Category Archives: Actions / Protest

EarthWatch: Irene Majorie/ Portland Rising Tide

Our weekly “Earth Watch” our guest is Irene Majorie with Portland Rising Tide. Why did she lock herself to metal and a 55-gallon barrel filled with concrete? What are the dangers of transporting oil by rail?

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and Earth Watch interview each Thursday.

 

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KPFK EarthWatch: D. Steele and RAMPS

On this week’s “Earth Watch,” our guest is D. Steele of Radical Action for Mountain People’s Survival (RAMPS) based in the southern coalfields of West Virginia. We discuss challenging the coal industry, strip mining and divergent issues in Appalachia.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/sojournertruthradio/sojournertruthradio-6-26-14-2

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK radio for a weekly Earth Minute and Earth Watch interview.

 

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Mining

You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows

28 May 2014 by Orin Langelle, Source: PhotoLangelle.org

Note: Orin Langelle is the Director of Langelle Photography.  He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Global Justice Ecology Project and a member of the Critical Information Collective.  Langelle Photography is part of GJEP’s Social Justice Media Program.

When Bob Dylan wrote those words in 1965 for his song Subterranean Homesick Blues, he was not referring to the climate crisis, though these words are certainly appropriate today as we stare down the jaws of the oncoming climate catastrophe.  One does not need to be a meteorologist to know that if we do not begin taking real, effective and just action to address the climate crisis, we are all in deep s#*t.

I shot this portrait of Bill Ayers, former Weathermen and Weather Underground founder, prior to his event at local independent radical bookstore Burning Books, here in Buffalo on 21 May.  This is the first of a series of candid portraits I will be taking of radical movement figures in collaboration with Burning Books.  The point of this endeavor is to document some of the people that have participated in the making of history in the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice – a history of victories, losses, mistakes and successes, that we can and should learn from.

Bill Ayres 1 DSC_0031Portrait of Bill Ayers before he spoke at Burning Books on 21 May 2014 in Buffalo, NY.  Photo: Langelle

From Wikipedia (for what it’s worth):

William Charles “Bill” Ayers (born December 26, 1944) is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the counterculture movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s radical activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s in response to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

“He is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. During the 2008 US presidential campaign, a controversy arose over his contacts with then-candidate Barack Obama. He is married to Bernardine Dohrn, who was also a leader in the Weather Underground.”

More on Ayers in Wikipedia and in The Buffalo News ’60s radical Ayers still wants a revolution

About the Portrait

I met Bill in 1969 before he went underground.  Before taking his photo, I told him that.   Bill said, “You looked the same then as you do now.”  I returned the humorous compliment.

I was glad to have this chance to take candid photos of Bill, and to talk to and know him better.

I think that a portrait done well is very personal and can bring out the real person – which is my goal.  I want the real image of the real person.  The image of someone who is deeply committed to what they do and provides us a glimpse of why they do it.

This is history and these stories and faces need to be remembered.

About the radical independent bookstore hosting his talk, Ayers commented, “Burning Books stands strong as an essential community space where we can gather, dream big, and act on what the known demands of us.”

How true that is.  And I’m glad to be working with them to collaborate on this portrait project.  Special thanks to Leslie James Pickering and all at Burning Books for making this possible. More information on how Leslie and Burning Books are standing up to the FBI can be found here. – Orin Langelle

And from the archives of the FBI:

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Political Repression

1991 Judi Bari unedited interview

Today is the 24th anniversary of the day a pipe bomb exploded under the seat of Earth First! organizer Judi Bari’s car as she drove through Oakland as part of a roadshow for Redwood Summer – the national campaign to save the ancient redwoods.

Note: In 1991 my good friend and fellow Big River Earth First!er, Steve Taylor, and I took a trip from St. Louis to California, Oregon and back. We visited many movement people and interviewed them.

