Friday, June 14, 2013

Public Forum on Fracking and Home Rule

Morris, NY; June 14, 2013

Moderator: Robert Eklund
Presenters: Betta Broad, Dan Raichel, Jon Krois

From the Organizers:

On June 14, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Catskill Mountainkeeper, alongside the Advocates for Morris, the Butternut Valley Alliance, and Otsego 2000 will be holding a public information forum about how New York municipalities can use their home rule authority to protect themselves from the dangers of fracking.

Communities across New York have been rejecting fracking within their borders, passing bans and moratoria on the practice to preserve their way of life and to defend themselves against this harmful industrial activity. On May 2, these communities received a tremendous boost of support when the Third Department Appellate Division upheld the right of two municipalities, Middlefield and Dryden, to exclude fracking from their towns in the Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden decision. This decision reaffirms the fundamental principle that local communities have the right to decide for themselves what their future will look like, and is significant both for municipalities that have already taken a stand against fracking and for those that are considering joining them.

NRDC and Catskill Mountainkeeper invite you to join us for a discussion of the Dryden decision, of local zoning and land use laws about natural gas development, and of how communities can defend themselves against that development.

Keywords: Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea: Why Not Shale Gas in New York?


Foothills Performing Arts Center
Oneonta, NY; May 30, 2013

From the Sponsors:

Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, a compelling speaker who combines hard science with a down-to-earth style and sense of humor, will discuss shale gas in New York State and the potential for energy in the future.

Dr. Ingraffea, of Cornell University, is a leading expert who has done work for the oil and gas industry, National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, NASA, GasResearch Institute, Sandia National Laboratories, Association of Iron and Steel Engineers, General Dynamics, Boeing and Northrop Grumman Aerospace.

Event Sponsors: Otsego 2000, Sustainable Otsego, Concerned Citizens of Oneonta

This video is underwritten by Otsego 2000.

Keywords: Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mickey Z. on Food Justice, GMOs, & the Vegan Option


New York City; May 25, 2013
Washington Square Park

Eat Like a Revolutionary

Mickey Z. 's workshop immediately followed the NYC March Against Monsanto. This is the best talk I have heard on the subject...informative, highly conscious, and impassioned. The peace and justice community desperately needs to tune into the message presented here.

Viewer Advisory: Some content may be unsuitable for minors.

Read a synopsis of Mickey Z.'s talk.

Mickey Z.'s Blog:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

March Against Monsanto - New York City


And the 2013 OVOC F-Bomb Award goes to.....(envelope, please)..... March Against Monsanto, for the most f-bombs, most f-bombs per minute, and most people dropping the f-bomb. In other words: Some content may be unsuitable for minors.

Speakers: Bonnie Lane Webber, Sierra Club, New York City; Jon Stepanian, Long Island Food Not Bombs; Eric Weltman, Food & Water Watch; Bob Klein, Safe & Healthy School Food Coalition; Christine Segal, Holisitic Health Coach - WakeUP & Live; Julieanna Hever, The Plant-Based Dietician; Luke Nephew, Peace Poets

Mission Statement

On May 25, activists around the world will unite to March Against Monsanto.

Why do we march?
  • Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
  • Recently, the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed a law nicknamed the “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
  • For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
  • Monsanto's GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world's bee population.
What are solutions we advocate?
  • Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
  • Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
  • Repealing relevant provisions of the US's "Monsanto Protection Act."
  • Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
  • Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
  • Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto's secrets.
  • Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly.
We will not stand for cronyism. We will not stand for poison. That’s why we March Against Monsanto.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jim Clune: Resisting Drones, Global War, and Empire

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Binghamton
Binghamton, NY; May 14, 2013

Jim Clune, past president of Broome County Peace Action and just returned
from a ten day stay in jail for protesting drones at Hancock airbase in
Syracuse, was the featured speaker at Broome County Peace Action's annual meeting. He spoke about the spreading use of Drones (unmanned aircraft) and the growing opposition to their use in conducting illegal warfare. 

Related Links:

Living Under Drones
Upstate Drone Action
Know Drones
No Drones Network
Voices for Creative Nonviolence

This video is underwritten by Jim and Ann Clune.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rally to Ground the Drones and End the Wars


Speakers: Amelia Ramsey-Lefevre, Nick Mottern, Joe Lombardo, Debra Sweet, Sarah Ahmed, Bruce Gagnon, Marilyn Levin, Mark Johnson, Alicia Godsberg, Elliot Adams, Rae Kramer, Russell Brown, Colleen Kattau, Kevin Zeese, Ann Wright, Noor Mir, Barrie Gewanter (ACLU observer)

Press Release from the Syracuse Peace Council:

Activists Press Hancock Air Base to Obey International Law

275 People at Protest; 31 Arrested

April 28, 2013

Thirty one members of the “Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars” were arrested today at Hancock Air Force Base protesting what is the illegal use of drones in Afghanistan,  Pakistan and other countries. Drones are flown from Hancock Field. Over 275 people marched in a solemn funeral procession to demand that Hancock Air National Guard Base cease drone strikes. People carrying banners and coffins identified countries where U.S. drone attacks have killed over a thousand innocent civilians. As they were arrested, some read the names of people who have died in the drone attacks.

People who participated in the demonstration, including some who were arrested, came from all over the country to raise an outcry against the proliferation of drone strikes abroad, including countries with whom the US is not at war. Drone use violates the US Constitution, Article 6, and International Law, which the U.S. has signed on to. Demonstrators also object to the militarization of the police and the growing domestic use of drones. The protesters raised the issue that drone use globally makes Americans unsafe because of the blow back effect.

Demonstrators attempted to deliver a war crimes indictment to the base. It reads:

We, the people, charge the US President, Barak Obama, and the full military chain of command, to Commander Colonel Greg Semmel, every drone crew, and service members at Hancock Air Base, with crimes against humanity, with violations of part of the Supreme Law of the Land, extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation national sovereignty, and killing of innocent civilians.

The thirty one arrestees were arraigned in De Witt Town Court before Judges Benack, Gideon, and Jokl, who imposed bails ranging from $500 - $3500, totaling $34,000. Some of the defendants were released with appearance tickets. Others are refusing to post bail and will be held in jail until the next court date of May 7th & 8th. Donations may be sent to the Syracuse Peace Council, with checks made out to Syracuse Peace Council, note : Upstate Drone Action Bail Fund.  2013 E. Genessee St., Syracuse, NY 13210.

Those Arrested:

Beth Adams, Levertt, MA
John Amidon, Albany, NY
Cynthia Banas, Vernon, NY
Ellen Barfield, Baltimore, MD
Russell Brown, Buffalo, NY
Kate De Mott Grady, Ithaca, NY
Beatrice Dewing, New York City, NY
Max Farhi, Ithaca, NY
Sandra Fessler, Rochester, NY
Daniel Finley, Ithaca, NY
Bruce Gagnon, Brunswick, ME
Jack Gilroy, Binghamton, NY
Charlie Heyn, Damascus, PA
John Honeck, Hamlin, NY
Rae Kramer, Syracuse, NY
Joanne Lingle, Indianapolis, IN
Mary Loehr, Ithaca, NY
Bonnie Mahoney, Buffalo, NY
Harry Murray, Rochester, NY
Valerie Niederhoffer, Buffalo, NY
Julienne Oldfield, Syracuse, NY
Jules Orkin, Bergenfield, NJ
Elizabeth Pappalardo, Crystal Lake, DE
Joan Pleune, Brooklyn, NY
Beverly Rice
Grace Ritter, Ithaca, NY
Matthew Ryden
Andrew Schoerke, Shaftsbury, VT
Mary Snyder, Johnson City, NY
Eve Tetaz, Washington, DC
Patricia Wieland, Northampton, MA

Monday, February 18, 2013

Father Roy Bourgeois: A Priest Speaks His Conscience

The Struggle for Justice and Gender Equality in the Catholic Church

First United Methodist Church
Endicott, NY; February 18, 2013

With additional video from the 2008 School of the Americas Watch

This event featured the showing of a video: Pink Smoke Over the Vatican. I don't have the rights to include it here, but you can purchase a copy at the link.

Related Link: Bridget Mary's Blog

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Forward On Climate


Washington, DC; February 17, 2013

At least forty thousand people turned out on a frigid February day to express their concerns about climate change, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, fracking, and related issues.

The Speakers: Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Rosario Dawson, Chief Jacqueline Thomas, Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Cardona, Tom Snyder, Crystal Lameman, Casey Camp, Michael Brune

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Binghamton Anti-Fracking Rally: Not One Well


Binghamton, NY; February 12, 2013

The Speakers (in order of appearance): Isaac Silberman-Gorn, Matt Ryan, Gerri Wiley, Chris Burger, Logan Adsit, Captain Ray Lewis, Aubrey Clark, Vera Scroggins, Craig Stevens, Renee Vogelsang, Emily Bishop, Sandra Steingraber

Press Release from Isaac Silberman-Gorn of Citizen Action:

Scientists/Health Professionals, Environmental and Grassroots Organizations Denounce Cuomo’s Rumored Plan for Fracking Test Project

Groups will reject proposal for Southern Tier residents to be human test subjects in fracking experiment

Binghamton- Today, Southern Tier residents were joined by local elected officials, scientists, and health professionals, including Dr. Sandra Steingraber, City of Binghamton Mayor, Matt Ryan, Craig Stevens, resident of Silver Lake Township, Logan Adsit, a Chenango County mother, Gerri Wiley, a Tioga County Registered Nurse and Chris Burger, Chair of Binghamton Regional Sustainaiblity Coalition to denounce Governor Cuomo's rumored plan for a fracking test project.

Governor Cuomo is weighing whether or not to allow fracking in New York State with a decision imminent. Rather than undertake a comprehensive health impact assessment of fracking that would involve transparency and public participation, the Cuomo administration instead hired outside experts to review its own secretive health review. The administration has refused to release any substantive information to the public on its review – nearly all information about it has only become known through leaks to the media – and the outside experts have been silenced by non-disclosure agreements. It has been suggested that the Cuomo administration is considering the approval of a fracking test project with up to 40 wells.  

Isaac Silberman-Gorn with Citizen Action stated “Governor Cuomo: Your entire process has been frustratingly opaque. This is unacceptable, given that our health and well-being is at stake. We call for a comprehensive health impact assessment, with public participation at all every step, starting with the scope of the assessment. A true comprehensive health impact assessment would lead you to the conclusion that fracking cannot be done safely.”

“There is an ongoing demonstration project in my neighborhood.” Said Susquehanna County resident Vera Scroggins. “Industry had drilled nearly 9000 wells and has 3000 violations, with one well having 26.”

Logan Adsit from South Otselic in Chenango County stated: "I am a mother to a one year old little boy. Governor Cuomo seems to be unconcerned about the effects of natural gas drilling on my child’s health and future life on this earth. How do I explain to my son that his town board and his own state Governor had the chance to protect him with a ban on fracking but chose not to purely due to financial incentives? 

Niru Anne, MD, FACS.  Board Certified General Surgeon; Fellowship/Specialty Trained Cancer Surgeon. She is one amongst 6 Surgeons in the entire state of New York to be Certified by the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Stereotactic Biopsy Procedures, and stated: "As a Surgeon Trained in the Biology, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment of Cancer, I am requesting that New York State conduct a comprehensive health impact assessment on the effects of Hydaulic Fractioning prior to considering drilling in our communities.  As Physicians and Scientists we are requesting for data which is currently lacking on the Health Impacts of gas drilling". 

Dr. Sandra Steingraber stated: “"The Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier are two branches of the same tree. We share water, air, and food. And, united, we say no to an industry that uses our land as its factory floor, that wrecks our climate, that offers only the fool's gold of temporary riches for a few and permanent ruin for many. United, we proclaim that any industry that relies on secret chemicals and secret health studies has no business in our community. Governor Cuomo: stand with us."

Vestal Residents forSafe Energy issued the following release:

With so much visible and vocal public opposition to fracking, it is unthinkable that Governor Cuomo may go ahead and approve any plan which opens the Southern Tier to this invasive industry. A recent Siena Poll found more people in the Southern Tier than anywhere else in the State would be unhappy if fracking went forward. There have been repeated calls on the Governor for a more transparent and thorough health review. Residents in the Southern Tier call on the Governor to recognize that if fracking is not safe for the NYC and Syracuse watersheds, it cannot be safe here. Vestal Residents for Safe Energy joins Save The SouthernTier and New Yorkers Against Fracking in opposing any test well project here. We demand that the Governor open up the health review to include public participation and comment, to not finalize the sham sGEIS on February 13th and to let the fatally flawed regulations expire on February 27th. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

NYS Legislature’s Budget Hearing on Environmental Conservation

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissoner Joseph Martens testifies before members of the New York State Legislature. The first video, after a short prelude featuring Sandra Steingraber, shows the hearing up through Commissioner Martens' opening remarks, and then shows fracking-related excerpts only. The second video is the rally which immediately followed the meeting.

NO SGEIS – NO REGULATIONS- NO FRACKING NY February 4th, 2013- Albany, NY
It’s the 11th hour in the fight against fracking. We are faced with a February 13 do or die deadline when the revised Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) will or will not appear in the DEC’s Environmental Notice Bulletin. The SGEIS legally has to age 10 days in order to issue the final Findings Statement and final regulations (the ones we recently commented on) by Feb 27. We need to voice to the Governor that the power of our movement is growing and that allowing fracking in New York would be the fatal mistake of his political career.

The health review currently underway has been done in secret with no public comment or transparency. The Governor needs to open up the review and allow for public participation. By opening up public participation of the health review, he must halt finalization of the SGEIS and subsequently let the proposed regulations expire - this is what needs to happen to allow science, facts, and public health to drive this decision.

This is why we need you back in Albany on February 4th for the NYS Legislature’s Budget Hearing on Environmental Conservation, where the legislature will be able to question DEC Commissioner Martens on their secretive, dysfunctional and undemocratic process. We need to pack the room and be there when DEC Commissioner Martens testifies, starting at 9am and for the entirety of his remarks. Following the Commissioners testimony we will gather in the Million Dollar Staircase for a rally and a press conference to unite as a united front and demand that this fatally flawed process not move forward. We’re asking everyone to wear blue and bring a jar of the clean water from your tap to hold up as well as signs. Our message to Governor Cuomo is this – we are organized and we will not let up or give up.