Photo by GJEP campaigner Ruddy Turnstone at Flood Wall Street, 21 September 2014 as the people wash pepper spray out of their eyes.
Citizen journalism is making a big difference in this age of the internet. Individuals can and have documented and circulated events including police murders, demonstrations, military actions, and beautiful things.
Cuteness aside, citizen journalists are a great threat to corporate media in that often, citizens can act independently of cultivated sources that are the corporate or mainstream media reporters, editors, and producers. Make no mistake, sometimes those cultivated sources are very productive. But we would not have the kind of documentation of things like the police murder of Eric Garner in New York City if it wasn’t for a citizen with the cell phone camera, recording it on video and sending it out for the world to see.
Clayton Thomas-Muller talked with Margaret Prescod for KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show. Their focus was on the recent discoveries of RCMP surveillance of Thomas-Muller, who said that this surveillance and the criminalization of Indigenous dissent shows how high the stakes are right now in the fight between extractive industries and the Indigenous rights movement. Prescod rightly noted the link to COINTELPRO’s targeting of social movements in the US, in particular, activists of color.
As an added treat, here’s Clayton at the most recent Bioneers Conference talking about the broad based movement with Indigenous rights at the forefront that he’s helping build to challenge extractive industries and what he calls the Canadian petro-state government.
Demand Full Reclassification under Title II, No Hybrid Plan
This is the beginning of a week of actions to Save the Internet. To stay up to date and join in, click here to take the pledge.
Advocates for net neutrality blockaded FCC Chair Tom Wheelers driveway this morning, Monday, November 10, 2014, just as the Chairman was getting into his car. Six people participated in the blockade with a large banner that read “Save the Internet.” They also held signs demanding that Wheeler listen to the people. They chanted “Don’t let the Internet die. Time to reclassify!” and sang “Which side are you on Tom? Are you with the people or with the Telecoms?”
The protest, which kicked off at 6:55 am, is organized by PopularResistance.org, the same group that Occupied the FCC from May 7 to May 15. They are demanding that Wheeler drop plans to advance so-called “hybrid” rules that fail to protect free speech, and fully reclassify the Internet as a common carrier under Title II.
“We’re blockading Tom Wheeler’s driveway because he’s made it clear that when he goes to work, he’s not working for the public, he’s working for Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T, the companies that used to pay his salary when he was a lobbyist for the Cable industry,” said Kevin Zeese, co-director of Popular Resistance, “The future of the Internet is a life or death matter for marginalized people all over the world. We cannot in good conscience allow this corrupt official to carry on with business as usual.”
“The Internet is an essential tool in all of our lives for many reasons such as the growing citizen’s media, information sharing and access to goods and services. All people must have equal access to content without discrimination. Wealthy corporations should not get faster Internet delivery service than start-ups and citizens’ groups,” said Margaret Flowers, MD, co-director of Popular Resistance.
Zeese added, “The FCC received a record number of comments, with more than 3.7 million responding to the rulemaking proceeding on the future of the Internet; 99% of those comments favored net neutrality and reclassification. How dare Chairman Wheeler ignore the overwhelming majority of the people in favor of corporations like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T. Tom Wheeler is playing with fire. We will be escalating our protests if he continues down the path of ignoring the people. If Wheeler is unable to fulfill President Obama’s promise to protect net neutrality, then he should resign or be removed from office.”
Wheeler served as the top lobbyist for cable TV and telephone corporations before becoming chair of the FCC. “This is a crisis of democracy. The people have clearly spoken and Wheeler is supposed to represent the public interest, not the interests of Comcast and Verizon. It is time for him to listen to the public and reclassify the Internet as a common carrier so it can be regulated like a public utility,” added Flowers.
Popular Resistance is urging people to join them at a Vigil to Save the Internet tonight, November 10th, at Tom Wheeler’s Georgetown home. Journalists or activists interested in attending should contact Margaret Flowers or Kevin Zeese at firstname.lastname@example.org. Following successful nationwide protests last week, the group is also working with other net neutrality advocates to hold a Dance Party to Save the Internet at the White House on Thursday evening, November 13th, at 6 PM in Lafayette Park.
This little video poem is shared to us from David Suzuki and the Blue Dot Tour. The tour is criss-crossing Canada and is designed to bring together informed individuals to build a powerful force for positive change.
