Category Archives: 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

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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

U.S. Pentagon says Climate Change a major risk to national security

The United States Pentagon released a statement naming climate change as a top threat to the nation’s security. According to an article in the New York Times, the military links climate change to an increase risk in terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. The report sees climate change as a present danger the country’s safety, as opposed to its pervious messaging, which viewed the climate crisis as an impending future event.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru. Photo: Paolo Aguilar/European Pressphoto Agency

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru. Photo: Paolo Aguilar/European Pressphoto Agency

The report outlines how the military will need to adapt to climate change, as opposed to addressing the changes the Department of Defense can make to reduce the momentum of climate change. While all governments need  to recognize the risks and perils associated with climate change, focusing on the risks and not the causes will not change the future. The U.S. Department of Defense is one of the largest consumers of energy in the world —  how about a report on how they plan to cut down on that.

Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change
By CORAL DAVENPORT, New York Times, OCT. 13, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.

The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru, highlighted the report’s findings and the global security threats of climate change.

Read the full article here.

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change, Politics

U.S. government to pay Navajo Nation $554 million

In reparation for mismanaging 14 million acres of their lands, United States government will pay the Navajo Nation more than $500 million. According to an article by Reuters reporter Steve Gorman, this record settlement is the result of the U.S. government using “land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.”

Photo: www.salon.com

Photo: www.salon.com

Even though Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly hails the outcome victorious, I’m curious to know how much the government made by prostituting out these Navajo lands. How much does their profit compare to their payout? The article doesn’t give specifics and some late night Internet research revealed no answer, either. This record settlement is the highest paid out ever, which is an obvious achievement for native and indigenous peoples, but in return the Navajo Nation promised to “forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources.” What’s being hidden here?

U.S. To Pay Navajo Tribe $554 Million In Landmark Settlement

by Steve Gorman, Reuters/Huffington Post, September 24, 2014

The Obama administration has agreed to pay the Navajo Nation a record $554 million to settle longstanding claims by America’s largest Indian tribe that its funds and natural resources were mishandled for decades by the U.S. government.

The accord, resolving claims that date back as far as 50 years and marking the biggest U.S. legal settlement with a single tribe, will be formally signed at a ceremony on Friday in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the sprawling Navajo reservation.

The deal stems from litigation accusing the government of mismanaging Navajo trust accounts and resources on more than 14 million acres (5.7 million hectares) of land held in trust for the tribe and leased for such purposes as farming, energy development, logging and mining.

In return for $554 million, the Navajo agreed to dismiss its lawsuit and forego further litigation over previous U.S. management of Navajo funds and resources held in trust by the federal government.

The deal does not preclude the tribe from pursuing future trust claims, or any separate claims over water and uranium pollution on its reservation, Navajo Attorney General Harrison Tsosie said.

Read the full article here.

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Filed under Greenwashing, Indigenous Peoples, Political Repression, Politics

Days after his speech at the UN Climate Summit, Jerry Brown’s record of fracking, carbon trading

imagesFrom the distance of NY, it’s still easy to see that California is not the climate justice success story claimed by Jerry Brown in his speech to the UN Climate Summit. But, here, in CounterPunch, Dan Bacher puts the governor’s whole record out there, complete with an extensive quote from GJEP friend and New Voices speaker Tom Goldtooth denouncing Brown’s support of REDD policies.

How Brown Greenwashed His legacy at U.N. Climate Summit
Big Oil’s Favorite Governor: Jerry Brown

By Dan Bacher, CounterPunch, September 24, 2014.

Jerry Brown, one of the worst governors for fish, water and the environment in California history, spoke to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City on September 23 in a cynical attempt to greenwash his deplorable environmental record.

During his U.N. address, Governor Brown touted California’s controversial carbon trading policies as an example of “innovative climate strategies.”

Read the whole article here!

Also, check out the Oil Change International’s website, Big Oil Brown, who did the video below:

 

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Filed under Climate Change, False Solutions to Climate Change, Fracking, Politics