LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

On the morning of Thursday 28 December the Mapuche communities of Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez mobilized to defend their land occupation after Carabineros de Chile (national police) fired metal-filled rubber pellets and injured several people at the blockade.

After the photo essay, a short video follows.

All photos by Orin Langelle and video by Anne Petermann.

With the momentum of the national uprising across Chile, two weeks ago, two Mapuche communities near Curacautin, Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez began an occupation of 1500 hectares of ancestral lands.

Carabineros illegally stop and prevent traffic from continuing on the road that passes the Mapuche land occupation outside of Curacautin.

The public road is also the main route to Conguillio National Park in Chile.

After an emergency call from the Mapuche occupation about the Carabineros attacking, we were stopped by them at a road block on our way back to help. Alejandra Parra from Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales (RADA) and Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) were allowed to proceed on foot several kilometers to the blockade while Biofuelwatch’s Gary Hughes and GJEP’s Orin Langelle were guided by Mapuche toward the blockade by way of a back road.

Mapuche men guarding another back entrance into the blockade

Mapuche put cut trees and debris on the road

These logs block the road coming from Curacautin

At one of the entrances to the occupation

Mapuches on guard

Mapuches going into the main entrance where the shootings occurred earlier that day

One of the men shot earlier that morning returns to camp and is videoed by Anne Petermann and Alejandra Parra

The man was shot in the head with metal-filled rubber pellets by the Carabineros earlier in the morning.

Mapuche Lonko Juan Huenuhueque of Liempi Colipi raises his fist as the imminent threat fades of the Carabineros coming to evict the Mapuche communities from their ancestral lands.

TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS VIDEO

We want to make a public statement to the Chilean territory, to Mapuche people, to the whole country, to inform about this situation where riot policemen have done things here in the Liempi Colipi community, in the district of Curacautín, La Araucanía region. They have entered the community today-the riot policemen-without any previous dialogue, any eviction order. When we reached them to have a conversation, they started shooting tear gas canisters. They started shooting at us, and one of them passed by no more than fifteen meters away from me. So, we make a public statement for you to be aware of this. There are more injured peñis, on their arms, on their stomach, in their tummy. So, we encourage you to pay attention to this, to be prepared because the riot police officers are coming after us again. Marichiweu! (We shall win a hundred times in Mapudungun!)”

 

 

Leave a comment

Posted In CLIMATE JUSTICE NEWS December 4, 2019 by

Women involved in the protests taking place across Chile have been targeted for sexual abuse and rape by the Chilean National Police (carabineros), leading to marches around the country demanding an end to violence against women. Photo: Langelle/photolangelle.org

Excerpt From Human Rights Watch, Chile: Police Reforms Needed in the Wake of Protests – Excessive Force Against Demonstrators, Bystanders; Serious Abuse in Detention

The police detained more than 15,000 people and ill-treated some of them.

Of 442 criminal complaints filed by the National Human Rights Institute on behalf of victims of abuse, 341 refer to allegations of torture and inhumane treatment and 74 of sexual abuse. Many detainees allege they were brutally beaten by police. Another of the most common allegations was that police forced detainees, including children, to undress and squat fully naked in police stations, a practice banned by police protocols in March 2019 but that still occurs, including before the protests.

The police appear to be more likely to force women and girls to strip than men, based on data that the National Human Rights Institute collected and interviews Human Rights Watch conducted. A Chilean human rights lawyer told Human Rights Watch of a case in which men and women were detained in the same circumstances, but only women were forced to undress, and cases of police touching women’s genitalia after they were forced to strip.

