Tag Archives: racism

NAACP Study “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People”

18 Nov

By: Jenée Desmond-Harris

(The Root) — It’s not news that coal-fired plants cause pollution, and it’s not surprising that it’s low-income people and people of color who tend to live closest to them. But “Coal Blooded: Putting Profits Before People,” a new report released this week by the NAACP, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, breaks down the numbers to communicate just how bad the environmental injustice is.

The organizations ranked 378 coal-fired power plants in the nation based on their Environmental Justice Performance, a score based on the plants’ toxic emissions as well as the demographics of their surrounding areas (things like race, income and population density). The results led NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous to conclude, “Coal pollution is literally killing low-income communities and communities of color … There is no disputing the urgency of this issue. Environmental justice is a civil and human rights issue when our children are getting sick, our grandparents are dying early, and mothers and fathers are missing work.”

Here’s some of what they found: The 6 million Americans living near coal plants have an average income of $18,400, compared with $21,857 nationwide, and 39 percent are people of color. That’s especially troubling news for those who can’t afford to live elsewhere, because pollutants emitted by coal plants have been linked to asthma attacks, lung inflammation, chronic bronchitis, irregular heart conditions and birth defects. According to the Clean Air Task Force, coal pollution is estimated to cause 13,200 premature deaths and 9,700 hospitalizations per year across the United States. Continue reading

FBI Increases Activist Repression

5 Jun

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Newly released FBI “Domestic Terrorism” training materials unveil the misinformation circulating within the government against resistance groups such as anarchists, animal rights activists, environmentalists, and “black separatists.”

The FBI have broadened the rhetoric used against even non-violent groups, citing them as “domestic terrorists” and the definitions continue to broaden. For instance, as highlighted in a recent article found on Green is the New Red, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act was drafted to target anyone who causes the “loss of profits” of an animal enterprise. The FBI acknowledges this shift in “terrorism” investigations in a slide that says the new law “alleviates the use of force or violence criteria.” Continue reading

O’odham Pepper Sprayed in Phoenix ALEC Protest

30 Nov

David Ortega, Tohono O’odham native elder, suffered a stroke after being pepper sprayed by police and is now at the hospital. SCOTTSDALE, Arizona—

Photo by Dixie

Tohono O’odham David Ortega, veteran and elder, suffered a stroke today after being pepper sprayed by police at the ALEC protest. Ortega was peacefully protesting when police pepper sprayed a delegation of O’odham. He was taken to a nearby hospital. Alex Soto, O’odham youth shown on the right in the photo, was also pepper sprayed in the face.

  Tohono O’odham protesters at the ALEC protest in Scottsdale, Ariz., in the Phoenix Valley, were peaceful and apparently singled out because police viewed them as key to the protest. Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O’odham and founder of O’odham VOICE against the Wall, said, “There is a lot of unnecessary police brutality.”

  O’odham from Tohono O’odham, Salt River and Gila River have joined Navajos resisting relocation from Big Mountain on the Navajo Nation at the protest to battle the corporate influences underway of legislators and lobbyists.

  Police helicopters are hovering overhead.

  Native American protesters are battling mining interests, the theft of water and land rights, abuse by US Border Patrol agents, desecration of sacred lands and the militarization of the border. On the Navajo Nation, Peabody Coal, responsible for orchestrating the so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute, continues to poison the land, water and air with coal mining for power plants. On the US/Mexico border, the US Border Patrol continues to beat and abuse O’odham and other Indigenous Peoples in their homelands. Uranium mining continues to target the Grand Canyon and Indian lands, while radioactive tailings from the Cold War remain.

  In Arizona, corporate profiteers continue to push copper, coal and uranium mining, devastating the land, water and air, and resulting in widespread health problems for the people.

  Native Americans are battling widespread human rights abuses in Arizona, where white supremacy has spread within the elected Arizona government, fueled by corporate donations. Private prison profiteers continue to fund and work behind closed doors with Arizona legislators.

  The US/Mexico border wall, and its non-functioning spy towers, has been a source of corporate profiteering for US corporations including Boeing, who entered into a contract with the Israeli Apartheid defense contractor Elbit Systems for the border wall and security systems.

  The US is now asking Tohono O’odham to approve new US spy towers on their lands, after the last billion dollar boondoggle of the US, failed spy towers on the Arizona border which did not function. Further, as the media fans racism which aids border profiteers, G4S based in London, profiteers from transportation contracts for the Wackenhut buses transporting detained migrants from the Arizona border.

