LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Posts from the ‘Direct Action’ category

Note: Sadly my scanner refused to work today and scan more of the photos from this period in history. History can be a revolutionary teacher. Since this is a presidential election year, please see the end of this essay for a quote from Mumia Abu-Jamal on what elections mean.- Orin Langelle

Two protesters slammed to the asphalt by police as they tried to block President Bill Clinton and his motorcade from attending the National Governor’s Association conference in the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington, VT – Photo: Langelle (1995)

Burlington, VT- National Governors’ Conference July 28-Aug 1, 1995

Four days of militant protest in defense of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

 

Governor Ridge Welcoming Committee

All photos by Orin Langelle (1995)

Burlington, VT – A coalition of groups demonstrated against the impending execution of award-winning journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal during the National Governor’s Association conference held in that city. The militant protests spanned five days from July 28th to August 1st, and were directed at Pennsylvania’s then Governor Tom Ridge, who signed the death warrant for Jamal.  Jamal was to be executed August 17, 1995.  Ultimately the death warrant was rescinded and Abu-Jamal is still alive.  Ridge later became the Director of Homeland Security after September 11, 2001.

The convener of the conference, VT Governor Howard Dean went on to run for president, but that’s another story…

Burlington was not the only city that erupted in defense of Abu-Jamal. Protests were international.

Many suffer from the induced historical amnesia caused by the corporate press, incessant advertising and so on.  In an effort to counter that collective amnesia, and in time for the Northeast Governor’s Conference and protests this weekend in Burlington, VT,  we are providing this photo of the month from the 1995 National Governor’s Association conference protests, plus below are a few excerpts from Refuse and Resist (in their own words) that describe in detail the events that occurred over those 5 days of militant protest.

[I could not find the link for this post but it is an authentic and was covered on the ground]

“We not only rained on the Governors’ Conference parade,” said Deb Ormsbee, “we pissed on it!” Ormsbee, of the Burlington Solidarity Coalition, was one of the 8 arrested on Monday’s street blockade in front of the Sheraton hotel where President Clinton addressed the governors. There were a total of 24 arrests by Mumia supporters during the four day conference. All 24 arrestees are out of custody from the state.

From Refuse and Resist:

Burlington, VT, Thursday, July 28, 1995 —

…Bishop Angell of the Catholic Diocese of Burlington issued a press release asking Pennsylvania Governor Ridge to rescind the warrant of execution of the four men scheduled for death in August. Bishop Angell joined Philadelphia Cardinal Bevilacqua who strongly encouraged Ridge to not allow the imposition of the death penalty.

 

Breakfast was spoiled when the governors arrived at the Ethan Allen Homestead, named after Ethan Allen, who stole Abenaki Indigenous Peoples’ land in the 1700’s

 

Friday, July 29, 1995

Today, Saturday, July 29, there was a low-key opening to the National Governors Convention in the small liberal city of Burlington, Vermont, but Mumia supporters have already taken to the streets to show their anger to governor Ridge.

Two women Mumia supporters breached Sheraton hotel security and set foot in the Emerald Ballroom where a plenary session of the Governors’ Conference was taking place on July 29. The women were escorted out shouting, “Free Mumia Now!”

Other clandestine activities occurred that the Mumia Solidarity Coalition were not privy to or involved with during the four days of militant action here. Saturday morning’s breakfast was spoiled when the governors arrived at the Ethan Allen Homestead; named after Vermont’s first famous racist, Ethan Allen, who blatantly stole Abenaki indigenous peoples’ land in the 1700’s. The museum garage was spray painted with numerous slogans including, “Fuck You Gov Tom Ridge, Ridge is a racist”, and “FREE MUMIA.” Vermont Governor Howard Dean called the graffiti, “an embarrassment to the state.” Other reports came in that the electric buses transporting the governors at various times were also egged.

Words and image of the rage against a system of death

 

 

 

 

In a park by a pretty lake, the Progressive Coalition (surely everyone out there knows Bernie Sanders? the so-called “socialist” (NOT!) congressman from Vermont) organized an alternative event called the People’s Conference for Economic Democracy. There were lots of speakers and a parade of 2,000 people through the city. This march was led by a theatre group with an awesome big “Free Mumia!” banner.

Peter Schumann with Bread and Puppet lead the march. Schumann is the founder and director of the Bread & Puppet Theater

At the back of the march, there was a bloc of 200 Mumia supporters. Despite being a wicked hot day (ouch! I feel the sunburn as I type!) the mood was good. The Mumia bloc led a diversion near the end of the march and went right to the front doors of the Radisson Hotel where the governors and their families and staff are mostly staying. Other folks joined in and there was an awesome crowd of like 300 people chanting really loud stuff and a very nervous line of Vermont police and hotel staff keeping people out. Lots of media, too, like C-SPAN and CNN and others. Eventually people ended the hotel siege feeling really good. (The police dogs showed up after we had already left.)

In the evening, actions continued as 100 Mumia supporters took to the streets and headed down to the lakefront where the governors were having a nice dinner. Police set up barricades, so people just took over the streets and caused traffic havoc. Some buses of important people got snarled, but eventually made it in by another entrance. This whole deal lasted in the streets for about two hours. The cops threatened to intervene, but didn’t. Then we went back to the downtown shopping street where there was a tent set up for a nice dinner for the staff people, complete with crappy Vermont country music. We responded with newspaper boxes used for a metal jam and other general noise making. All the people trying to enjoy their quaint evening looked less than happy. As did the cops.

