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Afghanistan Needs Trees, Not Troops

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Trees are the lungs

of the earth

Dear Friends,

At Afghanistan Samsortya, we directly address the challenges of environmental degradation, recognizing that a healthy environment is crucial for economic and social well-being.

As a grassroots organization directly involving communities in revitalization work, in 2009 we raised funds to establish a nursery that has now produced thousands of tree saplings. In 2011 we drilled a well to supply water. In February, 2012 we began our third season, continuing to plant fast growing species – like the Moringa oleifera, known as the “magic tree” because its leaves are edible by animals and people, and support lactation.

In response to requests, we were also able to distribute fig and lemon saplings to 100 households in the Surkhrud district of Ningrahar Province. Our fig trees bear fruit year round and provide an important source of nutrition. We are happy to report these trees are already thriving, and that our revitalization efforts have been well received by the local population!

We are optimistic that despite the extreme level of environmental degradation, Afghanistan’s natural environment can be revived and rehabilitated. We now have tree nurseries in Surkhrud in Eastern Afghanistan and outside of Jalalabad City. Our most recent accomplishment is the conversion of a new four-acre plot into a nursery. We will use this nursery to plant, nurture, and harvest thousands of fig, lemon, orange and mulberry trees in the coming years.

How is this possible, and how can you help? Financial contributions combined with land and seed donations make us able to continue our reforestation projects.

Breakthroughs for iMatter Public Trust Lawsuits

We wanted to update you all on the big news that came through last week for the iMatter TRUST legal actions. In the midst of the hottest summer on record, with 3,282 heat records broken during June alone, drought conditions to rival the dust bowl era, and ravaging wildfires, a glimmer of hope emerged from the most unlikely of places:  Texas.

Greenpeace Activists Shut Down 77 Shell Gas Stations in Day of Action

  - Common Dreams staff

Environmental activists shut down dozens of Shell gas stations across the UK, Denmark and Germany on Monday. The action was part of environmental group Greenpeace's Save the Arctic Campaign -- a bid to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic slated to begin within the next three weeks. Greenpeace has ramped up its efforts against oil company Shell as its drilling vessels drift closer to its targets in the Arctic.

Greenpeace polar bears scale a Shell gas station (Photo: Greenpeace via twitter) Earlier this week Shell's first drill rig to near the Arctic, Noble Discoverer, lost control during high winds and ran aground near Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

"Shell can't keep it's drill rig under control in a protected harbor, so what will happen when it faces 20 foot swells and sea ice while drilling in the Arctic? Shell's whole drilling program seems to be running aground...Shell cannot be trusted, and President Obama should not let its Arctic drilling program move forward," stated Greenpeace Lead Arctic Campaigner Jackie Dragon.

On Monday the activists scaled the roof of a Shell gas station, many in sickly polar bear costumes, used barriers to block off access to pumps, and covered a Shell sign with a Save the Arctic banner. In one instance they placed a life-sized polar bear model on a station's roof. Other campaigners chained themselves to pumps, a Greenpeace spokesman told the Independent.

Activists shut down pumps by switching emergency shut-off levers, which stop gas flow.

24 were arrested over the course of the planned actions.

Stop the Frack Attack

The End Is Near

Apocalypse has been given a bad name.  The Seventh Day Adventists are still around.  The Nike sneaker cult failed to open Heaven's Gate.  The new millennium brought us George W. Bush, not Jesus H. Christ.  And everybody's terrified of "drinking the Kool-Aid."

But our species is living beyond its means.  If we continue down this path, the planet, our food supplies, our climate, and life as we know it will collapse.  If we bring population growth, consumption, and pollution under control, the damage already set in motion will play out for centuries, but complete catastrophe will likely be averted.

Nobody likes to be told that the end might be near.  Either it is or it isn't.  And the question is resolved by a personal lifestyle choice.  Do I wish to be a pessimist or an optimist?  Of course, optimist is far more popular.  Even most predictors of apocalypse have actually believed they were predicting a good thing.  The world was to be replaced with something better.  Even our best environmentalists who understand the radical changes needed for survival guarantee they will happen.  Harvey Wasserman says he simply believes in happy endings.

Meanwhile, we can barely get half of us in the United States to "believe" that global warming is happening.  Of course, we step outside and there's a sauna, but that could just be "natural."  So what if the ocean is a few inches higher?  The people who've been predicting that for decades have been wrong until now, and now they're only a little right -- if you even believe them.  The ocean looks about the same to me.  And if they predict exponential acceleration of such changes, meaning that once the changes have become visible it won't be long before they're enormous, well that just proves one thing: they've drunk the Kool-Aid.  They're pessimists.

Sardinia: Militarization, Contamination and Cancer in Paradise

By Helen Jaccard, WarIsACrime.org

Need to test some new weapons?  Bomb paradise!
The sound of bombs, missiles, and other explosions; massive attacks from the sea onto the beach; an epidemic of cancers and birth defects; soil, air, food and water contaminated with heavy metals, jet fuel and other poisons; and national and company secrets that prevent the residents from learning the truth:  Is this a modern war zone?  No – Sardinia is the victim of weapons manufacturers, polluting military activities and a political system that cares about power and money over the health of people and the environment. 

Sardinia and it’s People
Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea – a paradise with diverse wildlife and beautiful beaches.  Alice Scanu, a Sardinian environmental engineer and activist said, “We are peaceful people, poor ones maybe, but very welcoming. That's how I'd like Sardinians to be remembered, not as people involved in wars and power games.”  In the rural areas are shepherds and farmers who make magnificent wine, honey, and cheese. 

Military Use of Sardinia
For over 50 years Sardinia has been used by militaries and arms manufacturers to:

·       test new bullets, bombs, missiles and drones
·       train soldiers and pilots
·       practice war scenarios
·       explode, burn and bury old weapons and dangerous chemicals
·       launch bombing sorties

Seventy percent of Italian military bases are located here, and Italian, NATO, and U.S. bases occupy about 1/3 of the area of the island’s land and sea. During military practice drills, the area closed to navigation and fishing increases to about 7200 square miles, almost 2 times the island surface. 

