By Ronald Suarez, Network of Peruvian Indigenous Communicators, Ucayali
Over 400 villagers in the Native Community of Canan de Cachiaco in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon have taken control of nine oil wells, belonging to oil company, Maple Gas, in oil lot 31B.
Community members took over the oil wells on September 2nd, and continue to hold them as a result of 37 years of oil contamination in their territory by the company.
The community leader, Basilio Rodriguez Venancio, said the action was made necessary because the company did not consider the environmental impact assessment carried out by an independent consultant.
The community is demanding that the company pay them compensation for the use of their lands and for the environmental damage they have suffered for 37 years. Such damage includes the contamination of their rivers, their only source of drinking water, and the contamination of their soils due to the company’s use of chemicals and heavy minerals, which the population says has significantly affected the productivity of their land.
Several community members testified that they have become sick due to the company’s negligence and contamination of their drinking water. There have been several instances in the past years of cancer and ¨unknown deaths¨ that the community attributes to company abuses.
The community awaits the arrival of state representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mines and Ministry of Environment, scheduled for Thursday, September 13th, to resolve this conflict.
Meanwhile the villagers are still stationed in the camp until authorities settle their claims.
From Alianza Arkana
By Rising Tide Australia
Activists entered the Hunter 8 Alliance compound at Rutherford before dawn today, erecting a wooden tripod to block access to the site, which is part of a Federally funded project to increase coal haulage capacity in the Hunter Valley. Activist Ned Haughton scaled the 10 metre high structure, where he remained for the next five and a half hours. Haughton has now been arrested, and will be charged with obstruction.
Steve Phillips, spokesperson for protest organisers Rising Tide, said: “This railway construction project is designed purely for the benefit of coal corporations, yet it is being paid for with taxpayers money.”
“Why are taxpayers dollars being handed over to rich mining corporations, in order to prop up a polluting industry that is destroying human health and the environment?”
“There is a coal rush under way in NSW, and public health, waterways, ecosystems, and the global climate are under assault. Massive coal mine projects, coal haulage projects, and coal port projects are in the pipeline. If all these projects go ahead, the consequences will be devastating.”
Today’s protest follows two consecutive days of community direct action against the Boggabri mine in the Gunnedah Basin – the coal industry’s “new frontier”. A major expansion of the Boggabri coal mine was approved by the NSW Government in July despite huge ecological impacts and overwhelming community opposition.
“We call on State and Federal Governments to abandon their infatuation with mining companies, and their addiction to fossil fuels. It’s time to take a stand and stop this coal rush before it’s too late.”
- The Maitland to Minimbah Third Track project is being constructed by Hunter 8 Alliance, which is a consortium of engineering company GHD, construction company John Holland, and the Federally owned Australian Rail Track Corporation.
- The objective of the project is to lift coal haulage capacity on the Hunter rail corridor to 200 million tonnes per annum. It includes construction of 23km of new rail track, and reconditioning of 9km of existing track.
- The Federal Government granted $114 million, through the ARTC, to the project.
From Rising Tide Australia
By Skwekwekwelt Solidarity
Concerned members of the Tahltan Nation have set up a road block on Highway #37, 80 km south of Dease Lake, BC at the Tatogga Lake Resort. The Red Chris Mine is within the territory of the Tahltan Nation who have occupied territory since time immemorial. The specific area where the Red Chris Mine is being constructed is home to many species of animals including Stone Sheep, Mountain Goat, Moose and Caribou. The Tahltans depend upon these animals for subsistence and believe that the mine will destroy the animal’s habitat and calving grounds that is sacred to the Tahltans.
The Tahltan Leadership has spoken out strongly against the mine and criticized the BC mine permitting process that is viewed as corrupt. The BC Liberal Government has given free rein to mining companies leaving the environment vulnerable to contamination and disruption. Tahltans have serious concerns with the design of the tailings ponds and the potential for leakage and wide scale environmental disasters that will result should tailings leak into the environment. At the Tahltan Central Council Annual General Assembly held in July 2012 a resolution was passed to develop a No Red Chris Campaign to oppose the Red Chris Mining Project.
Two Tahltan women Kukdookaa and Adanza’a will be at the blockade with other elders and concerned Tahltans handing out information and educating those travelling along Highway #37 about the critical issues facing the Tahltans and their homelands.
