Tag Archives: Earth First

Treesit halts W. Va mountaintop removal

W-Va Treesitters Nick Stocks and Laura SteepletonMountain Justice activists Laura Steepleton and Nick Stocks continue to occupy trees adjacent Massey Energy’s West Virginia coal mine, preventing further blasting of the Edwight mountaintop removal site. Assistants at the base of the trees were arrested for trespassing, but called back, expected to help the police communicate with the sitters.
Earth First! spokesman Mike Roselle has been visited by State troopers, demanding he command the Coal River Valley treesitters to climb down. Check Climate Ground Zero for updates, where you can leave messages of encouragement.

From Climate Ground Zero:

This is the thirteenth in a series of non-violent direct actions and protests that have brought together Coal River Valley residents, NASA climate scientist James Hansen, students, underground miners, military veterans, concerned citizens and environmentalists from across the nation with the goal of ending mountaintop removal. This is the third protest in two weeks to focus attention on the WV Department of Environmental Protection and their embattled Secretary, Randy Huffman. It also follows days after the leak of DEP biologist Doug Wood’s memo on the scale of environmental degradation caused by mountaintop removal, directly contradicting Huffman’s statements at a senate hearing last June.

UPDATE: DAY FIVE
A flyover of the treesit and adjacent decapitated mount. Audio is radio interview of Massey Energy director explaining that land ownership means you can do whatever you want to it.

Some screen grabs from the video.
Laura Steepleton at Pettry Bottom Treesit

Nick Stocks at Pettry Bottom Treesit

Aerial overview of Pettry Bottom, Massey Operation, and Steepleton-Stocks Treesit

Flyover view of treesit banners preventing blasting at Massey Edwight Mine

Monkeywrench the new world order

The hammer and sickle are not the means of production anymore, as archaic as the monkeywrench and tomahawk of the Earth First logo have become to practicing eco-warriors. How is this for an updated combo? Quick-set epoxy and box-cutters.
A new direct action logo

Box-cutters
Alright, box-cutters are hugely symbolic. They can take down airliners. With or without USAID, the CIA or MOSSAD, commandos armed with nothing but box-cutters took down an empire. On 9/11/2001 King-of-the-Hill America was drawn out of its capitalist fortress to fight guerrilla insurrectionists on their turf. The US can kick ass with a bankroll, but militarily its cogs will mire like all who’ve overreached before.

Beyond the symbolism, box-cutters are a versatile disruptive tool. Where something’s held by a thread, band-aided, jerry-rigged, duct-taped, or held captive in plastic handcuffs, box-cutters liberate. And they cut a minimal profile through metal detectors or when you’re patted down. You can conceal the blade in your shoe, while the plastic reminder looks to density detectors like a brush handle.

Epoxy
By nearly all its definitions, friction is antagonist to function. And there’s no sand in the gears, or sugar in the tank, like glue. Where the capitalism machine depends on surfaces moving together like well oiled gears, a bonding agent is most unwelcome. The most obvious focal points for your little syringe of epoxy would be the locks on doors. Cars, buildings, wherever mundane dastard deeds are done. You can shut that down for a day or half-day while the lock cylinders are removed and replaced.

If you have a productive spree planned, buy your tools with cash, at stores without cameras, best out of town. Houses go burglarized without the police dusting for prints, but interrupt a capitalist enterprise and investigators will be tracing the chemical composition of that glue to trace batch from manufacturer to which hardware store.

Earth First! Destroy What Destroys You!

Destroy what destroys you
It’s your last chance to see the EARTH FIRST! ROADSHOW as it passes through Denver, on its way to the Round River Rendezvous. Tonight, 7PM at Capitol Hill’s Gypsy House Cafe, at 13th and Marion.

From High Country Earth First:

A multi-dimensional presentation with an introduction to and history of Earth First!, News from the front lines of the radical environmental movement, information on local campaigns and struggles, puppet shows, skill sharing, music, movies, and much more!

Come to the Tuesday night event to learn more about High Country Earth First!, Colorado’s very own Earth First! group, and all of the awesome campaigns we are kicking off!

High Country Earth First Denver Meeting

Earth First roadshowHigh Country Earth First is hosting the EF! ROADSHOW, in DENVER, May 25-26: Monday 2pm in Cheesman Park, and Tuesday 6pm at the Gypsy House.
 