Oh yeah, while we were messing up evening traffic, a group of four people got onto the New York-Vermont ferry boat which comes into port right next to the boathouse where the governors were dining and unfurled a huge “Free Mumia!” banner which was viewed by all the governors. Hopefully Ridge saw this! These people were not arrested and were simply escorted away after getting off the boat. They even kept the banner! Good job!

All in all, a really spirited day. Our goal today was to be loud, make our presence known, and come away feeling good. I think that was all accomplished. The action at the hotel was cool, the only bummer being the realization that if a few hundred more people could have mobilized for this, it would have been amazing. There aren’t that many cops, and they aren’t too sure how to handle an angry demo. Oh well! Big thanks to all the comrades that did come, from New Jersey, Maine, Pennsylvania, Canada…lots of places!

So, no arrests today, but tomorrow, Sunday, July 30 is the day we are aiming for. With hopefully more people coming into town, we will march from downtown up to the Sheraton Hotel where the governors will be meeting. People are very determined to make their presence known! Mumia’s name was definitely heard all around town all day long today, and tomorrow should be even better.

 

[excerpted from several separate reports]

July 30 

15 protestors were arrested today in a spirited demonstration against the planned execution of prize-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose case has become an international cause celebre. This was the second day of demonstrations in Burlington for Jamal that occurred during the National Governor’s Association annual conference. Some 150 demonstrators assembled outside the Sheraton Hotel to confront Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge.

One of the marches for Mumia that week in Burlington

The protest began with a march up Main Street from Burlington’s City Hall Park to the Sheraton. Protestors, traveling from St. Louis, Philadelphia, New York, Montreal, Ontario and Boston, said that they had come to raise awareness of the ‘racist nature’ of Jamal’s case, who is scheduled to be executed on August 17th. “This is a political lynching,” said protestor Robert Newmark of New York City. “The evidence shows that Mumia is innocent and that he is being targeted for political activities.” Jamal was a leader of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia.

As the boisterous crowd assembled outside the Sheraton, where the Governors were meeting, speeches were made and chants were shouted like “Stop the execution. Free Mumia Now!” Protestors ripped down police barricades and continually pressed closer to the Sheraton. A group of fifteen, including ten Canadians, suddenly surged over a row of hedges and through police lines in an attempt to gain access to the hotel. Police tackled and arrested the protestors, who were charged with unlawful trespass. ” We are committed to freeing Jamal by any means necessary,” said arrested protestor Jack Winston of Calias, Vermont. “This is just the beginning of a movement that is growing by leaps and bounds.”

Organizers said the demonstrations would continue through the end of the National Governors Association Tuesday, August 1.

 

July 31

Seven law officers, one protester

During Clinton’s downtown visit and tour of Burlington on July 31, several contigents of Mumia supporters vocally were on hand catching the president’s eye. One protester came within a few feet of the president, yelling Mumia slogans. The pristine image of Burlington’s business district mandated by Mayor Peter Clavelle was spoiled. Incidentally, Clavelle, who purports to be the mayor of “the People’s Republic of Burlington” refused Mumia Solidarity Coalition requests to allow pro Mumia supporters to camp in the city’s parks.

Support and legal aid for jailed protesters were overwhelming. At all times during the detentions legal and support teams were present; as were packing the courtrooms during the arraignments.

On July 31, when eight arrestees were being held in South Burlington’s Fire Station, word came that the governors were being transported via bus near the Fire House to Shelburne Farms for a “Vermont Tasting.” Jail support became a mobile protest waving signs and yelling at the cringing governors in the buses. Far from that legal protest, it was reported that as the buses neared Shelburne Farms, they were pelted by eggs.

 

August 1

Protest for Mumia Abu-Jamal, during the final day of the Governors’ Conference, was taken to a newer height. “Come on down or we’ll come up and take you down,” shouted a cop with bullhorn up to a climber perched 200 feet above on the University of Vermont water tower. On that command a 20 by 40 foot banner was unfurled proclaiming FREE MUMIA.

The banner was in full view of the Sheraton hotel where the governors, their aides and corporate sponsors were meeting. The FREE MUMIA banner was up from 8 am to 1:30 pm when the climber was taken into custody by the authorities at the official closing of the Governors’ Conference.

The banner hanging was preceded by three days of militant street demonstrations in opposition to the planned execution of black revolutionary award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal. The total four days of protest embarrassed the Governors’ Conference and succeeded in gaining media attention for Mumia’s plight.

“We not only rained on the Governors’ Conference parade,” said Deb Ormsbee, “we pissed on it!” Ormsbee, of the Burlington Solidarity Coalition, was one of the 8 arrested on Monday’s street blockade in front of the Sheraton hotel where President Clinton addressed the governors. There were a total of 24 arrests by Mumia supporters during the four day conference. All 24 arrestees are out of custody from the state.

 

the Ethan Allen Homestead; named after Vermont’s first famous racist, Ethan Allen

 

All of the above happened 25 years ago.

 

Final thoughts of this post – Prior to the Barack Obama Presidency, Mumia Abu-Jamal shares his analysis:

“Politics is the art of making people believe that they are in power when, in fact, they have none. It is a measure of how dire the hour that they’ve passed the keys of the kingdom to a Black man…. With the nation’s manufacturing base also a thing of history, amid the socioeconomic wreckage of globalization, with foreign affairs in shambles, the rulers reach for a pretty brown face to front for the Empire. Real change that you could believe in would be an end to Empire and an end to wars for corporate greed, not just a change in the shade of the political managers. That change, I’m afraid, is still to come.”

 

 

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Image: Santiago Chile – On International Human Rights Day, Dec 10, 2019 people in Chile protested the 400+ eyes lost to the Carabineros de Chile (National Police) during the days of uprising in Chile. Photo: Langelle/GJEP

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GLOBAL JUSTICE ECOLOGY PROJECT

For Immediate Release 06/15/2020                      For More Information +1.314.210.1322

From Chile to Minneapolis: Use of ‘Less than Lethal’ Weapons by Police Draws Criticism as Means to Intimidate and Silence

New York – On Saturday, May 30, Brandon Saenz reportedly lost an eye and seven teeth when he was hit by so-called less than lethal munitions (in actuality less lethal) fired by police. Saenz was reportedly struck by a rubber bullet like munition when the Minneapolis police fired less lethal weapons at people peacefully protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police.

“Hearing about the loss of an eye by Saenz immediately brought to my mind what happened prior to the COVID-19 quarantine during the peoples’ uprising in Chile,” said Orin Langelle, a GJEP photographer who documented the protests in Chile from Nov 22 to Dec 17 last year for Los Angeles’ Pacifica Radio. “The Chilean National Police targeted the heads and eyes of civilians when they used shotguns to fire rubber-coated metal pellets into their faces.”

“Over 400 people suffered serious eye injuries and some have been rendered completely blind,” said Langelle. “The stories of protesters in the U.S. and Chile about these less lethal munitions show the similarities of militarized police forces attempting to put down popular resistance to injustices in both South and North America.”

Ferguson, MO native and filmmaker, Chris Phillips, was documenting protests in Minneapolis over the killing of George Floyd when he had rubber bullets fired in his direction several times.  He was also hit in the leg by a flash bang/stun grenade during his work to video protests.

Phillips was one of the first professional videographers to capture events and protests surrounding the 2014 killing of Michael Brown. “From my experience filming in the Ferguson and Minneapolis protests, projectiles and chemical munitions have been used liberally, and often it is not preceded by any dispersal order or direction for people to go,” said Phillips.

Phillips believes the way in which less lethal munitions are being used currently seems to be illegal. “Without those directives, it is safe to assume that firing projectiles into a crowd that has the Constitutional right to assemble and protest, and not taking into consideration occupants and residents that are uninvolved in these demonstrations, makes it reckless, alluding to the purpose of serving more of a retaliatory purpose than the intent of keeping the public safe.”

Image from Phillips Instagram page: Phillips holding rubber bullet that was shot in his direction during his work as a filmmaker in Minneapolis.

Chris Phillips is principal director of the Maverick Media Group.

http://www.maverickmediagroup.net/

This indigenous Mapuche man was shot in the head with metal-filled rubber pellets by the Carabineros de Chile (national police) earlier in the morning on November 28, 2019. He was part of a Mapuche land occupation. Carabineros fired metal-filled rubber pellets and tear gas injuring several people at the land occupation.

Orin Langelle is a photojournalist with over five decades of experience.

https://photolangelle.org/

 


PROYECTO DE JUSTICIA ECOLÓGICA GLOBAL 

Difusión inmediata 06/15/2020                          Para más información +1.314.210.1322

Desde Chile a Minneapolis: el uso policial de armas ‘sub-letales’ genera críticas por convertirse en medios para intimidar y silenciar

Nueva York – El sábado 30 de mayo Brandon Sáenz perdió un ojo y siete dientes, según informes, cuando fue alcanzado por un proyectil de las llamadas municiones sub-letales (en realidad, ‘menos letales’) disparadas por la policía. Sáenz fue golpeado por una bala de goma cuando la policía de Minneapolis disparó su armamento sub-letal a las personas que protestaban pacíficamente por el asesinato de George Floyd a manos del mismo cuerpo policial.

“Al conocer el caso de la mutilación del ojo de Sáenz, pensé inmediatamente en lo que pasó justo antes de la cuarentena por el COVID-19 en las manifestaciones populares en Chile”, comentó Orin Langelle, un fotógrafo del Proyecto de Justicia Ecológica Global (GJEP) que documentó las protestas en Chile entre el 22 de noviembre y el 17 de diciembre del año pasado para Pacifica Radio de Los Ángeles. “La Policía Nacional de Chile disparó a la cabeza y a los ojos de los manifestantes utilizando escopetas con munición metálica recubierta de goma”.

“Más de 400 personas sufrieron heridas oculares graves y algunas quedaron completamente ciegas”, dijo Langelle. “Las historias de los manifestantes en Estados Unidos y Chile sobre el uso de estas municiones sub-letales dejan en evidencia las similitudes entre las formas en que los cuerpos de policía militarizada intentan aplastar la resistencia popular ante la injusticia tanto en América del Norte como en América del Sur”.

Imagen: Santiago de Chile- Día internacional de los Derechos Humanos, 10 de diciembre de 2019. Los manifestantes denunciaban los más de 400 ojos mutilados durante las intervenciones de los Carabineros (Policía Nacional) durante los días del levantamiento Fotografía: Langelle/GJEP

Chris Phillips, director audiovisual originario de Ferguson, en Missouri, estaba documentando las protestas en Minneapolis por el asesinato de George Floyd cuando le dispararon varias veces con balas de goma. También fue alcanzado en una pierna por una granada aturdidora mientras grababa las manifestaciones.