Quirra, Teulada and Capo Frasca testing and firing ranges
The worst of the pollution, cancer, and birth deformities is in the firing ranges.  In these huge areas in Southern Sardinia, militaries and weapons manufacturers:

·       test-fire artillery rockets, drones, and laser-guided precision bombs, including at least one depleted uranium weapon and missiles that release asbestos and white phosphorus
·       test the effects of explosions and fires on armor and pipelines
·       dispose of tons of old weapons and chemicals, by explosion or burial   
·       perform air and naval “exercises”, holding mock attacks of the coast

Contamination:

·       large quantities of buried waste containing cadmium, lead, antimony, and napalm
·       high levels of lead on several beaches and in the water
·       explosions of waste and weapons from past wars affecting areas up to 2000 square meters each that no longer support vegetation – each explosion produces as much pollution as an incinerator of municipal solid waste during one year - exposing communities, shepherds, base personnel and animals to toxic dust containing thorium, lead, cerium and cadmium
·       Thorium, a radioactive and highly carcinogenic heavy metal used in military targeting systems has been found in Sardinian honey, milk, and other areas of the food chain.
·       Pieces of bombs, missiles, and bullets are lying on the ground and in the sea.
·       Unexploded ordnance lies in and around the restricted areas, including both land and sea. 

Health effects:

·       Birth Defects: Between 1988 and 2002 fourteen children were born with severe malformations in Escalaplano, a small village of 2400 people bordering the Quirra base.
·        Malformed animals: two-headed lambs, calves with deformed legs, a pig with one huge grotesque eye – problems not normally seen here.  A tissue sample from a malformed lamb was found to contain depleted uranium.
·       Cancer:  In a village with 150 inhabitants, 12 people died from leukemia in 2002, with 63 in the past decade. In the previous decade (1990 – 2000), there had been no cases of leukemia or lymphoma among this same population. 65% of workers on seven of twelve farms located near the Quirra base are suffering from serious cancer.  Rates of lymphoma, thyroid cancerand autoimmune diseases are also unexpectedly high.

John Madeddu worked in the Capo Frasca base from 1968 to 1987.  He has diffuse large cell lymphoma.  He remembers an area where a large number of bullets accumulated in a clearing.  When it rained it created a marsh and the

water seeped into the ground.  The artesian wells provide water for both the base and the nearby farms.  This kind of contamination has continued to build over the years with no clean-up effort undertaken.  Animal deformities are common near the bases.  Cattle still graze here and even if directly hit and killed by weapons containing heavy metals these animals are being butchered and eaten.

Francesco Piras died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 27 in 2007 after serving for 10 months at Capo Teulada.  At the hospital, doctors asked him if he had been in contact with radioactive materials. Dr. Antonietta Gatti, Experimental Physicist at the University of Bologna, took biopsies of Francesco’s tissues and discovered high quantities of nanoparticles of industrial heavy metals.

A shepherd analyzed the situation with clear, shocking realism: "I have leukemia, I have only a few months or years of life, I accepted it. Nobody cares about us, and we just do not count for anything.  They are powerful; it is better for them if there are fewer of us.”

The sheep are still grazing on contaminated land and the local people sell sheep cheese and grapes for a living.

Investigation and Prosecution:

On May 12, 2011, State Prosecutor Domenico Fiordalisi opened a court case to stop all military use of the Quirra base. Hundreds of shepherds and farmers demonstrated against the case because they might lose use of their land.  They do not want a handout for unemployment; they just want their land to be uncontaminated and available. 

The nuclear physicist Evandro Lodi Rizzini of Brescia University and CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) found elevated levels of radioactive thorium 232 and cerium (proving that the thorium was man-made) in the tissues of 15 of 18 bodies of Quirra-area shepherds who died of cancer between 1995 and 2000. 

On March 24, 2012 Fiordalisi indicted twenty people on charges of "willful omission of precautions against injury and aggravated disasters or because they falsely certified the absence of pollution with the aim to "hide the environmental disaster.”  The documents from Fiordalisi’s investigation have now been turned over to a tribunal for prosecution.

Decimomannu, the largest NATO air base contaminating the water supply
Decimomannu in Southwest Sardinia has the largest NATO air base in the world, used since 1954 as collaboration between Italy, Germany, Canada, the United States and NATO. From here they support transport aircraft of the Military Airlift Command from the United States to the Middle East and Africa.  A total of 4 F-18s, along with a single Boeing 707 refueling aircraft was deployed to Decimomannu Air Base on the island of Sardinia for operations over Libya.

The military base of Decimomannu has been contaminating the environment with jet fuel and other poisons. Jet fuel contains xylene, benzene and lead, highly dangerous and carcinogenic substances.  Mayor Louis Porceddu in February 2011 prohibited the use of the local wells.  The authorities deny responsibility and expertise. An alleged reclamation has already cost 900,000 Euros, although no problem has been solved.  Monica Pisano of the Decimomannu Civic Committee “Su Sentidu” said, “It is absolutely ineffective, since it is useless to reclaim the territory if the spill continues!”

La Maddalena / Santo Stefano islands
La Maddalena is an archipelago located 2 km Northeast of Sardinia.  The population of 17,000 swells to 75,000 during the summer, when the tourists come to enjoy the campgrounds, beautiful beaches and lovely hiking trails.

From 1972 to 2008 a U.S. / NATO base on Santo Stefano Island served as the home port for nuclear submarines.  In 2003 the nuclear powered submarine U.S.S. Hartford struck a rock and damaged its rudders, sonar and electronics. However, residents suspect that even greater damage was done.

Massimo Zucchetti, Professor at the Department of Energy at the Torino Polytechnic and his team analyzed algae in the archipelago.  The presence of radioactive alpha particles and plutonium traces were found, sometimes in high concentrations.  This contamination is due to either a continuous loss of pollutant from the submarine base, or to environmental releases that took place during the USS Hartford accident.On January 20, 2004, the “schwäbische Zeitung”newspaper reported that there was an alarming high amount of radioactivity in the waternear La Maddalena Island.

Cause of Cancers
Dr. Antonietta Gatti, Experimental Physicist at the University of Bologna, found nano-particles of iron, lead, tungsten, and copper in the tissues of citizens and sheep. She said, “Rain leads to the contamination of the soil. Through air pollution, other areas that are not involved in the testing are contaminated as well… The sea is polluted. Local governments do not warn people when there are testing activities; they do testing even at night.”

Fernando Codenesu, Professor at the Department of Energy at the Torino Polytechnic, explained that Sardinia has rocks that are very fragile and contain heavy metals.  An explosion breaks the rocks into micro and nano-particles containing these heavy metals.  These in turn are blown in the wind, contaminate the groundwater; people and animals breathe them into their bodies.

Health Effects of Depleted Uranium and Thorium
What are effects of depleted uranium and thorium - elements that emit alpha particles on the body?

Dr. Rizzini said, “One micro-gram, that is, one millionth of a gram is sufficient to kill a person.   It causes a rise in atomic disintegrations; with a production of 2000 alpha rays a day, nuclear radiation is most damaging.”

The organizations International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons and Mother Earth have good information about depleted uranium.