For the full piece, go to: https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/11/26/chile-police-reforms-needed-wake-protests

Leave a comment

 From Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch

For Immediate Release                             2 December 2019                             Español abajo

Contact: Steve Taylor in the U.S. +1.314.210.1322 / In Chile: Anne Petermann (English) +1.716.364.1188 / Gary Graham Hughes (Spanish and English) +1.707.223 5434

As UN Climate COP launches in Madrid Activists in Chile Demand Rejection of Neoliberal Model and Removal of Chile from COP Presidency

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Abandons Plans to Travel to Madrid for COP25

Due to Threat of Detention for Human Rights Abuses

Santiago, Chile–While the annual UN Climate Summit (COP25) commences in Madrid, protesters across Chile, the country in which the COP was originally planned, are demanding that Chile be stripped of the Presidency of COP 25 due to the human rights abuses happening in Chile. At the same time, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón has threatened to have Chile’s President Piñera detained if he attempts to enter the country.

Man shot in the head with a rubber bullet by the Chilean National Police. On the morning of 26 November Carabineros moved into Liempi Colipi and tried to force the Mapuche off their ancestral lands. Some were shot and released and another was hospitalized. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Protesters are rising up against Chile’s neoliberal model, imposed under the Pinochet dictatorship. More than two dozen people have been killed in the protests and hundreds have lost eyes as Carabineros de Chile (national police) intentionally shoot metal-filled rubber bullets shotgun-style at people’s heads.

Chilean and Indigenous Mapuche protesters explain that they are not seeking simple reforms. “We are not marching for social reforms,” said Mapuche elder Ana Llao, “we are marching for a total change of the system!”

Mapuches point out that political repression has been going on against them for decades, and escalated under the Pinochet regime, when vast expanses of their territory were stolen and turned into industrial monocultures of non-native pine and eucalyptus for pulp and paper companies.

Mapuche communities have long resisted this land theft, with Mapuches being attacked, murdered or jailed as recently as 2018. In November 2018, an unarmed Camilo Catrillanca was shot in the back of the head and killed by Carabineros. In April 2018, Mapuche Lonko (leader) Alberto Curamil was arrested on trumped up charges after years of fighting deforestation and successfully stopping two hydro-electric dams. In 2019 he was awarded the coveted Goldman Environmental Prize. As the COP begins, Lonko Curamil’s trial continues in Temuco, Chile.

In April 2018, Mapuche Lonko (leader) Alberto Curamil was arrested on trumped up charges after successfully stopping two hydro-electric dams. In 2019 he won awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize. As COP25 begins, Lonko Curamil’s trial continues in Temuco, Chile. He is facing 50 years in prison for a crime for which there is a total lack of evidence. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

“There is a political problem of permanent violence executed by the state regarding Mapuche people here in Wallmapu. The Chilean state has repressed, shot people in the back, and imprisoned them permanently. We live under a model of dispossession and exploitation–of misery–that has not only attacked Mapuche people but all Chileans,” said Rodrigo Román, attorney for Lonko Curamil.

With the momentum of the national uprising, two weeks ago, two Mapuche communities near Curacautin, Liempi Colipi and Quilape Lopez began an occupation of 1500 hectares of ancestral lands. They have been attacked by the police twice, with some members injured and others hospitalized. Referring to a series of hydroelectric projects planned for rivers throughout Mapuche territory, including the sacred Rio Cautin, Juan Ramón said, “Chile has now moved on from stealing our land to stealing our water.”

Alejandra Parra of Environmental Rights Action Network (RADA) points out, “Chile provides a warning to the world. Our environment and people are already being devastated by these neoliberal ‘climate solutions’ being lifted up by the Chilean Presidency at COP25. From hydroelectricity that steals our rivers, to electric cars, solar panels and industrial wind farms that ravage our mountains and deserts for lithium and copper, to the expansion of tree plantations onto Indigenous lands for the ‘bioeconomy’–Chile shows why ‘climate action’ cannot be motivated by profits.”

The neoliberal model has long been a feature of the climate COPs in the form of REDD, carbon offsets and other carbon market schemes, but this year under Chile’s leadership, it is rising to new prominence in the form of “Natural Climate Solutions.” These so-called solutions have been condemned as the commodification of the Earth for the purpose of creating vast quantities of carbon and biodiversity offsets designed to enable climate-destroying business as usual under the pretense of climate action.