Phillips fue uno de los primeros cámaras profesionales que grabaron los eventos y protestas que tuvieron lugar en 2014 a raíz del asesinato de Michael Brown. “Mi experiencia después de grabar las protestas de Ferguson y Minneapolis es que los proyectiles y municiones químicas se han usado libremente y, con frecuencia, sin cualquier orden o indicación previa para que la gente se dispersase”, comenta Phillips.

Phillips cree que la forma en la que se están usando actualmente las municiones sub-letales parece ilegal. “Sin esas indicaciones, es fácil concluir que resulta temerario disparar proyectiles hacia gente que está ejerciendo su derecho constitucional de reunirse y protestar, sin contar con los residentes y viandantes ajenos a las manifestaciones, siendo más bien una acción de retaliación y no para preservar la seguridad de las personas”.

Imagen de la página de Instagram de Phillips: Phillips sujeta una bala de goma disparada hacia él mientras trabajaba grabando en Minneapolis.

Chris Phillips es Director Principal de Maverick Media Group.

http://www.maverickmediagroup.net/

A este indígena Mapuche los Carabineros de Chile (Policía Nacional) le dispararon en la cabeza con munición metálica recubierta de goma durante la mañana del 28 de noviembre de 2019. Formaba parte de una ocupación de tierras por Mapuches. Los Carabineros dispararon goma con interior metálico y gases lacrimógenos causando heridas a varias personas en la ocupación de tierras.

Orin Langelle es un fotoperiodista con más de cinco décadas de experiencia.

https://photolangelle.org/

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Press Statement                               March 17, 2020
 
¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art Postpones April First Friday Event in Buffalo
Chile: Peoples’ Uprising Exhibit Opening to be Rescheduled   
 

Buffalo, NY: Due to the current public health emergency and recommendations for events not to exceed fifty people, the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art is postponing our April 3 First Friday event. The opening reception for our new exhibit, Chile: Peoples’ Uprising, will be rescheduled for a later date. We will be sure to inform you of the new date for the exhibit opening when we make that determination.

Contact: Orin Langelle +1.716.536.5669
148 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14201

 

Chile: Peoples’ Uprising

Images from the Front Lines

Exhibit Opens April 3

BUFFALO, NY – The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art will present documentary photography and videography from the ongoing peoples’ uprising in Chile that started in October of last year. The images were shot by the gallery co-directors, Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann in the months of November and December, 2019 from the front lines of the uprising.

The Opening Reception of Chile: Peoples’ Uprising will be held during Allentown’s First Friday event on April 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue at Global Justice Ecology Project space.

A massive popular uprising in Chile began on October 18, 2019, and continues to this day. Millions are demanding a new economic and political system in Chile and a new Constitution.Chile’s existing Constitution was written during the Pinochet Dictatorship, ushered in during a military coup supported by the U.S. in 1973.

Today Peoples’ Assemblies are taking part in all regions of Chile to create a process that will rewrite the new constitution. Chile’s President Piñera is trying to take control of this process and to crush the protests with extreme violence and repression.

Petermann and Langelle documented street protests including clashes between activists and Carabineros (national police) in the cities of Santiago and Temuco.

As of the first week of March of this year reports state that since the uprising began in October, 36 activists have died, more than 28,000 Chileans have been detained and 4,080 minors arrested. Additionally over 11,000 have been injured by the Carabineros. Shotguns loaded with rubber-coated metal pellets deliberately aimed at protesters’ faces have caused 445 serious eye wounds. Many people have partial or complete loss of vision in one or both eyes. In addition, several protesters have been run over by armored vehicles.

Langelle and Petermann also traveled to two indigenous Mapuche land re-occupations, where communities had taken back 1,500 hectares of their ancestral lands, stolen from them during the dictatorship. On U.S. Thanksgiving, they took photos and video interviews after Carabineros shot and teargassed people in the re-occupation.

_______

On Tuesday, April 7, Jim Shultz, Executive Director of the Democracy Center, will launch his newest book My Other Country, Nineteen Years in Bolivia? in the BV Gallery from 7 – 9 p.m. The full moon event commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Cochabamba Water Revolt in Bolivia that Shultz was involved in and helped publicize.

The gallery is free and open to the public.

 

Contact: Theresa Church [email protected]GlobalJusticeEcology.org                                                                           +1.716.931.5388                

BuenVivirGallery.org

Santiago de Chile: Water cannons chase crowd. A caustic liquid was mixed with the water to irritate the skin and lungs. Water cannons were strategically used to target street medics and the Red Cross.

Santiago de Chile: Depicting blood and eyeballs in the hands of the government. This guerrilla theater on International Human Rights Day, December 10th, commemorated the (then) 350+ eyes injured, some permanently by the Carabineros de Chile (national police) who intentionally shot people in the face with shotguns filled with rubber-coated metal pellets during the protests.

