Reportback: June 11 Noise Demo for Prisoner Solidarity, Ft. Lauderdale

 

June 11 is the International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and All Eco-Prisoners. To show our solidarity with eco-prisoners and prisoners everywhere, the Earth First! Journal and Everglades Earth First! invited folks out to a noise demonstration in front of Broward County Jail in downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

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Banging drums and buckets in ad-hoc polyrhythms, bellowing through a trombone, squeezing feedback from a megaphone, furiously tooting airhorns, and singing “Fire, fire to the priiiisons!” about fifteen anti-state environmentalists spent two hours making noise for inmates through the gates and windows that keep them inside. Prisoners banged along with us as we chanted “Free them all!” and howled in solidarity with Marius Mason, Justin Solondz, Abdul Haqq, Joseph Buddenberg, Brian Vaillancourt, Fran Thompson, and everyone else held inside a prison, jail, detention center, or cage.

 

Throughout the demo, police cars arrived to drop newly-arrested captives of the state behind the jail’s gates, and each time the crowd of protesters met the cops with shouts of “Shame!” and “Blood on your hands!” Arrestees in handcuffs shouted and cheered at their welcome party before being dragged inside.

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A big thanks to folks from South Florida Food Not Bombs and South Florida Smash HLS, and everyone else who joined us in the streets! And thanks to everyone who acted in solidarity with prisoners this June 11, from those in DC fighting toxic prisons to those in Bloomington attacking a probation office, and everyone in between.

 

Until the end of the prison society, and the liberation of the wild,
—Some Swamp Anarchists

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Yes, We’re Still Protesting Kolter!

After a bit of a break, on June 2 enthused Everglades Earth First! rebels returned to Kolter’s West Palm Beach offices to remind the development firm of the atrocities it and its subsidiaries are committing in the Briger Forest.

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Kolter is currently clearing the eastern side of the Briger Forest, much of which they have already chewed up and spit out in the form of Alton Homes, a gopher tortoise burial ground and a scab on the already pockmarked face of South Florida—a scab that needs the deep picking of a sharp fingernail. Now, as a recent South Florida Water Management District permit reminds us, Kolter is anxious to bulldoze the western side of the forest as well, and the company plans to replace the rare biodiversity with far-less-rare creatures: cookie-cutter houses and artificial lakes.

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Outraged by the current and planned destruction, a ragtag crew of dedicated direct-actionistas brought the noise to Kolter’s offices with shouts, howls, and the banging of kitchenware. For over an hour the downtown avenues echoed with chants of blood and shame, causing some Kolter employees to close window blinds and temporarily abandon computer monitors. Police cars sat and watched, releasing your burnt tax dollars from their idling exhaust pipes.

We know that shouting outside of Kolter’s offices is not likely to stop them from killing endangered species for money. But we stand face-to-face with Kolter because resistance is a necessity. The plants, animals, and mycelium currently living autonomously inside of what remains of the Briger Forest are screaming for justice, and the least we can do is amplify their voices towards Kolter’s deaf and miserable ears. What we really need is a mass movement of people saying: NO MORE DEVELOPMENT! NO MORE DEFORESTATION! NO MORE ECOCIDE! YES TO CONSERVATION! YES TO BIODIVERSITY! YES TO LIFE!

You don’t have to be a kitchen pot-banging wingnut to help defend the forest. Please, reach out to us if you’re interested in protecting this vital stretch of Earth from utter devastation.

evergladesearthfirst [at] riseup [dot] net

More pictures from the protest:

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wannabe cops flexing their power

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EEF! Returns to BlackRock

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On Friday, April 29, South Florida activists held a demonstration outside of BlackRock’s Palm Beach offices at 251 Royal Palm Way. Employees of adjoining buildings crowded the corporate courtyard to gawk at the rambunctious swarm of animal allies as they let BlackRock know why they had returned: “BlackRock, we are outside of your offices today because you continue to profit off the confinement, torture, and death of animals in laboratories,” one of the protesters shouted into a megaphone. “Until you cut your contract with Skanska USA, activists will be at your offices, at your homes!”