##

 


De Global Justice Ecology Project y Biofuelwatch

Contacto: Steve Taylor en los EE. UU. +1.314.210.1322 / En Chile: Anne Petermann (inglés) +1.716.364.1188 / Gary Graham Hughes (español e inglés) +1.707.223 5434

Mientras se lanza la COP del clima de la ONU en Madrid, Activistas en Chile exigen el rechazo del modelo neoliberal y la remoción de Chile de la presidencia de la COP

El presidente chileno, Sebastián Piñera, abandona los planes de viajar a Madrid para la COP25

Debido a la amenaza de detención por abusos contra los derechos humanos

Santiago, Chile – Mientras la Cumbre climática anual de la ONU (COP25) comienza en Madrid, los manifestantes en todo Chile, el país en el que se planeó originalmente la COP, exigen que Chile sea despojado de la Presidencia de la COP25, debido a las violaciones de los derechos humanos que han ocurrido en Chile. Al mismo tiempo, el juez español, Baltasar Garzón, ha amenazado con detener al presidente de Chile, Piñera, si intenta ingresar al país.

Los manifestantes se están alzando contra el modelo neoliberal de Chile que fue impuesto bajo la dictadura de Pinochet. Más de dos docenas de personas han muerto en las protestas y cientos han perdido los ojos ya que Carabineros de Chile (policía nacional) ha disparado intencionalmente balas de goma llenas de metal, al estilo de una escopeta, a la cabeza de las personas.

Un hombre recibió un disparo en la cabeza con una bala de goma de la Policía Nacional de Chile. En la mañana del 26 de noviembre, la Policía Nacional de Chile se trasladó a Liempi Colipi e intentó obligar a los mapuche a abandonar sus tierras ancestrales. Algunos fueron baleados y liberados y otro permanecieron en el hospital. Foto: Orin Langelle / GJEP

Los manifestantes chilenos e indígenas mapuche explican que no buscan reformas simples. “No estamos marchando por reformas sociales”, dijo la anciana mapuche Ana Llao, “estamos marchando por un cambio total del sistema”.

Los mapuches señalan que la represión política ha estado en su contra durante décadas, y se intensificó bajo el régimen de Pinochet, cuando grandes extensiones de su territorio fueron robadas y convertidas en monocultivos industriales de pino y eucalipto no nativos para empresas de pulpa y papel.

Las comunidades mapuche han resistido este robo de tierras durante mucho tiempo, con mapuches siendo atacados, asesinados o encarcelados en 2018. En noviembre de 2018, Camilo Catrillanca, desarmado, recibió un disparo en la espalda, siendo asesinado por Carabineros. En abril de 2018, el mapuche Lonko (líder) Alberto Curamil fue arrestado por cargos falsos después de años de combatir la deforestación y detener con éxito dos represas hidroeléctricas. En 2019 fue galardonado con el codiciado Premio Ambiental Goldman. Mientras comienza la COP, el juicio de Lonko Curamil continúa en Temuco, Chile.

En abril de 2018, el mapuche Lonko (líder), Alberto Curamil, fue arrestado por cargos falsos después de haber detenido dos represas hidroeléctricas exitosamente. En 2019 fue galardonado con el codiciado Premio Ambiental Goldman. Cuando comienza la COP25, el juicio de Lonko Curamil continúa en Temuco, Chile. Ahora enfrenta 50 años de prisión por un delito por el cual hay una ausencia absoluta de evidencia que lo relacione con los eventos en cuestión. Foto: Orin Langelle / GJEP

“Existe un problema político de violencia permanente ejecutada por el estado con respecto a los mapuche aquí en Wallmapu. El estado chileno ha reprimido, disparado a las personas en la espalda y los ha encarcelado permanentemente. Vivimos bajo un modelo de despojo y explotación, de miseria, que no solo ha atacado al pueblo mapuche sino a todos los chilenos ”, dijo Rodrigo Román, abogado de Lonko Curamil.

