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Posted: June 17th, 2014 By BWM

The second annual Never Alone online art auction launched on June 11, the International Day of Solidarity with Marie Mason, Eric McDavid and all Eco-prisoners. Marie and Eric are two environmental and social justice activists who are both serving near 20 year sentences for their
involvement in environmental struggle in the United States. All artworks will be exhibited and available for online purchase until June 30.  Funds raised Never Alonewill be used to support Marie, Eric and other eco-prisoners’ needs.

There are 24 artists involved this year, including a number of prisoners who have contributed artworks from behind prison walls. All of the artworks focus on themes of wilderness, liberation, state captivity and our relationship with the natural world and other animals.

Marie Mason, a prolific visual artist and musician, has contributed two paintings from a restrictive unit inside Carswell Federal Prison in Texas. Her paintings depict aspects of the natural world that are shared with her by friends from the outside who are continuing the struggle to defend ecological systems. Another prisoner who has contributed artwork is Jose Heladio Villarreal, a hunger striker and long term resident of Pelican Bay prison’s notorious isolation unit.

A great number of artists on the other side of prison walls, including members of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Beehive Design Collective, have contributed a range of stunning prints, paintings and drawings.

The Never Alone exhibition is a beautiful visual representation of people’s dedication for defending the natural world, and the rights of people to stand in defense of it without facing excessive punishment from the State. It’s also a passionate expression of solidarity with those who have fallen prey to the waves of repression we see political activists facing all over the world.

Starting on June 11, the Never Alone exhibition will be able to be viewed online around the world at neveraloneart.org until June 30.

CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS
Adam Void, Ali Cat Leeds, Alma Sheppard-Matsuo, Amy Wilson, Christina Mrozik, Eric McDavid*, Elektra KB, Eva Hall,  Gedden, Jeff Luers, Jose Heladio Villarreal*, Larry Pendleton*, Marie Mason *, Matt Taylor, Mazatl, Nicole Rodrigues, Pat Perry,  Sean Swain*, Shannon Willmott, Tiger Killhour, Todd (Hyung-Rae) Tarselli  (TR)*, Vulpes Vulpes, witchmoss, Zack Meade. (*denotes current prisoner)

You can find out more about Marie & Eric’s cases at:
supportmariemason.org
supporteric.org

Find out more about the June 11 International Day of Solidarity with Marie Mason, Eric McDavid and all Eco-prisoners at: earthfirstjournal.org/june11

In solidarity,
The Earth First! Prisoner Support Project team
neveraloneexhibit@gmail.com

Posted: June 10th, 2014 By BWM

Global Action

Join us from June 13 – 15th. Around the world, people will be standing up to defend World Heritage with 48 hours of Global Action coordinated by The Bob Brown Foundation, the Observer Tree and the Australian Marine Conservation Society .

Next week the World Heritage Committee meets in Qatar to decide the future of Tasmania’s World Heritage listed forests and the Great Barrier Reef. In the final hours before the Committee meeting, our actions for Tasmania’s forests and the Great Barrier Reef will support UNESCO and place an international spotlight on the threat from the Australian Government to these iconic environments.

Public events and private gatherings are happening all over the world. There might be one near you, or you can host one. It’s easy to join in at home, school, work, or in your community, anywhere around the world. Show the films or just take a pic with our graphic and join the social media presence to support UNESCO.

Here’s how to take part.
1. Plan to get together sometime between June 13- 15th Invite your friends around for dinner, have a morning tea at your workplace or school, organise an event at your university, local hall or cinema, or simply join us online.
2. At your event, watch 20 mins of short films about defending our World Heritage forests and the reef, which we will provide.
3. Get everyone to join the online action.
4. Take a photo of yourselves with our sign
5. Upload the photo to our social media site.
6. We’ll do the rest to ensure your voices join thousands of others around the globe.

Register online and we’ll send you an action kit with everything you need to get started. Feel free to contact us with any questions big or small:
defendworldheritage@gmail.com

Posted: June 1st, 2014 By BWM

Thunderclap

30 seconds, and the click of a button is all it takes. This is free, and is going to help the film, myself, Mirands, and the film heaps!

If you sign up, on June 6th, it will make a post/tweet/whatever about the video on your behalf. Its an awesome tool that a lot of videos and campaigns are using and we would love if you helped us out too!

Check out the Thunderclap campaign here

Posted: May 18th, 2014 By BWM

A couple of months ago I had the privilege to travel to Tasmania and camp in the beautiful old growth forest with forest defense activist Miranda Gibson. Miranda told me some wonderful inspiring stories, and also let me know about the current threats to Tasmania’s forests. Please give it a watch!