This young Mapuche is from the community of Quilape Lopez, Chile, which is re-occupying stolen ancestral lands. Elders say the young are the future of the Mapuche, as is the land.

all photos by Orin Langelle / photolangelle.org

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Man injured by the police close to Plaza de la Dignidad in Santiago, Chile during International Humans Rights Day. photo: Langelle/GJEP

Cruz Roja Chilena (Red Cross) about to be sprayed with water cannon. photo: Langelle/GJEP

Santiago, Chile – On the international day of human rights, protesters in Chile held a march commemorating the 350+ eyes lost to the violence of the Carabineros de Chile (national police) during the days of the Chile uprising. When the march arrived at the Plaza de la Dignidad, they were joined by many more protesters from across the city.

The Red Cross came and set up an aid station on the edge of the plaza. Not long after, the Carabineros arrived with their water cannons and gave the Red Cross extra special attention.

Please see Biofuelwatch’s Gary Hughes’ short video after the photos: Chilean National Police Attack Red Cross. Hughes, Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project and myself are the field team of CHILE CLIMATE NEWS.

All photos by Orin Langelle/GJEP

“Truth – Justice –  Reparations for the children raped by the state” translated banner at the National Museum, Belles Artes

Depicting blood and eyeballs in the hands of the government

The eyes go to Plaza de la Dignidad and the statue of Manuel Baquedano

Hundreds of women march together into Plaza de la Dignidad

Young protesters running down the avenue as the freshly painted art canvas of water cannon passes on the street

Water cannons chase crowd

Tear gas canister fired from the truck in air before it lands in the streets. A canister like this struck a 15 year young woman in the demonstration and sent her to the hospital for surgery. She now is in critical condition.

Tear gas in the streets

Carabineros with shields between the police vehicles

After returning to our apartment in another part of the city in Santiago, this fire blockade, seen on the corner of San Diego and Sta. Isabel, was accompanied by protesters banging in rhythm on the metal barricade – rebellion and outrage spreading through the city.  Passers by honked in time to show their support.

On International Human Rights Day Chilean National Police Attack Red Cross video by Gary Hughes.

 

Photojournalist Orin Langelle takes a break by graffiti celebrating Victor Jara in Santiago, Chile. Langelle has been photographing the frontlines of the peoples’ rebellion in Chile. The musician Jara, a Chilean hero, was murdered by the regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet. photo: Petermann/GJEP

 

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

CHILE CLIMATE NEWS

 

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Spring 2019

April 17 – Mayday

University of Mount Union – Alliance, Ohio

Buffalo, NY, 26 January 2019 – Protester chanting, “Whose streets, our streets,” in front of vehicle. Extinction Rebellion Buffalo blocked intersection in one of Buffalo’s shopping districts because of the extreme weather around the planet. photo: Orin Langelle

Langelle will be a Featured Artist and Lecturer

Earth Month Exhibit:  Extreme Weather – Portraits of Struggle

April 17th to May 1st, 2019

Hoover-Price Campus Center

420 W Simpson St, Alliance, OH

Free and Open to the Campus Community and the Public

 

Artist Reception and Presentation

April 25th, 2019 – 4 p.m. to 6 pm. 

Hoover-Price Campus Center Alumni Room

420 W Simpson St, Alliance, OH

Free and Open to the Campus Community and the Public

 

Press Release:

For Immediate Release                                                                       April 9, 2019

Available for interviews: Orin Langelle  <[email protected]>

Photojournalist Known for Documenting Environmental

Justice Struggles Presents Images of Climate Change

University of Mount Union Showing

Buffalo, NY— Award-winning documentary photographer Orin Langelle shows his exhibit, Extreme Weather – Portraits of Struggle, this month at the University of Mount Union. The exhibit opens on April 17 and runs to May 1 in the Hoover-Price Campus Center, 420 W Simpson St, Alliance, OH.

Langelle’s body of work spanning over five decades specializes in social and environmental justice struggles. He was recently interviewed on WBDX in Southern Illinois about this exhibit at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.  The interview can be found here.

There will be an Artist Reception and Presentation on April 25, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hoover-Price Campus Center’s Alumni Room. Langelle will speak on the many social and political reasons why the Earth is facing climate catastrophe.

Langelle stated, “My photographs are united by the intertwined threads of social, economic or ecological injustice and peoples’ resilience or resistance to them. Showing how these issues are intrinsically linked is crucial to understanding the whole–to seeing the big picture–instead of compartmentalizing each separately. I believe we must understand that everything is interconnected. The root causes of these problems are often one and the same.”

Langelle is the Director of Langelle Photography which is a component of the Global Justice Media Program of Global Justice Ecology Project with offices in New York State and Florida.

Jeff Conant, Director, Friends of the Earth’s international forests program said, “Orin Langelle is one of the great documentarians of the last several decades…You look at his photos and you cannot forget that power concedes nothing without a struggle…and that this struggle takes place somewhere, somehow, everyday and everywhere”

Both events are free and open to the campus community and the public.

 

 

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Scaling up the Resistance

Strategies and Stories from the German Climate Justice Movement

2019 North American Forest and Climate Convergence Planned

Dorothee Haeussermannand (left) and Daniel Hofinger (right) spoke to a packed house at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) space in St. Louis. Both are German activists with Ende Gelände. photo: Orin Langelle

St. Louis, MO (U.S.) – Speakers from the diverse German radical climate justice movement, Ende Gelände (“Here and No Further”) spoke to a packed crowd on 26 March 2019.

The German activists were on the Scaling Up the Resistance U.S. Tour, that started in February and ends in April, to share stories from Germany’s successful mass climate justice mobilizations — including their 6,000 person direct action against enormous open-cast lignite coal mines.