Demands of the people

·       Transparency and truth – reveal what chemicals and metals have been used.
·       Close all of the bases and radar facilities – completely de-militarize the island.
·       Clean and decontaminate the bases and land, aquifers and sea around them.
·       Provide health care to all people affected by military activity on the island
·       Provide financial assistance and clean land and sea to farmers and fishers

Political Action

Cagliari – Monthly Rally with Cancer Victims and their Families
There is a monthly rally against the bases on the 15th of each month in Cagliari.  It is organized by victims of cancer and their families and those opposed to military use of Sardinia.

Committee of Parents of Fallen Soldiers in Times of Peace
Parents of deceased children (who had done their military service in Sardinia and in the Balkans) founded the organization “Comitato Genitori Vittime uranio impoverito” (Committee of Parents of Fallen soldiers in times of peace).  Giancarlo Piras (father of Francesco) says,   “Here in Sardinia, we are confronted with war victims but in a peaceful area. We like to call this area the zone for preparing new wars”.  He points out that existing law is that the government needs to know what kind of weapons/materials have been tested in the bases. The reality is that none of the armies give information about the tests and hide under the umbrella of ‘military secrecy’.  

Protests Prevent New Radar Installations
There are about 15 radar stations on the island, on the top of the mountains surrounding the bases.   Many fear that the electromagnetic radiation emitted by them is dangerous and want their use stopped. 

People are now demonstrating against construction of several more radar sites.  Local officials and the Italian Party Partito Democratico have now spoken against some of the proposed radar sites as well.    As a result, plans for four of them have been abandoned.

Fishermen Bring Naval Exercises to a Halt
Since the 1990s fishermen have been pushed out of their profession by NATO naval exercises and have become activists for their right to use the sea.  There were acts of civil disobedience at the port, the base entrances, and at sea.  Stubbornly, daily, when the wind allowed it, the fishermen challenged the restrictions and the bombs, directing up to 42 boats into the heart of the war game area and threw their fishing nets in a prohibited sea saturated by war ships.    Fortunately, it only takes one civilian boat to stop a naval exercise.

Their demands are simple: the right to safe work, to have the stolen sea back, and to have a clean sea and environment.

2005 was the last year of protest.  The fishermen are now paid to stay out of the water and many have abandoned their profession.

Italian Democratic Party (Partito Democratico) calls for closure or conversion of bases
In an encouraging new development in March 2012, Senator Gian Piero Scanu called for closing the bases in Capo Frasca and Capo Teulada, and for changing the Quirra base back to its previous designation as a technical-scientific research center.  This letter was signed by over 100 Senators of many political parties.

Media coverage
The Sardinian newspapers have published articles about the deformities and high rates of cancer, so everyone on the island is aware of this problem.  L’Union Sardo has been particularly good about publishing articles regarding the cancer, birth defects, contamination, and military use of Sardinia.

What can you do?

·       Spread the word about Sardinia.  More information is available here where the original 7500-word research document is stored. Also here as a PDF.
·       Contact your congressional representatives and demand the closure of the Sardinia NATO bases.
·       Carry signs or flyers at demonstrations demanding that NATO stop bombing Sardinia.
·       Contact Helen Jaccard at Helen.Jaccard@gmail.com to discuss ideas.

Environmental lawsuit filed against U.S. Navy’s 2nd Explosives Handling Wharf at Trident nuclear submarine base

www.gzcenter.org

Today, two groups took action to halt construction of a second Explosives Handling Wharf at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor until the public is fully informed about the serious environmental risks of the $715 million project.  The groups filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tacoma alleging that Navy secrecy surrounding the project is a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

The new wharf would be built close to the existing wharf where submarines dock for loading and unloading of Trident missiles.  Plaintiffs are concerned about harm to birds, salmon, seals, whales and other marine life from drilling up to 1,250 pilings and covering an area of water the size of six football fields in ecologically sensitive Hood Canal.

Mexico enacts climate change legislation

BBC

Mexican President Felipe Calderon has signed a law introducing binding targets on climate change.

Mr Calderon said on Twitter that the law would make Mexico the "first developing country with integral legislation against climate change".

The law, which sets targets on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy, is only the second of its kind in the world.

The measures had been passed by the Senate in April by 78 votes to nil.

'International leader'

"Mexico is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 and by 50% by 2050," Mr Calderon said in another tweet.

From the Land of No-Poetry

 

By Gary Lindorff

 

Welcome to the Land of No-poetry.

If I succeed in writing this poem

No one will understand me.

It will be like talking backwards.

It will be like autism.

 

There is no music here,

Except what you buy.

 

The weather is predictable.

Frogs are two-headed or one-legged

But it doesn’t mean anything.

Up means up, down means down.

Judge Deliberates on Whether to Save Earth's Atmosphere

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins heard the arguments on Friday in Washington, D.C., and is deliberating now on the question of whether young people can sue to compel their government to take serious measures to stop global warming. 

Judge Robert Wilkins is familiar with discrimination, having been the plaintiff in a well-known driving-while-black case of racial profiling in Maryland.  But few of us are familiar with the concept of discrimination against future generations.  We grow easily indignant when living people are unfairly treated.  We grow confused when considering the injustice of depriving our grandchildren of a habitable planet so that we can drive our SUVs and fight our wars.  There's no living person or group of persons we can point to as being wronged, unless perhaps it is the young.

Judge Wilkins is familiar with, and appreciative of, the role federal courts played in the U.S. civil rights movement.  But a case had been made that certain people's Constitutional rights were being violated.  Whose Constitutional rights are violated by condemning young people to grow old on a damaged planet turning to desert and barren rock? 

There may be an answer to that.  The Constitution's purpose is to "insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."  Surely there is a violation of the Constitution in making the earth uninhabitable for our Posterity.  But no court has ever arrived at that conclusion. 

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person," says the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which under Article VI of the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.  "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family."  How can we protect those rights for everyone, including the young and the not-yet-born, without putting everything we have into trying to preserve a climate in which humans can prosper?  How can the U.S. government fulfill its obligations to Native American nations while finally completing the destruction of their land along with everyone else's?

Courageous young people filed suit a year ago against the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Department of the Interior, the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Commerce, the United States Department of Energy, and the United States Department of Defense.  One would think being sued for ruining the earth's atmosphere with greenhouse gases was not terribly desirable, but there was a mad rush by other parties to be added to the list of defendants.  These additional defendants succeeded in getting themselves added: Delta Construction Company Inc., Dalton Trucking Inc., Southern California Contractors Association Inc., California Dump Truck Owners Association, Engineering & Utility Contractors Association, and The National Association Of Manufacturers.

