Canadian company U.S Oil Sands has paid their reclamation bond of $2.2 million and has now begun major construction at their second tar sands strip mine in the Book Cliffs of Utah.

U.S Oil Sands’ immediate plans are to clear cut 62 acres of forests and sagebrush land, according to their operations plan, but this spat of clearing may not end until 213 acres of Douglas firs, Pinyon pines, sagebrush and grasses are razed. Long-term plans by this one company threaten up to 32,000 acres of diverse wild lands.

U.S Oil Sands giant belly scrapers and bulldozers have already observably cleared an estimated 20 acres, or the size of a football stadium.

With grasses, shrubs and trees obliterated, the bulldozers are creating massive dust storms that are pummeling PR Canyon to the east, vital habitat for elk, deer, black bears and much more. The dangerously opaque dust clouds routinely cross Seep Ridge Road, substantially blocking drivers’ visibility, causing a major road hazard for which no signage has been posted. Our extensive monitoring of their operations reveal that absolutely no dust control efforts–like water sprinkling–are currently being used to protect the environment, wildlife or motorists.

Click here to read more…

Earths Army Speaks Out

Posted: June 30, 2014 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized
Tags:

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Sunday, July 13at 8:00pm
@ Gypsy House Cafe
1279 Marion St,
Denver, Colorado

Come hear stories from Oglala Native Youth Movement Tokalas on their roles as true land owners and defenders, to protect sacred water, air, and land for all life.

Highlighting indigenous resistance to the KXL and other forms of Tar Sands expansion in Utah, this speaking event will also serve as a fundraiser to keep these traveling warriors on the road to the coming Utah Tar Sands Summer of Climate Justice Camp. Donations are greatly appreciated but not required.

http://www.wildearthguardians.org/1PM Thursday June 19th @ Wild Roots Feral Futures (exact location TBA)

Bob Brister, an organizer with WildEarth Guardians, will share information and volunteer opportunities about two major campaigns he works on:

http://trapfreenm.org/Trap Free New Mexico: a coalition of wildlife conservation and animal protection groups are working to pass legislation in New Mexico to ban the poisoning and trapping of animals on public lands. Learn how you can be part of ridding New Mexico of animal traps.

Colorado Wolf Campaign: WildEarth Guardians is organizing local wolf advocacy groups we call “Wolf Packs” to carry out pro-wolf educational and advocacy projects in their communities. Learn how you can be an “alpha wolf” and start a wolf pack in your area.
———

For the 6th year running, the Wild Roots Feral Futures (WRFF) eco-defense, direct action, and rewilding encampment will take place in the forests of Southwest Colorado this coming June 14-22, 2014. WRFF is an informal, completely free and non-commercial, and loosely organized camp-out operating on (less than a) shoe-string budget, formed entirely off of donated, scavenged, or liberated supplies and sustained through 100% volunteer effort.

We would like to invite groups and individuals engaged in struggles against the destruction of the Earth (and indeed all interconnected forms of oppression) to join us and share your stories, lessons, skills, and whatever else you may have to offer. In this spirit we would like to reach out to frontline community members, local environmental groups, coalitions, and alliances everywhere to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

If you are interested in facilitating a workshop, skill share, discussion, etc., or would like to otherwise get involved, contact us at feralfutures [at] riseup [dot] net

Ban Fracking on Federal Lands!

From Energy Reality:

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

•    Click here to learn more about fracking.
•    Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
•    Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
•    Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

Also see:

Is Nothing Sacred? Fracking and Chaco Culture National Historic Park

BLM narrows proposed Chaco drilling sites to four

 

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

- See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

- See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

- See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Four Corners region of the U.S., preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian historical areas in the country. The site hosts the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest and the area is considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people.

Both Chaco Canyon National Park and Otero Mesa in New Mexico, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are being targeted for exploratory research for oil and gas extraction.

  • Click here to learn more about fracking.
  • Read Gloria Flora’s article ”Fracking the Commons.”
  • Read an essay on fighting oil and gas development in National Forests.
  • Take our partner’s call to action to ban fracking on federal lands.

- See more at: http://www.energy-reality.org/action/fracking-chaco-canyon/#sthash.sap0sexw.dpuf

The Green River oil refinery proposal is back

The Green River oil refinery proposal is back.

