Category Archives: Politics

Theo Colburn has died. Thank you for helping us to recover our futures!

When Dr. Theo Colburn published “Our Stolen Future” in 1996 it was a Rachel Carson level revelation.  The book, co-authored by Dianne Dumanoski and John Myers, exposed the devastating depth to which our economic system promotes the creation and distribution of human-made deadly chemicals – for profit.  The poisons exist in virtually all products. This book changed my life.

Yesterday, 15 December 2014, Dr. Colburn passed away at the age of 87. You may remember her for this pivotal book, or her excellent project TEDX- The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, which for many of us has been an essential resource. She may be best remembered for her work on banning BPA from plastic bottles, including baby bottles and toys. She is one of our great heroes. Simply put Theodora Colburn saved a lot of lives. Her substantial legacy will always help us and future generations to recover our stolen future.

Dr. Colburn courtesy Julie Dermansky/Earthworks  2014

Dr. Theo Colburn, courtesy Julie Dermansky/Earthworks 2014

Her friends at TEDX released the following message this morning:

Theo Colburn, 1927-2014

If you ever had the chance to meet her, even once, you knew Theo Colborn. She didn’t have a single hidden agenda. Her commitment to uncovering the truth was out there for the world to see.

For nearly 30 years she dedicated herself to revealing the dangers of endocrine disrupting chemicals to wildlife and humans. More recently she alerted us all to the threats posed by chemicals associated with oil and gas development. She wove the two together beautifully in her statement The Fossil Fuel Connection, which she worked on until the day she died.

Theo’s visionary leadership and passion shone most brilliantly when she made direct connections between new ideas, scientists whose work confirmed them, impacted individuals, and people in positions to change what needed changing. She will be remembered for many generations to come, generations that she worked tirelessly to protect.

Theo often feared that we had already passed the tipping point — that our intelligence and compassion had been so compromised by endocrine disruptors that we could no longer think our way out of the crises we had created.

As the living embodiment of her legacy, we at TEDX say, “No. It is not too late. There are people out there who ‘get it’ and who care — a lot of people — and we won’t let you down Theo.”

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Filed under Commodification of Life, Confronting Government Agencies, Corporate Globalization, EPA, Monsanto, Oceans, Pesticides, Politics, Solutions, Women

Rio Tinto gifted precious AZ land by US Senate, just as it’s accused of collusion in its home country, Australia

Rio Tinto's Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley. Photo: Dean Osland via Sydney Morning Herald

Rio Tinto’s Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley. Photo: Dean Osland via Sydney Morning Herald

Last Friday, the US senate passed the defense spending budget. This budget gave 2,000 acres of ecologically precious Apache sacred land to Resolution Copper, a venture of the Australian-based Rio Tinto mining corporation. Technically, it’s a ‘swap.’ In exchange, Rio Tinto will return ecologically and culturally barren land to the US government. Rep. Paul Gosar has been working on this swap since 2011, but opponents have fought it off. However, John McCain slipped it into the new budget.

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Filed under Corporate Globalization, Indigenous Peoples, Law, Mining, Politics

Senate Defense Bill Would Give Precious AZ Land Over for Copper Mining

AZ Mining Reform photo

AZ Mining Reform photo

Our friends at IEN called our attention to this issue. First, some background:

In 2011, Rep. Paul Gosar introduced a bill that would give 2,000 acres of Arizona land long federally protected to a global mining company Resolution Copper – a Rio Tinto venture — in return for 5,000 acres of company land.

Moreover, the land Rio Tinto would get is home to the ecologically and culturally precious Oak Flat, Devil’s Canyon, and Apache Leap. The area is sacred for the San Carlos Apache Tribe who have held ceremonies there for centuries. It is also ecologically rich; for example, Devil’s Canyon contains a rare Sonoran Desert riparian forest with year-round running water.

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Filed under Land Grabs, Mining, Politics

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

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

Beyond Extreme Energy Protests End in Over 100 Arrests

Protestors gathered in DC outside FERC headquarters for the final day of protests this week via Ecowatch article below.

Protestors gathered in DC outside FERC headquarters for the final day of protests this week via Ecowatch article below.

Perhaps with the new “red” Congress coming into power, people will cease to think that politicians will fix the climate mess for us. They may be responsible, but that doesn’t mean they will clean up their mess. Time for communities to come together and create new and innovative–not to mention good old fashioned–ways to tackle the climate crisis that are socially just and ecologically responsible.

100+ Arrested at Beyond Extreme Energy’s Week-Long Protests at FERC

By Anastasia Pantsios | November 7, 2014  Source: EcoWatch

As the participants in the Great March for Climate Action ended up in Washington, DC, on Nov. 1 after a six-month trek across the country, they joined with other environmental groups to launch a week of action under the banner Beyond Extreme Energy. The actions revolved around a series of blockades at the DC headquarters of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with more than 100 people arrested.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Coal, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, Fracking, Hydrofracking, Oil, Politics, Pollution, Victory!

GMO crops banned in Maui and Humboldt County

Photo from Nation of Change. See link below.

Photo from Nation of Change. See link below.

So, not a rousingly victorious day in the polls for progressives yesterday, but the local victories are important as people win the rights to protect their communities and ecosystems. Local bans are very important, and we at GJEP and the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees recognize such local bans as one part of the fight.

Yesterday, Humboldt County, CA passed a GMO crop ban, joining bordering Mendocino & Trinity Counties in prohibiting the growing of GMO crops. This expands the GMO-Free Zone in Northern CA.

Maui also passed a moratorium on GMO crops, despite huge spending by opponents. Read more here about the significance of the Maui vote all around (both for Maui’s role in seed production and in the weight of the corporate opposition that was, in this case, beat by popular campaigning).

1,000 Votes: Maui GMO Farming Ban Squeaks 

By Anita Hofschneider, Honolulu Civil Beat. 4 November 2014.

Opponents of the measure, including Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, raised a historic $7.9 million to defeat the bill, more than any campaign in Hawaii’s history.

A Maui County ballot initiative to temporarily ban genetically engineered crops narrowly passed Tuesday following one of the most heavily financed political campaigns in state history.

The controversial measure pulled ahead late Tuesday, passing 50 percent to 48 percent — a difference of just 1,077 votes. It was a stunning turnaround after the measure was initially losing by 19 percent when the first results rolled in.

Read the whole article at the Honolulu Civil Beat here!

See the Nation of Change article for background.

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Filed under Genetic Engineering, GMOs, Politics

Thousands march in Bolivia demanding justice for 2003 Gas War massacre

Friday's gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Friday’s gas war march in Bolivia. Photo: Ben Dangl.

Benjamin Dangl of Upside Down World covered Friday’s protest march in Bolivia, in which thousands demanded justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Dangl provide both a quick history and photos from the march, all taken by him.

Photo Essay: Thousands March in El Alto, Bolivia Demanding Justice for 2003 Gas War Massacre
Written by Benjamin Dangl. Upside Down World. 19 October 2014

Thousands of people marched in El Alto, Bolivia on Friday, October 17th to demand justice for the 2003 massacre of over 60 people during the country’s Gas War under the Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada (Goni) administration. Sanchez de Lozada is currently living freely in the US, and marchers demanded he and others in his government be brought to Bolivia to be tried for ordering the violence. October marks the anniversary of that assault on the city, and people mobilized on Friday to remember and to demand justice.

Check out the whole article and many more photos on Upside Down World!

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