LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

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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!)”

 

 

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Rodolphe Barrangou reveals the nightmare of his CRISPR world. photo: Langelle/GJEP

The CRISPR Craze?  Or CRISPR Crazed?

24 June 2019 by Anne Petermann posted online. For more updates on the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) tree biotech conference in Raleigh, NC please watch The Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees through 28 June 2019.

“Should we really be manipulating the heredity of future generations given our lack of knowledge about so many things.”

“Humans are very good at inventing things, but they are very, very bad at looking at what the implications are.”  (from the trailer for the movie Human Nature)

The IUFRO take on CRISPR:

The opening plenary presentation for IUFRO was by Rodolphe Barrangou, faculty of NCSU, which revealed a very interesting motivation for selecting NCSU for the IUFRO event: launching a new CRISPR startup focused on bringing CRISPR to forestry.

Barrangou’s assaulting high velocity hi-tech presentation on the wonders of the “6 year-old” CRISPR technology was at once mesmerizing and horrifying.  He referred to the time in human history as “BC” – Before CRISPR” vs “AD – after the death of the other recombinant technologies.”  He compared CRISPR to a 6-year old child. Which was a bit of an odd choice since he also insisted that, “the science, we know…the science is not in question.”  Not too many 6 year old children are so fully formed.

I found the speed of his delivery combined with his huge wide screen presentation and his fantastical ravings of the miracles of CRISPR to be an all-out assault on the senses.

At one point, he showed a slide containing a diverse array of species, from domesticated animals, to chimpanzees, to crop plants, announcing proudly that “we can edit the genome or epigenome of any species on Earth!” Pointing to a pig he said “We can make CRISPR bacon!”

He also delighted in explaining how they can even change the color in the very complicated wing pattern of a butterfly, which he demonstrated on the screen with horrifying before and after makeovers of two species of butterfly.

He did add a few words on the work still needed to be done.  CRISPR is not, he said, always reliable.  Getting back to the child metaphor, he explained it occasionally “has tantrums,” and “still does not work 100% of the time in 100% of the cells in 100% of patients.” Undeterred, he proudly explained that thousands of labs across the world are “mining biodiversity” to improve it.

Which revealed the real reason his entire presentation sounded like a high-pressure sales pitch.  It was.

Halfway through his presentation he announced, with great aplomb, the launch of his new CRISPR startup, which he was launching right then and there at IUFRO in partnership with four other faculty from NCSU and one from Duke University.  Its purpose—bring gene editing technology into the forestry sector. CRISPR would not, he admitted, solve the demand side problem.  Commercialization, he said, is the limiting factor, because “the science, we know… the bottleneck [is] acceptance by regulators and society.”

It is a public perception problem.  But they are on it!  He showed a trailer for the movie Human Nature scheduled to premiere this September at the same time as the upcoming IUFRO World Congress (a coincidence??) – a film designed explicitly to convince a wary public that CRISPR is the best thing since sliced bread (or, was that the OxO gene).

Another public relations strategy, he explained, was a CRISPR process that uses “DNA free RNPs, and that’s the path to a non-transgenic, transgene-free, non-GMO approval, and that’s what I think is going to change the game,” and be the perfect antidote to regulation and the anti-GMO movement.

He neglected to explain how a process designed to engineer genomes would not be genetic engineering.  In fact, he feared this would be the downfall of the CRISPR movement–if people perceived it as genetic engineering.  Which it is, so he should be concerned.

He wrapped up his talk explaining how the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning could be used to “predict what genomes, sequences and pathways should be targeted—and once you understand this you can knock them out, turn them on, turn them off, whatever you want to do and hopefully eventually get to the relevant trait that is of interest to the industry.”

Again: genetic engineering.

His fanatical worship of the CRISPR God was tempered slightly at the end of his talk when he admitted that CRISPR scientists are nowhere near understanding tree genomics as well as we understand human genomics due to the fact that tree genomes are so much bigger and more complex.