Con el impulso del levantamiento nacional, hace dos semanas, dos comunidades mapuche cerca de Curacautín, Liempi Colipi y Quilape López comenzaron una ocupación de 1500 hectáreas de tierras ancestrales. Han sido atacados por la policía dos veces, con algunos miembros heridos y otros hospitalizados. Al referirse a una serie de proyectos hidroeléctricos planificados para ríos en todo el territorio mapuche, incluido el sagrado Río Cautín, Lonko Juan Ramón dijo: “Chile ha pasado de robar nuestra tierra a robar nuestra agua”.

Hombres mapuche bloquean una entrada trasera a la comunidad mapuche Liempi Colipi, cerca de Curacautín. Una ocupación de 1500 hectáreas de tierras ancestrales comenzó hace dos semanas. Han sido atacados por la policía dos veces, con algunos miembros heridos y otros hospitalizados. Foto: Orin Langelle / GJEP

Alejandra Parra of Red de Acción por los Derechos Ambientales (RADA) dijo: “Chile proporciona una advertencia al mundo. Nuestro entorno y nuestra gente ya están siendo devastados por estas “soluciones climáticas” neoliberales que la Presidencia chilena en la COP25 está impulsando. Desde la hidroelectricidad que roba nuestros ríos, autos eléctricos, paneles solares y parques eólicos industriales que arrasan nuestras montañas y desiertos en busca de litio y cobre, hasta la expansión de plantaciones de árboles en tierras indígenas para la ‘bioeconomía’- Chile muestra por qué la ‘acción climática’ no puede ser motivada por las ganancias “.

El modelo neoliberal ha sido durante mucho tiempo una característica de las COP climáticas en forma de REDD, compensaciones de carbono y otros esquemas del mercado de carbono, pero este año bajo el liderazgo de Chile, está adquiriendo un nuevo protagonismo en forma de “Soluciones climáticas naturales”. Las llamadas soluciones se han condenado como la mercantilización de la Tierra con el propósito de crear grandes cantidades de compensaciones de carbono y biodiversidad diseñadas para permitir negocios que destruyen el clima, como siempre, bajo la pretensión de una acción climática.

###

 

Global Justice Ecology Project, 266 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222, USA

Leave a comment
The Mapuche community of Lautaro is threatened by a waste-to-energy incinerator that claims to produce “clean, renewable energy” in a town that already has a biomass burning plant. This march was held on the last day of a public comment period to deliver thousands of comments against the project. All photographs: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Alejandra Parra of RADA, the Environmental Rights Action Network speaks about the project at the march.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GLOBAL JUSTICE ECOLOGY & BIOFUELWATCH TEAM IN CHILE:

CHILE CLIMATE NEWS

2 Comments

Sentiment during the uprising. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Orin Langelle-23 November 2019

Photographer’s note: Upon arriving at our hotel in Santiago, Anne Petermann and I hooked up with Biofuelwatch’s Gary Hughes. We headed toward the mass action up the street. Even though thousands of people have been detained, over twenty killed and over 200 people with serious injuries to their eyes, yesterday afternoon was energizing to say the least.

Not too far down the street I smelled tear gas and also smelled the smoke of marijuana. People, some masked, walked with a defiance that was amazing. Streets were clogged with protesters. In areas of green space people rested, played music, sang and others formed a circle dance.

This is a revolution. Grim but with a sense of humor and high spirits. Emma Golman came to my mind with her famous comment, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be in your revolution.”

And this is a revolution without single leaders.

