Locals protest tourism development in Komodo dragon sanctuary

August 22, 2018 by  
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Recently announced tourism infrastructure plans for Indonesia’s Komodo National Park has ignited a string of protests from locals and activists. The park is part of the Pacific Coral Triangle and spans over 29 pristine islands that have been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The area is supposedly protected from development under Indonesian law, which is why residents of the administrative region of the park, known as the West Manggarai district, are in uproar over the plans. In 2014 and 2015, developers PT Komodo Wildlife Ecotourism (KWE) and PT Segara Komodo Lestari (SKL) obtained licenses to build accommodations, a sightseeing facility and a restaurant on the three main islands of the Komodo reserve. The islands, Padar, Rinca and Komodo, are the largest of the 29 that encompass the national park , and the latter two are exclusively dedicated to the Komodo dragon. This awe-inspiring reptile is the world’s largest lizard, but it is also listed as threatened on the IUCN’s Red List . Related: Conservationists rid Florida of invasive iguanas by smashing their heads “The local government, together with the national government and tourism businesses, must maintain Komodo National Park as a conservation zone to ensure tourism that’s environmentally friendly and free from exploitation and commercialization,” said Rafael Todowela, head of the West Manggarai Community Forum to Save Tourism. “Conservation is to protect the Komodo dragons, not investors.” Responding to the uproar, Wiratno, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s director general,  insisted the eco-tourism plans would leave a minimal footprint on the islands. The plans include environmentally friendly building materials that are sourced locally, such as bamboo, as well as solar panels and zero-waste management systems. He said that the developers would be using far less land — around 10 percent of the 600 hectares (1,482 acres) — than they were allocated. Only locals would be employed at the facilities, which would use 5 percent of profits to boost smaller businesses in the area. Wiratno said the locals have no issue with the development plans. But residents, such as Alimudin of Komodo Village, are calling foul. “The locals are banned from doing any development work in any part of the national park for the sake of conservation,” Alimudin said. He also emphasized the residents’ interest in ensuring the protection of the Komodo dragon and its rightful habitat. Agrarian researcher Eko Cahyono said, “The tourism policy is a form of ‘green grabbing’: grabbing the locals’ land under the guise of conservation and environmental protection.” Via Mongabay Images via Christopher Harriot and Laika AC

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States across the country are trying to make it illegal to plan a pipeline protest

April 16, 2018 by  
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A new wave of bills being introduced in states such as Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Minnesota aim to criminalize the process of planning a protest against the construction of an oil or gas pipeline. If signed into law, the act of simply planning a protest that might break a law, such as trespassing or other forms of civil disobedience, would itself become illegal. Legal observers note that – wait for it – the three states that introduced these broadly defined anti-protest bills are also home to proposed controversial pipeline projects. While other states have introduced and passed similar anti-protest bills, such as those aimed at protests that block highways or involve trespassing on property that contains energy infrastructure , these new group of bills seem to take the targeting of protesters a step further. “I think these bills represent an escalation,” Alice Cherry, co-founder and staff attorney of the Climate Defense Project, told ThinkProgress . “The main motivation for these bills seems to be to deter would-be protesters and to make potential jail sentences and fines more draconian.” Related: Nuns build open-air chapel to protest natural gas pipeline on their land Activists view these bills as responses to the high-profile actions at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation , which brought thousands to encamp and protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Though the Pipeline is now operating thanks to an expedited review process under the Trump Administration, several pipeline projects in other states are facing a fierce backlash. The bill now being debated in Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Minnesota was crafted by American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group funded by pro-fossil fuels interests that creates and delivers legislative language to state lawmakers around the country to advance their agenda. The motive behind this move to place a legal spotlight on pipeline protests is evident to those in opposition. “These offenses are already criminalized in every state,” Elly Page, a legal advisor for the International Center for Not for-Profit Law, told ThinkProgress . “In a lot of cases, [lawmakers] will have amended the definition for critical infrastructure just to add the word pipeline. It’s making clear what the impetus for these bills is.” Via Think Progress Images via Mark Klotz ,  Depositphotos  and Emma Cassidy/Flickr

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States across the country are trying to make it illegal to plan a pipeline protest