Here we find the intersections between art, love, humanity, and the natural world of the blue dot.
“Shoulders” by Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long.
If you have not experienced the wisdom and power of Rev. Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, be prepared to be amazed. This group of radical activist performance artists are brave, intelligent, and yes “Heavenly” warriors for system change. For years, under the guidance of Rev. Billy and Savitri D., they have been a non-stop force rallying against the insidious systems that are destroying the planet. Their top priority is the consumer society, contemporary trends in greenwashing, and a reveal of the hidden hand. They have made some loud noises. They have been hit hard. They need, want, and deserve our support.
The group has now decided to flee the Facebook, YouTube and Twitter worlds. This flight has been incentivized by the group being censored, chased, and in some instances, banished, from those worlds. This as they take on with direct actions, Monsanto, DARPA, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, Koch, and the underlying forces of corporatized society. Now they seek new media opportunities to connect with us, it is important to know that Rev. Billy and the Choir are the canaries in the increasingly poisoned atmosphere that characterizes modern culture. They are constantly helping to lead the way to search for solutions for us all to survive. You should know know that this form of media blackout from which they are moving away from, is coming for us all soon.
We are pleased to introduce a new Climate Connections feature that we will produce occasionally. GreenWatch Radio with host Jay Burney.
This initial edition features Biofuelwatch co-director Dr. Rachel Smolker and focuses on renewable energy strategies and false solutions to climate change.
Dr. Smolker talks about pressures in the US to produce bioenergy products for world markets and the negative impact that these agricultural developments cause to biodiversity, ecosystems, wildlife and humans that are dependent upon and are a part of these ecosystems. Smolker also talks about the US Military’s evolving investment in biofuels and how this is creating pressures involving both agricultural development and genetic engineering of tree and agrifuel “products.” With Rachel Smolker, Jay Burney, Grady Hawkins, and Joe Schmidbauer.
Whether or not you are in New York City this weekend for all of the climate change activities, it is important to take note of the Climate Convergence Conference that will take place starting Friday 19 September, and running through the weekend.
The stated purpose of the Climate Convergence Conference is to “explore the root causes behind our climate crisis and to strengthen movements for a world where people, peace, and planet come first”.
On Saturday, at St. John’s University 51 Astor Place, Room 110 in Manhattan, our GJEP and The Campaign to STOP GE Trees partner and collaborator and Biofuelwatch co-director, Dr. Rachel Smolker, Petermann, and Jeff Conant, will conduct a Land, Energy and the Green Economy Workshop, 2:15-3:45pm.
The BP fine over the Macondo Gulf of Mexico disaster was unexpected, at least by BP. The company had put aside $3.5 billion to pay its way out of the Clean Water Act violations and has fully intended to continue business as usual. However, Federal District Court Judge Carl Barbier in his 153 page decision ruled that BP is “grossly negligent” and engaged in decisions that were “profit” rather than “safety” driven. The finding of “gross negligence” increases the amount of the fine by up to four times. If the company had been found merely negligent, the fines could be $1,100 per barrel spilled. Gross negligence ups that to $4,300 per barrel.
BP continues to contest the amount spilled and has hired the the best science that money can buy and shady public relations advisors to convince the world that they didn’t really spill all that much oil. Expect the appeal process to focus on that. Meanwhile, according to the article below published by the Bellona Foundation, thousands of people affected by the disaster and the clean-up efforts are so sick that they will never work again, and never have normal lives.
Deepwater Horizon Drilling Rig explodes and burns, April 21, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico-
BP found guilty of ‘gross negligence’ in Deepwater Horizon spill – victims far from rejoicing By Charles Digges, Bellona Foundation. Sept. 5, 2014
NEW ORLEANS – British oil giant BP’s “gross negligence” and “profit-driven decisions” in the Gulf of Mexico was directly responsible for the worst accidental oil spill in history, Federal District Court Judge Carl Barbier ruled in New Orleans Thursday – to a tepid reception from those a possible settlement might benefit.
The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which BP leased and operated, exploded and sank in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 men and spewing 4.9 million of barrels of oil and plodded through 87 days of hit and miss attempts to plug it until it finally manage to seal it.