At Least 19 Arrested As Tar Sands Opponents Shut Down Utah Mine Site

protectOpponents enforce shutdown of Utah tar sands mine today

Cross-posted from Peaceful Uprising

Follow @peace_up_ and @tarsandsresist on Twitter for updates.

July 21, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PR SPRINGS, Utah–About 80 climate justice land defenders right used their bodies today to halt construction of a tar sands strip mine in the Book Cliffs of Utah.

The action is the culmination of a week-long direct action training camp within 2 miles of the mine. Participants of Climate Justice Summer Camp traveled from numerous organizations, states and sovereign tribal nations to learn direct action skills and build networks.

In recent weeks, Calgary, Canada-based US Oil Sands began a new and devastating phase in construction of the first tar sands mine in the United States. Nearly 80 acres of forest and sage land have been leveled.

US Oil sands has construction permits on 212 acres of pristine wilderness and strip mine land leases on 32,000 acres. Opponents say the traditional Ute hunting lands leased by the Utah School and Institutional Trust Land Administration are too fragile and damage would be irreversible.

Numerous states and local governments question the wisdom of tar sands and oil shale projects in the Colorado River Basin. That system—which provides drinking water to 40 million people in the US, Mexico and native communities—is already severely over-tapped and endangered by industrial waste contaminants.

“Indigenous people’s sacred lands for hundreds of generations here would be destroyed after a few generations of American settler colonialism,” says Jessica Lee, on behalf of the land defenders. “US Oil Sands perfectly demonstrates capitalism’s brazen disregard for the climate crisis, human and tribal rights and rights of the planet itself to be free of dangerous corporate parasites.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency this month joined the crowd demanding answers from the tar sands company. EPA’s letter indicates US Oil Sands may need tribal authorization for their project due to lease acres bordering and sometimes occurring in “Indian country.”

EPA also has concerns about toxic and hazardous waste from the project. The construction site is immediately upstream of one of the major river systems of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation, the stunning Willow Creek Canyon area. The company has never sought Ute Tribal Government approval.

What is Climate Justice?

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Take Non-Violent Direct Action for Climate Justice!; New York City, September 17-24, 2014

Take Non-Violent Direct Action for Climate Justice!

New York City | September 17-24, 2014

International Week of Solidarity with Frontline Communities Around the World

solstice_600On September 23rd, political and corporate leaders are meeting at the United Nations in New York City for the Climate Summit 2014. This summit represents yet another step towards the corporate takeover of the UN climate negotiations, and the privatization of land, water and air resources under the guise of a global climate compact.

Meanwhile, as communities on the frontlines of climate change, we are the ones cultivating real, place-based solutions to address the global ecological crises. Indigenous peoples’ communities, communities of color and working-class white communities that are the first and most impacted by the storms, floods and droughts, are organizing to create millions of family-supporting jobs in clean energy, public transportation, zero waste, food sovereignty, community housing and ecosystem restoration.

We are organizing to stop pollution and poverty at the source, confronting the extreme energy corporations causing the climate crisis. As we write, our friends and comrades around the world are putting their bodies on the line to stop the corporations responsible – mining corporations; oil, coal and gas companies; pipelines and refineries; biofuels plantations; nuclear power plants; waste and biomass incinerators, and a myriad other industries profiteering from the destruction of our communities, our cultures and our ecosystems.

From Mesa to Mountaintop, from Hood to Holler – join us as we meet the scale and urgency of the crisis by standing in solidarity with all frontlines of resistance and resilience around the world, and taking non-violent direct action against the corporations driving the extractive economy.

We call on our allies to:

  • Join us in the streets of NYC for a week of creative non-violent actions for Climate Justice
  • Organize a delegation to join the Peoples March & People’s Climate Justice Summit in NYC
  • Organize a creative action in your home community that highlights local solutions to climate change
  • Spread this /call to action/ amongst your respective networks and social media outlets

Our demands of local, national and international decision-makers are simple:

Support us in building Just Transition pathways away from the “dig, burn, dump” economy, and towards “local, living economies” where communities and workers are in charge!

Join us in solidarity – in the streets of New York City, in your own community, and around the world!

Alliance for Appalachia • ACE for Environmental Justice • Asian Pacific Environmental Network • Black Mesa Water Coalition • Catskills Mountainkeeper • Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy • Center for Story-based Strategy • Communities for a Better Environment • Community to Community Development • Cornell Global Labor Institute • East Michigan Environmental Action Council • Energy Justice Network • Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative • Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives • Global Justice Ecology Project • Grassroots Global Justice Alliance • Grassroots International • Indigenous Environmental Network • Institute for Policy Studies • Ironbound Community Corporation • Jobs With Justice • Just Transition Alliance • Kentuckians for the Commonwealth • Labor Community Strategy Center • Labor Network for Sustainability • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization • Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment • Movement Generation • Movement Strategy Center • NAACP Climate Justice Initiative • New York City EJ Alliance • People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) • POWER • Right to the City Alliance • Rising Tide North America • Ruckus Society • Southwest Organizing Project • Southwest Workers Union • UPROSE

Stay tuned for more information on action plans being developed in the coming weeks.

For more information, and to share your local action plans with us, contact sharon@ruckus.org or nyc@risingtidenorthamerica.org, or go to www.ourpowercampaign.org

Citizens Disrupt Southwestern Energy Presentation over Fracking Projects on Elsipogtog First Nations Land

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2014

Contact:
Angie Viands
angiemariev@gmail.com
312-217-0145

Video of Action:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8QN4uWWq26qaGIya0EyenJpbzg/preview

RT ChiCitizens Disrupt Southwestern Energy Presentation over Fracking
Projects on Elsipogtog First Nations Land

Chicago, IL–Two protesters interrupted a Southwest Energy (SWN) presentation Wednesday at the Global Hunter Securities 100 conference in Chicago by taking off their shirts and unfurling a banner to an
audience of investors that read, “The people resist SWN, you lose your
shirt!”  The banner referred to how increasing public resistance SWN’s
controversial hydraulic fracturing projects in Elsipogtog first
nations land, public land in Pennsylvania and other locations is
successful in slowing down and preventing projects and therefore makes
them unwise investments.

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” involves forcing large amounts of
water or other substances deep underground to break shale rock to
release trapped oil and gas. Fracking has raised the ire of people
globally due to air and water pollution, earthquakes and large amounts
of greenhouse gases that are tied to the process.

Attempts to frack Elsipogtog first nations land have been met with
fierce opposition from the Mi’kmaq people during the past year. Canada
has given permits to SWN to frack, but Elsipogtog lands were never
ceded. In October of 2013, SWN brought in police to uphold an
injunction and arrested 40 people that were among many more attempts
to stop fracking in their community. Less than a week ago, more road
blockades to halt fracking activity resulted in 12 arrests. Community
resistance has resulted in delaying SWN’s activity.

“A recent scientific study found that that public resistance to these
oil and gas projects is successful because it delays them and costs
the company money. Sometimes they end up canceling the project.” said
Joy Holowicki one of the participants in today’s action referring to a
study titled Cost of Company-Community Conflict in the Extractive
Sector.

In Pennsylvania, SWN is moving forward with unpopular plans to frack
in Loyalsock State Forest. This mostly intact forest will become
fragmented and further impacted by fracking well pads, pipeline and
roads.  Just this month, more than 200 people rallied at the
Pennsylvania state house to call for an end to fracking in
Pennsylvania state parks and forests.

When asked why she interrupted the SWN presentation Gloria Fallon of
Rising Tide Chicago said, “We are here today to stand in solidarity
with the Mi’kmaq people, residents in Pennsylvania and all other
communities impacted by Southwestern Energy’s destructive projects. We
are working to prevent hydraulic fracturing in Illinois as well.
Nobody should have to live near dirty, dangerous fracking.”

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Eight Jailed After Alpha HQ Blockade and Banner Hang

lockCross-posted from the RAMPS Campaign

Update: Five of the eight have been bailed out.  The remaining three are expected to have bail hearings on Wednesday or Thursday. Read all updates here.

June 23, 2014. Bristol, VA All of our friends arrested in the Alpha headquarters action were arraigned in front of a judge this morning after spending the weekend in Jail. While none of them can be released from jail until their bail is set, only some of them will get bail hearings this afternoon. If enough donations are made to the legal defense fund, we may be able to get some of them out of jail today or tomorrow!  While it’s looking like half or more of our friends won’t be able to get a hearing today, we hope to raise money in the interim so that we’re able to make bail as soon as it is set.

Over the past decade, the Mountain Justice Legal Defense Fund has made it possible for countless people to risk arrest in actions and for our movement to bail those arrested out when they needed it. Donations to the legal defense fund are usually used not just once, but again and again as court cases are resolved and those funds return. In other words, one donation can help action after action over the years. Right now, our fund is critically low because many activists are still out on bail for other Mountain Justice actions that have happened this year.

If you can, please donate to the legal fund to make it possible to bail out the 8 people in jail now and to support our ongoing work.

Our friends who were arrested near Alpha’s headquarters thought a lot about the issue before taking action. Here are the statements that they made about why they are organizing against Alpha Natural Resources:

Galen pic for website

 

Galen

“I’m participating in this action in solidarity with my friends in Appalachia whose daily lives are affected by Alpha Natural Resources’ operations. I’m also doing this to send a message to Alpha that they cannot continue the wholesale destruction of mountain communities.”

Maleny
maleny for website

 

“Those who got arrested in this action, who were protesting against the unethical practices of Alpha Natural Resources, aren’t the true criminals. The true criminals are those who are ordering the destruction of these beautiful mountains, symbols of history, culture, and community.”

Camilo for website

Camilo

“Extreme extraction is very close to my family’s story, and the destruction of mountains is near to my heart. My father’s hometown in Peru is right next to the largest gold mine in the world, Yanacocha. As long as I can remember, I’ve had family who worked in the mine – and against it. My grandfather taught me that according to his indigenous beliefs, each mountain has an Apu – its own spirit. I’m here today in solidarity with the people of Appalachia, to demand an end to Alpha’s mountaintop removal mining. I’m standing up for the mountains and all of the life that depends on them.”

Dakota
Dakota for website

 

“How can we live in a society where corporations like Alpha are allowed to strip the land, blow up mountains, pollute the water and the air we breathe? People are sick and dying because of mountaintop removal, and it’s time we held corporations accountable.”

roger

Roger

“I oppose MTR because it harms life.  I risked arrest alongside friends practically guaranteed for it because of what has left the sphere of risk and entered into reality and living history for Appalachian communities, working and incarcerated people, and the mountains that sustain them.  I will not negotiate on the right to clean water and decent livelihood for everyone.  Instead I will act to ensure it.”