Archive for the ‘Demonstration’ Category
FLORIDA FOREST TO BE DESTROYED FOR BIO-TECH CITY
February 14, 2011: Two FAU Alumni go to great heights to defend Endangered Species in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida suspend themselves 30 feet from the ground in the pine trees of the Briger Tract Forest in protest of the FAU/Scripps Bio-tech City plan.
Tree-sitters display banner reading “Defend These Forests”, visible to all Northbound I-95 traffic.
- Tree-sitters on Briger Tract site (561) 324-1033
- Ana Rodriguez, on site at FAU Campus Protest: (561) 374-3268
- Maya, on site at FAU Campus Protest: (413) 695-2249
Two “Tree-sitters” on the Briger Tract Forest in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida suspend 30 feet in the air holding a banner reading to all of northbound traffic on Florida Interstate I-95 to highlight their concerns regarding the FAU Scripps Bio-technology.
Law Enforcement with the Florida Department of Transportation and City of Palm Beach Gardens arrived at approximately 9 am to the site located on the northbound side of I-95 just south of the Donald Ross exit.
FDOT and PBG Gardens police have told the FAU Alumni “tree-sitters” to leave the site or risk imminent arrest. The two FAU Alumni remain suspended 30 foot high from pine trees, holding a banner that reads “Defend These Forests”.
The tree-sitters sited on-going concerns about the proposed development which their group, Everglades Earth First, has been voicing at City and County public meetings over the past year.
One tree-sitter commented “As an FAU Graduate and Palm Beach County resident I am dismayed at the lack of protection for the Endangered Species on the FAU Scripps development site. The Scripps “bio-tech city” plan promotes sprawl and will destroy endangered species located on the Briger Tract Forest. We have tried legal means to protect the site, but the developers and politicians have ignored our concerns. If the state and county refuse to protect endangered species then we must take action to preserve the remaining natural beauty of Florida.”
Further comment from the tree-sitters is available through the media contact. The tree-sitters and their banner are visible from Northbound I-95, at the Donald Ross exit adjacent to proposed “biotech city” of the Scripps Research Institute.
In conjunction with the tree-sit, forty protesters are currently converged at the existing FAU/Scripps Florida building located at 120 Scripps Way on the FAU Honors Campus. City of Jupiter police and FAU campus police are on site at the protest and have briefly detained at least one person.
“The Scripps Bio-tech City development violates the Palm Beach Gardens Comprehensive Plan. said Ana Rodriguez on-site at the FAU/Scripps protest. The government’s approval of Scripps’ Bio-tech city demonstrates that they are unwilling to protect critical habitat for Endangered Species. We are concerned about the environmental impacts of the development and the hazards of bio-technology. With bio-technology comes genetic engineering, infectious diseases and animal testing in our backyard.”
Bio-technology has been a controversial science receiving critique from farmers, the scientific community and residents globally.
The group says that the action marks the beginning of a collaborative campaign to stop the clearing of the Briger Forest, on the ground and in the treetops. Earth First! activists plan to maintain a presence on the site to ensure no endangered species habitat is destroyed, and no animals are abused in the proposed vivisection labs.
From Common Dreams:
African-American farmers have staged a massive protest in Washington DC calling on the US government to deliver on cash payments promised to the group years ago.
In 1999, black farmers won a landmark case that granted them a billion-dollar compensation settlement on the grounds of racial discrimination by then US authorities.
But now the group says that tens of thousands of African-American farmers have not received the funds that they were promised.
Al Jazeera’s John Terrett reports from Washington DC:
Jessica Yee, a special correspondent to the blog Racialious is doing excellent work with her group the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. Recently they produced a collection of short pieces called “Protecting the Circle, Aboriginal Men Ending Violence Against Women”. Here is what Jessica had to say about it to Racialicious:
Along with the support of our partners, we have produced a short written collection of submitted works by Aboriginal men from across Canada. We would like to acknowledge them for all their remarkable contributions and commitment to ending violence against women, but also of recognizing the full spectrum of gender identity and self determination when violence is committed against all persons.
The whole collection can be seen here in PDF form and below is the first piece in the collection.
Woman – by Walter Woodman
Strength is something all men want
to shed tears or have fears
is something we taunt.
To show force against mothers, sisters, girlfriends
isn’t something you do
as REAL men.
To be humble yet strong role model to others
to not only see women as things
but all of them mothers.
