Category Archives: Independent Media

Reclaim Turtle Island: Support Indigenous-led media and resistance

Note: The following is from our good friend Amanda Lickers.  Please consider supporting her efforts to inspire and create indigenous-led media, covering stories of resistance to extreme energy, colonialism and state violence.
-The GJEP Team
January 15, 2014. Source: Reclaim Turtle Island
She:kon sewa’kwe:kon! Greetings everyone!
We need your help! We’ve just launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for the early 2014 upcoming projects! It’s a very exciting time and we are looking forward to the struggles ahead. Please visit our campaign page to support, share and spread the word: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/reclaim-turtle-island/x/2915731

Tag us on Twitter @defendourlandsMore info:

Reclaim Turtle Island is a grassroots radical media project that works to develop resources to build capacity for Indigenous sovereigntist and anticolonial struggles in Turtle Island. So, later in October our primary focus was delivering support for the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society who were toe to toe against the state and a fracking company as they stood up for their land, waters and peoples. Some of this work included getting the word out about Warriors’ treatment in jail, including supporting aMi’kmaq Warriors fight against solitary confinement and having the honour to share the call to #ShutDownCanada. In 2014 the resistance continues, and we would like to continue supporting the active decolonization of so-called North America by elevating the voices of frontline land defenders and building support for grassroots Indigenous resistance to colonial-capitalism.

For this we need you. This crowd-funding initiative is to ensure that RTI has the equipment necessary to produce high-quality video, from shooting interviews to post-production editing, and our work will always be available for free online. In early 2014, we want to bring you stories of resiliance and inspiration from the Dine who are protecting sacred sites and fighting against the mining of uranium. We want to connect with the Ponca who are fiercely resisting tar sands pipelines and unearth some of the histories of colonization in the southwest. We want to bring a land defender from the heart of the tar sands to Lakota territory where they are resisting tar sands infrastructure across their Nation. We want to support the Innu resistance against Plan Nord and continue to nurture the roots of Indigenous liberation in northeastern Turtle Island. Our focus is Indigenous resistance for Indigenous people and Reclaim is more than a media project. Reclaim Turtle Island also directly engages in struggle against resource extraction as well as builds a network of land defenders across our territories. We are bringing eachother together with stories of resistance: to learn, to share and to better fight back. Please support this initiative and encourage support from your friends. #2014WarriorUp

In the spirit of total liberation,

O’nen ki wahi ~

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Hydrofracking, Idle No More, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Tar Sands

Fakethrough! GMOs and the capitulation of science journalism

Note: The genetically engineered (GE) tree industry makes similarly lofty claims about their novel products, which so far are unproven.  Attempts to breed poplars that can digest themselves on command in a processing plant, or pine trees that grow like gas stations haven’t done much for forests worldwide to date.  Not to mention the enormous risks they pose if released into the wild. And while these fantasy technologies will hopefully fade into the past, another failed attempt at playing God with nature, it is more likely we’ll have to fight like our lives depend on it to stop the GE tree industry (among others) from wreaking total havoc.

-The GJEP Team

By Jonathan Latham, PhD, January 7, 2014. Source: Independent Science News

freakthrough

Good journalism examines its sources critically, it takes nothing at face value, places its topics in a historical context, and it values above all the public interest. Such journalism is, most people agree, essential to any equitable and open system of government. These statements about journalism are especially applicable to the science media. But while the media in general has recently taken much criticism, for trivialising news and other flaws, the science media has somehow escaped serious attention. This is unfortunate because no country in the world has a healthy science media.

This is science journalism?
According to the New York Times genetically engineered Xa21 rice was big news (Song et al 1995). In a 1995 article titled “Genetic Engineering Creates Rice Resistant to Destructive Blight”, journalist Sandra Blakeslee wrote it was:

“the first time that a disease-resistance gene has been put into rice”

Blakeslee then quoted a senior figure, Gary Toenissen, deputy director of agricultural sciences at the Rockefeller Institute in New York, as saying it heralded

“a new era in plant genetics and resistance breeding”.

But eighteen years after that artice was written, the failure of these predictions is clear. No commercial GMO rice of any kind exists, nor has Xa21 or any similar gene for disease resistance been developed for commercial purposes.
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Filed under Biodiversity, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Independent Media, Industrial agriculture

Video: Elevating Indigenous voices of resistance and growing active dissent

October 9, 2013. Source: Reclaim Turtle Island

[Tiotiahke, so-called Montreal QC] Kahsatstenhsera:Indigenous Resistance to Tar Sands Pipelines is a short documentary film and antipipeline movement resource now available for free online at reclaimturtleisland.com. This short documentary hopes to act as an accessible and educational tool to shed light on Indigenous resistance to the expanding project of slow industrial genocide known as the tar sands. Kahsatstenhera hopes to build awareness within an Indigenous context of the struggles against the Enbridge Line 9 and TransCanada Energy East pipelines while touching on the role of fracking in tar sands expansion.

