LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Posts from the ‘Forest defense’ category

Environmental Echo

February 4, 2022

Protester on upturned vehicle. Photo by Orin Langelle, photojournalist, environmentalist and a graduate of Webster University 1978.

By Don Corrigan

Trees have never been so important as now. Stands of trees can help counteract harmful climate change. That’s, in part, why a national and local fight continues to halt destruction of old growth forests.

Residents interested in the fight for trees may want to attend the film, “Shawnee Showdown: Keep the Forest Standing.” The documentary will show at 7 p.m., Feb. 18, at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University.

It documents a past battle in the 1980s and 1990s, when a dedicated group of activists fought on the ground and in the courts to stop clear-cutting, oil and gas drilling, and ATV use in the Shawnee National Forest located in Southern Illinois.

The activists were successful for a time, but the battle begins anew because the prohibition on many such activities in the Shawnee National Forest was lifted several years ago. That gives the film particular relevance.

Jan Wilder, Rene Cook and unidentified child. Photo by Orin Langelle.

The activists were successful for a time, but the battle begins anew because the prohibition on many such activities in the Shawnee National Forest was lifted several years ago. That gives the film particular relevance.

Karla Armbruster, an English and Sustainability Studies professor at Webster University, was instrumental in bringing the documentary to campus. She cited some photos in the film that were taken by world-renowned photographer, Orin Langelle, who honed his talents in Webster’s media studies program.

“I associated this kind of protest with the Pacific Northwest and was thrilled to learn that it happened here in the Midwest,” said Armbruster. “It sounds like more activism of this kind is needed now to keep our forests healthy.

“This film offers not only a history lesson but also encouragement that ordinary people, who care, can really come together and make a difference,” she added.

Armbruster is making a difference off-campus as an ad hoc member of the Webster Groves City Sustainability Commission. She is pleased to see more people getting involved in different ways to help the environment.

“This film is a wonderful example of ‘getting involved.’ It lets us know we can never become complacent,” she said. “Preserving our national forests, deciding what ‘preservation’ means, figuring out who gets to use public lands for what purposes – it’s an ongoing task every generation needs to take up.”

Bill Cronin, Aaron Cantor and Ronald Reagan (mask) buried in logging road. Photo by Orin Langelle.

“Shawnee Showdown”

The film slated for Feb. 18 presents tough questions about public land use. Should our public land be degraded to generate commercial profit for a few? Will state and national treasuries take a hit from regulations?

With the effects of climate change intensifying and the knowledge that mature forests sequester more carbon, should forests be protected as regional carbon sinks? How can the forest remain a healthy habitat for struggling forest species like migratory songbirds?

Steve Taylor has been asking some of these questions for years. He attended St. Louis Community College (SLCC) at Meramec in Kirkwood before taking advanced degrees for teaching at Jefferson College and in the SLCC system.

“I recall my dad taking me along to his Sierra Club meetings when I was very young where I would fall asleep listening to people talking,” Taylor said. “We also spent most weekends camping and floating the rivers.

“I think all that got me very attuned to natural treasures around me,” Taylor said. “Later, when I learned of plans to clear cut the Shawnee National Forest, it was a natural step for me to become involved.

Forest Service approaching encampment. Photo by Orin Langelle.

Taylor joined the forest encampments and protests of 1990 and 1991. He makes several appearances in the film at the 79-day blockade of timber-cutting equipment. He has stayed in touch with demonstrators from that time.

“The film interviews intensively those who live in Southern Illinois, including my good friend John Wallace, who currently heads the Shawnee Forest Defense group,” said Taylor. “There will always be a special bond among those of us who lived at the blockade.”

“Cade Bursell, who is a professor of cinema and photography at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, did an excellent job with the film,” added Taylor. “She took on a formidable task finding archival footage from various news outlets to put it together.”

At a fall screening in Carbondale, Taylor said a panel discussion included forest advocates John Wallace, Rene Cook and Deborah Button, as well as Cade Bursell. Former Congressman Glenn Poshard also participated as he was a big woodlands supporter and was actually at forest protests.

John Wallace being removed by blow torch from logging equipment. Photo are by Orin Langelle.

The Battle Continues

“Our protests and lawsuits put a stop to this deforestation,” said Taylor. “But the movement was a victim of its own success in the sense that most people in the region take protections for granted. Now that the moratorium is ended, there is hope this film will be a reminder of what we still have to lose.

“Climate change is an existential threat now,” Taylor added. “When you look at the dubious techno-fixes to address it, such as carbon capture or geo-engineering, it makes even less sense to cut down these old-growth forests.”

