Tag Archives: protests

Photo Essay: Three brutally arrested protesting GE trees at industry conference

30 May, 2013

All photographs by Orin Langelle/ photolangelle.org for GJEP

_10m30_DSCN1302 Police use pain compliance holds as they wrestle a protester to the ground.  Activists were attempting to wrap a bus departing from the industry conference in GMO caution tape.

_7m30_DSCN1319 A local organizer with Katuah Earth First! is thrown to the ground and arrested in front of the bus.


_1m30_DSCN1380 Will Bennington, an organizer with Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP GE Trees prior to being thrown into an Asheville Police paddy wagon.


_12m30_DSCN1246 “You Spoil Our Forests – We Spoil Your Dinner” banner refers to blocking conference participants from attending an exclusive dinner at the Biltmore Estate – birthplace to industrial forestry in the US.


_11m30_DSCN1251 Tree Engineer and industry mouthpiece Steve Strauss takes photos of the protesters as they chant at him.  A security guard laughs.


_13m30_DSCN1335 Local Katuah EF! zombie organizer.


_9m30_DSCN1311 Police brutally pull and yank on peaceful activists


_8m30_DSCN1318 Police wrestle and throw to the ground a local woman organizer.


_6m30_DSCN1358


_5m30_DSCN1359


_4m30_DSCN1363 Zombie “Franken-tree” demonstrators bang on pots and pans and chant anti-GE tree slogan as arrests continue.


_3m30_DSCN1371 Protesters vow that resistance will continue.


_2m30_DSCN1378

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Green Economy, Greenwashing

UN Climate Conference: The Durban Disaster

By Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle

Cross-Posted from Z Magazine, February 2012

During the march against the Conference of Polluters. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

This year’s UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP-17) inDurban, South Africa, nicknamed “The Durban Disaster,” took the dismalt track record of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to new lows. At one point, it appeared that the talks might actually collapse, but a small cabal of 20-30 countries held exclusive closed-door talks over the final days to create the Durban Platform, which carbon analyst Matteo Mazzoni described as “an agreement between parties to arrange another agreement.”

The details of the platform will not be completed until 2015 and will not be implemented until 2020, leading many to charge that the 2010s will be the lost decade in the fight to stop climate catastrophe. Pablo Solón, the former Ambassador to the UN for the Plurinational state of Bolivia, summed up the negotiations this way: “The Climate Change Conference ended two days later than expected, adopting a set of decisions that were known only a few hours before their adoption. Some decisions were not even complete at the moment of their consideration. Paragraphs were missing and some delegations didn’t even have copies of these drafts. The package of decisions was released by the South African presidency with the ultimatum, ‘Take it or leave it’.”

Nnimmo Bassey, chair of Friends of the Earth International, similarly condemned the outcomes: “An increase in global temperatures of four degrees Celsius permitted under this plan is a death sentence forAfrica, small island states, and the poor and vulnerable worldwide. This summit has amplified climate apartheid whereby the richest 1 percent of the world have decided that it is acceptable to sacrifice the 99%percent.”

Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the North America-based Indigenous Environmental Network, went even further, calling the outcome, “climate racism, ecocide, and genocide of an unprecedented scale.”

The UN, on the other hand, trumpeted the success of the conference at “saving tomorrow, today.” One of the great achievements touted by Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC, was the renewed commitment to the Kyoto Protocol (KP):  “…countries, citizens, and businesses who have been behind the rising global wave of climate action can now push ahead confidently, knowing that Durban has lit up a broader highway to a low-emission, climate resilient future.”

To read the entire article, please visit the Z Magazine website

To view Orin Langelle’s Photo essays from Durban, go to:

Photo Essay: Global Day of Action Against UN Conference of Polluters (COP) in Durban

Photo Essay: UN Climate COP: Corporate Exhibitionism (parting shots)

To read the associated blog post by Anne Petermann, go to:  Showdown at the Durban Disaster, Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy

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Filed under Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Photo Essays by Orin Langelle, Posts from Anne Petermann, REDD, UNFCCC

Report Back from Durban, South Africa: Grassroots vs. the 1% at the UN Climate Negotiations

• Corporations control UN conference as Big NGOs attempt to stifle grassroots’ dissent 
 
• The Durban disaster marks the lost decade in the fight against climate change

Durban Day of Action in the streets. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

WHO: Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann and Orin Langelle, along with Keith Brunner and Lindsey Gillies (all from VT); including special live-stream report from Jeff Conant in Oakland.  All five speakers were present at the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa last month.

