Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »

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U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

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Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »

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The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

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‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

Business Insider Mar. 2, 2012 By Michael Kelley Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted More »

Category Archives: environment

Climate change rally brings thousands to protest in Washington

keystone

Los Angeles Times
Feb. 17, 2012
By Matt Pearce

Climate activists descended on Washington, D.C., on Sunday in what organizers boasted was the largest climate-change rally in American history, claiming more than 35,000 attendees.

The Forward on Climate rally, as it was billed by environmental groups Sierra Club and 350.org, called for President Obama to take immediate action on climate change, with many calling for the government to block the construction of the oil pipeline known as Keystone XL.

Protestors marched through the streets bearing placards and massed on the National Mall, where speakers addressed the crowd. Washington police declined to provide a crowd estimate.

“Today was one of the best days of my life, because I saw the movement come together finally, big and diverse and gorgeous,” 350.org President Bill McKibben tweeted after speaking at the rally.

‘Extraordinary’: Three Weeks Later, Keystone Blockaders Still in Texas Jail

keystone-tar-sands-protest-story-top

Common Dreams
Dec. 21, 2012
By Beth Brogan

Nearly three weeks after they were arrested on misdemeanor charges, activists who barricaded themselves inside a portion of pipe to protest the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline remain in a Texas jail, each held on $65,000 bail.

Activists Matthew Almonte and Glen Collins. (Photo: Tar Sands Blockade) Mathew Almonte and Glen Collins were arrested Dec. 3 in Winona, Texas after chaining their arms to two 600-pound concrete barrels they had maneuvered inside a section of pipe. They hoped to block construction of the TransCanada KXL pipeline, which if completed will carry highly toxic tar sands from Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries.

Also arrested was Isabel Brooks, who was filming the protest.

Part of the coalition Tar Sands Blockade, Collins said at the time that he was barricading the pipe “to say loud and clear to the extraction industry that our communities and the resources we depend on for survival are not collateral damage.”

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies of Rich Nations Five Times Climate Aid

smoke.stack.pollution

Bloomberg
Dec. 3, 2012
By Alex Morales

Rich countries spend five times more on fossil-fuel subsidies than on aid to help developing nations cut their emissions and protect against the effects of climate change, the Oil Change International campaign group said.

In 2011, 22 industrialized nations paid $58.7 billion in subsidies to the oil, coal and gas industries and to consumers of the fuels, compared with climate-aid flows of $11.2 billion, according to calculations by the Washington-based group.

The data underline the steps developed nations may be able to take to cut their emissions as ministers from 190 nations meet in Doha to discuss measures to curb global warming. Eliminating the subsidies would reduce incentives to pollute and help rich nations meet their pledge to provide $100 billion a year in climate aid by 2020, said Stephen Kretzmann, the founder of Oil Change International.

BREAKING: 40 People Stop Keystone XL Construction: Four Lock to Machinery, Nacogdoches Student and Two Others Launch a New Tree Blockade

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tarsandsblockade.org
Nov. 19, 2012

UPDATE: 11:25 am – Police pepper spray remaining two blockaders, dragging away arrested blockader who went limp

Police have pepper sprayed the remaining two blockaders locked to heavy machinery and continued to brutalize the two blockaders who were already arrested. They were seen dragging one blockader who seemed in extreme pain and unresponsive face down along the ground by his shoulder and shoving him into the back of a police car while refusing to clean pepper spray out of the eyes of the other arrested blockader or provide him with water.

UPDATE: 11:15 am – Two blockaders extracted from lock down; two more holding strong despite police brutality

The police have just extracted the two blockaders they had pepper sprayed earlier this morning. Both individuals had their eyes swollen shut because of the pepper spray. After they were removed from their lock down device, the blockaders went limp and were dragged away by police. This brings the total number of arrests so far today to five. Please make a generous donation to help get them out of jail quickly and to support their legal defense.

Thousands Surround Obama’s White House: ‘Stop Keystone XL!’

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Common Dreams
Nov. 18, 2012

Thousands of people began a planned march around the White House on Sunday afternoon, calling on the Obama Administration to reject the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and keep tar sands crude out of the US.

The demonstration, organized by 350.org, the Sierra Club, and other public interest and environmental groups, followed a “Do the Math” climate event at Washington, DC’s historic Warner Theater earlier in the day.

“Do The Math” is a 21-city nationwide tour by 350.org—headlined by 350 co-founder Bill McKibben and author Naomi Klein—aiming to connect the dots between extreme weather, climate change, and the fossil fuel industry. Designed to galvanize the climate justice movement in the wake of the election, the tour is helping to launch a direct assault not only on politicians, but the big oil and gas companies that finance their campaigns and hold enormous political sway in Washington.

