LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

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

Posts tagged ‘Earth First!’

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 show opened 3 April 2015.

struggle final show

Please come to this closing reception and gallery walk-through – refreshments include wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Struggles for Justice is the last show in the present gallery space.  The ¡Buen Vivir Gallery is moving to the first floor of the same location at 148 Elmwood Ave., in Buffalo’s Allentown. The Grand re-opening of the gallery will be on 7 August 2015 with a photo exhibit by Anne Petermann entitled Triumph Over Tragedy.

Anne Petermann is the Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and the Coordinator of the international Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered Trees.

 

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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: http://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

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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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For workers and for all inhabitants of Mother Earth

Photo: Langelle

Photo: Langelle

Earth First! and the Industrial Workers of the World ( IWW) join autoworkers in a Fenton, MO protest against Chrysler (1989)

This photos is from my exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights Exhibit Late 80s to Late 90s  now on display at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. More on the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery.

More on May Day

Workers

Words engraved on the Haymarket Martyr’s Monument in Chicago. This monument was erected in 1893 after workers’ demonstrations were answered with police repression and unjust trials resulting in the conviction of workers on trumped up charges, with four (the Haymarket Martyrs) being executed [notice the original meaning of “thug”]:

THE DAY WILL COME WHEN OUR SILENCE WILL BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE VOICES YOU ARE THROTTLING TODAY.
Truly, history has a lot to teach us about the roots of our radicalism. When we remember that people were shot so we could have the 8-hour day; if we acknowledge that homes with families in them were burned to the ground so we could have Saturday as part of the weekend; when we recall 8-year old victims of industrial accidents who marched in the streets protesting working conditions and child labor only to be beat down by the police and company thugs, we understand that our current condition cannot be taken for granted – people fought for the rights and dignities we enjoy today, and there is still a lot more to fight for. The sacrifices of so many people can not be forgotten or we’ll end up fighting for those same gains all over again. This is why we celebrate May Day.

Please read the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument for more information and a fairly thorough historical explanation of the events that led to the monument’s existence. Many radical people from the labor movement at the time are buried next to the Haymarket Martyrs,  including Joe Hill, who was murdered by the state of Utah 100 years ago this year.

The Earth

From Ancient Origins:

The 1st of May is an ancient Northern Hemisphere festival, now known as ‘May Day’, which traditionally marked the return of spring. It is believed that the celebrations originated in agricultural rituals intended to ensure fertility for crops, held by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Later developments included the Celtic festival of Beltane…

For a more thorough explanation see May Day History: An Invitation From the Sun:

The First of May sounds a clarion call announcing the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere. The sun is in its ascendancy, pouring light and warmth onto the Earth, whose creatures bask in the joyous tide of burgeoning life, sensuality, fertility, and abundance. From Scandinavia to Scotland, from Hawaii to China, people come together to celebrate the irresistible rising of the life-force as they are touched by the warmth and light of the sun. There is a promise of love and a reminder of the constant greening and renewal of life.

For those who follow an Earth-based spiritual tradition, this is a sacred time of the year, celebrated in ways that promote a joyful communion both with each other and with the Green World of nature. Although the practices of modern pagans, Wiccans, Druids, and other groups may differ, in general Beltaine is a time of connection, of honoring the “three Ls:” life, light, and love. (“Beltaine” is the Gaelic spelling; it’s also known as “Beltane.”) Read More

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Earth First! and “Mud People” present a check to the 1990 Earth Day (Smurf Day) Committee in St. Louis, Missouri. Monsanto was the main sponsor of the event.

The action was the feature evening news story on a major television network affiliate in St. Louis with a reporter attempting to interview a mud person. An Earth First! “translator” fielded the reporter’s questions in English and then translated to the mud person in mud language; the mud person responded in mud language and then the Earth First! translator gave the answer to the reporter.

The above photo is part of Orin Langelle’s exhibit Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights  – Late 80s to Late 90s at Buffalo’s ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY. The exhibit runs through 19 June 2015.

 

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EXHIBIT PREVIEW: STRUGGLES FOR JUSTICE

From: Step Out Buffalo

BY BRETT SMITH / ART, CULTURE & ARTS / MARCH 31, 2015

Pikes Peak – This activist was arrested for handing out fliers that urged the public to write their senators and congressmen about the Kearsarge North Timber sale in the White Mountain National Forest of NH. The arrest occurred in North Conway, NH, after a Northeast EF! Regional Rendezvous. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

This activist was arrested for handing out fliers that urged the public to write their senators and congressmen about the Kearsarge North Timber sale in the White Mountain National Forest of NH. The arrest occurred in North Conway, NH, after a Northeast EF! Regional Rendezvous. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

The rise of social media and the ubiquity of mobile devices allow us access to protests around the world and in real time. However, just 25 years ago – only photographers like Orin Langelle could give society a glimpse of the regional protests taking place in the forests of the MidWest or slums of England.

