Disputed East Coast Pipeline Likely To Expand

This Monday Feb. 2, 2015 photo shows vice president and general manager of Southern pipeline operations for Dominion Energy, Daniel A. Weekley, left, as he speaks in support of a bill dealing with utility rates presented by Sen. Frank W. Wagner, R-VA Beach, right, to the Senate Commerce and Labor committee inside the General Assembly Building in Richmond, Va. Remarks from Weekley suggest developers of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline are looking at the possibility of a major expansion of the project into South Carolina. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP) The Associated Press

By Sarah Rankin for Associated Press – RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The developers of a disputed natural gas pipeline on the U.S. East Coast are considering a major expansion of the project into South Carolina, according to remarks made by an energy company executive and interviews with others in the industry. Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline said that raises questions about whether Dominion Energy, the project’s lead developer, has withheld important information from the public and whether the pipeline is even needed as initially proposed. But business leaders say the pipeline would help lower energy costs and boost economic development in South Carolina. Dan Weekley, Dominion Energy’s vice president and general manager of Southern pipeline operations, told attendees at a recent energy conference “everybody knows” the Atlantic Coast Pipeline — currently slated to pass through Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina — is not going to stop there, despite what the current plans say. “We could bring in almost a billion cubic feet (28 million cubic meters) a day into South Carolina,” Weekley said, according to an audio recording The Associated Press obtained from a conference attendee. The attendee requested anonymity out of concern for not wanting to harm business or personal relationships. The remarks appear to be the Richmond, Virginia-based company’s most direct public signal to date that it intends to expand the pipeline, though industry analysts said the potential has been discussed for years.

The Nuclear Power Rip-Off Billions Lost More Bills Due


By Seanna Adcox for AP News – This week, having spent more than $10 billion, executives with South Carolina Electric & Gas and Santee Cooper acknowledged that all their assumptions were wrong. Worse still: Consumers may have to pay billions more on the rusting remains of two partially-built reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station north of Columbia. “When we started, there was talk of a nuclear renaissance restarting a whole industry in the U.S.,” said Santee Cooper’s chief financial officer, Jeff Armfield. He was among several executives recommending the project be abandoned. The board of the state-owned utility unanimously agreed at a public meeting Monday. “When we started, there was talk of a nuclear renaissance restarting a whole industry in the U.S.,” said Santee Cooper’s chief financial officer, Jeff Armfield. Most of the 18 nuclear projects pending before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a decade ago have been aborted or suspended indefinitely. None of the 7 projects the NRC licensed are operational. Only one is still being built, in Georgia, at a cost of $100 million a month. Southern Company financial documents filed Wednesday say the project, slated to cost $14 billion, could cost $25 billion or more if completed.

S Carolina Trooper Pleads Guilty To Shooting Black Man Who Followed His Orders

Sean Groubert, being led into custody, after pleading guilty in the shooting of unarmed Levar Jones in 2014. AP

By Thandisizwe Chimurenga for Daily Kos – Sean Groubert, a former South Carolina state trooper, has pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature for the shooting of Levar Jones at a Columbia gas station in September of 2014. Video from Groubert’s patrol car went viral at a time of heightened scrutiny and anxiety of police executions of unarmed African Americans—immediately after the murders of Mike Brown in Ferguson, John Crawford in Ohio and Eric Garner in New York and just prior to the murder of Tamir Rice in Cleveland and the non-indictment of Darren Wilson for Brown’s murder.

S. Carolina Teen Who Filmed School Cop's Assault Arrested

Black Lives Matter protest in Mall of America

By Adam Johnson for AlterNet – WLTX reports that Kenny was trying to “stand up for her friend” when she filmed the assault, telling Loren Thomas of WLTX, “I was crying, screaming and crying like a baby. I was in disbelief.” Both Kenny and her mother are understandably skeptical as to why she was arrested for “disturbing schools.” “But looking at the video, who was really disturbing schools?” Kenny’s mother told WLTX. “Was it my daughter or the officer who came into the classroom and did that to the young girl?” Ben Fields, the South Carolina police officer whose attack on a black student went viral in a video Monday, has faced previous abuse allegations.

Sky High Activism, Wedding Pics, Rainbows & Flags

China wedding with air pollution

By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy.com. Congrats to all the couples who can now tie the knot! But now that you’ve ridden the rainbow to marital bliss, allow me to bring you back down to everything else we gotta fix in this country. A Chinese company stunningly and scarily showcases sky-high activism while a Chinese couple offers up some dystopian and creative wedding pic ideas. Bree Newsome shows the South Carolina legislature it’s actually not that hard to take down the Confederate flag. July 4th is this weekend so go enjoy a celebratory march with some rebels. Let’s get serious and blunt about the global corporate takeover. And finally, Naomi Klein and Pope Francis join forces to battle climate change.

Bree Newsome Took A Stand, Will You?

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By Jennifer Farmer in Alternet – Newsome bravely scaled a pole at the South Carolina State Capitol and removed the confederate flag from state grounds. While many of us bemoaned the display of the racist symbol of oppression and white supremacy, Newsome took action. As she was led away in cuffs, she stoically recited biblical scripture. This was not the first, and I suspect it will not be the last time, Bree took a stand for something in which she believed. In 2013, she protested North Carolina’s voter suppression law during the Moral Monday protests organized by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. Newsome exhibits the brand of bravery we should all aspire to gain ourselves.

At Least Five Black Churches Destroyed By Fire In Past Week

Tweet by @CharlotteFD

By Nick Visser in Huffington Post – At least five predominantly black churches have caught fire in the last week, including at least three that have been the subject of arson, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports. The string of blazes, which have occurred in four Southern states and Ohio, comes a week after nine people were gunned down at a Charleston, South Carolina, church. Dylann Roof, 21, has been charged with nine counts of homicide and possession of a firearm during commission of a violent crime. An arsonist set fire to the College Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday. The following day, God’s Power Church of Christ in Macon, Georgia, was gutted by flames.

Protester Climbs Flagpole To Remove Confederate Flag

Bree Newsome climbing flagpole and removing Confederate flag

By Lynette Holloway for the Root, #FreeBree is now trending on Black Twitter and a bail fund has been set up to help Bree Newsome defray the legal costs associated with her arrest for removing the Confederate flag. A woman identified as Bree Newsome was arrested Saturday after climbing the flagpole at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., about 6:30 a.m. and removing the Confederate flag, Rashad Robinson, executive director of ColorOfChange.org, said in a statement. Robinson, whose group last week started a petition titled “Take Down The Confederate Flag From The South Carolina Capitol,” which has received more than 55,000 signatures, supported the activist. He identified her as a North Carolina educator. A second person was arrested, but his or her identity is not yet known. “The confederate flag was born out of a government defending the enslavement of Black people and resurrected as an emblem for whites violently opposing racial integration,” Robinson said in the statement.

I’m Not A South Carolinian; I’m The Rebirth Of The Black Radical

Charleston Church comforting

By Riley Wilson for Color Lines. When I was growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, I was awoken by one singular task from my mother. “Get out of South Carolina,” she would sermonize. This would be repeated to me regularly and in different ways. “Get out of South Carolina and don’t come back.” Sometimes she would say, “Don’t get trapped here.” I am not a South Carolinian; I am the re-birth of the black radical and this time, the cause du jour is serving as a catalyst more so than a trending topic. And when the radicalism of my generation fully emerges from behind the curtain of traditional marches and tactics, there will be little acquiesce offered. The seemingly hollow musings of President Obama will go unnoticed, and the gait of the disenfranchised and attacked black youth will move like a levanter out of the concrete. The only thing to stop it will be drastic and unequivocal change in American policies, practices and moral consciousness.

Newsletter - No Justice, No Peace

No justice no peace We the People

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report writes that “No justice, no peace” is “a vow by the movement to transform the crisis that is inflicted on Black people into a generalized crisis for the larger society, and for those who currently rule.” In reality, given the violence being inflicted upon people, particularly people of color, whether directly or indirectly through rising poverty, unemployment, homelessness, lack of access to health care and more, and the government’s failures to address these crises and listen to the people, disruption is a necessary element of political change. In 1968 the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke outside a prison in California where people were being held for protesting the Vietnam War. In the speech he drew the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the peace movement against the Vietnam War. Today we see the links between racism, inequality, imperialism, militarism and ecocide and his comment on that day continues to ring true: “There can be no justice without peace. And there can be no peace without justice.”

