(the graphs for this post did not copy properly. Please see the original article at www.nonviolentchangejournl.org
South After Rupture in a Pipeline," The New York Times, September 20, 2016).
"President Barack Obama made history today by designating Bears Ears in southern Utah and Gold Butte in southern Nevada as national monuments, safeguarding significant cultural areas and honoring tribal nations with ancestral connections to the regions. Our two newest national monuments will preserve traditional land use, outstanding natural resources, and world-class opportunities for outdoor recreation for future generations.
This incredible victory for our public lands was made possible by thousands of people across the country who joined tribes and local elected officials, business owners, community groups, scientists, cultural resource specialists, and recreation enthusiasts to call on our national leaders to safeguard two beloved landscapes.
Bears Ears contains more than 100,000 archeological and cultural sites, is rich in biodiversity, and remains of critical importance to the Colorado River Basin, upon which 40 million Americans rely for clean water. Its red rock canyons, alpine peaks, and forested plateaus are a magnet for all types of outdoor enthusiasts from across the country and around the world. Gold Butte's marvels include thousands of petroglyphs, historic mining and pioneer-era artifacts, rare and threatened wildlife, dramatic geologic features such as red sculpted sandstone and rock spires, and fossil sites that are now protected forever.
But there are some in Congress who are attempting to dismantle the Antiquities Act, the law used by President Obama--and 15 past presidents of both political parties--to safeguard these and other national treasures".
President Obama established the first U.S. Atlantic marine monument, preserving an area of underwater mountains and canyons off the coast of New England, in September, as the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument It is an area about the size of Connecticut, about 130 miles from Cape Cod (Julie Hirishfield Davis, "Obama Protects an Area Of Canyons and Peaks In the Warming Atlantic," The New York Times, September 16, 2016).
Danny Hakim, "Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops," The New York Times, October 29, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/business/gmo-promise-falls-short.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0, reported, "Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.
An analysis by The Times using United Nations data showed that the United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields — food per acre — when measured against Western Europe, a region with comparably modernized agricultural producers like France and Germany. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops.
At the same time, herbicide use has increased in the United States, even as major crops like corn, soybeans and cotton have been converted to modified varieties. And the United States has fallen behind Europe’s biggest producer, France, in reducing the overall use of pesticides, which includes both herbicides and insecticides."
Stephen. M. Sachs
350.org, https://350.org, in January 2017, was calling for a freeze on all new fossil fuel development, saying "letter urging ExxonMobil to stop deceiving the public about climate change," while preparing for the People's Climate Mobilization in Washington, DC, supported by numerous demonstrations elsewhere, and working from divestment of investment in fossil fuels.
For details go to: http://act.350.org/.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), in January 2017 was engaged in a campaign urging ExxonMobil to stop deceiving the public about climate change. UCS was working against the Trump administrations disregarding of good science, and science based policy, concerning the environment and in other areas.
For more information visit: www.ucsusa.org.
People’s Climate Movement, January 25, 2017, https://peoplesclimate.org, CONTACT: Paul Getsos, National Coordinator 646-732-0041 firstname.lastname@example.org or Paige Knappenberger, 602-549-0344, email@example.com, stated, "Activists Announce Major Climate March in DC & Nationwide on April 29th. Communities Begin Organizing Nationwide to Resist Attacks on the Environment and Our Communities And to Call for a New Clean Energy Economy that Stops Climate Change and Creates Good Jobs for All." " For more information on The People’s Climate Movement and the mobilization on April 29th, please visit: https://peoplesclimate.org/."
The peaceful demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline led by members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe were continuing in early September, facing harassment by the the Dakota Access, LLC, including turning dogs on the demonstrators. On September 8, MoveOn.org was circulating the following petition, http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/tell-the-state-of-north?%3Fsource=mo&akid=169348.1653571.9iAro4&rd=1&t=2. "Tell the State of North Dakota to Investigate the Security Guards Who Commanded Their Dogs to Attack DAPL Protesters," Petition by Matthew A Hildreth, to be delivered to Francine Johnson, Executive Director, NDPISB, "By turning their dogs loose on protestors, the security guards hired by Dakota Access, LLC acted in a reckless and inhumane manner. The guards had no uniforms, drove vehicles with out-of-state plates, and appeared to have little or no training. It's unclear whether or not they're even licensed to operate in the state.
The North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board must investigate the actions of the private security guards hired by Dakota Access and ensure they are properly trained and licensed to operate in North Dakota."
Lauren McCauley, "Over 20 Arrested After Militarized Police Raid #NoDAPL Prayer Ceremony: Water protectors say that 'with state police protecting Dakota Access Pipeline,' President Obama's 'words are meaningless,'" Common Dreams, September 29, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/29/over-20-arrested-after-militarized-police-raid-nodapl-prayer-ceremony, reported "Twenty-one water protectors were arrested in North Dakota on Wednesday after a military-style raid interrupted a peaceful prayer ceremony at a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction site.
Hundreds of demonstrators have been taking part in the prayer ceremony in recent days, according to the Red Warrior Camp, traveling to sacred sites that are being threatened by the pipeline construction, beginning Tuesday with the ancestral site where private security guards unleashed attack dogs on unarmed protesters earlier this month.
Construction was halted Tuesday as a result of the peaceful demonstration. On Wednesday, police helicopters and a circling crop-duster followed the caravan of cars south of Mandan, North Dakota.
According to the independent journalism outfit Unicorn Riot, which has been reporting live on the Dakota Access protest from the camps, after praying at the second site, 'a large amount of police vehicles arrived and blockaded the only exit on the public road leading to the DAPL work site.'
Unicorn Riot continued:
Dozens of militarized police with shotguns appeared with a Bearcat armored vehicle as well as a [Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, also known as an MRAP]. The Bearcat was also brought out by police at yesterday’s action, but the MRAP, a larger tan colored armored vehicle, had not been seen at any DAPL sites until today.
After blockading the exit points, police vehicles sped across open fields towards the crowd of protectors as they left the site. Several arrests were made, as police brandished loaded shotguns, and assault rifles. The latest information we gathered is that there were up to 21 arrests.
The Sacred Stone Camp has started a legal defense fund to support those arrested and others involved in the direct action campaign.
Though images and videos of the raid were shared widely on social media, as others noted, there was no corporate media coverage of the arrests.
In the following video, posted on by the Red Warrior Camp, a Sacangua Lakota grandmother recalls the raid. 'The next thing i knew there were like 40 police and they were all dressed in riot gear,' she said. 'I've never in my life seen a gun in real life and I've never had a gun pointed at me and I went into shock. I think everybody went into shock.'