I was going to wait until next year to re-publish this interview with Judi that took place at her home in Willits, CA – originally played on various midwest community radio stations. Next year would have been a quarter of a century after the bombing.  I decided to publish it this year because I see so much devastation and destruction of Earth’s life support systems and all of its inhabitants occurring right now, and I hope this helps urge people to organize and take action. To be defiant. To not ask, but to demand. To not march in circles. To take real direct action. To really do something for the Earth.

Please also see posts we ran on the 20th anniversary of the bombing below.

BTW, the beginning of this interview starts with Judi singing an a cappella rendition of “Lullaby and Good NIght.”  This version of the song is Judi Bari’s great sense of political humor.

Orin Langelle, Board Chair & Strategic Consultant for Global Justice Ecology Project

Orin Langelle interviews Judi Bari in 1991:

-Judi on Beach_2

Judi Bari, center, walks on a Pacific Ocean beach in California two years after a pipe bomb exploded under the seat of her car in May 1990.  Although the bomb was intended to kill her, and did severely maim her, the FBI immediately arrested her while in the hospital. They never looked for the real bomber.  Bari maintained she was targeted due to her success in bringing environmentalists and workers together to stop the logging of the ancient redwoods in northern California.  This intimidated the timber industry, especially when she was one of the lead organizers of Redwood Summer.  Judi died of breast cancer in 1996, but her estate sued the FBI over their handling of the bombing, resulting in a $4 million settlement.     Photo:  Langelle/GJEP

From the 20th commemoration of her bombing:
On 24 May 2010, Climate Connections was dedicated to Judi Bari on the 20th anniversary of her bombing on May 24, 1990.
The first posting “The Bombing of Judi Bari—Reflections Twenty Years After (this one’s for you, Judi)” is from Orin Langelle, then Co-Director/Strategist for Global Justice Ecology Project and the second post, “JUDI BARI LIVES”  is from Karen Pickett.  Karen’s was first run in Oread Daily from an article for the Earth First! Journal: ” Remembering Judi Bari – 20 Years Ago an Explosion Filled the Sky and Changed Earth First!”  Karen is also a board member of Global Justice Ecology Project.

¡Judi Bari Presente!

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Earth Radio, Forests, Political Repression

BREAKING: Protesters disrupt genetically engineered trees corporate event

May 14, 2014. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project

Industry Warned: “Plant genetically engineered trees and expect resistance”

Tallahassee, FL (US) – Demonstrators today interrupted an event hosted by genetically engineered (GE) tree company ArborGen, warning participants to expect growing protests should they plant GE trees. The event brought together landowners and foresters from the industrial tree plantation industry and featured top ArborGen scientists working on GE trees.

“We sent a clear message to participants — plant genetically engineered trees and expect resistance,” said Keith Brunner, an organizer with Global Justice Ecology Project. “Invasive GE eucalyptus, planned for deployment across the US South, would irrevocably devastate native ecosystems, exacerbate droughts and lead to catastrophic firestorms. This must be stopped before it is too late.”

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected soon to accept public comments following the release of its draft Environmental Impact Statement on ArborGen’s request to commercially sell millions of potentially flammable and invasive genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, for planting across the US South from South Carolina to Texas. The USDA will ultimately issue a final decision approving or denying ArborGen’s request.

GJEP member Keith Brunner and Stephanie Hall, Toad Clan, Seminolee Miccosukee, interrupt an ArborGen event. Photo: Will Bennington/GJEP

Stephanie Hall, a member of the Toad clan of the Seminolee Miccosukee People, interrupts the ArborGen event. Photo: Will Bennington/GJEP

If approved, ArborGen’s freeze-tolerant GE eucalyptus, designed to be planted in industrial tree plantations for bioenergy and pulp production, would be the first commercially approved GE forest tree in the US. Approval of GE eucalyptus could open the door to approval for other GE species like GE pine and poplar, which pose additional risks due to the likelihood of contamination of wild relatives in native forests.

