At 7:00 a.m. a group of over 50 activists blocked vehicle access to Dominion Resources’ Tredegar Campus in Richmond, Virginia to protest the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Traffic quickly formed on Tredegar Street as activists stretched large banners across the road and paraded large puppets around the scene. Two activists remain suspended from a pedestrian bridge with a banner reading “Stop Selling Our Futures” while a larger crowd occupy the access way to the campus below.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would transport natural gas from West Virginia, where there is a boom in hydraulic fracturing, 550 miles, through Virginia, and into North Carolina. “This proposal would be a dangerous investment in fossil fuel infrastructure at a time when the scientific consensus is clear that we must invest in renewables, such as wind and solar, to avoid further warming of our planet. ” said Whitney Whiting from Newport News, Virginia.
This action follows several months of grassroots resistance in the region against Dominion. On February 3, an activist scaled a crane at a construction site for Dominion’s proposed Cove Point LNG export facilities in Lusby, Maryland. On February 9, activists with the group Beyond Extreme Energy staged a disruption at a Dominion analyst meeting in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, also with the message “Stop Selling Our Futures”.
Shantae Taylor from Norfolk, Virginia said, “As a person of color, I am out here because I am disturbed by the climate crisis in the Commonwealth. The Tidewater region is second only to Louisiana for its vulnerability to sea level rise. Now we’re facing the additional threat of offshore oil and gas drilling. I don’t want another Hurricane Katrina or BP oil spill to happen here. It’s time to push back against Dominion’s corrupt political influence and demand an end to fossil fuels.”
“I’ve been born and raised in Virginia, where we have pride in our land”, said Phil Cunningham, from Prince Edward County. “Now Dominion wants to come steal people’s property and sell our futures to the highest bidder. We are here to send the message to Dominion that people matter more than profits. This is our Keystone XL, and we will stop it. ”
A study published by GRAIN.org details the struggles faced by peasants in northern Mozambique as governments and foreign companies dash to accumulate land for large scale agribusiness projects.
“The result is that small farmers and pastoralists from across Africa are under increasing pressure from governments and companies to give up their lands and water resources. According to a 2010 World Bank report, more than 70% of the large scale agricultural land acquisitions that have occurred in the world over the past decade have been in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Ethiopia, Sudan and Mozambique.”
Despite promises to the contrary, a number of foreign companies, some in tandem with local businesses linked to Mozambique’s ruling FRELIMO party, have already amassed large regions of farmland while pushing out thousands of peasant families.
In the article “Decolonizing Bolivia’s History of Indigenous Resistance,” GJEP friend and ally Ben Dangl interviews Elisa Vega Sillo, Director of the Depatriarchalization Unit in the Vice Ministry of Decolonization in Bolivia about the importance of decolonizing Bolivia’s history of indigenous resistance.
Sillo was a former leader in the Bartolina Sisa indigenous campesina women’s movement, and a member of the Kallawaya indigenous nation. In the interview, Elisa spoke about the unique work of the Vice Ministry of Decolonization, and the role of historical memory in the country’s radical politics.
From our friends at PLANT
12 Feb 2015 – 10th Anniversary of Assassination of Sr. Dorothy Stang
February 12, 2015, marked 10 years since the assassination of Sister Dorothy Stang, one of the hundreds of victims of land conflict in Amazonia in recent years. For all the national and international pressure for justice, her case like many others, illustrates the reign of impunity across the Brazilian Amazonian region. Check the report from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops at:
Also, the summary article in the Manaus newspaper, A Crítica, at:
Reported conflicts and death threats continue to increase across the region – in tandem with deforestation.
See also the most update from INPE (Brazilian National Institute of Space Research), which provides the data documenting the largest increase in forest fires for the month of January in Amazonia since January 1999, at:
INPE and CPT provide their reports as wake-up calls to society, and to all who want to undo the driving forces of the socio-environmental degradation of the Amazonian eco-system.