The National Association of Manufacturers openly claims selfish interests for being involved:

"NAM moved to intervene in this litigation, because the law suit, if successful, would have a dramatic effect on manufacturing processes and investments, increasing production and transportation costs, decreasing global competitiveness and driving jobs and businesses abroad. The litigation, which seeks a minimum 6% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions every year, would be devastating to the entire U.S. economy."

NAM also says:

"The NAM's members include many of the major oil, coal and natural gas producers, petroleum refiners, and petrochemical producers, as well as manufacturing companies that make the tools and components critical to such industries.  Id.  Obviously, immediate reductions—and eventual elimination—of conventional fuel use is a central business concern for these members of the NAM."

So, this was the argument for joining the case: our profits would suffer.  Well, of course, they would.  The government would have to stop giving $11 billion a year or more to fossil fuel companies.  Arguably, the government would have to stop putting over $1 trillion a year into preparation for wars fought largely to secure fossil fuels.  Taxes would have to be imposed on carbon emissions.  But there would also have to be massive public investment in green energy, investment that could help companies become profitable in new ways.  Or it could not.  What's guaranteed is that the current profit-making plans of these companies would suffer, while humanity would benefit.  We're trained to think such conflicts don't exist, that what's good for Exxon-Mobil is good for all of us.  It isn't true.  The oil companies are arguing for the right to ruin the atmosphere.

In Friday's hearing, however, other arguments were advanced.  Three men spoke for the defense, one from the government, one from NAM, and one from the California interveners.  They did not dispute the reality and seriousness of global warming, which James Hansen called "apocalyptic" in Thursday's New York Times.  They did not claim ownership of the sky.  Instead they argued for democracy, the Constitution, the separation of powers, the right of the legislative branch to legislate, and the existence of the EPA as sufficient to answer the plaintiff's claims whether or not the EPA was doing any good. 

It was curious to hear the government's defense of the rights of the legislative branch for a number of reasons.  First, the executive branch in recent years has been rapidly eroding Congress's powers.  Second, the Constitution has been discarded when it comes to Congressional war powers, or habeas corpus, or much of the Bill of Rights.  Third, Congress almost never represents majority opinion in the country on any important issue, but is instead openly working for the legal bribes authorized by the Supreme Court as election spending -- for which the Supreme Court has argued to protect the human rights of corporations.  To pretend that the legislative branch envisioned by the Constitution still exists is bizarre.  Fourth, immediately after the government's lawyer rhetorically asked, "In a democracy whose job is it to take public actions of the first order?" he turned the floor over to the lawyer from NAM.  Where in the Constitution does it assign corporate lobbyists the duty to defend the government against popular petitions for redress of grievances? 

The NAM lawyer said not one word about his clients' profits.  Instead he proposed, among other things, that "national security" might require current levels of C02 emissions.  He was, of course, using a narrow conception of national security.  How secure is a nation that is losing its farmland and coastlines?  But, if the argument was to be made on behalf of the Pentagon, why not let the Pentagon do it?  Why allow the oil barons' hired hand to substitute? 

Julia Olson argued ably for the plaintiffs, citing numerous precedents for her claim that the atmosphere is a public trust and that public trusts must be protected.  As in the on-going struggle over the Supreme Court's pro-bribery Citizens United ruling, the state of Montana is featured in this debate, as the Supreme Court once ruled that Montana had a right to protect its rivers as a public trust, a ruling based on a long legal tradition, but later reversed.

Judge Wilkins asked Olson numerous detailed questions in a lengthy exchange that reviewed many precedents and hypothetical arguments.  Olson pointed to a case that had established a three-judge panel to direct the state of California to reduce its prison population.  The judges had not handled the details of the changes made to California's penal system, but had enforced a level of reduction by a deadline, just as these plaintiffs want CO2 levels in the atmosphere reduced to 350 ppm by a set date.

Olson's co-counsel Philip Gregory brought to Friday's hearing something that was otherwise missing in hours of technical debate: honest passion.  Gregory made a moral as much as a legal case on behalf of the rights of the plaintiffs, a row of several teenagers seated in the front row of the courtroom.

Judge Wilkins argued to Gregory that either he was being asked to tell six government agencies that they were not doing their jobs as required by statute -- in which case, the judge said, such matters could be handled one-at-a-time outside of this lawsuit, or he was being asked to instruct six agencies to act outside of their Congressional mandate.  Gregory's response focused, rightly, on the magnitude and urgency of the crisis we face.

Trying to get courts to do Congress's job may, in fact, not be ideal.  Trying to get state or foreign prosecutors to indict Bush for torture is not ideal.  Pinochet's indictment in Spain was not ideal.  Federal desegregation of Southern states was not ideal.  Protecting voting rights state-by-state is not ideal.  But in an emergency, shouldn't one try the tools that are available? And shouldn't one drop counterproductive pretenses, such as the pretense that a functioning Congress still exists? 

What if the mythical humanized frogs in the pot of gradually warming water -- thousands and thousands of such frogs in a giant pot on a giant stove -- had a frog government?  And what if the frog Congress had been bought off with piles of flies by a frog whose business it was to sell tiny, cold, bottled water to the frogs as they warmed?  If the frog courts decided to leave the decision to hop out of the pot to the frog Congress, they would make the correct decision that would best allow representative frog government in the future.  But would that do anything to guarantee that there would be any future for those frogs?

In case it isn't blatantly obvious, the above and everything else written here is my opinion, not the plaintiffs' legal arguments.  The hearing ran for about three hours, and was all very formal and polite.  Judge Wilkins generously thanked both sides for their "sincerity, diligence, and earnestness." 

"But I would be remiss," he added, "if I did not say that it is a struggle for any judge to determine based on our Constitutional system how best to play the proper role in adjudicating a case like this one.  I don't take the Constitution lightly. . . ."

"That said, it behooves all of us, regardless of the resolution of this case, to really think about what we can do to resolve this very serious problem."

Of course, we aren't all in the same position to do the same amount of good.  By ruling that this case can proceed, Wilkins would open up a public forum on intergenerational justice and a ground-breaking earth-protecting suit that the plaintiffs would be very likely to win.  Future generations would, quite likely, revere the name Robert Wilkins.  His heroism would not be quickly forgotten.

Sanders, Ellison to File Bill to End Fossil Fuel Subsidies

WASHINGTON, May 8 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), will hold a news conference Thursday to announce legislation that would eliminate all oil, coal and gas production subsidies.

The measure would do away with tax breaks, financial assistance, royalty relief, direct federal research and development and many loopholes that benefit the fossil fuel industry. Under current law, more than $110 billion in federal subsidies would go to oil, coal and gas industries in the coming decade.

