Flood Wall Street Shuts Down Broadway, Over 100 Arrested

The polar bear set free early this morning after being arrested at Flood Wall Street! From #FloodWallStreet twitter.

A polar bear set free early this morning after being arrested at Flood Wall Street! From #FloodWallStreet Twitter feed.

Yesterday, thousands of protesters wearing blue sparked a national conversation about the role of corporate power in climate politics when they shut down portions of lower Broadway. Following the Stock Exchange closing bell, an estimated 100 people were arrested by the NYPD in the Flood Wall Street action which was organized to hold corporations and banks accountable for their role in creating the climate crisis. Support the bail and legal fund by clicking here.

This Gothamist article provides a decent account, although it suggests that pepper spray is a one of the “softer means” of crowd control, which is patently false (whatever “softer means” are anyway).

Photos: Over 100 Arrested After Flood Wall Street Shuts Down Broadway
By Christopher Robbins. The Gothamist. September 23, 2014.

Several thousand climate protesters shut down a 10-block stretch of lower Broadway yesterday for nearly seven hours as part of the Flood Wall Street actions, which culminated in the arrests of 102 demonstrators.

Those arrests occurred at around 7 p.m., long after organizers had planned on surrounding the Charging Bull statute on Broadway. During similar demonstrations under the Bloomberg administration, protesters could count on being detained by the NYPD minutes, if not seconds after stepping into the road and blocking traffic (or for doing nothing at all).

Read the whole article here.

 

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More photos from our correspondents at Flood Wall Street actions

These photos were taken late this afternoon, early this evening, 22 September, 2014 in New York City at Flood Wall Street

Pepper Spray at the Wall Street Barricades- photo by Ruddy Turnstone

Pepper Spray at the Wall Street Barricades- photo by Ruddy Turnstone

 

From the barricades at Wall Street-  Photo by Ruddy Turnstone

From the barricades at Wall Street- Photo by Ruddy Turnstone

 

Occupation still standing strong on Wall Street and Broadway- Photo by Ruddy Turnstone

Occupation still standing strong on Wall Street and Broadway- Photo by Ruddy Turnstone

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Breaking: Pepper Spray at Flood Wall Street Direct Action

ByKZKS-CEAAOkH5

Pepper spray flying as protesters march toward Wall Street.  Cops form barricade.

For up to the second updates and photos from the actions at Flood Wall Street, check out their twitter feed: https://twitter.com/hashtag/FloodWallStreet?src=tren

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The Real News asks people “What are the demands of the Climate March”

The Real News takes to the streets of New York and asks “what do you think?” Stunning.

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Climate: UN “Worse Than Useless” — Activists Take to Wall Street

MSNBC reports: “After historic climate march, supporters flood to Wall Street.” There is reportedly a massive police presence in downtown Manhattan, including Battery Park, where activists are now gathering. Zuccotti Park, where Occupy Wall Street protests began, has been sealed off.


 

MICHAEL PREMO, mpremo@gmail.com
An organizer with #FloodWallStreet, Premo is quoted by MSNBC: “Runaway climate change and extreme weather events, such as the extreme flooding that we saw here in New York City with Hurricane Sandy, are fueled by the fossil fuel industry. We are flooding Wall Street because we know that there’s no greater cause of runaway climate change than an economic system that puts profit before people – and before the planet.”

KEVIN ZEESE, kbzeese@gmail.com@KBZeese
Zeese is an organizer of PopularResistance.org. He recently appeared on The Real News on the climate protests.

ANNE PETERMANN, globalecology@gmavt.net
Executive director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, which just released the report “Green Shock Doctrine” and runs the climate-connections.org blog, Peterman said today: “Yesterday’s march brought together a diverse mix of constituencies from anti-capitalists to Indigenous Peoples to representatives from communities impacted by climate change both in the U.S. and around the world. Each had their own set of demands, but the overarching theme was the need to build power from the grassroots and stop relying on governments and the UN to do this for us. Today hundreds to possibly a few thousand of these folks will be taking part in the Flood Wall Street direct action to bring attention to the real culprits of climate change, and to expose the corporate capture of the UN.”Peterman recently wrote the piece: “Confronting Climate Catastrophe: Direct Action is the Antidote for Despair: Or, Why the UN is Worse than Useless and we need to Flood Wall Street!

PAUL QUINTOS, pquintos@iboninternational.org
Currently in New York City, Lauron and Quintos are with the Peoples’ Movement on Climate Change. See their most recent statement: “400,000-strong People’s Climate March on eve of summit.”Quintos notes that the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. He also states that it’s one of the most dangerous places for human rights defenders. He notes that the U.S. military tried to use typhoon Haiyan to re-establish U.S. military bases in the Philippines.

 

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

And here’s video:

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Today! Flood Wall Street

MonopolyFlood Wall Street is starting momentarily! If you are in the NYC area, get to Battery Park! If not, it looks like they’ve set up a Live Stream!

http://new.livestream.com/JamesFromTheInternet/events/3416732

You can also follow it on Twitter and find other sources on their website.

Finally, here’s an article from this weekend by one of the organizers:

Climate change is war – and Wall Street is winning
By Nathan Schneider. September 20, 2014. Aljazeera America.

Among the most iconic images to emerge from Hurricane Sandy’s assault on the Eastern Seaboard in 2012 were those of the Goldman Sachs building lit up like a torch by its own generator while a blackout left the rest of lower Manhattan in the dark. This proved a sign of things to come: Within days, the financial district was back to work, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg seemed far slower to notice what had befallen other areas of the city. He sought to go through with the annual New York Marathon just a week after the storm, until residents and runners rallied to inform him that coastal neighborhoods of his city had been devastated.

This weekend New York will host the largest climate-related march in history, with 100,000 people expected to take the streets on Sunday to call for meaningful action to come from the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday. The march boasts more than a thousand sponsoring organizations and has been aggressively publicized with subway advertisements and a documentary film. It could be a decisive moment to rally support for policies that will keep our planet habitable. But we need more than a festive march. That’s why the next day in the financial district, not far from where Goldman Sachs lit up the post-Sandy night, I’m helping organize a smaller action: Flood Wall Street.

Read the whole article here!

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GE Trees + Climate Change = Social and Ecological Disaster

In addition to being the day of the People’s Climate March, today is also the International Day of Action against Monoculture Tree Plantations.  The issues of industrial tree plantations, genetically engineered trees and climate change are inextricably linked in many, many ways, and the statement below, put out by our allies at World Rainforest Movement, La Via Campesina and others, explains this.

At Ban Ki-moon’s upcoming Climate Summit, the corporate-dominated UN will try to sell tree plantations (and future GE tree plantations) as “climate smart.”  This, even though studies have proven that tree plantations both store far less carbon than native forests and accelerate destruction of those forests to make room for new plantations.

Banner photo (Plantations Are Not Forests):  Petermann/GJEP-GFC

“Plantations are not forests” Protest at the World Forestry Congress, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2009  Photo: Petermann/GJEP-GFC

21 September 201410th Anniversary of the International Day of Struggle against Monoculture Tree Plantations
Dismantle the power of transnational plantation corporations!

There is no “smart monoculture”

Ten years ago, at a meeting of 250 members of communities affected by large-scale eucalyptus plantations in Brazil, September 21st was established as the National Day against Tree Monocultures. The aim was to increase the visibility of the many peoples and communities struggling against tree monocultures, as a way of breaking the circle of silence around the numerous violations faced by the communities whose territories were surrounded by these monocultures. The day was also created in order to disseminate as widely as possible the evidence emerging from the resistance struggles about the negative social and environmental impacts of these plantations. The impacts on the lives of women in the affected communities are particularly severe. Recognizing the importance of the decision taken by the Brazilian communities, the World Rainforest Movement (WRM) decided in 2006 to make this day an International Day of Action.

This year, September 21st is also a day of mass mobilizations for Climate Justice. Thousands of people will join the People’s Climate March, while political leaders – and increasingly also corporate representatives – are meeting at the United Nations in New York City for the Climate Summit 2014, convened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. This summit represents yet another step towards the corporate takeover of the UN climate negotiations, and the privatization of land, water and air resources under the guise of a global climate pact.

The UN and other international agencies will launch the “Climate Smart Agriculture” initiated at the summit. This initiative is a new smokescreen being used to greenwash the worst practices of industrial agriculture: chemical fertilizers, industrial meat production, and genetically modified crops, such as tree plantations and other monocultures, which are being disguised as ‘climate smart’. Proponents of this dangerous false solution include the World Bank; they are seeking to turn the carbon in farmers’ fields into carbon credits, which would lead to land-grabbing and undermine real climate solutions.

The expansion of large-scale tree plantations of eucalyptus, pine, acacia, rubber and oil palm species, which may be defined as ‘climate smart’ if the proposal being discussed at the New York climate summit prospers, is furthering capital accumulation by large and often transnational corporations. Some of these corporations are Stora Enso, Arauco, APP/Sinar Mas, Bridgestone/Firestone, Wilmar, Olam and Sime Darby. Production from these large-scale monoculture plantations is for industrial and export purposes, and the rate of expansion has been devastating. The area of these plantations worldwide has increased four-fold since 1980. In the global South, eucalyptus and oil palm monocultures have experienced remarkable growth. Were it not for the widespread resistance of small farmers, indigenous peoples and rural communities in many countries, this expansion would probably have been even greater.

Transnational corporations are primarily responsible for the problems caused by plantations: land-grabbing and the seizure of common ‘resources’; destruction of biodiverse areas and their associated wildlife; the drying up and pesticide pollution of rivers, streams and springs; soil exhaustion and erosion; degrading working conditions; and the increasing financialization of nature, land and production. However, these corporations not only persist in denying and systematically concealing all these processes of social and environmental injustice; they even argue they are part of the ‘solution’ to the problems. Some of the market’s false solutions, which are really solutions beneficial primarily for financial capitalism itself, increase the injustices associated with monoculture. Among these false solutions are initiatives that legitimize corporations’ operations without requiring them to be accountable for the crimes and violations they commit.

Examples of this kind of ruse are ‘green’ certificates issued by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) the ‘forest dialogue’, initiatives where civil society and corporations forge voluntary corporate commitments, and other so-called ‘sustainable’ initiatives, like phony commitments to ‘zero deforestation’. Although such action may lead to short-term benefits for local communities in some places, they have mainly led to frustration and community division, by promising ‘compensation’ that does not fulfill people’s key demands for guaranteeing their way of life, the return and respect for their territories, and an end to the environmental injustice caused by monocultures.

These initiatives are ‘voluntary,’ that is, they are not legally binding, and therefore lack a democratic institutional framework whose main goal is to protect the rights of the people affected. In this way, these initiatives, without aiming to change the destructive logic of capital, ultimately legitimize the expansion of a production model that we call neocolonial, because it destroys ways of life, is based on environmental racism and does not question any of its fundamental premises, such as the concentration of land and production in large-scale monocultures with poisonous pesticides and degrading working conditions. Moreover, “green” and “sustainable” initiatives and commitments do not hinder big companies from further expanding their plantations and encroaching on local people’s territories.

Increasingly serious is the rise of “flex tree” monocultures, producing multiple-use trees and forest commodities that are perceived to be interchangeable (energy, wood, food, carbonsequestration, etc.). Their “flexible” nature is of major interest to financial capital, which is increasingly promoting, together with the monoculture tree plantations corporations, the speculation over the control of production and land uses. These companies continue to insist on commercial uses of transgenic trees, as well as other uses of wood for energy purposes, and on selling ‘environmental services’ such as carbon. These are all false solutions to the environmental and climate crisis confronting human societies today, and they ultimately exacerbate injustice, hunger and poverty. Monocultures and transgenic crops are not smart; they are one more tool of ‘green’ capitalism to grab peoples’ lands, undermining those who are building real solutions to the social, environmental and climate crisis.

To confront the impact of the big corporations and the expansion of plantations, we must continue to push for the transformation of this model of production and to fight the neoliberal policies that favour big capital. An important step is for us to join forces in the framework of the “Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power”, in order to build and strengthen instruments to put a stop to the architecture of impunity and legitimation that corporations enjoy today.

The starting point of the Campaign is the struggle of communities resisting the invasion of their territories by transnational corporations, or their fight to expel transnational corporations from their territories. It affirms the right of peoples to freely determine their own way of life. Agrarian reform and the demarcation of indigenous peoples’ territories and those of other traditional and small farmer populations all over the world are urgently needed actions to make headway in the struggle for food sovereignty, social and environmental justice, and people’s power.

We cannot end this declaration without paying tribute to the women and men all over the world who carry out a daily struggle, in different ways, against monoculture tree plantations. They have already achieved important victories in the defense and recovery of their territories and the biodiversity they need for their physical and cultural survival. These women and men, in their arduous and long-suffering struggles for the cause of life and the future, stand in sharp contrast to the greed of the big corporations and investors that seek to appropriate ever more same lands to generate profits for their shareholders.

“Plantations are not forests!”

There are no smart monocultures!”

September 21st, 2014

Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity
La Via Campesina
World March of Women
Friends of the Earth International
World Rainforest Movement (WRM)

 

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World Bank poised to strip human rights protections from indigenous peoples

A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as 'indigenous', which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects. Photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

A group of Dayaks photographed on Borneo in 1910. The Indonesian government no longer recognises the People as ‘indigenous’, which may rob modern day Dayaks of protection against World Bank financed development projects. Photo sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

 World Bank to roll back safeguards for indigenous people

Irin News 16 September The Ecologist

The World Bank is considering ‘reforms’ to its policies to protect indigenous peoples from the impacts of projects it finances that would devolve key decisions to national governments – such as whether an ethnic group is ‘indigenous’ at all. If passed by the Bank’s Board, the changes would strip away a raft of essential human rights protections..

Setting the standard is something an institution as powerful and influential as the World Bank should be considering as mandatory, rather than optional.
Activists are warning of a harmful regression in the World Bank’s safeguard policies, claiming that proposed changes being considered this autumn could weaken the rights of indigenous people, and others in danger of displacement and abuse as a result of Bank-funded development projects.

“This [version of the safeguards] will be dangerous backsliding into their bad legacy of treatment against indigenous people if it is approved”, said Joan Carling, secretary-general of the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP), a network that operates in 14 Asian countries.

According to the World Bank, “the proposed Environmental and Social Framework builds on the decades-old safeguard policies and aims to consolidate them into a more modern, unified framework that is more efficient and effective to apply and implement.”

 

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