Category Archives: Political Repression

BREAKING – Murdered before Lima climate protest: Ecuadoran indigenous anti-mining activist José Isidro Tendetza Antún

Photograph: Pete Oxford/Corbis via The Guardian

Photograph: Pete Oxford/Corbis via The Guardian

The killing of José Isidro Tendetza Antún highlights the risks facing environmental activists in Ecuador. Earlier this week, a group of campaigners travelling in a “climate caravan” were stopped six times by police on their way to Lima and eventually had their bus confiscated. The activists said they were held back because president Correa wants to avoid potentially embarrassing protests at the climate conference over his plan to drill for oil in Yasuni, an Amazon reserve and one of the most biodiverse places on earth.

Once lauded for being the first nation to draw up a “green constitution,” enshrining the rights of nature, Ecuador’s environmental reputation has nosedived in recent years as Correa has put more emphasis on exploitation of oil, gas and minerals, partly to pay off debts owed to China.

– Patrick Bond in Durban, South Africa

Ecuador indigenous leader found dead days before planned Lima protest
By  and , The Guardian. 6 December 2014

The body of an indigenous leader who was opposed to a major mining project in Ecuador has been found bound and buried, days before he planned to take his campaign to climate talks in Lima.

The killing highlights the violence and harassment facing environmental activists in Ecuador, following the confiscation earlier this week of a bus carrying climate campaigners who planned to denounce president Rafael Correa at the United Nations conference.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Forests and Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, UNFCCC

GJEP campaigner joins hunger strike against FL homeless hate laws

"Celebrity Chef" Arnold on Wednesday with Anonymous via http://www.homelesshatelaws.blogspot.com/

“Celebrity Chef” Arnold on Wednesday with Anonymous via http://www.homelesshatelaws.blogspot.com/

Our GJEP campaigner in FL, Ruddy, asked us to post this article from the NYT about Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old man who is continually and purposefully defying the repressive laws coming out of Florida.

As far as I can tell, the laws attempt to privatize feeding the poor and homeless, which is about as shockingly far from the values of the commons as one can get, right?

Our NO GE trees campaigner is on a 24 hour hunger strike until midnight tonight in protest of what she and others see as homeless hate crime laws. She is based in Florida, which is also part of the wide swath of the Southeast that will be faced with GE eucalyptus trees if ArborGen’s USDA petition is approved.

20141113_223603Our campaigner reports: “Jillian [Pim, named in the NYT article, who is on day 15 of an extended hunger strike] will be at city hall all day doing a press conference before FNB and other groups continue to share food with the homeless in defiance of these inhumane laws. Jillian is asking that folks wear purple in solidarity with her and I talked to her yesterday, she is feeling pretty weak and could use all the support she can get.”

The NYT article takes the usual swerves left, right and center, but whenever you think this article is going off the road entirely, it comes back around. The photo with the article on the NYT website does a good job showing not only Abbott but also the wider movement around him.

Florida Finds Tricky Balance Over Feeding of the Homeless

By Lizette Alvarez and Frances Robles. New York Times. 12 November 2014.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — As dusk settled over the city’s main beach, Arnold Abbott, frail but determined, broke the law late Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Abbott, a 90-year-old World War II veteran, stood on the pavement and piled tilapia and rice and beans on plates for dozens of homeless people. A crowd stood and watched, waiting to see what the police would do.

Read the whole article here.

Read more about the movement in FL and the hunger strikes here.

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

Ayotzinapa’s Uncomfortable Dead By Charlotte María Sáenz, Other Worlds

Image: Open Source #IlustradoresConAyotzinapa

Image: Open Source #IlustradoresConAyotzinapa

Vivos se los llevaron y vivos los queremos. “Alive, they were taken, and alive we want them back,” became the national and international public’s rallying cry for the 43 disappeared male student teachers attacked by municipal police and then handed over to the Guerreros Unidos drug gang on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. This remains the rallying cry even after the official press conference of the Attorney General (PGR)[2] announced last Friday that those missing had most likely been executed and burnt to ashes as detailed in the suspected assassins’ video testimonies shared at the press conference alongside maps and photographs of suggestive evidence. However, there is no conclusive proof yet and so the 43 missing remain undead. Their parents refuse to accept this verdict, and in doing so, reveal the state’s incompetency, not only to deliver justice, but also to act with any kind of legitimacy or credibility before a populace to whom it has become ever more clear that the federal government is in fact deeply implicated in the violence it claims to oppose.

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Latin America-Caribbean, Media, Political Repression

Net Neutrality Advocates Blockade FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s Georgetown Home

photo-1-2-e1415627522596

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 info@popularresistance.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.

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Confronting Government Agencies, Independent Media, Law, Media, Political Repression, Politics

American wealth transfer to the rich is breathtaking

Last January OXFAM International issued a report, “Working for the Few, Political Capture and Economic Inequality“. The report details how just 85 individuals own half of the world’s wealth. Yesterday, Alternet published a piece describing how 47 wealthy Americans own more than half of the wealth in the United States. We think that this is a good reminder for today. This is one day after a major American election that transferred the balance of power in the United States Congress to the Republican Party.

We remind ourselves of the politics and economics that are driving America and the American political process.

Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police action morphs Ferguson, MO, from a city in a democracy to a hostage in a military state. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Five Facts About How America is Rigged for a Massive Wealth Transfer to the Rich

By Paul Buchheit, Alternet. 4 November 2014

A recent posting detailed how upper middle class Americans are rapidly losing ground to the one-percenters who averaged $5 million in wealth gains over just three years. It also noted that the global 1% has increased their wealth from $100 trillion to $127 trillion in just three years.

The information came from the Credit Suisse 2014 Global Wealth Databook (GWD), which goes on to reveal much more about the disappearing middle class.

Read the rest of the report here,

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Filed under Climate Justice, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, Green Economy, Human made disasters, Political Repression

More Arrests at Seneca Lake Blockade

As part of our continuing coverage of the Seneca Lake protests and arrests, Climate Connections is giving a little well deserved love to Stefanie Spear and EcoWatch. Spear, founder and CEO of Ecowatch, provides excellent coverage of environment, energy, and anti-fracking news.

The hard news today is that our friends at Seneca Lake continue to face arrest and prosecution for blockading the gates to the Crestwood Midstream gas storage facility, which was recently authorized to store natural gas under Seneca Lake by the FERC. Protests and arrests are also occurring at the DC headquarters of FERC. Yesterday, 15 protesters were arrested at the Seneca Lake Blockade.

We are proud of these people!  Fifteen people were arrested this morning blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility, including Martha Ferger, age 90, of Dryden, Tompkins County and Kenneth Fogarty, age 75, of Chenango County. Photo credit: Ross Horowitz

We are proud of these people! Fifteen people were arrested this morning blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility, including Martha Ferger, age 90, of Dryden, Tompkins County and Kenneth Fogarty, age 75, of Chenango County. Photo credit: Ross Horowitz

15 Arrested Protesting Gas Storage Facility in NY’s Finger Lakes Region

Stefanie Spear. EcoWatch. 3 November 2014

Fifteen people were arrested this morning blockading the gates of Texas-based Crestwood Midstream’s gas storage facility on the shore of New York’s Seneca Lake. This action marks the beginning of the third week of protests trying to stop major new construction on the gas storage facility authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

“We’re standing on what used to be a part of my legislative district in Schuyler County. I am embarrassed and saddened to see what is going on here, I’m sad to see that some of the people in this district are actually supporting this endeavor to store gas in a very unstable salt formation,” said Ruth Young of Horseheads, a former member of the Schuyler County legislature and among those arrested today.

Read the whole EcoWatch article here.

Read the We are Seneca Lake Press Release here.

More information at We Are Seneca Lake.

Donate to the Jail Fund: Go to the Paypal Link on the right

 

 

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization, Fracking, Human made disasters, Hydrofracking, Land Grabs, Political Repression

French anti-dam protester killed by police grenade

Another example of the misnomer of “less-than-lethal” weapons like concussion grenades. They may be less lethal, but still can be quite deadly, as this case in France shows.

TNT traces in slain France activist case

Press TV, 28 Oct  2014.

An investigation into the cause of the death of a French activist killed in clashes with the police has yielded traces of TNT used in police grenades.

Sending shockwaves throughout the country, the 21-year-old victim, Remi Fraisse, was killed on Sunday as security forces clashed with people protesting against a controversial dam project in the southwestern Tarn region.

To read the whole story and watch the Press TV story about this, click here.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Hydroelectric dams, Political Repression

RCMP surveilled Indigenous environmental groups fighting Canada’s extreme ‘energy economy’

Photo by Ben Powless of the Wet’suwet’en Nation Enbridge protest that was one of the areas of focus for the RCMP. Extremist? Worthy of surveillance by the RCMP. Worthy of attention, for sure, but not RCMP surveillance.

Photo by Ben Powless of the Wet’suwet’en Nation’s Enbridge protest that was one of the areas of focus for the RCMP. Extremist? Worthy of surveillance by the RCMP? Worthy of attention, for sure, but not RCMP surveillance. The sign now takes on new meaning. In response to ‘Respect Indigenous Rights,’ RCMP says, ‘No.’

Last week, APTN released findings from researcher Jeffrey Monaghan that show that the RCMP closely surveilled members of the IEN (Indigenous Environmental Network) and their allies in 2010 during organizing to fight the extreme energy extraction of the tar sands and the pipelines. Documents show that the RCMP categorized IEN as an extremist group, and might still do so, despite disagreements even among officers.

Global Justice Ecology Project is among several others who are named as supporters of a 2010 protest against the Enbridge pipeline, and named as “involved persons.”

“When you read the document closely it shows an intimate surveillance,” said Monaghan. “(The documents) show the breadth of and the normalization of the regular systematic surveillance of protest groups, of people who criticize government policy and critics of energy policy. You have national security bureaucracies, agencies, focused on domestic protest groups and it has nothing to do with terror, but with the energy economy.”

Yup, not surprising historically at all, but repression nonetheless. What to do? Hard to know, but political pressure couldn’t hurt. How dare RCMP target Indigenous environmental organizers in this way?

 RCMP tracked movements of Indigenous activist from ‘extremist’ group: documents
By Jorge Barrera. APTN National News. Oct. 17, 2014.

The RCMP closely monitored the movements of an Indigenous environmental activist as it tightened surveillance around possible protests in northern British Columbia targeting the energy firm behind the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline, according to “confidential” documents obtained by APTN National News.

Read the whole article here.

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Pipeline, Political Repression, Tar Sands