Four ongoing EF! projects in Colorado: DENVER: Stop I-70 Expansion through North Denver; SAN LUIS VALLEY: Halt gas drilling in Baca National Wildlife Refuge: and WESTERN SLOPE: Red Cliff mine campaign and Feral Futures (May 24 – June 7).

From “Rockslide,” High Country Earth First!

The need for resistance in solidarity with the wild has never been louder or clearer than it is today; the EF! roadshow is a great tool for growing that resistance. There are countless examples to draw from in the story of radical movements before us: militant labor organizing tours, anti-fascist resistance recruitment and international speaking tours to build cross-border solidarity. The origin of Earth First! itself is credited to a few roadshows that kicked it all off in the early 1980s. We are building on this tradition; akin to a fellowship crossing Middle Earth to amass insurgents to face Mordor head-on.

List-serves and websites aren’t enough
This Roadshow’s primary intention is to strengthen our radical grassroots ecological network. For almost 30 years, we have been an organized voice bridging conservation biology with grassroots community organizing, road blockading and eco-sabotage. In the past 5 years we have seen numbers and experience-level in the EF! movement decline drastically. Yet, our place has never been more urgent. New groups are popping up across the country, but they are detached from many of the groups, history, and skills that came before them. We can’t afford to stumble and make the same mistakes over again.

We are at the tail end of a decade where corporate globalization rooted itself in the US and spread across the planet like a plague. And now that the reality of climate change is finally sinking into the mainstream consciousness, the same superpowers that pushed so-called ‘free trade’ policies to exploit wild nature more efficiently are promoting carbon trading in attempt to make a profitable industry out of the disasters they’ve created. The spineless Big Green environmental NGOs are scrambling for crumbs and cutting deals with the industry for shallow public relations victories. Earth First! must rise and recognize that it’s presence is a strong component of making the broader environmental movement truly effective. We are its spine, or as an EF! co-founder, Howie Wolke, has put it, we are the lions of a movement ‘ecosystem’. Our niche is critical, and its presence (or absence) is felt deeply by our surroundings.

We need to reconnect the multi-generational aspect of Earth First! that has fallen by the wayside in recent years. We need to broaden our network’s base—from radical rural grandparents to revolutionary urban youth. We need re-establish lost relationships with scholars and scientists who resonate with us. We need to re-inspire musicians and artists to contribute their passion to our battles.

When it comes down to it, solid movements are based on strong personal relationships; and real relationships don’t go very far over the internet. We need face-to-face interaction to build trust with—and support for—each other.

From EF! Here is a glimpse of ongoing local and national campaigns and projects related to EF!. They could all use your support in a variety of ways—from fundraising to showing up in person. Please contact the organizing groups directly to find out what they need most:

Northern California Redwood Defense
Since the fall of Maxxam/Pacific Lumber, forest defenders in the Redwoods have been directing attention on another logging empire: Green Diamond Resource Company (formerly Simpson). In the last 10 years they have clear-cut 52,000 acres of Northern California forests. They are killing off endangered Spotted Owls and have aspirations to sell off thousands of acres in Humboldt County for Salmon killing suburban development. We have set up multiple treesit villages to oppose the destruction, and we need your help TODAY.
www.efhumboldt.org

Appalachian Anti-Mountain Top Removal
The presence of coal plants are threats to the lives within both the human community and the mountain ecosystem. One of the most biologically flourishing areas of the world is being environmentally and socially impoverished by companies practicing mountain top removal. Mountain top removal clogs streams, destroys forests, threatens biodiversity and forces coalfield residents into the unjust choice between income and well-being.
www.blueridgeef.com

Stop I-69 in Indiana
I-69 is a NAFTA superhighway, already constructed from Canada to Indianapolis and projected to extend down into Mexico. This highway is intended for the mass transportation of goods and resources, to further exploit workers and the land, and to lessen companies’ accountability in terms of human and environmental rights. In 2008, they began construction of this road through southwestern Indiana, which will evict hundreds of rural families, destroy hundreds of acres of land, and devastate the habitats of countless species of animals, including the endangered Indiana Bat. www.stopi69.wordpress.com

