Tag Archives: st. louis

Breaking: Activists disrupt Arch Coal corporate headquarters

January 22 2013. Source: RAMPS

Photo: RAMPS

Photo: RAMPS

Seven protesters affiliated with the RAMPS campaign (Radical Action for Mountain Peoples’ Survival), MORE(Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment) and Mountain Justice are locked down to a 500-pound small potted tree in Arch Coal’s third-floor headquarters while a larger group is in the lobby performing a song and dance.  Additionally, a helium balloon banner with the message “John Eaves Your Coal Company Kills”, directed at the Arch Coal CEO was released in at the Arch Coal headquarters.

“We’re here to halt Arch’s operations for as long as we can. These coal corporations do not answer to communities, they only consume them.  We’re here to resist their unchecked power,” explained Margaret Fetzer, one of the protestors.

Arch Coal, the second largest coal company in the U.S., operates strip mines in Appalachia and in other U.S. coal basins. Strip mining is an acutely destructive and toxic method of mining coal, and resource extraction disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. Continue reading

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Breaking: Activists Unfurl Banner Over ‘Peabody + United Way’ Billboard

Banner Saying ‘Dirty Coal = Dirty Money’ Kicks Off “Post-Peabody St. Louis” Week of Action

Activists from Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) unfurled a banner reading “Dirty Coal = Dirty Money” over a Peabody Coal and United Way billboard between the Vandeventer and Kingshighway exits of I-64/40. The original billboard read “Helping people. Peabody + the United Way,” advertising the highly-publicized recent partnership between Peabody Coal and the United Way. Peabody CEO Greg Boyce is chairing the United Way’s Annual Giving Campaign.

The banner drop marks the beginning of the “Post-Peabody St. Louis” week of action, during which activists and community members will target institutions around the city that enable Peabody Coal to continue their business of causing global warming, contributing to St. Louis’ high asthma rates, stealing tax dollars from St. Louis public schools, and withholding miners’ pensions.

“Peabody’s connection to the United Way may be the most egregious of its attempts to stamp its brand name on our city. Peabody, through the United Way, funds groups that work hard to treat asthma and cancer and provide air conditioning when we’re in heat waves. That is a deliberate tactic to cover up the health impacts and global warming that Peabody causes,” said Dan Cohn, member of MORE and Washington University student.

In May, community members met with Gary Dollar, head of the United Way, to express their concern with the decision to choose Boyce as the head of the campaign and demand that a new head be chosen to replace Boyce. Although Dollar said he would relay the group’s message to the United Way Board of Trustees, he also said it was highly unlikely that Boyce would be replaced. Indeed, Boyce remained the campaign chair.

The group demands that Mr. Dollar publicly condemn Peabody Coal, recognizing that a charitable organization dedicated to “helping people” has no business helping Peabody cover up its dirty work.

For more information on the week of action, click here

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Story on secret US military testing in St. Louis goes international

On September 24, Climate Connections was the first media source to break the news nationally and internationally about the US military cover-up of secret testing on people in St. Louis. MO during the Cold War: primarily on poor black people.  Prior to that, several outlets in St. Louis were covering the newly unfolding story. St. Louis’ KSDK TV (a NBC affiliate) is to be commended for their aggressive covering of the story and for standing up to the US military.  As the story was breaking, GJEP worked with Sam Husseini from the Institute for Public Accuracy on a press release that sent the story around the world.  We also worked with Margaret Prescod from KFPK’s Sojourner Truth show in Los Angeles.


Late last week, Missouri Senators and a congressman from the tested area called for an investigation of what happened.  Now the Associated Press has sent a piece over the wire, and the racist act perpetrated by the US government is being even more widely exposed, as evidenced by the ABC national news article below.


We congratulate sociologist Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor, the researcher who uncovered the secret testing and made the issue known.


Immediately following the AP-ABC article below is a twitter page from three time-Emmy Award winning former correspondent for CNN, Amber Lyon praising Dr. Martino-Taylor and warning about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). If you haven’t heard of it, we encourage you to find out more about this threat.


Victims of this secret testing have begun speaking out about what happened to their families and themselves during the US military secret experiments in St. Louis. MO.  We wish them all the best.


–The GJEP Team


Secret Cold War Tests in St. Louis Raise Concerns   Source ABC News
 
Amber LyonAmber Lyon@AmberLyon

Lisa Martino-Taylor is a #HERO. She made it ‘her life’s work’ to expose the Army’s secret gas tests on poor, minorities in St. Louis.

https://twitter.com/AmberLyon/status/251070011085561856

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KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Segment: Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor on secret Cold War chemical tests in St. Louis

Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor, Sociology Professor at St. Louis Community College in St. Louis, Missouri, discusses recently obtained documents exposing secret Cold War-era chemical studies conducted on poor, minority neighborhoods in St. Louis and their connections with the Manhattan Atomic Bomb Project.
Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Segment interviews every Thursday.