Police vehicle. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Vendors. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Remembering a person who was killed. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Police vehicle shooting water at protesters. Note the person on the left who just threw the bottle that can be seen headed towards police vehicle. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Protesters scatter from water spray. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Headed toward major confrontation. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

The almost ever present tear gas rises in the upper right hand corner of the photo. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Person climbing to try and pry sheet metal from building to use for shields against “rubber” bullets. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Masked person looks toward the street. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

Vendors continue as tear gas wafts. Photo: Orin Langelle/GJEP

PLEASE FOLLOW THE GLOBAL JUSTICE ECOLOGY & BIOFUELWATCH TEAM IN CHILE:

CHILE CLIMATE NEWS

2 Comments

Slider photo of Volcan Villarrica shot from Parque Nacional Huerquehue, Chile. photo: Langelle/GJEP-photolangelle.org

Listen to Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project, talk about COP 25 and recent events in Chile here.

Stay tuned for the latest news from the Global Justice Ecology Project and Biofuelwatch’s joint team going that will be reporting on current events from uprising on Chile Climate News.

Leave a comment

 

 

Annie Lorie (left) led a delegation of Rural Coalition board members to the Forest & Climate Convergence. These board members are included in this KPFK interview that was recorded during the convergence. Photo: Langelle/photolangelle.org

This one-hour special aired Tuesday 12 November on the nationally syndicated Sojourner Truth show on Pacifica’s flagship KPFK live from The Resurgence: North American Forest & Climate Movement Convergence at the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois.

The convergence was organized by the Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP), Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) and Shawnee Forest Defense! as a call to action to plan for the future.

Panelists include members from the Rural Coalition, a partner in the effort to stop the release of genetically engineered trees into forests.

GJEP partners with the Sojourner Truth show every Wednesday on Earth Minute and every Thursday on Earth Watch.

Leave a comment

Caption: The passing of the Forest Ordinance 701 (Decreto Ley 701) in 1974, during the reign of General Augusto Pinochet, subsidized the expansion of tree plantations, giving away the National Forestry Corporation. This initiated the quick expansion of monoculture plantations of pine and eucalyptus trees for paper manufacturing and timber. Since then, many corporations have bought land and destroyed the once abundant native forests.  Photo: Langelle/GJEP

Note: The following piece was written by GJEP ally Biofuelwatch to explain the deep connections between the massive popular uprising in Chile against the countries crushing neoliberal policies, land grabs and repressive laws left over from the Pinochet Dictatorship–policies that still govern the nation.  Chile was to be the perfect host for the UN Climate COP which has as its focus the expansion and further legitimization of market-based policies based on the neoliberal commodification of the earth, an expansion of industrial tree plantations as a “natural climate solution” and more unjust forest carbon offsets.

Today Chile announced it will not host the COP due to the peoples’ uprising. – Anne Petermann published the following at the GJEP SITE

¡El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido!

Chile and COP 25: Prioritizing Equity Means Addressing Injustice of Monoculture Tree Plantations

Biofuelwatch staff members have been watching recent events in Chile very closely in preparation for participation in events around COP 25, planned for Santiago in early December. Here is the first in what we hope to have as a series of brief postings on the extremely fluid and rapidly changing political landscape in Chile and how it impacts the substance and dynamics of the United Nations climate meetings.

by Gary Hughes, Biofuelwatch

Recent events in Chile have put the upcoming United Nations climate meetings in Santiago de Chile in doubt. In a fully unexpected convulsion of street action and spontaneous mass protest, the nation of Chile has passed from being a global symbol celebrating corporate globalization and economic modernity into a bonfire of disturbance at the center of a continent wide fever of social unrest. In little more than a week the actions in Chile progressed from an animated and aggressive student protest against subway fare hikes to a nationwide mobilization demanding structural changes in what is one of the most economically unequal societies on the planet.

This unrest in Chile has taken the global climate policy establishment by total surprise. No one thought that in the weeks immediately previous to international climate meetings Chile would enter an unprecedented phase of political action dedicated to exposing the erroneous assumptions underpinning the glitter and shine facade of a predatory economic model.