Stephanie Hall, a member of the Toad Clan of the Seminolee Miccosukee People, also pointed out the link between ArborGen’s plans and the history of genocide against Indigenous Peoples in the region: “ArborGen could not be planning for the development of vast industrial plantations of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees on land in Florida without the previous history of genocide and forced removal of Indigenous men, women, children, plants and animals from the region. People should not be complicit in this — we must ban genetically engineered trees.”

“Early last year, the USDA received nearly 40,000 comments opposing ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus, with only a handful received in favor,” stated Anne Petermann,Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.  “Then in May of 2013, the international Tree Biotechnology conference in Asheville, NC was protested and disrupted for almost a week by hundreds of protesters. These protests and today’s disruption are only the beginning. As the USDA considers ArborGen’s request to legalize GE trees, opposition to these trees and the threats they pose to communities and native forests continues to grow.”

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples

Memorial Photo Tribute for Pete Seeger’s 95th Birthday, May 3rd

by Orin Langelle, Langelle Photography

For Pete  

Born: 3 May 1919, New York City, NY 
Died: 27 January 2014, New York City, NY

pete seeger

 

Please have a look at these photos I took of Pete Seegerhttp://wp.me/p2Mr2B-TX last year during this performance in Buffalo, NY.  I believe this was the second to the last performance by Pete Seeger.

I thought it would be appropriate to release them in remembrance of what would have been his 95th birthday, this Saturday, 3 May 2014.

¡Pete Seeger Presente!

 

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Events, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle

On the 20th Anniversary of the Zapatista Uprising

by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

Twenty years ago today an army of Indigenous Peoples, some using only wooden cut outs as guns, emerged from the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico. They took over municipalities around the Mexican state, including the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas, in defiance of the enactment of NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement.

new_la-realidad_2_card

La Realidad, 1996.  PhotoLangelle.org

The Zapatistas had condemned NAFTA as “a death sentence for the Indigenous Peoples of Mexico” due to many of its unjust provisions, but especially that which eliminated Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution.

Article 27, which guaranteed the rights to communal lands in Mexico was an outcome of the revolution led by Emilano Zapata – after whom the Zapatistas took their name – in the early part of the 20th century.

But in order for NAFTA – the free trade agreement between Canada, the US and Mexico – to be passed, Article 27 had to be eliminated.  The eradication of this hard-won victory was accomplished by Edward Krobaker, the CEO of International Paper.  Why did a multinational paper corporation care about this?  Because most of Mexico’s forests were on ejido (communal) lands, which meant they could not easily be obtained or controlled by multinational corporations such as IP.

According to anthropologist Dr. Ron Nigh,

In June of 1995, the government received a letter from Edward Krobacker, International Paper CEO (now John Dillon), establishing a series of conditions, some requiring changes in Mexico’s forestry law, to “create a more secure legal framework” for IP’s investment.

According to La Jornada, all of Krobaker’s (original) demands were agreed to and new forestry legislation has been prepared. Upon returning from a Wall Street meeting with Henry Kissinger and other top financial celebrities, Zedillo announced the rejection of  proposed legislation that would have implemented the Zapatista accords.

Instead he presented a counterproposal, designed to be unacceptable, which the Zapatistas rejected.

Shortly thereafter, Environmental Minister Carabias announced a large World Bank loan for “forestry,” i.e. commercial plantations.

Earlier that year, in January 1995 – one year after the passage of NAFTA and while the Zapatista uprising was still fresh and garnering support from all corners of the globe – Chase Manhattan Bank sent a memo to the Mexican government about the Zapatistas which was leaked.  This memo, released in January 1995, urged the Mexican government to “eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of security policy” or risk  a devaluation of the peso and a fleeing of investors.  The portion of the memo dealing with the Zapatistas is below:

CHASE MANHATTAN’S EMERGING MARKETS GROUP MEMO

CHIAPAS

The uprising in the southern state of Chiapas is now one-year old and, apparently, no nearer to resolution. The leader, or spokesman, of the movement, sub-commandante Marcos, remains adamant in his demand that the incumbent PRI governor resign and be replaced by the PRD candidate who, Marcos argues, was deprived of victory by government fraud in the recent election. Marcos continues to lobby for widespread social and economic reform in the state. Incidents continue between the local police and military authorities and those sympathetic to the Zapatista movement, as the insurgency is called, and local peasant groups who are sympathetic to Marcos and his cronies.

While Zedillo is committed to a diplomatic and political solution th the stand-off in Chiapas, it is difficult to imagine that the current environment will yield a peaceful solution. Moreover, to the degree that the monetary crisis limits the resources available to the government for social and economic reforms, it may prove difficult to win popular support for the Zedillo administration’s plans for Chiapas. More relevant, Marcos and his supporters may decide to embarrass the government with an increase in local violence and force the administration to cede to Zapatista demands and accept an embarrassing political defeat. The alternative is a military offensive to defeat the insurgency which would create an international outcry over the use of violence and the suppression of indigenous rights.

While Chiapas, in our opinion, does not pose a fundamental threat to Mexican political stability, it is perceived to be so by many in the investment community. The government will need to eliminate the Zapatistas to demonstrate their effective control of the national territory and of security policy.

Orin Langelle, Board Chair of GJEP, who was then the Co-Coordinator of Native Forest Network Eastern North America (NFN ENA) attended the Chase Manhattan Board meeting that year and read the memo out loud to the stock holders.

What many do not know about the Zapatista struggle, is that it is and was a struggle for the land.  For autonomous Indigenous control over their territories.  NFN ENA put out a video about this aspect of the Zapatista struggle after we were asked to help expose the ecological threats to Chiapas which the Zapatistas were trying to stop–including illegal logging, oil drilling and hydroelectric dams.  The video includes interviews from the first North American Encuentro in the Zapatista stronghold of La Realidad in the summer of 1996.  The video is called “Lacandona: The Zapatistas and Rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico.”

A clip of the video can be viewed here:

Despite massive pressure from governments, multinationals and major banks, twenty years later, the Zapatistas are still organizing.  Maybe you thought they had disappeared, but they have not.  They are just busily doing the work of daily life.  They have their own autonomous form of government, their own schools, and they maintain their rejection of any type of support from the Mexican government.

Today, as social movements around the world continue to resist unjust “free” trade agreements such as the TPP (TransPacific Partnership), the Zapatistas continue to be an inspiration to me and I hope to many others as well.

To view Orin Langelle’s photo exhibit of 15 years of photographs from Chiapas, click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Hydroelectric dams, Illegal logging, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Oil, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Victory!

Globalization photographs at the Bali, Indonesia World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings

Fence is torn down during protests against the WTO ministerial in Cancún, Mexico in 2003 shortly after the suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae.  PhotoLangelle.org Fence is torn down during protests against the WTO ministerial in Cancún, Mexico in 2003 shortly after the suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae.  PhotoLangelle.org

Fence is torn down during protests against the WTO ministerial in Cancún, Mexico in 2003 shortly after the suicide of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae. PhotoLangelle.org

Buffalo, NY (US) – Orin Langelle, a Buffalo-based photojournalist, in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Research Network [1], has a new photo exhibit documenting two decades of protests against globalizationhttp://wp.me/p2Mr2B-JC  that is being shown during the WTO ministerial in Bali, Indonesia.  The meeting started yesterday and ends on 6 December.

The exhibit is titled Peoples’ Struggle Against the WTO and Neoliberal Globalization.

The exhibit marks the 10th anniversary of the death of South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae, who took his life in 2003 while atop the barricades surrounding the WTO Ministerial in Cancún, Mexico. He wore a sign around his neck that said WTO Kills Farmers. His action was part of massive protests in Cancún against the trade policies of the WTO.  Moments before he died, Lee Kyung Hae said, “Don’t worry about me, just struggle your hardest.”  He was a member of La Via Campesina [2], the International Peasant’s Movement.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Industrial agriculture, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, WTO