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Environment & Forest Defense News

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On July 6, activists in Sacramento held a vigil memorializing the 47 people killed in Canada in the Lac-Mégantic Disaster three years ago. The Sacramento Oil Trains Coalition, including 350 Sacramento, ANSWER, Sac Activist School, and STAND, organized the event. The Central Valley rally and vigil was one of over 40 actions the same week across the U.S. demanding a halt to plans to run these explosive “bomb trains,” carrying fracked Bakken crude oil from South Dakota, through cities across the nation.
A report released on July 8 by the Xerces Society shows a sharp two-decade decline in the number of monarchs which overwinter along the California coast. A comparison of the average number of butterflies overwintering in California during the periods 1997–2001 and 2010–2014 shows a decline of 74 percent, a figure that is comparable to declines documented at monarch overwintering sites in Mexico. Listed sites span the monarch’s overwintering range along the Pacific coast and the East Bay of San Francisco
Thu Jul 7 2016 (Updated 07/09/16)
Peace and Dignity Journeys 2016: Dedicated to Seeds
Every four years since 1992, Peace and Dignity Journeys runners traverse the Western Hemisphere by foot, carrying stories, songs, and prayers, re-uniting Indigenous communities step by step. Departing simultaneously from Chickaloon, Alaska and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the journey culminates seven months later with a final ceremony in Panama. On July 6, runners were received by the community of Santa Cruz at the Beach Flats Community Garden.
The Watsonville Brown Berets are keeping the pressure on Driscoll's, the world's largest distributor of fresh berries, who are headquartered in Watsonville, California. On July 2, the Saturday before July 4th BBQs, the Brown Berets and other community members demonstrated in front of the Safeway on Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville to raise awareness and show solidarity with farmworkers in Washington state and Baja California leading the worldwide boycott of Driscoll's berries, including all products made with strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries sold by Driscoll's.
Tue Jun 28 2016 (Updated 06/30/16)
Ventura Oil Spill is No Surprise
Tue Jun 28 2016 (Updated 06/30/16)
Crimson Pipeline Has Long History of Spills
Just thirteen months after the massive Refugio Oil Spill fouled the pristine waters off the Santa Barbara Coast, a leak in an oil pipeline in Hall Canyon in Ventura County was reported at 5:30 a.m. on June 23. As many as 700 barrels of crude oil — 29,400 gallons — have been spilled. According to information released by the Center for Biological Diversity, the company responsible for the Ventura oil spill, Crimson Pipeline, has a decade-long history of oil spills in California.
Why won't the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) support the Driscoll's Boycott? That's one of the questions UFW Vice President Lauro Barajas would not answer after he spoke at Hillary Clinton's rally in Salinas on May 25. The UFW will not reveal when their friendship with Driscoll's began. However, a photograph from May 2013 reveals their relationship with Reiter Affiliated Companies, an Oxnard-based subsidiary of Driscoll's.
The California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard is one of the largest outdoor annual events in California that celebrates the success of the multi-billion dollar global agricultural industry. However, this success has come at the great economic, social and overall health expense to those who pick the berries. On May 22, a protest outside the Strawberry Festival challenged the industry and governmental efforts to overlook the social and environmental costs of strawberry production, and questioned the logic of charity festivals.
Thu May 26 2016 (Updated 05/27/16)
Salmon is Theme at San Francisco's Anti-GMO Action
Demonstrators spotlighted salmon at this year’s March Against Monsanto. In their protest in San Francisco on May 21, protesters called out Aquabounty for creating a GMO salmon that will be farm-raised, fast growing, and has recently been approved by the FDA despite insufficient safety testing. If these GMO salmon escape, they could forever change the genes of ocean salmon. Salmon are especially important spiritually to the Winnemem Wintu tribe of Shasta County. In Santa Cruz, protesters demonstrated wearing medical masks to bring awareness to the destruction that is caused by Monsanto and GMO's.
New reports spotlight pesticides used in the food system and the harmful effects they are having on the nation’s children. In particular, the reports find that Latino children living or attending school near California agricultural fields face some of the greatest risks of exposure from pesticides linked to cancers and the developing brain. One report discloses for the first time internal Environmental Protection Agency documents that reveal the EPA’s persistent unwillingness to enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.
Mon May 9 2016 (Updated 05/16/16)
Newcastle Coal Port Shut Down on Mother's Day
As part of the Global BreakFree mobilization, Australians blockaded Newcastle coal port on Mother's Day, May 8. The protest drew more than 2000 people to Horseshoe Beach, one of the largest climate protests against coal in the NSW regional city of Newcastle. Activists set sail in a flotilla of kayaks and canoes, sail boats, catamarans, and even surfboards to make a line across the harbour. More than 60 people were arrested.
Thu May 5 2016 (Updated 05/06/16)
May Day in Northern California, 2016
International Workers' Day was first declared in the late 1800's to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and as a celebration of laborers and the working classes. Around the world on May 1, workers continue to unite to press demands in the streets through marches, rallies, and direct actions. In the United States, May Day is also a day to push for immigrant rights, especially since the massive "Gran Paro Americano" general strike and marches of 2006.