U.S. veterans vow to block construction of Dakota Access Pipeline

February 3, 2017 by  
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Energy Transfer Partners may complete the Dakota Access Pipeline yet: they just have to get past thousands of U.S. military veterans first. Returning to the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota days after President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order reinstating the contentious $3.8 billion project, Veterans Stand has vowed to stonewall the pipeline’s completion. “We are committed to the people of Standing Rock, we are committed to nonviolence, and we will do everything within our power to ensure that the environment and human life are respected,” Anthony Diggs, a spokesman for the group, told CNBC . “That pipeline will not get completed. Not on our watch.” The group, which served as “human shields” for protestors at Oceti Sakowin camp, just south of Bismarck, in December, have raised over $75,000 since launching a GoFundMe campaign last week. Veterans Stand is looking to raise $500,000 to purchase supplies such as food, firewood, propane, and first-aid kits, as well as arrange car rides for volunteers to and from the camp. Meanwhile, Standing Rock Sioux tribe has promised to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for moving forward with the construction of the pipeline under Lake Oahe without conducting the environmental-impact review it said it would conduct last month. Related: American veterans arrive at Standing Rock to defend Dakota Access Pipeline protesters “The Army Corps lacks statutory authority to simply stop the [environmental-impact statement] and issue the easement,” the tribe said in a statement . “To abandon the [review] would amount to a wholly unexplained and arbitrary change based on the President’s personal views and, potentially, personal investments.” Through at least mid-2016, Trump owned as much as $50,000 ETP stock through, according to financial disclosure forms. Although Trump said he has sold all of his stock, he has offered no verification that he has divested himself of it. Nearly 4,000 veterans descended on Standing Rock in December as protestors clashed with the Morton County Sheriff’s Department and the National Guard. Veterans Stand says it plans to mobilize thousands to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, environmentalists, and other demonstrators. “We stand in unity with our brothers and sisters in Standing Rock (and beyond) and our community is ready to mobilize,” the organization said on its GoFundMe page. + Veterans Stand for Standing Rock Via CNBC Photo by Paul and Cathy/Flickr

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San Francisco artists form human chain across Golden Gate Bridge in peaceful demonstration

January 20, 2017 by  
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Donald Trump ’s inauguration might be unstoppable, but that doesn’t mean people are about to sit around and normalize hate and bigotry. Across the nation, communities are seizing January 20th as an opportunity to demonstrate the power of unity in overcoming darkness, and from inspiring Post-it-covered walls to the eleven-year-old offering “emotional-advice therapy” in the NYC subway, many are doing so in creative and unprecedented ways. To prove that #LoveTrumpsHate and that we are #StrongerTogether, a group of San Francisco artists called “ satoriteller ” organized “ Bridge Together Golden Gate ” – the first human chain across the Golden Gate Bridge. Rain or shine, 25,000 people pledged to wear purple and link hands across the iconic landmark. It took 3000 people to stretch across the bridge itself, and even more linked hands on either side. https://youtu.be/ARsCu2MMKCk The artist collective is rallying locals to hold hands across the bridge to form a “shining beacon of inclusiveness and democracy” and hopes to demonstrate that “the hateful rhetoric of the in-coming president & his administration will not be tolerated.” The group emphasizes that the event is a “community-based demonstration and performance art piece” and not a protest or march. There are no plans to obstruct traffic or cause disturbances of any kind. So far, satoriteller has raised over $20,000 in donations, part of which is being used to fund event necessities like porta-potties and EMTs. The remaining funds will be donated to Southern Poverty Law Center , Planned Parenthood , and The Trevor Project . According to satoriteller, the color purple is a symbol of unity and anti-bullying. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the one of the world’s most famous bridges, Bridge Together Golden Gate is an inspiring reminder of the power of peace and the need to remember that only love can drive out darkness. + Bridge Together Golden Gate + satoriteller Photos via Bridge Together Golden Gate

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21 unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline protestors arrested during prayer ceremony

September 30, 2016 by  
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Protesters demanding the end of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline had another run-in with police this week when the Morton County Sheriff’s Department interrupted a peaceful prayer ceremony at two sites on the reservation. About 40 law enforcement officers arrived in armored vehicles and arrested 21 protestors total. The ceremony apparently involved the planting of willow and corn – hardly actions that could be mistaken by law enforcement as violent or threatening. In a press release , the police department alleges that a protester on horseback charged at an officer. However, video of at least three riders on horseback doesn’t seem to match the description made by the officers. According to the Indian Country news site, Kyle Kirchmeier, the sheriff of Morton County, has come under fire in the past for spreading false information about the protests – including allegations that the protesters had pipe bombs. (As it turns out, the objects he claimed were bombs were actually sacred pipes used in ceremonies.) Related: What is the Dakota Access Pipeline project? We explain… The arrests follow multiple standoffs between the police the peaceful protestors who have gathered to air their concerns over the proposed oil pipeline , which could destroy sacred Sioux sites and poses a danger to the soil and groundwater that the Standing Rock tribe depends on. In early September, the oil company backing the project, Energy Transfer Partners, unleashed security dogs on the protesters, resulting in several injuries. In the past month, there have been dozens of arrests for trespassing on construction sites and blocking equipment. While the US government has attempted to block the pipeline , the continued conflict shows that the battle is far from over. Via EcoWatch Images via Tomas Alejo and Tony Webster

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21 unarmed Dakota Access Pipeline protestors arrested during prayer ceremony

