Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Over 100 Disrupt BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Posted: February 19, 2016 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

Canyon Country Rising Tide

Keep It In The Ground protest in Salt Lake City 2/16/16

February 16, 2016
Salt Lake City, UT

As Part of BLM Fossil Fuel Auction Protest, Author Terry Tempest Williams Buys Parcels

Today, over one hundred people erupted into song and disrupted the Utah Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) oil and gas lease sale in Salt Lake City, Utah. The auction was then closed to the public as the entire audience was escorted outside.

Activist and author, Terry Tempest Williams, attended and purchased several parcels totaling 1,751 acres in Grand County, Utah through a company she formed called Tempest Exploration. One was an 800 acre parcel 14 miles from and within view of Arches National Park that was leased for $1.50 / acre / year.

The group of grassroots organizations, representing a broad-reaching alliance of community members, packed and overflowed the auction room. They rallied and marched outside, and then came into the auction, spontaneously singing songs as the parcels were…

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Art by Olyn

Fundraiser live!

“The whole earth is in jail and we’re plotting this incredible jailbreak.”

We are very happy to announce that, for the 7th 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 20-28, 2015 (exact location to be announced). 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. Though we foster a collective communality and pool resources, we also encourage general self-sufficiency, which lightens the burden on communal supplies, and which we find to be the very source and foundation of true mutual sharing and abundance.

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, as well as more readily recognizable groups like Earth First!, Rising Tide North America, and others to come collaborate on the future of radical environmentalism and eco-defense in our bio-regions and beyond.

We would also like to reach out to groups like EF!, RTNA, and the Ruckus Society (as well as other groups and individuals) in search of trainers and workshop facilitators who are willing to dedicate themselves to attending Wild Roots Feral Futures and sharing their skills and knowledge (in a setting that lacks the financial infrastructure to compensate them as they may have come to expect from other, more well-funded groups and events). We are specifically seeking direct action, blockade, tri-pod, and tree climbing/sitting trainers (as well as gear/supplies).

Click here to read more…

akimel o'odham youth collective's Blog

March 12, 2015

On March 5th, 2015, the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) released their Record of Decision (ROD) in favor of building the South Mountain Freeway. The ROD is a document that gives the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) the approval to begin acquiring right of ways and to begin construction of the 22-mile-long freeway that blasts through three ridges of Moadak Do’ag (South Mountain). Moadak Do’ag is sacred to all O’otham tribes and holds cultural significance to eighteen other tribes.


This project has been opposed by members of the Gila River Indian Community since the 1980s. There are numerous harmful impacts of freeway construction which include destroying the prehistoric villages of Villa Buena and Pueblo del Alamo, the destruction of threatened/endangered animal habitats, and the destruction of plants that are central to traditional O’otham culture. Environmental impact studies of the 202 freeway also state that the habitat for wild…

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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.

(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.

RadHerb2014!

Posted: January 11, 2014 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

Rad Herb South West

We are pleased to announce:

The Second Annual Radical Herbalists Gathering Southwest

March 7th-9th, 2014
Outside Tucson, Arizona

You are cordially invited to a gathering of herbalists and plant enthusiasts of an anti-oppressive or otherwise community-minded persuasion.

As the number of radical herbalists grows we see Rad Herb as a space to explore together how our work with plants & healing fit into our political work and how these can intersect and support the work we are doing to build the world in which we want to live.

This gathering will provide an opportunity for radical and community minded herbalists to meet each other and share skills, resources, knowledge and experiences. To share time and space, food and medicine, our ideas and our selves, and to talk about how and why we are doing this work. To explore how we could do it better and hear about what others are…

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Mexican-Gray-Wolves-CWCToday the Earth First! Journal released its official stance on appropriate Mexican gray wolf management in the Southwest:

“It is the stance of the the Earth First! Journal that wise and careful management of the Mexican gray wolf be carried out in accordance to the rules of wild law laid out by Mexican gray wolves themselves. Habitat boundaries should extend as far as each pack deems necessary for their survival and pursuit of happiness. To ensure proper management of the Mexican gray wolf, a wise and careful management of human infrastructure must be set in place that includes the dismantling of all industry and corporate commerce, the decommission of all roads and the destruction of all human domiciles larger than a tent within the wolves’ anticipated area of expansion. We also recommend that such a management plan be followed by a hands-off program of naturally occurring rewilding. We anticipate that under such a management plan most of New Mexico and Arizona will become more hospitable to a thriving Mexican gray wolf population and will usher in the return of a more healthy human relationship with the land.”

The Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) is a subspecies of the North American gray wolf and is one of the most endangered mammals in the United States. The agencies currently in charge of their “management,” such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were responsible, historically, for trapping and poisoning nearly every last one of the remaining wild Mexican gray wolves throughout the early 20th century on behalf of the cattle industry.

At the time of this press release, less than 80 Mexican gray wolves exist in the wild, with only a small handful of breeding pairs remaining. Though Mexican gray wolves traditionally roamed an area that included Texas and most of Mexico, current wolf reintroduction program has limited the animals to a recovery area along the Arizona-New Mexico state line, where they struggle to gain a foothold. Currently, any wolf leaving the recovery area is captured and returned.

Over its 33-year history, Earth First! activists have used hunt sabotage to disrupt hunts across the country. On August 12, 2013 the Earth First! Journal released the Earth First! Wolf Hunt Sabotage Manual, which explains how to find and destroy wolf traps, handle live trapped wolves in order to release them, and various methods, including the use of air-compressed horns and smoke-bombs, for stopping wolf hunts. The manual, available free online, was published partially in response to the Obama administration’s announced plan to push for nearly all gray wolves, excepting those in the Southwest, to be stripped of endangered species protections.

The Mexican gray wolf is listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and is listed as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Earth First! is an international radical environmental movement which began in 1979. The movement also publishes a quarterly magazine and online newswire.

Lions, Coatis and Bears (Oh My): Video

Posted: August 24, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

The Center for Biological Diversity captures other wild Earthlings of Southern “Arizona” while seeking the elusive Jaguar…

Earth First! Newswire

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Manual for Sabotaging Wolf Hunts Released

Posted: August 22, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

Typically, we repost and publish information pertaining directly to the Four Corners region of occupied Turtle Island, but once in a while something comes along that merits republishing simply due to the sheer importance of the subject matter. This is one such occasion. And to be sure, when enough wolves return to the Southwest, which they will, there will be those who wish to hunt them for pleasure and sport. As defenders of the wild, we must be there to meet them, and assure that they do not succeed in extinguishing the green fire. This manual is a good start. Up the hunt sabs!

Earth First! Newswire

“And in that case, we choose to be saboteurs for the wild.”

The following text is from a press release of the Earth First! Media office, whichprovides correspondence to news outlets around the world.

by Earth First! News

Earth First! Media has released a manual which provides detailed information for disrupting wolf hunting in those states that allow it. Titled The Earth First! Wolf Hunting Sabotage Manual, the text, complete with step-by-step graphics, explains how to find and destroy wolf traps, handle live trapped wolves in order to release them, and various methods, including the use of air-compressed horns and smoke-bombs, for stopping wolf hunts.

The authors of the manual describe themselves as,  “hunters and proud of it,” adding, “But we aren’t proud of what passes for hunting these days and especially for what passes as ‘sportsman’ hunting. Somehow, the National Rifle Association, yuppie trophy hunters, cattle barons…

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Bear-Trap Saboteur in New Mexico Prevents Capture of Wild Bear

Posted: August 22, 2013 by earthfirstdurango in Uncategorized

Earth First! Newswire

bearhuntSaboteurfrom North American Animal Liberation Press Office

A dangerous bear that broke into a house and bit the homeowner remains on the loose today in the Sandia Heights neighborhood east of Albuquerque, partly because someone sabotaged a Department of Game and Fish trap intended to catch the bear.

The Department has video of someone deliberately sabotaging a baited bear trap set at the home of the man who was bitten by the bear early Friday morning. The person who sabotaged the trap has put area residents in danger and could face charges if apprehended. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Department at (505) 222-4700.

The Department needs to catch the offending bear to prevent anyone else from being injured by it. The state Department of Health also requires that any wild animal that bites a human to be killed and tested for rabies.

Friday’s incident…

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