Greenpeace activists shut down 74 Shell petrol stations in Edinburgh and London in a protest against the company’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic that saw 24 campaigners arrested on Monday.
The campaigners are attempting to shut off petrol to London’s 105 Shell stations and Edinburgh’s 14. Seventy-one have been closed in London and three in Edinburgh.
There have been 24 confirmed arrests, 18 in London and six in Edinburgh. The police in Edinburgh have reportedly parked cars outside all Shell stations across the capital.
Protesters have scaled the roof of the Shell station on Queenstown Road near Battersea Park in London and on Dalry Road in Edinburgh, with police and fire crews attending the scene in Edinburgh.
Activists arrived at the Battersea Park branch at 6.45am and used the station’s barriers to close down the forecourt. They have since covered the Shell sign with a Save the Arctic banner and positioned a life-sized polar bear model on the station’s roof.
The activists are shutting down the stations by using an emergency shut-off switch to stop petrol going to the pumps and then removing a fuse to delay it being switched on again. The organisation has since posted a picture of an activist posting one of the fuses to Shell’s head of Arctic drilling, with the message: “We’re being careful not to destroy property. Even the carefully removed components will go back to Shell.”
The protest is part of Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign, which is aiming to prevent oil drilling and industrial fishing in the Arctic by having the region recognised as a world park. The organisation understands that Shell is going to begin drilling in the Alaskan Arctic in the coming weeks, with the Russian oil company Gazprom also due to work in the region.
The campaign group’s website is running a TV talkshow-style live broadcast covering the protest and showing interviews and videos about the Arctic campaign.
Sara Ayech, a campaigner at the Battersea Park station, said: “It’s time to draw a line in the ice and tell Shell to stop. That’s why today we’re going to shut down all of Shell’s petrol stations in the capital cities of London and Edinburgh. We’ve got dozens of people who will hit over 100 Shell garages throughout the day.”
Graham Thompson is another campaigner who helped shut down the station: “The staff were very pleasant and very reasonable. Obviously they’re not entirely happy about what’s going on but they’ve responded in a very civilised way.
“Obviously, we need to ratchet up the pressure, we need to let Shell know that this isn’t just a publicity campaign, we’re going to put pressure on them until they agree to stop what they’re doing,” said Thompson, commenting on future plans.
Protesters from Greenpeace demonstrated against “the destruction and pollution caused by coal” at a North Carolina power plant on Monday, according to a press release.
Activists entered the grounds of the Progress Asheville Power Station in the morning and secured themselves to a coal conveyor belt, according to Greenpeace. They also scaled a 400 foot smoke stack and draped a large protest banner.
WSPA reports that the protesters’ banner, which is visible for several miles, reads “Duke Energy: The Climate Needs Real Progress.”
According to The Charlotte Observer, 16 protestors were arrested at the Asheville plant.
The plant’s owner, Progress Energy, said its goal was to protect the safety of “the trespassers to first responders, as this is large and dangerous equipment,” reported Fox Carolina. Interactions between protesters and local police were reportedly “very cordial.”
Greenpeace activist Robert Gardner said in a press release, “This plant runs on destroyed mountains, it spews out air pollution, it causes climate change and it poisons the water and the earth. If Duke merges with Progress, the new owners have a responsibility to the people of North Carolina to move to clean energy.”
Progress is currently in the process of merging with Duke Energy, although the consolidation has been delayed by federal regulators, according to to The Charlotte Observer.
Reuters reported Monday that the Obama administration is expected to unveil new rules limiting carbon emissions from new coal-fired power plants. An energy policy analyst told Reuters, “The proposed rule is certainly expected to send the message that coal is dead.”
Editor’s Note: Today we bring to you a podcast episode of the Chris Hedges Report, where Chris Hedges talks to Will Potter about the resistance of the people against the mega-project Cop City in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Will Potter is an investigative Journalist and the author of Green is the new Red. Down below the video you’ll find the transcript. And news about a similar destructive city-project is coming up:
Stop Eco City – Indonesian mega-project threatens local communities
Indonesian officials want to evict 7500 indigenous villagers from their homes on Indonesian Island Rempang near Singapore to make way for an industrial and tourism hub called Rempang Eco City. With this 17.000 hectar project the Indonesian government aims for $26.6 billion in investment by 2080 and for creating 35.000 Jobs.
Local residents and advocates oppose the eviction and take part in mass protests. They say that the development will remove them from their traditional fishing communities. A part of the mega-project will be the construction of a Chinese glass factory: Xinyi Glass – the world’s largest producer of glass and solar panels.
Environmental activists fear that Eco City, just like the mentioned Cop City, will harm the environment. On the Archipelago one hour by boat from Singapore the shorelines contain silica sand and quartz sand which will be used as raw materials for producing solar panels. This is one of several development projects by Indonesia’s president with the goal of increasing Indonesia’s GDP and global competitiveness.
When police in Atlanta stormed a music festival in March being held by activists protesting Cop City, the proposed $90 million police and firefighter training center that would be built on forest land, 23 of the activists were arrested and one, Tortuguita, a 26-year-old Indigenous environmental activist and community organizer was shot and killed. Those who were arrested were accused of carrying out acts of vandalism and arson at a Cop City construction site over a mile from the music festival under Georgia’s domestic terror statute, although none of the arrest warrants tie any of the defendants directly to any illegal acts.
Cop City is yet another complex designed by the corporate state to train police in urban warfare. The plans include military-grade training facilities, a mock city to practice urban warfare, explosives, testing areas, dozens of shooting ranges, and a Black Hawk helicopter landing pad. “It is a war base where police will learn military-like maneuvers to kill Black people and control our bodies and movements,” Kwame Olufemi of Community Movement Builders points out. “The facility includes shooting ranges, plans for bomb testing, and will practice tear gas deployment. They are practicing how to make sure poor and working class people stay in line so when the police kill us in the streets again like they did to Rashard Brooks in 2020, they can control our protests and community response to how they continually murder our people,” he said.
But just as ominous as the militarization of domestic police forces and training complexes to turn police into internal armies of occupation is the use of terrorism laws to charge and imprison activists, protestors and dissidents. Former Chicago Tribune reporter Will Potter, in his book, Green is the New Red, documents how terrorism laws are used to crush dissent, especially dissent carried out by animal rights and environmental activists. He likens the campaign to McCarthyism in the 1950s and warns that we are on the cusp of cementing into place a police state.
Potter, who became a vegan when he was a student at the University of Texas, participated in a canvassing campaign organized by a group called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty while working at the Tribune. The goal was to close down the laboratory of Huntingdon Life Sciences, which still uses animals for testing. The organizers were arrested for trespassing, and then Potter got a firsthand look at what was happening to civil liberties in the United States. Two FBI agents appeared at Potter’s apartment demanding information about the group. If he refused to cooperate, he was told his name would be included on the domestic terrorist list. Potter would eventually leave the paper to report on the government’s intimidation of activists, including nonviolent activists who spoke out against the corporate state and the seizure of political and economic power by the 1%. Joining me to discuss the Orwellian world being erected around us is Will Potter.
You open the book in the Chicago Tribune newsroom. We both come out of the newspaper industry. I think we both worked at one point in the Dallas Morning News, and there’s a story, you’re sent out to cover the killing of a child. And I think for those who don’t come out of that environment, they don’t understand the cynicism, maybe even numbness that takes place in those newsrooms and how difficult that is if you actually care. I mean, I always say there’s two types of reporters, the ones who care and the ones who don’t. That’s the real divide in a newsroom. It’s not politics. But let’s just open with that since we both come from that environment.
Yeah, I think that’s a great observation. I mean, it’s something that journalists, we rarely ever talk about. That kind of environment is one in which in order to survive just the onslaught of daily news and blood and guts and violence and kind of despair that comes with it, you have to really get a hardened shell. And I think that’s kind of fetishized a little bit in journalism. We embrace that machismo and just kind of push full steam ahead without acknowledging trauma and acknowledging some of these things that we encounter. And that’s certainly an environment I felt I encountered at multiple newspapers. Like you said, I think like a lot of people, you go into news with ideas about making a difference in the world, educating the public, allowing and creating an environment for change and social change to happen. But it can be quite crushing and cynical, as well.
Well, those news organizations will beat that out of you if you let them.
Very quickly. Exactly. Let’s talk about the Huntingdon Labs. You were just handing out leaflets, I think, or something. I mean, it was pretty innocuous.
Explain what it was, why it’s important, and then I want to go in, because this was a pivotal moment in the animal rights movement.
It was. This was a pivotal campaign, and in that moment when the FBI agents came to my door, that time period was pivotal in the campaign, also. And so as a little bit of background, this laboratory had been exposed multiple times by undercover investigators working with groups like PETA, and they had documented egregious acts of cruelty, things like punching beagle puppies repeatedly in the face because the technicians were frustrated at their small veins to get an injection or dissecting a monkey that was still alive. And all of this was caught on video and was used in a very savvy way to mobilize and push forward this emerging movement.
What was different about this campaign compared to other animal rights or other protest campaigns is they operated quite differently. I mean, they were not intended on having signs and banners outside of the laboratory because they knew the lab didn’t care. The people in the lab didn’t care and the people investing in this lab didn’t care. So they started targeting the finances of this company. They went after everyone from UPS to toilet paper suppliers. Anyone who had business in any way with the laboratory was the target of protests. Sometimes this was kind of spontaneous demonstrations, sometimes this was as simple as people anonymously putting stickers or wheat paste or breaking out a window. I mean, the campaign was really that diverse, from these really kind of small, seemingly insignificant acts of sabotage or even harassment to mass protests outside the laboratories.
What happened is that it was so incredibly successful internationally that it brought the campaign near bankruptcy. And as that was happening, these corporations mobilized their allies in Congress and they worked together behind closed doors in order to label these protest groups as terrorists and ultimately to convict them and send them to prison as terrorists, as well.
And we should be clear, so Huntingdon, which still exists under another name, but it’s Envigo I think is who bought up-
Right. So at the time, it was killing between 71,000 and 180,000 animals a year, and these animals were being killed to test for household cleaners, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and food ingredients for major companies such as Procter and Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive. In the book, you write about the two kind of major organizations that confront of animal activists. One is the underground organization, that’s groups like Animal Liberation Front, and then the aboveground groups. And the underground groups I think at one point invaded the labs and caused significant damage. And the aboveground groups, the ones who ended up being prosecuted, engaged in nonviolent activity and organizing. But the relationship between those two groups, we’ll get into it later, but the ones who engaged in nonviolent traditional organizing ended up in essence being charged for the crimes of the underground organizers, even though they had nothing to do with it. But talk about those relationships.
That’s really the heart of this entire protest campaign and the heart of why I think this case sets such a dangerous precedent for social movements. In the sixties in the anti-war movement, there was a phrase among activists that, “We didn’t do it but we dug it,” meaning I was not engaged or I don’t know who was engaged in illegal protest activity against the war, but it was loosely in the name of the same cause and it was nonviolent, and so I will support it. And that was the mentality of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. And specifically they ran a website, and on this website everything related to the campaign was published. Everything from those stickerings and wheat pastings that I mentioned all the way up to groups like the Animal Liberation Front doing things like stealing animals from laboratories and breaking into facilities connected to HLS, and also property destruction, vandalism, sabotage. In the scheme of this protest movement, though, there were no targeting of human beings. I mean, this is something that Animal Liberation Front has made sure of for decades and something the organizers of SHAC were very passionate about.
SHAC, by the way, is Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty.
That’s the organization that was organized to confront Huntingdon.
They’re the ones who were organizing this protest campaign. And really by organizing, the government said this was a couple of people in a house in Philadelphia and in New Jersey that were running a website. And as news came in on the website, there was a real intensity around this at the time. I mean, this was kind of pre-social media. In a lot of ways, I would argue this was one of the first digital campaigns of this new era that relied heavily and even almost exclusively on online organizing. And so what the government argued, as you indicated, is that by the SHAC organizers, by the aboveground lawful groups saying through their words and their website that they support the ideology of those crimes and they also support people doing them, they thought that this was all legitimate in the name of this struggle, the government argued that this created a conspiracy and that conspiracy created an environment that allowed the illegal activity to take place.
So in other words, the people who ran the website were never accused at any point of doing any of the illegal things that were on the website or for that matter, the legal things that were on the website, but the government in this ambitious court case argued that they needed to be held responsible for creating a criminal conspiracy under the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. So these activists were convicted of animal enterprise terrorism, is the name of the charge, conspiracy to commit that and conspiracy to violate the telecommunications law, which means that they were collaborating across state lines in order to protest this multinational company.
So in your book, you write that the reason terrorism laws, this of course was in the wake of 9/11, the reason terrorism laws were employed against animal rights activists was because the corporations were being hurt. And they essentially prodded the political leadership in both parties, beholden to corporate money, of course, to declare these kinds of activities, even nonviolent activities, as acts of terrorism. They also, through tremendous resources, surveillance resources at these groups, I think if I remember correctly, in your book you say it’s the longest criminal investigation by the FBI in US history or something. You write about a woman, her name, she went by the name Anna. Her real name was Zoe Elizabeth Voss, a paid FBI informant. We saw this with Muslims after 9/11, where she provided the money, the logistics, at one point a cabin that the FBI wired to essentially prod people to discuss carrying out a bombing that never took place.
There’s this one poor 26-year-old kid who kind of falls for her and it was entrapment. I think he ended up spending a decade in prison, but the FBI withheld 2,500 pages of evidence. And so he got a what, a 20-year sentence roughly and served 10. You write that the FBI is estimated to have had 15,000 informants in these environmental and animal rights groups. Let’s talk about the tactics that were employed against these groups.
I think the most important tactic is the recognition of the power of language. And that’s something that began really in the 1980s when industry groups made up, I mean they actually invented the term ecoterrorism and they were quite proud of it. And for the next several decades, as you know, there was an international focus on terrorism in a very different context. So in that time through the eighties and nineties, there wasn’t a lot of headway on these corporate efforts. I mean, there were gains being made, without a doubt, but what I found in my research is that after September 11th, the infrastructure and the strategies that were being developed and honed for decades leading up to 9/11 were implemented incredibly quickly and boldly after the attack, to the point where as first responders were still trying to clear survivors from the rubble after 9/11, you had multiple members of Congress speculating that the terrorist attacks were the work of environmentalists or animal rights activists. I mean, that’s the kind of climate that these groups created.
In that climate where the unreasonable becomes reasonable, where you’re blaming nonviolent groups or saboteurs for the most costly loss of life in US history, in that environment, they were able to kind of manipulate other structures to push this agenda. And what I would kind of summarize is that they really did this in three ways. There were three parts to their playbook. There were legal efforts, there were legislative efforts such as creating new terrorism laws and new protest restrictions, and then there was what I would call extra legal or operating outside of the law. And that’s where some of these informant tactics come in.
The FBI has been called to the carpet multiple times by their Inspector General’s office and oversight boards for the rampant misuse of informants. And that certainly has taken place in the animal rights and environmental movements, but this has also been corporate-driven, as in corporations hiring private investigators in mercenary firms that operate outside of the very little restrictions that the FBI has to pursue activists and to create dossiers on them. We’ve seen this not just in the campaigns we’ve talked about so far, but also in things like the Standing Rock protest and the Keystone Pipeline protests where these major corporations are sitting down, and I literally have some of the documents showing it, that they give PowerPoint presentations to law enforcement. They identify protestors, they recommend prison sentences in specific criminal statutes that can be used to go after their opposition. At really every step of the way, these corporate groups have sat down and worked in lockstep with the FBI and with those mercenary companies.
Yeah. Well, you talk about fusion centers, so these are state programs that essentially collate or put together information coming from various law enforcement agencies, but they also work, as you point out in the book, with these corporate security firms. When I went to Standing Rock or you couldn’t, they blocked the roads, and the people blocking the roads were wearing Kevlar vests and carrying long-barrelled weapons with no identification. They were private security drawn from police, drawn from military. And so there’s this kind of centrifugal force where all of these entities are coming together to target these activists with tremendous amounts of resources. The film The Animal People is a documentary about this campaign, and in that documentary you show or there’s an attempt to show the staggering kind of sums of money and manpower that’s been put in to crush these groups.
Oh, the amount of resources is just, it’s unbelievable. I mean, as you all with this show, you’re monitoring social movements and protest campaigns and you know how little resources these activists have. And so as one of the defendants, one of the protestors put it, when you see those court papers that say the United States versus Will or versus Chris or whatever it is, it really is that full weight of the US government combined with the full weight of the corporate state. In addition to some of the things you’ve mentioned like how this was the largest domestic terrorism investigation in US history, they’ve thrown just an ungodly amount of money into making these policies happen.
One thing that I would throw out is when these activists were awaiting prison sentences on the Huntingdon campaign, so they were already convicted under this ambitious previous law called the Animal Enterprise Protection Act. They were already being sentenced to prison as terrorists for a protest campaign. And politicians and members of Congress and also these corporate representatives were simultaneously arguing, “Our hands are tied. We need more power, we need more money, we need more funding, police resources.” And like you said, I think you put it quite well, that there is this kind of centrifugal force that emerges of this revolving door of state agencies and private sector, and really that’s what’s happened with this issue. Those forces together have worked over the last several decades to turn nonviolent protestors into the FBI’s, “Number one domestic terrorism threat.” And it’s really because of their money and influence.
They also have twisted the courts. Maybe you can talk about the terrorism enhancement laws. These can add 20 years to sentences. They can, in some cases, quadruple sentences. And let’s be clear, these are nonviolent crimes.
And this was something, the terrorism enhancement is something that was passed by Congress after the Oklahoma City bombings by right wing groups who killed, up until that time, was the most civilians that had ever been targeted. So in this kind of specter of fear of violence, that’s when this provision was passed. And instead, it’s been deployed to elevate the sentences of nonviolent environmental protestors that were convicted, for instance, as part of the Earth Liberation front. Those sentences not only are exacerbated by the terrorism enhancement, but it also redefines who these prisoners are.
I saw that personally visiting prisoners after they’ve been sentenced, and also in my interviews with countless former prisoners, that their experience once they’ve been classified that way is quite different. These activists in general have very little priors. They have no serious criminal history, and yet after being sentenced for their protest activity, they can end up in medium or even maximum security facilities. They are called red tagged by the BOP, by the Bureau of Prisons, and red carded. That means they have to sometimes carry and wear a large red card identifying them as a high risk terrorism inmate. They’re treated differently by guards, they’re singled out.
The ramifications of this in terms of from a human rights perspective extend far beyond just the disproportionate and I would call malicious sentencing of these protestors. It really redefines them. And I think that’s, to me, one of the most surprising takeaways of this language of terrorism is that even though it began as a public relations maneuver, it’s completely taken on a life of its own to the point where it’s worked its way into bureaucracies within power that kind of self-replicate these systems after people have even been convicted.
Well, they’re put in management control units. I went out to Marion, Illinois, and I know you went out there as well in the book, which replaced Alcatraz as the kind of supermax prison. Now we have in Florence the kind of latest iteration of that. But I went out to visit Daniel Hale, who leaked the drone papers, and he, again, it’s a nonviolent crime. In fact, he shouldn’t even be in prison, but he, like these activists, was placed in a high security prison in the middle of farmland, the middle of nowhere, but in a special, highly restrictive unit. And that’s what’s happened to many of these activists.
To be clear, I think when people, in my experience, start hearing about things like this, there’s a tendency to either think one, that can’t be true because this is the United States, or similarly, something like, “Well, this only happens in X, Y, or Z other country that has a disdain for human rights.” And the truth is that there’s actually a long history of using political prisons in the United States in these types of cases, including for social movements that we now regard by members of Congress even in these kind of heroic terms, the anti-war movement, the Black liberation Movement, the American Indian movement, all have been targeted. And many of those protestors ended up in experimental prisons.
What’s I think significant here is these communications management units were opened as clearly, explicitly political prisons for political prisoners, targeting prisoners because of their communications and their ideology. People were sent there because of their, “Anti-corporate and anti-government beliefs,” according to government documents. And as this is happening, it further codifies and cements political repression. It is stabilizing and really introducing what are quite extreme tactics of destroying and subverting social movements, and has turned them into something that’s now part of the official government apparatus. And these CMUs, these secretive prisons are now being codified into the law, and they are receiving more and more prisoners every year. What started as an, “Extreme response by the government for dangerous and violent prisoners,” is now being used against people that are very far from that. And I think that’s the mission creep that we see and that you’re really pointing to here.
Yeah. We just have a few minutes left right in there about the loyalty oaths that mainstream environmental groups, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation, were kind of called upon to denounce these underground groups, which unfortunately most of them rapidly did or quite willingly did. But let’s talk about where we are now. This has created the foundation for a very frightening kind of police state where any kind of dissent becomes terrorism. And that’s why I opened with the incident in Cop City.
And that’s exactly why I’ve been following Cop City so closely as well, because the dynamics that we’ve talked about are really starkly on display in that campaign. Not just the repressive tactics, but the movement tactics, as well. I mean, it’s a similar dynamic to that Huntingdon Life Sciences campaign where in the Cop City protest, you have people that are protesting, writing letters, working with church groups, running websites, doing free concerts like you mentioned, offering free childcare, food, all of these kind of multiple aspects of movement organizing. And then you also have people that have sabotaged property and broken the law.
And what the state has done in this case is argue that all of it, the entire campaign is reflective of domestic terrorism, anarchism and threats to public safety. So that dynamic is still at play. So is that, I think it’s right to call a loyalty oath that’s being put on mainstream organizations. If you run a national group, it’s understandable why it would be tempting to come out and publicly condemn someone who vandalized a bulldozer because you run a nonprofit, you have donations and staff, and you’re not involved in protest activity like that, and you certainly don’t want to be at risk threatened by the FBI. And that’s the type of fear that they prey into.
And what happens, though, is when more mainstream and established groups start making public comments about the radicals with Cop City or the Anarchists, which is the kind of classic boogeyman that has rolled out, it drives a wedge. And I think in terms of state repression, the intention is to drive a wedge between these social movements inside themselves, between the aboveground and the more radical groups, and then to drive a wedge between Cop City protestors and everyone else in the more liberal or mainstream left. And they do that by really tightening the screws on mainstream organizations that have something to lose.
Yeah. Although as you point out in your book, these nonviolent protestors ultimately get charged for acts they did not commit. I’m not going to go into the details. People should read the book and watch The Animal People, the documentary, but they weren’t even physically there. They didn’t even know these things were happening in many cases, but they’re charged.
In the Cop City case, it gets even more just kind of surreal. I mean, you have bond hearings where protestors are being denied and police are pointing to mud on their shoes as evidence-
Right, right, right.
That’s right, muddy clothes.
Muddy clothes, black hoodies. The raids of some of these activists that happened recently in Georgia, the warrant, I have to tell you, I don’t think either of us would look very good if we were raided, Chris. I mean, our bookshelves can be quite incriminating. And that’s the type of stuff that they’re listing in these warrants and then dragging into court as evidence of illegal activity. And I think that’s why it’s so important for mainstream organizations to fight back militantly against what is happening right now. Staying silent has never protected social justice groups from political repression like this, period. Historically, it has never worked. It has never worked to try to cozy up to corporations or to politicians hoping that they’re not going to be targeted in the backlash, because what happens every single time is at the point you become truly effective, at the point you become a true threat to business as usual is when the full weight of that apparatus is deployed.
So I think that what we’re seeing in Cop City, I’m not going to say I’m I optimistic or hopeful yet. I mean, I am a journalist after all, but it is quite inspiring, I’ll say, to see church groups, community groups, and the diversity of voices that have come out against Cop City. And to me, I think that’s really the best defense that we can have against these tactics is bringing everyone under the tent and saying very loudly that we’re part of this same movement, the same cause, and we’re not going to be singled out as terrorists to stop us.
Great. I want to thank The Real News Network and its production team, Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, Dwayne Gladden, David Hebdon, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at chrishedges.substack.com.
And the Chris Hedges report gets some extra time now with a few minutes of bonus material with Chris and his guest.
So in this second part, I want to ask you about the underground/aboveground groups. I was very involved in the Occupy movement and very critical of the black bloc and critical of property destruction, because I thought it was effectively used by the police and the state to demonize the Occupy movement. And it didn’t achieve much, especially in cities like Oakland, where throwing a trash can through a window in a Oakland is… Ishmael Reed, who lives in Oakland said, “If they want to throw a trash can through a window, why don’t they go up to La Jolla where the rich people live and throw a trash can through,” Mitt Romney apparently has some kind of estate up there, his place.
So I’ve always been very critical. The other thing, and I think this is captured in your book, and it was something that I often said to Occupy activists, is you just go back and read COINTELPRO. That’s kind of the primer on how it works. They have so many resources that the only effective strategy is transparency and the kind of the azan provokatörs, they love the black bloc because they could cover their faces so they couldn’t be identified. But you’re much more forgiving to the underground groups. But I just wanted you to address that.
Yeah, I think those are valid critiques. I feel like the more I’ve been immersed in this for so many years now, the more I’ve kind of come to believe one, how little I know about ultimately what tactics work and what don’t, but to a greater point, seeing the response of the FBI and the state to a wide range of protest activity. So I think that the argument could be made that seeing property destruction like you see in a black bloc protest, it could give the immediate pretext in that moment for a political crackdown on those groups of spreading to other movements at that time. But what I’ve seen more broadly is that the repression that activists experience seems to have very little to do with the legality or the tenor of their actual tactics, if that makes sense.
So for instance, the underground groups who have done things like break into laboratories, steal animals, burn down buildings, I mean, at some cases these are very serious property crimes that someone could have been hurt. But what we’ve seen in the last few years is the FBI and the industry, I guess on the animal rights side of things more broadly, has focused on national groups. They’ve been much more concerned with undercover investigators in criminalizing photography and people that document animal abuse on farms.
And so I guess to respond to your question, I see that there is kind of a spectrum that exists in protest activity, and really the determining factor of whether any of that activity is going to be hit with intense state repression is whether it starts moving the needle. I feel a little bit naive, I’ll admit, in the last few years to see how quickly, rapidly and forcefully these tactics have been deployed against activists who had no sensible connection whatsoever to anything illegal. Right? I mean, for years, that’s what they said in going after the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. “We have to crack down on these radicals. We have to go after the black bloc.”
And what we’re seeing is that the FBI seems much less concerned with that on the whole right now than it does about true movement building. So I don’t know where this goes from here. I don’t know if those tactics are going away. I feel like anytime that there is a heavy-handed or a violent response from the state, we might see protest tactics like that, but we’re also seeing in Cop City, I think a lot more sophistication and movement creation and bringing lots of different people together and not, I guess I’ll say not turning some people off with some of those tactics that you mentioned.
I want to talk about what’s happened. At the end, the movement, the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty Movement does cripple the lab, but it’s bailed out, and then eventually it merges with other laboratories, Harlan Labs, NDA Analytics, et cetera, and creates this new super company, Envigo. What’s the lesson from that?
Well, it’s kind of a similar story from your time in Occupy, right? That they’re too big to fail. That’s what the industry said with HLS, with vivisection industry, but also just all these diverse industries that have something to do with animals rallied behind them because they said, “If HLS falls, if this lab falls, everybody’s going to be vulnerable.” And I think that kind of too big to fail mentality is what caused people to rally behind such an abusive, corrupt facility as this one. And it also really speaks to just the overwhelming power of these industries.
My work focuses on political repression, which is pretty dark and depressing beat, but you also see the strength of social movements. And in this case, the industry was absolutely terrified about a protest campaign that was being run by a half a dozen people, allegedly in the United States with a couple of computers and who were bringing a multinational company to the point where it’s kicked off the New York Stock Exchange and kicked down to the pink sheets in the market makers. I mean, this was the power of this movement, and it just rattled them to their core. And I think that fear is still there. I mean, that’s why we still, there isn’t a campaign like this happening right now, but I think you’re still seeing this level of repression and kind of paranoia by corporations because they know it’s possible and they know this is always right around the corner.
Well, they also know what they’re doing, which is why they hide it.
Oh, without a doubt. Without a doubt. Jon Stewart used to do a good bit on his show called Evil or Stupid, where he would debate something and be like, “Oh, this is happening because they’re so horribly evil.” And then the other guy would say, “Oh no, it’s because they’re so stupid.” And I kind of do that a lot with this issue, but I think I firmly come down on the side of evil. I have to say that after seeing this for so long, there is nothing unintentional about any of these maneuvers. There’s some people that are just following orders. But as you mentioned with the SHAC case, when that was happening in New Jersey, Chris Christie was one of the people that was really trying to make a name off of it, just to give you an idea. And these are political opportunists. They’ve used this war on activism to make a name for themselves as being tough on crime or tough on terrorism and to catapult their careers.
I think we’re still going to be seeing that for quite some time. In the fallout of January 6th and the rise of fascist groups internationally, more and more people are going to be fighting back because we don’t have a choice but to fight back against it. And I think that state apparatus is going to be employed against them, as well.
Great. That was Will Potter. His book is Green is the New Red, and you can see the documentary, which he is in, The Animal People, it’s on, where is it? On Amazon?
Yeah, you can watch it on all the streaming stuff.
All the streamings have it. Yeah, it’s a great documentary. Thanks, Will.
Stop Eco City – an Indonesian megaproject threatens local communities
Indonesian officials want to evict 7500 indigenous villagers from their homes on Indonesian Island Rempang near Singapore to make way for an industrial and tourism hub called Rempang Eco City. With this 17.000 hectar project the Indonesian government aims for $26.6billion in investment by 2080 and for creating 35.000 Jobs.
Local residents and advocates oppose the eviction and took part in mass protests. They say that the development will remove them from their traditional fishing communities. A part of the Eco City will be the construction of a Chinese glass factory: Xinyi Glass – the world’s largest producer of glass and solar panels.
Environmental activists fear that Eco City, just like the above mentioned Cop City, will harm the environment. On the Archipelago one hour by boat from Singapore the shorelines contain silica sand and quartz sand which will be used as raw materials for producing solar panels. This is one of several development projects by Indonesia’s president with the goal of increasing Indonesia’s GDP and global competitiveness.
Editor’s note: The 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, triggered by an earthquake and a tsunami, was one of the worst nuclear accidents of the twenty-first century to date. Nevertheless, worse ones might come in the future. In the quest for energy to fuel the machine, industrial civilization has built many vulnerable hazardous structures that can unleash highly toxic materials in the case of an “accidents.” Despite eleven years since the incident, TEPCO and the Japanese government haven’t been able to manage the waste water. Now, they are planning to dump it into the Pacific Ocean. Not only is the Pacific Ocean home to numerous marine creatures, it is also a source of livelihood for the humans who live near: the humans that the Japanese government claims to care for as their citizens. This decision by the Japanese government demonstrates, yet again, that decisions in this civilization are not made based on public welfare.
More nuclear power means more weapons, more mining on indigenous lands, more CO2 emissions, more radioactive waste and more accidents.
“We must remind Japan that if the radioactive nuclear wastewater is safe, just dump it in Tokyo, test it in Paris and store it in Washington, but keep our Pacific nuclear-free.” (Vanuatu’s celebrated former ‘Turaga Chief’ Motarilavoa Hilda Lini)
In the face of considerable worldwide criticism, TEPCO is moving ahead with its well-advertised plans to dump contaminated water from storage tanks at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster zone into the Pacific Ocean. They are running out of storage space and the Pacific Ocean is conveniently right next door.
TEPCO’s toxic dumping scheme is opposed by some scientists as well as some of the world’s most highly regarded marine laboratories, e.g., the U.S. National Association of Marine Laboratories, with over 100 member laboratories, has issued a position paper strongly opposing the toxic dumping because of a lack of adequate and accurate scientific data in support of Japan’s assertions of safety.
The position paper: “We urge the government of Japan to stop pursing their planned and precedent-setting release of the radioactively contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean and to work with the broader scientific community to pursue other approaches that protect ocean life; human health; and those communities who depend on ecologically, economically, and culturally valuable marine resources.”
Furthermore, Marine Laboratories agrees with the Pacific Island Forum’s suggestion that TEPCO look at options other than discharge. The toxic dumping plan has already put Japan at risk of losing its status as a Pacific Islands Forum Dialogue Partner. There are 21 partners, including the US, China, the UK, France, and the EU. According to Secretary General Henry Puna, the Forum has persistently requested Japan to share pivotal data, which has not been forthcoming: “In fact, we are very serious, and we will take all options to get Japan to at least cooperate with us by releasing the information that our technical experts are asking of them.”
Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority has endorsed the dumping plan. No surprise there. Also unsurprisingly, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the marketing arm for nuclear power, claims the dumping proposal is safe. Effective December 29, 2022, IAEA released an extensive report that details how the process will be monitored by independent entities, not to worry, uh-uh.
TEPCO generates 100 cubic metres of contaminated water per day, a mixture of groundwater, seawater, and water that cools the reactors. It is filtered for “the most radioactive isotopes” and stored in above-ground water tanks, but authorities admit that the level of tritium is above standards. It is almost impossible to remove tritium from water. TEPCO claims it is “only harmful to humans in large doses.” But who’s measuring?
According to TEPCO: “After treatment the levels of most radioactive particles meet the national standard.” However, the statement that most radioactive particles meet the national standard is not reassuring. And furthermore, why should anybody anywhere in the world be permitted to discharge large quantities of contaminated water that’s been filtered for ‘most radioactive particles’ directly from a broken-down nuclear power plant into the ocean under any circumstances?
But storage space is running out and the ocean is readily available as a very convenient garbage dump. Well, yes, but maybe find more storage space… on land… in Japan!
According to a Japanese anti-nuclear campaign group, the contaminated water dumping scheme violates the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution as well as the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. Their opposition is endorsed by the National Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Japan. In September 2022, 42,000 people signed a joint petition delivered to TEPCO and Japan’s Ministry of Economy demanding other solutions to the toxic water dumping plans. According to national broadcasting firm NHK, 51% of Japanese respondents oppose the dumping plan. And a survey by Asahi Shimbun claims 55% of the public opposes the dumping.
A Greenpeace East Asia press release d/d April 28, 2021, says; “According to the latest report by the Japanese government, there are 62 radioactive isotopes found in the existing nuclear water tanks in Fukushima, among which concentration of a radionuclide called tritium reached about 860 TBq (terabecquerel) – an alarming level that far exceeds the acceptable norm.”
China’s Xinhua News Agency claims: “TEPCO believes that tritium normally remains in the wastewater at ordinary nuclear power stations, therefore it is safe to discharge tritium-contaminated water. Experts say TEPCO is trying to confuse the concept of the wastewater that meets international standards during normal operation of nuclear power plants with that of the complex nuclear-contaminated water produced after the core meltdowns at the wrecked Fukushima power plant. The actual results of ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) are not as ideal as TEPCO claims. Japanese media have found that in addition to tritium, there are a variety of radioactive substances in the Fukushima nuclear wastewater that exceed the standard. TEPCO has also admitted that about 70 percent of the water treated by ALPS contains radionuclides other than tritium at the concentration which exceeds legally required standards and requires filtration again.”
According to Hiroyuki Uchida, mayor of Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, despite strengthened information about the toxic dumping by TEPCO and the government of Japan, the discharge plan has not gained “full understanding of citizens and fishery stakeholders.”
Rhea Moss-Christian, executive director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, aka: the Pacific Tuna Commission said: “It’s a real concern and I just wish they would take a bit of time to think more carefully about this… this is a massive release and a big, big potential disaster if it’s not handled properly… There are a number of outstanding questions that have yet to be fully answered. They have focused a lot on one radionuclide and not very much on others that are also present in the wastewater.”
Greenpeace/Japan on TEPCO dumping: “The Japanese government has once again failed the people of Fukushima. The government has taken the wholly unjustified decision to deliberately contaminate the Pacific Ocean with radioactive wastes. It has discounted the radiation risks and turned its back on the clear evidence that sufficient storage capacity is available on the nuclear site as well as in surrounding districts. Rather than using the best available technology to minimize radiation hazards by storing and processing the water over the long term, they have opted for the cheapest option , dumping the water into the Pacific Ocean… Since 2012, Greenpeace has proactively campaigned against plans to discharge Fukushima contaminated water – submitting technical analysis to UN agencies, holding seminars with local residents of Fukushima with other NGOs, and petitioning against the discharges and submitted to relevant Japanese government bodies.” (Source: Greenpeace Press Release, April 13, 2021)
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on September 22nd, 2022, President David Panuelo of Micronesia stated: “We cannot close our eyes to the unimaginable threats of nuclear contamination, marine pollution, and eventual destruction of the Blue Pacific Continent. The impacts of this decision are both transboundary and intergenerational in nature.”
In April 2021 Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister (serving from 2012-to-2021) Tarō Asō publicly stated that the treated and diluted water “will be safe to drink.” In response to Deputy PM Asō, Chinese Foreign Minister Lijian Zhao replied: “The ocean is not Japan’s trashcan” and furthermore, since Japan claims it’s safe to drink, “then drink it!” (Source: China to Japan: If Treated Radioactive Water from Fukushima is Safe, ‘Please Drink It’ Washington Post, April 15, 2021)
Mr. Zhao may have stumbled upon the best solution to international concerns about TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) dumping contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. Instead, TEPCO should remove it from the storage tanks at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and deliver it to Japan’s water reservoirs. After all, they publicly claimed it’s “safe to drink.” Japan has approximately 100,000 dams of which roughly 3,000 are reservoirs over 15 meters (50’) height. For example, one of the largest drinking water reservoirs in Japan is Ogouchi Reservoir, which holds 189 million tons of drinking water for Tokyo.
Editor’s Note: Deep sea mining is being pursued on the pretext of a transition towards a “cleaner” source of energy. This transition is being hailed as “the solution” to all environmental problems by the majority of the environmental movement. The irony of “the solution” to environmental problems being destruction of natural communities seems to be lost on a lot of people.
The International Seabed Authority has been criticized for a lack of transparency and corporate capture by the companies it is supposed to regulate. Given that the organization is expected to be funded from mining royalties, it may not come as a surprise that it has prioritized the interests of corporations above the preservation of the deep sea. Despite numerous concerns raised about Nauru Ocean Resources Inc. (NORI)’s environmental impact statement, the ISA gave permission to NORI to begin exploratory mining. NORI’s vessel, The Hidden Gem, is currently extracting polymetallic nodules from the seafloor in the Clarion Clipperton Zone. This exploratory mining will cause tremendous harm itself, but it is also a big step towards opening the gates to large-scale commercial exploitation of the deep sea. To help stop this, get organized, become a Deep Sea Defender.
The International Seabed Authority (ISA), the intergovernmental body responsible for overseeing deep sea mining operations and for protecting the ocean, recently granted approval for a mining trial to commence in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Pacific Ocean.
The company undertaking this trial is Nauru Ocean Resources Inc (NORI), a subsidiary of Canadian-owned The Metals Company (TMC), which is aiming to start annually extracting 1.3 million metric tons of polymetallic nodules from the CCZ as early as 2024.
The approval for this mining test, the first of its kind since the 1970s, was first announced by TMC earlier this week.
Mining opponents said the ruling took them by surprise and they feared it would pave the way for exploitation to begin in the near future, despite growing concerns about the safety and necessity of deep sea mining.
On Sept. 14, the Hidden Gem — an industrial drill ship operated by a subsidiary of The Metals Company (TMC), a Canadian deep sea mining corporation — left its port in Manzanillo, Mexico. From there, it headed toward the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ), a vast abyssal plain in international waters of the Pacific Ocean that stretches over 4.5 million square kilometers (1.7 million square miles) across the deep sea, roughly equivalent in size to half of Canada.
The goal of TMC’s expedition is to test its mining equipment that will vacuum up polymetallic nodules, potato-shaped rocks formed over millions of years. The nodules contain commercially coveted minerals like cobalt, nickel, copper and manganese. TMC, a publicly traded company listed on the Nasdaq exchange, announced that it aims to collect 3,600 metric tons of these nodules during this test period.
This operation came as a surprise to opponents of deep-sea mining, mainly because of the stealth with which they said the International Seabed Authority (ISA) — the UN-affiliated intergovernmental body dually responsible for overseeing mining in international waters and for protecting the deep sea — authorized TMC to commence the trial.
It is the first such trial the ISA has authorized after years of debate over whether it should permit deep-sea mining to commence in international waters, and if so, under what conditions. News of the authorization did not come initially from the ISA, but from TMC itself in a press release dated September 7. The ISA eventually posted its own statement on Sept. 15, more than a week after TMC’s announcement. It is not clear when the ISA granted the authorization.
“We’ve been caught off guard by this,” Arlo Hemphill, a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, an organization campaigning to prevent deep sea mining operations, told Mongabay in an interview. “There’s been little time for us to react.”
Mounting concerns, sudden actions
Several weeks ago, in July and August, delegates to the ISA met in Kingston, Jamaica, to discuss how, when and if deep sea mining could begin. In July 2021, discussions acquired a sense of urgency when the Pacific island state of Nauru triggered an arcane rule embedded in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that could obligate the ISA to kick-start exploitation in about two years with whatever rules are in place at the time. Nauru is the sponsor of Nauru Ocean Resources Inc (NORI), a subsidiary of TMC that is undertaking the tests. TMC told Mongabay that it expects to apply for its exploitation license in 2023, and if approved by the ISA, to begin mining towards the end of 2024.
The ISA subsequently scheduled a series of meetings to accelerate the development of mining regulations, but has yet to adopt a final set of rules.
The delay is due, in part, to the increasing number of states and observers from civil society raising concerns about the safety and necessity of deep sea mining. Some member states, including Palau, Fiji and Samoa, have even called for a moratorium on deep sea mining until more is understood about the marine environment that companies want to exploit. Other concerns hinge upon an environmental impact statement (EIS) that NORI had to submit in order for mining to begin.
NORI submitted an initial draft of its EIS in July 2021, as per ISA requirements, and an updated version in March 2022.
Matt Gianni, a political and policy adviser for the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition (DSCC), a group of environmental NGOs calling for NORI’s testing approval to be rescinded, said that the ISA’s Legal and Technical Commission (LTC) — the organ responsible for issuing mining licenses — previously cited “serious concerns” about NORI’s EIS, including the fact that it lacked baseline environmental data. The LTC had also raised concerns about the comprehensiveness of the group’s Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan (EMMP), he said.
But then, “all of a sudden,” the LTC granted approval for the mining test without first consulting ISA council members, said Gianni, who acts as an observer at ISA meetings.
The fact that TMC announced the decision before the ISA did “reinforces the impression that it’s the contractor and the LTC and the [ISA] secretariat that are driving the agenda, and states are following along,” Gianni said.
Harald Brekke, chair of the LTC, sent Mongabay a statement similarly worded to the recent announcement made by the ISA. He said that the LTC had reviewed NORI’s EIS and EMMP for “completeness, accuracy and statistical reliability,” and that an internal working group had worked closely with NORI to address concerns. In response, the mining group adequately dealt with the issues, which allowed the LTC to approve the proposed testing activities, he said.
“This is a normal contract procedure between the [ISA] Secretary-General and the Contractor, on the advice and recommendations by the [Legal and Technical] Commission,” Brekke said in the emailed statement. “It is not a decision to be made by the [ISA] Council. According to the normal procedure of ISA, the details of this process will be [communicated] by the Chair of the Commission to the Council at its session in November.”
“I also would like to point out that this procedure has followed the regulations and guidelines of ISA,” Brekke added, “which are implemented to take care of the possible environmental impacts of this kind of exploration activity.”
Yet Gianni said he did not believe the LTC had satisfactorily reviewed the EIS for its full potential of environmental impact, nor had it considered the “serious harmful effects on vulnerable marine ecosystems” as required under the ISA’s own exploration regulations for polymetallic nodules.
Questions about transparency
Sandor Mulsow, who worked as the director of environment and minerals at the ISA between 2013 and 2019, said that the ISA “is not fit to carry out an analysis of environmental impact assessment” and that the grounds on which the ISA authorized NORI to begin testing were questionable.
“Unfortunately, the [International] Seabed Authority is pro-mining,” Mulsow, who now works as a professor at Universidad Austral de Chile, said in an interview with Mongabay. “They’re not complying with the role of protecting the common heritage of humankind.”
A recent investigation by the New York Times revealed that the ISA gave TMC critical information over a 15-year period that allowed the company to access some of the most valuable seabed areas marked for mining, giving it an unfair advantage over other contractors.
The ISA has also frequently been criticized for its lack of transparency, including the fact that the LTC meets behind closed doors and provides few details about why it approves mining proposals. The ISA has previously granted dozens of exploratory mining licenses to contractors, although none have yet received an exploitation license. While NORI is not technically undertaking exploratory mining in this instance, their testing of mining equipment falls under exploration regulations.
Mongabay reported that transparency issues were even prominent during the ISA meetings that took place in July and August this year, including restrictions on participation and limited access to key information for civil society members.
The ISA did not respond to questions posed by Mongabay, instead deferring to the statement from Brekke, the LTC chair.
‘Full-blown mining in test form’
During the mining trial set to take place in the CCZ — which could begin as early as next week — NORI will be testing out its nodule collector vehicles and riser systems that will draw the nodules about 3,000 meters (9,840 feet) from the seabed to the surface. If NORI does begin exploitation in 2024, Gianni said the risers will be pumping about 10,000 metric tons of nodules up to a ship per day.
“That’s a hell of a lot,” Gianni said. “This is heavy duty machinery. This is piping that has to withstand considerable pressure.”
NORI intends to extract 1.3 million metric tons of wet nodules each year in the exploitation stage of its operation, TMC reported.
The Metals Company argues that this mining will provide minerals necessary to power a global shift toward clean energy. Indeed, demand for such minerals is growing as nations urge consumers to take up electric vehicles in an effort to combat climate change.
Mining opponents, however, have argued that renewable technologies like electric cars don’t actually need the minerals procured from mining.
Moreover, a growing cadre of scientists have been warning against the dangers of deep sea mining, arguing that we don’t know enough about deep sea environments to destroy them. What we do know about the deep sea suggests that mining could have far-reaching consequences, such as disturbing phytoplankton blooms at the sea’s surface, introducing toxic metals into marine food webs, and dispersing mining waste over long distances across the ocean — far enough to affect distant fisheries and delicate ecosystems like coral reefs and seamounts.
“Every time somebody goes and collects some sample in that area of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone, there’s a new species coming up,” Mulsow said. “We don’t know how to name them, and we want to destroy them.”
TMC has stated that the testing activities will be monitored by “independent scientists from a dozen leading research institutions around the world.”
However, Hemphill of Greenpeace, who also has ISA observer status, questions whether the monitoring process will be unbiased.
“We’re thinking there’s a high chance that these risers might not work,” he said. “But if there’s not a third party observer out there, then we just have to rely on The Metals Company’s own recording.”
“It’s going to be basically a full-blown mining operation in test form, where they’re not only using the [collector] equipment, but they’re using the risers to bring the nodules to the surface,” Hemphill added.
Nodule collection trials like the one NORI is undertaking haven’t been conducted in the CCZ since the 1970s, TMC noted in its press release.
When Mongabay reached out to TMC for further information about its operation, a spokesperson for the company said that they “believe that polymetallic nodules are a compelling solution to the critical mineral supply challenges facing society in our transition away from fossil fuels.”
“While concern is justified as to the potential impacts of any source of metals — whether from land or sea — significant attention has been paid to mitigate these, including by setting aside more area for protection than is under license in the Clarion-Clipperton Zone of the Pacific Ocean,” the TMC spokesperson said.
‘No way back’
Mulsow said he was sure that this trial would pave the way for exploitation to start next year, not only giving TMC’s NORI access to the deep sea’s resources, but opening the gates for other contractors to begin similar operations.
“[In June] 2023, we will have … the application for the first mining license for the deep sea,” he said, “and then there will be no way back.”
Hemphill said he also feared the move would set a process into motion for mining to start next year — but added that Greenpeace would continue its fight to stop mining.
“We’re not giving up just because the two-year rule comes to pass,” he said. “And then if things get started, we’re in this for the long haul.”
Gianni said he was hopeful that the dynamic could also change at the next ISA meeting scheduled for November, in which delegates will get the chance to discuss whether they’re obligated to approve the start of mining the following year.
“The fact that the LTC has done this … may finally get council members to start saying, ‘Wait a minute, we need to bring this renegade fiefdom [at] the heart of the ISA structure under control,” Gianni said, “because they’re going off and deciding things in spite of all the reservations that are being expressed by the countries that are members of the ISA.”
Featured image and all other images, unless mentioned otherwise, were provided by Julia Barnes.