Miranda Gibson has devoted years of her life to defending Tasmania’s old growth forests…

Holding Australia’s record for longest tree sit, Miranda is no stranger to the long haul of tenacious grassroots campaigns for ecodefence. Miranda’s Observer Tree sit lasted 449 days and her six and a half years working on the Florentine Forest blockade has awarded World Heritage Protection status for the otherwise doomed Florentine eucalyptus stand.

Miranda is apprehensive of the word “victory” as she sees her struggle as an ever-poised and vigilant stance against creeping, rapacious development.

Despite Miranda’s laundry list of victories for the forests of Tasmania, trees are Still Falling, and these forests need your help.

Take action and join Miranda’s fight: globalvoicesforworldheritage.org

Posted: April 10th, 2014 By BWM

The following is a cross-posted article from SCISSION.

SCISSION provides progressive news and analysis from the breaking point of Capital. SCISSION represents an autonomist Marxist viewpoint. You can read the original post in it’s entirety here:
http://oreaddaily.blogspot.ca/2014/04/polish-farmers-last-line-of-resistance.html

For ten months the people of Zurawlow, Poland, have been occupying a field near their village attempting to stop Chevron in its tracks. Under the protection of security, and in a very tense atmosphere, Chevron had taken possession of land to install a fence and drill a well last summer.

According to the locals, this land has only been permitted for seismic testing. The authorization for drill testing was canceled in June 2012 and therefore Chevron has no right to drill.

The Polish farmers are opposed to unconventional shale gas drilling because it could lead to the contamination of their water and land; during previous seismic tests on-site explosives were used and had already caused water pollution, it became unfit for consumption.

On Monday, this week, things ratcheted  up a notch and announced Poland’s gas giant PGNiG and Chevron agreed to jointly hunt for shale gas in southwestern Poland in a move to speed up the exploration amid tension with major gas supplier, Russia. The Polish government representing international Capital has offered a frack-friendly proposal of making shale gas extraction tax-free in the country. The tax break will be “a huge incentive” to get investors interested and on the ground, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said on Tuesday, adding that by 2020 taxes “shouldn’t exceed 40 percent of extraction income.”
 
RT points out,

Earlier in February, Poland ditched plans to use a state company to explore for shale gas, instead deciding to auction off licenses to foreign companies. Exxon Mobil and Marathon Oil are both interested in the country’s shale industry. Some state-controlled companies have also won licenses for exploration.

Maciej Grabowski, Poland’s environment minister, expects the country’s first commercial shale gas well to be drilled this year, and hopes to have over 200 wells in the next few years.

Earlier this year, the European Union’s attempts to set legally binding regulations for shale gas extraction were defeated after the UK and a number of EU states (including Poland) argued that current EU regulations are sufficient to keep fracking safe.  Instead companies will be asked to follow voluntary guidelines.

Quoting from a January 2014 RT article:

 “This is obviously a very disappointing and alarming proposal,” Antoine Simon, shale-gas campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe was quoted by Bloomberg News in January. It “ignores the studies the commission published and fails to protect Europe’s citizens from the health and environmental risks of unconventional and dirty fossil fuels.”

“I think it is sad that the European Commissioners are protecting the interests of a handful of fossil fuel companies rather than the interests of Europe’s citizens,” the Green MEP Claude Turmes told EurActiv.

The EU proposals have “nothing in the way of real protection for the thousands of ordinary people who will see their lives and local areas turned upside down if the fracking industry gets its way,” Lawrence Carter, a climate campaigner at Greenpeace in London, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.

“This is likely to be only the beginning,” Caroline May, head of safety and environment at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in London was quoted by Businessweek. “The difficulties for the regulators are the political differences across member states and the differing reserves, which mean that some countries can ‘afford’ to have no policy or to protest, whereas for others like the UK there is a real resource as well as financial imperative.”

In fact, in the midst of global climate talks held in Poland last November, the Polish government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk flouting the international call for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions suddenly fired Environment Minister Marcin Korolec and replaced him with a man closely associated with the nation’s gas fracking industry.

Following the firing Maciej Muskat, director of Greenpeace Poland said, “This is nuts. Changing the minister leading the climate negotiations after a race to the bottom by parties of the convention shows Prime Minister Tusk is not sincere about the need for an ambitious climate deal…Furthermore, justifying the change of minister by the need to push the exploitation of another fossil fuel in Poland is beyond words.

All of this is happening despite early reports of bad results in the shale oil game in Poland.

The last line of defense may just be a handful of farmers  in a remote back area of Poland…and that may just be enough.

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