Plans for holding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 25th Conference of Parties in Santiago de Chile only arose because of the climate denying Bolsonaro regime in Brazil discarding their opportunity to hold the COP 25. Holding COP 25 in Santiago de Chile was received as an exciting solution by the United Nations. Current Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, always the salesman, who was looking for another opportunity to sell the world on the Chilean economic miracle, proposed the option.

And, “why not?” thought the global economic elite that controls the UNFCCC process. Chile is after all a country that has long been held up as a success story for the new global economy, the “tiger” of Latin America. Holding COP 25 in Santiago de Chile, the capitol of free market ideology, was going to be an opportunity to highlight the future of markets-based climate policy and the supposed role of the private sector in raising “ambition” for climate “action.”

Yet, the harsh reality of a free market economic system that benefits a small elite with immeasurable wealth while relegating multitudes of vulnerable and marginalized communities to a permanent state of precariousness raised it’s head and upended not only normality in Chile, but also in the UNFCCC process.

Chile is now living its most serious political crisis in decades, since the departure of the military government in 1990. A ‘state of exception’ was declared, a curfew implemented in many regions through out the length of the country, and the military was called into the streets of a nation understandably traumatized by the violence of an unrepentant military dictatorship. Police and army troops have been indiscriminate in their use of violence against the people on the streets. Thousands of people have been detained, hundreds of people shot and injured, and at least 20 people have died, including fatalities due to the repressive actions of the authorities. The United Nations has sent a mission to Chile to investigate the reports of human rights abuses.

The Chilean people responded to the violence and the suspension of their basic rights by coming out in droves on Friday Oct 25 in what was by far the largest street demonstration in the history of the country, with as many as 1.5 million people filling the main boulevard of Santiago demanding structural changes to address severe economic inequity and the injustice of a political constitution written and established during the military government.

Front and center to this historic uprising are the demands of those communities, especially the indigenous Mapuche peoples of the south of the country, who are living on a daily basis with environmental injustice. For the Mapuche nation it is the reversal of the land grabbing and usurpation of territory perpetuated by the highly monopolized monoculture tree plantation industry that is central to their demands for structural change. It is this festering sore of environmental injustice and how COP25 should respond to inequity that has now been raised to a level of importance that would have been nearly impossible without this organic uprising in Chile against a predatory economic model.

Hosting COP25 in Chile was from the moment it was announced a concern for communities, in Chile and around the world, that advocate bringing an end to the ecological damage and cultural genocide that are embedded in the exotic tree species plantation model. Communities were facing head on the dilemma of whether COP25 would be leveraged to greenwash inequality in Chile and elsewhere by not only ignoring the realities on the ground of the “green desert” of the destructive monoculture plantation model, but in advancing policy that would perpetuate and further expand this model as a climate “solution.”

The sad truth is that due to the incessant policy and rhetorical focus on “natural climate solutions,” and the prevalence of “markets-based mechanisms” embedded in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, there are still many indications from the global climate establishment that exotic trees species plantations are actually considered a climate solution – contesting these perverse assumptions about plantations was going to be an imperative for civil society engaging with COP25 and parallel activities.

The uprising in Chile has now raised the issue of equity and social justice in the UNFCCC process to a level that would have been impossible in status-quo conditions. In that sense the recent “despertar” (awakening) in Chile could very well be the best thing that could have ever happened for affected communities to hold COP25 accountable, regardless of whether the meetings actually happen in Chile or not – now the question of equity is clearly nested in the question of whether or not the social unrest makes even holding the COP25 in Santiago de Chile a viable option.

It is untenable that holding COP25 in Chile be used to “greenwash” the recent human rights abuses of the current government of Chilean President Sebastian Piñera. It is also untenable to consider holding COP25 in Santiago de Chile if the rights to free speech, movement and assembly are at risk because of so-called “security” concerns. If COP25 is to be held in Santiago in this political moment there have to be guarantees that civil society and especially the communities of Chile that are subject to environmental racism and climate injustice are allowed to gather, organize and congregate freely. Equity cannot be a word that is thrown about with carelessness and as a rhetorical tool to disguise the business as usual tendencies of climate agreements that still sell the world on exotic tree species plantations as a “natural climate solution.”

