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Stamford 14 Case –Seems Like Authorities Trying to Drag This Out

Bomb squad call

Yesterday, three members of Hands Off Appalachia tried to hand deliver a letter to UBS Americas headquarters in Stamford, CT. UBS’ response? Twelve police officers and the bomb squad!

Do you know what’s even more ridiculous than that? The Stamford 14 were hit with a $16,000 restitution fee for their actions last fall! Help us out and DONATE to our legal defense fund: http://bit.ly/donateHOA

 

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Climate Justice Solidarity with Wells Fargo Protests

Got Solidarity?

CvC was an initial signer of this important letter. Please read and have your group sign on!

Wells Fargo National Days of Action:

Climate Justice and Fossil Fuel Resistance Sign-on Letter

All injustices are inherently linked. In the 21st century one of the strongest links can be found in the massive financial institutions that fund myriad forms of economic, social and environmental destruction.

In 2013 Wells Fargo became the most profitable bank in America, raking in $21.9 Billion. This money was largely made by taking advantage of working-class people, funding the prison/deportation industrial complex, and from investing in the fossil fuel industry. Wells Fargo is perhaps most notorious for their abusive and criminal housing practices – foreclosing on tens of thousands of people a year and doctoring paperwork to speed up this process.

To call attention to these abuses, Occupy Our Homes and the Home Defenders League have called for National Days of Action against Wells Fargo on April 28-29th. The organizers for this mobilization are asking groups to hit Wells Fargo on all fronts.

Wells Fargo invests heavily in mountaintop removal coal mining, hydraulic fracking, tar sands oil extraction, the construction of new coal plants and other extreme energy projects. These investment practices must end.

Due to Wells Fargo’s support of the fossil fuel industry, and out of an understanding that all forms of injustice must be eradicated; we urge fellow climate justice and fossil fuel resistance groups to join this national action.

We stand in solidarity with all who have been affected negatively by Wells Fargo; and with the communities and populations that have been disproportionately impacted.

We stand with Occupy Our Homes and the Home Defenders League in their call for National Days of Action against Wells Fargo on April 28-29th and pledge to actively participate and support this mobilization. Housing is a human right. Migration is a human right. Clean air and water is a human right.

In Solidarity,

FANG: Fighting Against Natural Gas

Capitalism vs the Climate

350 NJ

More Trees Records

DC Divest

Pennsylvania Alliance for Clean Water and Air

Fossil Free RI

Energy Action Coalition

Hands Off Appalachia

Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice

Locate, or organize an action: https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/foreclose-on-wells-fargo

For more information contact Jeff Ordower (jeff@organizemo.org) or Shab Bashiri (shab@occupyourhomesatl.org)

Sign on: http://bit.ly/1qtvCKz

 

Wells Fargo

From D.C. to Connecticut, Obama Met with Keystone Pipeline Protests

by Dan Fischer

This past week, Connecticut residents and students traveled as far as Washington DC and as close as New Britain to protest the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would carry leak-prone tar sands oil from Canada into the US. Both demonstrations targeted President Obama, who has the legal authority to block the pipeline. Although Obama campaigned on promises of climate protection, his repeated embrace of fossil fuel infrastructure recently led Business Week to deem him president of “The Petro States of America.”

On Sunday March 2, students from over 80 colleges met in Washington DC and marched to the White House in a demonstration called “XL Dissent”. At the White House, many took part in a “human oil spill” and locked themselves to the gates. Police arrested some 398 people. Democracy Now! reporter Amy Goodman commented the protest “could be the largest youth sit-in on the environment in a generation.” Several Connecticut students and residents participated.

photo from Dissent XL

Cesar A. Chavez, a junior at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University, told The Struggle, “I am here protesting the Keystone XL pipeline mainly because over the past few summers in Peru they’ve gotten really warm, and they’ve become unbearable. Some places in the country have become pretty much unlivable because there isn’t any water.”

Capitalism vs. the Climate, a Connecticut-based group of which I’m a member, endorsed and joined the demonstration’s Ecosocialist Contingent. The contingent received some frantically negative coverage in Forbes, a business news magazine that has famously called itself a “capitalist tool.” Forbes columnist David Blackmon wrote:

Good to see the EcoSocialist contingent proudly displaying its signage at the rally, given that ‘ecosocialism’ has long been the real goal behind the anti-energy movement all over the world. At long last, someone with a little intellectual honesty here.

Despite the condescending tone, he is correct to observe that a growing number of young people observe that adequately addressing climate change will require systemic social change.

Obama Comes to Connecticut

On Wednesday March 5, President Obama spoke at New Britain’s Central Connecticut State University about the minimum wage. Despite closed roads and traffic jams, a group of anti-Keystone XL protesters greeted him on the campus. “A rupture in the Keystone XL pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America¹s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 2 million people,” wrote protester Charles Button in an email. Button is a geography professor at the university. CCSU Global Environmental Sustainability Action Coalition hosted the demonstration.

photo from Charles Button

Although D.C. protests are very flashy and draw in new people, organizers have long said the heart of the campaign happens locally. The Ruckus Society’s Joshua Kahn Russell explained in 2012, “the strategic arc of the campaign was actually decentralized actions all over the country. Everywhere that Obama went, there were grassroots people bird-dogging him, people going to his evens, storming Obama for America offices”. In Connecticut, Capitalism vs. the Climate has organized several actions against the Keystone XL, including a die-in with other groups outside a tar sands investment conference in Hartford, a series of pickets at pipeline-financier TD Bank, and a banner drop in solidarity with Tar Sands Blockade.

