Resistance Growing As 180 Groups Call For ‘No’ Vote On FERC Nominees

FERCcupy signs outside of FERC 5-27-15

By Melinda Tuhus for Beyond Extreme Energy. Faced with the growing scourge of pipeline expansion nationwide, 180 groups — including Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, Green America, the Center for Biological Diversity, and community-level organizations — are calling for the full Senate to vote “no” on President Trump’s nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The coalition of organizations is opposing the nominations of Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson because both nominees would increase FERC’s bias towards the fossil fuel industry and further marginalize communities that oppose pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure that damage people’s homes, livelihoods and communities. Natural gas pipelines and infrastructure represent a clear danger to communities nationwide, and in just the past two years, explosions at transmission pipelines have caused 12 deaths and 10 injuries, as well as extensive property damage. In addition, the construction process puts communities at risk. Recently, the Rover pipeline, under construction and approved by FERC, resulted in two million gallons of drilling fluids leaking into Ohio wetlands.

Electric Cars Tested As Power Grid Stabilizers

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By Leslie Kaufman for Inside Climate News. California – In an important real-world test of whether electric vehicles could play a bigger role in backing up the green power grid of the future, a group of San Francisco-area drivers showed that they were willing and even eager to adjust their charging times for the right financial incentives. The small but sophisticated pilot test that took place over 18 months. During that time, BMW asked owners of its electric cars if they would be willing to delay recharging them by an hour on the company’s cue. An app notified the owners when a delay was coming, and they could opt out if they needed to charge at that time. “Eighteen months later, I can unequivocally state that participation was transparent, hassle-free and mind-numbingly dull to the point that I mostly forgot about it,” one participant, John Higham, wrote in a first person account of his experience for Inside EVs.

The Struggle Is Never For Nothing

200 members of Indivisible San Pedro formed the word "RESIST!" on Satruday at the Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. (Photo: Twitpic/@indivisible_sp)

By Leonard Peltier for Counter Punch – Well, here we are, another year, another memorial. After 42-years this does not get any easier. It seems as if you get lost for words. At times I feel as if it has all been for nothing, but I know that’s just weakness speaking. The struggle is never for nothing. So many of our children, grandchildren and in my case now, great-grandchildren, depend on us to try and save our lands, our Nations, our culture, religion and our People. But the young people should know many of us are growing old and soon it will be our time to leave this world. The next generation has to step into our shoes and become leaders. As they say, they will have to step up to the plate and be a strong hitter of the ball. These are words that I have repeated many times over the years. To see the younger Sisters and Brothers who are doing just that is an enormous relief from the stress that stems from feeling we may have lost the Battle for Survival as a Nation of Peoples. From in here all I can see is a lot of areas where we are losing ground. Like the young drinking, drugging and gang banging – KILLING our own kids on our Rez. Streets with these drive by shootings, “How cowardly is that!” Then there are so many children who are living in this world of oppression. They take their own lives because they believe it is their only way out.

Atlanta Fought For $15 And Won

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By Joel Mendelson for Jobs with Justice – People working for the city of Atlanta received welcome news as the City Council unanimously passed a budget raising their wages. Starting on July 1, 2017, base pay for city employees will rise from $10.10 to $13 an hour. Even better news? By mid-2019, all city employees will earn a minimum of $15 an hour. Now more than 1,000 people who sweep the city streets, maintain local parks, and put out fires will have a better chance at making ends meet. And this raise happened thanks to Atlanta Jobs With Justice. The coalition of labor unions, community groups, faith-based organizations, student organizations, and individuals is on the front lines of organizing Atlantans to achieve economic and social justice. In 2013, Atlanta Jobs With Justice held the city’s first Fight For $15 rally in support of brave men and women in the fast-food industry who went on strike to speak up for family-sustaining jobs. The event launched the coalition’s community-wide efforts to secure a long-overdue raise for those who make Atlanta work. The wage increase is a notable development given that a study released this month showed a working person in Georgia needed to earn at least $16.79 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The poverty rate of neighborhoods a stone’s throw from Atlanta’s City Hall approaches 70 percent.

3 Chicago Cops Charged With Obstruction For Falsely Justifying Teen’s Death

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By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – Three Chicago police officers have been indicted on state charges of conspiracy, obstruction, and misconduct for allegedly writing false reports in order to justify the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. A fourth officer was charged with murder in November 2015 after police dash cam footage revealed him shooting the teen 16 times as McDonald appeared to be walking away. Nearly surrounded by officers and suspected of breaking into cars on October 20, 2014, McDonald was attempting to walk away from a group of Chicago cops when Officer Jason Van Dyke exited his patrol car. According to initial reports, McDonald was armed with a knife and lunged at Officer Van Dyke. Fearing for his life and the lives of his fellow officers, Van Dyke shot the teen in the chest out of self-defense. But according to witness statements and police dash cam video, McDonald had been walking away when Van Dyke took a step towards the teen before opening fire. After McDonald collapsed to the ground in a fetal position, Van Dyke continued firing his weapon until emptying his clip. As Van Dyke began reloading his gun, a fellow officer ordered him to cease firing at the dying teen.