Fight Development in the North Woods of Maine
The largest piece of undeveloped land east of the Mississippi is under attack. Plum Creek, the nation’s largest corporate landowner, is in the process of rezoning 20,000 acres of the Moosehead Lake region in Maine for luxury house and resorts, while trying to balance it off with a fraudulent conservation easement plan. This plan would still allow timber harvesting, commercial water extraction and the building of new infrastructure, among many other ecologically devastating practices. www.maineearthfirst.wordpress.com

Defend the Last Free-Roaming Wild Buffalo in Montana
The Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) is the only group working in the field, everyday, to stop the slaughter and harassment of Yellowstone’s wild buffalo. Volunteers from around the world defend buffalo on their traditional winter habitat and advocate for their protection. Our daily patrols stand with the buffalo on the ground they choose to be on, and document every move made against them. Tactics range from video documentation to nonviolent civil disobedience. www.buffalofieldcampaign.org

Fight new Copper Mines and Roads in the Deserts of Arizona
Chuk’shon Earth First! is fighting the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains, which is greenwashing itself by claiming a need for increased copper extraction for the solar panel industry. The group is also opposing the expansion of I-10, part of the Department of Transportation’s “Corridors of the Future” program to increase capacity of global industrial commerce. The proposed I-10 Bypass would bisect wild/rural lands and facilitate more sprawl between Tucson and Phoenix. www.chukshonef.wordpress.com

Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project in eastern Oregon
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project (BMBP) formed in 1991 to increase regional and national awareness of the Blue Mountains ecosystems, to ensure the protection for and reintroduction of diverse native wildlife species, to promote ecologically sound restoration and address the root causes of ecological and community instability. They have trained countless EF!ers is forest monitoring. They are one of the country’s premier grassroots ‘paper-wrenchers’, filing legal challenges that help make our blockades successful. They can be reached at 541-385-9167

Stop Florida Power & Light from trashing the Everglades
Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) have been battling FPL’s plans to build the country’s largest fossil fuel power plant in the Loxahatchee Basin; a headwaters to the remaining Everglades ecosystem. EEF! Is also challenging over 500 miles of new gas pipelines and 2 new Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) facilities. Get more details: www.evergladesearthfirst.org

Stop Gas Drilling in Western New York
There is a proposal on the table to begin one of the largest fossil fuel exploration projects in the country. This project would result hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 emissions, along with the impacts of pipelines, power plants, and new LNG storage facilities. Get in touch with Shale Shock: www.shaleshock.org

Bank of America, Stop Funding Coal!
A national campaign is well underway to stop Bank of America (BoA), who is the largest investor to Mountain Top Removal coal mining. The company recently offered lip-service to address their support for the coal industry, but have made no real steps towards cutting ties with King Coal. With BoA locations in cities across the U.S., this campaign can easily be supported in a decentralized fashion. Give ‘em hell! For more info: www.ran.org

No 2010 Olympics
The Native Youth Movement and other First Nations groups in occupied Canada have called for full-scale resistance to the Winter Olympics proposed in British Colombia. The Olympics proposal includes a mess of development, ski-resorts and infrastructure on indigenous land. Learn more at: www.no2010.com

Root Force
This project is a research database and strategic think tank for direct action intended to target corporate/colonial infrastructure, such as: roads, dams, power plants, and mines. Their website offers background information on transnational companies, government agencies and their local affiliations across the United States. www.rootforce.org

Tim DeChristopher urban eco warrior

Tim DeChristopherI am neither handy with a monkey-wrench, nor am I much of an outdoorsman, but when environmentalist Tim DeChristopher took the eco fight to a federal land lease auction, it was an example of disruptive activism for which I know I am qualified. There is an undisturbed comfort in thinking one person cannot make a difference, even if just in lacking for ideas how. Dare I say for most of us, now DeChristopher and Ebay have closed that loophole.

This week, Ken Salazar, the new Secretary of the Interior, moved to invalidate the Utah land-use leases which Bush & co tried to give to the extraction industries in the last minutes of his administration.

But back in December, Tim De Christopher and his fellow activists had no way of knowing that those leases would not be exploited. Tim was frustrated by the seemingly ineffectual picketing outside the Salt Lake City building where the auction was being conducted, so he went inside, where he discovered he was treated as any other potential bidder.

Democracy Now covered the story when it happened December 22, and interviewed DeChristopher again after Salazar’s action. NPR picked up the story this week, and added an interview with one of the culprits who DeChristopher had disrupted: indignant Kathleen Sgamma, director of government affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States.

utah-federal-leases