For without them where would we be?
no mother earth, no mothers womb
no mother you, mother me.
A woman has given you life as a gift
so respect her, cherish her
so your soul can lift.
A woman is creator
A woman is love
A woman is mother
Mother earth, and the sky above.
Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but there was a week long internet breakdown here on the Ashram. Now I’m back and decided to share my excitement about traveling to Nepal with a Nepal-themed story.
From Women’s E-News:
Rajin Rayamajhi, a lawyer with Women for Human Rights, likened the proposal to “buying and selling a woman.”
Many single women, as widows here prefer to be called, are illiterate and only 2 percent have higher education. Rayamajhi said the proposal would be difficult for many to understand. This makes them vulnerable to men who would marry them for the money and then leave, taking all the funds.
She also slammed the payments for increasing the risk of violence and trafficking once widows were again under the control of a husband. Critics further say that the proposed legislation encourages a different kind of dowry, though the Nepali government has been trying to eliminate that system, and advances the notion that a woman’s security and empowerment is dependent on marriage and men.
Although the group encourages young widows to marry, they stress the importance of independence before remarrying. Widows in Nepal face many rules as single women.
Single women are not to wear jewelry or bright colors, especially red; they are not to eat meat or seasoned food; not allowed to participate in celebrations; and often not even allowed to touch other people. Their increased dependency on living relatives makes them more vulnerable to, and often the victims of, verbal, physical and sexual abuse and frequently their property and inheritance rights are violated. The practice of Sati, where women were ritually burned on their husband’s funeral pyres, was outlawed a century ago.
“One minute you have everything and the next it’s gone,” said Thapa, whose own husband died 20 years ago while serving as a physician with the United Nations in the first Iraq War. She was left with three sons aged 4, 9 and 10.
Almost immediately her relatives forcibly removed her treasured diamond nose ring, which she’d worn since receiving it at 14 from her parents as a gift for completing high school. She was made to wear colorless clothing and at her brother’s wedding she was not allowed to help with the preparations. As a widow, she was considered bad luck.
Read the rest here
Taking a cue from 2003′s Calendar Girls, a movie in which older British women bare all for leukemia research, Erika Biddle decided to jump on the train of the increasingly popular brand of calendars where locals pose naked for a cause.
In celebration of Earth Day’s 40th birthday, Biddle only asked women over 40 to pose, resulting in 15 women ages 44-78 posing au naturale in naturally beautiful locations.
The 500 calendars were sold, raising $8,000 for the non-profit organization Green Living and Education.
To hear about all the locations Biddle chose, read the full article here
In other Nude News, these women (and 2 men!) protested naked against the war in Afghanistan, hoping to put an end to the myth that War is Peace
Native forests in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are being destroyed to plant new crops of “profitable” trees. Non-indigenous, but fast growing trees like eucalyptus and pine are being planted to produce large-scale wood, pulp and paper production. Along with destroying the forest, these trees also use more water and degrade the soil of these South American countries.
Rural women’s organizations and environmental groups have drafted letters to the forestry companies in protest but have been ignored and pushed out of the way by claims that these “tree plantations” will act as carbon sinks, helping to offset green house gasses and carbon emissions.
Among the many negative aspects of the “unsustainable” development model followed by the forestry industry, [the women] denounced that companies pressure families into selling their farmland, that the industry creates few jobs for women, that tree plantations are depleting water resources, and that these changes have significant social impacts, such as a breakdown in the social fabric, leading to domestic violence and sexual harassment among the affected communities.
Promoting plantations as forests is “misleading,” said the rural women’s organisations and environmental groups, which pointed to the “countless negative impacts” that these projects have on the lives of rural families, and particularly on women, who are “disempowered” by the expansion of these single-crop plantations.
The document the women put forth was signed by the March of Women, The Peasant Women’s Movement of Brazil and the Centre for Environment Studies. It was also backed by GRAIN, Friends of the Earth, The Rural Women’s Movement and the World Rainforest Movement.
These tree plantations are more than just a minor headache. Along with pushing rural families off their land in Brazil, the plantations have ruined the livelihoods of the families as the land suffered severe droughts, abrupt temperature changes, severe loss of biodiversity, food crop reduction, drying up of water sources and degradation of soil fertility.