Activists Arrested At Volk Field As They Attempt To Identify Base As A Crime Scene

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By Joy First for War Is A Crime – Wisconsin Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars has held monthly vigils against drones at the gates of Volk Field for over five years. This Wisconsin Air National Guard Base is a critical component of the whole drone warfare program being conducted by the US government in a number of countries in the Middle East and Africa. At Volk Field personnel are trained to operate the RQ-7 Shadow Drone, which has been used for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition. However, now there is the likelihood that the RQ-7 is also weaponized. See http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/7914/was-a-new-type-of-drone-launched-weapon-used-to-kill-al-qaedas-2-man. There is a savagery in drone warfare as whole communities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places in the Middle East and Africa suffer from PTSD from drones constantly flying overhead, as wedding parties and funerals are hit, as rescuers are hit by a second attack, as grandmothers working in the field are killed, as children sleeping in their beds are murdered. A number of credible sources tell us that only 1 out of 10 people killed by drones are the intended target.

Urban Shield: A Federal Protection Racket

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By Ann Garrison for Black Agenda Report – In 2015, Berkeley, California City Councilor Max Anderson voiced this eloquent opposition to militarization of the police during the annual Bay Area Urban Shield war games and weapons expo: “The culture that’s cultivated by the type of training that you receive becomes the way you conduct yourselves . . . “When I was in the Marines in the early ‘60s, all our pop-up targets that we practiced on were Asians. You know now they’re Middle Easterners, so it kinda shifts, and so the rationale and the justification for targeting people on these bases shifts along with it. “And when military weapons follow military thinking into our police ranks, you know we have a problem. You know it’s a problem of association because when you’re in a combat situation, you’re thinking about survival, and you’re thinking about enemies and friendlies. And when you inculcate that into our environment here, and we start thinking about the citizenry as either being friendly or enemies, and react accordingly based on what designation we lay on people, then we’re sliding down that track.” What could better describe the prevailing mindset of U.S. police? And we all know who’s on the enemies list that they feel compelled to kill to survive: Black and Brown people, Muslims, and poor people.

New York Voters And Local Farmers Disrupt Cricket Valley Power Plant’s Breaking-Ground Ceremony

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By Kim Fraczek and Lee Stewart for Sane Energy Project and Beyond Extreme Energy – Dover, NY – The controversial Cricket Valley Gas-Fired Power Plant’s golden-shovel ceremony was disrupted today by a large, golden bell rung by NY voters and local farmers expressing an alarm-bell for regional waters and soil, nearby school children that will breath toxic emissions, decline in quality, local jobs and economy, and a gigantic methane producer at the height of a global climate crisis. Cricket Valley, an 1,100MW power plant not only locks New York into a future of dirty fuels via the plant’s connection to the Dominion Pipeline expansion, but also slates the connected Iroquois Pipeline for flow reversal expansion to export the gas to foreign markets via Canada putting the health and safety risk on the local community for private profit. Although Governor Cuomo has made bold statements about being a climate leader, he sets policy to a different tune. He recently issued a Methane Reduction Plan shortly following his 2017 State of the State address where he said “New York must double down by investing in the fight against dirty fossil fuels and fracked gas from neighboring states.”

Protesters Interrupt Rick Perry’s Speech At Energy Conference

Rick Perry smiled to photographers Monday as he left Trump Tower after a meeting with the president-elect. (Photo: AP)

By Dominique Mosbergen for The Huffington Post – In an attempt to defuse the tense moment, Perry described the protester as “one of the more interesting EIA employees,” prompting laughter from the audience. Undeterred, the protester kept shouting questions at Perry, who then told her: “If you’ll sit down, young lady … I’ll finish my remarks.” “Answer my question, why will you not say that climate change is caused by carbon dioxide?” she pressed. “For your information … I didn’t say that,” Perry responded. “I said it’s not the main dial…” Perry was referring to remarks he made during an interview last week with CNBC “Squawk Box.” Perry told host Joe Kernan that carbon dioxide was not “the primary control knob” for climate change. While man is “having an effect” on climate, he said, “most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.” His response is in stark contrast to overwhelming scientific consensus based on facts, which says human activity, specifically greenhouse gas emissions, is the primary driver of global warming. The American Meteorological Society skewered Perry for his comments, saying in a letter last week that he lacked a “fundamental understanding of the science” behind climate change.

A Sit-In Almost Turned Into A Shit-In At Cory Gardner's Office

Kalyn Heffernan of Wheelchair Sports Camp is heading into the second day of a sit-in with the disability rights group ADAPT, at Republican Senator Cory Gardner's office.
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For Kyle Harris for Westword – A sit-in almost turned into a shit-in when disability rights activists with ADAPT started needing to use the restroom — which had been shut down — after they had spent the night in Republican Senator Cory Gardner’s Denver office, trying to force him to vote against a Republican healthcare proposal that the Congressional Budget Office says would leave 22 million uninsured by 2026. “We brought in a makeshift shitter,” says activist and musician Kalyn Heffernan, the MC with Wheelchair Sports Camp, which won Best Hip-Hop Group at the 2017 Westword Music Awards on Tuesday, June 27, the same night she was occupying the senator’s office. When the DIY toilet arrived, “I think that’s when they they decided to let us [into the restroom],” she says. “Once that came in, shit got real. We had so much coffee, someone was bound to shit.” It’s not like the activists were holding back their bodily functions. After they had been denied the restroom on Tuesday, several activists urinated in the senator’s office in cups, bottles, a trash can, diapers and through catheters.

Veterans Arrested At Senate Confirmation Of “Torture Memo” Author Steven Bradbury

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By Medea Benjamin for Code Pink – At the Senate confirmation hearing for Steven Bradbury as general counsel for the Commerce, Science and Transportation Department, members of Veterans for Peace and CODEPINK protested Bradbury for his authorship of the “Torture Memos” under the Bush administration. Three members of Veterans for Peace were arrested for speaking out at the hearing: Tarak Kauff, Ken Ashe and Ellen Barfield. All three veterans, in response to why they protested today, affirmed that Bradbury should not hold any kind of position in the United States’ government and called on the senators to oppose his nomination. “Anybody whose moral compass is so broken that they would condone torture doesn’t deserve a position in the US government,” stated Ken Ashe as he was handcuffed by Capitol Police. “I disrupted the hearing for a man, Steven Bradbury, who should be on trial for war crimes,” said Tarak Kauff as he was pulled out of the hearing by police. “He sanctioned, condoned, and confirmed torture practices that were used by the Bush administration, practices that disgraced our country.” “I am a veteran. I am deeply concerned about our soldiers, who are at risk for torture if our nation tortures,” said Ellen Barfield.

Governor Hogan: Energy Profits More Important Than Maryland Lives

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By Popular Resistance. Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland let it be known last week that he supports the Dominion Energy fracked gas export terminal in southern Maryland and will not order a safety study to determine the risks to the community. The people of Lusby, Maryland and other communities near Cove Point along with their allies have entered a new phase of their campaign now that Hogan has essentially said — your lives are less important than Dominion’s profits. The failure to examine the risks of the Dominion fracked gas export terminal in a Qualitative Risk Assessment is the height of irresponsibility and shows that people of Maryland, especially those in rural areas, they cannot count on Governor Hogan to treat them fairly or protect their safety. Take action to urge Governor Hogan to order a risk assessment. Call his office at 410-974-3901 and join us at the rally in Lawyer’s Mall in Annapolis, this Monday, June 3, 2017 at noon.

National Day Of Action To Protect Our Internet!

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By Protect Our Internet. Here’s the gist; riddle me this: How is a Train like the Internet? They’re both common carriers! You buy your ticket and decide where you want to go on the train. You buy your Internet service provider and decide where you want to go on the Internet. But that could end in August. Sign up here to take action to spread the word. Big Telecoms like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T don’t want to just provide Internet service, they want to control the content too – slowing down, diverting or even shutting down our access to the open internet we know and love. Imagine being on a train and all of a sudden, you can’t get off at your stop – or it takes you twice as long to get there, and costs twice as much. That’s why we’re asking all of you internet users out there to come together on July 12 to spread the word at your local train or metro stations about the importance of an open and accessible internet – just like an open and accessible public transportation system. These actions will coincide with an Internet-Wide Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality.

This Is What Democratic Party Propaganda Looks Like

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By Sheila Norton for The Washington Journal – It began with two Democratic legislators, both deeply concerned about the threat from the Republicans’ Trumpcare bill, sitting on the steps of the Capitol — Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative John Lewis (D-GA), the Civil Rights legend himself. What began as a conversation shared on Facebook grew organically into a powerful moment of truth. Ben Winkler of MoveOn.org happened to be walking by in the early moments and chronicled the evening as the crowd and emotion swelled. I’ll let Ben’s words speak for themselves, but this should serve as a reminder that despite everything there are genuinely good people working passionately to make Americans’ lives better, and magic can happen when a concerned citizenry gets involved. After your read and share this thread, call your Senators at 202.224.3121 and let them know exactly how you feel about the effort to repeal Obamacare.

Join DC Protest Friday On Korea as President Moon Meets President Trump

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By Staff of Yonhap News Agency – SEOUL, June 24 (Yonhap) — Thousands of South Koreans staged a protest rally in central Seoul on Saturday demanding the withdrawal of the deployment of an American high-tech anti-missile defense system as President Moon Jae-in and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump are set to meet in Washington D.C. next week. “The deployment of THAAD, which is unnecessary for the defense of the Korean Peninsula, should be pulled back,” the protesters said in a rally held in Seoul Plaza at the heart of Seoul. The rally’s organizer put the number of participants at 3,000. The rally came ahead of the first Moon-Trump summit to be held from June 29-30, which is expected to feature the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). After taking office last month, Moon ordered the deployment to be delayed until an environmental impact assessment is carried out at its deployment site. “The South Korea-U.S. summit to come next week should be a venue where the review of the THAAD deployment should be assured,” the protests said. They also demanded the U.S. stop enforcing the deployment.