The campaign against the Keystone pipeline promises to escalate in the coming months. Over 86,000 people have signed a “pledge of resistance” indicating they will risk arrest if necessary to stop the pipeline’s completion. An alliance of indigenous groups has released a statement entitled “No Keystone XL Pipeline Will Cross Lakota Lands”. It says, “We stand with the Lakota Nation, we stand on the side of protecting sacred water, we stand for Indigenous land-based lifeways which will NOT be corrupted by a hazardous, toxic pipeline.”

Recently, activists have written a number of thoughtful critiques of the anti-Keystone movement, calling for groups to stand behind directly-impacted communities, and to not let the semi-apocalyptic “game over” language get out of hand. Below are a couple articles worth reflecting on.

The Climate Movement’s Pipeline Preoccupation

Open Letter to the NO KXL Movement

Stamford 14 on Trial for Defending Lives and Land in Appalachia

Check out these videos from The Struggle!

 

The Stamford 14’s next court date is a pre-trial hearing on March 20th. Please donate to the Hands off Appalachia Legal Fund online at: http://bit.ly/donateHOA!

CvC will Join ‘Ecosocialist Contingent’ at Anti-Keystone Protest

Capitalism vs. the Climate decided to endorse the Ecosocialist Contingent at the upcoming XL Dissent action in Washington D.C. against the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

Some of our members will attend XL Dissent, which will involve acts of civil disobedience at the White House on March 2nd. Specifically, demonstrators plan on performing a “human oil spill.” Organizers specify that the demonstration is a youth-led act in solidarity with communities most impacted by tar sands, including Alberta’s First Nations living near extraction, people living along the spill-prone pipeline’s route, and communities in Texas near major refineries.

The Ecosocialist Contingent, organized by the System Change Not Climate Change Coalition (SCNCC) “believes that the ecological crisis results from the capitalist system, which values profits for a global ruling elite over people and the planet.” They support “ecosocialism: a democratic society that’s based on fulfilling human needs and preserving earth’s ecology.” You can read more at their website.

To endorse the Ecosocialist Contingent, as either an individual or a group, email systemchangenotclimatechange@gmail.com  .

Articles: Mountaintop Removal and Fossil Fuel Zionism

Statement from D Steele, one of the 14 arrested in Stamford: “This is my limit, I will suffer no more

photo-nov-25-12-42-20-pm

…As I write this statement, I think of the the first solidarity campaign between Appalachia and Connecticut. When the final battle between the UMWA and Pittston happened, when UMWA miners traveled to the headquarters of Pittston, flanked by people in the northeast standing in solidarity in the fight for a fair wage, and a functional union; they ran face to face with all the powerful forces that constitutes what we call Capitalism..

Read more: http://handsoffappalachia.com/2013/11/25/dustin-steele-this-is-my-limit-i-will-suffer-no-more/

Dan Fischer writes in Palestine Chronicle on “Zionism in Service of Fossil Fuel Extraction“.

westbank_burqin_ariel_waste_ewash
Palestinian children play in a polluted stream contaminated by wastewater from Ariel settlement, Bruqin, West Bank. (Photo: EWASH-OPT)

With Israel branding itself as a model of environmental sustainability, many overlook the Zionist lobby’s support for extreme fossil fuel extraction in North America, from fracking to offshore drilling.

Historically, Israel has helped the US secure the flow of oil from the Middle East. In 1958, the US National Security Council stated, “if we choose to combat radical Arab nationalism and to hold Persian Gulf oil by force if necessary, a logical corollary would be to support Israel as the only strong pro-West power left in the Near East.” Now, pro-Israel organizations defend North America’s own energy flows.

Zionist leaders have gone so far as to form an alliance with oil and gas drillers. Named the Council for a Secure America, it has been hailed as potentially “one of the most significant coalitions in our industry” by the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association.

Read more: http://www.palestinechronicle.com/zionism-in-service-of-fossil-fuel-extraction/#.UqZhaY1NqKw

14 arrested in Stamford, protesting UBS & mountaintop removal

Banner Drops, Sit-ins, and Lockdowns

Capitalism vs. the Climate joined with Hands off Appalachia on November 25th in a series of direct actions targeting mountaintop removal financier UBS in Stamford.

14 demonstrators were arrested. On Monday, December 2nd, the last of them were freed.

This is not the first time that people in Appalachia and Connecticut joined together to protest the coal bosses. In 1988-90, Appalachians went on strike against Pittston coal and traveled to protest the company’s HQ in Greenwich, CT. That strike won crucial health care and retirement benefits for miners in Virginia. Now, we will win in making UBS divest from blowing up mountains.

Here is a sampling of our actions’ sizable media attention:

Between the Lines (radio), “Direct Action Protest Hits Swiss Bank UBS for Role in Financing Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Stamford Advocate (front page), “14 arrested in protest of Stamford based UBS

Stamford Patch, “UBS protesters cause headache for police in downtown Stamford

News 12 Connecticut (video), “4 “Hands Off Appalachia” protesters facing charges after protesting UBS by climbing atop crane

The Struggle (video), “UBS is tearing up Appalachia” (starts at 24:42)

Also, on the 24th, Hands off Appalachia dropped a banner in the middle of UBS’ Thanksgiving parade in Stamford!

UBS thanksgiving