Two books have resulted from this ordeal, Brazil: Women and Eucalyptus: Stories of Life and Resistance, and The European Union’s Role in the Disempowerment of Women of the South through the Conversion of Local Ecosystems into Tree Plantations.
To understand more about this ongoing struggle, read the full article on Common Dreams
This is ridiculous. Carin Froehlich of Perkasie Pennsylvania is fighting with her neighbors for the right to hang her laundry outside. She’s not the only one either. While there are no laws against hanging her clothes, neighbors have sent anonymous notes stating that her clothes line makes the town look like trailer trash, and also that no one wants to see her “unmentionables.” Froehlich, who is now writing a book on this phenomenon, insists she leaves her underwear inside to dry. Sadly, Froehlich is not the only one struggling for the “right to hang”. People all across America are picking the same fight.
Project Laundry List, the group that represents those individuals fighting with their town, says the benefits of hanging clothes outside of drying are numerable.
Their interests are represented by Project Laundry List, a group that argues people can save money and reduce carbon emissions by not using their electric or gas dryers, according to the group’s executive director, Alexander Lee.
Widespread adoption of clotheslines could significantly reduce U.S. energy consumption, argued Lee, who said dryer use accounts for about 6 percent of U.S. residential electricity use.
Florida, Utah, Maine, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii have passed laws restricting the rights of local authorities to stop residents using clotheslines. Another five states are considering similar measures, said Lee, 35, a former lawyer who quit to run the non-profit group.
Froehlich maintains that hanging her clothes saves her $83 a month and makes the point that if her husband has the right to own a gun, she should have the right to hang her laundry.
Well said, Carin.
Eight women from commonwealth countries Cyprus, Ghana, India, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Jamaica and the United Kingdom are undertaking what seems like the impossible – skiing over 900 kilometers from Antarctica to the geographic South Pole.
Marking the 60th aniversary of the Commonwealth, the expedition aims to demonstrate the potential of greater intercultural understanding and exchange, while at the same time highlighting the achievements of women across the world.
The team members from Brunei, Cyprus, Ghana and Jamaica will be the first person from their nation to ski to the South Pole. Those from India, Singapore and New Zealand will be the first women from their country to do so.
Fantastic as these achievements will be, the expedition is about much more than national and global records. The team members will return to their home countries as role models to inspire others, particularly women, to reach beyond the expectation of others and follow their own path.
Representing a Commonwealth of 52 nations and 2 billion people around the globe, the expedition team is a diverse group of real women selected from over 800 applicants. Before joining the expedition many of the team members had never been in sub-zero temperatures, put on a pair of skis or spent the night in a tent – a fact which makes the challenge they are undertaking even more remarkable.
The 900km journey from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole will take around 40 days. The team will survive on lightweight dehydrated rations and melted snow. They will sleep in tents on the ice at night and pull sledges containing all the food, fuel and equipment they will need. Travelling without a guide, the team will need to rely on each other to navigate themselves safely to the bottom of the world.
The team expect to arrive at the South Pole around New Year’s Day 2010.
Usually when I post about women and water, I am talking about third world women. But we can’t forget that there is also a water crisis going on in America. Bijoyeta Das reports for We News on the conception of the Women Water Walkers in 2003 and also the global day of climate activism where over 4.400 events in 172 countries have been planned for Oct. 24 to draw attention to the need to cut greenhouse emissions.
(WOMENSENEWS)–Their lips wind-burned, feet blistered, shoes worn out. They keep walking.Sometimes they walk as much as 54 miles in a single day, taking turns carrying eight liters of water in a copper pail and an eagle staff, a six-feet long carved staff with eagle feathers attached, which serves as a flag for Native Americans. At night, they rest in the houses of their supporters or in lodging arranged by a casino. Some nights they camp out in the bitter cold.
For six springs, Mother Earth Water Walkers have walked nearly a month to circle one of the Great Lakes in North America.
Since 2003, they have walked the shorelines of Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and twice around Lake Michigan.
This year they walked up one coast of the St. Lawrence River, starting at Kingston, Ontario, on April 13 and down the other. They ended on May 1 at Riviere-la-Madeleine, Quebec.
Two Anishinawbe women lead the annual event, which started as a Women Water Walk on a cold wet Easter day in 2003 in Odanah, Wisc.
Along the way, many Native American men and women join them.
The goal is to raise awareness that water is essential and sacred.