Adanza’a is a 73 year old great grandmother on the blockade to protect her homeland for her grandchildren so that they can enjoy what we have today without the destruction mining will bring. She said that, “Our ancestors fought and died for our homeland to protect our way of life for us and the least we can do is fight for our rights and the rights of generations to come.”
Kukdookaa is also a grandmother who believes in fighting for the rights of the Tahltan Nation and will go to any length to protect the Tahltan people, wildlife, fish, and the environment. “It is irresponsible of the BC Government to provide permits while serious issues remain unresolved with the people who occupy the area.” Wild game outfitters, resort owners and other business people also have concerns with the location of the road and the disruption to wildlife and the pristine wilderness.
From Intercontinental Cry: http://intercontinentalcry.org/tahltans-set-up-roadblock-to-oppose-red-chris-mine/
By Everglades Earth First!
In the climax of the 2012 Republican National Convention, protestors with Earth First! have blocked access roads to TECO’s Big Bend coal plant on the eastern shore of Tampa Bay. The environmental action group is citing corporate influence in politics and ecological impacts of fossil fuel dependency as reasons for the disruption.
This year’s RNC was funded by an estimated $55 million in corporate pay-offs, with corporations including the Tampa based-TECO Energy, along with Chevron, Duke Energy and Exxon Mobil.
According to a report by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) last year, Florida is among the dirtiest states in power plant pollution. NRDC found TECO’s Big Bend plant to be in the state’s, “top three most polluting smoke stacks.”
Earth First! activists chose this day for their protest in order to highlight Mitt Romney’s plan to expand what the group calls the “energy empire” which favors the interest of big donors in oil, gas and coal industries.
Romney’s top energy policy advisor is the wealthiest oilman in the country and according to data analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics, Romney has already raised more from mining interests than Bush or McCain raised from these industries in their entire campaigns.
Locally, TECO’s Big Bend plant has a long history of pollution. Along with being declared Florida’s number one dirtiest power plant by Florida Consumer Action Network, they were also documented discharging waste into Cobia Bay in Apollo Beach in years past.
But that’s not all. TECO has been called one of the nation’s worst offenders when it comes to mountaintop removal coal mining. In coal mining regions of the Appalachian Mountains, TECO has ruined entire communities to maximize their profits. Kentucky coalfield resident Doug Justice worked in the coal mines for 22 years and said “I have never seen an outfit treat a community the way TECO Coal has done us.”
In response to the devastation from floods caused be TECO’s mining in 2002, Granville Burke of Letcher County, Kentucky, had this to say: “I wish TECO had never started mining above our home. Protection for families like ours is supposed to come from the state and federal regulatory agencies, but instead they look the other way as coal companies destroy entire communities for the sake of profit.”
“Dirty energy becomes dirty politics. We can’t afford to stand by and watch it anymore. We have to fight back.” Said Rachel Kijewski, an organizer with the Earth First! movement in Florida.
From Earth First! Newswire: https://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/earth-first-blockades-coal-plant-at-rnc-in-tampa/#more-10126
By Tar Sands Blockade
Just minutes ago four landowner advocates and climate justice organizers locked themselves to the underside of a massive truck carrying 36″ pipe intended for Keystone XL construction. The truck is parked, idled at the entrance of the pipeyard, rendering construction activity impossible. Seven blockaders total are onsite risking arrest. Blockaders from the Red River valley to the Gulf Coast and beyond have united to realize their collective vision of a world without toxic tar sands pipelines. Today’s message is clear: the people are rising up to defend their homes.
This act of peaceful civil disobedience comes in the wake of a recent court decision condoning TransCanada’s use of eminent domain for private gain. Last week Lamar County Judge Bill Harris ruled in a shockingly abbreviated fifteen-word summary judgment that Texas farmer Julia Trigg Crawford cannot challenge TransCanada’s claim that it is entitled to a piece of her home. The underwhelming ruling was emailed to Ms. Crawford’s attorney late in the evening of August 15 from the Judge’s iPhone.
The arrogant disregard levied at landowners like Julia Trigg Crawford for simply not consenting to have a tar sands pipeline permanently bisect their homes is what motivated Houston businessman Ray Torgerson to take action with the Blockade. “The fact that this corporation can check a box on a form and steal someone’s land is insulting,” Ray says. “We are here to defend our homes and stand with landowners like Julia.”