Full Article Here – http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/18-1

Lawyer says judge embargoes Chevron assets in Argentina over Ecuadorean oil spill

Texaco pollution case

Associated Press
Nov. 7, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — An Argentine judge embargoed Chevron Corp.’s assets in Argentina to carry out an Ecuadorean court order that awarded $19 billion to plaintiffs in an environmental damage lawsuit in the Amazon, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Judge Adrian Elcuj Miranda ordered the freezing of Chevron’s assets in Argentina as plaintiffs try to collect the judgment won in Ecuador last year, Argentine lawyer Enrique Bruchou told reporters in a conference call.

The order states that all the cash flows from sales and bank deposits be frozen until the $19 billion is collected, Bruchou said. The order applies to 100 percent of Chevron’s capital stock in Argentina, 100 percent of its dividends and its entire minority stake in Oleoductos del Valle. It also includes 40 percent of any current or future money that Chevron Argentina holds as well as 40 percent of all its crude sales.

Bruchou said the decision in the largest environmental suit in the world should send a strong message to foreign investors that they must apply the same environmental standards wherever they do business. Similar lawsuits have been filed this year in Canada and Brazil.

Court Orders First Handover of Chevron’s Ecuador Assets

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ENS
Oct. 17, 2012

QUITO, Ecuador, October 17, 2012 (ENS) – An Ecuadorian court has frozen are all bank accounts owned by Chevron, Texaco, and their subsidiaries in partial payment of a $19 billion pollution damages judgment against Chevron.

Indigenous people and villagers living in the Ecuadorian Amazon were granted a court order this week that allows them to collect $200 million of Chevron’s assets in the country.

“This is a huge first step for the rainforest villagers on the road to collecting the entire $19 billion judgment,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Fajardo said the assets would be used to begin a cleanup of the ecological disaster left by Texaco, consistent with the mandates laid out by the Ecuador trial court.

A Colombian Tribe Fights Mining Multinationals With Bows And Arrows

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CLARIN/Worldcrunch
Oct. 14, 2012
By John Harold Giraldo Herrera

TAMAQUITO II – When a new baby is born in Tamaquito II, a Wayúu indigenous settlement in La Guajira, in northern Colombia, the child’s family digs a hole near its pichi (hut) and buries the umbilical cord. The Wayúu practice this ancestral ritual as a way to connect to the land, to remind themselves where they come from.

About 150 umbilical cords are now buried in Tamaquito II. The most recent belonged to Geovanni Camilo Fuentes, born two months ago to Sandra Paola Bravo Epieyuu. His may also be the last. Right now there are two pregnant women in the settlement, but it is unlikely they will have a chance to follow the age-old tradition. Tamaquito II is scheduled to be relocated.

In 1965, when José Alfonso Epieyuu first came to Tamaquito, he never imagined that either the settlement or its rituals would one day be in danger. He came from Alta Guajira, by way of Lagunita, Descanso and Serranía de Perijá. All of those towns were part of a large territory that belonged to the Wayúu people. There were no fences, no boundaries.

For the Wayúu, Colombia’s largest indigenous group with an estimated population of 400,000, land belongs to those work it. Historically they have moved about as they please, worked where they wanted. José Alfonso reached Tamaquito on foot, following the nomadic tradition of the Wayúu. This was his land. Now he is not so sure.

Chevron fails to block $18 billion Ecuador judgment

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Reuters
Oct. 9, 2012

(Reuters) – Chevron Corp on Tuesday lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid to block an $18.2 billion judgment against it in Ecuador in a case over pollution in the Amazon jungle.

The Supreme Court did not give any explanation for its decision, which rejected Chevron’s appeal of a lower court ruling. The lower court in January had thrown out an injunction blocking enforcement of the Ecuadorean judgment.

The decision is the latest in a nearly two-decade conflict between the No. 2 U.S. oil company and residents of Ecuador’s Lago Agrio region over claims that Texaco, bought by Chevron in 2001, contaminated the area from 1964 to 1992. The battle has spawned litigation in numerous courts both inside and outside the United States.

Peru villagers allege neglect after toxic spill

Peru-spill

Associated Press
Sept. 4, 2012
By FRANKLIN BRICENO

LIMA, Peru (AP) — More than a month after toxic slurry from a major copper mine sickened scores of people in one of Peru’s highland communities, villagers complain that the mining company and the government have done little to help and have even failed to tell some parents that tests showed their children had been poisoned.

Testing eight days after the July 25 pipeline rupture found six children with unacceptably high levels of copper and one with similarly high levels of lead, but none have received any special care, Mayor Felipe Lazaro of Cajacay told The Associated Press.

In fact, he said authorities haven’t even identified by name exactly which of the 18 children they tested were poisoned.