Category Archives: Political Repression

FBI Harassing Activists in Pacific Northwest

Alex Reid Ross over a Bark wrote this excellent article, originally posted on Defending Dissent, detailing the recent harassment of environmental activists in the Pacific Northwest. Clearly, this increased harassment comes because the stakes are so high for everyone and because groups like Rising Tide are doing such amazing work. The last paragraph definitely gets at that idea:

“My [attorney] was not able to find out what or why they were bothering my sweet folks, but I will tell you why,” one activist whose parents were visited wrote. “Its [sic] because Portland Rising Tide is outreaching, training, and organizing hundreds of Pacific NWers of all age groups to engage in a level of civil disobedience not seen in decades. We are going to do it to save our neighborhoods, our communities, our salmon, and our climate. And that scares the shit out of the powers that be.”

Ross does a great job working through individual stories that show the effects of harassment on people’s lives, and also provides the larger context of the movement as it continues to evolve.

 

 

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Filed under Political Repression, Tar Sands

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, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Energy, Events, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Independent Media, Media, Political Repression, Posts from Anne Petermann, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration, Tar Sands, Uncategorized

Earth Minute on Russia’s Repression of Eco-Activists

Global Justice Ecology Project partners with KPFK Pacifica’s Sojourner Truth show on weekly Earth Minutes and Earth Watch interviews.  GJEP ED Anne Petermann writes and records the weekly Earth Minutes.

Transcript:

On July 21st, the Russian government accused EcoDefense, one of the oldest environmental groups in Russia, of being a “foreign agent,” effectively criminalizing their environmental and social justice work.  I have long been familiar with the important work of EcoDefense, since meeting them at a meeting they hosted in Kaliningrad in 1995.

The motivations for Russia’s repressive move is likely due to the effective campaigns of EcoDefense since even before the collapse of the Soviet Union, when EcoDefense was occupying smoke stacks to protest polluting industries.   The accusation against EcoDefense comes now likely due to their campaign against a Baltic nuclear plant under construction near Kaliningrad.

Friends of the Earth France has demanded Russia drop their persecution of EcoDefense, pointing out that protesting nuclear power is a democratic right.

They want Russia to remove Ecodefense from the “foreign agent” roster, repeal the related “foreign agent” law, and to respect the civil and democratic rights of Russian citizens advocating for social and environmental justice.

For the Earth Minute and the Sojourner Truth show, this is Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Earth Minute, Earth Radio, Nuclear power, Political Repression, Uncategorized

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

Obama’s State of the Union: fantasy, fact, fiction or all of the above?

by Anne Petermann, Executive Director, Global Justice Ecology Project

During Obama’s State of the Union address last night the presence of the star of the reality TV show Duck Dynasty might have been the most real part of a very surreal evening.

Of particular note were Obama’s comments on energy and climate change.

While the US Southeast was being hammered by a highly unusual winter storm which stranded thousands in the metro Atlanta area, (no, this does not disprove climate change you nitwits, climate scientists have warned for years that a warming globe means extreme and unpredictable weather) Obama was proclaiming a desire to address climate change so that “when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, [we can say] yes we did.”

This sounds wonderful until we consider the “all of the above” energy strategy Obama touted earlier in the speech, which gives a nod to some of the dirtiest, most polluting and destructive energy sources.  It includes shale oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota–the gas flares of which can be seen from space.  This shale oil is so extremely volatile that in the past year two trains carrying bakken oil have exploded.  It means more coal; it means more deep water offshore drilling of the type that caused the BP oil spill disaster.  It means more nukes, even in the shadow of the ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima.  And it means more fracking.  Obama made a big show of his support for natural gas “if extracted safely,” which it is not.

Obama spent exactly one paragraph on climate change.  He declared it a fact.  That anyone even needs to do that in this day and age, decades after global warming was identified as a problem, after the Northeast US was smashed by not one but two hurricanes in two consecutive years, after Super-Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, after the record droughts in Australia, Africa and the US Midwest–to name just a few climate-related catastrophes of the past 8 years–is astounding.  However, climate change is not only a fact. In my opinion it is the single greatest threat to future generations of humans and most other species.  Yet it merited only a passing mention.  One paragraph out of a 13 page speech.

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Green Economy, Greenwashing, Oil, Political Repression, Pollution, Posts from Anne Petermann

KPFK Earth Watch Interview: Orin Langelle on WTO Meetings in Bali

Orin Langelle, Founder and Board Chair of Global Justice Ecology Project discusses the WTO meetings in Bali taking place from 3-6 December, as well as several significant anniversaries for the global movement against neoliberal corporate globalization.  He also mentions the photo exhibit he has in Bali at the Peoples’ Camp taking place there parallel to the WTO meetings.  The exhibit can be viewed here: http://wp.me/p2Mr2B-JC

Candlelight memorial for Lee Kyung Hae at the WTO ministerial in Cancun in 2003 where Hae committed suicide in protest of WTO rules on agriculture.

Candlelight memorial for South Korean farmer Lee Kyung Hae at the WTO ministerial in Cancun in 2003 where Hae committed suicide in protest of WTO rules on agriculture.  PhotoLangelle.org

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Filed under Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Earth Radio, Events, Industrial agriculture, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Political Repression, WTO

The Warsaw, Poland Exhibit at the UN Climate Conference

On 21 November 2013 various non-governmental organizations walked out of the Warsaw climate talks.  I am glad I have not attended for the last two years as I feel corporate interests have taken over the UN Climate Conference.

At this point I have no idea after the walk out if my photo exhibit was seized by UN security.  I hope the photo exhibit was up long enough for the the High Level Ministers to view and see the reality of neoliberalism and climate chaos. They may have glanced, but unfortunately those with power did not really see or care. – Orin Langelle

The photos in the exhibit were on display at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland at the IBON International booth.  The name of the exhibit was titled Neoiberal Globalization and Climate Chaos.  This exhibit took  place during the High Level Sessions of the UNFCCC meetings 18 – 23 November 2013. The conference was held at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland.*1 UNFCCC Gag, Indonesia(This photo was scheduled for the exhibit, but because of increased UN pressure on criticism of the UNFCCC, the photo was not shown.)

The exhibit included thirty photographs documenting Indigenous Peoples, organizations and social movements working for climate justice.  The photographs were taken at events on six continents–from Bali, Indonesia to Espirito Santo, Brazil – Durban, South Africa and Chiapas, Mexico, to name a few.

All photographs by Orin Langelle.  Courtesy Global Justice Ecology ProjectGlobal Forest Coalition, and Langelle Photography.

Above: An Indigenous man with his mouth covered by a UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) gag during a protest at the UN climate talks in Bali, Indonesia.  The gag symbolized their systematic and forceful exclusion from a UN meeting with the UNFCCC Executive Secretary they were invited to the day before.  It also symbolized and their exclusion from the official negotiations even though it is their lands that were being targeted for climate mitigation schemes.

You can view the entire photo exhibit here

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Indigenous Peoples, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Political Repression, Warsaw/COP-19