The bill is supported by 350.org, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife. Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, and Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense will join Sanders and Ellision.

Who: Sen. Sanders, Rep. Ellison, Bill McKibben of 350.0rg, Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth and Ryan Alexander of Taxpayers for Common Sense

What: News conference to announce legislation to end fossil fuel subsidies

When: 11:45 a.m., Tuesday, May 10, 2012

Where: Senate swamp Map

    

U.S. District Court Will Hear National Association of Manufacturers’ and six federal agencies’ Motions to Dismiss a Climate Change Lawsuit Brought by Kids from across the U.S.

WHAT: Court Hearing on the Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss the Federal Atmospheric Trust Litigation case
(Alec L. v. Jackson, D.D.C., No. 11-CV-022235, 12/14/11).  The case was filed by youth plaintiffs
with the iMatter Movement.  These young people from across the country are being impacted by
climate change now and are standing up for future generations by arguing that the Federal
government has a constitutional obligation under the Public Trust Doctrine to protect the atmosphere
from harmful greenhouse gases.  They do not seek monetary damages, but ask that the government
immediately create and implement a scientifically viable emissions reduction plan.
The court will decide whether the youth plaintiffs can sue their government for its failure to protect
the atmosphere as a public resource, under the Public Trust Doctrine.  The doctrine requires

Real Politics Must be in the Streets: The Constitutional Crimes of Barack Obama

 

By Dave Lindorff

 

As we slog towards another vapid, largely meaningless exercise in pretend democracy with the selection of a new president and Congress this November, it is time to make it clear that the current president, elected four years ago by so many people with such inflated expectations four years ago (myself included, as I had hoped, vainly it turned out, that those who elected him would then press him to act in progressive ways), is not only a betrayer of those hopes, but is a serial violator of his oath of office. He is, in truth, a war criminal easily the equal of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and perhaps even of Bush’s regent, former Vice President Dick Cheney.

 

Let me count the ways:

 

U.S. And South Korea Assault An Idyllic Island: Not For The First Time

By Brian Willson

Originally published by Veterans For Peace

The beautiful island of Jeju in South Korea is packed with natural and cultural treasures and designated a UNESCO world heritage site. But it has the misfortune of appearing to the U.S. military strategically positioned to play a part in surrounding China.

Most Americans are unaware of Jeju or of the U.S. policy of increasing its military presence in Korea, Japan, and the rest of the Pacific -- even moving the Marines into Australia. But for the people of Jeju, attempting to nonviolently resist the construction of a new military base, there is an eerie sense of déjà vu.

In fact Jeju's history is central to how the United States became the militarized nation it has been for over half a century.

Veterans for Peace (VFP) recently sent members to Jeju to monitor the local resistance to this militarization, but they were refused entry by Korean security officials who gave no reasons other than following orders. VFP represents thousands of U.S. military veterans who have participated in various overt and covert U.S. interventions violating the sovereignty of countless countries. This aggressive foreign policy, little mentioned in our history classes, has caused incalculable harm to people, cultures, and the environment. Our personal experiences summon us to carefully re-examine the nature and patterns of U.S. foreign policy. Our clear understanding of past and present imperial adventures compel us to passionately and tenaciously oppose further militarism, war and aggression which we see as severe obstacles to the continuation of our species.

In examining U.S. interventions since World War II, historian William Blum has recently catalogued the following disgraceful record: (1) attempted overthrow of more than 50 governments; (2) attempted suppression of populist and nationalist movements in 20 countries; (3) interference in democratic elections in at least 30 countries; (4) bombing of citizens in 30 countries; and (5) attempted assassinations of more than 50 foreign political leaders.

Shockingly, when all the empirical evidence is scrutinized, the U.S. has militarily intervened nearly 400 times since World War II in nearly 100 countries, while covertly intervening thousands of times. Millions of human beings have been murdered, maimed, and displaced as a result of this egregious, unlawful behavior. Adherence to international and Constitutional law, and honest diplomacy, have been thwarted over and over.

One of the darkest, virtually unknown chapters of U.S. intervention occurred in the southern portions of Korea prior to the Korean War. In 1945, a Joint U.S. Army-Navy Intelligence Study reported that the vast majority of Koreans possessed a strong desire for independence and self-rule, and were vehemently opposed to control by any successor to the hated Japanese who had ruled them since 1910. A subsequent U.S. study reported that nearly 80 percent of Koreans wanted a socialist, rather than capitalist system.

Despite the conclusions of these internal documents, U.S. President Harry Truman, after the Japanese surrender in August 1945, imposed a purportedly temporary partition at Korea’s 38th Parallel dividing a 5,000-year homogenous culture. He then commanded U.S. General Douglas MacArthur to “govern” the people living south of the 38th Parallel. In October 1945, needing a trusted Korean with “an [U.S.] American point of view” to be the U.S. strongman, MacArthur flew 71-year-old Korean-born Syngman Rhee from the U.S. to Seoul on MacArthur’s personal plane. Rhee, a Methodist who had lived in the United States for 40 years, was to be a surrogate ruler of Korea that was largely Buddhist and Confucianist.

Rhee unilaterally chose to hold separate elections in 1948 to “legally” create an artificially divided Korea, despite vigorous popular opposition throughout the Peninsula, north and south of the 38th Parallel, including residents of Cheju Island (now called Jeju, hereafter identified as such). What is referred to as the April 3 (1948) uprising on Jeju in response to these elections, actually lasted into 1950, and is the single greatest massacre in modern Korean history. The Jeju uprising in 1948 may be seen as a microcosm for the impending Korean War.

A CIA National Intelligence Estimate concluded that Rhee was so unpopular that the newly-established Republic of Korea (ROK) would not survive “without massive infusion of U.S. aid.”

The U.S. Embassy described the repression in response to the Jeju opposition to Rhee as a “scorched earth” campaign of “extermination.” Secret protocols placed all Korean Constabulary, police, ROK forces, and paramilitary units under USAMGIK’s (United States Army Military Government In Korea) control.

CIA documents concluded that politics under the USAMGIK and Rhee regime were dominated by a tiny elite class of wealthy Koreans who repressed dissent of the vast majority, using “ruthlessly brutal” policies similar to those of the previous Japanese machinery hated by most Koreans.

Then U.S. Military Governor of Korea, John Reed Hodge, briefed U.S. Congressional Representatives that “Cheju was a truly communal area that is peacefully controlled by the People’s Committee.” Despite this understanding, he commanded three U.S. military officers (among others) – Colonel Harley E. Fuller, Captain John P. Reed, and Captain James Hausman – to advise and coordinate the “extermination” and “scorched earth” campaign. Koreans who had collaborated with the hated Japanese occupiers now served in the U.S.-trained Korean Constabulary and police. Right wing paramilitary units became a brutal element of Rhee’s security apparatus. U.S. advisers accompanied all Korean Constabulary and police (and additional ROK units after 1948) in ground campaigns; U.S. pilots flew C-47s to ferry troops, weapons, war materiel while occasionally directing bombings; and U.S. intelligence officers provided daily intelligence. Additionally U.S. Navy war ships, including the USS Craig, blockaded and bombed the Island, preventing supplies and additional opposition forces from arriving, while preventing flight of boatloads of desperate Islanders.

Hodge’s successor, General William Roberts, declared it was of “utmost importance” that dissenters “be cleared up as soon as possible.” The repressive Japanese organization, “National League To Provide Guidance” (Bo Do Yun Maeng), was expanded by the Rhee regime. Used to systematically identify any Koreans who had opposed Japanese occupation, the League now worked to identify those who opposed the de facto brutal U.S./Rhee rule. Thousands were murdered, jailed, and tortured, and many dumped into the sea as a result.

The Governor of Jeju at the time admitted that the repression of the Island’s 300,000 residents led to the murder of as many as 60,000 Islanders, with another 40,000 desperately fleeing in boats to Japan. Thus, one-third of its residents were either murdered or fled during the “extermination” campaign. Nearly 40,000 homes were destroyed and 270 of 400 villages were leveled. One of Robert’s cohorts, Colonel Rothwell Brown, claimed that the Islanders were simply “ignorant, uneducated farmers and fishers,” a weak excuse for repressing those who, Brown asserted, refused to recognize the “superiority” of the “American Way.”

U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and George Kennan, head of the State Department’s Policy Planning, agreed in 1949 that suppression of the internal threat in South Korea, (i.e., Koreans’ passion for self-determination), with assistance of the newly created CIA, was critical to preserving Rhee’s power, and assuring success of the U.S.’s worldwide containment policy. The 1949 Chinese Revolution made repressing the neighboring Korean’s passion for self-determination indispensable for success in the emerging “Cold War,” complementing successful U.S. efforts using CIA covert actions to thwart any socialist movements in Europe following World War II.

The 1949-50 National Security Council study, known as NSC-68, laid out U.S. aims to assure a global political system to “foster a world environment in which the American system can survive and flourish.”

The Korean War that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953, was an enlargement of the 1948-50 struggle of Jeju Islanders to preserve their self-determination from the tyrannical rule of U.S.-supported Rhee and his tiny cadre of wealthy constituents. Little known is that the U.S.-imposed division of Korea in 1945 against the wishes of the vast majority of Koreans was the primary cause of the Korean War that broke out five years later. The War destroyed by bombing most cities and villages in Korea north of the 38th Parallel, and many south of it, while killing four million Koreans – three million (one-third) of the north’s residents and one million of those living in the south, in addition to killing one million Chinese. This was a staggering international crime still unrecognized that killed five million people and permanently separated 10 million Korean families.

Following the Korean War, Dean Acheson concluded that “Korea saved us,” enabling the U.S. to implement its apocalyptic imperial strategy laid out in NSC-68. In Korea, this meant that the U.S. consistently assured dictatorial governments for nearly 50 years, long after Rhee was forced out of office at age 85 in 1960. Since 1953, the U.S. and South Korea have lived under a Mutual Defense Treaty, Status of Forces Agreements, and a Combined Forces Command headed by a 4-star U.S. general. The fact is that despite claims to the contrary, Korea has never assumed sovereignty since the U.S. imposed division of Korea in 1945. The U.S. has possessed more than 100 military bases and nearly 50,000 troops on Korean soil, and even today has dozens of bases and 28,000 troops stationed there. For decades, the U.S. maintained its main Asian bombing range south of Seoul.

Despite this gruesome history, Koreans began to successfully assert some semblance of democratic governments in the 1990s. However, despite creation of a constitution that protects free speech and basic human rights, Koreans once again are experiencing egregious repression. The Korean residents of pristine Jeju Island vigorously oppose the construction of a deep-water port to host Korean and U.S. guided missile-equipped Aegis Destroyers at the village of Gangjeong. The South Korean government headed by reactionary President Lee Myung Bak is ruthlessly repressing their legitimate, constitutionally-protected free speech. This is not acceptable. The residents of Jeju have a long history of living in peace and harmony. They were brutalized in the late 1940s for wanting independence, and are being brutalized once again for attempting to preserve self-determination. It is déjà vu.

We have been following the daily brutal repression by as many as 1,500 Korean police and security forces of Jeju’s 1,500 residents whose voices of passionate and nonviolent opposition have been completely ignored. When we called the Korean Embassy in Washington, D.C. to ask why this deep-water port construction continues in Gangjeong over objections of more than 90 percent of its residents, the answer has been, “Don’t call us, call your own (U.S.) government.” Political pressure from the U.S. continues to interfere with sovereignty of the Korean people as their own government disrespects, then represses, the free speech of its own citizens despite protections inscribed in the Korean constitution.

We read reports in the Korean press of more than 2600 politicians, journalists and civilians being secretly, illegally spied upon during the current Lee administration. In January 2009, Korea Broadcasting Service (KBS) aired a program that disclosed a secret deal made by the CIA-style Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), Korean police, and components of the Jeju Island government, to quash any opposition movement to the planned construction of a Jeju deep-water military port, saying such opponents are, in effect, traitors. It is being built by the huge South Korea conglomerate, Samsung, despite watchdog Public Eye citing its history of over 50 years of environmental pollution, trade union repression, corruption and tax flight. Samsung’s power in South Korea is so great that many citizens speak of the “Samsung Republic.”

And we note that the NIS has raided Korean citizens and organizations, even on the mainland, who support the valiant villagers of Gangjeong on Jeju Island who resist the militarization of their Island, of their coastline, of their villages.

The stakes are much higher now that U.S. President Barack Obama has chosen a dangerous policy to militarize the Asia-Pacific region, due to obvious U.S. political intentions to encircle resource-rival China. Jeju, only 300 miles from China’s mainland, is located in a strategic sea route between Japan, Korea, and China. Obama recently dispatched U.S. troops to a northern port of Australia (2,500 miles from China) as part of this plan, while possessing existing jet landing strips in Okinawa (400 miles), Guam (1,900), and new landing bases in Afghanistan (1,000) and Turkmenistan (1,500), and increased strategic relationships with Singapore (1,200) and Philippines (750).