Last fall they organized to collectively block a coal mine. Demonstrators invaded mining pits, danced in front of the diggers, slept on the railways, and created aerial photo ops to make the connection between climate chaos and capitalism and exposed the truth behind the German Energiewende (“energy transition”).

Hofinger (right) and Haeussermannand (left) from Ende Gelände were speakers on the Scaling Up Resistance Tour. photo: Orin Langelle

“Ende Gelände together with the Hambach Forest Occupation and it’s dozens of tree-sits, local resistance and national mobilizations, the German Climate movement is on the brink of stopping coal. Time to bring that mass organizing here,” said Daniel Hofinger, an organizer with Ende Gelände, on tour in the U.S. “We organized a mass movement to stop coal and transition to renewables. We are honored to exchange experiences and align our common struggles for climate justice.”

“Climate change is part of the matrix of causation of everything from border issues, to mass migration, to super-storms and fires. Where it isn’t the driving factor, it is a major player. The fact that corporations and governments refuse to take the dramatic and predicted outcomes of climate change seriously means that people need to refuse to participate in the status quo. We can learn a lot from our German allies about how to do this in the U.S.,” said Rising Tide North America spokesperson, Heather Doyle.

Doyle continued, “In the age of Trump, the national focus on climate justice has been complicated by conservative attacks on collective action and a continued denial of the basic facts of climate change in favor of wholesale support of the economic elite. A movement like The Green New Deal has been amazing at maintaining a focus on the legislative priorities of the climate movement, but it does not replace the need for a large scale direct confrontation with corporate actors that influence government. In the end we need to build a mass movement that approaches climate, capitalism and other root causes equally.”

North American Forest & Climate Convergence planned for October

Anne Petermann from Global Justice Ecology Project holds a quarter sheet about the upcoming “Resurgence: 2019 Forest & Climate” during the “Scaling Up the Resistance U.S. Tour.” photo: Orin Langelle

Rising Tide North America is using this tour to help build a mass direct action movement in North America. Invited to speak in St. Louis were Tabitha Tripp from SAFE: Southern IL Against Fracturing our Environment, and Shawnee Forest Defense!, and Global Justice Ecology Project‘s Anne Petermann.

Both Shawnee Forest Defense! and Global Justice Ecology Project along with Indigenous Environmental Network make up the core coordinating committee for The Resurgence: 2019 Forest & Climate Movement Convergence in October.

“The convergence is a call to action to radically transform the economic and political systems that drive climate change, forest destruction and the commodification of life,” stated Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann. She emphasized, “This is not another conference.”

SAFE spokesperson, also with Shawnee Forest Defense!, invites the crowd to join working groups for The Resurgence. photo: Orin Langelle

Shawnee Forest Defense! and SAFE’s Tripp added, “This convergence will be an opportunity to come together as many people working on the interconnected issues of forest destruction, climate change, Indigenous sovereignty, racial and gender oppression, corporate domination, fossil fuel extraction, and social and environmental injustice.”

A written statement from Rising Tide North America stated: “From the months-long tree-sits against the Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia, to the felony charges thrown at activists in the Southern Bayou L’eau Est La Vie camp, to the frigid winter campaign in Northern Minnesota opposing Line 3, the U.S. movement needs to grow if it is to be successful.

“To win, we need to build a mass grassroots movement that uses direct action to bring down the fossil fuel industry and demand a just transition to decentralized and democratized energy systems. We also need to abolish false solutions like carbon trading and green capitalism; confront far-right ‘populist’ lies for what they are; build international solidarity; use local and municipal power-building strategies; and take leadership from the first and worst hit by pollution and climate catastrophes.”

The St. Louis event was co-hosted by: Earth Defense Coalition, SAFE: Southern IL Against Fracturing our Environment, Shawnee Forest Defense!, Sunrise STL, Extinction Rebellion STL, 350 STL, Fossil Free WashU, St. Louis Democratic Socialists of America Environmental Committee, and Radical Revolution

National Tour Sponsor: Rising Tide North America

German Resistance Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums

Ende Gelände Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BaggerStoppen/

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Be realistic, ask for the impossible slogan in Paris uprising, May 1968

To me it is very important to remember the events of May 1968 – not only in Paris but in the U.S. as well. Events that occurred fifty years ago were a glimmer of hope that strengthened an anti-war and anti-imperialist youth movement. This movement eventually helped bring other critical issues to the forefront including race, women’s rights, and the environment. For many reasons, there are no mass movements in the U.S. today that are as vibrant and militant as they were fifty years ago. The anti-corporate globalization movement from the 90s and early 2000s is still recuperating from the draconian police state in the U.S. that keeps intensifying as I type. While ‘Black Lives Matter’ provides another important glimmer of hope, most people today organize around single issues and do not incorporate a vision that unites all of the issues confronting us with a view addressing their common root causes. As a result, peoples all around the Earth suffer, the ecosystems and life support systems that enable life on Earth are further degraded, and climate chaos runs rampant.