Webster University’s Armbruster finds that college students are again being drawn to campaigns like the Keep the Forest Standing movement. With wildfires and extreme weather, they see what climate change is doing to their planet and their future.

“Clear cutting is pretty much what you would think – cutting down everything in a forest indiscriminately, whether you can use it or not, leaving a ‘clear’ space – completely destroying forest ecosystems,” said Armbruster.

She said animals that survive it, have nowhere to go. The soil is no longer anchored by the roots of healthy trees and so erodes into waterways. In hilly and mountainous areas, the erosion can lead to landslides.

“Now we know about climate impact as well, since trees take in carbon dioxide and store carbon that we are putting into the atmosphere,” she said. “There are alternatives to clear cutting, such as selective logging.

“When trees are cut down selectively, leaving the rest of the ecosystem intact, they are able to replace themselves over time,” Armbruster explained. She said humans must be smarter about what they are doing to forests and the planet.

Dr. Glisson was a central figure in the lawsuits that along with the protests led to the moratorium. He also owned the Pomona general store which was near the fairview 80 day protest encampment. The general store was straight out of the 19th century. Its slogan, which was also on t-shirts was no shoes, no shirt, no problem. He was a towering figure in the fight for the Shawnee. He will be missed as a brilliant legal strategist and friend of many. Photo by Orin Langelle.

(A similar article by Don Corrigan was published by the Webster-Kirkwood TIMES on February 7, 2022)

 

ONE RESPONSE TO “OZARK FORESTS FIND ADVOCATES AT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY”

Don Corrigan 

Doing this story helped me Discover Orin Langelle. What a career and what great photo work! I bet Langelle and Tom Oates made up a force to be reckoned with when they were at Webster College together!

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Gary Graham Hughes, our friend and colleague from Biofuelwatch, writes below:

Indigenous Peoples march with an anti-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestion and Forest Degradation) banner in Durban, South Africa to protest the UN Climate Conference. Indigenous Peoples are especially at risk in carbon off-set schemes like REDD. Photo: Langelle for GJEP (2011)

Watch out! Pollution traders are coming for the worlds forests, a land grab disguised as climate “action.” The California Air Resources Board is working with the fossil fuel and aviation industries to greenwash their climate damage with scientifically dubious, socially unjust and ungovernable tropical forest offsets. Be in Sacramento for the ARB hearing on Sept 19, another legacy moment for resisting the capture of the environmental movement by industry friendly market-based schemes. #OffsetsPollute #NoTFS #MarketsWillNotSaveUs #ProtectPeopleProtectForests

Listen to Gary Hughes from Biofuelwatch on Sojourner Truth with Margaret Precod as he reports on the California Tropical Forest Standards and Carbon Offsets.

We really want folks to be aware of the dangers of these market-based schemes because they are protecting polluters more than they are protecting people and the planet….We are saying no more offsets, that we need real emissions reductions at the source. – Gary Hughes.

Hughes will be in Santiago, Chile later this year for events surrounding the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod is broadcast on Pacifica KPFK Los Angeles. Since the 2009 UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, Global Justice Ecology Project has been doing a weekly fifteen minute Earth Watch on Sojourner Truth with Margaret Prescod. For many years GJEP has also been doing a weekly Earth Minute for Sojourner Truth.

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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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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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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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About Judi Bari

Judi Bari, center, walks on a Pacific Ocean beach in California with the support of two women friends  after a pipe-bomb ripped through her car in 1990 - See more at: https://photolangelle.org/blog-2/#sthash.H5VB3OGI.dpuf

Judi Bari, center, walks on a Pacific Ocean beach in California with the support of two women friends after a pipe-bomb ripped through her car in 1990

Judi Bari was a North American environmentalist and labor leader, a feminist, and the principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California in the 1980s and ’90s. She also organized efforts through Earth First! – Industrial Workers of the World Local 1 to bring timber workers and environmentalists together in common cause.

In 1986, Houston millionaire Charles Hurwitz acquired Pacific Lumber Company and doubled its rate of timber harvesting as a means of paying off the acquisition cost. This enraged environmentalists and drew attention from government agencies because of his use of junk bonds.


In 1989 Judi and other Earth First!ers came up with the idea of Redwood Summer, protests inspired by Freedom Summer, and by the Freedom Riders of the civil rights movement. Bari was instrumental in the process of calling in demonstrators from college campuses across the United States. Reactions to her lobbying tactics were severe, including the ramming of her car by a logging truck in 1989, as well as death threats.

