for pics see: http://nyc.indymedia.org/en/2007/07/88818.html
On Friday, July 27, a crowd of protesters filled the Midtown Manhattan lobbies of two large Citigroup offices and a Citybank branch, as well as three branches of Bank of America. The protesters demanded that Citibank and Bank of America withdraw their investments from Massey Energy Co., the notorious coal company known for its abuse of the people and environment of southern West Virginia, as well as other areas in the southern Appalachian coalfields, through the use of mountain top removal coal mining.
The protesters handed out fliers about the destructive investments of the banks, held signs and banners, made impromptu speeches and chants, disrupting business for the afternoon. “The human rights abuses committed by Massey Energy are only made possible by the funding they get from these banks. Bank of America and Citibank should do the responsible and environmentally-friendly thing and stop funding climate change and mountain top removal,” said Lisa Hender, one of the protesters.
Mountain top removal is a form of coal mining that destroys entire ecosystems. Heavy explosives and massive machines are used to turn beautiful biodiverse forests into desolate wasteland. In Appalachia, an entire culture and way of life is being destroyed and driven out as machines are brought in to replace jobs, streams are buried, wells run dry, and elementary schools sit beneath sludge dams.
For more information about mountain top removal coal mining and investors in coal companies, check the following websites:
July 10, 2007 (TurtleIsland). Corbin Harney Spiritual Leader of the Western Shoshone Nation crossed over at 11:00 a.m. this morning in a house on a sacred mountain near Santa Rosa, CA (Turtle Island). He had dedicated his life to fighting the nuclear testing and dumping.
That battle claimed his life through cancer.
Before he passed, he said to remember:
“We are one people. We cannot separate ourselves now.
There are many good things to be done for our people and for the world.
It is important to let things be good. And it is important to teach the younger generation so that things are not lost.”
BRIMINGHAM, Ala. – The bus had just left Drummond Co. Inc.’s coal mine carrying about 50 workers when gunmen halted it and forced two union leaders off. They shot one on the spot, pumping four bullets into his head, and dragged the other one off to be tortured and killed.
In a civil trial set to begin Monday before a federal jury in Birmingham, Ala., union lawyers have presented affidavits from two people who allege that Drummond ordered those killings, a charge the company denies.
The Chiquita banana company admitted paying right-wing militias known as paramilitaries to protect its Colombia operations. Human rights activists claim such practices were widespread among multinationals in Colombia, and that Drummond went even further, using the fighters to violently keep its labor costs down.
The Drummond case, they say, is their best chance yet of seeing those allegations heard in court.
The union has presented affidavits to the Alabama court from two people who say they were present when Drummond’s chief executive in Colombia, Augusto Jimenez, handed over a large sum of cash to representatives of the local paramilitary warlord. They claim the money was for the March 10, 2001, killings of Sintramienergetica union local president Valmore Locarno and his deputy, Victor Orcasita. Continue reading
In my humble opinion, there are no coincidences…a Greater Power is at work-and this was manifested on the morning of our tour presentation in the small western Nebraska town of Chadron (which was, incidentally, 1 of the most well-attended and well-received in the entire Rocky Mtn. leg of the roadshow-thanks, Bruce!). We had been in town for a couple days-and were thankful for a break in the brutal heat of the previous days, as well as in our schedule. Quite fatigued, we were debating whether or not to stop in the Daily Grind coffee house before-or after-starting our errands for that day & preparing to head east to Lincoln. We opted, rather whimsically, to go for fair-trade, shade-grown caffeine 1st-& happened to encounter 3 Native wimmin there who were headed to the Pine Ridge Rez just to our north for an annual ceremony given the next day by Leonard Peltier’s family in his honour-to take place on the Jumping Bull property outside of the poverty-stricken community of Oglala, where the tragic shootout occurred 27 years ago on that date (June 26). Conversation between us all just seemed to spring up instantaneously, and 1 of these wimmin recognized 1 of us from repeated mutual attendances at the Indigenous Environmental Network’s Protecting Mother Earth Conferences between 1997 and 2004. They invited us up to the Rez to participate in the ceremony-and we postponed our trek to Lincoln in order to do so. We made the right decision-and this fact is further borne out by the recognition that-had we postponed our daily visit to the Daily Grind by just a few minutes-we would have missed completely this interaction and the invitation that arose from it, leaving Chadron without ever knowing this event was taking place.
The next morning we packed up and drove north from Chadron to Oglala, where we met w/ other participants (many of them locals from the Rez, others from many other places-including as far away as Australia) at the “Our Lady of the Sioux” Catholic Church (anybody else get the twisted irony in that?) outside of Oglala. We then drove to the cemetery where many Native victims of the infamous BIA/FBI/GOON “Reign of Terror” of the mid-1970s are buried, and-after a prayer/ceremony in their honour-we all walked prayerfully to the Jumping Bull property about a mile away, where an incredibly powerful and poignant ceremony transpired that which included a recorded statement from Peltier from inside the Ft. Leavenworth concentration camp in Kansas. It was a beautiful day, and-thank God especially for the children, Elders, and pregnant wimmin-we were spared the ruthless heat of the previous week.
After the ceremony we drove back to the church compound outside of Oglala for an evening of food, music (Traditional, folk, blues/rock, & hip-hop), & spoken-word statements. Much to our pleasant surprise, RTNA was invited to speak on stage between bands-and 1 of us gave a 5-minute talk about RTNA’s efforts and aspirations (particularly along the lines of environmental justice/anti-racism, Indigenous solidarity, and cross-cultural alliance-building). After this, we were responded to what was almost a standing ovation-with hand-shakes, hugs, and tears-and invited back for next year’s ceremony. We gave away much literature and traded contact information, and were sent away with food, clothing, and many, many prayers and blessings. As we left, we were told: “Come back next year! The People will remember you!” We were also told by Leonard Peltier’s family that they would tell him about us. When we left that night to log some miles toward Lincoln before sleeping on the side of the road along with half the mosquitoes in the Great Plains-we were changed people….
There is hope.