Not all Fertilizer and Roses

His stunningly depressing presentation, interestingly, was followed by James Holland, a USDA/NCSU corn researcher who provided comic relief with his explanations of everything that can and will go wrong in the pursuit of genetic knowledge. His honesty was like a breath of fresh air after the hard pitch CRISPR advertisement that proceeded him.

End day one…

For more updates on the IUFRO tree biotech conference in Raleigh, NC please watch The Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees through 28 June 2019.

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Don’t miss tonight’s event of poetry and spoken word at ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art – from #notwhitecollective – you’ll feel sorry if you miss it!

#notwhitecollective member Sara Tang in impromptu performance last during the collective’s opening of “In Between the Middle” yesterday evening. The exhibit runs through June 7, 2019 at Buffalo’s ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art. photo: Orin Langelle

Saturday, April 6, 2019, 7-9 p.m.

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art (148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo NY 14201).

Pittsburgh-based #notwhite collective and Buffalo poets celebrate National Poetry Month

The Pittsburgh-based #notwhite collective, a group of 12 women artists of bi/multi-racial/cultural, immigrant- or descendant-of-immigrants backgrounds, will present an evening of poetry and spoken word with Buffalo poets on Saturday, April 6, from 7-9 p.m.

The event kicks off the first weekend of National Poetry Month and is presented in conjuction with the Buffalo premiere of the collective’s art exhibit, In Between the Middle the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art.

Performers include Buffalo artists Danielle AJ, Bianca L. McGraw and N’gana, who will be joined by #notwhite collective members: Madame Dolores, HollyHood, Fran Flaherty, Carolina Loyola-Garcia, Liana Maneese, Maritza Mosquera and Sara Tang. The event is open to the public, and ASL interpretation will be provided. Visit www.notwhitecollective.com or ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art for more information.

 

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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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This critique is re-posted from Global Justice Ecology Project. No disrespect is intended for Vietnam Veterans or for any of us who stayed in the U.S. in the struggle to bring U.S. troops home and stop the war on the people and the land in IndoChina. – Orin Langelle – 27 September 2017

Members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) show their outrage as they protest the lives lost (both U.S. and Indo-Chinese) in the Vietnam War. Both VVAW members and thousands of anti-war demonstrators massed at the Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, FL to show opposition to the war. PhotoLangelle.org (1972)

Two critiques of Burns’ film The Vietnam War question its intentions

by Global Justice Ecology Project’s Orin Langelle – co-founder, consultant, and photographer

As someone who was active in the movement to stop the Vietnam War, I was asked to comment on two key critiques of Burns and Novick’s highly acclaimed series, The Vietnam War.  The first,“The Killing of History,” is by John Pilger and the other,“Ken Burns’ Vietnam Gives Corporate Sponsors Little to Worry About,” is by Frank Joyce.  [I include a few others as well.] I have found writing about that epoch deeply challenging, as that war forever changed me and my understanding of reality, as well as millions of others–some living, some dead. I carry the heavy load of that time every day.

It was a crash course in imperialism, racism, colonization and class.

On July 1, 1970 a “lottery” draft was drawn for all men born in 1951. I drew 031 out of a possible 365. I subsequently was ordered by my draft board to report for a physical.  I took the physical, but made sure I did not go to Vietnam. There was no guarantee of a round trip ticket and I had no desire to kill anyone.

I had a lot of friends who did go to Vietnam. One young man I knew was a conscientious objector but served as a medic refusing to carry a gun.  He received the purple heart three times and returned deeply disturbed. Another was a military combat photographer. The last time I visited him the only things he had in his refrigerator were bottles of vodka.

I had no animosity for those who went to Vietnam, nor did I or anyone I knew ever spit on any veteran–a myth perpetuated through endless propaganda to undermine the anti-war movement, which also included many Vietnam veterans.

Wounded soldier from Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in a wheelchair during protests against the Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, FL. He was one of over 200,000 U.S. casualties in that war. PhotoLangelle.org (1972).      This photograph received the 2017 Exhibition Award from the CEPA Gallery (Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center) in Buffalo, NY during their Members’ Exhibition. Langelle will have a solo exhibit in January 2018 at CEPA entitled “Portraits of Struggle.”