On 24 May 1990, in Oakland, California, the vehicle used by Bari and colleague Darryl Cherney was blown up by a pipe bomb under Bari’s seat. Bari was severely injured, but was arrested for transporting explosives while she was still in critical condition with a shattered pelvis and other major injuries. The FBI took jurisdiction of the case away from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, alleging it was an eco-terrorism case.

Bari’s injuries disabled her to the extent that she had to curtail her activities. While she lay healing, Redwood Summer took place. In late July 1990, the Oakland district attorney declined to press charges against Bari and Cherney, claiming insufficient evidence. The false arrests and illegal search warrants became the basis of Bari’s civil rights suit filed the following year but not decided until 2002, five years after her death, when her estate was awarded $4 million in damages.

Recently Mary Liz Thompson and Darryl Cherney produced the documentary Who bombed Judi Bari?

This photo taken by Orin Langelle is part of the exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights – Late 80s to Late 90s is dedicated to Judi Bari (7 November 1949- 2 March 1997). The exhibit is on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo and is online here

________________________________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release       

Twenty-five years later: Who Bombed Judi Bari? to be presented in Buffalo

Buffalo, NY (18 May 2015)–A quarter of a century ago this month a pipe bomb ripped through the car of activist Judi Bari in Oakland, CA as she and Darryl Cherney were on their way to a rally to support halting the logging of ancient redwood trees.

At 7 p.m. this Thursday, 21 May, Buffalo-based Global Justice Ecology Project, Langelle Photography and Burning Books will present the documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari? at the Burning Books bookstore, located at 420 Connecticut Street, Buffalo. This showing is one of many events occurring across the country in observation of 25th anniversary of the bombing of Bari and Cheney.

The multi-award winning feature documentary Who Bombed Judi Bari? is a suspenseful story about people who risked their lives to save the California redwoods and took on the FBI for trampling their freedom of speech. It showcases an amazing protest movement that succeeded against all odds – with creativity, music, and humor.

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Anne Petermann said, “As part of a slander campaign against Bari and Cherney, the FBI arrested them for the bombing and never pursued any other suspects, Charges were never filed for lack of evidence. Bari and Cherney later sued the FBI successfully for violating their civil rights, and were awarded $4 million.”

“Judi Bari was not only an Earth First! activist, she also organized workers in the timber industry, attempting to bring them together with environmentalists, explaining the industry was destroying both the redwoods and the workers’ livelihoods,” said Orin Langelle, Director of Langelle Photography.

An excerpt from an interview with Bari about the bombing before she passed away in 1997 can be heard here

Global Justice Ecology Project co-founders Orin Langelle and Anne Petermann, friends of Bari and Cherney, will speak at the event.

Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) explores and exposes the intertwined root causes of social injustice, ecological destruction, and economic domination.

Contact: Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, 716.867.4080
[email protected]

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Forest Cover 47: Bioenergy Special Edition, covers many different issues that are very much connected to the fate of our planet including bioenergy, and all that that falls under that category. Covered also are  genetically engineered trees, GMO soy, unsustainable livestock production and much more.

I photographed the front and back covers of this publication, Forest Cover 47: Bioenergy Special Edition, by the Global Forest Coalition.  The front cover was photographed in Mapuche Territory (Chile). And my photo essay “The Pillaging of Paraguay” is featured inside.

The print edition can be downloaded in this hi-resolution PDF.  To subscribe to future editions of Forest Cover, please send an email to <[email protected]>

***forestcover-big2-1

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Struggles for Justice: late 1980’s to late 90’s

This Photo Essay was completed in February 2014 in LaBelle, FL – during LaBelle’s Annual Swamp cabbage Festival – for a presentation at a Organizers’ Conference in a nearby forest camp (and for the web). The essay has been edited to produce the Photo Exhibit Struggles For Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights – Late 80s to Late 90s.

Most of the photographs in the old essay, like the one below, are now in the new exhibit.

Exhibit Online Now 

-*34 Tas takeover02990009“Ned Kelly Bushrangers” drop banner on Forestry Commission Tasmania in Tasmania, Australia.  (1992)

The First International Temperate Forest Conference took place in Tasmania around the time the photo was taken.  The conference led to the formation of the Native Forest Network.

 

All photographs are copyrighted by Langelle Photography (2014), all rights reserved. No photo can be used without the consent of Langelle Photography.  See Publishing and Acquisition Information.

Why Copyright?  One of the reasons I copyright my photographs is to track where these photos are being used in order to monitor the impact of my work and evaluate the effectiveness of Langelle Photography, a nonprofit organization.

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