LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social and ecological injustice

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While staying at Refugio Tinquilco and relaxing after a working investigative trip to Chile, Anne Petermann and I walked down to Lago Tinquilco. It was a brief respite from the forest fires and then traveling southwards to see the  timber plantations encroaching further into Indigenous Mapuche territory we observed earlier this spring.

I photographed this view of Huerquehue Parque Nacional in color intentionally capturing it in black and white (not photo shopped). Maybe this image is an homage to the death and damage of the wildfires started earlier in Chile.

Lago Tinquilco is one of several lagos in Huerquehue Parque Nacional in the La Araucanía Region in southern Chile. Huerquehue Parque Nacional (Spanish pronunciation: [werˈkewe]) is located in the foothills of the Andes, in the Valdivian temperate rainforest.

Huerquehue is a Mapudungun word (the language of the Mapuche people) that means “the messenger’s place”. One of the most noteworthy features Huerquehue Parque Nacional are its ancient Araucaria (Araucaria araucana) forests, the tree commonly known as “monkey puzzle”. These are the backdrop for the clear lagos and lagoons that dot the park, including Lago Tinquilco, which lies in the lower portion of this protected area.

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The feature has been taken off the YouTube page w/o our permission

NEWS on Chile delegation investigation

An international delegation from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees arrived in Sanitago, Chile on 20 March 2017 to document the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the recent wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history.

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This above a one minute trailer for a short video we recently completed about the struggle of Brazil’s MST (Landless Worker’s Movement) against the vast expanses of industrial eucalyptus plantations in the country.

The trailer and the full video is in Portuguese, with Spanish spoken translation and English subtitles.

The video is an interview with an MST militant, Eliane Oliveira, that we conducted in March during a delegation of the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees in Chile.

We were there investigating the social and ecological impacts of industrial timber plantations on people, water, wildfires and ecosystems, as well as the potential for GE tree plantations to worsen these already severe impacts.

We brought Eliane Oliveira and two other organizers from Brazil to speak with the Indigenous Mapuche and other rural communities in Chile about the campaigns waged against eucalyptus plantations and GE trees in Brazil and the overlaps with the struggles against tree plantations in Chile. Eliane spoke about the MST campaign that is taking back land from the plantations to give to landless peasants in Brazil.

This interview emerged from that delegation and those conversations:

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UPDATE: The international delegation from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees (CSGETREES) completed their journey in Chile to document the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the recent wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history.

Reports such as this from Biofuelwatch: Stop GE Trees Delegation Investigate Expansion of Wood-Derived Bioenergy in Chile are starting to be filed. Also posted was a radio interview with Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) and CSGETREES on Pacifica’s flagship station, KPFK, in Los Angeles: GE Trees and Plantations in Chile.

Expect new postings several times a week. GJEP is going to release a video soon of a MST militant who was ob the delegation from Brazil. She speaks about land use, tree plantations, political prisoners and much more.

Please stay tuned to the Chile Blog

Photo of Chilean flag in front of some of the fire devastation. Photo: Langelle

Chile: Water is Life

(Posted while in Chile on the delegation.)

MAPU [Chile]-An international delegation from the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees arrived in Sanitago, Chile on 20 March 2017 to document the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the recent wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history.

The delegation also traveled to Mapu, the ancestral lands of the Indigenous Mapuche (People of the Earth) to investigate the depletion of water caused by the timber plantations and how this loss of water is impacting Mapuche sovereignty and the ability of the people to stay on the lands they have occupied for thousands of years. Only 13% of Mapuche people still live in the countryside, largely due to the loss of water on their lands.  The delegation also examined the impacts on other communities’ water rights, climatic disruption, repression, as well as gender issues and effects on women. Please view the ongoing fact-finding trip on the Chile Blog.

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(Rio Cautín near Temuco, Chile) Before an early morning water ceremony, Alfredo Seguel from Red de Defensa de los Territorios, an Indigenous Mapuche organization, speaks about the significance of this river to the Mapuche and the importance of water to all life.  Photo: Orin Langelle

From Santiago, the delegation traveled to Concepción where it visited communities devastated by massive wildfires.  It also traveled into the countryside to see the impacts on the people and the ecological damage caused by industrial monoculture pine and eucalyptus plantations. Members of the delegation visited several universities and were involved in presentations and community discussions. The delegation was sponsored by OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales).

