LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social and ecological injustice

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As co-founder of Global Justice Ecology Project, former co-Director and Strategic Communications Director, now a consult for GJEP, I’m pleased to make this photograph available for some lucky winner. It’s archival, matted and mounted.

I’m also on the International Steering Committee for the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees. I’ve been involved in the fight to stop genetically engineered trees since 1999 and I believe we have to stop this menace to the people, the planet and all of the Earth’s inhabitants.

I took this shot of the Ringed Kingfisher during a very grueling trip to Chile. Prior to taking a break by Lago Tinquilco I was documenting the social and ecological impacts of industrial tree plantations in the country, and their link to the 2017 wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history. It is estimated that eleven people were killed, 1500 houses destroyed, thousands displaced and almost 300,000 hectares acres decimated. The delegation was sponsored by OLCA (Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales). I accompanied the delegation as a photojournalist and a participant.

Photographed at Lago Tinquilco – 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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History is a weapon – lest we forget

On 12 October 1492 Columbus stumbled into the Americas. In his People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn writes of Columbus’ arrival:

Arawak men and women, naked, tawny, and full of wonder, emerged from their villages onto the island’s beaches and swam out to get a closer look at the strange big boat. When Columbus and his sailors came ashore, carrying swords, speaking oddly, the Arawaks ran to greet them, brought them food, water, gifts. He later wrote of this in his log:

They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells. They willingly traded everything they owned… . They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane… . They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.

ABOUT THE ALARM COVER…
This photo was taken at an Earth First! rally and celebration of 500 years of indigenous resistance. Featured is Death riding atop his trusty stead during a takeover of the Burlington Church Street Marketplace and a disruption of the Columbus Day sales happening there. The outstretched hand of death signifies the continuation of the ecological devastation and genocide of native peoples that are soon to lead to the collapse of planet Earth.      Photo: Langelle

What follows occurred twenty-five years ago in October 1992 when I was living in Burlington, VT. This was the 500th year of the beginning of the colonization and genocide against the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. The images and many excerpts are from the 5th issue of the ALARM, a quarterly Northeast Earth First! newsletter (original cover and the article at the end of post). All copy is excerpted from this issue and some thoughts may not be politically correct to 2017 standards. – Orin Langelle

9 October 1992     Vermont Supreme Court Sandbagged

Montpelier, Vermont –  Earth First!, Central Vermont Greens and the All-Species Project joined with representatives of the Abenaki, Cree and Mi’kmaq in front of the Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier to commemorate the resistance and survival of Native Americans since the arrival of Columbus. People were gathered to protest the VT Supreme Court’s recent decision denying the ancestral rights of VT’s indigenous Abenaki, whom stated they lost these rights “due to the increasing weight of history…”

A wigwam was set up close to the steps of the Supreme Court building and a traditional pipe ceremony followed. After a speak-out, hundreds of pounds of sand bags were carried up to the doors of the Supreme Court’s courtroom and those in session were effectively barricaded into their Chambers. Spokesperson Carrie Bioux stated, This was a demonstration to these arrogant bastards of the increasing weight of our resistance.”

Earlier that year, the same Court denied the indigenous Cree’s appeal of the VT contract with Hydro-Quebec. This contract allowed Vermont utilities to buy four billion dollars worth of hydro-electric power from HQ while “washing their hands” of any responsibility for destroying Cree, Inuit, and Innu lifestyles or for the devastation of the James Bay bioregion caused by the construction of the massive La Grande hydroelectric dam project on indigenous land near James Bay, Quebec [which included the “accidental” drowning of 10,000 caribou when water was released from the dam during a migration].

12 October 1992     One arrest; Traffic Blockaded Near Hydro-Project As Protesters Oppose the Columbus Myth and Genocide

Winooski, Vermont – Following the racist decisions of the Vermont Supreme Court, in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Columbus invasion and in solidarity with the Abenaki and the indigenous peoples of James Bay, Earth First! rallied next to the Winooski-One hydro project, under construction in Winooski, Vermont. Winooski-One owner, John Warshaw denied the comparison of himself to Columbus stating there are no indigenous people [in Vermont]. Ironically, Winooski is an Abenaki term meaning “Land where the onions grow.” After the rally, Earth First!ers blocked traffic on the Winooski-Burlington Bridge adjacent to the construction, causing a major traffic jam of Columbus Day Shoppers. 

Anne Petermann (bottom center) with her head on the ground being protected by a protester as a cop (top right) prepares to use numchuks on her in a compliance hold. Photo: Langelle

With the traffic at a standstill, one of the blockaded drivers, off-duty police officer Michael Schirling, lunged his car forward in an attempt to force protesters out of the way. When he screeched to a halt, nearly missing one protester, he leapt out of his car and began flashing his Cop ID ordering people out of the road or be arrested. He then arrested Anne Petermann who was standing on the sidewalk exercising Her First Amendment rights…EF!ers went to her rescue to try and prevent [the cops from taking her to jail]. One cuff was put on Petemann, by now on the ground, but the crowd refused to let her be dragged to the police car. Finally numchucks were used by one cop to attempt to force her compliance. During the melee, Schirling’s wallet mysteriously parted from his body and dove into the Winooski River.  Petermann was later released after being charged with reckless endangerment for refusing to leave the road even though she was arrested on the sidewalk…

Addendum: This was Anne Petermann’s first arrest and she opted for a court trial. Police officers along with Michael Schirling and his fiancee provided conflicting and false information, but Petermann was found guilty. Petermann now lives in Buffalo, NY and has continued organizing to protect forests and working in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples for over a quarter of a century – from the United Nations to the South American rainforests. She is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.

Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling in the shut down Occupy Burlington encampment dismantling parts of the camp prior to the official investigation.
Photo: Langelle

Michael Schirling went on to become Burlington, VT’s Police Chief. During the nationwide Occupy Movement in 2011, a young veteran in the Burlington Occupy camp shot and killed himself. After this tragedy, Occupy protesters were persuaded to come into City Hall to talk about the incident. While they were inside, Schirling ordered the Occupy encampment to be sealed off in police tape. He then proceeded to destroy evidence in the camp before the detective assigned to the case could investigate what had happened.

The Indigenous Peoples of the Americas and globally are under ever greater threat by governments and corporations as the Earth’s “resources” are running out for the materialistic consumer culture of industrialized countries. The struggle for the land continues as Indigenous Peoples continue to claim their sovereignty. Much of the resources left are in/on indigenous territory. Their land is not respected and is only to be used for extraction or trespass, as recently witnessed with the North Dakota Access Pipeline. There is resistance in many places, with the most visible in the U.S. at the Standing Rock encampment…but again the government broke its promise to the Indigenous Peoples there. But resistance to those who destroy the Earth for their own profit is an inspiration…it was and still is from the Zapatista uprising in Chiapas, Mexico in 1994.

NOTE: Indigenous Peoples’ Day – To counter Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a holiday that celebrates the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It is celebrated across the United States, and is an official city and state holiday in various localities around the country. It began as a counter-celebration to the U.S. federal holiday of Columbus Day, which honors European explorer / genocidal maniac Christopher Columbus. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is intended to celebrate Native Americans and commemorate their shared history and culture.

 

Original Cover:

 

Page 6 of the ALARM

Page 6 of ALARM

[Special thanks to friend and colleague, Bron Taylor, by making sure movement writings are secured as history.]

 

 

 

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I moved to Buffalo in 2012 and didn’t realize that in the 90s Buffalo, NY was way ahead in the chic scene.

Buffalo 90s Chic                                                                                                                                Photo: Langelle

Actually on Saturday 16 September, 2017 there was a block party with a 90s theme on Elmwood Avenue between North and Allen Street in Buffalo’s Allentown district. The above photo was one store’s display, but I don’t see the above bearing any resemblance to the 1990s…maybe the 2090s when humans possibly evolved to cope with climate chaos.

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I suppose I was 18 when I first met David. I’m now 66. David was a tremendous influence on my life and when I heard of his passing the other day I cried. I don’t cry much. I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye to Dave, but he said good-bye to me. While I cried came a bolt of lightning and then thunder and then a thunderstorm. For those of you who knew David, you understand that was his way of saying he was off to another journey and he knew I would understand his way of letting me know it was okay.

This bird is not a threat to the Earth. Photographed at Lago Tinquilco – 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.

The last time Dave and I communicated before his passing was about a photo I published entitled “This bird is not a threat to the Earth.” I also posted the photo on Facebook and David commented, “looks like another round goes to the Earth Warrior!…my grandchildren thank you Orin Langelle.” That post and his comment were on July 7, 2017. I thanked him for the comment and then I took a northern hemisphere summer break for about the next two months. When I returned from my break, the news came through that David was no longer a living person on this Earth.

My wife, Anne Petermann, and I were planning a trip to St. Louis next summer and David was someone I very much wanted to see and talk about many things, especially about some of our escapades when we were younger during the horrible Vietnam war era. David and I and others helped feed people almost every Sunday at the Forest Park Pavilion in St. Louis where hundreds gathered to listen to music – especially from peoples’ bands like RUSH (local) who sang songs of protest and rebellion sometimes covering the MC5 with “Kick out the jams, Motherfuckers.”

The goings on of the Sunday gatherings became cat and mouse games between the cops and us. One week they said we had to disperse. We didn’t. Another week the cops came and pulled the plug on the electricity we were “borrowing” from the Pavilion itself to run the sound system. The next week we brought our own generator. That confused the police, but they came back the following week and seized the generator. The next week wasn’t pretty and there was a march to the zoo where some people threatened (tongue in cheek) that they were going to free all the animals – a bunch of pranksters. Yippie! The police stopped the march and no animals were freed, but when the smoke cleared there were fewer functional police cars than before the march was stopped. At least that is what Dave and I were told. I think we stayed at the Pavilion to watch that folks’ belongings left behind weren’t confiscated.

I’ll miss that talk next summer with David as there were so many stories to share – from talking about a future we wanted to see, to watching the fiery splurts of zilches dropping downward by gravity (what was that, you ask?), to roadtrips to Nashville trying to find a skyline. And there are so many more things to say about Dave. We always were looking to find answers. We never stopped. Maybe David is finding them now.

David Agir House, ¡presente!

Much love and respect brother.

–Orin Langelle   15 September 2017

 

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I remember the day I took this photo well. Twenty years ago. On Friday 15 September the probe will be no more. I firmly am against all kinds of stupidity and putting nukes in spaces is insane – in fact anything nuclear is. Look what is still happening in Fukushima, Japan…  – Orin Langelle

Posted by Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP ) staff:

Photo by Orin Langelle. Protester being arrested after locking down to U.S. Senator James Jeffords’ desk, in Burlington, VT to protest the Cassini space launch. (1997)

On Friday, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, used to take pictures of Saturn for nearly 20 years, will thrust towards Saturn’s atmosphere and burn up. NASA made the decision to kill off Cassini amidst concerns that the bus sized structure could contaminate Saturn’s moons.

The photo featured here, taken by Global Justice Ecology Project’s Orin Langelle, shows a Cassini protester being arrested in Burlington, Vermont back in October of 1997. The Cassini rocket was launched with 72 pounds of plutonium — the most ever rocketed into space.

From a 1997 Mother Jones article:

Cassini’s opponents point to the track record of past space missions involving radioactive payloads: Three of 23 such U.S. missions have failed, including the immortalized Apollo 13 lunar mission. NASA notes that in all cases, the nuclear-powered RTGs remained intact.

But Russia hasn’t been so lucky. Six of Russia’s 39 nuclear space missions have failed — just last November, the Russian Mars ’96 spacecraft malfunctioned shortly after launch and hurtled back to Earth. Debris from the craft, including a RTG with a half-pound of plutonium, may have fallen over a wide swath of Chile and Bolivia.

Protesters pointed out that if the rocket exploded on takeoff, or crashed into the Earth, it could permanently irradiate the planet.

Eleven people were arrested when they protested the Cassini launch by carrying 72 lbs. of cow manure into the office of U.S. Senator James Jeffords, a Republican. The protesters chained themselves by the neck to his desk with bike locks. The Burlington Fire Department had to cut the desk apart to remove the demonstrators. There were demonstrations across the U.S. including at Cape Canaveral, the launch site.

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Remnant of a dwelling destryed by wildfires that were the worst in Chile’s history. The fires started in January 2017. It is estimated that eleven people were killed, 1500 houses destroyed, thousands displaced and almost 300,000 hectares acres decimated. Photo: Langelle

My goal in publishing this is to remind people of an historical legacy that began in Chile on 11 September 1973 and continues to this day.

General Augusto José Ramón Pinochet took power in Chile following a United States-backed coup d’état, with the help of the CIA, on 11 September 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected socialist Unidad Popular government of President Salvador Allende and ended civilian rule.

From Wikipedia:

From the start of the new military government harsh measures were implemented. During the period of Pinochet’s rule, various investigations have identified the murder of 1,200 to 3,200 people with up to 80,000 people forcibly interned and as many as 30,000 tortured.According to the Chilean government, the official number of deaths and forced disappearances stands at 3,095.

Under the influence of the free market-oriented neoliberal “Chicago Boys”, the military government implemented economic liberalization, including currency stabilization, removed tariff protections for local industry, banned trade unions and privatized social security and hundreds of state-owned enterprises. These policies produced what has been referred to as the “Miracle of Chile,” but critics state that economic inequality dramatically increased and attribute the devastating effects of the 1982 monetary crisis on the Chilean economy to these policies…

His fortune grew considerably during his years in power through dozens of bank accounts secretly held abroad and a fortune in real estate. He was later prosecuted for embezzlement, tax fraud and for possible commissions levied on arms deals”

Unfortunately the legacy of Pinochet continues. I experienced some of that legacy earlier this year in Chile and published this photo essay, Chile’s 2017 Devastating Fires – The Legacy of Pinochet Continues.

en español: Los Fuegos Devastadores de Chile en 2017 – El Legado de Pinochet Continúa

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puroChamuyo/CuardernosDeCrisis: BOSQUE QUEMADO. PLATA ROBADA. VIDAS SEGADAS

Photo: Langelle

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The harsh reality of destruction due to climate change

Durban, South Africa: On 3 December 2011 thousands of people marched in protest of the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban. Photo: Langelle

6 September 2017 – Hurricane Irma (CAT 5 – 185 mph) just stormed over the Leeward Islands, a group of islands in the Caribbean Basin. The hurricane’s winds will sweep onto Puerto Rico, Cuba and eventually the U.S.

Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas Gulf Coast on Friday, 25 August 2017. Floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere and many areas are still flooded and it will take months, if not years, before all  of the damage is repaired. Not much is mentioned in the corporate media but flooded areas suffered from sewage overflow, along with chemicals and oil. And no one can predict what the overall damage to the ecosystem will end up being.

And just to make things a bit worse in the U.S. west: As Hurricanes Slam The South, Shocking Images Show The Western US Is Literally On Fire.

We live in an age of constant visual and audio bombardment. Maybe I missed a Trump tweet but how many of us know what climate conditions are happening right now on the rest of the planet? It would be bad for business if we all knew the mess we’re in, not just in one place, or two, or three, but all over the Earth.

Can anyone say, “Climate Change?”

Welcome to the new normal.

 

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Photographed at Lago Tinquilco – 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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Tree biotechnology company ArborGen is requesting an unprecedented USDA approval: a genetically engineered (GE) eucalyptus tree, modified to be “freeze tolerant”

Arrest at the 2013 Tree Biotechnology Conference held in Asheville, NC. Photo: Langelle

If approved, this will be the first-ever GE forest tree to be commercially grown in the U.S. and would open the door to many other genetically engineered forest trees like poplar and pine. Massive, unregulated industrial GE eucalyptus plantations containing millions of GE trees would wreak havoc on the environment by destroying natural forests, polluting and depleting water, and endangering biodiversity.  Unfortunately, the Trump USDA has now formally proposed the approval of these dangerous GE trees.

YOU can help stop them! Please sign on below!

Non-native eucalyptus plantations would be huge biologically dead zones devoid of biodiversity. And combined with the hot dry winds of climate change, they become “explosively flammable”–a huge wildfire risk for regions already suffering droughts. Just look at what happened in Portugal’s eucalyptus plantations last week where 64 people were killed.

Trees live for decades to centuries and spread their seeds and pollen over huge distances.  Once released in plantations, these GE trees can never be recalled.

Sign on now to demand the USDA reject these disastrous GMO trees!  Help stop them before it is too late!  The deadline is JULY 5!

Industrial pine plantations have already replaced one in five forested acres in the US South, destroying biodiversity and ecosystems. In the Global South, timber plantations not only destroy forests, they displace Indigenous and poor rural people. If approved by the USDA, GE eucalyptus trees would be the next step in the process of converting native forests to industrial tree farms. GE eucalyptus trees have the potential to wreak havoc by invading native forests, depleting fresh water and being explosively flammable.

Global Justice Ecology Project

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Buffalo, New York
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Published 17 June 2017 / from this online magazine in Buenos Aires, Argentina:

UN MUNDO DE SENSACIONES 17/06/2017BY PUROCHAMUYO

BOSQUE QUEMADO. PLATA ROBADA. VIDAS SEGADAS
Pasaron pocos meses desde los fuegos devastadores que acabaron con 500.000 hectáreas en la región central de Chile. Comenzaron en enero 2017.

El Observatorio Latinoamericano de Conflictos Ambientales (OLCA) patrocinó una delegación internacional de la que formó parte el reportero gráfico norteamericano Orin Langelle, que publica hoy purochamuyo.com / Cuadernos de Crisis sus fotos y su observación.

La delegación internacional de la Campaña Alto a los Árboles Transgénicos* llegó el 20 de marzo a Santiago de Chile para documentar los impactos sociales y ambientales que ha tenido la industria forestal, y sus consecuencias.

*Campaña Alto a los Árboles Transgénicos

Tras los incendios, está la mano de las políticas pinochetistas. Sí. Ahí también. En 1974, a menos de un año del golpe contra el gobierno constitucional de Salvador Allende, se estableció el Decreto Forestal Ley 701, que subvencionó la expansión de los monocultivos de árboles, regalando la Corporación Forestal Nacional. Esto dio inicio a la gran expansión de plantaciones de monocultivos de pino y eucalipto para las fábricas de papel y madera. Desde entonces, muchas corporaciones han comprado tierra, destruyendo los bosques nativos que antes abundaban.

el Decreto Forestal Ley 701,  de Pinochet, subvencionó la expansión de los monocultivos de árboles y regaló la Corporación Forestal Nacional

Mientras la presidente chilena Michelle Bachelet ratificaba la “intencionalidad” de algunos de los incendios desatados en ese país, se confirmaba que había 43 detenidos, 11 muertos y más de 3 mil personas estaban afectadas. 1500 habían perdido su casa y su hacienda.

 

Please go to Argentinian site to see the rest of this photo essay…

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