Archive for Protest
Daryl Hannah, the actor from such films as Blade Runner and Kill Bill, has been arrested for protesting against an oil pipeline that will see Canadian oil transported all the way to Texas, the length of the entire United States. The sit-in protest took place outside the White House and attracted the attention of the law when the several dozen protestors refused attempts by Park Police to move them along. The $13bn (£7.98bn) Keystone XL Pipeline will transport Canadian crude oil through 6 US states to the major refineries in Texas. TransCanada, the major Canadian oil company behind the pipeline, says the project will “significantly [improve] North American security supply”. It is not the first time Daryl Hannah has been arrested for environmental protests. In 2009 she was taken in by police along with 30 other protestors for demonstrating against mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia. In 2006, she was removed from a tree in Los Angeles following a protest against the demolition of a community farm.
www.guardian.co.uk 16th August 2011
Quoted from source:
‘More than 2,000 protesters gathered outside Australia‘s Parliament House on Tuesday to demonstrate against government plans to make the country’s biggest air polluters pay a tax on the carbon gas they produce. The prime minister, Julia Gillard, is poised to pass the unpopular tax with the support of independent legislators and the Greens party. Protesters complained that Gillard had promised not to introduce a carbon tax when her centre-left Labor party was narrowly re-elected last year. Some called for a new election. Gillard plans to impose a A$23(£14) tax on every metric tonne of carbon gas produced starting 1 July next year. The opposition called on the prime minister to apologise to parliament for winning the election on a falsehood that her government would not tax carbon emissions. But Gillard said the carbon tax deal she struck with the independents and Greens was the best option for Australia’s future. “I take the responsibility for having made that decision. I understand that has caused disappointment among many,” she told parliament. “But you get elected to this position to make the tough decisions that are important for the nation’s future.” The protest coincided with parliament’s first session after a five-week break.’
www.lemonde.fr 6th May 2011
A group of young activists have taken a slightly unconventional approach to their protest outside the Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris. With placards reading such slogans “No gas, no growth (Pas d’essence, pas d’croissance)!” and “Sustainability is not profitable (Le durable c’est pas rentable)!”, the casual passer-by may have misunderstood what the protest was all about. In fact, the group of 50 were Parisian students from an environmental group called The French Network of Students for Sustainable Development (REFEDD). The ironic placards were meant as a protest against the lack of environmental awareness currently perceived in the French government. Other slogans read: “who cares about pandas, except with soy sauce”, “we are here to support industry groups victim of draconian green standards”, “more UV to better tan” and “nuclear is the bomb!” Although many took the protest, which happened on the 5th May, light-heartedly some green groups have apparently become quite upset, although little details of this are available.
www.lemonde.fr 23rd April 2011
A thousand protestors gathered in Paris on the 23rd April to protest against vivisection, or the use of animals in scientific experiments. The gathering was part of World Laboratory Animal Day, of which a counterpart was held in the UK. The protest outside City Hall in Paris was the largest though and saw people travelling by bicycle from the neighbouring countries of Belgium, Italy, and Switzerland to attend. Associated groups to the event included the Fondation Brigette Bardot, Antidote Europe, Gaia, Animaux en péril (Belgium), and EquiVita (Italy). The crowd held coffins bearing the names of different animals commonly used in scientific experimentation along with the words ”utilisés et sacrifiés” (‘used and sacrificed’). The protest centred around what the crowd perceived as a lack of political will within European governments to regulate the practise of vivisection or to find an alternative. Protestors finished their day of protest outside the house of Victor Hugo, the “First president of the French League against vivisection”, and held a moment of silence for the animals.
www.telegraph.co.uk 16th January 2011
Mark Kennedy, the former undercover Metropolitan policeman has spoken out about the “grey and murky” world of undercover policing. Mr Kennedy infiltrated a green protest group under the name “Mark Stone”. His involvement in the group has led to the collapse of the £1 million case against 6 activists who planned to break into Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station in Nottinghamshire. For the first time, Mr Kennedy, who is now under police protection in the United States following the revealing of his true identity, divulged the slack rules undercover officers operated under, particularly when it came to sexual relations with those that they had infiltrated. Kennedy has admitted to relations with two members of the group he was working in and claimed he knows of a fellow officer who was with 6 different lovers at one time. Fellow activists of those involved in these relationships have questioned whether their colleagues really gave their consent as they didn’t know the true identity of the man they were with. Kennedy has also claimed that as many as 15 other officers infiltrated extreme environmentalist groups. He is now being represented by the publicist Max Clifford and says he has been “hung out to dry” by his former handlers.