The Answers To 5 FAQs About The Walter Scott Shooting

Devo White looks at arrangement where Walter Scott was shot by police. Photo by Matt Walsh

By Jessica Dickerson in The Huffington Post – The fatal police shooting of South Carolina man Walter Scott has, not undeservedly,taken the Internet by storm. But what is it that people want to understand most about the shooting? And where are the people that are searching answers to these questions the most? Google knows. Trends data acquired by the internet search engine — one that boasts over 100 billion searches monthly — shows not only the most frequently asked questions in regards to Scott’s shooting, but also where the majority of those searches are coming from. In this case, the southern United States take the cake. And so, for those who want to know, here are the answers to the Internet’s most asked questions regarding Walter Scott.

Police Officer Indicted In Shooting Of Walter Scott In S. Carolina

Walter L. Scott laying on the ground after being shot in the back.

By Bruce Smith for Associated Press. It didn’t take long for a grand jury in South Carolina to indict a white former city policeman for murder in the shooting death of a black man who tried to flee from a traffic stop. State investigators presented the case against former North Charleston officer Michael Slager to a Charleston County grand jury on Monday and prosecutor Scarlett Wilson announced the indictment a few hours later. A bystander’s cellphone video shows Slager firing eight times as 50-year-old Walter Scott tried to run away on April 4. The killing enflamed a national debate about how black people are treated by white police officers. But it caused no unrest in North Charleston, where community leaders and Scott’s family praised the government’s swift response. Slager was charged with murder by state law enforcement agents and fired from the police force immediately after Scott’s family released the video.

Grassroots Organizing Shapes Response To Killing Of Walter Scott

Devo White looks at arrangement where Walter Scott was shot by police. Photo by Matt Walsh

By Kerry Taylor in Facing South. The city of North Charleston, South Carolina, has received strong praise for its handling of police officer Michael T. Slager’s fatal shooting of 50-year-old African American Walter Scott during an April 4 traffic stop. According to various media commentaries, the city’s quick response saved North Charleston from the outbreaks of vandalism and clashes with law enforcement that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri. At the local level, North Charleston’s response was shaped by the emergence of a decentralized network of political activists who have been organizing around progressive causes, including labor rights and economic justice, LGBTQ equality, and racial disparities in policing. This network of activists sprang into action just hours after Scott’s killing to offer a counter-narrative to the official version of events. They provided victims of police violence an outlet to express their pain and anger by organizing demonstrations, speak outs, and cultural events across the region. And they have carried out a range of protest activities aimed at securing reform. Their collective efforts at movement building, while diffuse and sometimes contradictory, represent an overlooked aspect of the Walter Scott story that has local political significance and strong national resonances.

North Charleston Reacts To Police Killing Very Differently Than Ferguson

Walter Scott

Last Saturday in North Charleston, South Carolina, a routine traffic stop ended in a police shooting, and the death of Walter Scott. Under normal circumstances there would have been nothing remarkable about Scott’s death. Local media spent the weekend recounting the incident as told by Officer Michael Slager via his attorney, who claimed that Slager shot Scott after the traffic stop “turned into a physical altercation.” As the weekend progressed, more local affiliates in the area reported and recounted the same story, with the police report of the incident the only piece of information to rely upon as “fact.” And then the amateur video hit the airwaves… Overnight, what had been another “unfortunate incident” became the biggest piece of news in America, and the national media descended upon North Charleston like a pack of locusts.

Protesters In SC Decry Police Shooting

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Protests have been held in South Carolina over the fatal shooting of an unarmed man as he ran away from police. Officer Michael Slager was charged with murder and sacked after video emerged of him shooting Walter Scott multiple times in the back following a scuffle. He was arrested when authorities reviewed mobile phone video of the shooting, which took place on Saturday. The incident has been widely condemned, and the US Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating. Cries of “Black lives matter!” rang out as about 50 protesters joined local politicians outside City Hall in North Charleston on Wednesday morning. “We cannot sit still and be quiet anymore. This is our season to speak!” said one woman who commanded the crowd’s attention.