On April 26 the Santa Cruz City Council gave their six-month report on the progress of the City’s efforts to acquire the property containing the Beach Flats Community Garden. At the meeting, the City Council agreed to a three year lease for the garden. However Josh Brahinsky of the Beach Flats Garden Coalition points out, "The lease only covers 60% of the previous garden, and has a 60 day escape clause for Seaside Company, and thus does not provide long-term security for the garden."
On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
Tue May 3 2016 (Updated 05/04/16)
Driscoll’s Runs Away At Watsonville Earth Day
As the top sponsor of Watsonville's 14th Annual Earth Day / Day of the Child Festival, the philanthropy specialists at Driscoll’s were hopeful that April 24, 2016 would be a great day at Ramsay Park for promoting their brand. When a few people started speaking about the international boycott of Driscoll's and handing out flyers, the Driscoll's representatives quickly dismantled their event booth and got rid of their strawberries as fast as they could.
Fri Apr 29 2016 (Updated 04/30/16)
New Fees to Be Charged to Subsidize Delta Tunnels
Attendees at the April 14 public meeting of the Santa Clara County Water Commission's Board of Directors in Gilroy were surprised to learn that a new fee will soon be added to their groundwater bills to support the Cal WaterFix, also known as the Delta Tunnels. Several users of small private residential water systems complained bitterly about the cost of the current groundwater charges on top of the cost of pumping and maintenance of their own wells.
On Monday, April 11, 2016, around 800 State of Mexico riot police at the service of Grupo Higa laid siege to the Otomí community of San Francisco Xochicuautla, destroyed the camp set up in defense of the forest, used heavy machinery to illegally tear down the house of Dr. Armando García Salazar, and violently dragged out at least 25 men, women and children who were inside the house, including 64-year-old Isabel Hernández, a member of the Supreme Indigenous Council of Xochicuautla.
A bulldozer rumbled into the Beach Flats Community Garden early Thursday morning, March 24, tearing out mature fruit trees and nopales plants that city staff had earlier promised would not be touched, and damaging an already strained relationship between the City and community. Despite the loss of land, fruit trees, and nopales, the Beach Flats Gardeners are committed to making the best of the 2016 planting season.
iCal feed From the Calendar:
Youth Protest Klamath River Water Pollution Dan Bacher (1 comment) Friday Jul 22nd 10:29 AM
Court Rules Lawsuit Over Point Reyes Management Plan Can Move Forward Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Jul 20th 2:40 PM
Sacramento Activists Hold Vigil to Remember 47 Killed in Lac-Mégantic Dan Bacher (1 comment) Saturday Jul 16th 4:23 PM
Rally in the Redwoods July 16 Karen Thursday Jul 14th 10:09 PM
Farming Community Rallies in Sacramento to Demand Protections from Agricultural Pesticides via Californians for Pesticide Reform Tuesday Jul 12th 3:36 PM
New Report Documents 74% Decline in Monarch Butterflies Overwintering in Coastal CA via The Xerces Society (2 comments) Sunday Jul 10th 3:46 AM
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EPA Approved Pesticide Products Without Accounting for Dangers of Chemical Mixture Center for Biological Diversity Wednesday Jul 20th 2:46 PM
Four Years Struggle, Three Years Boycott, Sakuma Finally Ready to Negotiate Familias Unidas Por la Justica (FUJ) (1 comment) Friday Jul 8th 4:50 PM
“Are Black Farmers in 2016 the New Dred Scott of 1857?” Khubaka, Michael Harris Thursday Jul 7th 9:37 AM
Policia asesina a activista y periodista de radio comunitaria en Oaxaca El Enemigo Común (1 comment) Wednesday Jun 29th 11:23 AM
Community radio journalist and activist killed by police in Oaxaca El Enemigo Común (1 comment) Wednesday Jun 29th 11:20 AM
Obama Administration Permitted 1,200 Offshore Fracks in Gulf of Mexico Center for Biological Diversity Tuesday Jun 28th 5:20 PM
Pipeline Company in Southern California Oil Spill Has Long History of Leaks Center for Biological Diversity Friday Jun 24th 5:04 PM
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Justin Vineyards criticized for clear-cutting oaks Skye Ravy, Paso Robles Daily News (2 comments) Saturday Jun 11th 4:06 PM
38 Arguments Against TTIP Harald Klimenta, Maritta Strasser and P Fuchs Monday May 9th 6:08 AM
TTIP and CETA Must Be Prevented Conrad Schuhler and Jonas Sjostedt (1 comment) Thursday May 5th 11:53 AM
Oil Industry Continues Efforts to “Buy” California’s Electoral System via Sierra Club California Wednesday May 4th 3:01 PM
We Can Phase Out Fossil Fuels Within a Decade, Study Says Daniel Oberhaus Wednesday Apr 20th 10:32 AM
Orangutans Fleeing Palm Oil Deforestation Tomas DiFiore Saturday Apr 9th 12:28 PM
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