Category Archives: Actions / Protest

Seneca Lake NY Natural Gas Storage Blockade Continues

10 people were arrested Wednesday at the continuing blockade at the gates of the Crestwood compressor station on the shores of Seneca Lake, New York’s largest Finger Lake.

Led by anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber, over 400 people have participated in the blockade since it began earlier this month after the Federal Energy Regulartory Commission (FERC) approved the former salt mine cavern located beneath the lake as a compressed natural gas storage facility.

All of the individuals arrested yesterday were released and face a court hearing on November 5.

More than two dozen people put their bodies on the line today in a last-resort protest to stop a major gas storage expansion project on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes. Photo credit: wearesenecalake.com

More than two dozen people put their bodies on the line today in a last-resort protest to stop a major gas storage expansion project on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes. Photo credit: wearesenecalake.com

Blockade of Seneca Lake Crestwood Gas Storage Facility Continues

Human blockade peacefully opposes recent FERC decision allowing expansion of CNG storage in geologically unstable salt caverns.

ITHACA, N.Y., Oct. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — We Are Seneca Lake, comprised of residents of the Finger Lakes, peacefully demonstrate their determined opposition by continuing to blockade the gates of the Crestwood compressor station on the shore of Seneca Lake, the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes. The methane gas storage expansion project is advancing in the face of unparalleled public opposition and unresolved questions about geological instabilities, fault lines, and possible salinization of the lake, which serves as a source of drinking water for 100,000 people. Inexplicably, a Capital New York investigation just revealed that Governor Cuomo’s DEC excised references to the risks of underground gas storage from a 2011 federal report on methane contamination of drinking water, and has allowed key data to remain hidden.

“Dangerous gas storage in the Crestwood salt caverns is incompatible with the rapid growth of our wine and tourism industries.” Lou Damiani, Damiani Vineyards

“Seneca Lake is a source of economic prosperity for the entire region, not a gas station for fracking operations. It’s a place for tourists, wineries, farms and families. Speaking with our bodies in an act of civil disobedience is a measure of last recourse to protect our home, our water, and our local economy – with our bodies and our voices, telling Texas-based Crestwood to go home!” Sandra Steingraber, PhD, Heinz Award Recipient, biologist, author.

“Crestwood’s business model for this region is flawed. A billion dollar wine and tourism industry fuels thousands of sustainable jobs here in the Finger Lakes. This dangerous operation threatens all of that and more.” Chris Tate, BME, Finger Lakes CleanWaters Initiative.

Find more information here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Energy, Fracking, Human made disasters, Water

12 Flood Wall Street protestors use “necessity defense” plea

Twelve of the more than 100 protestors arrested during the Sept. 22 “Flood Wall Street” demonstration have pled “not guilty” citing “necessity defense.” In a post on Earth First Journal, the protestors might find success using the plea because, their lawyer argues, that the climate crisis is such a serious issue that the defendants’ “action was a necessity for them to sit down to bring attention to the problem.”

Photo: Earth First Journal

Photo: Earth First Journal

Flood Wall Street Protesters Plead Not Guilty, Assert “Necessity Defense”

by James Woods, DC Media Group, 29 october 2014

Last month, more than 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City to protest against the global systems which continue to contribute to accelerated climate change in the mad dash to increase profits. Billed as the largest climate rally in the history of the world, the “People’s Climate March” was largely ignored by the mainstream media after filling Manhattan with activists and celebrities trying to garner attention to their cause.

The following Monday, a much smaller group numbering in the thousands stormed through the Financial District en route to Wall Street and staged a “sit-in” large enough to wreak havoc on traffic and commerce in the area for the entire day. As a result, the “Flood Wall Street” action received more press coverage than the previous day and more than 100 protesters (including a large polar bear) were arrested for failing to disperse after being confronted by the NYPD.

Read the full article here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, False Solutions to Climate Change, Law

Update: 64 Arrested at VT Governor’s Office, Demanding End to Pipeline

Image on Aljazeera story, taken from 350 Vermont Twitter feed.

Image on Aljazeera story, taken from 350 Vermont Twitter feed.

Montpelier, Vt. – Sixty-four people were arrested last night, after occupying Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin’s office for over six hours, demanding a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure and that the governor stop supporting a fracked gas pipeline in the western part of the state.

Half the group occupied the governor’s office, while the other half stayed in the main lobby of the building.  500 people attended a rally outside of the building, supporting the sit-in.

“We are fed up with a broken, unaccountable, and biased process that is ignoring the clear and present danger of expanding fossil fuel infrastructure so that Gaz Metro and International Paper can increase their profit margins,” said Jane Palmer, a landowner in Monkton along the Phase 1 pipeline route. “The Shumlin administration is ignoring the thousands of Vermonters, including impacted landowners and over 500 ratepayers, who know we can’t afford this project.”

Demonstrators from across the state are concerned that the Shumlin administration, including the Public Service Department, are promoting dirty fracked gas as a climate solution, despite the well known climate impacts of extracting and burning fracked gas.

Dr. Maeve McBride, coordinator of 350 Vermont, said, “Today, hundreds of grassroots Vermonters are sitting in to call for a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure, including Vermont Gas/Gaz-Metro’s proposed fracked gas pipeline, and to demand energy and climate solutions that are transparent, accountable to our communities and put people and the planet first.  As the Governor said himself, these solutions need to come from the grassroots, not from the top down.”  McBride was among those arrested.

Supporting arguments made before the Public Service Board over the past two years, the demonstration focused on how, despite industry rhetoric, fracked gas may actually be worse for the climate than other fossil fuels.

“The science is clear – whether the goal is avoiding CO2 emissions or sparking a transition to an emissions-free energy system, the fracked gas boom and this pipeline are no substitute for ambitious energy and climate policies, weatherization, efficiency and decreased consumption,” said Dr. Rachel Smolker, a Hinesburg resident. “Once the gas bubble pops, ratepayers are going to be stuck with higher bills, paying the cost of this pipeline for years to come and still struggling to heat their homes.”

After police issued a final dispersal order, sixty-four people stayed in the building. All were removed from the building by Vermont State Police, and cited with criminal trespassing.

The coalition planning the event is also calling for a blockade at the Vermont Gas Pipeyard in Williston, Vt., this coming Saturday at 9 am.

Other Media

Aljazeera covered the event, including great photos reposted from Twitter.

Margaret Prescod will interview Dr. Maeve McBride on tomorrow’s Earth Watch Segment, which is coordinated by GJEP in partnership with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show with Margaret Prescod.

Maeve was one of the organizers and media spokespeople for Oct 27th occupation and sit-in of Vermont Governor Shumlin’s Office. Maeve was one of the 64 protesters arrested yesterday at the governor’s office opposing the fracked gas pipeline project and the build out of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, KPFK, Media, Pipeline

French anti-dam protester killed by police grenade

Another example of the misnomer of “less-than-lethal” weapons like concussion grenades. They may be less lethal, but still can be quite deadly, as this case in France shows.

TNT traces in slain France activist case

Press TV, 28 Oct  2014.

An investigation into the cause of the death of a French activist killed in clashes with the police has yielded traces of TNT used in police grenades.

Sending shockwaves throughout the country, the 21-year-old victim, Remi Fraisse, was killed on Sunday as security forces clashed with people protesting against a controversial dam project in the southwestern Tarn region.

To read the whole story and watch the Press TV story about this, click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Hydroelectric dams, Political Repression

South Dakotans fight TransCanada on their own turf

Photo of crowd yesterday at hearing, posted on DRA's Twitter feed

Photo of crowd yesterday at hearing, posted on DRA’s Twitter feed

Pierre, SD – The fight to stop TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline can add one more state to its battleground: South Dakota. A powerful coalition of local allies intervened in the certification of the pipeline permit at the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, and the battle for the open US Senate seat in South Dakota could be decided by voters strongly opposed to Keystone XL.

Four tribal nations and a number of grassroots Native groups, each belonging to the Oceti Sakowin, have petitioned to intervene. Those tribes are the Cheyenne River, Rosebud, Standing Rock, and Yankton Sioux Tribes. Dakota Rural Action, the Indigenous Environmental Network, and several South Dakota landowners have also petitioned to intervene. This coalition, called No KXL Dakota, is comprised of tribal nations, non-profit organizations, individual tribal citizens and non-tribal landowners, each dedicated to the protection of Mother Earth and the natural resources of South Dakota.

TransCanada opposed the intervention of several applicants to party status, including the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Utility Commission Office, both Native entities dealing with energy issues in South Dakota.

This high-profile pipeline battle has intensified with the South Dakota congressional race. Republican candidate Mike Rounds is the only candidate fully endorsing the pipeline, while Democratic opponent Rick Weiland has gained local support because of his opposition to Keystone XL and Independent Larry Pressler has also courted the Native vote.

Lewis Grassrope of Wiconi Un Tipi: “We are here to ensure that this committee [the PUC] hears our voice on this opposition to the pipeline or any pipeline through these lands.”

Joye Braun of Pte Ospaye Spirit Camp: “Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp mission is stand in opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline and the social evils that come with Big Oil, to educate the people about the KXL Pipeline, fracking, and the pollution that occurs with oil production. Pte Ospaye Spiritual Camp is located just outside of the Bridger Community on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and 2.2 miles from where the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline proposes to go through. It is a hugely historic area known for centuries as a crossroads for Natives Peoples to travel through on their way to the Black Hills. It is ground zero for the Lakota people fighting this pipeline as it would have to pass through this area first to try and get to the other camps and Nebraska.”

No KXL Dakota allies have pledged to stand their ground and not back down in the now local battle over property, land, water, human trafficking, and treaty rights.

Press conference: Capitol Building sidewalk, 15 minutes after PUC hearing ends

Dakota Rural Action will be live-tweeting the PUC hearing; follow @DakotaRural

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Indigenous Peoples, Keystone XL

VT pipeline protesters rally in Montpelier, 60+ arrested for peaceful sit-in

Protesters marched into the Pavilion in Montpelier on Monday to protest the Vermont Gas pipeline. Photo and caption by John Herrick/VTDigger

Protesters marched into the Pavilion in Montpelier on Monday to protest the Vermont Gas pipeline. Photo and caption by John Herrick/VTDigger

After a rally with hundreds of Vermont residents, over 60 people were arrested sitting-in in Governor Shumlin’s office–calling on the Governor to drop his support for the fracked gas pipeline and advance a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Rising Tide’s Twitter feed has loads of great images: https://twitter.com/RisingTideVT

John Herrick of VT Digger covered the action; he gives a little too much time to VT Gas, but otherwise does good work letting us know about this important part of the campaign in VT.

VT Gas Pipeline Protesters Occupy Governor’s Office

By John Herrick. VT Digger. 27 October 2014.

MONTPELIER — Hundreds of environmental protesters occupied the governor’s office on Monday, demanding that Gov. Peter Shumlin reverse his support for the natural gas pipeline through Addison County, and oppose any other fossil fuel infrastructure projects in Vermont. State regulators approved the project last December, and the company began construction this summer.

The protesters danced, sang and played instruments to protest Vermont Gas’ 41-mile pipeline from Colchester south to Middlebury. They brought sheep, dogs and children. Some slipped past security and climbed the stairs to the fifth floor of the Pavilion Building.

Read the whole article here.

 

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Fracking, Pipeline

Hopi Relocation Happening Now as Black Mesa Harassment Escalates

From Black Mesa Indigenous Support

Since 1974, U.S. federal relocation policy—known as Public Law 93-531—has forced tens of thousands of Dineh (Navajo) people from their ancestral homeland—now known as the Hopi Partitioned Lands—in Arizona. This constitutes the largest forced relocation of Indigenous peoples in the U.S since the Trail of Tears. The relocation is ongoing and impacts generations. The policy, crafted by the Department of Justice and Peabody Energy Company representatives, opened access to the mineral resources of Black Mesa – billions of tons of low-sulfur coal, uranium, and natural gas. A July 2012  report by the Navajo Human Rights Commission classifies the relocation as a massive human rights violation and demands the immediate repeal of PL 93-531 and an end to relocation efforts and harassment in the form of surveillance, livestock impoundments, and disruption of gatherings and ceremonies that the resistance community experiences.

Observers recording harassment by government agents-source Black Mesa Indigenous Support October 2014

Observers recording harassment by government agents-source: Black Mesa Indigenous Support October 2014

This summer has seen an escalation of tensions and calls for independent observers. Over the weekend comes a plea from Black Mesa Indigenous Support that harassment has escalated and help is needed.

URGENT: Widespread Impoundments & an arrest on the HPL, October 2014

Black Mesa Indigenous Support. 26 October 2014

UPDATE from HPL (Hopi Partition Land) residents: Shirley Tohannie and elder Caroline Tohannie had their entire herd of 65 sheep impounded by the Hopi Rangers (US federal government) Tuesday, October 22, 2014. If the fines aren’t paid the sheep will go to auction, and the family is being told that the sheep will not be able to return to the family’s rangeland. The cost to release the livestock is nearly $1,000.

Jerry Babbit Lane, the Tohannie’s neighbor on the HPL, was arrested by Hopi rangers when he attempted to check on his neighbors and was charged with disorderly conduct. He was released this evening, 10/23. Rangers told Shirley they plan to take Rena’s (Jerry’s mother) sheep too and that they’re going to start impounding across the HPL.

As we’re writing, another family on Big Mountain has had nearly their entire herd impounded.

Read the full post here.

More Background on the resistance of HPL communities here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Coal, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Mining

Farmers in the Philippines band together against palm oil plantations

Indigenous peoples and small farmers in the Philippines created a new alliance, the Coalition Against Land Grabbing (CALG), in order to prevent palm oil plantation expansion in the province of Palawan. According to a post on farmlandgrab.org, CALG nabbed more than 4,000 signatures demanding a halt on the plantations, which are ripping apart the native forests.

Oil palm plantations have taken over land that the Palawan used to grow coconuts. Photo: ALDAW

Oil palm plantations have taken over land that the Palawan used to grow coconuts. Photo: ALDAW

Like many land grab situations, the palm oil plantations tear through local forests and land with little to no concern for the ecosystem or the people who rely on those forests for their livelihoods. Fed up, the Palawan people have solidified their stance just in time — nearly 20,000 hectares are set to be wiped out for future palm oil plantations, a large source for biofuels.

Tribes and farmers unite to end oil palm expansion in Philippines
By farmlandgrab.org, 22 October 2014

[...]

Palawan, which is often referred to as “the Philippines’ last ecological frontier”, is a biosphere reserve and home to tribal peoples such as the Palawan, Batak and Tagbanua, who rely on their forests for food, medicines and for building their houses.

[...]

“To find medicinal plants we must walk more than half day to reach the other side of the mountain range,” said a tribal Palawan man. “Because of the far distance we must leave our young children at home, so they do not learn the name and uses of these plants. The old knowledge is being lost.”

The plantations have brought hardship to the local communities. Rates of poverty and malnutrition are rising fastest in the area with the largest amount of land converted to oil palm production. Indigenous community organiser, John Mart Salunday called the oil palm project a complete “fiasco” in terms of poverty eradication.

Read the full article here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biofuelwatch, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Palm Oil