Pipeline expansion projects and resource extractive industries are part of the continued land theft and genocide of Indigenous peoples. It is for this reason that that environmental justice movements must take leadership from grassroots and traditional Indigenous governance that are on the front lines of colonial-capitalist violence. This tool will communicate the importance of action in the face of environmental devastation and ongoing colonization.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Hydrofracking, Idle No More, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Oil, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Tar Sands, Videos

Notes on “Freedom according to the Zapatistas”

By Gilberto López y Rivas, 23 September, 2013. Source: Chiapas Support Committee

Photo: Chiapas Support Committee

Photo: Chiapas Support Committee

It was a privilege to attend the first grade course “Freedom according to the Zapatistas” as a student, which was paralleled in various territories of the autonomous governments, as well as in the Indigenous Center of Integral Capacity Building –Unitierra, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, from August 12 to 17.

Because of its multiple political, strategic, programmatic and tactical meanings in the current tragedy of a country devastated by the government of national treason and its corporate-repressor associates (including organized crime), the course imparted by Indigenous peoples from the different ethnicities that make up the autonomous Zapatista governments constitutes an urgent call to the national conscience, to men and women with dignity and integrity to organize, resist and struggle for a better world where those that govern obey the peoples, departing from the seven principles: 1. Serve and don’t self-serve, 2. Represent and don’t supplant, 3. Construct and don’t destroy, 4. Obey and don’t order, 5. Propose and don’t impose, 6. Convince and don’t conquer, 7. Go down and not up, and based on the maximum ethic that reigns in the EZLN: “Everything for everyone, for us, nothing,” that is, the opposite poll of conduct with which the Mexican political class acts. Continue reading

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Filed under Chiapas, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Vermont: Protestors remove American flags at 9/11 memorial in act of solidarity

September 12, 2013  

Middlebury College, VT — At 3:00PM on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, five protesters removed thousands of flags desecrating occupied Abenaki lands. The U.S. flags were part of a 9/11 memorial established by Middlebury College students.

Amanda Lickers, a member of the Onondowa’ga Nation, states, “In the quickest moment of decision making, in my heart, I understood that lands where our dead may lay must not be desecrated. In my community, we do not pierce the earth. It disturbs the spirits there, it is important for me to respect their presence.”

“For over 500 years our people have been under attack. The theft of our territories, the devastation of our waters; the poisoning of our people through the poisoning of our lands; the theft of our people from our families; the rape of our children; the murder of our women; the sterilization of our communities; the abuse of generations; the uprooting of our ancestors and the occupation of our sacred sites; the silencing of our songs; the erasure of our languages and memories of our traditions. I have had enough.” stated Lickers.

Lickers was at the college to facilitate a workshop on Settler Responsibility and Decolonization.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Independent Media, Land Grabs

Earth Minute: Chilean coup 40 years ago and the impact on the Mapuche People

Note: GJEP has worked with the Mapuche in Chile to stop genetically engineered trees.

GJEP teams up weekly with Margaret Prescod and the Sojourner Truth show for an Earth Minute and a 12-minute EarthWatch interview every Thursday covering front line environmental news from across the globe.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Earth Minute, Forests, Forests and Climate Change, GE Trees, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, KPFK, Land Grabs, Posts from Anne Petermann

The Institute for Policy Studies mourns the loss of filmmaker and author Saul Landau

Memorial program to be held October 12 in Washington, DC

Thoughts, comments, and memories of Saul are welcome on the IPS tribute page  

Institute for Policy Studies staff and friends are mourning the loss of Saul Landau, an award-winning filmmaker, author, poet, and fearless human rights activist. Saul was an IPS Fellow from 1972 until his death from cancer at age 77 on September 9.

IPS will host a public celebration of Saul’s life and work on Saturday, October 12, at 6 pm at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, DC. This event will be part of an Ideas into Action Festival and other events to mark the Institute’s 50th anniversary. Visit our 50th anniversary page for more details. Another memorial service will be held in San Francisco on a date to be determined.

An IPS tribute to Saul is below, followed by links to obituaries that have run in several major newspapers.  Continue reading

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Manning conviction under Espionage Act worries civil liberties campaigners

By Ed Pilkington, July 31, 2013. Source: The Guardian

Bradley Manning faces a maximum 60-year prison sentence. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

Bradley Manning faces a maximum 60-year prison sentence. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

Bradley Manning began his first day as a convict on Wednesday, after he was found guilty of 20 counts relating to the transmission of state secrets to WikiLeaks. Outside the courtroom, the consequences of what amounts to a major escalation in the US government’s war on whistleblowers are beginning to sink in.