www.telegraph.co.uk 11th December 2010
Quoted from source:
‘The cause of the major political story of last week – the row over tuition fees, students rioting and all – was, as we all know, “public spending cuts”. But how much money does the Government actually hope to save on tuition fees? If the immediate problem is our massive state deficit, it seems odd that the Government should risk such unpopularity, not for any immediate saving, but in the hope that it will get the money back over the next 30 years, as students can afford to repay it. In the short term, the Government’s own projection as to how much it will save is that the funding of university tuition will be cut by £2.9 billion by 2014. As it happens, £2.9 billion is the sum ring-fenced, by the same public spending review, to be given to developing countries to help them fight global warming with windmills and solar panels. It is also slightly less than the £3 billion by which our public debt is rising every week. These much-vaunted “cuts” are not all we are led to believe.’
www.telegraph.co.uk 14th November 2010
The government’s proposal to build a high-speed rail link between Birmingham and London, called HS2, has caused widespread complaints from the people living in the path of the development. The trains would thunder through the countryside at up to 250mph. The idea was dreamt up by the Labour government but has been supported by the Lib-Con Coalition. However, the proposed route runs straight through the Tory heartland receiving widespread condemnation from MPs, residents, and over 60 action groups. Even the speaker of the House, John Bercow, has voiced his disapproval. If the project is given the go ahead, construction would not start until 2015 with the first leg completed around 2025. Further routes to Manchester and Leeds would follow at a cost of around £30 billion. Supporters of HS2 have claimed that the line will create thousands of construction jobs and economic benefits for the communities affected but, due to the high speeds involved, it is highly unlikely the trains will stop many times along their route. Furthermore, as the track needs to be as straight as possible, more intrusive development methods will be used including high viaducts, deep cuttings, and long tunnels. The proposed plans have already had an effect on the housing market in the region.
www.guardian.co.uk 5th November 2010
A specially-constructed low-speed train carrying around 123 tonnes of radioactive waste is to travel from western France to Germany prompting the biggest anti-nuclear protests in decades. Around 30,000 people from over 870 anti-nuclear groups are to march over the ‘Chernobyl on Wheels’ all along the 900 mile route from near La Hague in Normandy to Gorleben, in the far north-east of Lower Saxony. Several protesters have already chained themselves to trees with others threatening to tie themselves to railway tracks. 17,000 German police are on standby to deal with the protest. The transport will be the 11th of its type since 1996. One protester in 2004 had his leg amputated by a nuclear waste train as he sat on the train tracks. Ironically, the waste in the train is actually from Germany. It has been reprocessed by Areva, the French company from which the train embarked from, which has contracts with countries as far away as Japan to reprocess nuclear waste. Areva released a statement claiming the steel containers on the train can withstand a 50m drop onto concrete and a 800 degree centigrade fire for up to 30 minutes. When the waste arrives in Gorleben it will be buried in underground shafts. However, the safety of this disposal method has been brought into question recently due to evidence that there has been a certain amount of groundwater contamination at the site.
Sources: BBC News 1st April 2010, The Guardian 30th August 2010
The creation of the largest marine reserve in the world by the British Government has caused anger among the local inhabitants. The planned reserve is to cover 545,000 square kilometres around the Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean and would include a ban on all fishing. However, the inhabitants of the islands (the Chagossians) have already been subjected to forced deportation in the 1960s due to the construction of a US airbase on the island of Diego Garcia. Furthermore, they believe that the creation of a protected reserve would effectively mean that they could never return from their current homes throughout the UK, Mauritius and the Seychelles.
The reserve was declared by David Milliband of the Labour Party in early 2010 but so far only one UK Member of Parliament has opposed the idea (Diane Abbott). If one thinks that this reserve doubles the size of all existing reserves in the world, then how important is it to satisfy the demands of a relatively small group of people to live there? Should human interests be sacrificed to make way for environmental protection? Should the oppressive actions of a colonial power be forgiven due to one good act? Is there any reason why the two goals (the creation of a marine reserve and the repatriation of the archipelago by the Chagossians) have to be mutually exclusive?
Sky News 31 st August 2010
Having managed to evade a Danish Navy flotilla, four members of Green Peace managed to scale the legs of Cairn Energy’s controversial oil rig, Stena Don, off the coast of Greenland. Although the British company have failed to comment on the stunt, the activists have managed to halt drilling for the near future due to an automatic 500m proximity intrusion shut-down system on board the rig. Greenpeace hopes to prevent further oil exploration by shutting down Stena Don until the onset of winter ice conditions in the next few weeks. Doing so will mean that weather conditions would become to severe for Cairn Energy to continue exploration for up to a year.