This project would place an oil refinery right on the banks of the Green River, which feeds into the Colorado. This refinery is one of many extraction industry projects currently in play, which together would turn Utah into an energy colony–from the tar sands & oil shale of Eastern Utah, to this proposed refinery and a nucluear power plant moving South, this all spells destruction for our future.

PUBLIC HEARING FOR COMMENTS TODAY IN GREEN RIVER, UTAH:
*When: April 30, 2014, 6:00 pm
*Where: John Wesley Powell River History Museum, 1765 East Main Street, Green River, Utah
*Host: Utah Division of Air Quality

SUBMIT A WRITTEN COMMENT BY MAY 2, 2014 here.

NO OIL REFINERY ON THE GREEN RIVER!

704901_493045424050316_1076545837_o_218x30057fa18e7fbfbFrom Black Mesa Indigenous Support:

BIG MOUNTAIN SPRING TRAINING CAMP
MAY 16th-23rd, 2014
BIG MOUNTAIN, DINEH NATION

#Honor40Years
#Not1MoreRELOCATION
#KeepitintheGround

“What we are trying to save—the Female Mountain—is alive. She is alive, she has blood flowing through her veins, which is the Navajo Aquifer, and the coal they are digging is Her liver. They are destroying Her.” –Marie Gladue, Big Mountain Relocation Resister

“We need to exercise our right to be human. To gather on the land and have our words be heard by the ground, the trees, and each other.” –Louise Benally, Big Mountain Relocation Resister

During this moment of peak visibility around climate change, we extend this invitation for a training camp on Big Mountain. We’ll gather to honor 40 years of Indigenous resistance to cultural genocide, forced relocation, and large-scale coal mining.

*Application link at bottom of email*

The Elders Circle of the 40-Year Sovereign Dineh Nation Resistance, with Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS)–a collective working in solidarity with the Big Mountain and surrounding resistance communities–as well as Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival (RAMPS),  Missourians Organizing for Reform/Revolution & Empowerment (MORE), and Save the Confluence are collaboratively organizing this camp.

Background on the Training Camp

Building on alliances made during last June’s gathering on decolonization, the collaborative planning process for this gathering has been a combination of conference calls and in-person meetings. Since September, there have been five community meetings on Black Mesa with elders, second generation resisters, and collective members from BMIS. Additionally, monthly meetings are held in Flagstaff with youth and local organizations. Through these meetings, community members have guided the tone, outreach, messaging, goals, and ceremonies necessary for the preparation of this camp. When asked what kind of action elders wanted to see, they shared examples of the different forms of action they have taken while defending their right to remain on their ancestral homeland. They expressed looking forward to sharing their stories as to inspire next generations.

Camp organizers are connecting with trainers and workshop presenters from organizations such as Multicultral Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE), Save the Confluence, Palestinian Youth Movement, RAMPS, MORE, No One is Illegal (Canada), Puente Human Rights Movement, Sixth World Solutions, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Anti-Uranium Groups, and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. The camp offers a variety of  non-violent direct action (NVDA) skills and workshops grounded in legacies of land-based resistance. Spiritual, cultural, artistic practices and healing will be foregrounded.

The workshops and trainings will include:

  • Introduction and History of NVDA

  • The History of the Struggle and Land Dispute on Black Mesa

  • Cultural Work as Resistance to Colonialism

  • Frontline Movement Updates

  • Cultural Sharing and Storytelling

  • NVDA techniques

  • Decolonial visioning

  • Art and prop making

  • People’s Media and Communication (including messaging, social media, and live-streaming)

  • Know Your Rights and legal training

  • …and many more

“During this gathering, we want to re-create harmony between Indigenous peoples who have been harmed by relocation policies. We want to re-spark the cross-movement connections made at last June’s Gathering by taking action at the site of disruption–the coal mine itself.” – Danny Blackgoat, community organizer and son of Resister Matriarch, Roberta Blackgoat.

Goals:

*To honor 40 years of resistance on Big Mountain and confront resource colonialism

*To build on strategic alliances between anti-extraction struggles in Appalachia and Black Mesa

*To strengthen connections between Indigenous communities on the front lines of land defense

*To build on cross-movement connections made at last June’s gathering for decolonization (on Black Mesa)

*To expand the solidarity network

*To center cultural and spiritual elements of resistance

Logistics:

The training camp is free, including all food, lodging and training. However, we are encouraging participants to fundraise and donate as they are able to help offset costs. BMIS has limited funds for travel stipends and we are prioritizing funding for Indigenous and frontline communities. There will be limited indoor space for sleeping; most participants will be camping.  The camp will be in a remote area with no running water, paved roads, or electricity.  More details are provided in the application (below).

