March Against Monsanto, May 23, 2015



This is a Call to Action for a
Non-Hierarchical Occupation of Monsanto Everywhere

Whether you like it or not, chances are Monsanto contaminated the food you ate today with chemicals and unlabeled GMOs. Monsanto controls much of the world’s food supply at the expense of food democracy worldwide. This site is dedicated to empowering citizens of the world to take action against Monsanto & it’s enablers like the FDA, USDA, EPA, GMA, BIO, and the processed food companies that use Monsanto’s products.



March Against Monsanto, May 23, 2015


Occupy Monsanto supports the March Against Monsanto!

MAM ALL May23 e1431096215781 March Against Monsanto, May 23, 2015 USDA Tumors Protest Organize organic Notes Monsanto Protection Act Monsanto March Against Monsanto March infertility GMO Seeds GMO Labeling gmo Global Day of Action FDA EPA Demonstration Congress civil disobedience cancer Boycott birth defects Activism #OpMonsanto

EARTH – Saturday, May 23, a broad coalition of individuals and groups will gather in cities and towns all over the world, as part of a global March Against Monsanto. The intention of this march is to raise public awareness and bring increasing political pressure to bear regarding Monsanto’s corporate farming and business practices and to fight for labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered and/or modified materials.

It has been estimated that 38 countries spanning 6 continents and 428 cities will be participating in the Global March Against Monsanto for a peaceful, non-violent, informational protest.

Monsanto’s and other companies (e.g., Dow, Syngenta) genetically engineered food pose scientifically established health risks. These include, but are not limited to: organ damage, sterility and infant mortality, birth defects, immune reactions, allergies and increased cancer risks, http://healthyfoodnaturally.com/2012/02/07/gmo-health-risks/

“Monsanto is bankrupting famers, causing soil infertility, mono-cropping, loss of biodiversity, and bee hive collapse. Furthermore, their practices pose a very real threat to organic farming and loss of native plants. It is causing dependency on a centralized food system. In aggregate, this is a recipe for global famine,” warns long-time activist and member of the Gateway Greens, Daniel Romano.

An “Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments Concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)” (www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php), signed by 828 scientists from 84 countries, detailed concern regarding GMOs coupled with a call for immediate 5 year suspension of GMO crops in order to conduct “a comprehensive public enquiry of agriculture and food security for all.”

GMOs have been removed and banned by Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Madeira, New Zealand, Peru, South America, Russia, France, and Switzerland.

“Monsanto does not want consumers to know what they are eating and is continuing to aggressively fight labeling of GMOs in food. This effort is now reaching even further than blocking attempts by states like California, Oregon and Hawaii from passing labeling laws. Currently a Monsanto former lobbyist is one of the corporate representatives drafting the newest and largest international trade agreement, the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). Non-Labeling of GMO foods is being written into the TPP.” – Barbara Chicherio, Gateway Green Alliance

The legislation pushed by the opposition is known much maligned (and misleading) “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” which has been dubbed by activists as the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

The DARK Act was actually introduced by a powerful pro-GMO food lobby (learn more about it here).

An online event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/753961208032987/
A complete list of events can be found here: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/events
SOURCE: March Against Monsanto

More here: http://occupy-monsanto.com/march-against-monsanto-may-23-2015/

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Holograms for Freedom – Thousands Protest Spain’s Gag Laws as Holograms


We Are Not Crime – Thousands Protest Spain’s Gag Law As Holograms (VIDEO)

21st April 2015

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

“They want to silence us … but nevertheless, here we are,” declares NoSomosDelito (We Are Not Crime), a grassroots activist group formed as a protest against Spain’s new draconian anti-free speech law.

Seemingly just another bid for liberty that’s so commonplace in today’s volatile political arena, this group has an exceptionally unique feature: the protestors out on the street aren’t real, they’re holograms.

Silencing Freedom

Under the Protection of Citizens’ Security Bill, as well as the Penal Code Reform and Anti-Terror Pact in Spain, protesters are criminalized and the freedom of average citizens has become severely restricted.

Passing in the lower house of parliament last December, the law gives sweeping powers to the establishment. This Orwellian nightmare makes it illegal to protest outside government buildings or to refuse providing identification. Insulting police officers is forbidden as well. Added into the bargain is a hefty €600 fine slapped onto to anyone who shows lack of respect towards the authorities, while filming or photographing police officers (where they could be compromised) will invite fines up to €30,000. The same for demonstrating in front of Congress or protesting against evictions.

From this point forward, the government can forbid any protest that it fears would cause disruption. If you wish to protest publicly, you will now need to seek permission from those in power. And if you don’t secure this authorization for protests outside buildings that provide basic services to the public, you could be liable for fines up to €600,000. This includes everything from hospitals to universities. Other punishments involve having permits or licenses revoked, while factory’s, shops or establishments can be shutdown for upwards of two years.

The new Penal Code allows for those who spread protest messages or peacefully resist in protest to be sent to prison for 3 months or more.

Many feel these laws are absolutely unconstitutional and hurl Spain backwards into the oppressive era of Franco’s dictatorship.

However, if you think this is an isolated case, think again. The United States passed similar legislation in 2012 under the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, which classifies any protest that might impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions” a federal offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Moreover, protestors are relegated to “free speech zones.” The problem is that these zones can be a half-mile away from the event, person, business or institution the activists have come to speak out against, essentially demoting the protesters to pointless obscurity.

We Are Not Crime – Thousands Protest Spain’s Gag Law As Holograms (VIDEO)Thinking Outside The Box

But the people of Spain refuse to be coerced. Instead, they found a novel solution for their dilemma. “If you are a person you can not express yourself freely, you can only do that here if you become a hologram,” asserts a spokesman for NoSomosDelito. The organization recognized a need to carry out a special type of rally that wouldn’t hinder their cause.

Thousands from around the globe participated in the protest, yet arrests were impossible because no one physically attended. The movement invited individuals to help support their cause by writing text messages, leaving a voicemail or transforming themselves into a hologram via webcam. The holograms were then projected outside the Spanish parliament building in Madrid as a fluid, hour-long march of vocal (and angry) protestors.

“The Protection of Citizens’ Security Bill, alongside the Penal Code Reform and the Anti-terror Pact, constitutes an attack on constitutional rights such as freedom of speech, assembly, and expression.

“Its objective is not to “guarantee citizens’ safety”, as the government states, but to repress the freedom of peaceful assembly against the raising wave of critical protests,” asserts the NoSomosDelito website.

Concerned citizen Albert Portabella agrees. He feels the only reason for this legislation is “because they want you quiet, scared, and swallowing without protesting.”

Those involved with NoSomosDelito find this unacceptable:

“We will defend our right to protest, protesting. We will not allow for practices best suited for a dictatorship to be brought back. We will continue to march on the streets to state that we do not want to live gagged, that we are not afraid, and that we are not crime. Because we know that together we can stop them.”

To become involved and help turn around this freedom-stripping state of affairs, visit Holograms For Freedom and make your voice heard.

World’s First Hologram Protest Against Gag Laws

http://wakeup-world.com/2015/04/21/holograms-for-freedom-thousands-protest-spains-gag-laws-as-holograms/

Occupy Monsanto: GET ON THE BUS – Rally @ US Capitol – Dec. 10 **CALL TO ACTION**


Occupy Monsanto <gcu@occupy-monsanto.com>

 

The following Call to Action is from the Organic Consumers Association:

The battle for the right to know if your food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could come to a screeching halt with the signing of one bill in Congress.

We need to stop that bill in its tracks.

H.R. 4432—the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) ACT—was introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) at the bidding of Monsanto, Big Food and the Koch Brothers.  If passed, H.R. 4432 will strip your state of the right to pass a GMO labeling law.

The DARK ACT will have its first hearing on Capitol Hill, on December 10. If we don’t turn out in numbers to protest this bill, our voice could be silenced.

The Organic Consumers Association, with help from Friends of the Earth, Credo, Cornucopia Institute,  Maine Sierra Club, Weston Price Foundation, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, Green America, Mercola.com and other groups, is organizing busloads of people to attend the hearing, followed by a rally and an organic lunch. But if we want to have an impact, if we want to attract the attention of Congress and the media, we need a minimum of 1000 people to be there.

Here’s how you can help.

  • Organize a bus from your area. OCA will help pay for a bus from your state to Washington D.C., if you can fill the bus. Call us at 218-226-4164 or email campaigns@organicconsumers.org if you want to organize a bus.
  • Get on one of the buses that have already been organized. We have bus captains trying to fill buses in in Pennsylvania (one in Lancaster, one in Philadelphia), Boston, Central New Jersey, Detroit, Chicago, Indiana, West Virginia, New York City, Maine, Florida, S. Carolina, N. Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. If you live in one of those areas, please use the links below to find bus schedules and reserve seats.
Here’s what will happen on December 10.
  • 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. The hearing on Pompeo’s DARK ACT is scheduled to take place at 10:15 a.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building, 45 Independence Ave SW. We will gather there, with signs and banners, beginning around 8 a.m. As many people as can possibly fit into the hearing will attend.
  • 10:15 a.m. When the hearing begins, everyone who didn’t get into the Rayburn Building will move to our permitted rally spot on the Capitol grounds, at the corner of Independence and 1st St. SE. There we will have a number of speakers who will address the crowd and the media.
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. After we wrap up the rally and speakers, we’ll move to the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, 201 4th St. SE (4th and Independence Ave, SE).

If you can attend, please read:

  • Bring a black and red blindfold, to symbolize being kept in the dark. Red and black will tie in with our Stop Monsanto’s Attack on Democracy/Stop Sign image.
  • Please try to schedule (in advance) a meeting with the staff of your state representative or senator. Download this flyer, fill in the name of your state, and leave it behind with the staff to deliver to your member of Congress. (Find your senator;  Find your representative.)
  • Please make a hand-made sign that says: [NAME OF YOUR STATE] Against Monsanto’s Attack on Democracy! We want to show Congress and the media that people have come from all around the country to protest this bill.

If you can’t attend:

  • Sign our petition asking Congress to reject Pompeo’s DARK ACT here.
  •  Help flood the phone lines on Capitol Hill on December 10. We’re asking everyone who can’t be there in person to call their Congress members on December 10, beginning at 9 a.m. When you are connected with a staff person, you can say: “Hello, my name is [FIRST NAME, LAST NAME] and I live in [CITY, STATE]. I couldn’t attend today’s protest against H.R. 4432, a bill that would preempt states’ rights to label GMOs, but I am calling to ask [NAME OF CONGRESS PERSON] to reject H.R. 4432 and to support states’ rights to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws. Thank you.”
  • Make a donation to help offset the cost of buses, speakers, the press conference and organic lunch.

States that are already organizing buses:

Additional buses may yet be organized, so please check back. If you want to organize a bus, please email campaigns@organicconsumers.org, or call OCA at 218-226-4164.

This could be the most important action you’ve taken yet to protect your right to know about GMOs. Come to Washington D.C. on December 10. Meet other activists! Hear some great speakers! And help us send a clear message to Congress that states should have the right to pass GMO labeling laws!


In solidarity,

Gene

GCU@Occupy-Monsanto.com
www.Occupy-Monsanto.com
Twitter.com/GMO917
Facebook.com/GeneticCrimesUnit

Ed. Note: Even the name of this bill is disturbing, as well as quite revealing about the  true nature and intentions of those who enslave us. H.R. 4432—the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) ACT.