Due to the water required to grow pines and eucalyptus in the plantations, the communities' water supply is scarce. Photo Orin Langelle

Due to the water used by industrial monoculture plantations of pine and eucalyptus trees, there is a serious lack of water in rural communities, and some communities have no water at all.  Photo Orin Langelle

The community members that the delegation spoke to blamed the timber industry for starting the forest fires for insurance money. Many of the trees were heavily infested by insects and the fires provided insurance money to the industry for their lost trees.

All signs point to the potential in Chile for future plantations of genetically engineered trees, which would make these impacts much worse.

There will be a full report of the findings of the delegation’s investigation.


Additionally on 22 April there will be a gathering and march in Concepción called for by social movements with the theme Water is Life. This is prior to the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s (IUFRO) Tree Biotechnology Conference from 4-9 June in Concepción. Most of the scientific and industry people going to the IUFRO conference are pro-GE Trees.

For more information about the fact-finding trip to Chile with the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees on the Chile Blog.

 

 

 

 

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Peter Beard and Jackie Kennedy Onassis walk through crowd during the opening of The End of the Game – The Last Word from Paradise

MARCH 10, 2017 – The prominent online daily photo magazine L’Œil de la Photographie, of Paris and New York today published all of the photographs from Orin Langelle’s 2015 exhibit The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise – Revisited.

Langelle’s photos document photographer Peter Beard’s first one-person show at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan in 1977, including his 40th birthday party at Studio 54.

The photographs and accompanying article can be viewed in L’Œil de la Photographie
MARCH 10, 2017 – WRITTEN BY Anna Winand:

The End of the Game, Revisited English

Fin de partie – Dernier message du Paradis, Revisité French

About Langelle’s Exhibit:

Over four months Langelle photographed Beard and the people, many celebrities, that were part of Beard’s life prior to and during the exhibit’s installation and the subsequent opening, plus Beard’s 40th birthday party at Studio 54 in January of 1978.

Langelle’s photographs are of events surrounding Beard’s 1977’s The End of the Game. The ICP installation consisted of Beard’s photographs, elephant carcasses, burned diaries, taxidermy, African artifacts, books and personal memorabilia.

In the early 60s Beard worked at Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, during which time he photographed and documented (illegally) the demise of over 35,000 elephants and 5,000 Black Rhinos.

With the support of the Peter Beard Studio, ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery presented this exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Beard’s book, The End of the Game – The Last Word from Paradise.

Langelle’s exhibit can be viewed at ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art

 

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Santiago, Chile (20 March 2017) – I am accompanying this international delegation to Chile to photograph the people and land we travel to. Details of the Chile blog below. – OL

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Slider photo of Volcan Villarrica shot from Parque Nacional Huerquehue, Chile    photo: Langelle

*23 Chile-Z_LANGELLE_logtruckLog truck crossing bridge in Chile                                     photo: Langelle

About our New Chile Blog: Campaign to STOP GE Trees To Document Impacts of Tree Plantations in Chile

The blog page may need to be refreshed from time to time

More information about the fact-finding trip to Chile with the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees:

Ancient Araucaria forest in Chile                                               photo: Petermann 2004

Members of the Steering Committee of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees from four continents will are arriving in Chile from March 20-30 to meet with environmental justice groups and Mapuche communities about the ongoing impacts of industrial tree plantations in Chile, as well as the potential for future plantations of genetically engineered trees to make these impacts much worse.

We will be reporting from Mapuche communities and documenting these impacts on this blog as frequently as we can manage.

Please stay tuned.

Anne Petermann

Coordinator, Campaign to STOP GE Trees

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If you have trouble opening these photos in Safari, please use another browser – thanks – OL

Buffalo, NY–On January 27, CEPA Gallery (Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center) opened the 2017 CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition. Photographers Natalie Dilenno and Orin Langelle received the 2017 Exhibition Awards.

2017 Exhibition Award winner Natalie DiIenno Underground Gallery

2017 Exhibition Award winner Natalie DiIenno
CEPA Underground Gallery

Both Langelle and Dilenno will have a solo exhibit at the CEPA Gallery in 2018. CEPA Gallery’s 2017 Members’ Exhibition features the photography and photo-related work of some of Western New York’s most talented artists.