New York’s fracking ban is the cue for eco-activists to mobilize

January 14, 2015 by  
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The ban on fracking in New York State is a great catalyst to inspire  grassroots environmental groups to come together. Shortly after Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking due to health and safety concerns of residents, clean air, and drinking water, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a response that said he was opposed to a ban and would make sure fracking was “ safe .” A big piece of Wolf’s election promise was to slap a severance tax on dirty shale gas and use it to pay for schools, transportation , budget-balancing, etc. That sounds attractive from the sidelines, but it’s actually really scary how much new drilling will occur. Now is the time to reallocate resources from coast to coast, and get mobilized to stop fracking across the USA. Read the rest of New York’s fracking ban is the cue for eco-activists to mobilize Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: action , activism , andrew cuomo , ban fracking , capitalism , climate , Climate Change , climate chaos , Climate Disaster , congress , conservatives , ECO:nomics , economy , Environment , Facebook , fight , Fossil Free , fossil fuels , fracking , frontlines , Future , future generations , gas , governor andrew cuomo , hydraulic fracturing , keystone xl , KXL , money , natural gas , new york city , new york state , New York. , NOKXL , NY , obama , oil , Op Ed , pennsylvania , protests , renewable energy , renewables , republicans , revolution , shale gas , shalefields , social media , Tom Wolf , XL Dissent

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New York’s fracking ban is the cue for eco-activists to mobilize

More than 1,000 London Cyclists Stage Die-In to Call for Greater Road Safety

December 2, 2013 by  
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A crowd of over 1,000 cyclists gathered outside Transport for London headquarters on Friday to protest what they say is dangerous transport infrastructure in the city. The protest comes after a rough month for London bike riders: in the course of just two weeks, six cyclists were killed in collisions with motor vehicles, prompting outrage and calls for change from the city’s cycling community. Still, no one stepped in to to organize a mass protest until Mayor Boris Johnson responded to the crisis by placing the blame for fatal accidents on cyclists, implying that deaths could be avoided if cyclists simply obeyed the rules of the road. Read the rest of More than 1,000 London Cyclists Stage Die-In to Call for Greater Road Safety Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bicycle safety , bike lanes , bike safety , cyclist deaths , die-in , London , london bike safety , london street protests , protests , transport infrastructure , uk transportation        

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Paramilitary Troops Squash Garment Worker Protests In Bangladesh

September 28, 2013 by  
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Five months after the Rana Plaza  factory complex collapsed, killing 1,129 people, and drawing attention to unsafe working conditions that permeate the international fashion industry, Bangladeshi garment workers took to the streets in protest. The action–Bangladesh’s largest worker protest to date–was meant to communicate worker demands for a higher minimum wage. The current base wage for garment workers is 3,000 takas, about $38 per month. Such a low wage is unthinkable, especially when you consider that these workers make clothing for some of the most successful brands in the world, including  H&M ,  Walmart , and  Zara . After five days of unruly protest during which 50 people, including six policemen, were injured, Bangladesh’s government deployed paramilitary troops to drive the workers from the streets. READ MORE> Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bangladesh , fashion industry , garment workers , labor unions , military violence , minimum wage , protests , worker safety        

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Paramilitary Troops Squash Garment Worker Protests In Bangladesh

Fashion Victims: Spanish Artist Protests Unethical Treatment of Garment Workers in Live Street Performance

June 22, 2013 by  
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This month, Spanish artist Yolanda Dominguez brought a stark representation of Bangladesh’s horrific Rana Plaza building collapse to a packed shopping district in Milan with a “live” performance that underscored the real fashion victims of unethical clothing production. Inspired by the April 24th disaster that claimed the lives of at least 1,127 garment workers, Dominguez “buried” well-dressed women under piles of debris, their projecting limbs a clear evocation of the images of mangled bodies that emerged in the tragedy’s aftermath. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: building collapse , cheap fashion , Ethical Fashion , fashion industry , fashion victims , performance art , Rana Plaza , unethical fashion , Yolanda Dominguez        

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Fashion Victims: Spanish Artist Protests Unethical Treatment of Garment Workers in Live Street Performance

Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand

May 28, 2012 by  
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Germany fed a whopping 22 gigawatts of solar power per hour into the national grid on Saturday, setting a new record by meeting nearly half of the country’s weekend power demand. After the Fukushima disaster , Japan opted to shut down all of its nuclear power stations and Germany followed suit after considerable public pressure. This seems to have paved the way for greater investment in solar energy projects. The  Renewable Energy Industry (IWR) in Muenster announced that Saturday’s solar energy generation met nearly 50 percent of the nation’s midday electricity needs AND was equal to 20 nuclear power stations at full capacity! Read the rest of Germany Sets New Solar Record By Meeting Nearly Half of Country’s Weekend Power Demand Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “solar energy” , 2020 energy goals , alternative energy , clean tech , cleantech , eco design , EU , Fukushima , germany , green design , meltdown , news , nuclear , nuclear disaster , nuclear power , protests , renewable energy , solar panels , sustainable design

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