I was arrested many times trying to end the war. But I wasn’t marching in circles like so many in the ‘peace” movement today – I was in the streets taking part in direct action to STOP the war.  Not to complain about it, to STOP it.

But back to Burns’ advertisement for Bank of America – I mean his series The Vietnam War. I have to congratulate Bank of America for their part in the making of this series. They sound so concerned and compassionate.  For those who suffer from societal amnesia or just weren’t paying attention or alive then, it sounds great. But I was suspicious from the beginning of all the film’s corporate sponsors, especially Bank of America. And I wasn’t the only one.

Noted journalist, John Pilger, in his article “The Killing of History” states of Burns’ movie, “It’s lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.

Burns says he is grateful to ‘the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans.’ Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.”

And Frank Joyce in the LA Progressive goes after PBS in “Ken Burns’ Vietnam Gives Corporate Sponsors Little to Worry About. “The corporatization of so-called public broadcasting is a fact of life, a prime example of how the machinery of manufacturing consent works ceaselessly to expand its influence.”

Joyce also discusses sponsorship of the film by the Koch Brothers. The Koch Brothers?

Last night I watched the film’s credits to see exactly who was behind the making of “The Vietnam War.” And yes, David H. Koch’s name (from the Koch Foundation) was displayed in great big letters.

David H. Koch has a track record of well, just plain evil. Jane Mayer in 2010, writing “Covert Operations” for The New Yorker says, “David H. Koch… and his brother Charles are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes.”

Mayer continues, “A Republican campaign consultant who has done research on behalf of Charles and David Koch said of the Tea Party, ‘The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud—and they’re our candidates!’”

But that’s just the beginning.  In a Rolling Stone article, “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire” Tim Dickerson writes, “The volume of Koch Industries’ toxic output is staggering. According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute, only three companies rank among the top 30 polluters of America’s air, water and climate: ExxonMobil, American Electric Power and Koch Industries. Thanks in part to its 2005 purchase of paper-mill giant Georgia-Pacific, Koch Industries dumps more pollutants into the nation’s waterways than General Electric and International Paper combined. The company ranks 13th in the nation for toxic air pollution. Koch’s climate pollution, meanwhile, outpaces oil giants including Valero, Chevron and Shell. Across its businesses, Koch generates 24 million metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.”

So glad Koch and Bank of America now want to set the record straight on the Vietnam War.

John Pilger continues in “The Killing of History,” The ‘meaning’ of the Vietnam war is no different from the meaning of the genocidal campaign against the Native Americans, the colonial massacres in the Philippines, the atomic bombings of Japan, the levelling of every city in North Korea…

Nothing has changed. When Donald Trump addressed the United Nations on 19 September – a body established to spare humanity the ‘scourge of war’ – he declared he was ‘ready, willing and able’ to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea and its 25 million people. His audience gasped, but Trump’s language was not unusual.

His rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, had boasted she was prepared to ‘totally obliterate’ Iran, a nation of more than 80 million people. This is the American Way; only the euphemisms are missing now.

Returning to the US, I am struck by the silence and the absence of an opposition – on the streets, in journalism and the arts, as if dissent once tolerated in the ‘mainstream’ has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground.”

So The Vietnam War is another outrageous attempt by the corporations and corporadoes to absolve their transgressions through the re-writing of history in an attempt to win the hearts and minds of viewers and pave the way for future atrocities.

See: John Pilger’s “THE KILLING OF HISTORY”  http://johnpilger.com/articles/the-killing-of-history  Pilger is an Australian-British journalist based in London. He covered the Vietnam War for a decade.

Frank Joyce’s “Ken Burns’ Vietnam Gives Corporate Sponsors Little to Worry About”  https://www.laprogressive.com/ken-burns-vietnam/

Jane Mayer’s “Covert Operations” https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/08/30/covert-operations

Tim Dickerson’s “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire” http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-koch-brothers-toxic-empire-20140924

 

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