WHERE: Fletcher Free Library, 235 College Street, Burlington, VT from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.  Free and open to the public.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 11th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm

The UN Climate Conference in Durban took place from November 28th to December 10th  2011

Sponsored by: Burlington Action Against Nukes and the Environmental Action Group of Occupy Burlington

Notes: Both Petermann and Brunner were carried out of the talks by UN security, ejected from the UN grounds and turned over to the South African police for staging an unpermitted sit-in protest of the corporate take-over of the negotiations. Gillies was also ejected. See  http://wp.me/pDT6U-3hX

The entire two weeks in Durban were marred with controversy, which included the corporate takeover of the UN climate talks, heavy handed security measures to prevent civil society participation in the talks, and the attempt by “Big Green” Non Governmental Organizations (i.e. Greenpeace and 350.org) to control a major “Occupy” protest there.  This attempted control of dissent prompted Petermann to write a controversial critique of the big NGOs, titled “Showdown at the Durban Disaster: Challenging the Big Green Patriarchy.”  See http://wp.me/pDT6U-3iE

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Corporate Globalization

Global Justice Ecology Project Director Anne Petermann Ejected from COP17

Delegates from Mauritius, South Africa, and Elsewhere Expelled as Well

GJEP's Anne Petermann (right) and GEAR's Keith Brunner (both sitting) before their forced removal. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

December 9, 2011, Durban, South Africa – Civil society activists erupted into protest in the halls of the UN Climate Summit this afternoon, blocking the plenary halls and bursting into chants of “Climate Justice Now!”, “Don’t Kill Africa!”, “World Bank out of Climate Finance, “No Carbon Trading,” and “No REDD!” When UN Security began to remove the activists, Anne Petermann, Executive Director of GJEP, sat down. When she was asked to leave willingly, she refused to comply. While others were escorted out, Petermann, and GEAR’s Keith Brunner refused to go.  Brunner was carried out and Petermann was lifted into a wheelchair, and rolled out of the Conference Center.

Close by was Karuna Rana, a 23 year-old woman from Mauritius, who similarly refused to comply.

Crowd scene in the hallway. Photo: Langelle

Petermann sent the following statement to a press conference held by Climate Justice Now!, a coalition co-founded  in 2007 by Petermann and GJEP:

“I took this action today because I believe this process is corrupt, this process is bankrupt, and this process is controlled by the One percent. If meaningful action on climate change is to happen, it will need to happen from the bottom up. The action I took today was to remind us all of the power of taking action into our own hands. With the failure of states to provide human leadership, and the corporate capture of the United Nations process, direct action by the ninety-nine percent is the only avenue we have left.”

On hearing the news of Petermann’s expulsion, Flora Mmereki, of Botswana, who also took part in the spontaneous protest, said, “It really broke my heart seeing Anne taken out in a wheelchair, because she was acting for climate justice. It is so, so sad to see how they are treating people who stand up for humanity.”

Karuna Rana, at the action earlier in the day. Photo: Langelle

Karuna Rana, of Mauritius, is in Durban with a group of young journalists called Speak Your Mind. Runa, standing with Petermann in the rain at “Speaker’s Corner,” the Occupy site outside the Conference Center, explained her motivation: “I went to the protest action to take a picture, but I got emotionally empowered and I started to take part. I am the only young Mauritian here, so I found it my responsibility to speak on behalf of Mauritius, of small islands, and of global youth. I’m scared for my future. Mauritius is a small island state and it’s terribly unfair to have no voice in this process. If I did not take a stand, my voice would not have reached the negotiators.”

Petermann said, “We willingly took this action that cost us our credentials because we know that the only time to act is now. We hope that our refusal to move – our refusal to comply with the bankrupt UNFCCC process – will inspire others to take action in support of a new world – a transformed world that will be rooted in justice and in harmony with the earth.”

Emotions were high during the protest. Photo: Langelle

Petermann will sit out the rest of COP17 at the Speakers’ Corner, as global decision-makers come to the most likely outcome of these negotiations: a new non-binding legal framework, to begin in 2015, to begin voluntarily reducing emissions in 2020.

Local Desmond D’Sa, of South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, who was expelled as well, said, “We cannot wait for 2020, as that will result in millions being displaced or dying in poverty due to extreme climatic conditions.”

In other words, the talks have failed, the world powers are stalling for time, and the voice of civil society is locked out. Again.

Locked out, but for how long? Photo: Langelle

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Climate Justice, Pollution, REDD, UNFCCC

On the Ground Coverage of the UN Climate Conference in Durban Starts Next Week

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project’s Climate Connections blog carries hard-to-find  news from around the world on the impacts of, and peoples’ resistance to social and ecological injustice.