The exhibit runs until March 4, 2017.

The juror was Maiko Tanaka, the new Executive Director at Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Arts Center.

2017 Exhibition Award winner Orin Langelle Underground Gallery

2017 Exhibition Award winner Orin Langelle
CEPA Underground Gallery

Langelle is the Director of the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art and Langelle Photography in Buffalo, NY. Langelle also serves as the Strategic Communications Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.

Langelle Photography and the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art are part of Global Justice Ecology Project’s Social Justice Media Program.

Orin Langelle is a concerned photographer, who for four decades has been documenting social and environmental struggles.

Since 1972 Langelle has documented peoples’ resistance to war, corporate globalization, ecological destruction and human rights abuses. His first photographic assignment was to cover the protests against the Vietnam War at the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach. Langelle’s Exhibition Award photograph was from that first assignment (below).

Republican National Convention—Miami Beach, FL 1972 Wounded soldier from Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in a wheelchair during protests against the RNC. He was one of over 200,000 U.S. casualties in that war. Photo: Langelle

Republican National Convention—Miami Beach, FL 1972 – Wounded soldier from Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in a wheelchair during protests against the RNC. Photo: Langelle

Langelle says, “I approach my role as concerned photographer by not merely documenting the struggle for social and ecological justice, but by being an active part of it. This has enabled me to garner the trust of many of the subjects I have documented, allowing me access that would not have been possible otherwise. In this way, I have been able to expose the truth that is so often hidden by the powers of injustice.”

He continues, “My work is an historical look at social movements, struggle and everyday life.  It is designed to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer—especially with regard to the history of social and ecological struggles. This is not merely a chronicling of history, but a call out to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a new history.  For there has been no time when such a call has been so badly needed.”

When asked about her Exhibit Award photo, Natalie Dilenno says, “I’ve been studying Yves Kline and appropriated that image because he influences my work so much.”

She continued, “I’ve been making blue artworks recently, so he’s been a major reference for the blue and his concepts that deal with the notion of the ‘void’. A whole. That image is just a more literal explanation of this idea than his blue paintings (and my blue abstract photographs).”

[Note]: Many in the art world consider Yves Klein the most influential, prominent, and controversial French artist to emerge in the 1950s. He is remembered above all for his use of a single color, the rich shade of ultramarine that he made his own: International Klein Blue. Klein (1928 – 1962) said, “The imagination is the vehicle of sensibility. Transported by the imagination, we attain life, life itself, which is absolute art.”


Photographs of Natalie Dilenno and Orin Langelle, courtesy CEPA Gallery.

The CEPA Gallery is located at 617 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203. Viewing hours are Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

More about CEPA after the current exhibits:

Other Exhibits that Opened January 27 at CEPA

 

David Jaan: I See People

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Lingxiang Wu: A Modern Flaneur’s Possession

Linxiang-Wu-Portfolio-Featured-Image

Exterior Views: The Richardson Olmsted Complex

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Located in Buffalo’s historic Market Arcade Complex, CEPA Gallery is a full-service contemporary photography and visual arts center with impact in both the local and national communities serving approximately 300,000 individuals annually.

With four galleries of changing exhibits and events, multimedia public art installations, arts education programs, and an open-access darkroom and digital photo lab, CEPA creates a vibrant presence in the heart of downtown Buffalo.

CEPA’s programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Originally incorporated as the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art to serve as a community darkroom and exhibition space, CEPA Gallery was founded during the Alternative Space Movement in May 1974 by recent graduates of the University of Buffalo.

Throughout its history, CEPA has strived to reflect the creative priorities for working artists, while growing to accommodate the educational and social needs of Western New York’s diverse community. Over the years, CEPA has evolved into a nationally recognized arts center that is truly international in scope, but regional in spirit. It is now one of the oldest and largest not-for-profit photography-based arts centers in the United States.

CEPA remains dedicated to photography and the photo-related and electronic arts, and has developed its programs and opportunities to provide working artists, urban youth, and other individuals with the necessary programs and facilities for the production and reception of contemporary art.

 

 

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Thursday, January 26, 2017
By Staff, Truthout | Op-Ed  “Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission.”

Police stare down protesters attempting to block an entrance to the National Mall as they rally against the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation's 45th president, in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. Among those arrested are at least six media workers covering the protest, who are currently facing felony charges despite lack of individualized probable cause. (Photo: Victor J. Blue / The New York Times)

Police stare down protesters attempting to block an entrance to the National Mall as they rally against the inauguration of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president, in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017. Among those arrested are at least six media workers covering the protest, who are currently facing felony charges despite lack of individualized probable cause. (Photo: Victor J. Blue / The New York Times)

As members of the media, we are appalled by the felony charges that have been brought against journalists arrested on January 20, 2017 while covering protests in Washington, DC, surrounding the inauguration of Donald Trump.

According to the National Lawyers Guild (NLG):

“[T]he Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) unlawfully detained and arrested 222 protesters, bystanders, journalists, and NLG Legal Observers while subjecting them to chemical weapons including tear gas and pepper spray. This violated § 5–331.07, which prohibits kettling and mass arrests and requires police to give dispersal warnings. Despite the media’s focus on isolated incidents of property destruction, MPD indiscriminately targeted people for arrest en masse based on location alone.”

Any unlawful detention and arrest should be condemned. The arrest of journalists, in particular, has a chilling effect on free speech and a free press, at a time when the new White House administration has openly declared itself to be in a “running war” with any critical media.

Other treatment described by the NLG is also to be condemned:

“Police held arrestees at 12th and L St. NW for hours, denying basic needs such as treatment for injuries, water, and access to bathrooms. Police then pepper sprayed, tear gassed and subjected other protesters to concussion grenades without warning, including the elderly, people with disabilities, and children. Most were held overnight, and all were eventually charged with the felony of inciting a riot, despite a lack of individualized probable cause. In addition, phones and other belongings were confiscated by police as evidence, with many protesters only having their wallets returned.  If convicted, the protesters face up to ten years of incarceration and a fine of $25,000.”

At least six media workers are among those facing a felony charge, up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

We believe it is essential that journalists and members of the media be able to cover protests, including disruptive protests that may involve property damage, without risk of arrest and charge simply for being in the “wrong place at the wrong time.”

Our support for these journalists is unequivocal, and we demand that DC authorities drop all charges against them immediately. We condemn this blatant criminalization of journalism and will resist all efforts to control the press.

In solidarity,

Candice Bernd, Truthout
Samantha Borek, Truthout
Kendel Gordon, Truthout
Kelly Hayes, Truthout
Dahr Jamail, Truthout
Mark Karlin, Truthout
Mike Ludwig, Truthout
Joe Macaré, Truthout
Joseph Peterson, Truthout
William Rivers Pitt, Truthout
Alana Yu-lan Price, Truthout
Jared Rodriguez, Truthout
Maya Schenwar, Truthout
Britney Schultz, Truthout
Annie Stoddard, Truthout
Anna Sutton, Truthout
Lauren Walker, Truthout

Jessica Stites, In These Times
Jason Pramas, DigBoston
Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, The Media Consortium
John Knefel, Radio Dispatch
Melissa Gira Grant
James Trimarco, Yes! Magazine
Maya Binyam, The New Inquiry
Ava Kofman, The New Inquiry
Rachel Rosenfelt, The New Inquiry
Aaron Cynic, Chicagoist
Tyler LaRiviere, Chicagoist
Zach D Roberts, The Mudflats
Kit O’Connell
Leslie Thatcher
Adam Hudson
Susie Cagle
Matthew Filipowicz
Eleanor J Bader
Kevin Gosztola, Shadowproof.com
Brian Sonenstein, Shadowproof.com
Mark Hand, DC Media Group
Anne Meador, DC Media Group
John Zangas, DC Media Group
Jes Skolnik
Sarah Jeong
Andrea Grimes, Traitor Radio
Anne Elizabeth Moore
Adam Klasfeld
Lisa Rudman, Making Contact
Steve Pavey, Hope In Focus
Sam Knight, The District Sentinel
Sam Sacks, The District Sentinel
Allison Kilkenny, Citizen Radio
Jesse Hicks
Rick Carp, Rolling Stone
Suzy Exposito, Rolling Stone
Matthew Maitland Thomas, The Montpelier Bridge
Jody Sokolower, Rethinking Schools
Kevin Zeese, Popular Resistance
Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance
Erin Corbett
David Drum
Sarah Jaffe
Sarah Leonard, The Nation
Mickey Huff, Project Censored / Media Freedom Foundation
Mohamed Elmaazi, The Real News Network
Ziggy West Jeffery, The Real News Network
Dharna Noor, The Real News Network
Jaisal Noor, The Real News Network
Kayla Rivara, The Real News Network
Uruj Sheikh, The Real News Network
Gregory Wilpert, The Real News Network
Moira Donegan
Chip Gibbons

Orin Langelle, Langelle Photography

If you are a journalist or other member of the media who would like to add your name to this statement, please email: statement@truthout.org
For more information:

In Trump’s America, “Felony Riot” Charges Against Inauguration Protesters Signal Dangerous Wave of Repression, AlterNet, Sunday, January 22
Two Journalists Covering Inauguration Protests Face Felony Riot Charges, the Guardian, Monday, January 23
Four More Journalists Get Felony Charges After Covering Inauguration Unrest, the Guardian, Tuesday, January 24

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

RELATED STORIES
Pepper Spray and Stun Grenades: Inauguration Offers Preview of Trump-Era Policing
By John Knefel, Truthout | Report

 

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Charges for journalists arrested at protests raise fears for press freedom

Source: StarTribune

By JONAH ENGEL BROMWICH New York Times  JANUARY 25, 2017

At least six journalists were charged with felony rioting after they were arrested while covering the violent protests that took place just blocks from President Donald Trump’s inauguration parade in Washington on Friday, according to police reports and court documents.

The journalists were among 230 people detained in the anti-Trump demonstrations, during which protesters smashed the glass of commercial buildings and lit a limousine on fire.

The charges against the journalists — Evan Engel, Alexander Rubinstein, Jack Keller, Matthew Hopard, Shay Horse and Aaron Cantu — have been denounced by organizations dedicated to press freedom. All of those arrested have denied participating in the violence.

“These felony charges are bizarre and essentially unheard of when it comes to journalists here in America who were simply doing their job,” said Suzanne Nossel, the executive director of Pen America. “They weren’t even in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were in the right place.”

Carlos Lauria, a spokesman and senior program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, called the charges “completely inappropriate and excessive,” and the organization has asked that they be dropped immediately.

“Our concern is that these arrests could send a chilling message to journalists that cover future protests,” Lauria added.

The arrests and charges were reported by the Guardian.

Witnesses reported that sweeping arrests during the parade targeted rioters, protesters and journalists indiscriminately. A lawyer representing dozens of people arrested, Mark Goldstone, told the Associated Press that police had “basically identified a location that had problems and arrested everyone in that location.”

The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington did not immediately respond Wednesday to questions about why the journalists had been arrested and charged along with protesters.

Engel, a Brooklyn-based journalist who writes for Vocativ, a media and technology outlet, was among those charged with felony rioting and released. He said by e-mail Wednesday that he was unable to comment on the case since it was active, but that he was looking forward to the day he could say more.

The document charging Rubinstein, who wrote for RT America, an affiliate of the Russian state-run television network, is identical to that charging Engel: While it says that protesters carrying “anarchist flags” were observed smashing large plate-glass windows at businesses and setting a limousine on fire, it does not accuse any individual journalist of criminal activity.

Court documents for Keller — who works on the documentary series “Story of America” — and for Hopard, Horse and Cantu — who are independent journalists — included similar information.

Jeffrey Light, a lawyer based in Washington who has been working on civil rights and first amendment related cases for about a decade, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of 51 plaintiffs arrested that day against officers from the police department and the park police. The suit accuses the police of surrounding and arresting “not only protesters who had engaged in no criminal conduct, but also members of the media, attorneys, legal observers and medics.”

Lauria, of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said it was all the more alarming that journalists had been arrested.

“A car set on fire, windows broken in downtown businesses: I think that this is important information that the public needs to be informed about,” he said.

He said his organization was concerned about what he called “the sharp deterioration of press freedom in the U.S.,” which he linked to Trump’s campaign, noting that the candidate had “obstructed major news organization, vilified the press and attacked journalists by name with unrelenting hostility.”

All those actions had contributed to a threatening climate for journalists covering the election.

The committee had sought to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during the transition, Lauria said, but that meeting never took place.

“We’ve been in touch with aides, and we’re talking about the possibility of having this meeting in the future,” he said.

Nossel, of Pen America, also linked the charges to a climate fostered by Trump.

“Obviously we were girded for worrisome and troubling developments,” she said. “But the speed, pace and ferocity of the attacks on journalists, the purveying of falsehoods, the silencing of government and agencies that interface with the public — for all that to happen in a matter of days puts us on notice that some of the worst fears may not have been so far-fetched.”

Representatives of Trump did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment Wednesday.

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A skit during a protest in Paraguay condemns Monsanto’s greed. GMOs and agrotoxins have degraded fertile lands and caused loss of biodiversity across the country. Photo: Orin Langelle, Asunción, Paraguay (2014). GFC/PhotoLangelle.org

Despite the dark, deadly past of chemical giants Monsanto and Bayer, a proposed merger between them is expected to be approved, despite a pattern of international war crimes and a trail of dead bodies.

By Ruddy Turnstone, Carolyn Lansom and Theresa Ipolito

This was originally published in Toward Freedom on 23 December 2016.

The authors Ruddy Turnstone and Carolyn Lansom work for Global Justice Ecology Project and Theresa Ipolito co-wrote this piece as a volunteer for GJEP.  You can find their bios at the bottom of this post.   Orin Langelle, GJEP’s Strategic Communications Director, was interviewed for this post.  Langelle’s father was killed by PCB poisoning after Monsanto covered up its deadly impacts for many years.

Bayer and Monsanto are negotiating a possible merger, which would make them one of the biggest, most dangerous companies on the planet.  This article explores the companies’ shocking histories and the possible impacts of such a merger.

Policeman waves away some of the hundreds of demonstrators who descended on the entrance to Monsanto’s world headquarters in the United States near St. Louis, MO. Photo: Orin Langelle, Creve Coeur, MO (2012) GJEP/PhotoLangelle.org

Policeman waves away some of the hundreds of demonstrators who descended on the entrance to Monsanto’s world headquarters in the United States near St. Louis, MO. Photo: Orin Langelle, Creve Coeur, MO (2012) GJEP/PhotoLangelle.org

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On December 8th 2016, the State of Washington’s Attorney General office filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for contaminating rivers, land, air, people and wildlife. 120 bodies of water in Washington were named as suffering from PCB contamination. This recklessness by Monsanto comes at no surprise and is a glimpse as what to expect if the Bayer-Monsanto merger is completed.

From Bayer’s systematic killing of and forced-testing on people in Nazi Germany, to their preventable spread of HIV to thousands, and Monsanto’s deadly development of Agent Orange, PCBs and dioxin, this merger would mark a dangerous new precedent for the biotechnology/biochemical industry if approved.

Together, these two corporations have been responsible for the suffering, torture and deaths of millions.  Communities, organizations, small farmers and social movements are working to resist these corporations, and have made a resounding rejection of their merger.

bayer-monsanto-timeline

Bayer and Monsanto Timeline of Key Events. Supplemental links to timeline below. Credit: Ruddy Turnstone

Bayer, Monsanto, Heroin and PCBs–the early years

Bayer, based in Germany, became famous for producing the headache-relieving drug Aspirin in 1899. In 1897, heroin also gained traction with the public, as Bayer was the first to commercially manufacture it. Bayer coined it “Heroin” for the “Heroic” effects upon its first volunteers – Bayer’s very own factory workers. Bayer marketed Heroin as a drinkable health tonic and a remedy for coughing fits. Today, heroin is a key player in the drug abuse epidemic (1).

The first well-documented incident of Monsanto’s disregard for human health, originated with the manufacturing of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). In 1935, Monsanto purchased the Swann company to sell PCBs used to make coolant fluids and as components for electrical transformers and motors. Monsanto contracted licenses to manufacture PCBs in the US and internationally, including to Bayer in Germany. In 1979, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the manufacture of PCBs, ruling that they caused cancer in humans and animals.

In 1957, Monsanto considered the chemicals toxic enough to give workers protective gear and clothing, and encourage them to hose off after each shift. Monsanto researchers and executives began writing confidential memos describing their fears about the chemicals’ toxic effects, but drafted plans for continuing to sell them despite these suspicions.”

Monsanto and other companies exchanged information about the impacts PCBs had on workers, but decided profit was more important.

Orin Langelle, photojournalist and co-founder of Global Justice Ecology Project explains what Monsanto’s actions meant to workers and their families: “My father worked at Wagner Electric in Wellston, Missouri as a journeyman machinist. He worked around transformers that used PCBs as insulating oil. In 1980 he died of malignant melanoma, which PCBs cause. Other workers in his section of the factory died as well and Wagner quickly closed its doors. It wasn’t until years later that the families of the dead workers put it together that all of these deaths were connected to Wagner’s use of PCBs, but Wagner was long gone by then. This was devastating to the families.”

The Wagner Electric plant closed in 1983, receiving a $3 million tax credit in exchange for donating it’s 55-acre site to St. Louis County. The Wellston Loop newspaper wrote:

But it also left behind a legacy of toxic waste. PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) were discovered on the site, and although Wagner ultimately paid St. Louis County $2 million, the site remained contaminated.”

Langelle stated, “I will always hold Monsanto responsible for my father’s death as those bastards at Monsanto knew the risks posed to workers for many years, but corporate profits were more important than workers, so they just let the workers go on dying.”

To read the entire article, visit Toward Freedom

Biographies of the Authors

Ruddy Turnstone is a campaigner for Global Justice Ecology Project working to ban genetically engineered trees. A half-Indian from the southeastern so-called U.S., she also trains in climbing for protest. Full bio see here: http://globaljusticeecology.org/about/who-we-are/

Theresa Ipolito has a masters degree in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. Her areas of research include primate behavior, natural resource management, and environmental health.

Carolyn Lansom – With a BFA in Theater Performance and BA in English this outdoor enthusiast is happy that her experiences brought her to work with the Global Justice Ecology Project in early 2016. Having traveled extensively in Asia post-college she is motivated to help in any way she can to bring forward environmental issues to the public eye.

The above article was also posted by Global Justice Ecology Project on 23 December 2016.

Woman holding photo of baby whose condition is blamed on the dumping of agrotoxins is is shown during a rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 December 2014. PhotoLangelle.org

Woman holding photo of baby whose condition is blamed on the dumping of agrotoxins is is shown during a rally in Asunción, Paraguay, 3 December 2014. GFC/PhotoLangelle.org

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THE COLLECTIVE NEWS

MARK RHOADES   December 1, 2016

Two women sit about face as your eyes are led down the sidewalk. The majority makes strides to move forward seeing their own personal idea of change. Fists form in a sea of bobbing heads.

Two women sit about face as your eyes are led down the sidewalk. The majority makes strides to move forward seeing their own personal idea of change. Fists form in a sea of bobbing heads.

On “If Voting Changed Things” exhibit with Orin Langelle

By: Staff Writer

Orin Langelle has opened up an art exhibit on Buen Vivir gallery located at 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY entitled “If Voting Changed Things.” Langelle is featuring photos he took inside and outside of the 1972 Republican convention, as well as photos from the 2004 Democratic and Republican conventions. The exhibit opened on October 7th and there is a daily stream of visitors coming in to view the work.

Langelle worked with Cornell Capa (brother to famed war photographer Robert Capa) and the International Center of Photography in Manhattan earlier in his career. One of the big things he learned in New York is to take meaningful photos. Langelle takes a situational approach to his photography– his interaction with subjects ranges from none at all to in-depth.

Orin has made it a goal of his work to document dissent and protest.  He says it is very important for people to become politically active in their communities. When asked about his work overall, he said “I’ve documented a lot of protests, they have been one of the main themes of my life. There have been major anti-globalization protests and there have been laws passed in this country to crack down on protests.”

Opposition to war in Vietnam brought many to protest the 1972 Republican convention. Vietnam Veterans Against the War, (VVAW) were a powerful organization that held attention of the American public.  Langelle notes that “some [Vietnam War Veterans] threw their medals over the White House gate.” The public was becoming more aware with America’s role in world affairs and some held a critical view of America’s approach to foreign affairs. The Women’s movement, environmental movement, and a growing open recognition of the LGBT community added fuel to the fire ofthe 1972 as well.

Langelle covered protests outside of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions in 2004. The Democratic convention had what were called ‘Free Speech Zones’: “Protesters weren’t allowed anywhere near the convention, they were allowed in an area called the protest pit.  It’s one thing to protest where people will see you; it’s another thing to protest in a hole where no one will see.”

He was also allowed inside the 2004 convention. Langelle talked about a Photo of John Kerry and John Lennon together posted at the entrance of the 2004 Democratic convention, calling it “very interesting because of Kerry’s views on the Iraq war.” Despite his time inside the convention center, he “went to the republican and democratic conventions to see what was going on in the streets, because the political process in this country, to me, is entirely broken.”

When asked about the Republican Convention in 2004, Langelle shared his experience of talking with New Yorkers. There “were a lot of different protests going on simultaneously, there was an emphasis on AIDS and healthcare, and the climate. It just wasn’t the war in Iraq but that did get a lot of people there. By being in New York, I learned new Yorkers were outraged that Bush had a convention there. They were outraged Bush was using 9/11 for rhetoric.”

Langelle feels that “between 1972 and now, things have gotten worse over time.” He says the biggest difference between 1972 and now is the resistance put up against the political and economic system. When speaking about young men of color drafted during the war, he said “why should I, when discriminated against here, go over and kill people that are another color than white over there”?

Langelle has spent years taking photos of indigenous peoples and their experience with climate change. He can get to places where few photographers are. For instance, he was invited to Paraguay to document what was happening to the locals in the country:

“I was able to photograph the first, what they’re now calling concentration camps of the Ayoreo people in Paraguay. These tribes are moving further and further away from civilization. I was asked to come in from the leader of the community to take pictures. He wanted me to see what he saw. I made sure the photos I took went back to their community.”

Langelle says there are “tremendous problems in this country with climate change… Nothing is being done about the situation in a proactive way by any government.” He believes people now are realizing that the earth is finite, for too long resources were taken out of the earth with no regard to their use. In Orin’s view, “Too few politicians are representing the needs of the working class and the planet. Only regular people can address the climate crisis because government will not make systemic change.”

Langelle’s work provides a perspective on the world that is becoming more recognized by the public.  He says “we don’t think we live in a democracy and I don’t think we live in a democracy because we don’t have a well-informed public, and we don’t have a well-informed public because the media is controlled by corporate entities.” He presents the example of working in St. Louis for public radio. Orin wanted the station to cover a story on Monsanto, but they would not do so because the station was receiving funding from Monsanto Corporation.

We asked Langelle which big issues he felt were not addressed in the 2016 general election cycle. He would have liked to see more discussion America’s problems with the healthcare system, prison population, systemic racism and climate change

He is working on archiving his photos for future generations. Langelle finds it important that photographers and journalists leave their work to history to be viewed and interpreted by others: “People say [to me] you work for non-profits, therefore,you’re not an objective journalist. Well no, I’m not an objective journalist. I don’t believe there are any objective journalists.  What about the people working for the New York Times? They’re being paid by corporations. I’m trying to tell the truth about what I see.”

The art exhibit will be pushed on social media and in his international network of contacts more than it has been before now that Election Day is approaching.  The exhibit’s closing reception takes place the first Friday, December 2nd, 2016, from 6-9 p.m. The gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.

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The following is from Indigenous Environmental Network‘s Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director. This is the best analys pieces I’ve seen on yesterday’s decision of the government basically ‘standing down.’ (The government at least standing down for the moment). – OL

Water Protectors ‘Cautiously Hopeful’ After Army Corps Decision on DAPL

15202726_10154183099960642_8835988704842619369_nOur network is singing the victory song at the moment with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and thousands in the Oceti Sakowin Camp. However, we are cautiously hopeful that this is a total win. Dakota Access LLC pipeline (DAPL) will likely appeal the Army Corp’s decision, or go rogue and proceed to drill under the river/lake. If they appeal, this would mean the incoming President Donald Trump and his Administration would become the decision makers of this pipeline. Trump promotes fast-tracking and would probably reject any recommendations for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). It doesn’t look good. We might be here for the long haul.

If DAPL goes rogue and proceeds to drill under the river/lake, they could risk investers bailing. They will be closely monitored. They have indicated they will remain commited to finishing the current pipeline project. We will continue our prayers and ceremonies. We must continue the divestment campaign and initiate all options to cut the head off this black snake.

On another potential front, we suspect Trump will try to bring back the Trans-Canada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline development that was previously halted in the upper plains.

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