  Decades of mining has poisoned the water throughout Indian country in Arizona, while many American Indians do not have any safe water to drink. Meanwhile, corporate interests scheme behind closed doors to seize Indian water rights, working in collusion with the US and state governments.

Background: The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) begins their meeting today in Scottsdale, in the Phoenix Valley, for their annual State and National Policy Summit from November 30-December 2 2011. Indigenous Peoples, including O’odham, are part of the movement to shut down ALEC. Protesters in the ALEC march were reported pepper sprayed by police and two arrests made.

Please check for updates at www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com  and azresistsalec.wordpress.com

“ALEC itself is a tool for hundreds of corporations to use for the sole purpose of obtaining access to thousands of legislators and then exploiting that access to pass profit-making legislation. ALEC works like a think tank, devising legislation that benefits the corporate elite at the cost of the masses and then putting that model legislation in the hands of legislators along with gifts and incentives to urge their passing and now more than 200 of ALEC’s model bills have become actual laws throughout the country over the past year,” protest organizers said in a statement. “The links between corporate greed, state oppression, and you have never been clearer. This website is dedicated to the rising resistance against ALEC, their planned summit, and all corporate greed that would serve to perpetuate state oppression in already impoverished communities on already occupied land.”

Posted by brendanorrell@gmail.com

cross-posted from here

New Orleans!! Fight corporate greed! March to the Marriott! August 5

4 Aug

Stand up, and fight back in New Orleans! ALEC is hosting their annual summit at the Marriott in New Orleans from August 1-6th. We will meet them there to let them know they can’t pull the strings from the behind the curtain any more!

What Is ALEC?

They meet in secret. They write our laws. And they want us silent.

ALEC is a conservative think-tank run by right-wing politicians and corporate members from within the banking, pharmaceutical, prison, deportation, big oil and gas industries, amongst others.

The text for anti-immigrant laws such as SB 1070 came from ALEC model legislation. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA, originally titled the Animal and Environmental Terrorism Act), which is currently being used to target and criminalize  activism, came from ALEC. In the Midwest, the attack on public servants had the same source. In Wisconsin and Ohio, ALEC is promoting voter ID laws that will disproportionately disenfranchise students. In Indiana, ALEC provided the text for a state resolution calling for an end to much federal environmental regulation. Laws which favor profits for the prison industrial complex such as mandatory minimum laws and 3-strikes-yer-out were all drafted by ALEC and its members. In 2009 alone, ALEC was behind over 800 laws written for state governments. Laws which are designed to create profit for private corporations and politicians from the criminalization, incarceration and deportation of people, the separation of families and the systematic destruction of the environment.

For more information visit:

protestalec.org

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.

James Lee and Eco-Xenophobia

2 Sep

After protesting the Discovery Channel-US for years, James Jay Lee broke down. Entering the Discovery Channel building in Silver Springs, Maryland, and taking three hostages, Lee released a series of demands for what he believed to be true environmental solutions. He is dead now, shot by police, and his hostages have been rescued. His legacy is now the only thing that remains.

According to his demands, war is bad, immigration is bad, food production leads to starvation, human reproduction is disgusting, and it is incumbent upon the Discovery Channel to mend global warming as well as overpopulation. (Oh, and by the way, according to Demand #1: The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s My Ishmael pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other’s inventive ideas.”)

With regards to the anti-immigrant position of groups like Apply The Breaks, and people like James Lee who echo their rhetoric, The Earth First! Journal Collective has drafted this statement on our position:

While we agree that civilization, population and human consumption are pressing issues creating obstacles to biodiversity and environmental justice, we do not see how the anti-immigrant, pro-border solutions of keeping people and wildlife walled into divided territories and militarized borders, re-enforcing historical colonization, addresses any of those issues.

We, as a collective, and as members of a movement, share the common goal of making connections with other cultures of resistance to the many ill symptoms of industrial civilization which belittles, exploits and destroys all forms of life on this planet.

The current members of this collective are allied to movements struggling against racism, class-domination, capitalism, globalization, sexism, homophobia, urbanism, speciesism, etc. because we believe that all these struggles are inherently connected in fighting the same ills.

While we recognize the urgency of ecological crisis, We see no reason why scapegoating immigrants is anything but a distraction, and much worse, a lingering sentiment of the Manifest Destiny mindset.

For a more complete response from the Earth First! Journal to Apply The Brakes and eco-xenophobe hysteria click here

Sincerely,
Earth First! Journal Collective