In another video posted by Thomas H. Joseph II, he describes how the prayer caravan was 'surrounded by cops' with 'their weapons out.' The protectors are seen chanting, 'We have no weapons! We are unarmed.'
'Today's action where uncalled for, the police was a direct threat to woman and children,' Joseph wrote online. 'We gathered in prayer un-armed, prayed, sang songs, and attempted to leave. No threats, No vandalism, No violence was taken on our part.'
On Facebook, Thomas encouraged viewers to 'share this,' and 'flood the White House with phone calls and demand Obama to act and enforce his previous declaration of no construction. With state police protecting Dakota Access Pipeline his words are meaningless.'
This is not the first time that North Dakota law enforcement have acted on behalf of the oil pipeline company. But, as many pointed out, this latest show of force appeared particularly egregious. Further, as Native in D.C. blogger Marie Jordan noted, Wednesday's raid was eerily reminiscent of other historic government assaults on tribal land.'"
As the effort adjacent to Standing Rock to block the DAPL continued into late November, the police authorities were becoming more aggressive against peaceful demonstrators. While, reports from participants indicate that everyone joining the demonstration on site has been given a lengthy orientation about acting non-violently, the law authorities have become more violent. Daily Kos, "Call the DOJ: Demand an investigation into Morton County's brutal attack on Standing Rock water protectors," November 22, 2016, https://www.dailykos.com/campaigns/forms/call-the-morton-county-sheriff-to-stop-the-violent-attacks-at-standing-rock-immediately?detail=actionDKLL&link_id=0&can_id=2304a48b2891e77b9b6c14d1ce535f4f&source=email-the-doj-must-investigate-the-horrific-police-attack-on-standing-rock-protectors&email_referrer=the-doj-must-investigate-the-horrific-police-attack-on-standing-rock-protectors___135827&email_subject=over-300-injured-in-police-attacks-against-standing-rock-water-protectors-please-read, reported and commented, "On November 20th the Morton County Sheriff's office put Standing Rock water protectors in grave danger. Over 160 people were injured, including an elder who went into cardiac arrest and several people treated for rubber bullet injuries to the face. One person faces amputation after a "less-than-lethal" projectile ripped through her arm.
Police fired water cannons at the protectors for at least six hours in below freezing temperatures, exposing them all to hypothermia. Medical professionals at the camp called for a cessation of this tactic because of the real threat that people could die. And Morton County law enforcement just kept drenching water protectors in water, tear gassing them, firing concussion grenades and using sonic weapons against them.
Call the Department of Justice: Demand an investigation into Morton County's brutal attack on Standing Rock water protectors."
The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) condemns the use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement against Standing Rock Water Protectors, calls for additional UN action," November 22, 2016, http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/1383891/5613cddd14/545546365/aa063f1824/, stated, "The International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) offers this statement on the occasion of today’s press conference to provide updates on the condition of Ms. Sophia Wilansky. She was injured as a result of deadly force used by Morton County North Dakota Sherriff’s Department against water protectors from the Oceti Sakowin Standing Rock Camp on the night of November 20th, 2016. IITC, first and foremost, offers our thoughts for her and her family, and our prayers for her recovery.
Ms. Wilansky’s arm was severely injured when she was reportedly struck by a concussion grenade fired at several hundred unarmed water defenders opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The multi-billion dollar oil pipeline threatens the water, Treaty rights and sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Due to the severity of her injuries, Ms. Wilansky, who is 21, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis where she has undergone several hours of surgery. IITC Board member Lisa Bellanger, based in Minneapolis, is in close contact with the family and we will continue to monitor her condition in that way.
In addition to concussion grenades, North Dakota law enforcement also used high pressure water cannons, mace, tear gas and rubber bullets against the water defenders who were attempting to cross a bridge near the DAPL construction site. Many suffered from hypothermia as a result of cold water directed at them at high velocity in sub-freezing temperatures with potentially life-threatening effects.
The IITC considers these actions as constituting use of deadly force. New reports indicate that over 300 water protectors were injured in this incident, and 27 were taken to hospitals including some with broken bones and head injuries. Photos, videos and eyewitness accounts were widely circulated on social and other media. The IITC strongly condemns this escalating violence used against peaceful human, Treaty and environmental rights defenders opposing the DAPL.
The IITC has reported this latest incident and the escalation of police violence it represents to the United Nations (UN) human rights system including the UN Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, members of the UN Working Group on Human Rights and Multinational Corporations, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. IITC has requested that UN human rights bodies immediately contact the United States government to call for an immediate halt to the increasing human rights violations including the use of deadly force against these unarmed defenders.
As a result of information and reports submitted by IITC which documented the actions of law enforcement at Standing Rock up to that time, on November 15th 2016 the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Peaceful Assembly Mr. Maina Kiai issued a statement, reported in the Washington Post, Indian Country Today and the UN Press, calling the use of the tactics used by “law enforcement officials, private security firms and the North Dakota National Guard up to that time as 'unjustified' and 'excessive force'. However, the tactics used in the November 20th incident far exceeded those used previously which were addressed by the Rapporteur.
IITC worked with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) to organize an official visit by Grand Chief Edward John, member of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) in late October to observe the continued impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction such as threats to water, Treaty rights and sacred areas. His report included the escalating levels of repression, violence and intimidation against Tribal members and their supporters by state law enforcement, private security and the National Guard. Roberto Borrero representing the IITC accompanied him as a human rights observer.
IITC and the SRST also submitted two joint urgent actions to the UN Human Rights system, including four UN Special Rapporteurs, in August and September of this year. This submission highlighted a number of human rights violations and requested that these UN human rights mandate holders call upon the United States to uphold its commitment, including to the Tribes’ right to Free Prior and Informed Consent, under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the 1868 Ft. Laramie Treaty. Primary concerns expressed by the SRST included the potential devastating effects on the Missouri River, its primary water source as well as on sacred sites and burial grounds. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has also extended an invitation to Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of indigenous Peoples, which is currently in process.
IITC has also recently received very disturbing reports of suspected pesticides or other toxic chemicals being sprayed over the Oceti Sakowin camp, possibly by airplanes during the night, causing immediate health effects. The use of chemicals by private individuals or law enforcement has not been confirmed, but a growing number of on-site reports indicate that there is cause for serious concern. IITC calls on local law enforcement, the State of North Dakota, the United States Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency to determine if such chemicals have been used in this way, obtain samples of suspicious droplets found on vehicles and tents, and report their chemical contents and known or suspected heath impacts without delay. Such applications in this situation, including exposure of the many children in the camp, may constitute the use of chemical weapons under international law. This must be investigated, confirmed or denied without delay.
For more information or to provide testimony regarding human rights violations contact: Andrea Carmen, IITC Executive Director, (520)273-6003, firstname.lastname@example.org; Roberto Borrero, IITC Communications Coordinator, email@example.com, (917)334-5658; Lisa Bellanger, IITC Board of Directors member (612) 730-8935, firstname.lastname@example.org."
The Indigenous Environmental Network, November 26, 2016, https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1412797380, "Army Corps Threatens to Close Oceti Sakowin Camp on December 5th," reported and commented,
Contacts: Dallas Goldtooth, email@example.com, (507)-412-7609, Jade Begay, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505)-699-4791.
Cannon Ball, ND - Today Colonel John W. Henderson of the United States Army Corps sent a letter to Dave Archambault II, the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, stating that on December 5th all lands north of the Cannon Ball River will be closed to the general public. This includes the Oceti Sakowin encampment where nearly eight thousand people are camping to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline. Henderson said, 'This decision is necessary to protect the general public from the violent confrontations between protestors and law enforcement officials.'
In response to the Army Corps’ letter Chairman Archambault and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe stated, 'the best way to protect people during the winter, and reduce the risk of conflict between Water Protectors and militarized police, is to deny the easement for the Oahe crossing, and deny it now.'
The following is a statement from the Indigenous Environmental Network:
'We stand by our relatives of the Oceti Sakowin and reaffirm their territorial rights set in the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. If the Corps wants to keep people safe and prevent further harm, then deny the easement, rescind the permit, order a full Environmental Impact Statement, and send Department of Justice observers. This decision by the Army Corp and the United States is short-sighted and dangerous. We have already seen critical injuries cased by the actions of a militarized law enforcement. We implore President Obama and the White House to take corrective measures and to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline once and for all."
Lauren McCauley, "This Ain't Over: Rallies in 100 Cities to Demand Obama Cancel DAPL: The Standing Rock Sioux won a temporary victory on Friday, but pipeline opponents say that the fight need not drag on," Common Dreams, September 12, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/12/aint-over-rallies-100-cities-demand-obama-cancel-dapl, reported, "The fight is not over, is the word from the tribes gathered at the Sacred Stone camp, whose months-long resistance against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) has captured national attention. Heeding that call, more than 100 #NoDAPL solidarity actions are being held on Tuesday to put national pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama to revoke the pipeline's permits once and for all.
'To defeat a pipeline, it takes a movement of people from all corners of the nation,' reads the call to action.
'Right now, we're witnessing one of the most courageous stands against a fossil fuel project this country has ever seen,' it continues. 'Thousands of Indigenous activists have set up prayer camps along the pipeline route in a historic moment of nonviolent resistance. They're fighting with everything they have to protect their water, the land, their history, and the climate—and we need to fight with them.'
In Washington, D.C.'s Lafayette Square, former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is scheduled to speak alongside Tara Houska with Honor the Earth, Chase Iron Eyes with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Van Jones, Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Youth member Jasilyn Charger, and other native leaders from North Dakota.
The Standing Rock Sioux won a temporary victory on Friday when the Obama administration suspended construction on Army Corps land bordering or under Lake Oahe until further review. The statement further called on the pipeline company to halt construction within 20 miles of that site.
But pipeline opponents say that the fight need not drag on, and that Obama can revoke the permit granted by the U.S. Army Corps—just like he rejected Transcanada's Keystone XL pipeline.
Further underscoring the dangers of the project, a new analysis on Monday by the fossil fuel industry watchdog Oil Change International found that the 1,172-mile crude oil pipeline would lock-in yearly emissions equivalent to 30 coal-fired power plants and would make it impossible to meet the targets set forth in the Paris climate agreement.
'The Dakota Access pipeline would be with us decades into the future,' wrote Lorne Stockman, research director with Oil Change International.
'Once built and operating the economic incentives to keep it going will be hard to overcome. Every year it will be the source of carbon emissions equivalent to nearly 30 coal plants. Even though it may be the case that those emissions would anyway occur this year or next year, or five years from now, it cannot be the case that those emissions can occur in 20, 30 or 40 years from now. Building Dakota Access would be yet another barrier to the path to climate safety.'
Tuesday's Day of Action follows similar events over the weekend—from Maine to Arizona to Massachusetts—during which local tribes came together with hundreds of supporters to 'stand in unity and solidarity, to protect the protectors," as articulated by Michael Rossi, a member of the Lakota Nation and the organizer of the Phoenix, Ariz. rally.'"
Deirdre Fulton, "Citing Environmental Risks, Scientists Back Tribes in Dakota Access Fight: Meanwhile, a Reuters investigation finds pipeline spill detection system severely flawed," Common Dreams, September 30, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/09/30/citing-environmental-risks-scientists-back-tribes-dakota-access-fight, reported, "Close to 100 scientists have signed onto a letter decrying "inadequate environmental and cultural impact assessments" for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and calling for a halt to construction until such tests have been carried out as requested by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
Lead signatories Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley, Anne Hilborn, Katherine Crocker, and Asia Murphy drew attention to the missive in a letter to the journal Science published Friday.
'The DAPL project is just one of many haphazard approaches to natural resource extraction that overlook broader consequences of oil development,' they wrote.
Furthermore, the open letter (pdf) states, 'We as scientists are concerned about the potential local and regional impacts from the DAPL, which is symptomatic of the United States' continued dependence on fossil fuels in the face of predicted broad-scale social and ecological impacts from global climate change." Specifically, they cite the Standing Rock Sioux's concerns that the pipeline project threatens biodiversity and clean water.
Underscoring those concerns, a Reuters investigation into the nation's pipeline system published Friday reveals that 'sensitive technology designed to pick up possible spills is about as successful as a random member of the public...finding it, despite efforts from pipeline operators.'
In fact, according to the Reuters analysis of U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) data, '[o]ver the last six years, there have been 466 incidents where a pipeline carrying crude oil or refined products has leaked. Of those, 105, or 22 percent, were detected by an advanced detection system.'
Even more troubling, the data 'shows the leak detection systems have caught small leaks and missed some of the largest,' Reuters reports, with six out of the largest 10 pipeline spills in the U.S. since 2010 going undetected by these systems.
Beyond its potential for local devastation, DAPL will make it nigh impossible for the U.S. to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement to limit global warming, the scientists said in their letter.
As Bill McKibben said Friday on Democracy Now! of the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies: 'They're holding the line against something that threatens not only their reservation, but threatens the whole planet. We do not—we cannot pump more oil. We've got to stop opening up new reserves.'"
Jack Healy "Ranchers Tote Guns as Tribes Dig In for Long Pipeline Fight," The New York Times, October 10, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/us/tribes-protest-oil-pipeline-north-dakota.html?ref=todayspaper, reported,
"Ranchers are arming themselves before they climb onto tractors or see to their livestock. Surveillance helicopters buzz low through the prairie skies. Native Americans fighting to prevent an oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation are handing out thick blankets and coats and are building maple-pole shelters that can withstand North Dakota’s bitter winter.
As the first deep freeze looms, many here are bracing for a long fight as the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline races to finish the $3.7 billion project by January, and thousands of protesters tucked into tents, tepees and trailers in prairie camps vow to stop it."
Nika Knight, "Impacted Communities Take Fight Against Dakota Access to Corporate Heads: Protesters from oil-impacted communities around the country are descending on Houston, Texas, for prayer action at Dakota Access Pipeline company offices," Common Dreams, October 12, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/12/impacted-communities-take-fight-against-dakota-access-corporate-heads, reported, "Activists from oil-impacted communities around the country are descending on Energy Transfer Partners' corporate offices in Houston, Texas, to protest the company's Dakota Access Pipeline and other controversial pipeline projects.
Despite ongoing, growing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the federal government's repeated requests that Energy Transfer Partners halt its construction, the company has reiterated its intention to continue building the pipeline, undaunted.
Wednesday's action is a part of nationwide protests against the corporate powers behind Dakota Access. The demonstration will see members from communities affected by the fossil fuel industry from Richmond, Calif., Chicago, Ill., the Gulf Coast, and others joining local Texas organizers to voice their collective opposition to Energy Transfer Partners' pipeline projects, and to push for a just transition to renewable energy.
'Energy Transfer Partners has drawn national attention for driving both the Dakota Access Pipeline and the equally controversial Trans Pecos Pipeline, that has also violated the rights of Indigenous peoples in West Texas, and poses significant threat to the water and land for many communities in Texas,' Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, an organizer of the demonstration, noted in a press statement.
The protesters will gather for a prayer action that is set to begin at 1:30pm Central Time.
The scene on the streets in #HoustonTX at @BEA4Impact & @tejasbarrios #solidarity action calling @EnergyTransfer to demand #NODAPL #NOTPPL pic.twitter.com/dE7MT8pU7o
— Delaware Sierra Club (@desierraclub) October 12, 2016
'From Chicago to Houston we stand with all of our communities impacted by the oil and gas industry in fighting back. It took us twelve years to shut down the two coal plant[s] in Chicago and we commit to fighting until our communities have justice," said Kim Wasserman of Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) in Chicago. "While these companies think they have only money and stocks to lose we have to remind them it's our lives and world at stake.'
'We stand in deep solidarity with our Indigenous brothers and sisters banded together to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline,' added Radical Arts and Healing Collective member Jayeesha Dutta, from New Orleans. "Our fights are quite literally one: the Gulf South is where that Bakken crude oil will eventually end up for refining and transportation."
'We are already on the frontline of environmental disasters, like the BP oil catastrophe, which we are still recovering from,' Dutta said. 'It is time to put an end to extractive energy production, and the exploitation of our land and labor that comes along with that.'
'Clean water is a basic human right that should be afforded to everyone. No treaty, law or structure should have to reinforce a necessity, yet we understand that we live in a world driven by corporate greed that sacrifices sacred lands, vulnerable populations and people of color,' said Yvette Arellano of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services (TEJAS). 'I am humbled by the solidarity and courage grassroots, big greens and supporting organizations from all over the country are demonstrating to face Energy Transfer Partners at their doorstep in the house of the largest petrochemical complex of the nation.'
'Together we press forward, rise, and demand a clean world for future generations in our struggle to survive,' Arellano said."
Christopher Mele, "Veterans to Serve as ‘Human Shields’ for Dakota Pipeline Protesters,"
The New York Times, November 29, 2016, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/us/veterans-to-serve-as-human-shields-for-pipeline-protesters.html?ref=todayspaper, reported, "As many as 2,000 veterans planned to gather next week at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota to serve as “human shields” for protesters who have for months clashed with the police over the construction of an oil pipeline, organizers said.
The effort, called Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, is planned as a nonviolent intervention to defend the demonstrators from what the group calls “assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force.”
The veterans’ plan coincides with an announcement on Tuesday by law enforcement officials that they may begin imposing fines to block supplies from entering the main protest camp after a mandatory evacuation order from the governor. Officials had warned earlier of a physical blockade, but the governor’s office later backed away from that, Reuters said.
Protesters have vowed to stay put."
"Indigenous Environmental Network Responds to Acting Secretary of Army Corps’ Recommendation to Issue DAPL Easement," Indigenous Environmental Network, January 31, 2017, https://www.mynewsletterbuilder.com/email/newsletter/1412877004, reported and commented, "Today Robert Speer, acting Secretary of the Army Corp of Engineers, directed the Corps to proceed with the easement to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline. While this is not an official grant of the easement, it does indicate that the Corps will disregard the Environmental Impact Statement that was ordered by the Obama Administration and completion of the controversial pipeline could begin as soon this week.
The following is a statement from the Indigenous Environmental Network: 'We are disgusted but not surprised by the Secretary of the Army’s decision to recommend the easement on the Dakota Access Pipeline. Instead of following proper legal procedure and completing the Environmental Impact Study, the Army has chosen to escalate an already tense situation, go against their own processes, and potentially put peoples in harm's way.
We are falling into a dangerous place where the United States government makes up its own rules. We know the Trump Administration stands to gain from this project, the President of United States is an investor himself, and their actions reveal a blatant disregard for the rule of law and a clear interest in lining their own pockets. This decision follows Trump’s unfortunate attacks on immigrants, women, and the press. Now he is working even harder to attack sovereign tribal nations and historic treaties.
Trump and his climate denying cabinet are clearly doing what is best for their businesses and are willing to put profit before human rights and the environment. But make no mistake: we are prepared to mobilize and resist this brazen power grab.'”
Deirdre Fulton, "Ten Activists Arrested for Helping Shut Down US-Canada Tar Sands Pipelines: 'My love for the beauties of this world is far greater than my love of an easy life,' said one of those arrested, 50-year-old Emily Johnston," Common Dreams, October 12, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/12/ten-activists-arrested-helping-shut-down-us-canada-tar-sands-pipelines, reported, "Ten activists have been arrested for shutting down five tar sands pipelines in four states on Tuesday, an act of non-violent direct action taken to avert climate catastrophe and in support of the call for International Days of Prayer and Action for Standing Rock.
According to Climate Direct Action, the group coordinating the shut-down, not only were the five activists who manually turned off the pipelines taken into custody, but also five support team members and videographers.
In Anacortes, Washington, authorities arrested Ken Ward for turning the wheel on an emergency shut-off valve for a Kinder Morgan pipeline, as well as documentarians Lindsay Grizzel and Carl David. According to the local NBC affiliate, the Skagit County Sheriff's office charged them with burglary and criminal sabotage.
Michael Foster, Sam Jessup, and documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg were arrested in North Dakota for shutting down Transcanada's Keystone pipeline; and Leonard Higgins was taken into custody in Montana after tampering with the valve on a Spectra line. Reed Ingalls was also detained for questioning in Montana.
Meanwhile, Climate Direct Action reported on Facebook that Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein, who turned off the valves on Enbridge lines 4 and 67 in Leonard, Minnesota, had appeared in court Wednesday morning and would be held at Clearwater County Jail until they reached bail—a combined $15,000.
To the participants in Tuesday's shut-down, the consequences are worth it. As Johnston said ahead of the action: 'For years we've tried the legal, incremental, reasonable methods, and they haven't been enough; without a radical shift in our relationship to Earth, all that we love will disappear. My fear of that possibility is far greater than my fear of jail. My love for the beauties of this world is far greater than my love of an easy life.'
Indeed, filmmaker Josh Fox—whose colleague, Schlosberg, was one of those arrested in North Dakota—declared on Twitter:
The Climate Disobedience Action Fund, which supported Tuesday's 'unprecedented' action, is raising funds for the activists' legal fees."
Wild Earth Guardians ("A Force for Nature"), announced, September 7, 2016, "Victories to Keep More Coal in the Ground (Cause That’s Where it Belongs!)," http://wg.convio.net/site/MessageViewer?em_id=23393.0&dlv_id=40934, "WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program is tearing it up for the climate, this time securing three rulings that promise to keep millions of tons of coal in the ground and millions more tons of carbon out of our atmosphere.
It’s plain and simple. You and me, we’re winning. Because as much as we’re getting the job done, we can’t possibly keep our coal in the ground without your support and belief in our ability to get that job done.
In the past two weeks, the success has been immense (http://www.wildearthguardians.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=12633&news_iv_ctrl=-1#.V881NZMrL3Q).
We overturned an expansion of Peabody’s Twentymile coal mine in northwestern Colorado.
We derailed Pacifiorp’s plans to expand the Bridger coal mine in southern Wyoming.
Topping it off, we secured a court ruling ordering the Obama Administration to conduct an unprecedented environmental review of the San Juan coal mine in northwest New Mexico.
We’re not just saying “Keep it in the Ground,” we’re making it happen. In doing so, we’re protecting our public lands, keeping our climate safe, and opening the door for clean energy to flourish."
Beyond Extreme Energy, reported, September 7, 2016, "At the end of August, Beyond Extreme Energy assembled for our first-ever offsite retreat. I thought it was a remarkable retreat and am excited about going forward together! I learned a lot and feel we are a little more solid about our direction, and I appreciate having had the time to be with everyone.
One of the most important things I learned was that listening is a radical, transformative move. By listening to each other, and to our many allies, BXE believes we can help create the exploitation free renewable energy future we're all working towards.
Coming out of our retreat we've identified four major areas of focus:
1. De-legitimize FERC;
2. Build/assist with direct action in D.C. at FERC and other agencies;
3. Provide capacity in our organization to support frontline struggles; And
4. Expand support for current and new frontline groups.
We still have a lot of work to do to identifying, implementing, base building, and fundraising for those four areas of focus. But you can already see we're hard at work. Since the retreat we've begun planning more major actions at FERC, helped coordinate at least 4 solidarity actions with the Red Warrior Camp and others opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, and launched our new frontline community support fund.
But to do all this work, and expand our focus on alignment with fights against coal, oil, mining, nuclear, and all other forms of extreme energy; Not to mention fights against white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy, among others, requires support."
Care2Petitions, was involved in a campaign in mid September 2016, "Stop PacRim Coal and Protect Cook Inlet Whales," http://www.thepetitionsite.com/236/951/169/?z00m=28372863&redirectID=2179334228, "A Delaware corporation is trying to dig up 14 miles of a thriving salmon river that feeds into the Cook Inlet in Alaska. The river is home to all five species of pacific salmon, which the whales of the inlet rely upon. Sign Marcy's Care2 petition demanding Alaska's leaders reject PacRim Coal's horrible strip mine!
The runs of the Chuitna are critical to the wildlife of Cook Inlet, including an endangered Beluga whale population, as well as orca pods. Approving this strip mine would be a terrible decision for these whales, and all who rely on the salmon.
The Chuitna River is also important to a couple of small communities that rely on the salmon runs. Care2 member Marcy Valka is a member of the Dena'ina Athabascan tribe and lives in the native village of Tyonek, which would be devastated by the impacts of PacRim's strip mine.
Marcy is so concerned about the future of the Chuitna River and the salmon her community relies upon that she started this petition to urge Alaska's governor and Department of Natural Resources Commissioner to protect the Chuitna.
If PacRim is allowed to proceed it would set a horrible precedent for Alaska; this would be the first time the state allowed the wholesale removal of a salmon stream. Salmon runs across the state would be at risk of future mining, drilling and development."
350.org reported, October 19, 2016, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/climate101-toronto-kingston-bus-tickets-28543556546?utm_medium=email&utm_source=actionkit, "On October 24th, throngs of young people from across Canada will risk arrest for the Climate 101 action in Ottawa to call on Prime Minister Trudeau to reject the Kinder Morgan pipeline.
Across Canada, people are grilling the Trudeau government in the lead up to the Kinder Morgan decision in December. Just last week, hundreds in Winnipeg confronted the Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr calling for a rejection of the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Now, weeks before the next round of UN climate talks, young people will bring this fight to the capital city."
Nadia Prupis, "Alliance of 600,000 British Doctors Calls for 'Imperative' Coal Phase-Out: Doing so would constitute 'double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change,' report states," Common Dreams, October 19, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/10/19/alliance-600000-british-doctors-calls-imperative-coal-phase-out, reported, "A coalition representing Britain's 600,000 doctors and health workers on Wednesday called for a rapid phase-out of coal, saying it was an 'imperative' measure and that climate change and air pollution were both ‘major health threats.'
"Ending the use of coal is a simple, no-regrets public health intervention. The rapid phase-out of coal fired stations is an imperative first step. Coal is the most carbon-intensive source of power generation, and is a key focus for reducing the risks of climate change," the U.K. Health Alliance on Climate Change said in a report.
'Climate change and air pollution are both major health threats,' the report, A Breath of Fresh Air, states. "They share a common driver: the combustion of fossil fuels. Pollution from coal plants alone costs the U.K. as much as £3.1bn [roughly $3.8bn] each year in human health impacts."
Pollution also disproportionately impacts children and can cause diseases ranging from lung cancer to stroke, killing 40,000 people a year in the country. In a press release (pdf) for the report, Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health fellow Jonathan Griggs calls it the "silent killer," and notes that the phasing out of coal would constitute a "double win for tackling the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change."
Although the U.K. government promised almost a year ago that it would phase out coal by 2025, the groups raised concerns over the seeming lack of preparation to do so, with no consultation documents published since the plan was announced, the groups note.
Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet, said the phase-out of coal use "is an essential step towards creating a sustainable energy policy for the U.K. It is also a vital co-benefit for health—ending coal use will deliver long-lasting health and environmental dividends for the British population. Life expectancies will be prolonged, disease and disabilities reduced, and future risks to health diminished. This is an opportunity to be seized."
The report calls for replacing coal with renewable energy sources like wind and solar, which are beneficial to both air quality and climate safety, which in turn is "advantageous to health," the report states. "Indeed, joining up policies on health, air pollution, and climate change can offset the costs of climate mitigation policies through the health benefits that they bring."
Added Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, 'Cutting air pollution from coal will greatly benefit the lives of many people with long-term chronic health conditions and help to protect the health of future generations. Tackling air pollution and climate change will have numerous health benefits but it requires a joined-up approach from government to ensure the health impacts are better recognized and fully realized'."
Among the many environmental, American Indian and justice groups supporting the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and calling for a stopping of the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline is, "United for Peace and Justice, a national antiwar coalition since 2003, supports the tribes gathered to protect the Missouri River from illegal pipeline construction in North Dakota.
We call on President Obama to intervene on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to close down the pipeline: The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) project is a 1,134-mile oil pipeline from the Bakken Oil Fields in North Dakota to refineries in Patoka, Illinois. The pipeline is proposed to transport over 570,000 barrels per day.
DAPL would contribute to 50 million tons C02 per year- the equivalent of 10 million cars or 15 coal plants. It is a massive pipeline that will transport crude oil across native prairie lands, valuable farm lands and critical waterways including the Missouri River.
The pipeline crosses treaty lands of the Oceti Sakowin and will pass along the northern borders of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation.
DAPL will cross the Missouri River less than 1 mile north of Cannon Ball, ND. It will also cross just 12 miles upstream from the drinking water intake for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s water supply, impacting over 10,000 Tribal citizens.
The construction work for the pipeline as it crosses the Missouri River will increase the toxic levels of contaminants and could cause the release of diesel fuel or other pollutants into the Missouri.
Main Concerns About the Dakota Access Pipeline:
No Proper Consultation With Tribes: Tribes were not properly consulted on the cultural and environmental impacts of the pipeline. There are numerous cultural and sacred sites along the pipeline route.
Inadequate Environmental Review: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) did not do a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) as required by the National Environmental Policy Act. This was despite the fact that in April 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of the Interior, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation all wrote a formal letter to the USACE requesting a full EIS.
Historic Preservation and Sacred Sites: The area where the pipeline crosses the Missouri River is a historically significant place for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, full of cultural and sacred sites. These sites were not properly surveyed, nor was the tribe properly consulted on surveying these sites. The pipeline would dig through Indigenous Peoples' cultural and sacred sites. We are concerned about the potential irreparable damage construction would have on these significant sites.
Environmental Racism: Dakota Access moved the pipeline route away from Bismarck while keeping it close to Native American communities. This is an environmental justice issue, where the impacts on and input from a more affluent, white community had priority over the impacts on and input from Indigenous Peoples.
Nationwide Permit 12: The USACE used Nationwide Permit 12 to segment the project into hundreds of pieces and rubber stamp each individual river or stream crossing without ever looking at the whole thing. This is the way they were able to skip the environmental review and public participation required by federal law. NWP12 was intended for projects like boat ramps and mooring buoys, not oil pipelines.
Pipeline Spill: It is not a matter of IF a pipeline breaks, it is a matter of WHEN a pipeline breaks. There are no safe pipelines. A spill will threaten drinking water for thousands of people, including the majority of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. A spill will destroy critical farm lands of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois.
Climate Change: The pipeline would go against Obama’s promise to act on Climate Change. DAPL would contribute to 50 million tons of CO2 each year. The president has promised to act on climate. Building more pipelines only locks us into more oil and gas.
The only real solution is to KEEP THE OIL IN THE GROUND, develop alternative renewable energy systems that are community-controlled, and make a plan for supporting workers to shift into jobs in new sectors" (http://ggjalliance.org/NODAPL?link_id=3&can_id=2304a48b2891e77b9b6c14d1ce535f4f&source=email-we-support-the-standing-rock-sioux-nodpl&email_referrer=we-support-the-standing-rock-sioux-nodpl&email_subject=we-support-the-standing-rock-sioux-nodpl).
Among the other organizations supporting the Standing Rock Sioux is Psychologists for Social Responsibility (PsySR), whose statement is at: http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/442001/e833c1f746/1493500885/3346ca120f/.
"GlobalPrayer Action: United We Rise Up - Flood the Banks," UNIFY, January 17, 2017, www.GlobalPrayerAction.com, announced, "Standing Rock is still standing strong through freezing temperatures, bravely holding the prayer for our water, our earth and our children's future - And they need our help.
You are invited to join a global synchronized Prayer Action on January 28 to carry the prayer from Standing Rock to Banks World Wide
The Global Prayer Action is carrying the prayer and request from Standing Rock to the steps of the Banks around the World who are funding Oil Pipelines, sending a clear message of solidarity and demand for change - The frontline is now everywhere.
There will be a live prayer broadcast shared from Standing Rock camp - a prayer for all water, for all life - led by indigenous elders. You can join from wherever you are!
This is an opportunity to be a part of history by uniting our global community to support the water protectors at Standing Rock through local actions at banks."
"At UNIFY we share virtual and in-person transformational experiences that support your most passionate, peaceful, purposeful, and amazing life.
We also organize global synchronized meditations and days of social action. We now have more than 7,500 organizers that bring their communities together for campaigns we launch on Peace Day, Earth Day, Water Day, and more."