Call for Sheepherders/ Human Rights Observers:

Resistance community members are requesting returning sheepherders/ human rights observers this spring. Because this camp is held on actively disputed land (see background), it will not be possible without human rights observation during and following the camp. Your involvement will make it possible for the resistance community to participate in the camp and will help mitigate further harassment.

Contact us if you are able to come a week early and help set up base camp!

Click Here to Apply

Contact: BigMountainCamp2014@gmail.com with application questions

In Honor of 40 Years,

The Elders Circle of the Sovereign Dineh Nation, The BMIS Collective, RAMPS, MORE, & Save the Confluence

mesoamerica resiste

The Beehive Design Collective is coming to Fort Lewis College (Chem 130 auditorium) in Durango to present their latest giant narrative graphic poster “Mesoamérica Resiste” on April 8th at 7 PM.

SLC appearance! 7pm, May 12th @ The Mestizo Coffee House

The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all volunteer, activist artist collective that has gained international attention for their collaboratively produced graphics campaigns focusing on globalization, resource extraction, and stories of resistance. “Mesoamérica Resiste” is their most recent project, a culmination of 9 years of story gathering in Mesoamérica, research, and illustration. The intricate, double-sided image documents resistance to the top-down development plans and mega-infrastructure projects that literally pave the way for resource extraction and free trade. It highlights stories of cross-border grassroots social movements and collective action, especially organizing led by Indigenous peoples.

For more detailed information and images on this project we recommend checking out their website and youtube video.

A jaguar roaming southeast of Tucson in the northern Santa Rita Mountains.

A jaguar roaming southeast of Tucson in the northern Santa Rita Mountains.

By Paul Ingram & Diangelea Millar, The Tucson Sentinel, via the Earth First! Newswire

A federal agency labeled more than 764,000 acres in Southeastern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico on Tuesday as habitat critical to protecting the endangered northern jaguar.

Designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, the area covers mountain ranges throughout Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz counties as well as ranges in Hidalgo County, N.M.

The area was reduced from an earlier proposal of 838,000 acres because Fort Huachuca and the Tohono O’Odham Nation were excluded from the designation.

The designation is part of a long-standing series of lawsuits between the Center of Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based environmental organization, and the agency.

CBD spokesman Michael Robinson said the group expects Fish and Wildlife to produce a draft recovery plan this spring, but said the agency has been reluctant to create the habitat designation.

Tuesday’s announcement means that federal agencies will have to consider the impact on jaguars before approving uses such as mining. The designation doesn’t apply to private land unless the owners propose a use requiring federal funding or permits.

“It serves as a yellow flag for federal agencies that now have an additional responsibility to protect the habitat,” said Jeff Humphrey, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman.

The habitat could make it more difficult for the proposed Rosemont Mine to win federal approval. While Fish and Wildlife has stated that the mine’s use of 5,000 acres in the Santa Ritas would not be forbidden under habitat protection rules, environmental groups will challenge this funding.

Click here to donate to this project!

We are proud to announce the release of the new EF! Direct Action Manual. The DAM presents time tested tactics as well as a plethora of innovative tools for resistance.

We’ve doubled the size of the DAM to a 300 page bound book packed with new tactics and the most up to date techniques for direct action campaigns including:

Action Research
Scouting Communications
Electronic Security
Prisoner Support
Soft Blockades
Lockdown devices
Tripods, Bipods, and Monopods
Skypods
Cantilevers
Tree Sits and Platform Rigging
Traverses Basic Single Rope Climbing
Anchoring and Rope Physics
Hunt Sabotage
Home Demos
Rail Blockades
Action Camps
And More…

New activists, life long rabble rousers, and those fighting for a better world will find pages full of useful tools in what will be a must have book for any direct action campaign. Please check out our Indiegogo site for more info.

We’re nearly half way to our fundraising goal and need your support to make printing this project a success. There are only 10 days left, so check sign up to get your copy  today.

You can preorder your copy and get some extra thank you gifts for your early endorsement by donating today. More importantly, though, we have offered a chance for you to help us spread this knowledge. Every donation over $50 gives you the chance to send a free copy of the manual to a campaign of your choice. The more you give, the more manuals we can put in the mail.

The manual will be printed in the coming month with longtime Earth First! partner, The Gloo Factory. This community-minded, union print shop has supplied Earth First! and its affiliates with stickers and merchandise for decades and remains committed to using a high standard for recycled and reclaimed material, as well as supportive worker conditions.

The manual was first printed nearly two decades ago and has been out of print since its initial dissemination. Though many of the considerations for civil disobedience and intervention have remained tried and true, new elements have altered the ways we put these tactics into action. The Earth First! Direct Action Manual will continue the role of safe and effective actions in stopping the destruction of the planet.

Support this effort today!

(Reposted with permission from Peaceful Uprising)

Climate Justice is working at the intersections of environmental degradation and the racial, social, and economic inequities it perpetuates.

Environmental racism is the intentional and systematic targeting of communities of color with respect to environmental hazards and failure to enforce environmental regulations.

“It’s disconcerting to find so few faces in the prominent ranks of the environmental movement that reflect the realities and experiences of those bearing the brunt of climate collapse. Estimates show that since 1990 more than 90% of natural disasters have occurred in poor countries and that, globally, communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by air, soil and water pollution. Numbers also demonstrate that low-income households are hit the hardest by disasters, due to factors such as poor infrastructure and economic instability.
”Is Professional Activism Getting in the Way of Real Change?”

There is a phrase used again and again when people bring up something uncomfortable about the environmental movement. We are told that we are being “divisive.” The people who make themselves vulnerable by vocalizing their concerns, or worse–their dissent, are vilified and told they are “fracturing” the movement. Why is pointing out where there’s room for growth so threatening? But more importantly: can you fracture something that was broken to begin with?

On January 25th, thousands of people gathered at the Utah State Capitol to protest the state’s horrible air quality. On the surface, this event was a great success. The turnout was amazing, with the front grounds of the capital flooded with people. Behind the scenes, something was happening that needs to be addressed: the lack of frontline voices, specifically those most impacted by multiple oil refineries in the Wasatch Front.

Peaceful Uprising threw our support behind the Clean Air, No Excuses rally, because air quality in the Salt Lake valley is the worst in the nation, and has at times this year surpassed pollution in Beijing. We supported the rally because in our work to stop tar sands and oil shale mining, we are demanding that Tesoro and Chevron stop their current refining of Canadian tar sands, and that Salt Lake pass a moratorium on all tar sands refining in the future. Salt Lake’s oil refineries and industry polluters must be held accountable, and stopped, if clean air is to be attained. Most importantly, however, we supported the rally because frontline communities, those marginalized and neglected folks so often made invisible, are disproportionately impacted by pollution and extraction. It appeared that the clean air movement in Utah was just that–a movement, and a movement that invited, supported, and included the voices of all those involved and affected.

SLC

Salt Lake City as depicted on Dustin Cable’s map, drawn on data from the 2010 U.S. Census (showing one dot per person, color-coded by race; blue = white; orange = Latino).

Two days before the rally, we learned the line-up of speakers did not include any voices that represented the refinery neighborhoods, and not one person of color. Salt Lake City is a place divided, racially and economically. On the east side of the city, the population is predominantly white; on the west side, predominantly people of color. It also happens that Tesoro, Chevron and Big West Oil refineries are located on the west side. That a rally called to demand clean air would not include one voice from these communities is not only unthinkable, but neglectful.

Organizers from the rally were contacted multiple times in the days leading up to the event. Rebecca Hall, an African-American scholar who has written prolifically on issues of climate justice, environmental racism, and frontline communities, and works in Rose Park, offered to speak on these issues and relate them back to Utah’s clean air issue by talking about tar sands and the refineries. We asked also that someone living in the refinery neighborhoods be allowed to speak about their experience (and offered to help organizers to line up such a person). Alternatively, we asked that the rally organizers make mention at the event about this oversight, and that they publicly voice their desire to include the voices of the front lines moving forward. These resolutions were were declined.

Instead, we had some very troubling conversations. We were told race had nothing to do with clean air in Utah, and were asked to supply “proof” that the neighborhoods surrounding the refineries were disproportionately affected. Requiring communities of color to “prove” that they are being poisoned more than the rest of the population before including them in the rally is unacceptable. What gives the owner of Lewis Stages, a private bus company, more authority than a family living next to the refinery to speak about clean air, and why was he not only invited to speak, but courted? Are celebrity and social capital more important than lived experience?

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Rebecca Hall immediately after speaking at the Clean Air, No Excuses rally

Event organizers decided at the last minute to add “diverse” voices, represented, for the most part, by individuals from the LGBTQ community. These speakers were invited under the condition that they only read the white organizers pre-made material. Practices such as these do not build an inclusive movement, but result in the tokenizing of individuals and communities that should instead be at the forefront of our organizing. Inviting people to participate, but not contribute, and instead using them as proof of inclusivity, is incredibly harmful; not only is it offensive and isolating to the people involved, but it continues to hide that the voices of these very people are absent from the narrative to begin with.

Reaching for whatever diversity event organizers could find behind the podium during the event, Rebecca was “allowed” to approach the podium if she could promise not to “disrupt” the rally, and told to only read text that was being pointed to by a white organizer on a sheet of paper. A woman yielded her speaking time to Rebecca, who spoke briefly. Rebecca’s intent was never to disrupt the rally, but instead to provide an important addition to the narrative being created that day.

The questions we keep asking are, “Is clean air for all lungs, or only for the lungs of the privileged? Is a life free from pollution and extraction something we all deserve, or is that a right reserved only for white communities?”

As a white person in this world, you are either complicit in, and benefiting from, systemic racism/white supremacy, or you are actively, overtly and explicitly pushing back against a system that fosters racism while acknowledging the privilege you can’t help but receive. When we talk about race, and racist behaviors, there is often a knee-jerk response: “But I’m not racist!” And while an individual may not have intentionally engaged in racist behaviors, wounds caused unintentionally are still wounds. When the race you were born into has all the institutional power, social capital, credibility, and resources, you benefit whether you are aware of it or not. Put another way: when the rules are set up to benefit you, they are stacked against someone else, whether you are aware of their experience or not. The question is: When inequity is made known to you, how will you react?

Though some mainly white communities, like the one by the Stericycle medical waste incinerator, are affected seriously by pollution—especially if they are low-income—environmental hazards disproportionately impact communities of color. This is what we mean when we talk about environmental racism, something that even the EPA regards as a serious issue. Communities of color are more likely to live beside sources of pollution, like refineries and mines. Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment state that the air inside homes by refineries like Tesoro is more toxic than the air outside, since emissions accumulate there over time. These communities have a large percentage of non-white residents. Likewise, people of color have less access to housing, fair wages, and health care than white people, making them often less equipped to cope with severe pollution.

Communities everywhere are experiencing the deadly effects of fossil fuel refining. In Manchester (Houston, TX), Richmond, CA, Detroit, MI, and elsewhere, neighborhoods are being treated as sacrifice zones, given over to the fossil fuel industry, and the residents made invisible. The same holds true for communities on the frontlines of extraction.

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Diné gathering in the Four Corners area (photos courtesy of Reclaim Turtle Island)

The same weekend of the clean air rally, members of Peaceful Uprising were working with communities living on the Diné Reservation, visiting uranium mines and other extraction sites in the area, and helping plan for a spring gathering. Others are waiting for Obama to make his final decision on the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline (as the southern leg is already in the ground), and will journey to Lakota territory to stand with them as they fight to protect sacred sites. Taking the lead from, and physically standing with, frontline communities is not only important to our work, it is necessary if we have any hope of succeeding.

Peaceful Uprising’s efforts toward Climate Justice are a work in progress. We make mistakes–many of us have white and class privilege and are often confronted with the blind spots these privileges create or enable. We are learning through trying, sometimes failing, and constantly trying to do better. As the Zapatistas say, “preguntando caminamos”: “We are asking while we walk”. But we want to build communities where these mistakes and blind spots are addressed–not next year, not next action, but as soon as possible . We recognize that failing to address white supremacy and other oppressions means doing harm: excluding, ignoring, and marginalizing people who have been kept out of the movement. We also recognize that when we confront unintentional racism, sexism, classism and other marginalizations, we are becoming more inclusive. It is disturbing these efforts towards sincere, self-aware inclusion are seen as “divisive.” We call attention to our failures in the climate movement because we want to move forward together, with strength, ready to win.