Category Archives: Independent Media

BP will appeal $18 billion fine: That is the corporate message as people who have lost everything continue to suffer

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-

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.

Read the whole story here

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Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Greenwashing, Independent Media, Latin America-Caribbean, Oceans, Oil, Pollution, Uncategorized

Labor Day Special: Chris Hedges calls out the Climate March

Chris Hedges posted a new piece at Truthdig yesterday, “The last Gasp of the Climate Change Liberals.” Besides getting directly to the point of the critiques associated with the September 21 Climate March, he gives a little love to Climate Connections founder and Global Justice Ecology Project’s Executive Director, Anne Petermann. This is a most important piece. Please read it.

Thanks Chris!

June 25, 2013, President Barack Obama  wipes perspiration from his face as he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington.   Courtesy truthdig-AP Photo/Charles Dharpak

June 25, 2013, President Barack Obama wipes perspiration from his face as he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington. Courtesy TruthDig-AP Photo/Charles Dharpak

 

The Last Gasp of Climate Change Liberals
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig. August 31, 2014.

The upcoming climate change march in New York is the last gasp of conventional liberalism. The time for reform and accommodation has ended. We will build a radical movement or be extinguished in a climate inferno.

The climate change march in New York on Sept. 21, expected to draw as many as 200,000 people, is one of the last gasps of conventional liberalism’s response to the climate crisis. It will take place two days before the actual gathering of world leaders in New York called by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the November 2015 U.N. Climate Conference in Paris. The marchers will dutifully follow the route laid down by the New York City police. They will leave Columbus Circle, on West 59th Street and Eighth Avenue, at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday and conclude on 11th Avenue between West 34th and 38th streets. No one will reach the United Nations, which is located on the other side of Manhattan, on the East River beyond First Avenue—at least legally. There will be no speeches. There is no list of demands. It will be a climate-themed street fair.

Read the Full Article Here

Click here to read Anne Peterman’s August 14, 2014 Climate Connections post, “The Need for Clear Connections at the People’s Climate March.”  

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, BREAKING NEWS, Campaign to STOP GE Trees, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Independent Media, Keystone XL, Media, Occupy Wall Street, Political Repression, Politics, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Tar Sands, The Greed Economy and the Future of Forests, Uncategorized

Censored News site retires, replaced by great new site named Indigenous Resistance

 

Source- Censored News, July 29, 2014

Source- Censored News, July 29, 2014

It appears that Brenda Norrel’s excellent Censored News blog is now over, but the work is carried on by Indigenous Resistance, a new blog which represents a collective of writers. Indigenous Resistance came to the internet in early July.  Norell continues her posts there. Climate Connections has long followed and been a big fan of Censored News.

The final post on Censored News, dated  July 29, 2014 “Thank-you the journey was never my own” is a beautifully written reflection of some of Brenda’s and the Censored New’s turning points.  She writes:

Today, between a hospital stay and fight for my life in May, and a journey to the Zapatista Stronghold in Chiapas in August, I’m especially thankful for this road I’ve been on, which was never really my own. I’ve never spoken in public about journalism over the past 32 years, because, for me, it was a matter of following my inner voice, and what some call the Spirit or Creator.

There were turning points along the way, and today, I will remember a few of those. The first turning point came when Louise Benally of Big Mountain on Black Mesa shared the truth with me about Peabody coal. “The corporations lie,” she said. At the time, I was a new reporter for Navajo Times and living in a log cabin in the Chuska mountains on Navajoland. During those years, my friends took me to the home of Chief Frank Fool’s Crow on Pine Ridge. While on Hopi land, Dan Evehema, more than 100 years old, told me, “Don’t ever apply for grants, or they will own you.” (And I didn’t.)

Orin Langelle, Chair of the Board of Global Justice Ecology Project, which publishes Climate Connections, shared the description of Brenda Norell which appears on the final Censored News blog post:

Brenda Norrell has been a reporter in Indian country for 32 years, beginning with Navajo Times during the 18 years that she lived on the Navajo Nation. She was a correspondent for AP and USA Today while living on Navajoland. Then, she served as a longtime staff reporter for Indian Country Today. In 2006, she was censored and terminated by ICT, under new ownership, and created Censored News as a result. Censored News was published for eight years as a labor of love with no advertising or grants. Censored News exposed what is being censored in Indian country and provided a publishing platform for grassroots voices. Censored News archives continue to be read around the world by thousands of readers each week in countries circling the earth. Today, the new Indigenous Resistance, a collective of writers, continues this work.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Chiapas, Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Independent Media, Indigenous Peoples, Media, Political Repression, Uncategorized

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