bills. “This type of conduct cannot and should not be tolerated.”

House Bill 2595 would allow district attorneys “to charge these terrorists with a crime and make them accountable,” he said.

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Taiwan outsourcing Pollution to Malaysia?

27 Jul

Taiwan’s protesters: Is Malaysia next?

After protest stalls giant petrochemical in Taiwan, plans are to build it in Malaysia

A long-running saga has come to the end for a US$12.8 billion attempt by the Kuokuang petrochemical company , which is owned by Taiwan’s 43 oercebt state-controlled CPC Group, to build a refinery for the production of petrochemical products such as ethylene, benzene, toluene and xylene. It is the victim of environmental protest. The government instead is now seeking to export its environmental problem to Malaysia.

In early July, the state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, without fanfare, signed an investment agreement with Malaysia’s Johor state government to build the integrated refinery and petrochemical plant in the village of Pengerang, Johor. Preceding the move was close to a decade of fierce environmental protest in Taiwan, forcing the island’s government to choose between major business interests on the one side and nature and health on the other.

Written by Jens Kastners. To read full article visit source as cross-posted from here

Groups Protest Tar Sands Oil on Spill Anniversary

27 Jul

Vacuum crews work to remove tar sands oil near the spill site, August 2, 2010. (Photo courtesy U.S. EPA)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — On the second anniversary of the costliest onshore oil spill in U.S. history, environmental groups held rallies in several states Wednesday to raise concerns about transporting tar sands oil in underground pipelines.

Demonstrators walked along the riverfront in Battle Creek, near the southwestern Michigan site where a pipeline ruptured in 2010 and spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River. Others staged “We Are the Kalamazoo” events in other states to rally opposition to new and expanded pipelines Continue reading

Fracking debate heating up in New Zealand

12 Aug

Heated debate over fracking, the mining process which could be used to extract gas in western Southland, is raging in the gas heartland of Taranaki.

A protest group, Climate Justice Taranaki, has called for a ban or moratorium on the practice, which it believes threatens aquifiers with toxic chemicals.

The issue has become an environmental flashpoint across the globe, but Taranaki is the first New Zealand region where there have been anti-fracking protests.

“What we are seeing, especially in the United States and Australia, is groundwater aquifiers being depleted and poisoned by toxic chemicals,” Climate Justice spokeswoman Emily Bailey said. “The resource companies don’t seem to be telling us what’s going on.”

Fracking is conventionally used to improve the flow of oil and gas wells by injecting a water-chemical mix into a well and subjecting it to high pressure, which forces the rock surrounding the well to crack open, releasing more oil and gas. In Southland, it could be used to extract shale gas from potentially huge deposits recently discovered under the Waiau Basin.

Anti-frackers believe the practice uses toxic chemicals which can permeate underground aquifiers and contaminate water.

The panic over fracking for shale gas was ignited by a provocative film, Gasland by Josh Fox, which claimed to expose the huge environmental damage caused by fracking in parts of the United States.

Article by Alex Fensome. For more information and full article go to source of cross-posting here

For more recent articles on the anti-fracking movement in New Zealand visit here, here and here

Global Protests Against Burmese Military Actions At Dams

1 Jul

By Katy Yan and Grace Mang

Cross-posted from here

Kachins protest at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco

Last Friday, hundreds of people in the US, Denmark, United Kingdom, Malaysia, and elsewhere gathered to protest the recent deadly clashes between Burmese authorities and ethnic militias in Burma’s northern Kachin State. Standing before Burmese and Chinese embassies, Kachins held up signs calling for an end to the violence and a halt to dam building by Chinese companies  in Kachin State.

Fighting broke out in early June between the Burma Army and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) at the Dapein No. 1 and 2 dams, which are being constructed by China’s state-owned Datang Company, breaking a 17-year ceasefire. Scores of people have died and as many as 13,000 refugees have fled their homes, with many crossing into China. As of last Wednesday, about 18 women have been reported gang-raped by Burma Army soldiers in Kachin State, according to the Kachin Women’s Association Thailand.

 

Fishing on the Irrawaddy near the Myitsone Dam (Burma Rivers Network)

Chinese power companies and contractors are building a series of dams in northern Burma to supply electricity to China. The biggest and most controversial of these dams is the Myitsone Dam, a massive 3,600MW hydropower plant being built by China Power Investment and situated in an area of great cultural and ecological significance. The environmental impact assessment on this first dam on the Irrawaddy also expressed grave concerns.

In March, the KIO sent an open letter to the Chinese government calling for a halt to the project. It warned that, given the forced displacement, lack of transparency, and unequal distribution of benefits, this and other dam projects in Burma were likely to foster popular resentment, creating a risky situation for Chinese companies so close to its borders.

Chinese dams fueling conflicts in Kachin State (Kachins in California)

According to the Burma Rivers Network, the current conflict is “closely related to the dams. The government has sent in troops because it wants to gain control of a region that hosts major Chinese investments in hydropower.” Kachin State has till now been largely controlled by Kachin forces. 

Strong local resistance has also occurred in northern Shan State in an area where Burma, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, and a number of Chinese companies (China’s Sinohydro, China Three Gorges Group Corporation, and China Southern Power Grid) are planning a series of dams for the Salween River.

China now finds itself caught in the middle due to its desire for secure energy supplies from Burma and its fear of escalating conflict around its hydropower projects so close to its borders.

 

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

Riot in the streets of London!

26 Mar

Several hundred masked protesters clashed with police, attacked shops and occupied a top store in London after hundreds of thousands of people rallied against government austerity measures. Clad in black and covering their faces with scarves, the protesters clashed with police, hurling fireworks, petrol bombs and paint. Clothes store Topshop and bank HSBC had their windows smashed, while some protesters hurled missiles at London's landmark Ritz Hotel. Others lit a bonfire at Oxford Circus, in the heart of the shopping district.

Riot cops, bagpipers, steel bands, choirs and dancers were also out for the event.

Watch a video of the event: