Category Archives: Actions / Protest

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

Keystone XL Pipeline case faces jury in Oklahoma, man who blockaded Keystone XL construction argues threats of climate change and environmental harm justify his actions

Photo from Tar Sands Blockade website

Photo from Tar Sands Blockade website

On April 22, 2013, Alec Johnson disrupted construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline near Tushka, Oklahoma by chaining himself to heavy equipment and effectively halting work. Eventually the police were called and Mr. Johnson was removed from the site and arrested. Now, more than a year after his arrest, Alec Johnson will attempt to make US history becoming the first to argue that he was justified in breaking the law to prevent a greater harm: the urgent threat of climate change. This kind of ‘necessity’ defense rooted in climate justice could have national implications for the growing movement of resistance to the fossil fuel industry across the US.

Mr. Johnson will argue that enforcing future generation’s rights to a stable climate and livable environment is not a crime. His defense will introduce a commanding consensus of climate science, including that of renowned climate scientist Dr. James Hansen who is preparing written testimony for the consideration of the court which will make clear that effective action to address the climate crisis is urgent and can no longer be delayed. Mr. Johnson will also draw attention to imminent health and safety risks posed by Keystone XL. He will address contamination threats to people living near the 1,700 mile pipeline route, the health problems experienced by First Nations communities from the extraction of tar sands, which is the product that flows through the KXL pipeline, as well as the toxic refinery emissions that it is forcing upon Gulf coast communities.

WHO: Alec Johnson, a 62 year old father of two and resident of East Texas, and dozens of supporters from across Oklahoma and Texas many of whom are directly impacted by the Keystone XL pipeline.

WHAT: A rally outside the Atoka County Courthouse featuring the voices of defendant Alec Johnson and community supporters from Oklahoma and Texas, followed the next day by a jury trial featuring the unprecedented use of a climate change necessity defense.

WHEN: Rally begins on Wednesday, October 22nd at 6:30pm. Trial begins the following day on Thursday, October 23rd at 9:00am.

WHERE: Both the rally and criminal trial will take place at the Atoka County Courthouse on 200 East Court Street, Atoka, Oklahoma, 74525.

Follow the live blog at http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/kxltrial/ for updates

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Law, Pipeline

Oct 27: Mass Action to Stop the Vermont Fracked Gas Pipeline

Check out this new video by Rising Tide Vermont promoting a rally and sit-in on the Montpelier Statehouse Lawn on October 27th and highlighting the past 6 months of organizing and direct action against the Fracked Gas Pipeline!

The rally and sit-in, on Monday, October 27 at 3pm, will call on the Shumlin Administration to stop the fracked gas pipeline and protect Vermonters’ (and everyone’s) right to a healthy environment and livable planet.

If you can take part in the rally, definitely do so. You can find all the info you need on Rising Tide Vermont’s website.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Fracking, Pipeline

Thousands march in Bolivia demanding justice for 2003 Gas War massacre

Friday's gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Friday’s gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Benjamin Dangl of Upside Down World covered Friday’s protest march in Bolivia, in which thousands demanded justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Dangl provide both a quick history and photos from the march, all taken by him.

Photo Essay: Thousands March in El Alto, Bolivia Demanding Justice for 2003 Gas War Massacre
Written by Benjamin Dangl. Upside Down World. 19 October 2014

Thousands of people marched in El Alto, Bolivia on Friday, October 17th to demand justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Sanchez de Lozada is currently living freely in the US, and marchers demanded he and others in his government be brought to Bolivia to be tried for ordering the violence. October marks the anniversary of that assault on the city, and people mobilized on Friday to remember and to demand justice.

Check out the whole article and many more photos on Upside Down World!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Energy, Political Repression, Politics

Olympic ski course threatens ancient mountain forest in South Korea

The track record of the Olympics for bringing misery and destruction continues. Global Justice Ecology Project is the North American Focal Point for the Global Forest Coalition.

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The new slope will be built on part of Mount Gariwang but will require a number of trees and forestry to be cut down causing an outcry from many environmental groups in South Korea ©Pyeongchang 2018 from inside the games http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/winter-olympics/2018/1020140-environmentalist-oppose-plans-by-pyeongchang-2018-for-new-ski-slope-on-mt-gariwang

PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA, 16 October 2014 - Friends of the Earth International campaigners are standing with Korean environmentalists in opposition to the construction of a ski course for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang province, South Korea.

The Olympic ski course is under construction at Mount Gariwang, a protected area, which is covered by an ancient forest that harbours unique species, including the rare Yew tree, the Wangsasre tree, which is only found on the Korean Peninsula, and possibly the oldest oak in South Korea.

A delegation of Friends of the Earth International and the Global Forest Coalition joined members of the Korea Civil Network on the CBD, the Korea Federation for Environmental Movement / Friends of the Earth South Korea, and local communities on a visit to the site, on the occasion of the XII Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which is hosted by South Korea this week.

Continue reading

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Forests, Land Grabs, Uncategorized

Ferguson Weekend of Resistance, Oct. 10-13

Ferguson_PosterThe Ferguson Weekend of Resistance starts today.

Check out the website to find out how you can support or take part in the protests.

Vice provided a good overview linked below, but, first, although I’m sure almost everyone has seen the great video of the musical flash mob last week, it’s at the bottom of this post if anyone missed it or hasn’t yet taken the chance to watch it. Whatever was actually going on in the mind of the woman at about 1 minutes 17 seconds, that moment will certainly become part of history as the capturing of some kind of response (disgust? shock? not quite sure). How do you interpret her response?

More importantly, Ferguson Weekend of Resistance! Do what you can!

Ferguson Prepares For ‘Weekend of Resistance’ as Protests Erupt Once Again
By Alice Speri, Vice, October 9, 2014

It’s been exactly two months since 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, and the protests and anger over his death have not stopped.

They grew larger at first, then smaller, more tense or more festive depending on the police response. They paused for a few days, but never entirely went silent, carrying on over social media and in the conversations of residents.

Read the whole article here!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Racism, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Line 9 protesters blocked gates of Montreal oil refinery to protest reversing flow for tar sands

bzvl4c5caaagaqc_0News was made yesterday when three Line 9 protesters chained themselves to a fence, tripod and post in front of an Enbridge facility in Montreal. They were protesting the development of Line 9 to reverse its flow, bringing Alberta tar sands oil east.

The Media Co-op story is below, but the Media Co-op also posted a letter from the protesters (an English translation is in the comments section) and, as often is the case, Twitter kept those of us following yesterday in the loop and gave up great pictures.

Global News also provided surprisingly compelling videos and photos.

Activists lock-down at Montreal oil refinery to protest Enbridge’s Line 9, Alberta tar sands
By Tim McSorley, The Media Co-op. October 7, 2014.

Four people in Montreal [...] locked themselves to the gates at SUNCOR oil refinery in the city’s east end.

In a release issued this morning [October 7], the demonstrators explained that their action is to counter the reversal of Enbridge’s Line 9B oil pipeline. The reversal in the pipeline’s flow will bring bitumen from the Alberta tar sands east, through including through Montreal, for eventual export.

Read the whole article by the Media Co-op here!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Pipeline, Tar Sands

Air emissions from open pit oil and gas waste threatens our health and well being

Four airborne and highly toxic chemicals associated with oil and gas wells and fracking sludge, (Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene, and Xylene) are amongst those dumped in cheap and relatively unregulated waste disposal pits. Years ago the oil and gas industry lobbied Congress to exempt their waste from federal hazardous waste regulation.  The story below, “Pits of Despair” comes from the Center for Public Integrity and shared to us by New York State anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber. This story focuses on Nordheim, Texas and the exposure of that communities residents and children at a nearby school, to a 240 acre open pit dump that will receive millions of gallons of toxic sludge. But it could be your community.

A protest placard hangs on a fence a few hundred feet from where a 204-acre commercial waste facility is being developed. Signs voicing the discontent of the community pepper the landscape around the site and in the town of Nordheim. Eleanor Bell/Center for Public Integrity

A protest placard hangs on a fence a few hundred feet from where a 204-acre commercial waste facility is being developed. Signs voicing the discontent of the community pepper the landscape around the site and in the town of Nordheim. Eleanor Bell/Center for Public Integrity

 

Pits of Despair – Open Pits offer cheap disposal for fracking sludge, but health worries mount

Center for Public Integrity  David Hasemyer,  Zahra Hirji  October 2, 2014

NORDHEIM, Texas — School Superintendent Kevin Wilson tugged at his oversized belt buckle and gestured toward a field less than a mile from Nordheim School, where 180 children attend kindergarten through 12th grade.

A commercial waste facility that will receive millions of barrels of toxic sludge from oil and gas production for disposal in enormous open-air pits is taking shape there, and Wilson worries that the ever-present Texas wind will carry traces of dangerous chemicals, including benzene, to the school.

Read the whole story here

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Energy, Fracking, Human made disasters, Hydrofracking, Uncategorized