The immensely biodiverse Jeju Island is a most inappropriate location for a deep-water port to host highly armed U.S. and Korean Navy war ships. Former Korean President Roh Moo Kyum designated Jeju as “Jeju Island of Global Peace” when he formally apologized for the April 1948 massacre. A popular tourist vacation spot, famous for honeymooners and sometimes called “women’s Island” due to its matriarchal history, it is also called the “Island of the Gods.” It is Jeju’s incredible unique ecosystem that makes the island so inappropriate for militarizing a deep-water port in quiet coastal village of Gangjeong. It is sheer madness to blow up sacred lava rocks to make way for violent war machines. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated no less than three World Heritage sites on Jeju, including the Gureombi Lava Rocks being blown up for construction of the Navy destroyer port that are being covered with cement along the coast. UNESCO has also designated nine Geo-Parks on Jeju, as well as designating it as a protected Global Biosphere Reserve that includes Jeju coastlines and its fragile coral reefs.

The Korean government has claimed the deep-water port will also host commercial cruise ships. Their huge weight and 1,000-foot length makes them twice as heavy and long as the 500-550 foot Aegis Destroyers. The port will not be capable of hosting these tourist ships, revealing this dual-use claim as fanciful propaganda.

Our military experiences tell us this plan by Korea and the U.S. to host missile-equipped Aegis Destroyers as part of its global anti-ballistic missile system on the pristine Island of Jeju is extremely threatening to world peace, destroys the peace of the residents of Jeju and Gangjeong village, and flaunts Korea’s Constitutional assurances of protecting free speech of its citizens. We urge the Korean government act decisively to end its continued deference to pressures from the United States, and instead commence pursuing Korea’s legitimate dignity and sovereignty.

##

This article is written by S. Brian Willson, VFP Member of Chapter 72 in Portland, OR.

Photos of Jeju Island are from http://savejejuisland.org

S. Brian Willson, commander of an Air Force security unit in Viet Nam, a trained lawyer and criminologist, and former dairy farmer, has been a long time activist critiquing the US criminal injustice system while investigating its criminal interventions abroad. He is a long time member of Veterans For Peace and recently authored his psychohistorical memoir, "Blood On The Tracks: The Life and Times of S.Brian Willson" (PM Press, 2011).

 

 

 

America's Gulf Disaster Revisited

  America's Gulf Disaster Revisited

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

April 20 marked the two year anniversary of BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster. Until Fukushima Daiichi's catastrophic nuclear meltdown, it was the largest ever environmental calamity.

 

Dahr Jamail: BP Oil Disaster Ongoing After Two Years

Dahr Jamail has covered the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico for two years.  He reports on massive environmental and economic damage and on oil continuing to enter these damaged waters.  Jamail is based in Doha, Qatar working as an Online News Producer for Al Jazeera English. His stories have also been published with Inter Press Service, Truthout, The Nation, The Sunday Herald in Scotland, the Guardian, Foreign Policy in Focus, Le Monde Diplomatique, and the Independent.  He's been awarded the Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, The Lannan Foundation Writing Residency Fellowship, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards. His website is http://dahrjamail.net

Total run time: 29:00

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Producer: David Swanson.

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Music by Duke Ellington.

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A related article.

Another.

As We Ruin Our Kids' Planet, They Take Us to Court

Here in the land of the free lunch and the home of the instant gratification, most people make a huge deal out of children's rights or fetuses' rights, or occasionally both.  Which is extremely bizarre -- crazier perhaps than bombing houses in Afghanistan to protect the rights of the women inside them.  Because we're engaged in the deliberate and knowing process of slowly and irreversibly rendering the whole damn planet uninhabitable.  If not our children, then their children will be forced to live in a desert or move to the North Pole if we don't quickly change our ways -- and possibly even if we do.  And if we don't change our ways, the approach we take to the coming crisis will make fascism look like summer camp. 

64 years later, America Complicit in a Second Massacre on Jeju Island, South Korea: America’s Missile Defense System Destroys a World Heritage Site

By Ann Wright

President Obama, like President Bush, has a penchant for identifying areas of the world for America’s special attention.  In the 2002 State of the Union message, Bush used the phrase “Axis of Evil” to signal where America’s military might was to be focused in the next years.  Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians know that bad things happen for areas of the world singled out for America’s special attention.  On the peninsula where North Korea, Bush’s other “Axis of Evil” country is located, Obama has declared the Asia-Pacific region as its special area of interest for the next decade and bad things are already happening.

Keystone XL pipeline: Obama to oil progress as pump prices rise

From the Guardian:

Barack Obama is expected to speed up approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Thursday after taking to the road with what the White House is billing as an "all of the above" energy tour.

Obama's planned visit to the oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, on day two of the energy tour has raised expectations he will speed up approval of the southern US-only segment of the pipeline, running from the town to Port Arthur, Texas.

The approval, which would infuriate environmental groups, could allow construction on that portion to begin before November's presidential elections instead of next year.

Obama's tour starts with a visit to the country's biggest operating solar farm in Boulder City, Nevada. The White House said in a statement: "The president will highlight his administration's focus on diversifying our energy portfolio, including expanding renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which thanks in part to investments made by this administration is set to double in the president's first term."

But the visit seemed a detour on a trip apparently solidly focused on fossil fuels and the price of gas at the pump.

Occupy EPA Launches the American Spring!

"Protect the Planet for a Sustainable Future!"

Washington, DC - Occupation, civil rights, environmental, and communities groups from around the country will gather on Friday, March 30th to rally and launch the American Spring (AS) with a demonstration at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  

“What kind of future will our children have if the EPA keeps caving in to corporate demands and allowing exploitation of people and the planet?” said Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician and organizer for NOW-DC.

 “On March 30th, the American people will occupy the grounds of the EPA and demand an end to corporate interference in public policy over the needs of people,” said EPA whistleblower Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, referring to the recent decision by the Obama Administration not to sign lifesaving smog regulations that would have, according to an EPA scientist, saved over 7,100 lives. The business community successfully lobbied the White House not to sign the smog regulations.

The demonstration will start at 12:00 noon at Franklin Square Park (13th and I Sts, NW, Washington, DC) and the march will head down 12th Street to the EPA Headquarters.  The rally in front of the Administrator’s office on the EPA lawn will feature national speakers and leaders, such as Dr. Helen Caldicott, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and known for her anti-nuclear weapons activism.  In addition to featured speakers, there will be numerous groups concerned with clean air and water, and protection of our environment. 

