After an eight-year struggle, Chile’s grassroots and environmental movements have successfully won the rejection of five planned megadams on two Patagonian rivers!
From International Rivers:
It’s not every day we celebrate a victory as significant and hard-won as today’s triumph in the eight-year campaign to protect Chilean Patagonia from the destructive HidroAysén dam project!
This morning, Chile’s highest administrative authority – the Committee of Ministers – made a unanimous decision to overturn the environmental permits for the controversial five dam mega-project, which was planned on the Baker and Pascua rivers. This highly anticipated resolution effectively cancels the project, ruling that assessment of the project’s impacts was insufficient to grant project approval back in 2011.
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From Rights Action:
On March 5, people tried to kill Maria Santos, seriously attacking her, her 12-year old son Paulo, and her husband Roque, with machetes. Maria is a vocal leader in the struggle in Rio Blanco and member of the Indigenous Council. Maria has received numerous death threats because of her vocal opposition to the Agua Zarca Dam.
Around midday, she was on her way home from making food at the school when 7 people who were hiding in wait came out, surrounded her and attacked her with machetes, rocks, and sticks. Her husband had been calling her as she walked home because of the constant threats she received, and when he heard she was surrounded, he and her son ran out.
Her husband pled with them not to kill her and when her son ran to try to help his mom, the people attacked her 12-year old son as well, cutting off his right ear and part of his face. His cranium is fractured. They also attacked her husband who was also seriously injured. All three are in the
Maria is a strong member of COPINH Rio Blanco resistance, despite receiving death threats including threats from the people who attacked her [on March 5].
Take Action to support Rio Blanco Resistance.
In response to the National Energy Board’s decision to approve Enbridge’s Line 9b pipeline reversal plan, Rising Tide Toronto is launching a “Line 9 Pledge of Resistance” petition. The pledge asks people to commit to civil disobedience to protect communities, land, and water from tar sands and fracked oil in the pipeline.
Without surprise, the National Energy Board has approved the reversal of the Line 9 pipeline. This pipeline crosses every single tributary that flows into Lake Ontario, and cuts up the north shore of the St. Lawrence river….
It was anticipated that this information be released on March. 19th. Instead the rubber-stamping came early.
Indigenous peoples whose territories are being attacked by this project have been silenced throughout this process. It is our communities, and other communities of colour, who primarily live fenceline with the tar sands, its mining, infrastructure and refineries. It is our Sacred sites that are being desecrated by the shady movements of corporate imperialists and colonial-capitalists.
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Activists locked to disabled cars blockade a tar sands megaload in Oregon, Dec 16, 2013
From Wild Idaho Rising Tide:
Missing Oregon/Idaho Megaload
In response to the Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) atypical early warning on Friday, February 14, that an Omega Morgan tar sands megaload would cross into Idaho during the ensuing, usual dearth of weekend media information, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) reluctantly composed a call-to-action for southern Idaho on February 16 . We remembered the last time that WIRT proclaimed that this could be the “last chance” to protest megaloads on a certain route, in that last case, Highway 12, as the first Omega Morgan shipments rolled in October and December 2012. WIRT and allies assumed that Idaho Rivers United would win their federal court case during the following February, which they did. But Omega Morgan nonetheless tried to access Highway 12 again in August 2013, and the world knows what happened next. Of the eight to ten loads that the hauling company originally proposed for Highway 12 since last summer, one entire load crossed Highway 12, another traversed Highway 95 in five parts during October and November 2013, and three core pieces have launched from Oregon. WIRT is wondering where the other three to five Omega Morgan shipments went. Do the three latest transports really signal the conclusion of eastern Oregon/southern Idaho route use, or will tar sands infrastructure haulers keep coming, not to mention through the Highway 95 sacrifice zone? Although we understand the difficulty in turning from the dead-end, destructive, fossil-fuel path that currently careens the world into climate chaos, we are amazed at how much money corporations keep investing in these ridiculous megaload maneuvers, as activists work to correct their course.
WIRT received news on Monday, February 17, that the third Omega Morgan tar sands megaload originating at the Port of Umatilla was still in Oregon . We suspected that our press release on the previous day nudged the regional media into keeping citizens informed about this issue. But during its emergence from a media blackout, the transport left John Day and traveled during daylight hours, to avoid possible night-time ice and fog over Eldorado Pass.
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from Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands:
Following over a month inside the Ingham County Jail after a guilty verdict by a jury, the MICATS 3 were sentenced to 13 months probation by Circuit Judge William Collette
“Though my heart aches for moments I will miss, I regret nothing,” wrote Lisa Leggio from her cell in Ingham County Jail while awaiting sentencing.
[On March 5], Leggio, and her fellow MICATS members Barbara Carter and Vicci Hamlin were sentenced to 13 months probation and $47,656.50 in restitution to the police. Over 100 supporters packed the tension filled courtroom where Judge William Collette of Ingham County presides. Though the defendants were surrounded by the love of their families and friends throughout the trial and sentencing, we recognize that this is not the case for most people who are forced by circumstance to interact with the justice system. The prison-industrial complex is a reality of life for so many folks who have been disenfranchised by the capitalist system from the start, and we hope that the sentencing of the MICATS 3 will only serve to highlight the struggles of those for whom community support and opportunities were never possibilities.
Despite what has happened to Hamlin, Leggio, and Carter, supporters with the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands vow to continue to take strong action against Enbridge and exploitative industry.
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In a dizzying week of oil announcements, two new giant west-to-east pipelines passed key milestones. If built, the pipelines would rapidly expand Alberta’s oil sands, cause massive environmental impacts, and trigger thousands of new jobs, according to several observers.
The first project – TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline – would be the largest oil sands pipeline in North America – a continent-wrapping 4,500-km line to carry Alberta’s oil to Montreal, Quebec City and Saint John. …
Likewise – Enbridge also announced plans for another massive pipeline – the Line 3 Replacement. The company said Monday it now has the financial backing for the $7 billion project.
On the edge of the Big Cypress Reservation in South Florida, Florida Power and Light (FPL) is setting plans in motion to build a new power plant. However, at every step, the company is facing resistance from a broad coalition that is concerned with the health of the air, water, land, animals, and people.
Across North America, many indigenous groups are already waging various battles over fracking and the removal of resources from their lands. Catching up with the group Santa Cruz Indigenous Solidarity (SCIS), [FireWorks] asked them their thoughts on the possibilities for deepening and expanding the struggle against fracking and creating links to indigenous people already in the fight.
The construction of a canal across Nicaragua has been the lofty ambition of eminent statesmen and empire-building tycoons since the colonial era, yet only now in the early 21st century is it set to become a reality.
Banners at Unist’ot’en camp
Earth First! Journal editor’s note: This letter was originally published as a comment on our re-post about the No KXL protests in Washington D.C. this week. While we fully support a diversity of tactics, ranging from petitions and lawsuits to civil disobedience and sabotage, the critique made in this letter has been actively suppressed in environmental movement coverage of the climate crisis for fear of causing “horizontal hostility.” We hope student and environmental NGO organizers will hear the loving pleas of “not enough” and take the constructive advice to “start listening to the people most affected and supporting their struggles.” For example, support is needed right now to resist pipeline expansion in Wet’suwet’en territory!
Mainstream environmental activism is often framed as an ethical imperative based on a bottom line determined by scientific discourse. An unfortunate effect is that this can pit environmental groups against the (often indigenous) communities most affected by environmental devastation. And yet around the world indigenous peoples are leading movements that view ecology as a result of the adoption of local practices long suppressed by colonialism.
Enbridge’s planned “rebuild” of the existing Line 3 pipeline does not require a permit from the US President
In its largest capital project in history, Enbridge plans to do what Transcanada so far can’t — ship more than half a million barrels of heavy oil across the U.S. border without President Barack Obama’s direct approval. Late Monday evening, Enbridge announced plans for its largest capital project in history— a $7 billion replacement of its Line 3 pipeline.
The existing Line 3 pipeline is part of Enbridge’s extensive Mainline system. The 34-inch pipe was installed in 1968 and currently carries light oil 1,660 km from Edmonton to Superior, Wis. .. By the time it goes into service in 2017, Line 3 will ship 760,000 barrels of oil across the border every day, nearly double what it currently moves. …
With its announcement, the Line 3 replacement joins three other large-scale expansion projects by Enbridge in varying stages of development or approval. … Should all four of these projects go ahead, they will collectively increase Enbridge’s daily shipping volume by approximately 1.5 million barrels per day, or the equivalent of nearly two Keystone XL pipelines. The Keystone XL pipeline is expected to transport 830,000 bpd.
Roughly 400 student activists were arrested Sunday after zip-tying themselves to the White House fence in what observers say was likely the biggest single day of civil disobedience throughout the Keystone XL “saga.”
“Far from exonerating the State Department of wrongdoing, the Inspector General report simply concludes that such dirty dealings are business as usual,” said 350.org Policy Director Jason Kowalski. “While allowing a member of the American Petroleum Institute to review a tar sands oil pipeline may technically be legal, it’s by no means responsible.”
A protester in Ukraine swings a metal chain during clashes – a taste of things to come? Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters
From South America to South Asia, a new age of unrest is in full swing as industrial civilisation transitions to post-carbon reality
by Nafeez Ahmed / The Guardian
If anyone had hoped that the Arab Spring and Occupy protests a few years back were one-off episodes that would soon give way to more stability, they have another thing coming. The hope was that ongoing economic recovery would return to pre-crash levels of growth, alleviating the grievances fueling the fires of civil unrest, stoked by years of recession.
But this hasn’t happened. And it won’t.
Instead the post-2008 crash era, including 2013 and early 2014, has seen a persistence and proliferation of civil unrest on a scale that has never been seen before in human history. This month alone has seen riots kick-off in Venezuela, Bosnia, Ukraine, Iceland, and Thailand.
This is not a coincidence. The riots are of course rooted in common, regressive economic forces playing out across every continent of the planet – but those forces themselves are symptomatic of a deeper, protracted process of global system failure as we transition from the old industrial era of dirty fossil fuels, towards something else.
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