Starting this Friday, April 3, Langelle’s photography will be on display in Struggles for Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights – Late 80s to Late 90s. The opening reception for the exhibit is taking place as a part of the opening of the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery and Allentown’s First Fridays.

Langelle, an Allentown resident, has been documenting social change since the 1970s through “concerned photography,” or the idea that photography itself can be an agent of change. He recently told me that while the point of protesting is to achieve a result, sometimes the act of speaking out itself and its documentation can be just as powerful.

“It’s the struggle that’s important,” Langelle said. “Phil Ochs, the old folk singer, once said that it’s not about winning – it’s about the act, to show that the human spirit is alive.”

Looking over the photos from the exhibit, it’s apparent that Langelle’s lens was able to capture a range of scenes, from desperation to absurdity, in the span of just a few years.

Cree Elder Woman in Whapmagoostui (1993) in the James and Hudson Bay regions of Northern Quebec, Canada. One of the people involved in the day-to-day struggle against the multinational Hydro-Quebec. The people were already impacted by the nearly completed La Grande (Phase 1) Project and also with the people fighting to stop Phase II, the Great Whale Project. Hydro-Quebec’s La Grande project dam that flooded thousands of hectares on Cree land, displacing all Cree in that area. An untimely water release from this dam drowned 10,000 migrating caribou. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

Cree Elder Woman in Whapmagoostui (1993) in the James and Hudson Bay regions of Northern Quebec, Canada. One of the people involved in the day-to-day struggle against the multinational Hydro-Quebec. The people were already impacted by the nearly completed La Grande (Phase 1) Project and also with the people fighting to stop Phase II, the Great Whale Project.
Hydro-Quebec’s La Grande project dam that flooded thousands of hectares on Cree land, displacing all Cree in that area. An untimely water release from this dam drowned 10,000 migrating caribou. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

In 1993, he was able to capture the heart-wrenching image of an older Cree native woman who was involved in a day-to-day struggle against Hydro-Quebec, the utility that displaced thousands of Cree with the construction of a massive dam project. In 1989, his camera snapped the image of mostly naked people from a group called Earth First! dancing in the New Mexico desert after declaring war on the US.

On top of a tripod during a Forest Activist Training Week in northeast VT. (1998) The Forest Activist Training Weeks lasted many years and hundreds of activists were trained in non-violent direct action, including blockading, banner making, climbing, tree-sitting, and tripod construction. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

On top of a tripod during a Forest Activist Training Week in northeast VT. (1998) The Forest Activist Training Weeks lasted many years and hundreds of activists were trained in non-violent direct action, including blockading, banner making, climbing, tree-sitting, and tripod construction. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

One of the photos included in the exhibit, taken in 1998, is of a massive tripod that protesters used to block various roadways. However, this technique has fallen out of favor as authorities have learned how to safely bring down the tripod by cutting slices out of each leg in succession, causing it to lower slowly to the ground.

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On top of a tripod during a Forest Activist Training Week in northeast VT. (1998) The Forest Activist Training Weeks lasted many years and hundreds of activists were trained in non-violent direct action, including blockading, banner making, climbing, tree-sitting, and tripod construction. / Photo Credit: © PhotoLangelle.org

Langelle told me he has seen a lot change in protests over the years, the biggest change coming after 9/11. After the terror attacks and subsequent rolling out of anti-terror measures in law enforcement, Langelle said he noticed a scaling back of protester tactics.

“It’s had an effect,” he said. “But I’m seeing a lot of young people that are becoming a lot more militant. I think there’s probably going to be a lot of protests around the UN meetings in Paris in late November, early December. I’m not really sure what’s going to happen.”

“I don’t want to say (protesters) are going to be more aggressive, but maybe not as polite,” he added.

As far as exhibit visitors go, Langelle said he wants people to walk away thinking about the long history of protest culture and how its documentation can shape that way we look at society.

For more information on Struggles For Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights and ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery, visit photolangelle.org/buen-vivir-gallery.

Struggles For Justice: Forests, Land and Human Rights – Late 80s to Late 90s

Where: ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery @ 148 Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo

When: Opening Friday April 3

Time: 7-9 p.m.

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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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