What’s it going to take for American’s to wake-up to the stench of tyranny engulfing the nation? Everyone I know back on the mainland in OK, St Loius and TX only appear to be sticking their heads further down in the sand. Maybe by seeing tens of thousands fellow Americans marching on the nations capital against Monsanto will trigger people, but then again most people will never see the Occupy Monsanto March on Fox, CNN, ABC etc.

And that’s our conundrum. For the most part change has to hit people at home before they get the wake up call, because it won’t come from the mass media until the system is exposed and the criminals behind the matrix are held accountable for their crimes against humanity and nature. Until then WE have to do our part to keep the momentum building at the individual level until we hit critical mass and the shift occurs.

ZeroHedge ~ Meanwhile, The French Are Revolting…


Tyler Durden's picture

Amid record unemployment, even recorder youth unemployment, and politicians willingly breaking EU treaties (with apparently no consequences), it appears – just as in the US – police brutality in France was the straw that broke ‘Le Camel’s back. As RT reports, another anti-police brutality protest turned violent in the French city of Rennes, with masked youths and police engaging in running street battles. The unrest follows the death of a young environmental activist earlier this week. Overnight Thursday, protesters in the northwestern city lobbed flairs at police and flipped over cars, some of which they set ablaze. Police responded by firing tear gas. We hear guillotines are still cheap on ebay.

 

 

The French (youth) are revolting…

As RT reports,

A similar protest in Paris on Wednesday also descended into violence. Around 250 people gathered outside City Hall in Paris, with some throwing rocks at police and writing “Remi is dead, the state kills” on walls, The Local’s French edition reports. At least 33 people were taken into police custody following the unrest.

The protests are in response to the death of 21-year-old activist Remi Fraisse. He was killed early on Sunday by an explosion, which occurred during violent clashes with police at the site of a contested-dam project in southwestern France.

His death, the first in a mainland protest in France since 1986, has been blamed on a concussion grenade fired by police. France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who came under serious pressure to resign following the incident, announced an immediate suspension of such grenades, which are intended to stun rather than kill.

The incident has put additional pressure on the already unpopular government of Francois Hollande, who has vowed that a thorough investigation will be conducted into the circumstances surrounding Fraisse’s death.

*  *  *

Is this the start?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-10-31/meanwhile-french-are-revolting

RT: Israel may be guilty of war crimes – UN Human Rights Chief . . . this statement is an insult to all of humanity!


The UN is patently in the pocket of the cabal. . . They talk, talk, talk . . . and do nothing. Soon, however, someone is soon coming after THEM. ~J

Published time: July 23, 2014

Palestinian girls walk amidst debris following an Israeli military strike in Gaza city, on July 23, 2014. (AFP Photo/MAHMUD HAMS)

Palestinian girls walk amidst debris following an Israeli military strike in Gaza city, on July 23, 2014. (AFP Photo/MAHMUD HAMS)

Israel maybe committing war crimes in Gaza, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says. Speaking in Geneva, Navi Pillay said house demolitions and the killing of children raise the “strong possibility” that Israel is violating international law.

Opening an emergency debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, she citied cases of Israeli air strikes and shelling hitting houses and hospitals in the coastal enclave:“These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes,” she said.

She hit out at both sides concerning their conduct during the conflict, which is now in its 16th day, having started on July 8. Some 643 Palestinians, many of them children and civilians have died in the conflict, including a seven-year-old hit by a shell in southern Gaza early on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

Smoke is seen after an Israeli strike over the Gaza Strip July 22, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Smoke is seen after an Israeli strike over the Gaza Strip July 22, 2014. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

The Israeli army has been accused of targeting civilian areas, as well as using flechette shells during its offensive in Gaza, which can cause widespread harm and death to civilians. Some 29 Israeli soldiers have been killed, including a tank officer shot by a Palestinian sniper early on Wednesday.

“Every one of these incidents must be properly and independently investigated,” Pillay said in some of her strongest comments on the carnage. She also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars by Palestinian militants into Israel and expressed concern at the “rise of incitement for violence against Palestinians by Israeli’s on social media.”

On Monday, a hospital was hit in Gaza, with four people killed and scores of others wounded in the attack. Thirty of the wounded were medics. The International Committee of the Red Cross issued a statement condemning the shelling “in the strongest terms,” Reuters reported. The organization stated that the hospital came under fire at least four times, and life-saving equipment was severely damaged.

A United Nations school, which is helping to shelter displaced Palestinians in the center of Gaza, also came under attack from Israeli fire on Tuesday as a team was inspecting damage from shelling by the Israeli’s on Monday, a UN official said.

The official mentioned that a team, who had been given permission by Israel to enter, were at the school run by the UN in Al-Maghazi, when Israeli tanks resumed their shelling and hit the building.

Speaking at the conference, Israel’s ambassador to the body, Eviatar Manor told the debate that “Israel will destroy Hamas’ military infrastructure.” He also added that “the Gaza residents are not our enemy. Israel is fully committed to international law.” The ambassador also slammed the UN Human Rights Council saying they had“failed to protect the human rights of Israelis,” Haaretz reports.

In response, the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riad al-Malki urged world powers to end what he called Israel’s impunity, saying, “Israel must be held accountable for its crimes.” His speech was greeted by loud applause.

Harretz reports that the Palestinians and Arab countries have filed a draft to the Human Rights Council, which convened for a special one-day session in Geneva, which includes the establishment of an international commission of inquiry to probe alleged war crimes and violations of international law. The draft does not mention Hamas.

Despite Israel lobbying the Council’s member states to prevent the meeting taking place, the Palestinians managed to get the signatures necessary to hold the meeting.

The US, most of the EU states and additional Western states, including Australia and Canada, are expected to oppose the draft. However, as in other UN bodies, the Palestinians hold an automatic majority which allows them to pass any resolution.

Israel, which accuses the Council of bias, boycotted the Geneva forum for 20 months, resuming cooperation in October. Its main ally the United States, a member state, has also said Israel is unfairly singled out.

http://jhaines6.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/rt-israel-may-be-guilty-of-war-crimes-un-human-rights-chief-this-statement-is-an-insult-to-all-of-humanity-j/

Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians?


Supporters of OHA CEO Kamana'opono Crabbe outside the OHA boardroom
Supporters of Native Hawaiian sovereignty sing while keeping vigil at an OHA Board of Trustees meeting in May.
PF Bentley/Civil Beat

June 24, 2010

Federal Recognition for Native Hawaiians as an indigenous people of the island of Hawaii is a hot button issue amongst Hawaiians. The Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization act is a push to grant federal recognition of Native Hawaiians, similar to that of the American Indians. According to members of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), Native Hawaiians are the only indigenous group of the United States that do not have federal recognition. The recognition will also allow the self-determination of Hawaiians, and create a sovereign governing entity of Native Hawaiians, also similar to American Indians. There is both support as well as strong opposition to the movement for federal recognition.

Is federal recognition as beneficial to us as OHA claims? Although the Native Americans have federal recognition as an indigenous group, there have been many injustices committed against them by the Federal Government. They have their sovereignty, but the Federal Government still steps over it’s bounds. I don’t know if I support federal recognition for our people. I don’t think it would be the best thing for us Native Hawaiians. Let’s face it, the United States government can’t necessarily be trusted always. They have done things against minorities and indigenous people that have caused a lack of trust in them. How do we know they won’t do the same to us?

Either federal recognition will create the self-determination we’ve been fighting for, or it will just allow the United States to step all over us. With this whole ceded land issue going on, it is clear that perhaps the government is not interested in the best interests of Hawaiians. Many Native Hawaiians who are against federal recognition, believe, as I said, will lead to the United States government stepping all over us, and we won’t be able to do anything about it. Remember we are not legally apart of the United States; the military occupation of our home is an illegal occupation. Therefore, it may not be in the best interest for Native Hawaiians to receive federal recognition.

Although I commend the Office of Hawaiians Affairs for the support of some kind of self-determination, it’s hard to determine whether or not this is in our best interest. I will say this though, nothing has been done to create independence and liberation for the Hawaiian people. So maybe this is a first step in creating our sovereignty, if the bill doesn’t pass, at least it sparked a large movement for our independence.

Indigenous Vow: We’ll Be ‘Dead Or In Prison Before We Allow’ Keystone Pipeline


 

 

The TransCanada project could intersect with a main water source for the Sioux Nation.

 

Photo Credit: Tara Lohan

On February 27, Oglala Lakota and American Indian Movement activists joined in a four-directions walk to commemorate Liberation Day, an event to mark the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee. As they do each year, four groups gather to the north, south, east and west and then walk eight miles until converging on top of Wounded Knee, where they honor the fallen warriors and the tribe’s rich history of resistance.

“It is an acknowledgement of the resiliency of who we are as a people,” explains Andrew Iron Shell, an organizer and activist of the Sicangu Lakota Nation. “It gives permission and courage for our up-and-coming generations to face the challenges of their time.”

The history of the occupation began with a massacre more than 100 years ago. On a cold day in December 1890, the United States army killed 300 Lakota men, women and children in a massive shoot out after a member of the First Nations refused to give up his arms. It marked the first bloodshed on Wounded Knee – although there had been many massacres of First Nations people by the colonialists before it. The event was also considered the end of the Indian Wars.

Eighty-three years later, on Feb. 27, 1973, about 200 Lakota members took siege of the town of Wounded Knee. Reclaiming a location that was written in the history books as a place of defeat, the Lakota stood their ground. They were there in protest of a failed attempt at impeaching the tribal president at the time, Richard Wilson, who was known to be corrupt and abusive. Initially a protest against the tribal government, the occupation took a turn when U.S. police forces arrived. The protestors switched the occupation’s focus to the United States’ frequent violation of treaties.

The armed warriors maintained control over the town for 71 days while the FBI encircled them. At the final standoff, two warriors were killed, about 12 people were wounded and over 400 were arrested. The Oglala were able to harness national attention through their occupation, using the spotlight to question the United States’ treatment of First Nations people.

As history passed, later generations rarely heard about the occupation of Wounded Knee — or about first nation people at all. This skewed national memory should be unsurprising: When you have a society and a nation built upon the subjugation of people of color, you can expect nothing more than the constant erasing of certain histories.

Ongoing genocide

I recently visited Prisoner of War Camp 344, also known as the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. It wasn’t my first time in the sovereign Oglala Sioux Nation, but it was my first time joining in the ceremonies celebrating the 41st annual Liberation Day to remember the 1890 reoccupation of Wounded Knee.

The vibrant American Indian Movement flags waving in the harsh South Dakota winter wind reminded me of the old black and white photos I used to see in my history books. The Lakota would not disappear without a fight, regardless of what the United States’ intentions were. Children walked alongside elders who had taken part in the occupation, showing clearly the group’s intergenerational wisdom. These are children who are stripped of learning their people’s history in schools, but instead learn it through stories and dances. They are children who live in a sovereign nation that contains two of the poorest counties in the United States and who recognize the threats their families face every day.

One of these threats come from the so-called town of White Clay, Neb., where visitors can witness the way violence against the First Nations people has changed — but not disappeared — over the generations. Consisting of only 12 people and four liquor stores, White Clay was once part of a 50-square-mile buffer that prevented alcohol from entering the reservation. In 1904, President Roosevelt signed an executive order that removed 49 of those square miles. Since then, the town’s economy has been driven by the $4 million in alcohol sales to the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. There is no legal place to drink in or around White Clay: Alcohol containers can’t be opened on the property of the distributor, it’s prohibited to drink in the street, and the reservation is dry territory. Yet, somehow, the town of 12 people manages to keep four liquor stores open. Barely two miles from the reservation’s epicenter, and less than 200 feet from the dry reservation line, the town perpetrates a type of violence that is, on the reservation, known as liquid genocide.

The reason for this name becomes apparent when one examines the teenage suicide rate on the reservation, which is 150 percent higher than the U.S. national average for this age group. Many attribute this death rate to the sale of alcohol to minors, which White Clay store owners are known to do. The liquor stores also break the law by selling to intoxicated people, and by trading alcohol for pornography, sexual favors — including from minors — and welfare checks. The effects of free-flowing alcohol are devastating: On the reservation, 90 percent of all court cases are related to alcohol use.

Kate, a Tokala warrior, believes that alcoholism is part of a larger problem of the disappearance of indigenous culture. For her, the only way to live in the geographical region of Pine Ridge is the indigenous way. “We are the ones on the back roads, still chopping wood. We are living the way we used to live,” she said. “It’s not hardship; it’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

Kate and many others know that alcohol was introduced to her people as a means to steal from them. Living deeply connected to the history of their nation, they believe that if they shake free of the colonized mindset, alcohol wouldn’t even be an issue.

Threats to the land

In addition to trying to close down White Clay, the Oglala Lakota Nation is actively fighting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. This 1,700-mile pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil each day from western Canada through South Dakota en route to Texas. At two points it would even intersect with a pipeline that serves as a main water source for the Sioux Nation, affecting all of the Pine Ridge reservation as well as the nearby Rosebud reservation.

Advocates for the pipeline argue the pipeline is the safest way to transport crude oil. TransCanada, the company in charge of the pipeline, predicted that the first Keystone pipeline, which runs from Alberta to Illinois, would spill once every seven years. During its first year in operation, it spilled 12 times. The Lakota, along with other First Nations, have vowed to use direct action to stop construction of the pipeline.

For a nation whose land and sovereignty has been threatened for hundreds of years by U.S. politics, the Keystone XL pipeline is part of a long history of threats to the Lakota Nation – and to the earth itself.

“They want to get rid of the Lakota, the protectors of the earth,” said Olowan Martinez, an organizer in the Lakota community. “But what they don’t know is when they get rid of the Lakota, the earth isn’t too far behind. Our people believe the Lakota is the earth.”

President Obama is scheduled to be make a final decision on the pipeline by the middle of 2014. While the Lakota are hoping he will not approve the project, they are also getting ready to stand up and fight. During the Liberation Day celebrations, the Lakota’s dances and stories relayed messages about sacred water and Mother Earth. The tribe has also united with other First Nations to organize a three-day direct action training called Moccasins on the Ground, which was designed to prepare people to act if the pipeline is approved.

“Dead or in prison before we allow the Keystone XL pipeline to pass,” the Lakota warriors, many mounted atop horses, repeated during the Liberation Day celebration. Their words carried the weight of 521 years, and counting, of lived resistance.

Camila Ibanez is an organizer in New York City focusing on migrant rights, environmental justice and sexual liberation.

http://www.alternet.org/indigenous-vow-well-be-dead-or-prison-we-allow-keystone-pipeline?akid=11598.321917.aNzpjA&rd=1&src=newsletter970363&t=3&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

Keystone XL: Not in our interest.


The State Department has just begun a public comment period on the “National Interest Determination” phase of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline project. They are accepting comments for 30 days only. We need to make our voices heard as loudly as possible that Keystone XL is most definitely NOT in our national interest.

Secretary Kerry and President Obama have for a long time spoken about the dangers of climate change and the imperitive to act. Despite the oily State Department process that led to the final environmental review, the report made it clear that Keystone XL does not fit in any climate-safe scenario. The only question that remains is, will they live up to their own words by rejecting this pipeline once and for all?

The Incredible Activism of Younger Generations Will Make You A Lot Less Depressed About the Future


 

 

Students and youth have the power to create the kind of future they want to live in.

 

 

 

 

 

In recent weeks, we have had the privilege of hearing from and seeing a number of impressive young people in action. We want to highlight some of the issues that are spurring youth to get active in their communities and what they are doing about them.

Young people are yearning to understand the world, even when the truth is horrible, so that they can change it for the better. Mary Elizabeth Williams writes in Salon: “They’re questioning and curious and skeptical and intensely philosophical. They want to make sense of the world and reasons people do the things they do. They have amazing ideas, ideas that are too often wrung out of them by a school culture increasingly devoted to filling in little circles and insisting there’s only one correct answer to any problem that comes along, and only one way of arriving at that.”

She wrote about a fifth-grade student in Florida who won an award for his essay, “In the Name of Religion,” in which he described the use of religion to justify war and mass murder. His school tried to take away his award and prevent him from reading his essay to his classmates, going so far as to require permission slips for the other students to hear it. His family advocated for him and he was able to both read his essay at school and advance in the competition.

Instead of creating an environment for honest discussion of the past and present which would facilitate reconciliation, school textbooks and programs perpetuate the status quo. High school textbooks often gloss over injustices such as the fact that racial segregation was caused by explicit policies and not by societal norms.

Rather than discussing the US as the world’s largest empire, that imperialist mentality is cultivated at a young age in the guise of a “youth development program,” otherwise called the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp (JROTC). Ann Jones writes that this program is “pushed by multiple high-powered, highly paid public relations and advertising firms under contract to the Department of Defense….” She calls it the world’s most effective child soldier recruitment program.

Despite this, students are questioning the injustice they see around them. We marched this week with high school students in Baltimore who are organizing their community to stop the country’s largest trash incinerator from being built in their community. One of their teachers said, “These students already breathe some of the dirtiest air in the state and their young bodies bear a terrible price.”

Another impressive group of students in Baltimore, from the Algebra Project, are working for better conditions in their schools and to stop the school to prison pipeline. So far they have kept a juvenile detention center from being built, and are pushing for recreation and other youth programs. They need to raise a few thousand more dollars to keep their program going. We hope you will support these inspiring young adults.

Militarization and Over-Policing of Schools

The militarization of public schools and our culture generally, is dramatic, particularly in communities of color where police are intervening in increasingly aggressive ways. As Chase Madar writes, “What not long ago would have been seen as normal childhood misbehavior—doodling on a desk, farting in class, a kindergartener’s tantrum—can leave a kid in handcuffs, removed from school, or even booked at the local precinct.”

In Rochester recently, a police officer arrested three teen athletes who were waiting for a school bus to take them to practice. The officer insisted on completing the arrest even after the coach arrived to explain. The only crime they committed was being African American.

Racism in the US is obvious when one looks at mass incarceration and stop-and-frisk statistics. In the US, there are 2.4 million people behind bars, which represent 25% of the world’s prisoners, even though the U.S. is only 5% of the world’s population. The U.S. prison population is enough to comprise a small nation. Rosa Brooks describes what this “Incarceration Nation“—which is larger than 50 nations and would be one of the most densely populated nation’s in the world—would look like. The private prison-industrial complex encourages policies that increase the prison population so that a few can enrich themselves.

Chris Hedges brings us the stories of 28 prisoners he teaches at a maximum security prison in New Jersey. They started writing about life in prison in his class and their essays were made into a powerful play called “Caged.” Their stories reveal their talents and their sacrifice, courage and dedication to their loved ones. Hedges writes that: “The mass incarceration of men and women like my students impoverishes not just them, their families and their communities, but the rest of us as well.”

In New York City, voters hoped that there would be an end to racist stop-and-frisk policies with the election of Bill de Blasio who ran on a platform against stop-and-frisk. Parents and students were given a slap in the face by de Blasio whose first political appointment was the police commissioner William Bratton, who was quoted in the LA Times calling youth a disease. Amnesty International “found a ‘serious problem of police brutality and excessive force’ in the NYPD under Bratton” during the 1990s.

Imagine what these aggressive police actions are doing to students. Recently, almost two-dozen high school students were arrested in California after undercover police infiltrated their school and coaxed them into purchasing small amounts of marijuana. Some students say they don’t know who to trust. Contrast this with the state of Colorado which legalized marijuana last year. Colorado has saved an estimated $60 million and has prevented tens of thousands of arrests so far.

Youth Fight Back Against Militarization, Corporatization, Poverty Jobs and Tuition Hikes

Fortunately, such obvious injustices serve to unite communities to fight back. The growing corporatization and defunding of public schools is fueling a nationwide movement. On December 9, teachers and students wore blue and rallied from coast to coast in the nation’s largest day of mass action to “reclaim public education.”

Sometimes students are fighting to correct historic injustices. In Jacksonville, Florida high school students joined with the Jacksonville Progressive Coalition to change the name of their high school. It will no longer be named after Nathan B. Forrest, a vicious slave trader who committed war crimes as a confederate general and was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. The school was named after this extreme racist during the era of desegregation thanks to the Daughters of the Confederacy. Today’s youth corrected that injustice.

Students at the college level are organizing and escalating their tactics on a variety of fronts despite police aggression toward them. College students have many reasons to protest: the corporatization and decline in quality of their education, record student debt, a poor job environment and an uncertain future due to climate change, globalization and increasing austerity.

The mainstream media portray the millennial generation as sheltered, content and lazy without considering, as Michael Corcoran writes in TruthOut, “the context in which young people are struggling to find decent jobs, including the long-term economic impacts of deregulation and neoliberalism pushed by state managers and wealthy elites for some three decades now, which have kept wages stagnant for people of all ages, including young people….”

These greedy and abusive policies have created a systemic failure; policies that were created by the wealthy elite and that steal the millennials’ futures. The media are sending the wrong message to our youth, that the problem is their failure to choose the right major or to work hard enough. Sarah Kendzior describes the current situation well, saying “Individuals internalize the economy’s failure, as a media chorus excoriates them over what they should have done differently. They jump to meet shifting goalposts; they express gratitude for their own mistreatment: their unpaid labor, their debt-backed devotion, their investment in a future that never arrives.”

The result, for those who are fighting back against the system, is solidarity between students, faculty and campus service workers. This solidarity has been building for years from coast to coast and is now escalating to sympathy strikes such as this one at UC Santa Cruz. The power structure better watch out if students and workers combine forces it will be a powerful challenge to the unfair economy and dysfunctional government.

In the UK, students are similarly protesting austerity, the corporatization of education and mistreatment of workers. In response, campus administration is clamping down. In central London, students were beaten and arrested during a peaceful demonstration and the school banned further protests. Students say these extreme tactics are a powerful recruitment tool and they expect their movement to grow. In fact, the new documentary, Street Politics 101, which tells the story of the student protests in Montreal, shows that “every time the cops struck, the student movement got bigger and angrier.”

Students at CUNY are also fighting the creeping militarization of their college. The student body is primarily made up of working-class youth and they see the campus administration preying upon them for military recruitment. Last year the ROTC was brought back to campus after having been banned for 40 years. This year, General Petraeus was hired to teach. Students have faced retaliation for their protests: police violence, arrests and the closing of a popular student center used for organizing. Their lawyer, Ron McGuire, characterizes this struggle as determining “the intellectual landscape of the United States … whether that landscape is going to be a militarized society, with a wealthy ruling class sitting on top and black and Latino working-class youth fighting wars all over the world.”

The battle continues at Cooper Union over the move to start charging tuition although it was founded as a free university. Students marked the one-year anniversary of their occupation of Foundation Hall with what they called the ping-pong-pocalypse. They dropped 1,500 ping pong balls with dollar signs on them down a four-story open stairway. This video lists their numerous grievances.

Millenials are also concerned about climate change. The most recent data show that climate change is accelerating and we must take action quickly to both mitigate it and prepare for its consequences. Students at more than 300 universities are working in solidarity to pressure their schools to divest from fossil fuels. They say that the schools cannot claim to be green if they invest in dirty energy. A large rally and protest was held recently by students from 10 schools in Boston. They vow to continue to escalate the pressure to demand divestment.

Young people are escalating their tactics to stop Obama’s deportations under the #Not1More campaign. Statistics were recently released showing that Obama has deported a record 2 million people during his presidency so far. #Not1More reminds us that every one of those 2 million has a family that is torn apart by their detention and deportation. On December 16, protesters on both coasts shut down immigration facilities as part of the growing movement to stop deportations and they similarly vow to escalate their nonviolent tactics.

Students and Youth Have The Power To Transform The Nation

Students and youth do have the power to create the kind of future they want to live in. This is demonstrated most clearly in Chile where four ex-student leaders were elected to Congress. Now the re-election of Michelle Bachelet means that the country has the real potential to move back onto the path that President Salvador Allende, also a physician, began in the 1970s before a U.S.-supported coup. Bachelet promotes an overhaul of the economy and education. She says, “Profits can’t be the motor behind education because education isn’t merchandise and because dreams aren’t a consumer good.”

It may take a while before we see similar changes at the same electoral level in the US, but the landscape is already changing at the local level. This year we saw hopeful signs with the election of Kshama Sawant in Seattle and a number of independent labor candidates in Ohio. We will have to continue to educate ourselves, organize and work together strategically to shift power away from the wealthy elite in order to make electoral gains in our mirage democracy.

Education is not only available to those in colleges. Our newest writer at PopularResistance.org, Stephen Wallace, made his debut with a tribute to Noam Chomsky for his 85th birthday. Wallace has been mentored by Chomsky and is largely self-taught. He describes radical social change as, “The flow of daily life free from authoritarian attitudes, the abolition of oppressive institutions, and the deepest reaches of our humanity in choosing to live decent and ethical lives.”

We feel hopeful for the future when we look at the many young people around us who are taking on the monumental task of transforming the world. We think back to the Civil Rights Movement when the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) led the way on many fronts because the more traditional organizations led by older adults were too timid and willing to compromise.

SNCC field organizers showed tremendous commitment, energy and courage as they went into violent areas and refused to be intimidated in their mission for equality and voting rights. They organized using a grassroots model that empowered those who are most affected by the issues to speak out and become leaders. They were fighting for their future and they knew it. We see the same type of approach, gravity, commitment and courage in many youth today all around the country.

This article was produced by PopularResistance.org in conjunction with AlterNet. It is based on PopularResistance.org’s weekly newsletter reviewing the activities of the resistance movement. Sign up for the daily news digest of Popular Resistance.

http://admin.alternet.org/activism/incredible-activism-youth-generations-will-make-you-lot-less-depressed-about-future?akid=11309.321917.OXTmRS&rd=1&src=newsletter940206&t=25

 

Anti-Government Protests in the Ukraine


11/30/13

1.6 million people have taken the streets in Ukraine to protest against oppression and what appears to be Russian control of their government. Many reports have mistakenly named these massive demonstrations as pro-EU, but it is much more appropriate to label them anti-government. People are waking up to their power and dignity all around the world. The bankers are exposed in the truth if their global corruption harming us all. This is the aftermath of the 2012 GLOBAL AWAKENINGS. People want a new way of living worldwide. Our current model serves a few & harms many more. It is also important to note that these protests are going on in spite of a protest ban. Activists and students in Independence square, were brutality beaten, injured, and hospitalized by police attacks in the early morning hours of November 30th.

Protestors fought police, seized governmental buildings, blockaded police, and have continued to stand united calling for government resignations in the millions! A protestor in a bulldozer even pushed back police lines while others stood hand in hand. Students began pepper spraying cops. People have had enough. Just as we have seen from Egypt, to the London Riots, to The Israeli summer, Americans Autumn, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand & dozens of more nations- people are standing up for justice. The tyranny and brutality of the Ukrainian government has been on full display via beatings and gas grenades. A new world is possible. Remove the corrupt bankers & create a new system.

Kahsatstenhsera: Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines


The “Line 9″ and “Energy East” pipelines threaten to bring tar sands “crude” from Alberta for export through ports in the Atlantic. These pipelines will traverse through many Indigenous communities and natural areas, threatening not only the health of the land but the sovereignty of these territories and their peoples. We have teamed up with Indigenous organizer Amanda Lickers to produce a Kahsatstenhsera: Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines. This video will focuses on Indigenous resistance and seeks to build capacity in Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities by providing an educational and accessible resource to build awareness across communities. Featuring stories and perspectives from land defenders in Athabasca Chipewyan, Aamjiwnaang, Six Nations of the Grand River, Kanehsatà:ke, and Elsipogtog First Nations, this video will not only educates the public on the issues being faced by pipeline construction and expansion, but showcases Indigenous resistance and provide an anti-colonial lens for understanding environmental destruction.

VIDEO LINK

 

talian protesters take on police during mass march against austerity budget (PHOTOS)


Published time: October 19, 2013 19:29
Edited time: October 20, 2013 01:40

A group of people clashes with policemen near the Economy minister during an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Violence broke out between police and demonstrators in Rome on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest Italy’s new budget.

Fifteen protesters were arrested and at least 20 police officers were injured, according to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

We are laying siege to the city!” chanted the crowd, as a small minority pelted the police and government buildings with water bottles and eggs.

A group of protesters turned over garbage bins and set some of them on fire in front of the Economy Ministry.

Members of the Guardia di Finanza protect themselves as they stand in front of the Economy minister during clashes on the sidelines of an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)

Members of the Guardia di Finanza protect themselves as they stand in front of the Economy minister during clashes on the sidelines of an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)

Police say they confiscated tear gas canisters and rocks from some of the radicals in the predominantly youthful crowd and found chains stashed away along the route of the march.

Organizers estimated that 70,000 people took part in the protest, while authorities placed the number closer to 50,000.

With this budget the government is continuing to hurt a country which is already on its knees,” said Piero Bernocchi, leader of the left-wing COBAS trade union that was behind the demonstration.

“Even after austerity has proven to be disastrous, with debt rising, the economy crumbling, and unemployment soaring, they still continue with these policies.

Thousands of people march during an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)

Thousands of people march during an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Enrico Letta – who is presiding over a fractious Left-Right coalition – presented the 2014 budget that immediately came under a firestorm of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum.

Left-wingers criticized the document for freezing state sector pay and pensions, while right-wingers and businesses said it failed to stimulate growth with insufficient cuts to Italy’s oppressive corporate taxes.

People try to broke the windows of an Unicredit bank agency during an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)

People try to broke the windows of an Unicredit bank agency during an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Alberto Pizzoli)

Italy annually spends around 800 billion euro – a sum it cannot afford as it struggles with a recession that started more than two years ago. The latest budget aims to cut the deficit to 2.5 percent – still worse than most of Europe.

On Friday, a general strike paralyzed transport links in the country and forced the cancellation of flights in and out of Rome.

But Saturday’s protests weren’t just about pay. Some called for the government to abandon an expensive fast-train link with France. Others demanded that Italy provide more social housing. Many bemoaned the country’s treatment of immigrants, who have suffered several tragic incidents in recent months as they attempted to reach the coast of Italy.

Letta has gone on television to defend his government, but dissenters have not been placated and say that even bigger demonstrations will be staged next week.

A man throws a bottle in direction of policem during clashes on the sidelines of an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

A man throws a bottle in direction of policem during clashes on the sidelines of an anti-austerity protest on October 19, 2013 in Rome. (AFP Photo / Filippo Monteforte)

Airlines Might Just Hold the Secret to Ending Dolphin Captures at the Cove


 

Can public pressure end airlines’ profitable transport of dolphins and other cetaceans?

October 7, 2013


animal cruelty facts
In January 2012, Hong Kong Airlines was paid $109,600 to transport five live dolphins (seen above) from Japan to Vietnam. (Photo: China Daily)

If a dolphin were captured by Japanese fishermen and sold at great profit to a faraway amusement park, but no one was willing to fly the animal there, would the fishermen want to capture more dolphins? Probably not.

That thinking has fueled a growing international effort to convince the world’s airlines and airfreight companies not to fly marine mammals captured from the wild to theme parks and aquariums. Citing the severe stress placed on whales and dolphins from hours in the restricted confinement of air transport, many air-cargo carriers are joining a “green list” of airlines vowing not to fly wild-caught cetaceans (unless an animal is being moved for health, safety or conservation reasons).

Many international activists believe that air transportation is the weakest link in a chain that sustains not only the infamous dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, but also the international trafficking of all whales and dolphins for public display and profit. The most recent effort is a petition at Change.org by the anti-captivity group Freedom Blue. It calls on all carriers to, “Make the skies ‘dolphin-safe’—stop the carriage of cetaceans to marine parks.”

Transporting cetaceans—by air or otherwise—is highly stressful on dolphins and one reason why the risk of dying “increases six-fold in bottlenose dolphins during the first five days after a capture, and a similar mortality spike is seen after every transport between facilities,” says Naomi Rose of Animal Welfare Institute.

Companies like Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air China and UPS first became the targets of animal-advocacy groups several years ago, says Courtney Vail of Whale and Dolphin Conservation. Along with Humane Society International and AWI, her group pressured UPS to promise to stop carrying from the Solomon Islands, where dolphin drives like the one in Taiji also occur . The company complied in 2008. Despite its Solomon Islands pledge, though, UPS has not responded to WDC inquiries about flying dolphins from Taiji or other capture locations. Neither UPS, FedEx nor DHL responded to my requests for comment.

According to WDC figures, between 2002 and 2012, fishermen in Taiji captured and sold 1,203 dolphins into captivity—over and above the thousands killed for meat. About a third of the captured cetaceans were sold to the 56 aquariums in Japan that hold dolphins, leaving 800 more animals to be shipped to 14 different countries, especially China, which has flown in 242 dolphins from Taiji in the last decade. Other countries include Korea (21 dolphins), Ukraine (16), and Iran, Turkey and the Philippines (12 each). Activists estimate that airlines can reap up to $50,000 for flying a single animal.

“The focus on airlines isn’t new, but inclusion of Taiji in that equation is now a target for several groups and initiatives,” says Vail. Air China is one of the transporters of Taiji dolphins that can be verified. Last April, WDC launched its own online petition, which now has more than 70,000 signatures, asking Air China to stop flying dolphins taken from anywhere in the wild.

But Air China is not the only transporter. “We have been proactively targeting all airlines, including the few bad actors that have been documented to carry from the drive hunts or other wild captures,” says Vail.

Singapore Airlines is another target: In 2008 and 2009, it flew 27 wild-caught bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands to the Philippines.

Passenger airlines are very sensitive to negative publicity, and have been known to bow to public persuasion. Hong Kong Airlines incurred the wrath of animal groups worldwide after flying five dolphins from Japan to Vietnam in January 2012.

The company later circulated an internal memo bragging about the $109,000 in revenue it had earned on the seven-hour flight and vowing to expand the practice. An outraged employee leaked the memo to China Daily, sparking an international backlash, including an online petition and a fury of angry calls and emails.

In February, Gary Stokes, the Hong Kong coordinator for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, joined a number of activists and schoolchildren who walked into the airlines’ headquarters to deliver the petition, signed by 2,400 people, and a DVD of the Academy-Award winning documentary The Cove.

Airline employees quickly became heated, calling activisists “thugs” and “punks”. Stokes later wrote on Sea Shepherd’s website, “We continued to stand politely and peacefully, awaiting someone from management who could accept the letter. It was like a hot potato that nobody wanted.”  They finally delivered the material to a senior employee and were escorted from the building.


WDC and other groups, meanwhile, worked behind the scenes to secure a change in airline policy. On February 25, the company wrote to Vail, confessing it had been “totally unaware of the complexities behind its shipment,” adding that, “We are indeed very grateful for your input which has helped to sharpen an awareness of the dark side of the dolphin story.”

“If cessation of flights of this nature helps in the protection of cruelty to wild life,” the letter continued, “Hong Kong Airlines will have no second thoughts.”

It wasn’t the first victory, and it won’t be the last. Vail says WDC has written to 300 airlines asking them to confirm that they will never transport dolphins. So far, 34 have signed up, including major international airlines such as British Airways, Japan Airlines, Thai, Iberia and Emirates. Only two U.S. airlines, Delta and American, are on the list, though a US Airways spokeswoman said they do not carry animals in cargo. United and Northwest did not return my calls.

The first airline to adopt an official policy, more than a decade ago, was Lufthansa, after two dolphins died en-route to Argentina on one of its cargo planes. The entire journey, which transported one beluga and four dolphins, lasted 54 hours tank-to-tank. “Lufthansa really led the way on our campaign to work with carriers,” Vail recalls.

The success of WDC and its partners proves that when it comes to saving animals, people can make a difference. Just ask Hong Kong Airlines, or Lufthansa.

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/10/07/establishing-dolphin-no-fly-zone-would-it-end-captures-cove

Don’t let the Koch brothers control public television


Below is an email from Joe Dinkin of the organization Working Families. Joe started a petition on the MoveOn website, where anyone can start their own online petition.


Dear Reader,

Last month, The New Yorker reported that public television backed out of its deal to air the documentary Citizen Kochjust because they were afraid of upsetting billionaire donor David Koch. David Koch has donated $23 million as a board member of two flagship PBS stations, WNET in New York and WGBH in Boston.

Public television was founded to support the public interest, not to cater to the private interests of wealthy donors like the Koch brothers.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmakers, Citizen Koch exposes the outsize role of money in American politics, from the Kochs and other major political spenders. This is exactly the kind of dialogue that public television was founded to foster, regardless of whether or not a powerful donor is happy about it.

That’s why I started a petition to Corporation for Public Broadcasting President and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison, Public Broadcasting Service President and CEO Paula Kerger, and Independent Television Service President and CEO Sally Jo Fifer, which says:

Koch money shouldn’t influence public television programming—we want to see the film Citizen Koch aired on PBS!

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thanks!

–Joe Dinkin

This petition was created on MoveOn’s online petition site, where anyone can start their own online petitions. Working Families didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the MoveOn.org list.

http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/texas-attorney-general?id=-7857229-XPFQuV&source=share_chain&fwd=1

 

Michael Evans – The Plan To “Take Back America” – Place ALL State And Federal Capitols Under ‘Civil Disobedient’ Siege – 28 May 2013


 

 

Plan To Take Back America by Civil DisobedienceLadies and Gentlemen, the time has arrived for us to make or break.  No longer can we sit and ponder, “who will do something?”, “who is going to stop the tyranny and treasonous actions of our state and federal governments?”

 

Today all that ends.  Today we take our nation back by peaceful, civil disobedience and siege.

 

Today we commit to bring all state and federal governments, agencies and branches to a screeching, blood curdling halt.  No more fear, no more hiding in the shadows.  Today you will make a choice;  ”I am an American Patriot who will solve this problem”, or “I am choosing the side of slavery and betrayal.”

 

Either you are the solution… or, you ARE the problem.

 

The time for vacillation and hand-wringing are done.  Today we as a nation, as a people, as a business, as a parent, as a child, as a family, today, we take action.  We will starve this beast into submission.  We will bring the entire nation and every state to a screeching halt economically and peacefully using the tool of Civil Disobedience.

 

Prepare yourselves for trouble, discomfort, hunger, cold and fear. But most importantly… prepare yourself for SUCCESS.  Success in restoring our nation to the Rule of Law, to morals, ethics, honesty, and the courage to take on the hard and painful task of bringing order to chaos.

 

Our nation is at the end of a long road.  From here the road goes Left or Right.  There is no more straight ahead.

 

Here’s the plan:

 

All businesses:  

 

  1. Cease sending in sales taxes, employee contribution taxes and any other funds that go to the state or federal governments.
  2. Withhold any payments made to any government agency, either state or federal until the demands are met.
  3. Withhold all real estate tax payments
  4. Withhold all payments  to banks, mortgage companies, auto loans, credit card companies, revolving lines of credit, Real Estate taxes
  5. Cease all orders for new products and services
  6. Place the funds in designated ‘escrow’ accounts and withhold the funds until the state and federal governments capitulate.
  7. The End Goal?  Bring all commerce, funding and payments to a halt.  No money moves, period.  No product moves, Period.

 

All individuals:

 

  1. Prepare yourselves and families to take shifts in ‘camping’ out in front of the state and federal capitols until ALL demands are met.
  2. Withhold all payments to banks, mortgage companies, auto loans, credit card companies.
  3. Place all funds in a designated ‘escrow’ account and withhold the funds until the state and federal governments capitulate.
  4. Purchase only what you need in food & fuel for a 90 day window.
  5. Don’t worry, it can’t last that long.  Remember, 90% of America has only enough food to last 3 days.  Understand that state governments are required by law to pay ALL bills with real money and they don’t have the luxury of a Federal Reserve who can print endless greenbacks.  States will break within 10-15 days… maybe less.
  6. The End Goal?  Starve The Beast.  Bring all commerce to a halt.  No work, no taxes paid, no purchases, no commerce, no movement.  A complete and total freeze of all money, supplies, and work.

 

When does this begin?  

 

July 4th, 2013.  Independence Day. 

 

 

Slogans?  

 

  • We’re Not Leaving Until YOU Do!
  • America – Free At Last!
  • Freedom & Liberty – We The People Is ALL Of Us!
  • Enough Is Enough – We Want Our Nation Back!
  • Our Constitution IS The Law Of The Land!
  • End Government Lawlessness!
  • Government Under Siege – Not Citizens!
  • Government Has Boundaries – We The People Enforce Them!

 

What will happen? 

 

 

  1. A complete and total freeze will be impossible to hide from not only every individual in our nation, the entire world will be forced to take notice.
  2. The mass media will at first try to ignore it.  Thankfully, there is enough ‘alternative’ media sources that will cover the planet with the news that America is in peaceful REVOLT.  ”Those crazy American’s are taking their nation back for the 2nd time!”
  3. State Governments will be the first to capitulate.  Their funding is generally ‘hand to mouth’.  Without monetary resources from sales taxes and income tax paid via employers, they will be bereft of funds within days.
  4. The Federal Government can print money (Illegally via the Federal Reserve – A private cabal of Banksters).  They however also rely on tax revenues sent in from employers.  They cannot print indefinitely.  Further, the pressure from states, individuals and the globe will be impossible to ignore.
  5. The Federal Government will not last beyond a few weeks or perhaps a couple of months at most.

 

 

What is the Goal?

 

The goal of this process is to take back our nation, peacefully, civilly, but with unrelenting force.  No government can exist without funding from the citizenry.  Everyone knows and acknowledges that our state and federal governments are completely out of control in relation to both money and abuse of power.

 

Our goal is to cut off the money supply and starve the beast to death.  Either it will capitulate to our demands, or it will die.  In either event, We The People will come out of this period with our nation intact and our Constitution again in full force and effect.

 

So what demands are we making?

 

  1. All existing members of congress resign pending an emergency nationwide election for both state and federal governments.
  2. President Barack Obama must resign pending an emergency national election to replace him.
  3. No current member of congress may run again in the emergency election
  4. Nationwide personal taxation at a level not to exceed 10% of income.
    1. Everyone pays, not 51% – everyone.
    2. No deductions, no loopholes
  5. Nationwide corporate taxation at a level not to exceed 20%.
    1. No deductions, no loopholes
    2. If a corporation attempts to avoid paying taxes by ‘hiding’ or sheltering money overseas, that corporation is prohibited from doing business in the United States.
  6. The Federal Reserve MUST return all national banking and money supply to the Treasury as Constitutionally mandated within a 3 year time frame.
    1. The Treasury Department Shall Not delegate the Constitutional duties and obligations to any third party
    2. The Treasury Shall Not use fractional banking.  All money must be backed by precious metal.
  7. All administrative agencies not Constitutionally Mandated are immediately disbanded and considered Null & Void including but not limited to the following:
    1. EPA – Environmental Protection Agency
    2. DHS – Department of Homeland Security
    3. IRS – Internal Revenue Service – We have no need of the IRS.  It will be replaced with a simple monitoring body to ensure all funds are collected.
    4. ATF, DEA, SEC, USDA, FDA, DOE – Full List Here:  http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml
    5. No ‘Agency’ Shall Exist.  Congress has no authority to sub-delegate the limited ‘power-of-attorney’ that the Constitution provides for it to possess.
  8. State and Federal governments Shall adopt balanced budgets annually or semi-annually.
  9. All government accounting Shall be done under GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles)
  10. The National (Federal) Government Shall Not exceed the enumerated powers delegated to it in the Constitution

 

Our national currency is on the verge of collapse due to the Federal Reserve diluting the money supply.  Administrative Agencies surveillance violates the privacy rights.  The IRS is bleeding our nation to death.  The Presidency has become an secret dictatorship.  Every member of congress has betrayed their oath of office.  Lobbyists have turned our government into the ‘best congress money can buy’.  Our national heritage, laws, policies and constitution have been sold to the highest bidder.  Corruption is the rule of the day in both State & Federal governments.  Our Constitution is all but defunct after decades of grinding away by traitors and treasonists who call themselves ‘representative’ of the people.

 

This revolt, while peaceful, will change everything.  Either we change it now, while words suffice, or we accept the ‘fundamental change’ that our governmental leaders have planned for us.

 

 

The word to describe that is, Slavery.  Enslaved by debt, monitored, castrated, emasculated, cowered, fearful and subservient to an elitist new world order that declares YOU to be food and livestock.  To be used, or abused, at the will of your masters.  It matters not the name or face of the master for they are all the same.  Tyrants whose ego and desire for power and money are fed by your demise.

 

Join me and spread the word.

 

Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.    -Winston Churchill

 

www.americasvoicenow.org/ link to original article

Source

Please remember, this body of work has only been possible thru the kindness, compassion and generosity of readers. If  information here has enriched your life in any way, or if you profit from re-porsting blog content, please consider gifting a small donation to help meet expenses.  Gifting brings more abundance into our lives, by honoring an energetic exchange with those  those who freely and unconditionally sacrifice to  Serve the Collective. Mahalo! Love and gratitude, ~A~}

 

German Police Officers Take Off Helmets & Marched With German Citizens Against Rothschild European Central Bank!


Note: This news is dated 6/2012, even so it’s worthy of another view. Many are just now awakening to the truth about banking and corporate slavery systems, most people are still unaware that governments are LEGAL corporations masquerading as governing systems. Please share freely…

The German police took off their helmets and marched with the protesters- clearing the way for them.

  1. April 30, 2013 ROLLING STONE: “Conspiracy Theorists Of The World, Believers In The Hidden Hands Of The Rothschilds, We Skeptics Owe You An Apology.”

  2. BENGHAZI:*** WHAT YOU’RE NOT BEING TOLD*** [SCG News] [VIDEO]

  3. Greece Military Stands Down In Support Of Their Fellow Citizen: Military High 5s With Citizen Protestors ~ Blackwater Stands Down!

  4. 86% Of U.S. Police Officers Stand With Bill Of Rights & Against Gun Control: Police One’s Gun Control Survey 11 Key Lessons ~ U.S. Police Stand With Their Citizens!

  5. Update April 29, 2013 On West/Waco Texas Fertilizer Plant Missile/Laser Strike: 14 Dead 160 Wounded ~ Government Motives To Destroy It With A Missile!

 

Urgent Action Free Fax: Tell Your Senators That $6.3 Trillion Is Too High A Price To Pay For The Gang Of Eight’s Amnesty!

Blockupy Frankfurt.

Police are escorting.

Reports 20,000+ protesters.

Nice to see their faces…. and their humanity coming through…

HEAD OF THE SNAKE ROTHSCHILD

HEAD OF THE SNAKE ROTHSCHILD

Who Owns The European Central Bank?

These Are The Same Cronies That Usurped The United States Central Bank _ The Federal Reserve And Turned Healthy Capitalism Into Cronie Capitalism By Derivative Fraud!

Here is a picture of Rothschild’s European Central Bank, which is located in Frankfurt, Germany!

Rothschild’s Handbook For Banker’s World Control.

  1. You Think Flooding The U.S. With QE4 Is Bad ~ Well You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet: Japan & European Central Bank Printed Funny Money Is Coming To America! This “NEXT” Mafia “BUBBLE” Scheme To Usurp The United States Must Be Stopped Now!

German police officers escort an anti- cronie capitalism protest march with some 20,000 people in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, May 19, 2012. Protesters peacefully filled the city center of continental Europe’s biggest financial hub in their protest against the dominance of banks and what they perceive to be untamed cronie capitalism, Frankfurt police spokesman Ruediger Regis said.

 

The protest group calling itself Blockupy has called for blocking the access to the European Central Bank, which is located in Frankfurt’s business district. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

Its Happening In Greece Too!  Greece Military High Fives Fellow Citizen Fighting Banker's Crime Of Austerity.

Its Happening In Greece Too! Greece Military High Fives Fellow Citizen Fighting Banker’s Crime Of Austerity.

Greece Military Stands Down In Support Of Their Fellow Citizen: Military High 5s With Citizen Protestors ~ Blackwater Stands Down!

Nice to see the police give protesters a hand. I think I will plan on my next vacation to visit Germany.

Such friendly people there! 

Democratic Underground

OBAMA COMMUNISM rothschildism

http://politicalvelcraft.org/2012/06/27/german-police-officers-take-off-helmets-marched-with-german-citizens-against-rothschild-european-central-bank/

Model Food Bill of Rights


Communities across the country are facing the many problems associated with corporate control of agriculture.  Called the corporatization of agriculture, it means that fewer and fewer people (acting through corporations) are controlling more and more of our food production.  These are corporate directors deciding to grow genetically-modified food, deciding to use mass production for “efficiency,” deciding to use sewage sludge as fertilizer, and deciding to use chemicals, herbicides, and antibiotics to grow our food.

The corporatization of agriculture has caused 5 million independent and family farms to go under since the 1930s.  They are unable to compete in the corporatized marketplace.  This has had a devastating effect on local economies and rural communities.

One of the symptoms of the corporatization of agriculture is factory farming.  Factory farms are farm operations where tens of thousands (often hundreds of thousands) of animals are crowded together in tightly packed warehouses, creating unhealthy and inhumane conditions.

Today, four corporations control over 85% of beef packing in the United States.  Two corporations – Tyson and Smithfield – control over half of pork production.  Forty percent of milk production is controlled by Dean Foods.  With so much of food production controlled by so few, monolithic farming operations have become standard across the country.

The dangers of factory farming are well documented:  inhumane treatment of animals; contamination of water, soils, and air; as well as devastating economic consequences for rural communities.

Further, despite the claims of Big Ag, factory farms are not more efficient than smaller farms.  Over the past 15 years, the dairy industry has concentrated millions of cows into warehouse-like conditions – causing over 50,000 dairy farms to close – yet milk production levels remain the same.   Similarly, even as the pork industry has become more concentrated, we’re raising the same number of hogs today as we were in 1950.

The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has partnered with more than 90 communities over the past decade to stop unsustainable corporate agricultural activities through grassroots organizing and local municipal law-making.  Communities from across the country are now approaching us seeking to not only ban unsustainable agricultural practices, but to create sustainable food systems.  In response to these requests, we developed a model Food Bill of Rights Ordinance.

Background

 

While many recognize our present food production system is unsustainable, it’s much harder to understand why such a system is allowed to continue.  And further, why communities are prohibited from putting in place the sustainable food systems they envision.

Through our work with communities, we have learned that there are core reasons why this system is not only allowed to perpetuate, but is encouraged and supported by our government.

First, there’s something known as corporate constitutional “rights.” Corporations have gained broad “rights” and powers under the U.S. Constitution over the past 200 years, wielding them over our communities to override democratic decision making.  Thus they use the constitution to undermine community efforts to mandate sustainable agricultural practices, as well as to ensure that their right to conduct unsustainable practices is not interfered with.

In addition to corporate “rights,” state legislatures – at the behest of the agriculture industry – have put in place laws that preempt communities from saying “no” to corporate-dominated agriculture and “yes” to creating sustainable food systems. Indeed, communities facing the threat of factory farm operations learn that their state government has legally authorized factory farming to take place.  Thus when communities contact their state environmental agency for help to stop a factory farm, they find that rather than helping them stop it, the agency is instead authorizing the factory farm to operate.

Corporate agribusiness lobbyists draft farm laws for Congress and our state legislators which govern how farming is practiced in this country and how food systems are regulated. Laws including Pennsylvania’s Right to Farm Act define factory farming as a “normal agricultural activity” and prohibit municipalities from stopping factory farming – or even trying to regulate them.  In Pennsylvania, the state legislature went even further, passing Act 38 which empowers the state Attorney General to sue a community if they dare to try to stop factory farming. Communities find that their own elected officials are protecting the interests of Big Ag over the interests of the very communities they are supposed to represent.

Communities therefore find that they face not only corporate directors who wield their corporate “rights” to prevent residents from protecting their communities, but that their own state preempts them from doing so as well.

Corporate “rights” and state preemption together deny residents the right to determine what farming is going to look like in their communities.  This means that communities are at the mercy of agricultural decisions made by Big Ag, hand-in-hand with our elected representatives. Those decisions protect the profits and unsustainable practices of industrial scale farming.  The result is that residents are forced to accept the dumping of toxic sewage sludge on area farmland, the siting of factory farms, the planting of genetically modified seeds, and a host of other harms. These practices undermine any attempt to establish sustainable food systems.

What to Do?

Communities have determined that so long as this system of law remains in place – elevating the interests of corporate agriculture over the rights of communities to sustainably grown food – nothing will change.  Claiming we are in favor of building local, sustainable food systems is not the same as providing the space for them to exist.

Rather, communities have found they need to frontally challenge the existing system of law that erects legal barriers in the form of corporate “rights” and state preemption that deny people their right to local self-government.

First Steps

CELDF has been at the forefront of this issue, initially helping residents, local groups, and municipal officials to ban unsustainable agribusiness practices.  In 1998 we began working with communities threatened with factory farms.  We found language in the South Dakota state constitution protecting small family farms by banning factory farming.  We adapted that language to municipalities, and in 2000, the first Anti-Corporate Farm Ownership Ordinance was adopted in Wells Township, Fulton County, Pennsylvania, prohibiting corporations from engaging in agriculture.   A dozen communities now have similar ordinances in place.

Soon after, we began working with communities facing the land application of sewage sludge.  Today, sewage sludge is dumped on fields where we grow our food.  Using what we learned partnering with communities around the factory farm issue, we worked with communities to draft ordinances banning the dumping of sewage sludge on farmland. Over 80 communities have worked with us to enact these ordinances.

Today our ordinances have evolved from single-issue bans on unsustainable corporate activities, to become Community Bills of Rights which establish new frameworks of governance for communities.  The bills of rights secure and protect the rights of people, their communities, and nature against actions which would interfere with those rights.

As more and more communities have sought our assistance around creating sustainable agricultural systems, CELDF developed a model Food Bill of Rights Ordinance.  The model Bill of Rights establishes a right to sustainably and locally produced food, while banning unsustainable agricultural practices.  This includes protections for local family farms, provides for the humane treatment of livestock, and prohibits trespass by genetically modified organisms.  In addition, it removes those legal barriers which stand in the way of community food sustainability – such as corporate “rights” and state preemption.

Next steps

We at CELDF, have begun to see the emergence of a new peoples’ movement. One that recognizes the peoples’ inalienable right to local self-government, and elevates the rights of people, communities, and nature over the claimed “rights” of corporations and government preemption.

Together, we can determine the sustainable future of our own communities.

Want to learn more?  Interested in what you can do to protect your community?  Contact us at info@celdf.org.

http://www.celdf.org/-1-77

 

Learn How You Can Kick Monsanto & Big Oil Out of Your Neighborhood!


Across the country, people are learning how to protect the health of their communities, and the people who live there. From GMO crops. From fracking. From outside corporations whose only concern is profit.

If you’d like to learn, too, you’re in luck. Because a Democracy School is coming to a community near you soon.

The CELDF Democracy School teaches citizens how to organize to protect community rights. It’s run by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, the local economy, and quality of life.

I recently attended a Democracy School and then met with local communities in Oregon that are working to pass their own versions of CELDF’s Model Food Bill of Rights. The Food Bill of Rights is a tool for communities to establish the right to locally produced, sustainably grown food, and to ban unsustainable agricultural practices. The bill includes protections for local family farms, the humane treatment of livestock and bans on genetically modified organisms. It also removes legal barriers that stand in the way of community food sustainability, such as corporate “rights” and state preemption.

It was a great experience, which is why I’m letting you know that a Democracy School is coming to a community near you. If you want to learn more about how to fight back against Monsanto and Big Oil, this is a great opportunity.

Kauai, HI — May 3 & 4
To register or for more information, contact Ami Marcus at ami@planetvisionproductions.com.

Greenfield, MA — May 3 & 4
To register or for more information, contact Sandra Boston at bostons@aol.com.

McMinnville, OR — May 10 & 11
For more information, contact Linda Grove at lgrove@onlinenw.com  or 503-472-9213. Click here to register.

Yellow Springs, OH — May 17 & 18
To register or for more information, contact Dimi Reber at dimireber@rocketmail.com or 937-767-1078.

Thanks!
Alexis Baden-Mayer
Political Director

Organic Consumers Association

6771 South Silver Hill Drive – Finland, MN 55603 – Phone: 218-226-4164 – Fax: 218-353-7652

Renowned Science Writer Sandra Steingraber Puts Her Body On the Line to Defend Against Fracking



March 21, 2013  

This article was published in partnership with GlobalPossibilities.org [3].

Watkins Glen, New York made Yahoo! Travel’s top 10 [4] list of America’s coolest small towns. This Finger Lake village is described as having “Award-winning wineries, awe-inspiring gorges and waterfalls, and a racetrack that draws visitors to auto-racing events.” The story mentions hiking, NASCAR and “crisp Rieslings.”

Here’s what it doesn’t say about this dream town: it’s at the heart of the battle over hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for unconventional shale gas in the Marcellus.

Companies aren’t drilling for gas here, but they’re drilling into the land in order to store fracked gas. Sandra Steingraber [5] was among a group of individuals willing to put her body between drilling rig trucks and their destination on shores of Seneca Lake on Monday. Steingraber was arrested for her bravery, which is but one step in her evolving journey as a scientist, writer, and now activist.

Steingraber is a renowned scientist, currently a scholar in residence in Ithaca College. She’s also a lyrical writer, author of four books [6]: Post-Diagnosis (written after being diagnosed with bladder cancer at age 20); Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment (later optioned as a film); Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood; and most recently Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis.

On World Water Day, this is a good time to reflect on the threats of drought and water contamination, in which fracking plays a key role. Steingraber talked with AlterNet about the health effects of fracking, her own personal connection to the issue, and what keeps her up at night. (Spoiler: it’s cement, but more on that soon.)

Tara Lohan: If I’m reading the news correctly, it looks like you were arrested earlier this week.

Sandra Steingraber: Yes, I was.

TL: How did you get involved in that action?

SS: It has an odd trajectory. I was writing about three other people who were arrested for civil disobedience at that same facility last September. One of them, the night before, showed up on my front porch and asked me if I would come the next morning to bear witness to what he was about to do and be available to talk to the press about compressor stations, which was something I was researching. I was happy to talk about the kinds of chemicals that compressor stations put into the atmosphere and what the problem is with this whole project. The whole project being a storage facility for fracked gases that a company called Inergy from Kansas City is trying to build. The plan they have for this part of the world is to use depleted salt caverns where salt mining has been done for probably a century at least, and use it as a storage facility for gas from the fracking fields in Pennsylvania. The idea is that the gas would be pressurized to the point of liquidification, then injected into salt caverns.

So I went last September and served as a sort of science writer/interpreter and witness and what impressed me was that the three people who chained themselves to this fence were not young people. The youngest was my age and I’m 53, she was a nurse. And then there was Rev. Gary Judson who is a retired Methodist minister who is 72 and he spoke eloquently about the underground geology of these caverns, about the history of salt caverns being used to store liquified petroleum products and their terrible track record with catastrophic accidents in other states. And then there was also the moral and ethical issue of using these caverns to store something toxic and explosive knowing that they have cracks and fissures and that this is a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. He, himself was an avid fisherman and he felt strongly that this was a treasure and we are called to defend creation.

So there he was, it was a very hot time and he was uncomfortably chained to this fence while he is talking and when the sheriff came and used bolt cutters to free him, then he was immediately re-manacled with handcuffs and his wife, who is 74 years old, ran up and adjusted his glasses in this very loving way, which were slipping off his face. And I think that’s what broke my heart, to watch the two of them who have been married for so long, to take this step. She wasn’t arrested but she was there with him.

And then I went to his court appearance (I’m a columnist for OrionMagazine). I wrote a column that was originally set in a courtroom and began with this Methodist minister walking down the aisle to face the judge and he walked slowly, with a kind of dignity that made me feel like this must have been how he walked down the aisle every Sunday up to the altar, but now instead of an altar there is the judge’s bench. He declared himself guilty and then was charged a fine and immediately everyone’s wallet opened up and without a collection plate we were doing the Sunday collection. So all this money was immediately sent forward to pay his fine on his behalf. The courtroom was just filled, we had so many people that there were people standing outside watching through the windows and they jimmied open the windows and they slipped $20 bills in the window. And in a minute we had raised twice as much money to pay the fine, which was not inconsiderable.

That became the opening of my essay which led me into a discussion about these infrastructure projects for fracked gas. Fracking means more than just fracturing the shale, there is the pipelines, the sand mining, and where you’re going to put it all.

The other thing for me is that my son was born right next to this facility. There used to be a birth center, which was very popular— my son is now 11 — a place for women to come and they had excellent prenatal care and you got to labor and deliver in this very beautiful place with a view of the lake. I chose to do an all-natural childbirth and for someone who is a cancer patient and leads a highly medicalized life, it was very meaningful to me to be in a natural setting and not a hospital. So the shore of that lake is sort of a sacred place for me. It was the first environment for my son — he was actually born in the bathtub — so he was born in Seneca Lake water.

For me on Monday it was an interesting writerly return to this place where I had once gone to do something physical — give birth — and now I was going to do something physical, namely, let my body speak by placing it between a truck carrying a drillhead and the place where this truck wanted to go.

TL: So is this facility actually open at this point? Are they storing gas there?

SS: Yes and no. There has been gas stored in various parts of this facility for some time. But now with the gas boom in Pennsylvania their intent is to expand it hugely and so permits have been submitted to both to state and federal agencies. And there is a kind of fastracking going on. And Inergy is already going ahead with construction. The drill rigs that drill down into these salt caverns are just like overnight appearing there. It seems to be an attempt to create a kind of fait accompli situation.

I have testified about this facility in the past and submitted comments and feel as though I have pursued all legally available channels for me to object to this facility as a menace to public health, climate and drinking water. And it has all fallen on deaf ears and there is a race to get this thing in the ground.

Having never taken a step toward civil disobedience before, I had to think hard about when it is appropriate. I don’t think you do it as a first resort, it has to be a last resort but on the other hand if you do it when the bulldozers are already there, then it’s kinda too late. There must be a sort of sweet spot where things are tipping forward but they aren’t inevitable yet but perhaps a show of bravery and a show that we intend to defend this place and we’re calling on our government to protect us — maybe civil disobedience can actually change providence, change the outcome here. That was what I was hoping for.

TL: How did you first start getting involved in fracking issues?

SS: It happened when Cornell University invited me to speak in the fall of 2009 at a forum on fracking. I had only barely heard of it. I was asked because I have some knowledge about the actual chemicals they use in fracking fluid, so I’ve been studying the health effects of toxic chemicals, especially endocrine disruptors and carcinogens and reproductive and developmental toxins for some time.

After I delivered my piece I got to hear what the other experts had to say, and the more I listened the more horrified I was. Then I came to learn that much of the land in my own county was being leased in the anticipation that fracking would come to New York and in fact 40 percent of the land is still leased, including land very near to where I live in my village. It became very personal, suddenly.

In the spring of 2010 one of my books, Living Downstream, was re-released to coincide with the film adaptation and that film was being shown in Washington DC at an enviro film festival. During it I wandered into another theater where Gasland was screening and that experience really brought the issue home to me and I began to see it as a human rights issue.

In the summer of 2011, I was researching fracking full-time, looking at the health effects, so I set out on a long two-month tour, going to 20 states interviewing people out West where fracking had been going on for some time when I happened to be in Utah, in Moab which is one of the areas in the crosshairs of the oil and gas industry when word came down that Tim DeChristopher, [7] the anti-fracking activist, was going to be sentenced. So I decided to jump in the car and drive to Salt Lake City to attend his sentencing. Some local activists asked if I would speak at the rally outside, which I did.

So I was there at the courthouse when he made that now-famous speech to the judge, “This is what love looks like [8]” and then suddenly was hauled away in chains. I guess it was a week or so later and I was out in the desert and got word that I was a lucky recipient of a Heinz Award for my research and writing on environmental health and the trilogy of books I had written on the topic.

It comes with a $100,000 cash prize and with Tim’s words still in my ears, I knew that I was going to donate this award to the anti-fracking movement, I just felt called to do that. But I didn’t know then what form that would take. That money became the seed money to form the coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking [9] that has been a bringing together of the tribes of the anti-fracking movement in New York. We have grown to more than 200 organizations and 1,000 businesses and we have different chapters like Faith Leaders Against Fracking and Poets Against Fracking and Chefs for the Marcellus and we have Concerned Health Professionals to Protect NY. It’s not a member of ours but we work closely with Artists Against Fracking represented by people like Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono and also Salman Rushdie and Lady Gaga.

We’ve become the voice of the anti-fracking movement in New York. I guess in those two years I’ve moved my own work, I thought that I was going to do science for the people at the barricades. In other words, research everything I could about the environmental health effects of fracking to be used by people as they made their own decisions about fracking. I’m mostly known for translating science for the public.

Over the years I’ve moved to the barricades myself and now find myself standing arm-in-arm with people who are on the frontlines. And I still believe very much in the power of data and science to inform decisions but it has become apparent to me that all by itself science doesn’t change things and it has to be championed by people and forcefully inserted into the conversation.

TL: With your background in science what are your biggest concerns about fracking?

SS: There are several. First, I think it’s important to say that the word is used in different ways depending on who’s using it. And when I use it, I use it to refer to the whole process of shale gas extraction and delivery. The industry uses it to refer just to the moment when the shale is fractured using water as the sledgehammer to shatter the shale. With that as the definition they can say truthfully that there are no cases of water contamination associated with fracking. But you don’t get fracking without bringing with it all these other things — mining for the frack sand, depleting water, you have to add the chemicals, you have to drill, you have to dispose of the waste, you have drill cuttings. I refer to them all as fracking, as do most activists.

When you look at the whole shale gas extraction process the problems begins with the mining of the sand. The sand is necessary because water all by itself can’t hold the crack open, it can create the cracks, but as soon as you release the hydraulic pressure the weight of the earth will close all the cracks back up, and so the water is used as a firehose to shoot silica sand grains into the cracks to prop them open from here until eternity and that allows these bubbles of gas that have been trapped these many years to flow out along with everything else the shale can contain and that includes radon, benzene, all these other vapors that are very toxic. So I worry about the mining of silica sand. That really turns the earth inside out; there is no way to do that in a sustainable way. You’re creating these big holes and risking groundwater contamination just from the mining process.

Silica sand is a known carcinogen, like asbestos. It causes lung cancer and silicosis. And so in some of these places where silica sand is mined, including not far from where I grew up along the Illinois River valley, when you go to these places, you can’t go without your car being covered in what looks like unbleached flour. It is highly respirable and very dangerous.

We’ve never exposed the general population to silica dust. It has almost exclusively been considered an occupational hazard for people who work as sandblasters or in the glass industry but now we are doing this in human communities — if not mining than the transport in open trucks, train cars or barges. And then we have to process it all and add chemicals. We have no data all about what happens when we expose, let’s say, a four-year-old child or a pregnant woman or an older person. The fact that we don’t have data doesn’t mean it’s safe, we just have never conducted this human experiment before.

I have a lot of concern about the well casings themselves. The things that really keep me awake at night are thinking about cement. It is a strong substance — it can stand a lot of compression. But if you use it as a casing in the wall of the bore hole that you drill all the way down a mile down into the earth, then that casing has to stand forevermore as an unbreachable barrier between all the toxic neighbors that you’ve just liberated from the shale and the groundwater that lies above. Cement is not immortal — it cracks, it shrinks, it gets small holes in it. Now you’ve just opened a pathway for these vapors to find their way up — either into our air or groundwater — and there is really no fixing it.