EPA was cited as failing to process discrimination complaints from community groups on environmental issues, such as the case of the Rosemere Neighborhood Association against EPA, in which the Judge stated that EPA did not even follow its own procedures and complaints have been languishing in the civil rights office some for up to 15 years.  Civil rights does not appear to be a priority at EPA because for decades they have refused to address findings of discrimination, findings by the Office of Special Counsel against them for retaliating against whistleblowers, and violations of civil rights laws and regulations. 

A recent EPA whistleblower, Susan Morris, recently received a finding of retaliation by the Office of Special Counsel against the agency for exposing the agency’s failure to follow civil rights laws.  As a guest speaker for Women’s History Month on radio WPFW with Verna Brown, she said, “It is unbelievable that the first Black President and Lisa Jackson, a black female, would look the other way as communities of color suffer.  It’s time for EPA to turn around their decades of corruption and do the right thing by its employees and the American public.  The increase in many of our serious illnesses can be traced directly to our inability to get corporate America from polluting our environment for greed.”

The Occupy EPA and NOW-DC groups have stated nine demands from this administration starting with the reversal of the President’s decision to step down on smog regulations that may result in as many as 7,100 deaths Americans and 10,000 emergency room visits.  Their demands include a halt to the trans-Canada pipeline), mountain top removal and fracking that is occurring throughout the country.

“We need this administration to meet their obligations and keep their promises, which were made to us when we voted them into office.  The President should step forward and use this opportunity to reverse years of abuse of our air, land and water, all non-renewable resources,” said Dr. Coleman-Adebayo for the OccupyEPA group.  Susan Morris added to those sentiments by saying, “We will see corporations come and go, billions made and lost, but we cannot get back our oceans, rivers and streams, polluted forever for material gain. These people will get rich on the backs of our children and grandchildren.  What kind of world are we leaving them, fraught with disease, environmental disasters and war?”

Further demands included:  Immediately promoting and implementing  climate change  policies, reducing Co2 emissions; a moratorium on nuclear power plants; labeling all Genetically Engineered foods; an end to green crimes; and an end to the attacks on whistleblowers and victims of discrimination and retaliation at EPA. 

Jacksonhas been accused of fostering an environment of retaliation against employees who have been discriminated against and whistleblowers.  EPA recently rejected two findings of retaliation against whistleblowers and is forcing civil rights employees into District Court.  “The cost to these outstanding employees is enormous,” said Susan Morris, “but the real cost is to the taxpayers, who will be paying in the millions of dollars for this.  I expected more from President Obama and his administration – but I feel it is never too late and I still have the hope that he will take immediate action to fix the horrendous situation at EPA, particularly in the Office of Civil Rights, that continues to get worse.”

For more information, visit: www.occupyepa.com,nowdc.org and www.marshacoleman-adebayo.com.

OCCUPY POWER

 Schedule of Events

March 30 – April 30, 2012

Friday, March 30:Travel to Washington and set-up at Franklin Square

12:00 Noon -  march from Franklin Square Park to the EPA for a rally called "Protect the planet for a sustainable future" with OccupyEPA

1:30 pm -  march with OccupyDOE (Department of Energy) to the Capitol to end privatization of public schools

Saturday, March 31:  Peacekeeper Nonviolence Training

"Bail Out America" Direct Action Training

Occupy DOE Teach-ins

First NOW-DC General Assembly, Franklin Square Park

Doo-wop Dance Party

Gray Panthers Social Justice Gala

Sunday, April 1Veteran’s Peace Training 

Veteran's Peace Team training (must apply and be accepted by Veterans for Peace, limited spaces available for non-veterans)

Occupy DOE Teach-Ins

Monday, April 2:   Housing Direct Action

8:00 am – 6:00 pm - The Center for the Study of Responsive Law will be holding the “Control the Corporation Conference” at the Carnegie Institute of Washington.  This conference is open to people attending the NOW DC -- all occupiers welcome.  The conference will be held at 1530 P Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, April 3Education Direct Action 

Tuesday-Thursday - April 3 to 5:  NOW DC Social Forum: Phase I

Friday-Monday - April 6-9:  Occupy Faith Weekend

Saturday-Wednesday - April 10-14:NOW DC Social Forum: Phase II

Wednesday-Thursday - April 14-15:Celebrate Occupy Power with Music, Arts and Speakers

Friday, April 16 Onward: NOW DC Direct Action(s) - Nonviolent Marches and Rallies

Saturday - April 17: A17 Occupy Congress Mobilization 

Saturday - April 24: Occupy DOJ (Department of Justice)

Thursday-Friday, April 29-30- Clean-up, After-Action and Depart

TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2012 - National Day of Work Stoppage

Looting the Seas

  Looting the Seas 

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

This article follows a previous one on the same topic. It covers work done by the Center for Public Integrity. It involves a multi-part series titled, "Looting the Seas." The initial article discussed the overall problem globally.

 

Depleting the Seas of Fish

  Depleting the Seas of Fish

 

by Stephen Lendman

 

In November 2006, Washington Post writer Juliet Eilperin headlined, " World's Fish Supply Running Out, Researchers Warn," saying:

 

Federal Judge Strips Vermont of Power to Terminate Nuke: State Government Diddles but Vermonters Take Matters into Own Hands

 

By Dan DeWalt

 

Entergy Nuclear of Louisiana, which operates the Vermont Yankee (VY) nuclear reactor in Vernon Vermont has launched an attack on the state of Vermont with the help of the federal courts.

 

Vermont state law gives the state the power to decide whether to allow further operation of the reactor past March 21, 2012 (the expiration date for VY). When Entergy bought VY, they agreed to this law and swore that they would not try to abrogate it. This was an outright lie on Entergy's part, and they sued the state as soon as it was decided that further operation of this crumbling, leaking and led-by-liars reactor would NOT be in the interests of the state and they were not given permission to continue operation past March 21.

 

Why We Shouldn’t Be Surprised That Susan G Komen for the Cure is  Anti-Women

 

By Douglas A. Berg

 

Nancy Goodman Brinker, a pioneer of “cause marketing”, founded Susan G. Komen For the Cure in 1982, reportedly as the fulfillment of a deathbed promise made to her sister, a victim of breast cancer. In 1994, Brinker founded In Your Corner, Inc., a for-profit company that markets health products and information. In 1998, Brinker sold In Your Corner to AstraZeneca, the third largest pesticide manufacturer in the world, primarily through Syngenta, a giant global agribusiness company it owns jointly with Novartis.

 

Navy Training Blasts Marine Mammals With Harmful Sonar: Wildlife Protection Agency Challenged for Not Doing Its Job

biologicaldiversity.org

SAN FRANCISCO— A coalition of conservation and American Indian groups today sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

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