Call to Lower Greenhouse Emissions
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is scheduled for December in Copenhagen, Denmark. World leaders are expected to clinch a comprehensive global treaty to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
Tomorrow, Oct. 24, over 4,400 events–called climate actions–are being planned in 172 countries to stir public awareness and urge leaders to commit to policies that will lower global levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million. That’s the level that James Hansen, a scientist with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has identified as needed to sustain human civilization. The current level, according to a dynamically updating monitor on 350.org, the grassroots group organizing Saturday’s events, is 387.
Along with building the buzz online and through posters, the campaign uses off-the-wall strategies, such as baking cookies at 350 degrees F and stringing up 350 socks and pieces of underwear.
The group’s leaders include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the 1984 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against apartheid; Liz Thompson, an environmental leader for small island developing states, such as Barbados; and Vandana Shiva, an Indian activist for agricultural practices reform and adherent to the alter-globalization movement. The lead organizer is Bill McKibben, a Vermont writer who authored the first book about the dangers of climate change 20 years ago.
But the Water Walkers are not part of this or any media blitz. You won’t find them on Twitter or Facebook.
“We walk the talk,” said Josephine Mandamin, 67, a native of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and founder of the Mother Earth Water Walks, in a phone interview this week. “We don’t have to be on the media and television. You just walk with the water and the people get the message.”
Great Lakes Landscape Changed
The human population of the Great Lakes basin is approximately 42 million, according to a report “State of the Great Lakes,” which was prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, and Environment Canada. Increases in population and urbanization have changed the landscape of the Great Lakes, which in turn may result in an increase in erosion, sediment transport and degradation of water quality in the tributaries and the near-shore areas. Between 1992 and 2001, 2.5 percent (2 million acres) of the Great Lakes basin was subjected to change in land use, according to the 2009 report.
“Some conditions of the Great Lakes are improving while others are deteriorating,” said Phillippa Cannon, a spokesperson for the EPA. One of the current programs of the EPA’s Great Lakes National Office is to clean up contaminated sediments from the most polluted parts, she said.
But when you ask Mandamin about human-made climate change and the havoc scientists say it is wreaking, she says Mother Earth is doing what she can by “cleaning herself” in the form of fires, floods and landslides.
Mandamin described herself as a grandmother “looking after the water for the next generation for the unborn.”
“In every nation, any country, any First Nations that I have heard, women were the carriers of the water, from the wells to the house,” she said.
According to the “State of the Great Lakes” report, the climate in the Great Lakes region is shifting. Winters are shorter, annual average temperature warmer and rain and snow are heavier. The air and water temperatures are increasing, while the lake ice cover is decreasing.
Cannon said that Congress is considering the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, in which the president has proposed $475 million to address the problems in the Great Lakes. “That would certainly make a big difference towards continuing the work of cleaning up the Great Lakes,” she said.
Inspiration for First Walk
The idea for the Water Walks welled up in 2002, from the Sundance Ceremony in Pipestone, Minn., where the Grand Chief E. Benton-Banaise-Bawdwayadun of the Anishinawbe reminded the women of a prophecy made about 10 years ago by an Anishinawbe elder:
“In about 30 years, if we humans continue with our negligence, an ounce of drinking water will cost the same as an ounce of gold.”
The leader also talked about how traditionally women have been the carriers of water and that it is believed that one day women would walk all of the Great Lakes.
That prompted Mandamin to initiate the first Women Water Walk.
In 2003, after a send-off ceremony and feast of moose stew, fish, wild rice and Bannok– a traditional native bread prepared by pan-frying–women from different clans came together to pace the 350 miles of the Lake Superior coastline.
For the last couple of years men have realized their duties, too, and are walking beside the women on the spring treks.
Since 2006, men hold the symbolic eagle staff to give strength during the walks; however, women continue to carry the pail of water. “There was a uniting of the minds for the water, with the water and because of the water,” Mandamin said.
Walking All Day
Gary Fourstar, one of the founders of this event, said the female-dominated group led another 10-day walk for the water, starting at the headwaters of the Tiber River in Italy and ending at the Vatican in 2007. More than 80 people, including Native American elders, participated in the walk.
The goal of the water walk is to spur people to give thanks for their water and to realize that water is alive and needs protection, said Debora Fourstar, president of the Many Horses Foundation and married to Gary Fourstar.
She said the Western world has lost respect and connection with nature.
Bijoyeta Das is a multimedia journalist based in Boston.
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