Now is time to be realistic and demand the impossible. – Orin Langelle

(More information and analysis follows)

This photograph was taken on 3 November 2004, in the streets of Burlington, VT, U.S. Incumbent Republican President George W. Bush was named the winner of the presidential election that occurred one day earlier, defeating challenger John Kerry. Outraged over the election results, students and radical activists took over the streets all day and evening, causing traffic jams throughout the town. photo: Orin Langelle

Daniel Warner writes in his article From May 1968 to May 2018: Politics and Student Strikes for CounterPunch:

“For those who struck in 1968 at Columbia, Berkeley and Paris, just as for Martin Luther King Jr., there was a larger picture. King spoke of a society that was imperialistic at home and abroad. The lack of social justice in the United States, for King, was intertwined with America’s unjust foreign adventures. Student demonstrations in 1968 were against the university as part of a societal/political injustice. The university was a small manifestation of that injustice.

“I would hope that today’s French students, as well as students elsewhere, would be able to mobilize around other issues than university admissions and guaranteeing employment. There are more than enough issues to be outraged about today, and their solution requires the energy and determination of the young. That activism is what should be highlighted as the legacy of May 1968 and any comparisons with May 2018.”

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from Wikipedia:

The volatile period of civil unrest in France during May 1968 was punctuated by demonstrations and massive general strikes as well as the occupation of universities and factories across France. At the height of its fervor, it brought the entire economy of France to a virtual halt. The protests reached such a point that political leaders feared civil war or revolution; the national government itself momentarily ceased to function after President Charles de Gaulle secretly fled France for a few hours. The protests spurred an artistic movement, with songs, imaginative graffiti, posters, and slogans….

The unrest began with a series of student occupation protests against capitalism, consumerism, American imperialism and traditional institutions, values and order. It then spread to factories with strikes involving 11 million workers, more than 22% of the total population of France at the time, for two continuous weeks. The movement was characterized by its spontaneous and de-centralized wildcat disposition; this created contrast and sometimes even conflict between itself and the establishment, trade unions and workers’ parties. It was the largest general strike ever attempted in France, and the first nationwide wildcat general strike.

The student occupations and wildcat general strikes initiated across France were met with forceful confrontation by university administrators and police. The de Gaulle administration’s attempts to quell those strikes by police action only inflamed the situation further, leading to street battles with the police in Paris’s Latin Quarter, followed by the spread of general strikes and occupations throughout France.

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from The Guardian:

France’s 1968 uprising, 50 years on: ‘It’s harder for the youth today’

‘If there’s one thing in common … it’s young people’s despair,’ says Antoine Guégan, whose father Gérard staged campus sit-ins in 1968.

“It’s terrifying to see that this is becoming the norm for riot police to be sent into universities,” said Guégan, who is doing a doctorate on representations of slavery in American cinema and teaches at the campus while studying at another university in Paris’s suburbs…

“If there’s one thing in common between 1968 and today, it’s young people’s despair,” he said. “But it’s a different kind of despair, because the social and economic context is not the same. In 1968, there was a global movement, there was rock music, new sexual freedom, a different culture and a desire to change the old world. Today’s youth is facing a moment of stagnation, with little to lean on, which makes the struggle harder.”

One of Gérard Guégan’s favourite slogans from May 1968 was “Be realistic, ask for the impossible”. He said: “We were constantly thinking of what we called dreams, and what could be called utopia … Everyone was convinced that something massive was happening.”

– Angelique Chrisafis is The Guardian‘s Paris correspondent

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Note: The quote “Be realistic, ask for the impossible”, is one of Ernesto Che Guevara’s most most popular quotes. Che Guevara image (below) is a world wide symbol of resistance, especially in Latin America.

The 2003 march on the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancun, Mexico. When the march had to stop due to chainlink fences blocking the marchers from the WTO meetings, a South Korean farmer committed suicide. photo: Orin Langelle

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In 1990, Earth First! occupied Illinois’ Shawnee National Forest’s Fairview timber sale area for 79 days – at that time the longest occupation in EF! history. The area slated to be cut was rich in biodiversity, a haven for songbirds and loved by the many locals who went there to watch the birds, camp or enjoy nature.

The major daily newspaper in Springfield, IL, the state’s capital, called the Earth First! occupation “a popular uprising.”

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The Biscuit (1990)

Woman with monkey wrench atop buried Chevrolet Biscayne, nicknamed “The Biscuit,” in a car blockade of the Fairview timber sale in the Shawnee. The car blocked the entrance to the Shawnee National Forest during the EF! occupation. The car blockade was a replica of a photo taken during the then-ongoing “Oka Crisis.”       Photo: Langelle

According to the Canadian Encyclopedia,

The Oka Crisis was a 78-day standoff (11 July–26 September 1990) between Mohawk protesters, police, and the army. At the heart of the crisis was the proposed expansion of a golf course and development of condominiums on disputed land that included a Mohawk burial ground. Tensions were high, particularly after the death of Corporal Marcel Lemay, a police officer, and the situation was only resolved after the army was called in. While the golf course expansion was cancelled, and the land purchased by the federal government, it has not yet been transferred to the Kanesatake Mohawk community.

EF!ers in the Shawnee publicly stood in solidarity with the Mohawks and also with Redwood Summer, a major national mobilization to save the last of the ancient redwoods. Earlier that year, EF! Redwood Summer organizer Judi Bari was almost killed when a pipe bomb exploded under the seat of the car she was driving.