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Police in short shorts and ’90s shades arrived swiftly, popped the kickstands of their bicycles, and began to try and shut the party down. Noise ordinance violations were distributed to protesters, totaling $250.00 in fines owed to the city. The megaphone and trombone were asked to leave. Neither the fines nor the lack of noise amplification stopped the protesters from getting their message across. Throughout BlackRock’s entryway rang the cries of the eco-anarchists and animal lovers: “What do we want?! ANIMAL LIBERATION! When do we want it?! NOW!!.”

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These machines irritate fascists.

BlackRock owns $125 million of shares in Skanska USA, the company currently building an underground animal testing facility at the University of Washington. If completed, the lab would expand the university’s primate research, adding to the thousands of animals already tortured in needless experiments at UW. Go to nonewanimallab.com to find out more.

 

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Hendry County Commission Approves Rezoning for Power Plant Despite Public Outcry

from Everglades Earth First!

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On April 12, the Hendry County Commission met to discuss four petitions brought forth by energy company Florida Power & Light (FPL). Though covering slightly different areas, these four petitions—which were passed unanimously by the commissioners—essentially rezoned a vital panther corridor beside the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation from agricultural zoning to a new “Electric Generating Facility” zoning category, with allowances for industrial future land use. These are first steps in FPL establishing two power plants on the site: one massive solar plant, and an even larger natural (fracked) gas power plant that would be the biggest in the United States if completed.

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Members of the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes, other local residents, and environmentalists from across the state protested outside of the Clewiston City Hall before the meeting, calling attention to the people and wildlife that will be harmed by FPL’s proposed projects. Though some commissioners (I’m looking at you Karson Turner) have mouths much larger than their ears and were unable to view the sign-holding protesters without harassing them about their messaging, activists stood their ground and were met with many honks, thumbs up, and raised fists from passerby. The public seemed to be on the side of the plants, animals, and people—not the corporations.

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Once the meeting started, FPL employees gave a presentation on the new plan, which showed everyone in the packed meeting room that the current panther corridor would be almost entirely gutted by the solar project. Dozens of people gave impassioned speeches against the project, citing destruction of the Earth, water, indigenous cultures, and even the night sky as reasons not to go forward with this project. Three people spoke in favor of the power plant: two business men and one local Clewiston resident who noted that “Solar is the future.”

After the speeches, the commissioners had no discussion: They had made up their minds already. Though they approved the rezoning, the fight has just begun. They still need to approve each power plant plan as it is presented, and potentially face years of litigation that could prevent them from moving forward with this plan at all. Stay tuned to be part of the fight against FPL and for a wild and thriving Florida.

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South Florida BlackRock Protesters Expose Company’s Ties to Animal Testing

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Friday, April 1, 2016, people from across South Florida protested outside of BlackRock’s Palm Beach offices at 249 Royal Palm Way, demanding the investment company stop profiting from the torture and captivity of animals. BlackRock owns $125 million dollars of shares in Skanska, the construction company currently building an underground animal testing facility at the University of Washington. With Skanska’s shareholder’s meeting coming up, protesters were determined to put pressure on all those who have a say in the completion of this disgusting project.

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The fifteen activists held signs and banners and chanted into BlackRock’s corporate courtyard promising that there will be no peace or rest until the company cuts its ties with animal tests. The group included members of Everglades Earth First!, Smash HLS, Animal Activist Network, and The Fellow Travelers, joining forces in support of captive animals.

Police attempted to distract the protesters from their goal, shutting down megaphone use, refusing to cooperate with requests for statute numbers, and detaining one protester for a time. The protester ended up not being charged with a crime, and the group was not deterred.

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A new chant was also created at the protest:

Call: In an industry that kills,

Response: Test your drugs on corporate shill!

At the end of the demo, activists were determined to return to BlackRock, again and again, until they stop cashing paychecks written in the blood of tortured creatures.

We hope to see you at the next one! And keep an eye on this campaign at NoNewAnimalLab.com

For the Wild,
Everglades Earth First!

 

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FPL Power Plant Protest & Amendments to Petition

At a meeting held on Wednesday the 9th , the Hendry County Commission postponed 4 public hearings on Florida Power and Light’s (FPL’s)  proposal to build a power plant next to the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. An hour before the meeting started, locals, impacted community members and EEF!ers protested outside the commission chambers against the proposal of the power plant. The meeting  been postponed to April 12th 2016 at 5PM at the same address 115 Ventura Ave.

This is the same FPL that currently has illegal and noisy construction of pipes traveling through the Indian River Lagoon and a nuclear power plant in Turkey Point that is leaking tritium amongst a slew of other violations polluting Biscayne bay. They are currently facing lawsuits over Turkey Point.

Back in Hendry County, things have changed with the proposal drastically. The natural gas portion of the power plant is no longer on the table, at least for this time around. FPL is still working to get a zoning change to the area to do an industrial scale solar project.

It is pretty critical to note that just because the natural gas portion has been dropped, and the language in the amendments declare that no alternations to the solar site can occur for 10 years, that does not mean it is completely dropped. This solar project, if approved and the zoning changes made, may be the gateway FPL is looking for, for a natural gas dependent Florida and a poisoned everglades.

Sam Tommie, Seminole tribal member spoke to the council demanding that they do not go forward with the project.

Another indigenous women named Nicole  was visibly upset as she approached the podium to address the Commissioners as she explained that this shouldn’t even be an issue discussed. She reminded the commission that they tried already to rezone the area and had to revoke the rezoning after the Seminole Tribe won a lawsuit against the County over the rezoning.

See the documents submitted to the Hendry County Commission on the power plant for this meeting at this and this link.

Next hearing date April 12th 2016 5PM. 115 W. Ventura Ave.

Brings signs, noise makers and a passion to stop the proposal!

For news articles on the issue see links below:

http://seminoletribune.org/hendry-county-allows-delay-on-fpl-plant-decision/

 

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PROTEST AGAINST FPL & HENDRY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS PLAN TO USE BIG CYPRESS SEMINOLE INDIAN RESERVATION’S BACKYARD AS A DUMPING GROUND

UPDATE: FPL may postpone their hearing, BUT THE NEWS CONFERENCE AND PROTEST IS STILL ON.
This coming Tuesday, March 8th at 4pm, members of the Seminole tribal community and Florida environmentalists will hold a news conference and protest outside the City Commission Chambers in Clewiston, Florida. Demonstrators want to alert the public that Hendry County’s Commissioners plan to destroy what remains of our sacred environment and put up what some fear could be one of the biggest power facilities in the United States.
The commissioner’s conniving plans come in the form of obscure petitions slipped into the Hendry Commission’s agenda for its March 8th 5pm meeting at the Clewiston chambers. If they thought nobody would notice they were WRONG!
Their schemes persist despite the loud objections of the people who live in the area, particularly those who make their home in the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. Florida Power and Light has been lusting after Hendry County land as a site for a new power plant for years. It is within just a few miles of the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation. In 2014, the tribe won a court victory that should have stopped FPL in its tracks. But, now, in a devious move, the county wants to twist zoning language to allow it anyway. Neighborhood residents feel betrayed and ignored and vow to fight the power plant and the devious ploys to build it in a place where  children play.
Here is the link to the county agenda that has the petitions for tomorrow’s meeting. http://74.5.234.204/Weblink8/0/doc/79199/Electronic.aspx
For more information contact:
Samuel Tommie, local resident
863 228-7345 – samueltommieATyahooDOTcom
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