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KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Segment and Earth Minute: Occupy Monsanto and resistance to REDD+ in Chiapas

KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Segment: Kathleen Logan Smith of Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Interview begins at 7:06: http://archive.org/details/Sojournertruthradio092012

Kathleen Logan Smith, Executive Director of Missouri Coalition for the Environment, discusses Occupy Monsanto in St. Louis and the week of actions targeting Monsanto on the first anniversary of Occupy Wall St.

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with KPFK’s Sojourner Truth show for weekly Earth Minutes every Tuesday and Earth Segment interviews every Thursday.

KPFK Sojourner Truth Earth Minute: Amidst opposition, governors meet in Chiapas to discuss REDD+

KPFK Sojourner Truth show: Updates from Tar Sands Blockade

KPFK Sojourner Truth show followed up Tuesday with Ron Seifert, who was featured on last week’s Earth Segment, about new developments around the ongoing Tar Sands Blockade in East Texas, which is using direct action to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Continue reading

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Video: The Army’s secret Cold War experiments on St. Louisans: The Controversy Mounts

Note: This story, which GJEP helped break yesterday, was covered on KSDK–St. Louis’ NBC affiliate last night.   It is the number one story on their website as of this posting.

–The GJEP Team

By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter, KSDK

St. Louis (KSDK) - Lisa Martino-Taylor is a sociologist whose life’s work has been to uncover details of the Army’s ultra-secret military experiments carried out in St. Louis and other cities during the 1950s and 60s.

She will make her research public Tuesday, but she spoke first to the I-Team’s Leisa Zigman.

The I-Team independently verified that the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide did take place in St. Louis on thousands of unsuspecting citizens. What is unclear is whether the Army added a radioactive material to the compound as Martino-Taylor’s research implies.

“The study was secretive for reason. They didn’t have volunteers stepping up and saying yeah, I’ll breathe zinc cadmium sulfide with radioactive particles,” said Martino-Taylor.

Continue reading

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Protesters rally against Monsanto–on one year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street

Note: Global Justice Ecology Project took part in the conference and actions in St. Louis on Sunday and Monday.  We will be producing  a photo essay from the three actions held in St. Louis yesterday that will be posted tomorrow.

–The GJEP Team

GMO-Free Midwest Protestors hang sign

The protests here, organized by a network calling itself Occupy Monsanto and by the group GMO-Free Midwest,  were among 45 other “actions” held across the country Monday, organizers said.

Calling on the company to more rigorously test and label genetically modified ingredients, the protesters first gathered outside the Millenium Hotel downtown, then outside the Whole Foods Market in Brentwood and finally outside the company’s offices.

“We’re celebrating the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street,” said Barbara Chicherio, of the Gateway Green Alliance and Safe Food Action St. Louis, and a spokesperson for Occupy Monsanto’s efforts here. “We had a lot of concerns about large corporations controlling the government, but it wasn’t very focused. Now we’re focusing on Monsanto.”

The protests are the latest in a series of events over the past year in which activists have called for mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. A petition urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require labeling gathered more than 1 million signatures earlier this year, and a proposition requiring labeling will go before voters in California this November.

According to records filed with the California Secretary of State, Monsanto has contributed more than $7 million to defeat the proposition.

Now, activists say, they are reaching beyond the labeling issue.  “Over 1 million signatures were sent to the FDA and they were basically ignored,” said Adam Eidinger, a coordinator with Occupy Monsanto. “So what’s left to do? It’s time for civil disobedience.”

Eidinger said the company temporarily suspended operations at two of its California facilities in the past week because of protest actions.

Monsanto would not comment on the suspension of operations, saying only that the safety of its employees was paramount.

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MayDay Action: Peabody Coal Shareholder Meeting Disrupted

Cross-Posted from St Louis Today
Protesters target Peabody Energy's shareholders meeting

At least seven times, protesters stood up at the meeting to yell “Peabody pay up” and other slogans as they were escorted out by company representatives and police. No arrests were reported.

Afterward, more than 100 people — many affiliated with labor unions or the Occupy Movement — demonstrated outside the Peabody Opera house, where the meeting was held.

For the most part, Greg Boyce, the company’s chairman and chief executive, ignored the protesters’ shouts as he conducted the annual meeting, attended by about 100 shareholders.

“In our view, we certainly pay our fair share,” he told shareholders.

In a statement, Peabody said that in 2011 it paid $1.4 billion in taxes, fees and royalties, including more than $200 million in federal, state and local taxes.