Environmental Action, "Protect the Gulf - Stop the Dumping of Toxic Fracking Wastewater, January 4, 2016, https://environmental-action.webaction.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=19308&utm_source=Salsa&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=EAC4-FFRK-1116&utm_content=EM0:03A:0BH-AGP&uid=1385161, stated, "Right now, US policy allows offshore drilling operations to dump unlimited toxic wastewater from their platforms into America’s waters in the Gulf of Mexico — along with chemicals like arsenic, benzene, cadmium, lead, formaldehyde, chlorine, and mercury that have been associated with cancer, developmental disabilities and reproductive harms.
These chemicals can contaminate Gulf seafood and poison the imperiled sea turtles, dolphins, and other marine wildlife that rely on Gulf waters for their survival. Environmental Action is committed to protecting these natural treasures."
Earth Justice, "Restore Wild Salmon: Remove the Lower Snake Rive Dams," October 20, 2016, https://secure.earthjustice.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=00000000.app314b?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1902&utm_source=crm&utm_content=ResponsiveSidebarTakeActionButton&autologin=true&NONCE_TOKEN=0FC826B8FFFB6D4498E0CBCEBCF5F277, stated in a campaign, " We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to restore wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest’s Columbia and Snake rivers, once the greatest salmon rivers in the world. We can do this by removing four outdated and expensive dams on the lower Snake River.
But we need your help.
For nearly 20 years, in spite of multiple court rulings that have found their actions illegal, the federal agencies that own these salmon-killing dams have refused to fully evaluate removing them. That changed last May when a federal court judge directly ordered the agencies to develop a plan for dam operations that will restore our wild salmon—and directed them to specifically consider dam removal.
Now the agencies are seeking the public’s input on what they should do. For years scientists have said that removing the four deadly dams on the lower Snake is the single biggest step we can take to restore wild salmon to the river basin.
Wild salmon, steelhead and pacific lamprey are dying by the thousands due to these four outdated dams: Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite. Astonishingly, both taxpayers and rate-payers—you and me—lose millions of dollars operating and maintaining these dams every year even though they produce only about 3 percent of the region’s power and kill hundreds of thousands of baby salmon. Meanwhile, the electricity the dams produce can be economically replaced by carbon-free energy alternatives. The dams’ other primary purpose, providing barge transportation, has declined nearly 70 percent in 20 years and what little demand remains can be replaced by rail or other effective options.
Further, the dams exacerbate the effects of climate change on the few remaining salmon, trapping the fish in slack-water reservoirs that overheat and contribute to disease, mortality and increased predation. Removing these four dams would open up a pathway for salmon to thousands of miles of pristine cold-water streams in the wilderness of central Idaho—a concrete action to combat the worst effects of climate change on our wild salmon.
These salmon are an icon of the Pacific Northwest way of life. They are a keystone species that help keep the natural world healthy by bringing nutrients from the briny ocean back to the high mountain streams. They are a critical food source for many other species, including endangered orcas.
The time is now to remove the four outdated, low-value, deadbeat dams on the lower Snake River. If we free the Snake, we can save the salmon and bring about the biggest river restoration in history."
Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WSC) commented, September 26, 2016, http://wdc-nawhaleanddolphinconservationnorthamerica.cmail20.com/t/ViewEmail/j/AE478659EAE2E229/A01551233679361B9A8E73400EDACAB4, "WHAT MANY HAIL AS A VICTORY RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS," "Not everyone is celebrating the recent announcement by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that it will remove federal protections from 9 global populations of humpback whales including humpbacks that feed off the east coast of the US and Canada. Based on a White House, this decision is 'evidence that U.S. efforts to protect and restore thousands of endangered animals and plants are working.' However, WDC believes this decision is premature for some populations of humpback whales, in particular the humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine. NMFS itself hashttp://wdc-nawhaleanddolphinconservationnorthamerica.cmail20.com/t/j-l-khkhujl-uujycild-j/ that '(t)here are insufficient data to reliably determine current population trends for humpback whales in the North Atlantic overall', and ignored recently published pointing to more than one breeding stock for Western North Atlantic humpbacks."
"Four Groups Urge NRC to Halt Review of License Application for High Level Waste Dump in Texas: Application Raises Prospect of “Permanent Parking Lot Dump” of Nuclear Waste In Absence of Permanent Repository and Shifting Nuclear Waste Costs From Industry to Taxpayers," October 27, 2016, at http://pubc.it/2eMSaXM, stated, Opposed to an industry scheme that risks a proposed short-term nuclear waste storage site becoming a permanent site while sticking taxpayers for the bill, four leading national and Texas groups -- Beyond Nuclear, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS), Public Citizen, and the Texas-based Sustainable Energy & Economic Development (SEED) Coalition -- are calling on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to follow the law and terminate its review of the license application for the controversial plan by Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to construct an interim high-level nuclear waste dump in Andrews County, TX.
WCS seeks a permit to build and operate the supposedly short-term storage facility for up to 40,000 metric tons of highly dangerous nuclear waste in Andrews County, but only if the U.S. government first assumes responsibility for the waste and further agrees to ship it to the Texas site by rail. The license application is for the first 5,000 metric tons but the company’s promotional materials show they are planning on expanding the site to accommodate more than half of the estimated 75,000 metric tons of commercial nuclear waste currently in the U.S.
The groups are concerned that the “interim” storage facility may become the de facto permanent home for the highly toxic waste. Given the long battle over Yucca Mountain, the groups have zero confidence that Congress or federal regulators would have the stomach for fighting to move the nuclear waste a second time from WCS or any other “interim” site. And, with utilities totally off the hook and taxpayers footing the entire bill, those that generated the waste would have no incentive to ensure its safe disposal in a permanent geologic repository.
Available online at http://pubc.it/2eMSaXM, the letter from the four groups to the NRC’s top executive argues that the WCS proposal would require the NRC to break federal law, which bars the U.S. government from assuming responsibility for interim waste storage in the absence of a federal repository for permanent disposal. They contend that, until a long-term geological repository is ready, federal law forces utilities to solve their own interim storage problems, including bearing the economic burden for facility construction and operation, and liability for accidents."
"About the Groups,
Beyond Nuclear is a national nonprofit organization that aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.
Nuclear Information and Resource Service is the national information and networking center for organizations and individuals concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues.
Public Citizen, Inc., is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization with over 400,000 members and supporters nationwide. Public Citizen’s mission is to protect openness and democratic accountability in government and the health, safety and financial interests of consumers. Public Citizen advocates for policies that will lead to safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy.
SEED Coalition is an environmental nonprofit organization with 2,000 members that works in Texas and other states to protect human health and the environment, including land, air, water and wildlife. The organization focuses on clean energy advocacy as a means to reduce pollution. SEED Coalition opposes the storage of radioactive waste from around the U.S. in Texas or New Mexico due to health and safety and environmental concerns. SEED Coalition’s members include neighbors of the proposed WCS facility and associated transportation routes.
Media Contact: Max Karlin, (703) 276-3255 or email@example.com."
With Ulan Bator, the capitol of Mongolia, one of the ten most air polluted cities in the world, large public demonstrations were being held in late January 2017, pressuring the government to act to clean the air. Most of the city's population of 1.3 million burn coal, old tires. plastic, and other materials to keep warm in the frigid months, causing extreme air pollution ("Mongolians Seek Action on Pollution," The New York Times, January 29, 2017).
Deirdre Fulton, "'The Resistance Starts Now': Harsh Crackdown on Anti-Trump Protesters in DC: The militarized police response—which reportedly impacted both protesters and journalists—was a troubling harbinger of what's to come under Trump," Common Dreams, " January 20, 2017, http://www.commondreams.or"g/news/2017/01/20/resistance-starts-now-harsh-crackdown-anti-trump-protesters-dc, reported, "Riot police arrested and used tear gas and pepper spray against protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C., on Friday, as crowds blockaded inauguration checkpoints and clashed with law enforcement as well as supporters of newly sworn-in President Donald Trump.
From LGBTQ activists to members of the Black Lives Matter movement to Dakota Access Pipeline opponents to anti-fascists, protesters represented a wide array of concerns and employed multiple tactics. But they were united in their opposition to Trump, whose right-wing agenda they see as a threat.
For some, the militarized crackdown—which reportedly impacted both protesters and journalists—was a troubling harbinger of what's to come under a Trump administration, as Trump himself has repeatedly emphasized 'law and order must be restored.'
Much of the protest action was being documented under the hashtag #DisruptJ20.
In another moment of resistance, six citizen activists stood on their chairs in the middle of Trump's inaugural ceremony, revealing the message "RESIST" across their sweatshirts and reciting the preamble of the Constitution. All six millennial activists—four women and two men—were escorted away by security personnel but not arrested.
'Today we disrupted President Trump's swearing-in ceremony to show the world, and our fellow Americans, that the resistance starts now,' said Claire Sandberg with AllofUs. 'We will not stand idly by while a political conman flouts our Constitution and basic democratic norms, and pledges to violate the rights and dignity of millions of people on day one. We will fight to protect our families, neighbors, communities, and democracy from Trump's agenda of hate and greed every step of the way, and we will not back down.'
Friday's protests came on the heels of anti-Trump demonstrations on Thursday night, some of which were also met with clouds of tear gas and walls of riot police."
Many hundreds of thousands of people participated in the 2017 Women's across the United States, January 21, 2017, opposing Donald Trump on a very wide range of issues. At the very least 500,000 people (and it could have been over 1 million) marched in Washington, DC alone. 400,000 marched in New York City, hundreds of thousands in Chicago, and in Los Angeles, and some 175,000 in Boston. Hundreds of similar protests took place in cities across the U.S., and abroad on every continent (Susan Chirta and Yamiche Alcindor, "Defiant Voices Flood U.S. Cities as Women Rally for Rights," The New York Times, January 21, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/women-march-protest-president-trump.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0).
Nadia Prupis, "#DayAgainstDenial Calls on Senate to Reject Trump's Anti-Science Cabinet: Nationwide actions highlight climate denialism of cabinet appointees, including Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and Scott Pruitt as head of EPA," Common Dreams, January 09, 2017, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/01/09/dayagainstdenial-calls-senate-reject-trumps-anti-science-cabinet, reported, "Environmental groups are launching a nationwide campaign on Monday to highlight the climate denialism rampant among President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet picks and demand lawmakers reject their nominations.
#DayAgainstDenial, spearheaded by the climate group 350.org but supported by a coalition of organizations and activists, calls on the U.S. Senate to vote against Trump's nominees to lead his administration, including former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, tapped for secretary of state; former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, nominated for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief; former Texas Governor Rick Perry for secretary of energy; and Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-Mont.) for secretary of the interior.
All four have denied climate change and have ties to the fossil fuel industry, the groups said.
'Repeat after me,' 350's communications director Jamie Henn wrote on Twitter. 'The CEO of the world's largest oil company should not run our foreign policy.'
More than 70 rallies and other events are slated to take place at lawmakers' offices around the country on Monday. Organizers say they see the day of action as the start to long-term resistance to Trump's anti-science agenda.
'The climate is changing, and anyone who denies this shouldn't be in the White House cabinet. It's up to the Senate to stop these nominations—and up to us to show up in person to tell our senators to fight Trump's climate denial cabinet,' 350 said.
Confirmation hearings are set to take place throughout the week.
The groups added that separate campaigns will target other controversial cabinet appointees—including attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder—throughout January."
Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) statement on the Inauguration of Donald Trump, January 20, 2017, https://www.e-activist.com/ea-campaign/action.handleViewInBrowser.do?ea.campaigner.email=A0%2BplTyUG8PtcO6LY6l%2BYcLMtSVFLyox&broadcastId=151565&templateId=128555, "Today is a new beginning, one that has many Americans cheering—and others fearful. I know that many PSR members are among the latter group. I've heard from many of you who fear that this day marks the beginning of a long decline into a world they don't even want to imagine.
But let me suggest reasons for hope today:
If nothing else, this election proved that large numbers of people in this country are unhappy with the status quo. In their anger, many of them reached for the most volatile change agent offered to them. But I believe that the appetite for change in this country actually goes deeper than that. The frustration felt by many Americans often springs from a desire for healthy and sustainable communities, and for a positive future for their families. That's something were all want, wherever you fall on the political spectrum—and something that can bring us together.
And it’s important to remember on this day that the issues that you care about, the ones that brought you to PSR, are concerns that are shared by a sizable majority of Americans. Just this week, a poll revealed that more than 60% of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's powers preserved or strengthened, including 47% of Republicans. Similar polls suggest wide support for disarmament and peace.
Today can be the start of something big, starting with tomorrow's march, which will bring hundreds of thousands of people to Washington D.C. to demonstrate that they reject the politics of fear. If we want any kind of hopeful future we'll have to come together and reject that kind of politics—and I think we're starting to.
Let's look forward from today with hope. I look forward to working with you as we begin this journey.
Jeff Carter, JD, Executive Director"
The First Nation's people living near the construction site of the giant Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam have been vehemently protesting its construction, because all over Canada the reservoirs behind dams build up high levels of methyl mercury, poisoning people who eat fish and game downstream (Ian Austen, "Canada’s Clean Energy Might Not Be So Clean," The New York Times, November 23, 2016).
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, USA. For details visit: www.jmu.edu/summitseries.