We will be blogging daily from the UN Climate Conference and alternative movement activities in Durban, South Africa from 28 November through 10 December 2011.  For the latest from the inside negotiations and the outside 99% opposition to the commodification of life, please stay tuned to climate-connections.org.

Additionally for the third year, we are  partnering with Margaret Prescod’s “The Sojourner Truth” show on KPFK’s Pacifica Radio in Los Angeles, CA with a fifteen minute update (approximate) with people in Durban, Monday through Friday (28 Nov – 10 December).  Live at 7 am Pacific (-8 GMT) or listen to the archives.  From the halls of injustice to dissent in the streets.

-The GJEP Team

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Carbon Trading, Climate Change, Corporate Globalization, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Food Sovereignty, Independent Media, Political Repression, UNFCCC

Breaking News: Occupy Burlington (Vermont) protester takes his life–Statement from Occupy Burlington

Note: The latest information is that Josh was a military veteran-Orin Langelle for GJEP in Vermont.

Today, November 10th at 2pm, Josh, a valued member of Occupy Burlington and the houseless community, took his own life at the encampment. We want to take this moment to offer our thoughts and condolences to Josh’s family, and to the members of the Occupy community who got to know Josh over the last two weeks.

The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the encampment are with his friends and family. We appreciate the support we have received from the Burlington community, the country, and the world. We ask for everyone’s continued support and solidarity as we deal with this tragedy.From the first day of the encampment, we have welcomed all members of the community by providing anyone in need with food, shelter, and social support. Despite our best efforts to provide care and support to all members of the community, occupations are not equipped with the infrastructure and resources needed to care for the most vulnerable members of our community. The lack of resources to care for those in need was brought to the attention of Burlington city leaders. Unfortunately, our plea for assistance was not heeded in time to help Josh.This tragedy draws attention to the gross inequalities within our system. We mourn the loss of a great friend tonight, while discovering an ever-deeper resolve to stand with our most vulnerable citizens. The failure to provide citizens with adequate and accessible physical and mental healthcare is one of the many issues this movement is fighting for.

Again, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone reeling from this loss and we deeply appreciate everyone who has offered support, compassion, and solidarity. It is our hope that this tragedy will serve as a rallying cry for occupations around the country to continue the fight for system change.

In Solidarity,
Occupy Burlington

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Filed under Climate Change

Music Videos from David Rovics for the Occupy Movement: Tunisia, Bradley Manning and John Brown

Note:  In the spirit of Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement’s Western Fall, we are going to show a music video a day until this weekend from the prolific songwriter and singer, David Rovics.  Rovics has been compared to the late Phil Ochs who attacked the establishment with his words and music.  Today’s video is about the beginning of the uprising in Tunisia.  Thursday and Friday we will post music videos about Bradley Manning and John Brown.  We hope you enjoy David’s music.  Some of us have known David for years.  In Rostock, Germany during the G8 in 2007, David, Morrigan Phillips and GJEP’s Orin Langelle were a three person affinity group during the first mass march.  We could say more, but we’ll leave it at that.  We hope you enjoy the videos and music of David Rovics today through Friday.

-The GJEP Team

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Filed under Corporate Globalization

In Celebration of Guy Fawkes Day and Night [videos]

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…A post for the Occupy Movement in Oakland, Wall Street and everywhere to those struggling for freedom!

 Note–Most of you are familiar with the mask on the left especially since Occupy Wall Street  began.  In fact I  took that photo at Occupy Burlington.  They are  showing up all over the world  at various Occupations.  Also  it is one of the symbols used by the Anonymous hackers’ collective.

It’s a Guy Fawkes mask.  Below are two videos, one embedded and the other a link to YouTube (it’s worth it).  They are  from the movie “V for Vendetta” which already is a classic in many circles.  Go  ahead and enjoy– it is Guy Fawkes Day and Night!

–Orin Langelle from GJEP

Brief Background: The Guy Fawkes celebration’s history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a  member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords.

The Gunpowder plot was to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on 5 November 1605, as the prelude to a popular revolt… Fawkes became synonymous with the Gunpowder Plot, the failure of which has been commemorated in England since 5 November 1605. At that time, his effigy was burned on a bonfire–primarily by people in Great Britain who disagreed with him.

Now many people who oppose neoliberalism, fascism and other injustice celebrate November 5th for Fawkes’ spirit of revolt and for freedom against tyranny with a bonfire and fireworks.

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Climate Change