Peabody paid Boyce $10.2 million last year, including a $2.6 million bonus that was close to the maximum allowed in his compensation plan. His total pay was up 6.5 percent from 2010.

After the meeting, Peabody released another statement that said last year marked the best financial results — including a $958 million profit — and strongest safety performance in the company’s 129-year history. Boyce said in the statement that the “global supercycle for coal was alive and well, with rising electricity generation and steel demand in China and India driving strong demand for coal.”

In comments to shareholders, Boyce described Peabody’s commitment to St. Louis, its decision to keep and expand its downtown headquarters and its support of the St. Louis Zoo. He noted the meeting’s location at the Peabody Opera House, after the company paid an undisclosed amount in 2010 to the rename the former Kiel Opera House, which reopened last fall after a $78.7 million renovation and restoration.

Every few minutes, protesters — singly or in small groups up to six people — rose to interrupt Boyce. Other shareholders and Peabody directors, seated in a row next to Boyce on the meeting room’s stage, sat quietly as the still-shouting demonstrators were led away.

Boyce’s comments about Peabody’s corporate citizenship made no impression on protesters, who decried what they said was Peabody’s failure to pay its fair share of taxes. Many in the noisy crowd outside the opera house waved signs as they chanted “We pay taxes, so should you” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Police kept demonstrators behind temporary metal barricades set up along the sidewalk in front of the opera house.

Michelle Witthaus, an Occupy St. Louis member among the protesters escorted from the shareholders meeting, later joined the demonstrators outside. Citing a report last year by Citizens for Tax Justice, a public-interest research group, she said in an interview that Peabody shortchanged city public schools by paying no state income taxes in 2008 or 2010.

Witthaus, 35, said she had seen the effect of inadequate funding as a teacher in a city elementary school. She said her school lacked a sufficient number of computers and other equipment to help children get ready for a high-tech world.

“Our kids in the city of St. Louis will not be prepared for the future,” she said.

At the close of the meeting, the company announced that shareholders had voted to retain Boyce and all other board members, who had sat in a row of chairs across the stage of an ornate meeting room. Shareholders rejected a proposal by Sister Barbara Jennings, coordinator of the Midwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, to require Peabody to disclose more details of its lobbying activities.

Jennings said shareholders learned only from media reports that Peabody is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which had a role in persuading more than 20 state to enact “stand your ground” laws. Florida’s “stand your ground” law is a focus of the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by a member of a neighborhood watch group.

Boyce replied that the company believed its existing disclosure rules are adequate.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/business/energy/occupy-protesters-target-peabody-shareholder-meeting-in-st-louis/article_8d5d8d68-93b7-11e1-9559-0019bb30f31a.html#ixzz1tp1pTnRW

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Fifteen Arrested Taking Action Against Banks and Big Coal in St. Louis

Cross posted from It’s Getting Hot In Here

August 15, 2011

Today, over a hundred marched,  with fifteen arrested, as the Midwest Rising! Convergence took the streets of St. Louis to protest Bank of America and Peabody Coal.

The arrest action occurred in a downtown St. Louis intersection that connects Bank of America’s regional offices and Peabody’s world headquarters.

Peabody is the world’s largest coal company and operates massive mines in states like Wyoming and Montana. The coal goes to power plants in the U.S. and overseas markets. They are currently trying to build coal export terminals along the Washington coast to ship the coal to Asia.

Peabody has also recently taken a $61 million tax credit from the city of St. Louis, $2 million of that cash will be taken from the city’s schools.

Bank of America is the largest forecloser of homes in the nation and the largest financier of coal. Bank of America execs have taken over $35 million in bonuses and compensation even as the troubled financial institution took government bailouts.

Midwest Rising was a convergence for climate and economic justice that brought together a diverse coalition of groups fighting home foreclosures in cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, communications workers on strike against Verizon Wireless, local labor organizers, Appalachian activists fighting mountaintop removal and climate justice activists from around the world.

In the morning, Midwest Rising activists also organized four decentralized actions at the corporate headquarters of Arch Coal and Monsanto, a Verizon Wireless store and the St. Louis Board of Education. By mid-morning, the Appalachian-Arch Coal contingent joined the striking communications workers at the Verizon store singing “solidarity forever” and telling the story of the new Battle of Blair Mountain.

Corporate America attempted to disrupt Midwest Rising as one company contacted the conference center trying to get the venue canceled, another pressured the transportation company to not deliver activists downtown in rented buses for Monday’s rally and they assembled a small army of police and private security to protect the Peabody and Bank of America buildings. There were also heavy police presences at Arch and Monsanto.

At one point a Rising Tide activist confronted a St. Louis police officer, who followed them into a coffee shop, and asked if he worked for “Peabody or the City of St. Louis. To which the officer replied “Peabody. And you. But they pay me more.”

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