Chile has set the standard now with the society wide organic awakening against inequality. In the spirit of this moment if COP25 is to be hosted in Chile the proceedings must respond to the growing demands of Chile and the rest of the world that true climate action must be centered on equity. Anything less is window dressing. Is the global climate establishment prepared to rise to the occasion? The next days and weeks will determine to what extent equity is truly a priority in climate action and to what extent the defense of human rights is considered a top level priority – or, if indeed the UNFCCC process really is designed to protect business as usual under the guise of global climate diplomacy. Without a doubt, it is the recent unrest in Chile that has assisted in elevating these questions to the front of the discussion.

Leave a comment

Workers erecting Circus Tent for the Convergence. The Resurgence: 2019 Forest & Climate Movement Convergence begins October 11 and culminates on Indigenous Peoples’ Day October 14, 2019 in southern Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest. photo: Langelle

Forests, communities and the Earth are under attack. Governments, corporations and elites in North America are collaborating with others to consolidate power, profit and control on a global scale. Their actions are driving climate change and destruction of forests, causing mass-extinction of species, devastating communities, and threatening whole peoples and the entire biosphere.

It has never been more critical to build a broad, united movement that can resist the wholesale war against the Earth.

This convergence will provide space to:

• Build capacity to analyze, expose and confront the root causes of climate change & forest destruction

• Challenge false solutions and amplify real, community-based alternatives

•Create momentum to build and broaden strategies and tactics of resistance for effective action

• Develop concrete plans, strategies and actions to carry forward after the event

Call to action here

Leave a comment

Clearcut in the Shawnee National Forest during songbird mating season, May, 2019 Photo: Langelle

Southern Illinois’ Paper of Record Questions the United States Forest Services Credibility and Validity Days Before North American Forest and Climate Convergence in Shawnee National Forest

Carbondale, IL- In an editorial five days before a major convergence of activists in the Shawnee National Forest, the region’s daily paper of record questions both the credibility of the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the validity of its management prescriptions.

https://thesouthern.com/opinion/editorial/voice-of-the-southern-finding-middle-ground-in-the-shawnee/article_c4f52164-8191-5633-ba33-a8ddc3805355.html

The convergence, which is bringing activists from North America to the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, will focus both on forest health and the current climate crises. Almost thirty years after environmentalists won an unprecedented victory that stopped logging in southern Illinois for nearly two decades, activists and grassroots organizations from across the continent are converging there to develop cutting edge strategies targeted at the increasingly urgent climate and deforestation crises.

https://globaljusticeecology.org/occupation-and-uprising-in-the-shawnee-national-forest/

However, the USFS recently proposed a project that will reopen the national forest to commercial logging of a mature oak/hickory forest under the same rationale of promoting oak regeneration that they used thirty years ago.

“As we can see from results of past logging that it did not work then, and I can assure you it won’t work now, if they are allowed to exploit it again,” said John Wallace a member of the Convergence Coordinating Committee who was active in the fight to stop commercial logging in the Shawnee in the 1990s.

The editorial board of The Southern Illinoisan echoed that sentiment in its 10/6/2019 editorial by stating that, “the environmental community claims the Forest Service can’t be trusted. There is some validity to that claim. It’s not that the Forest Service’s science is faulty – we’re not in a position to make that statement.  It’s that areas previously ‘restored’ don’t exactly fit the description of a healthy oak-hickory forest.”

The paper went on to question the USFS’s transparency and credibility. It stated, “frankly the Forest Service didn’t help its credibility earlier this summer when a Southern Illinois reporter was removed from an objection resolution meeting.  Babete Anderson, the U.S. Forest Service’s national press officer, later stated the reporter should have been allowed to attend, but the initial action casts doubt on the agency’s transparency.”

https://forestclimateconvergence.org/

Leave a comment
EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish