At COP26, Indigenous activists are fighting to be heard

November 10, 2021 by  
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At COP26 in Glasgow, activists and experts are seeking to be heard and have their issues addressed. However, many causes are going ignored. Ruth Miller, Climate Justice Director for Native Movement , an Alaska-based grassroots group that represents Miller’s Indigenous community, has teamed up with eight other youths representing Indigenous groups to push their agenda at the conference. Although Indigenous communities have not been given sufficient room at such global meetings, the activist group says their concerns represent millions worldwide. Miller and her fellow activists had to share apartments and stayed almost an hour’s drive away from Glasgow due to the high cost of apartments in the city. Even with these obstacles, they fought to represent their issues. While they got a chance to talk with some top officials, the group couldn’t speak directly to the delegates. Related: Giant puppet represents refugee children at COP26 “Being an Indigenous youth at COP is extraordinarily limiting and tokenizing in a number of ways, both by nature of being Indigenous and by being youth,” Miller said. Miller shared her experiences with the other activists and discussed how climate change affects the entire world, though in different ways. For instance, Miller, who is from the Arctic , found that her experiences connect to those of Tiana Jakicevich, one of the activists hailing from the Southern Hemisphere. “While Ruth’s ice is melting , our seas are rising. So we are intrinsically connected to the earth and each other through that,” Jakicevich said. Jakicevich recalled her childhood days and tried to compare it to the situation now. “It’s like a little shellfish and you used to just dig in the sand for them. And every year we kept going back and they moved every year, and then about five years ago we couldn’t find them.” According to Miller, even though youthful activists are often dismissed, they have a lot to offer. “A number of us are extremely well versed in the substantive content of particularly Article 6 of the Paris Agreement , of a number of negotiating platforms,” Miller said. “We work in these fields as well as being youth. And yet, most of what I’ve talked about is how difficult it is for youth to be heard. We don’t even get to talk about what we would talk about if we were heard.” Miller and her fellow activists want the contents of Article 6 revised, saying that it mostly talks about carbon trading, a situation that emboldens polluters. They are also demanding a new deal at COP26 that recognizes Indigenous communities. Via NPR Lead image via Pixabay

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At COP26, Indigenous activists are fighting to be heard

Stop Line 3 protests continue at Minnesota capitol

August 27, 2021 by  
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About 2,000 demonstrators rallied at the  Minnesota  State Capitol on Wednesday as part of a week of action called “Treaties Not Tar Sands.” The movement is reacting to Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, which could carry 750,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada to Wisconsin every day. Indigenous people and environmentalists led the protest. The pipeline violates treaty rights and endangers clean water, say the protestors. Some Indigenous leaders walked more than 250 miles of the pipeline’s route to attend the Saint Paul rally. Related: Enbridge Line 3 pipeline protestors brutally arrested “We’re here in ceremony. We’re here to assert our treaty rights and our right to exist and our right to clean  water ,” Nancy Beaulieu, a founder of the Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging Coalition, said Wednesday, as reported by Common Dreams. “Line 3 violates our treaty and all the treaties along the Mississippi because the water flows. This is a people’s problem, this is not just a Native issue here.” Wednesday’s rally came in response to the Minnesota Supreme Court upholding state regulators’ decision to let Enbridge continue  construction . Protestors are running out of legal options to halt the project. The  pipeline  first won approval during the Trump administration. But Biden’s Justice Department backed it, too, much to the horror of opponents. Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz, has also supported the Line 3 project. Line 3 refers to replacing 300 plus miles of existing pipeline. The entire system runs 1,097 miles. Environmentalists are also worried about  climate  impact. One estimate predicts that the Line 3 project will be as detrimental as building 50 new coal-fired power plants. “This pipeline’s dangerous effects on the environment, surrounding communities, and Tribal groups will be irreversible,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “The Biden administration must immediately suspend Line 3’s  Clean Water Act  permit and conduct a full environmental impact statement.” Via Common Dreams Lead image via Fibonacci Blue

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Extinction Rebellion protests take over London

August 24, 2021 by  
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On Monday, Extinction Rebellion (XR) protestors blocked a busy junction in Covent Garden, London during their first day of protests. Participants chained themselves together to block a roundabout at Long Acre. A van joined at the junction with a 4-meter-high pink table featuring the slogan “Come to the table.” As XR plans a fortnight of protests in London , this slogan represents their call to bring everyone to the table to discuss the climate crisis. Related: Extinction Rebellion LA protests climate change by supergluing themselves to Universal Globe In a statement, XR explained, “As floods, fire , and famine break out around the world, it is clear that climate breakdown is here now, and there is no choice left now but to take urgent action. Everyone deserves a seat at the table to have a say in how to tackle the greatest crisis of our times.” Protesters remained at the junction until 7 p.m. when the police began arresting participants. The police showed up with an order signed by Superintendent Wayne Matthews, who claimed the gathering “may result in serious disruption to the community.” The order was also shared via social media . In response, XR members targeted for arrest laid on the ground, forcing police officers to carry them away. Police claim to have arrested 52 protestors. One of the protestors told reporters that XR’s actions have already succeeded in raising awareness. “By taking these arguably drastic actions, I hope that it makes some of the passersby, or the people who read about it, think about why we are worried enough to do that and it conveys there really is something to worry about,” said activist Tristan Strange. According to the Metropolitan police, law enforcement will continue with a “policing plan” for continued XR protests. Deputy assistant commissioner Matt Twist has added that “his officers would not be deterred by a recent supreme court ruling” supporting highway obstruction as “a legitimate and lawful form of protest,” as reported by The Guardian. Via The Guardian Lead image via Extinction Rebellion U.K.

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Petaluma becomes first US city to ban new gas stations

August 18, 2021 by  
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A small group of activists is driving the conversation about climate change in new directions with a push against establishing new gas stations. In March, Petaluma, California , became the first town in America to place a moratorium on new gas station construction thanks to the efforts of local activists Jenny Blaker and Woody Hastings. The actions of Blaker and Hastings have inspired many other activists and helped start the conversation about putting an end to the era of gas stations. One such activist is Emily Bit, whose family lives in southern Napa County in California. According to Bit, climate change has become more apparent in her life, with wildfires and extreme weather patterns appearing in recent years.  Related: Maintaining an electric vehicle costs less than gas or hybrid counterparts Bit has mobilized her fellow students to stand against the establishment of new gas stations in her town. She believes that together they can stop the construction of two new gas stations proposed in her town.  Bit borrows a lot from other activists such as Hastings and Blaker, who have had success in their local community. Blaker and Hastings are the co-coordinators of Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations. Blaker says that the push to stop the construction of more gas stations is just the beginning. In the future, the coalition may consider pushing for the construction of more charging stations and demand better public transport facilities.  “Hopefully the next step is more charging stations, cheaper electric vehicles, better public transport, more bikes . But you have to start somewhere,” said Blaker. The city of Petaluma has a population of roughly 60,000 people and is served by 16 gas stations. D’Lynda Fischer, a Petaluma councilor, says that for an area of 14.5 square miles, the 16 gas stations are enough. “Sixty percent of trips in Sonoma County are under five miles and we are basically flat,” Fischer said. “On top of that, 60% of our greenhouse gas emissions are from transportation. We have an obligation to do this.” Although Hastings and Blaker are happy about their success, they say that it is easier to drive the conversation on a local scale than at the national level at the moment. Hastings argues that if the movement gains national traction, it may be dragged into culture wars. “We are in a bubble,” said Hastings. “But as more affordable alternatives for transportation emerge I think it’ll become less of an extreme idea.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Pexels

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This giant Cup Monster wants Starbucks to use recyclable cups

October 12, 2017 by  
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A monster created with over 500 old Starbucks cups prowled outside a Seattle hotel this week. Advocacy group Stand.earth created the Cup Monster to pressure the company to deliver a better, recyclable cup. Although Starbucks has trialed recyclable cups , when you order that pumpkin spice latte or mocha today, the paper cup you hold still can’t be recycled in many regions. Stand.earth says Starbucks serves four billion disposable paper cups every single year – but many facilities can’t recycle them “because the inside plastic lining clogs the equipment,” according to the group . So they showed up at the Seattle Sheraton hotel this week, where Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson was speaking at the 2017 GeekWire Summit, with the Cup Monster in tow. Related: Starbucks trials recyclable paper coffee cups for potential global use Ah the Cup Monster is out of control! Every @Starbucks unrecyclable cup that gets trashed only makes it stronger! Kevin Johnson, be a hero! pic.twitter.com/V0c8KNsq9L — Stand.earth (@standearth) October 10, 2017 According to Stand.earth United States campaign director Ross Hammond, over 8,000 cups go to landfills every minute. He said in a statement, “We hope Seattle’s tech leaders will join us in calling on Starbucks to stop serving 21st century coffee in a 20th century cup.” GeekWire reported although activists wore Starbucks uniforms, they aren’t affiliated with the coffee company. Starbucks vice president of communications Linda Mills told GeekWire the company’s cups can be recycled in some markets like Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. She said they are also working with municipalities so the cups can be recycled in more areas. Reusable cups are also an option; the company has offered a discount since 1985 for customers when they bring in cups that can be used over and over. On Starbucks’ webpage on recycling , they say, “We will continue to explore new ways to reduce our cup waste but ultimately it will be our customers who control whether or not we achieve continued growth in the number of beverages served in reusable cups.” You can sign Stand.earth’s letter to Johnson asking for a better cup here . + Stand.earth Via GeekWire Images via Stand.earth Twitter ( 1 , 2 )

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Incredible green dreamscape made of recycled threads takes over a Taipei lecture hall

October 12, 2017 by  
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Taipei’s lush jungle landscape has crept indoors in the form of a “green dreamscape.” MVRDV and Argentinian textile artist Alexandra Kehayoglou transformed a 180-person lecture hall into an incredible sight with wall-to-wall carpets woven out of recycled threads that mimic natural textures like moss, water, trees, and pastures. Located at JUT Group’s head office, this public wall-covering artwork references Taiwan’s sub-tropical environment while providing acoustic control and an unforgettable lecture backdrop. Sprawled out across a 240-square-meter lecture hall, the massive installation looks surprisingly lifelike from afar. The variety of textures, shapes, and patterns evoke a diverse plants palette ranging from delicate flowers on the carpet floor to thick mosses clinging on the far back wall. Alexandra Kehayoglou created the site-specific textile work using discarded threads from her family’s carpet factory in Buenos Aires. The unique artwork was made with a laborious hand-tufting technique and took over a year to complete. Related: Amazing landscape carpets transform your living room into a lush, grassy meadow “The interior is literally a green dream,” says Winy Maas , MVRDV co-founder. “Together with the artwork, it represents the natural landscape of Taiwan and at the same time, acts as an acoustic intervention. In the midst of the hyper-urban condition of Taipei, audiences will be surrounded by this green dreamscape.” The interior design builds on the research of MVRDV and their think tank, The Why Factory , into the potential of future transformable elements. + MVRDV + Alexandra Kehayoglou Images via MVRDV

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Incredible green dreamscape made of recycled threads takes over a Taipei lecture hall

Environmental activists deface Trumps California golf course

March 15, 2017 by  
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Under the cover of darkness early Sunday morning, a group of anonymous environmental activists broke into one of Donald Trump’s golf courses and defaced the green in an act of civil disobedience. In six-foot tall letters, they left a message that read simply: “NO MORE TIGERS. NO MORE WOODS.” The Trump National Golf Club, located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, overlooks the ocean just south of Los Angeles and was ranked last year as the 43rd best course in California. The activist collective sent a video of the protest, along with a statement, to the Washington Post . The vandalism was intended as a reaction to the Trump administration’s “blatant disregard” for the environment. In an anonymous interview with the paper, one group member noted, “Tearing up the golf course felt justified in many ways. Repurposing what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged is an environmental crime in its own right.” All told, the protest took about an hour to complete. Four people scaled a fence and walked down a steep hill dotted with cacti to access the green near hole five, then dug up the grass using basic gardening tools. The LA County Sherriff’s Department confirmed that the course called with a complaint about the damage on Sunday. Related: Trump tries to keep 21 kids’ climate change lawsuit from going to trial This isn’t the first time a Trump property has been vandalized in recent months. In October, Black Lives Matter graffiti was left on the side of Trump’s new Washington hotel. Reportedly, neither the Trump Organization nor the golf course itself were willing to issue a statement to the Washington Post responding to the new incident. Via The Washington Post

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Greenpeace activists hang "Resist" banner above White House to protest Trump

January 27, 2017 by  
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This week seven Greenpeace U.S.A. members scaled a crane near the White House to protest President Donald Trump’s policies – and they unfurled a 70-by-35-foot-banner emblazoned with a single exhortation: “Resist.” The protestors had climbed the roughly 300-foot crane around 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning, and they came down close to 10 p.m., after which they were taken into custody. They are currently facing charges for “second-degree burglary, unlawful entry. and destruction of property,” a District of Columbia police spokeswoman told reporters on Thursday. Karen Topakian , chairwoman of the Greenpeace Inc. board and one of the climbers, said the protestors were there to “resist Trump’s attacks on environmental, social, economic, and educational justice to contribute to a better America.” Just days after taking office, the Trump administration has revived the dormant Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects , ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to remove climate change from its website, and suppressed communications between federal scientists and the public. Although some of these restrictions were loosened following a public backlash, many view these strikes as symptomatic of Trump’s anti-intellectual, anti-science agenda, one that is best encapsulated by the president’s previous insistence that climate change is a “hoax” perpetuated by the Chinese government. Related: Rogue national park tweets climate change facts in defiance of Donald Trump The fact that Trump has tapped Scott Pruitt , a climate-change denier with close ties to the fossil-fuel industry, to lead the EPA, does current optics few favors. In a meeting with automakers on Tuesday, Trump called himself “to a large extent, an environmentalist” but also said that regulations were “out of control.” Greenpeace isn’t about to let that behavior slide. “Greenpeace has been using nonviolence to resist tyrannical bullies since 1971, and we’re not going to stop now,” Topakian wrote in a blog post . “When Trump tries to weaken the Paris Climate Agreement so fossil fuel companies can profit on climate destruction, we will resist . When he tries to fast-track dangerous projects like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines with no regard for Indigenous sovereignty, we will resist . When he tries to block our communities from building the clean energy future we deserve, we will resist .” Viva la resistance. + Greenpeace Photos by Greenpeace

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Greenpeace activists hang "Resist" banner above White House to protest Trump

DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

January 3, 2017 by  
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For many in this uncertain new year, an important resolution is to participate in actions that support causes that build a better world and oppose those that stand in our way. Two protesters started 2017 off with an acrobatic bang when they lowered themselves and a #NoDAPL banner from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium during a Minnesota Vikings –   Chicago Bears football game on New Years Day. Appropriately channeling Spiderman and the Dark Knight, these real-life vigilantes risked arrest and injury to send a message that the water protectors are here to stay in 2017. Secured with rappelling gear to a high metal truss that supports the roof of the stadium, the two protesters , Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, dangled next to their banner, which displayed the words “Divest,” “U.S. Bank,” and ” #NoDAPL .” Once the police had spotted the protesters, those sitting beneath the banner were removed from the area and authorities tried to convince Mayo and Holiday to come down. “It looked very official, so I don’t think many people noticed it at first,” said Jordan Proctor, who attended the game. “People were watching and talking about it a lot at halftime.” The game however was uninterrupted through the duration of the protest. Related: US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight The protesters demanded that the media was present when they finally descended from their perch. Upon reaching solid ground, they were arrested and brought to jail on trespassing charges. They were later released and formal charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday. “We are here in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock to urge US Bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Holiday in a statement released by local reporters. A spokesperson for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation clarified that the protesters were not associated with the tribe . U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Dan Ripley did not offer comment, nor did a representative for the Minnesota Vikings. Via CNN Images via  Christopher Juhn /MPR News

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DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

DAPL protesters arrested for unfurling banner at Vikings game

January 3, 2017 by  
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For many in this uncertain new year, an important resolution is to participate in actions that support causes that build a better world and oppose those that stand in our way. Two protesters started 2017 off with an acrobatic bang when they lowered themselves and a #NoDAPL banner from the ceiling of U.S. Bank Stadium during a Minnesota Vikings –   Chicago Bears football game on New Years Day. Appropriately channeling Spiderman and the Dark Knight, these real-life vigilantes risked arrest and injury to send a message that the water protectors are here to stay in 2017. Secured with rappelling gear to a high metal truss that supports the roof of the stadium, the two protesters , Karl Mayo, 32, and Sen Holiday, 26, dangled next to their banner, which displayed the words “Divest,” “U.S. Bank,” and ” #NoDAPL .” Once the police had spotted the protesters, those sitting beneath the banner were removed from the area and authorities tried to convince Mayo and Holiday to come down. “It looked very official, so I don’t think many people noticed it at first,” said Jordan Proctor, who attended the game. “People were watching and talking about it a lot at halftime.” The game however was uninterrupted through the duration of the protest. Related: US veterans who protested DAPL are fighting a new fight The protesters demanded that the media was present when they finally descended from their perch. Upon reaching solid ground, they were arrested and brought to jail on trespassing charges. They were later released and formal charges are expected to be filed on Tuesday. “We are here in solidarity with water protectors from Standing Rock to urge US Bank to divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Holiday in a statement released by local reporters. A spokesperson for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation clarified that the protesters were not associated with the tribe . U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Dan Ripley did not offer comment, nor did a representative for the Minnesota Vikings. Via CNN Images via  Christopher Juhn /MPR News

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