Tuesday’s verdict was the first time under the Obama administration that any leaker of official secrets has been convicted under the 1917 Espionage Act – a criminal statute designed to ensnare actual spies and traitors working with foreign governments. The only other time in US history that an official has been found guilty at trial under the Act for passing classified information to the press involved a naval intelligence expert, Samuel Morison, in 1985.

Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, a former Department of Justice whistleblower herself, said the consequences of Manning being found guilty of six counts under the Espionage Act should not be underestimated. She compared it to the failed attempt by the US government to prosecute Daniel Ellsberg, source of the 1970s Pentagon Papers on the Vietnam war. “This is Obama’s first conviction against a non-spy under the act,” she said. “He has now managed to do what Nixon couldn’t.”
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Filed under Independent Media, Media, Political Repression, War

Movement history: COP 6 climate justice mobilisation & the birth of Rising Tide.

Note: We recently received the following article from GJEP long-time friend and comrade Kev Smith.  We’ve worked with Kevin on various occasions, most notably with Climate Justice Action and the mobilization for the Copenhagen UN climate talks in 2009.

One of the aims in the Copenhagen mobilization was to expose the illegitimate dealings of the UN with corporations while working with the grassroots, social movements, Indigenous Peoples Organizations and progressive NGOs in an attempt to show the world that people were radically struggling to prevent false solutions and climate catastrophe while  fighting for climate justice over the same old corporate globalization.  At one point during the climate talks, Indigenous Peoples led a march out of the official UN conference center with progressive NGOs and planned to meet up with people not allowed on the inside of the negotiations.  The meeting would be a Peoples’ Assembly — a non-hierarchical peoples’ platform that would stand out as a model in opposition to the top down corporate UN model.

Well, we didn’t get a chance to meet as police violently stopped both marches.  That’s some of climate justice history, as was the statement that came from Climate Justice Now! afterwards (and also the year before in Poznan, Poland).  Some may wish to erase that grassroots activist history in favor of lobbying to stop the climate catastrophe.  But we must remember our history.   Kevin’s piece, “Dissenting voices cop 6 climate talks 2000″, helps keep our history alive and that history needs to be remembered, lest we constantly try and reinvent the wheel.

- Orin Langelle for the GJEP Team

By Kevin Smith, July 18, 2013. Source: Platform London

372x517xScan-28-620x862.jpg.pagespeed.ic.rRDkXf2XzZIt’s been a season of archiving action at Platform! We’re been sweatily rummaging about our storage unit, ferreting through 30 years-worth of materials as the lovely people from theBishopsgate Institute library are going to be sifting through it all and making it more accessible as part of their collections on London history, labour and socialist history, free thought and humanism, co-operation, and protest and campaigning.

One historical nugget that I recently unearthed was ‘dissenting voices,’ a publication that documented the mobilizations that took place outside the COP 6 Climate Talks in Den Haag in 2000. As far as I know, this has never been digitalized, and it seemed like a quite important document of a somewhat overlooked event that not only had a big influence on what we know of as the climate justice movement today, it was also how the Rising Tide climate direct action network originated.

Rising Tide first developed as a coalition and a network of groups who came together at the COP 6 climate talks to take an oppositional stance to the way the talks were developing, highlighting the extent of influence of corporate lobbyists, the marginalization of Southern countries in the process and the increasing dominance of carbon markets as a false solution to the climate crisis. It’s amazing that all of these issues that were some of the rallying points of the Climate Justice Action network in the Copenhagen talks in 2009 were already being articulated in an almost identical manner almost ten years previously. A group in the UK started using Rising Tide itself as an organisational identity, and while the network didn’t continue to function in subsequent COPs, groups in other countries like North America and Australia (both of which are still active to date) also adopted the name and the political principles.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Independent Media, UNFCCC, Youth

Undercover police crash anti-shale gas press conference, activists remain in woods along ‘Line 5′

 By Miles Howe, July 23, 2013. Source: Halifax Media Co-op

By now a familiar site. Police and security together bar entrance to SWN's seismic testing lines. Photo: M. Howe

By now a familiar site. Police and security together bar entrance to SWN’s seismic testing lines. Photo: M. Howe

Yesterday, Upriver Environment Watch called a press conference at the Super 8 motel in Dieppe, New Brunswick. Attended by about 50 people, including 4 representatives from the media, the anti-shale gas action group from Kent County hosted a panel of speakers with a variety of expertise and experience.

“Impunity is the word we’re working with today,” said Anne Pohl, host of the press conference.

Pohl had, on July 19th, sent an open letter to New Brunswick Premier David Alward. The letter was at once an invitation to Alward to attend the press conference (neither he nor any member of his caucus attended) as well as a point by point description of the experienced hardships that those continuing to call for a moratorium on shale gas exploration in New Brunswick have experienced in their dealings with the RCMP, SWN Resources Canada as well as their elected government representatives.

If there was a continuous thread to the press conference, it was a general sense of frustration.
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Filed under Actions / Protest, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Hydrofracking, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Media, Political Repression