Tag Archives: resistance

Update On The Enbridge Blockade in Michigan

24 Jul

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands Needs Your Support!  11 arrests, four people face felony charges.

Donate to their legal support here

from MI-CATS

Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands activists directly halted business on July 22nd at the Stockbridge Enbridge construction site. Show your solidarity by donating to our bail fund, or taking direct action against Enbridge on your own, with your friends!

commrades at jail

Here are some thoughts written by a couple of folks who participated in the action:

My name is Virginia. I am 63 years old and I am tired. Tired of decades of fighting greedy corporations raping & pillaging the beautiful planet I knew as a young woman for oil & money.

Each day people are getting sicker. Entire species are going extinct and I wonder; will my granddaughter’s generation become extinct as well? Continue reading

Earth First!…even before Snowden

17 Jul

by Ishan Raval / TechnicianOnline

The Edward Snowden affair has become the event of our moment in history. I do not remember living through a single political saga that was so much of a spectacle — in terms of diplomatic sparring and the comedy of errors from governments, publics and media in the “Where is he?” wild goose chase — that it could well have come out of a Hollywood movie. I’ve seen people from normally politically apathetic youth in India to ordinary people in Austria talking about Snowden, and I, too, have contributed to this hullabaloo.

Some have pointed out that with the focus on Snowden, his asylum-seeking from the shadows, the U.S.’s search and the waltz of the international community around all of this, nothing substantial will happen in regard to the actual information he brought us about the National Security Agency and the PRISM surveillance program. That is a valid concern.

Continue reading

Drone Demonology: Flying Robots, Cop Mustaches & Resistance in the End Times

12 Jul

grafitti_artist_unknown_with_text

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

The first time I ever saw a drone I was sweating my ass off, hiking jugs of water through a cactus forest to drop in remote canyons for famished migrants making the deadly trek through the Sonoran desert. U.S. Customs and Border Protection surveillance drones patrol the skies along the border with Mexico on the daily. Like any good activist I gave the drone the bird and then quickly ducked beneath a cholla, which I don’t advise doing, as it is a cactus with a reputation.

Two 10,000-pound Predator-B border patrol drones.

Two 10,000-pound Predator-B border patrol drones. These are the fellas that patrol the borderlands, from Yuma, Ariz., to Brownsville, Tex.

Since his inauguration, noble peace prize winning president Barack Obama has increased the U.S. military’s use of drones and rewritten the rules of engagement in over a dozen countries around the world. Hundreds of civilians, including swaths of children and several dozen Al Qaeda operatives have been eviscerated by remote. Even four U.S. citizens have been assassinated by drones, violating due process and habeas corpus protections in the U.S. constitution. Reports put the ratio of civilians to “suspected terrorists” killed by drone strikes at about 50 to 1, meaning roughly 98% of the deaths are “collateral damage.”     Continue reading

Fracking Equipment Set Ablaze in Elsipogtog

26 Jun

Shot-hole driller ablaze down the Bass River road. [Photo: Miles Howe]

by Earth First! News

Halifax Media Co-op reports that a piece of drilling equipment was set ablaze on the 24th, by person or persons unknown.  This comes amidst escalating resistance to hydraulic fracturing by indigenous peoples in Elsipogtog, “New Brunswick”.

This comes after numerous direct actions, the midnight seizure of drilling equipment, and a local man being struck by a contractor’s vehicle.

Resistance to the Nordic Mining Boom – Action Camp in Finland

11 May

Resistance to the Nordic Mining Boom – Action Camp in Finnish North Karelia Starting 18 June 2013.

kaivoskapina-netti

Talvivaaras’ nickel-uranium mine has caused the most serious environmental damages in the finnish history in decades. The mine has been continuously polluting the amazing waterscapes of eastern Finland. More and more people and organizations are demanding closing of the mine and the locals can’t use water from several lakes anymore, but it doesn’t seem to have any impact in a country where the finance elite knows that the government is in their service.

The eco-disaster in the Talvivaara mine is not a rare exception: rather,
it is business as usual wherever large mining corporations are operating.
For the surrounding areas, polluted groundwater has been the price to pay for every single uranium mine in the world so far. Despite this, a number of  projects for opening huge mines are underway in Finland and Sweden.

Disregarding the cost to the ecosystem or the opposition of locals,
the international elite has decided to sacrifice the Nordic flora, fauna
and waters to fuel the growth-compulsive economy.

Determined resistance is needed to keep the environment viable. Join us to share knowledge and skills, and to act!

The camp is located ca. 30 km from the Talvivaara mine. The first week of
the camp, we will share info about the mining situation in the north and
explore tactics for open direct action. These skills will be put to use
during the second week.

More info & updates coming at turvaverkosto.wordpress.com

Feel free to offer your own program! The camp will work in a
self-organized manner, so participants are expected to do their share of
running the camp. To cover costs we ask for a donation of 5-10 € per day,
taking into account people’s personal economic situations. Rides from more
accessible locations will be arranged as often as possible. When signing
up for the camp, please contact us if you would want a ride or have any
other special needs, allergies etc.

Let us know you’re coming by mailing turva@riseup.net before 10th of June,
if possible!

TURVA – Action network against uranium industry
turvaverkosto.wordpress.com

Hyökyaalto network (Rising Tide Finland)
hyokyaalto.org

Friends of the Landless Finland
http://maattomienliike.wordpress.com/

Indigenous Peoples Stop Dam Construction With New Occupation at Belo Monte Site

2 May

Cross Posted from Amazon Watch:

Dam1

Altamira, Brazil – Some 200 indigenous people affected by the construction of large hydroelectric dams in the Amazon launched an occupation today on one of the main construction sites of the Belo Monte dam complex on the Xingu River in the Brazilian Amazon. The group demands that the Brazilian government adopt effective legislation on prior consultations with indigenous peoples regarding projects that affect their lands and livelihoods. As this has not happened, they are demanding the immediate suspension of construction, technical studies and police operations related to dams along the Xingu, Tapajos and Teles Pires rivers. Shock troops of the military police were awaiting indigenous protestors when they arrived at the Belo Monte dam site, but they were unable to impede the occupation.

The indigenous protestors include members of the Juruna, Kayapó, Xipaya, Kuruaya, Asurini, Parakanã, Arara tribes from the Xingu River, as well as warriors of the Munduruku, a large tribe from the neighboring Tapajós river basin. The indigenous peoples are joined by fishermen and local riverine communities from the Xingu region. Initial reports indicate that approximately 6,000 workers at one of the main Belo Monte construction sites, Pimental, have ceased operations as a result of the protest. The occupation, according to the indigenous communities, will continue indefinitely or until the federal government meets their demands.

Continue reading

Report from Shady Global Trade Talks in Singapore

16 Mar

And a call to build resistance against the TPP

Kiwis in New Zealand have been at the forefront of anti-TPP organizing, thus far.

Kiwis in New Zealand have been at the forefront of anti-TPP organizing, thus far.

Members and partners of Trans Pacific Partnership (known as TPP or TPPA) held the 16th-round of talks in Singapore last week.  As usual, the talks were shrouded in secrecy. Hundreds of trade delegates and policy makers from 11 countries, including the US, met to negotiate expanding profit-driven industrial commerce, including special agendas to smooth trade flows between member countries in the grouping.

Japanese farmers at Anti-TPP in 2012

Farmers stage a protest march during an anti-TPP rally in Tokyo, April 25, 2012. Similar rallies were held last week.

While we heard reports of farmers in Japan protesting, solidarity rallies of labor and environmental activists and a bunch of petitions sent to congresspeople, responses to the TPP negotiations thus far have been far too calm and comfortable. But it doesn’t have to stay that way…

The following article (which will be printed in the coming Earth First! Journal) is a call for renewed resistance to the expansion of corporate globalization: Continue reading

Idle No More International Day of Action – January 28, 2013

14 Jan
Thousands have attended round dances and rallies, like this one in Vancouver, B.C., in the month since Idle No More hit the political scene.   (Photo by David P. Ball)

Thousands have attended round dances and rallies, like this one in Vancouver, B.C., in the month since Idle No More hit the political scene. (Photo by David P. Ball)

Indigenous Resurgence Explodes with Idle No More Day of Action

Idle No More grassroots founders and organizers from across Canada, in solidarity with common causes – a new initiative bringing together social justice, environmental, labour and other Activist Groups…

– UNITED we are planning IDLE NO MORE WORLD DAY OF ACTION on January 28th, 2013 #J28.

This day of action will peacefully protest attacks on Democracy, Indigenous Sovereignty, Human Rights and Environmental Protections when Canadian MPs return to the House of Commons on January 28th. As a grassroots movement, clearly no political organization speaks for Idle No More. This movement is of the people… For The People! #IDLENOMOREFTP

The Vision of IDLE NO MORE revolves around Indigenous Ways of Knowing rooted in Indigenous Sovereignty to protect water, air, land and all creation for future generations.

The Conservative government bills beginning with Bill C-45 threaten Treaties and this Indigenous Vision of Sovereignty.

The Goal of the movement is education and the revitalization of Indigenous peoples through Awareness and Empowerment.  IDLE NO MORE has successfully encouraged knowledge sharing of Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Protections. 

This message has been heard around the world and the world is watching how Canada responds to the message sent by many INM Supporters.

INM urges the government of Canada to repeal all legislation; which violates Treaties, Indigenous Sovereignty and subsequently Environmental Protections of land and water.

INM is grateful to many leaders who have supported this vision and the movement of the grassroots people.

“The Treaties are the last line of defense to protect water and lands from destruction,” stated Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs.

Please watch and share this video of the Idle No More action in Toronto, and organize events in solidarity with Idle No More within your local collectives:

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

People’s Tribunal against the Criminalization of Protest in Ecuador

29 Jun

Written by Sofía Jarrín

During three days in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, hundreds of representatives from several Latin American countries gathered to share experiences and strategies during the Continental Conference in Defense of Water and Mother Earth. The event took place between June 17 and 23, and was organized as an act of resistance against development projects that threaten this vital resource, Yakumama, our mother water. A letter of intention by the organizers reads, “We hope this gathering will become a permanent process of fellowship to protect water and food sovereignty, to create a new social order in harmony with nature, with justice and equity.” 

 The conference began with a visit to sites where environmental conflicts have taken place, in Cochapata and San Bartolomé, more specifically, in the southern province of Azuay, both areas affected by mining companies. The delegation was composed of the Ombudsman, representatives of national indigenous organizations, the Inter-American Platform of Human Rights, Democracy and Development (PIDHDD), Real World Radio, and a team of FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) International. There they witnessed cases of abuse of power by developers, often in complicity with state agencies, that are laying out mining projects despite clear opposition from the communities where they plan to implement them.

In Cochapata, for example, a community of about 7,800 people, there has been great resistance against the construction of a dam by the mining company Explorsur SA. Seven community leaders were accused of sabotage and terrorism for engaging in public protest, and were recently sentenced to eight years in prison. This occurred despite the fact that the Constituent Assembly had granted them amnesty in July 2008, recognizing their role as environmental defenders. Since then, all seven have been in hiding with serious financial and emotional consequences to their families. Unfortunately, like in many other cases, the courts favour private interests instead of communal decisions on how to manage land and water resources. Currently, there are more than 189 pending cases of terrorism and sabotage in Ecuador.

Back in 2007, at the beginning of his government, President Rafael Correa made a public statement setting the stage for what was to come. “Don’t believe in romantic environmentalists. Anyone who is opposed to development in this country is a terrorist,” he said about the community of Dayuma, Orellana province, who at the was time protesting the environmental devastation in their territory that resulted from oil drilling in the region. The protest was met with police repression and 25 people were detained.
For this reason, one of the main objectives of this conference was to expose these kind of cases, thus exemplifying the ongoing criminalization of protest in Ecuador. An integral part of the conference was a Court of Ethics that analyzed “the criminalization of defenders of human rights and nature.” This people’s court took place on Wednesday, June 22, with the presence a jury of four international authorities: Elsie Monge (Ecumenical Commission of Human Rights, CEDHU, Ecuador), Raul Zibechi (writer and journalist, Uruguay), Leah Isabel Alvear (poet and academic, Colombia), and Mary Hamlin (International Movement for People’s Health). They listened to more than four hours of testimonies and 17 cases of people accused of terrorism.
“Democracy can only be guaranteed when citizens are guaranteed their rights to protest and resistance,” testified Ramiro Avila, a lawyer and professor at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar. “These laws are being used to suppress protest and should be immediately repealed.” Avila explained that the law under which the right to protest is criminalized in Ecuador dates back to the early republic, based on the Penal Code of 1920.

The current government of Ecuador, under President Correa, is driving an aggressive development program that is fueling social conflicts all around the country, mostly around mining and oil industries and the control of water sources. Unlike other countries such as Peru and Bolivia, large-scale mining is new to Ecuador and it’s expected to have severe consequences to its many ecosystems. According to the Ministry of Energy and Mines, there are 1990 registered mining concessions in the country, causing serious concerns among civil society, particularly campesinos and indigenous people. “The social leaders are speaking out to defend their human rights, but instead of welcoming them the State is criminalizing their right to protest,” said Fernando Gutierrez, the National Ombudsman.
The most prominent case is that of four top indigenous leaders, all of them charged with terrorism and sabotage: Pepe Acacho, vice president of the National Confederation of Indigenous People (CONAIE), Marlon Santi, ex-president of CONAIE; Delfín Tenesaca, president of the Kichwa Conferedation of Ecuador (ECUARUNARI); and Marco Guatemal, president of Indigenous and Campesino Federation of Imbabura (FICI). They were tried for participating in marches against the Water and Mining Acts during the ALBA Summit in Otavalo in June 2010.
“Is it a crime to defend the water? Is it a crime to defend Mother Earth?” said Carlos Perez, an indigenous leader of Azuay. “Ecuador was pioneer in recognizing the rights of nature, thus the Constitution should be above a criminal code created in times of a dictatorship.” Ecuador was the first country to recognize the Rights of Nature in its Constitution of 2008.
The jury’s decision did not make itself wait. The verdict given was resolute, not only in acknowledging that people opposed to the government’s extractive activities are currently living in an atmosphere of fear and criminalization in Ecuador, but that the State is directly responsible for promoting and maintaining this situation. “These cases confirm that there is a systematic practice to discipline social protest and thus eliminate it,” reads the verdict. “While justice is employed to criminalize the defenders of nature, it remains passive before human rights violations committed against them and against nature.”
It furthermore recommends that the President refrains from making public statements that “delegitimizes and stigmatizes” defenders of nature and human rights. To the judicial powers it recommends to comply with the amnesty granted by the Constituent Assembly in 2008 to all people prosecuted of crimes against the State under a ambiguous Penal Code that is largely considered obsolete.
Although this Court of Ethics does not have jurisdictional powers, it does hope to fill up the space created by the State’s omissions of abuses committed against peaceful social protesters and its exoneration of private companies “that operate in the country with impunity.” Correa´s government has yet to pronounce itself before the court’s decision.
Cross-posted from here