Further emblematic of the disrespect small town families like the Crawfords have faced throughout Keystone XL legal proceedings, Ms. Crawford received first notice of the ruling from a reporter seeking comment who had been blind carbon copied on the County Judge’s email ruling.
“It was heartbreaking to hear a generational family farm like the Crawford’s can be taken away by a multinational corporation,” exclaims blockader Audrey Steiner, a linguistic anthropologist from Austin. “I’m here to change the direction our country is taking.”
The concerns of the blockaders today go well beyond TransCanada’s appalling contempt for property rights. As Tammie Carson, a lifelong Texan living in Arlington explains, “I’m doing this for my grandchildren. I’m outraged that multinational corporations like TransCanada are wrecking our climate. The planet isn’t theirs to destroy, and I’m willing to take a risk to protect my grandchildren’s future.”
Denny Hook, a retired minister from Gainesville, Texas, describes himself as “An environmentalist that happens to be a minister.” In taking action today, Hook hopes to inspire more people to join the movement. “Things are so dire that if all of us don’t rise up we won’t make it. This pipeline is the difference between Earth on the edge and Earth over the edge.”
Tar Sands Blockade is a coalition of Texas and Oklahoma landowners and climate organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of Keystone XL.
“The blockade is an expression of people who have spent years using every available avenue afforded to them, and nothing has worked,” explains Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson Ron Seifert. “The urgency of this crisis is galvanizing supporters who understand that doing nothing involves a greater risk than taking action.”
From Tar Sands Blockade: http://tarsandsblockade.org/press/press-releases/
By J. G. / Deep Green Resistance Great Plains
Women of the Oglala Lakota nation along with activists from Deep Green Resistance, AIM Grassroots, Native Youth Movement, Un-Occupy Albuquerque, Occupy Lincoln, and Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center took part in a march from Billy Mills Hall in Pine Ridge into Whiteclay to protest against the predatory liquor industry present there.
Whiteclay has a population of 14, yet 4 liquor stores in the town sell 12,500 cans of beer each day. The stores have been documented repeatedly selling to bootleggers, intoxicated people, minors, and trading beer for sexual favors.
“For over 100 years the women of the Oglala Lakota nation have been dealing with an attack on the mind body and spirit of their relatives”, says Olowan Martinez who is a main organizer of the event and resident of Pine Ridge. “The Oglala have been silenced through chemical warfare waged by the corporations who are out to exploit and make a profit off of the suffering and misery of our people. The time has come to end this suffering by any means necessary.”
Debra White Plume, a Lakota activist and resident of Pine Ridge who spoke at the event proclaimed, “A sober Indian is a dangerous Indian. We have to send a message to Nebraska and its citizens that we are not going to tolerate business as usual. This is the Women’s Day of Peace but that peace will soon be over”.
After the march and speeches members of Deep Green Resistance locked down and blockaded the road into Whiteclay.
Less than a half hour after the lockdown began a police officer rolled down their window and indiscriminately pepper sprayed into a crowd. Up to 12 people were pepper sprayed including the 10 year old son of a Lakota woman who helped organize the march. Also, an elder Lakota woman, Helen Red Feather, reported having her leg hit by a police car in motion. Medics with the protest treated pepper spray injuries.
At 7:39, the five activists who participated in the lock down were hauled off in a horse trailer to the Sheridan County jail in Rushville. They have since been released on their own recognizance.
Today, justice is far from complete, since Whiteclay continues to enable and enact the destruction of the Oglala Lakota and the people of Pine Ridge. The continued subjugation of the Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Reservation will not end as long as the liquor stores in Whiteclay continue to operate.
Chants of “As long as it takes!” began by those locked down and the people standing with them in the crowd at the beginning of the lockdown. The struggle continues.
For context behind the Women’s March and Day of Peace, as well as pictures from the action, please see http://dgrnewsservice.org/2012/08/26/womens-day-of-peace-action-in-white-clay/
Want to help support this action? Please see http://deepgreenresistance.org/feature-help-support-indigenous-solidarity-in-whiteclay/
Para leer este articulo en español, vea: http://dgrnewsservice.org/2012/08/29/la-marcha-de-mujeres-y-el-dia-de-paz-resulto-ser-violente-manifestantes-detenidos/