When you frack, you’re not only sending water down with incredible force, you are inducing small-scale seismic events, you’re creating motion that’s not just compressive, but is three-dimensional movement and that causes torque and stress and shearing force on cement and it’s not a material that can take that without cracking.

When these well casings age and they’re fracked and refracked on nearby wells, because you have six to eight wells on a well pad, and all these constant vibrations and explosions are happening, I worry a lot about the integrity of the casings and what happens over time.

We know from data in Pennsylvania that 6 to 7 percent of wells leak immediately and it looks like over 30 years you get about half of them leaking. Well, how many leak after 100 or 200 years? We don’t know because we’ve never run the experiment long enough. But it occurs to me that we’re burying time bombs in the earth that future generations will have to do deal with and there will be no fix for the problem if our water gets contaminated.

Another problem I have is climate change. When I look at the greenhouse gas footprint of fracking and take a look at the whole life-cycle analysis, it’s very leaky and some percentage of methane is lost — and it’s lost at every step from the point the dril hits the shale, you’re still drilling so you don’t have the ability to hook it up to a pipeline yet and the methane starts pouring out. Methane is a much more powerful greenhouse gas then CO2 in terms of being able to trap heat. It looks like anything above 2.5 percent leakage means that gas is just as big a climate killer as coal.

Well, some of the data coming out of Colorado shows that it’s leaking at 9 percent and even if that is extreme and not typical, it really frightens me to think that we’re swapping out one thing that we know is really bad, namely coal, for one thing that is at least as bad and maybe even worse. And it’s happening just at a time in our earth’s history that we’re so close to catastrophic disaster that the only thing that will save us is immediate decarbonization and rapid drawdown. So at the very best, fracking is a terrible distraction from what we need to do and at the worst we’re going from the frying pan into the fire.

TL: I hear a lot of stories of people whose health is impacted when they live near fracking operations. You certainly know a lot about the chemicals that are in the toxic soup down there. How do we begin to scientifically link illnesses and especially cancer to pollutants in operations like fracking?

SS: This is one of the trickiest parts of public health and especially with cancer, there’s a long lag-time between the onset of exposure and the onset of disease and during that time people move away from the area and other people move in. That being said, we have some emerging data that are really troubling, there is some data in the pipeline showing mothers who live near drilling and fracking operations in Pennsylvania have on average, babies born with lower birth weight and Apgar scores — a measure of new-born responsiveness. And there is some corroborating data coming out of Colorado. The differences are quite big. So we have those data. We have data out of Texas showing higher rates of asthma for kids who live near the gas patch and so on.

So the question is how much data do you want before you take precautionary action? I’m a big believer that you don’t just guinea pig out these kinds of studies, you don’t conduct human experiments on people without their consent by unrolling an industry that uses our land as their factory floor. It’s the only industry that I know where there’s no fenceline, there’s no zoning. It just comes in, leases our land, and sets up shop right where people live. And so there is all kinds of potential pathways for exposure. And those need to be studied.

I’m of the opinion that in the states where fracking has not yet arrived it needs to not arrive. And in the states where it already exists it needs to be phased out as soon as possible and in the meantime we need to be studying the health effects very intently.

TL: With a president right now who seems intent on an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes fracking, what should we be doing? 

SS: Here in New York we have not begun to frack, so I think our challenge is to keep it out and so far we’re doing a really good job of that. When you look at the poll data, and there is a new poll out this week, it clearly shows that there is a clear margin now that more and more New Yorkers are opposed to fracking.

It shows very clearly now that the more New Yorkers know about fracking the more opposed they are. So in states where fracking has not yet happened, I think the thing to do is to do a lot of public education and outreach. It shouldn’t be that the only knowledge people have about fracking is these rosy commercials they see on television that are highly misleading.

I myself have spend the last two years, every Friday night in some church basement somewhere or in some chamber of commerce or in some junior high school auditorium being part of some town meeting or teach-in talking about the health effects of fracking and often someone else talks about the economic effects and so on. And I really believe in that. I believe in taking data right into people’s communities — they are hungry for it and asking for it.

So far, we have done that work and people have come to the conclusion that it’s not worth it. It’s not worth unrolling this carcinogen-dependent, accident-prone industry over the top of this landscape which is an agricultural landscape but which is also densely settled. There is too much to lose. We are the nation’s number-three dairy state and then we’re also the nations’s number-three producer of organic products and finally we’re the number-two producer of wine in the nation next to California. Industrializing wine country makes very little sense to most people I know, including people who voted a straight Republican ticket. The wine industry is more than just wine; it also is bed-and-breakfasts, it’s wine tastings, it’s destination weddings, it’s part of a whole tourism economy that we’re very proud of. We’re jeopardizing the goose that lays the golden egg here.

TL: Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

SS: I would just say that the climate issue around fracking is not independent of the health effects issue. Climate change has been identified by the World Health Organization as the number-one threat to human health. And so moving us off fossil fuels altogether is an imperative need for reasons of public health and not for future generations, for the generation my children are a part of.

Of the three forms of fossil fuels — the hard lumpy stuff (namely coal), the goopy stuff (namely oil and tar sands) and the invisible vapor of natural gas — of the three, natural gas has this reputation of being the cleanest, the least evil. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s an urban myth. The data show it’s just as bad, if not worse.

The idea that we’re locking in infrastructure and capital investment into natural gas exploration when we should be getting away from natural gas altogether is such folly that I think fracking has a kind of danger associated with it that is different than tar sands. I’m not diminishing that struggle but it seems to me that everybody knows that tar sands is dirty. “Tar” sounds dirty — but natural gas doesn’t.

As a writer I have a bigger narrative problem. And I don’t have a visual image, like one giant pipeline. I have thousands of pipelines and thousands of wells. But because it happens where so many people live, the health effects issue looms really large to me. I prefer to look at it as a human rights issue. It doesn’t make sense to me that we would be investing in blowing up the bedrock of our nation with what appears to be four to 16 years of gas. By the time my kids are my age, the gas will be gone, the jobs will be gone, and they’ll be left with this incredible toxic mess.

http://www.alternet.org/print/fracking/renowned-science-writer-sandra-steingraber-puts-her-body-line-defend-against-fracking

 

IMPLOSION ALERT: Europe On The Verge of A Social, Political, Systemic Breakdown And The Last Remaining Hope To Save Europe Is Slipping Away. BREAKING: HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE MARCHING IN MADRID, SPAIN against Corruption, Bank debts,politicians’ high wages; Spanish POLICE ON ALERT


February 23rd, 2013

They are going to demonstrate in front of the House of Representatives. People is fed up with politicians’ corruption and private debt. Far-right and far-left groups are marching along with liberals, libertarians, social-democrats, conservatives, communists, anarchists against the political corruption.A Government’s representative has said that this demonstration is a coup d’etat. Hope everything goes fine.

As EU bankers squeeze Greece beyond it’s ability to pay, the social consequences mount.

Unions question the wisdom of austerity as unemployment grows and a contracting economy means less tax revenue.

Greece’s austerity policies could create a crisis of insolvency within the country, undermining the very reason they were implemented – to repay the country’s debt – says the country’s biggest labour confederation.

“I am afraid that we may see a phenomenon that could cause a social explosion,” says Savvas Robolis, scientific director for the Labour Institute of the General Confederation of Workers in Greece (GSEE), the private sector’s confederation of unions. “Right now many people can’t pay their taxes. That’s why state revenue fell 300 million euros ($395m) short of January targets. If that continues, I don’t know if the state will be able to meet its obligations by June or July. It may not have the cash to pay salaries and pensions.”

The state heavily subsidises approximately 1.3 million pensions, according to finance ministry data. It also pays the salaries of almost 800,000 state employees, roughly a quarter of all people still working in the country. Failure to pay those pensions and salaries in full would greatly impact on the state’s own tax revenues, and therefore its ability to maintain payments to international creditors.

Greece’s New Homeless: “We Have Not Even Water To Drink”

It’s a little known fact about the Spanish crisis is that when the Spanish Government merges troubled banks, it typically swaps out depositors’ savings for shares in the new bank.

So… when the newly formed bank goes bust, “poof” your savings are GONE. Not gone as in some Spanish version of the FDIC will eventually get you your money, but gone as in gone forever (see the above article for proof).

This is why Bankia’s collapse is so significant: in one move, former depositors at seven banks just lost virtually everything.

And this in a nutshell is Europe’s financial system today: a totally insolvent sewer of garbage debt, run by corrupt career politicians who have no clue how to fix it or their economies… and which results in a big fat ZERO for those who are nuts enough to invest in it.

Be warned. There are many many more Bankias coming to light in the coming months. So if you have not already taken steps to prepare for systemic failure, you NEED to do so NOW. We’re literally at most a few months, and very likely just a few weeks from Europe’s banks imploding, potentially taking down the financial system with them. Think I’m joking? The Fed is pumping hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars into EU banks right now trying to stop this from happening.

Now this: in 2012, Germany achieved something rarely seen anywhere in the world, and if it’s espied at all, it’s there only briefly, mirage-like: a budget surplus. It wasn’t much, €4.2 billion. The first surplus in five years, the third since Reunification. While the federal government and the states (Länder) still ran up deficits, the surplus of the communities and the social security system more than made up for it. Anytime a government gets anywhere near a budget surplus, it deserves a round of applause. Then, after the noise dies down, we can quibble over how it got there, if it got there at all, or if it was a figment of governmental accounting imagination, and why it had to extract that much in taxes from its strung-out taxpayers.

Given that extraction of taxes, private consumption—another detail in the awful GDP surprise—increased by a measly 0.6% in 2012. But consumption by the government, flush with record tax revenues, increased by 1.4%. It got worse towards the end of the year: December retail sales saw a brutal plunge of 4.7%. January retail sales weren’t available yet, but January vehicles sales were….

Total vehicle sales plummeted 9.3% from January last year. An equal opportunity fiasco. Passenger car sales tumbled 8.6%. The biggest losers of what Germans consider German brands: Ford swooned 32.2% and VW, the megastar that could do no wrong, skidded 13.3%. Among foreign brands, Lexus suffered a dizzying 62.8% dive. It’s tough in Germany these days. And an indicator of how businesses viewed the future in Germany, sales of light, medium, and heavy trucks fell by 14.6% and tractors by 23%. There wasn’t a scintilla of good news in this report.

This is the economic engine of Europe, the country that is expected to pull Europe out of its funk. Sure, things could turn around on a dime. China and other Asian countries could unleash a tsunami of orders. France could suddenly rebound. Miracles happened before. And this could be one of them.

Eurozone to Shrink Again in 2013 as Unemployment Rises, EU Says

The eurozone will not return to growth until 2014, the European Commission said on Friday, reversing its prediction for an end to recession this year and blaming a lack of bank lending and record joblessness for delaying the recovery.

The 17-nation bloc’s economy, which generates nearly a fifth of global output, will shrink 0.3 percent in 2013, the Commission said, meaning the eurozone will remain in its second recession since 2009 for a year longer than originally foreseen.

The Commission, the EU executive, late last year forecast 0.1 percent growth in the eurozone’s economy for 2012, but now says tight lending conditions for companies and households, job cuts and frozen investment have delayed an expected recovery.

Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/implosion-alert-europe-on-the-verge-of-a-social-political-systemic-breakdown-and-the-last-remaining-hope-to-save-europe-is-slipping-away/#MkW3MtUDpejbjfrw.99