From the photo exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights

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The industrial revolution may have brought technological advances, but its reliance on fossil fuels also means that dirty technologies have proliferated, with consequences for our environment and our climate. Photo: Bogdan Bousca (Romania) bogdanbousca.finegallery.net

The industrial revolution may have brought technological advances, but its reliance on fossil fuels also means that dirty technologies have proliferated, with consequences for our environment and our climate. Photo ©: Bogdan Bousca (Romania) bogdanbousca.finegallery.net

Paris, France – Telling the story of the growing global demand for climate justice, featuring images from photographers in Australia, Croatia, Romania, the UK and the USA. This exhibition is on display in Paris during the UNFCCC COP 21 negotiations, at the Climate Action Zone (ZAC), 7-11 December. The address is Room Ecuries C, Centquatre, 5, rue Curial, 75019 Paris. (The closest metro stations are Stalingrad and Riquet.)

It includes images from the following Critical Information Collective photographers, in panels of six images: David Tao (Australia), Luka Tomac (Croatia), Bogdan Bousca (Romania), Orin Langelle (USA), Jason Taylor (UK), and JudithDeland (Australia). There is a seventh panel comprising images from Stephen D Melkisethian (USA), Susan Melkisethian (USA), Joseph O Holmes (USA) and Ronnie Hall (UK).

For the exhibit, please go to UN Climate Conference of the Parties 21 (COP 21) Exhibition: Climate Change—Realities and Resistance

The second showing of this exhibit will be at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The exhibit opens there on 4 March 2016. That show will include work by artist Ashley Powell.

Notice that Orin Langelle, Buen Vivir! Gallery director, has one of the panels, Struggles for Justice, with six photographs in the Paris show, that is coming to Buffalo.

 

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This review of my exhibit was by Jack Foran was published in Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v14n23 (06/11/2015) » Art Scene. Artvoice (print and web) is one of Buffalo, NY’s two major alternative weeklies. Additionally, the exhibit continues through June 19, at which time I’ll give a walk-through and talk about the various photos, scheduled from 6 to 8 pm. Wine and hors d’oeuvres provided. The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is located at 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14201- OL

PORTRAITS OF STRUGGLES

ORIN LANGELLE’S PHOTOGRAPHS ON DISPLAY AT ¡BUEN VIVIR! GALLERY

By Jack Foran

Photographer Orin Langelle’s website concludes with two quotations. From Brazilian educator and philosopher Paolo Freire: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” And folksinger and activist Phil Ochs: “It is wrong to expect a reward for your struggles. The reward is the act of struggle itself, not what you win. Even though you can’t expect to defeat the absurdity of the world, you must make that attempt. That’s morality, that’s religion. That’s art. That’s life.” They pretty much sum up Langelle’s life and work.

A potpourri of his witness to the struggle photos from the 1980s and 1990s is currently on view at his r1¡Buen Vivir! gallery on Elmwood in Allentown. Including the iconic photo of an unidentified environmental activist, poised on a log tripod construction, arm and fist raised in spirited gesture of we shall overcome, at a training camp in non-violent disruption techniques in Vermont in the late ‘90s.

r2The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of activist Judi Bari (1949-1997), an activist against redwood logging in northern California who narrowly escaped death when her car was blown up by a pipe bomb—following which she was arrested by the FBI on charges of eco-terrorism. The FBI alleged she had been transporting explosives. Laboratory and other analyses discovered that the explosives inr3 question were placed directly under the driver’s seat and equipped with a motion sensor trigger to cause them to detonate when the car was driven, whereupon the Oakland District Attorney declined to press the FBI charges. Bari filed a violation of civil right suit on matters including false arrest and illegal search. Five years after her death her estate was awarded $4 million in the case.r4

The targets of the protests to which Langelle’s photos bear witness range from roadway expansion schemes in London, England, to golf course expansion and development of condominiums on land sacred to the Mohawk Indians, to logging activities within the Trail of Tears State Forest r5in Illinois, to Hydro-Quebec plans for hydroelectric production facilities on Cree Indian lands in northern Canada, to a protest against the Tasmanian Forestry Commission, Australia, an agency that is supposed to protect forests from rapacious practices of commercial timber interests, for failing to do so.

r6One photo is of an activist arrested—in New Hampshire—for handing out fliers urging people to write to their representatives in Congress in opposition to a timber harvest scheme in the White Mountain National Forest. Another—in Vermont—shows Abenaki Tribal Chief Homer St. Francis standing up in court, when he was told he was “out of order,” responding, “No, Judge, you’re out of order.” The Abenaki apparently had never ceded their land to any state or federal government, and continued to issue their own license plates and hunting and fishing permits. They were demanding that all Abenaki land be returned to them. Ultimately, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that all Abenaki claims had been “extinguished due to the increasing weight of history.” History apparently was to blame.

Not all the protest activist photos show protest actions. There is a wonderful portrait of a Cree elder woman, looking ancient and patient—but not infinitely patient—taken during the photographer’s journey to Cree territory to learn about and document the struggle against the Hydro-Quebec project. The second phase of the project, that is. The first phase, the La Grande Project dam, had already flooded thousands of acres of Cree land, displacing resident natives and resulting in environmental devastation such as when an untimely water release drowned 10,000 migrating caribou. The second phase was another dam proposal that was postponed indefinitely following protests in Canada and worldwide. One photo shows protesters in front of the Quebec consulate in London with a banner denouncing the hydropower scheme. The second phase was ironically well-named. It was called the Great Whale Project.

The exhibit continues through June 19, at which time Langelle will give a walk-through and talk about the various photos, scheduled from 6 to 8 pm.

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