the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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two rivers tells the tale of indigenous tribes defending america’s most important rivers from industry

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credit: Todd Darling

1,500 miles apart, two rivers flow. One alongside rolling hills and blue skies of the North Dakota high plains, the other tumbles past volcanoes, down narrow gorges, and through rugged mountain terrain. Beyond the distance and difference that separates these rivers is a similar story that begins over 500 hundred years ago, with their shared outcomes projecting us into our collective fate in the next century.

From the maker of “Occupy the Farm”, which premiered premiered two years ago this week at the United Artists Berkeley 7 Theater, comes a new documentary “Two Rivers” which tells the tale of the Missouri and Klamath Rivers and the indigenous tribes who fight to defend their waters from outside industries. Director and producer Todd Darling spent ten weeks camped out at Standing Rock near the Missouri River, and nearly as long traveling up and down the gorges of the Klamath River to make this film. A lot has been accomplished, but he and his team still have some production to complete and editing to move forward. Continue reading


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the future of farming in new england

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After a year that put large swaths of New England in prolonged severe to extreme drought, reporter Kori Feener devoted episode two of her new podcast series to ask: what is the future of farming in New England in an increasingly erratic climate? Feener speaks to our  a small farmer, the head of environmental studies at Brandies University, and our own Severine. The experts agree, the challenges are daunting but hardly insurmountable. Realistic and yet incredibly hopeful, this is great listening for long days of seeding in the greenhouse.

To that point, the new series, Under Reported, is sleek, smart, and incredibly engaging. Based out of Boston, Feener goes beneath the headlines to give voice to the personal narratives of today’s news cycle and draw attention to what the mainstream media often ignores. “Through in-depth interviews, and audio storytelling Under Reported connects with those on the front lines of change in America.”

We also highly recommend episode one, on Standing Rock, Sovereignty, and Erasure.


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emergency day of action against DAPL

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The Sacred Stones Camp at Standing Rock has put out the call for immediate emergency action to stop the drilling below the Missouri River for the Dakota Access Pipeline after yesterday’s announcement by the Army Corps of Engineers of their intent to issue permission to proceed with construction, ignoring a previous order to conduct an environmental impact study on the project before doing so. Without action, drilling will likely begin today, Wednesday February 9, and the pipeline could be completed in 80 days.

If there were ever a time to flood TDP banks, shout outside of Army Corps of Engineers offices, and share this information widely, this is it. Find actions near you today!

We’ll leave you with this excellent quote from indigenous American Kandi Mosset in the Guardian today: “The Dakota Access pipeline is a symptom of the larger problem, which is the fracking that’s continuing to happen. Society as a whole needs to wake up and realize there are no jobs on a dead planet.”


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don’t back down on DAPL, SEND PUBLIC COMMENTS TODAY!

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Friends, it’s clear to us that the activism bug is sweeping the nation. Suddenly even my once-apolitical mother is calling her senators every day. It’s beautiful, and it’s important. On this note, we’ve got one URGENT request for you today: please, please add the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to your call and write lists. President Trump may have put the fast track on the Dakota Access Pipeline, but you still have the opportunity to voice your opposition to this dangerous and unnecessary project!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ public comment period on the proposed 1,172-mile-long pipeline is open now, and the Water Protectors at Standing Rock need your support before the comment period closes February 20, 2017.

 

Send your public comment now and continue to stand with Standing Rock in opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Given this week’s current events,  we think the the sooner, the better!

*Photo by John Wathen, Hurricane Creekkeeper


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10 things to know about standing rock

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Thanks be to High Country News for this latest piece that brings us back to a much-needed review of the ins-and-outs of our representative federal form of government as they relate to the latest events at Standing Rock. Have you found yourself wondering over the past few months, how did we get here, why can this happen in our country, or, even, wait, what does usufructory mean? Then we can’t encourage you more to take five minutes to read “Back to Civics Class: 10 Things to Know About Standing Rock.”

This is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READING. Just because it’s a well-worn cliched doesn’t make it any less true, friends, knowledge is power. Short, clear, and so freaking well-written, these ten points review historical moments including the Louisiana Purchase, relevant supreme court cases, and the current status of treaties with Native American nations.

For instance, point one: usufrcutory rights; it is an important legal construction that is currently so obscure in our collective consciousness that spellcheck reports that it is not a word. (Spoiler alert: usufructory rights have nothing to do with high fructose corn syrup and mean  the right of tribes to hunt, gather and fish in their “usual and accustomed places.)

As the culture-war rhetoric simmers with caustic venom on the Northern Plains, the results of the civics survey mentioned earlier are sobering. Is it not disquieting to learn that 70 percent of us lack a rudimentary understanding of the basic principles of federalism? At what point do we cease to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and become a nation of the blind leading the blind?


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what thanksgiving looks like at standing rock

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Photo cred to Deborah Kates of the NYT

Ever late to the party, The New York Times is finally giving Standing Rock some much-deserved coverage. This gorgeous and inspiring video (and its accompanying article) gives sober context to Thanksgiving celebrations all over this country last week.

Caitlyn Huss, 25, a manager of a vegan hostel in Los Angeles, was closing up late one night last month when the tent flap opened and someone dropped off a deer that had just been killed by a car.

“We knew we had to find an elder from the sacred fire to come and bless it, then find someone who could skin it for us,” she recalled. “It was crazy.”

Not incidentally, Severine and Krista spent the afternoon making saurkraut to send to Standing Rock. And foraged apples from a 150 year old tree..
The events that are transpiring in North Dakota, though horrific, are providing a context for new agrarians, Native Americans, veterans, peace activists, climate activists and people from all across the country to unify in a land occupation that is about protecting the commons. We are moved and we are hopeful.


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Police escalation in Standing Rock is threatening lives (please read)

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From the Daily Kos:

POLICE ESCALATION IN STANDING ROCK IS THREATENING LIVES

Last night the Morton County Sheriff’s office put Standing Rock water protectors in grave danger. Hundreds were injured, including an elder who went into cardiac arrest and several people treated for rubber bullet injuries to the face. They used projectiles that ripped through people’s muscle tissue (warning: graphic photos).

Police fired water cannons at the protectors for at least six hours in below freezing temperatures, exposing them all to hypothermia. Medical professionals at the camp called for a cessation of this tactic because of the real threat that people could die. And Morton County law enforcement just kept drenching water protectors in water, tear gassing them, firing concussion grenades and using sonic weapons against them.

This is inhumane! They are willing to directly threaten people’s lives in order to protect profits for the oil industry. Enough is enough.

Call the Morton County Sheriff’s office and demand they end these life-threatening attacks on peaceful unarmed protectors immediately! Here is the number and a sample script:

Morton County Sheriff’s office number:
701-328-8118 & 701-667-3330

Hello, my name is ___________. I am horrified by the violence used by your officers against the Standing Rock water protectors last night. It is nothing short of torture to douse people in water, in below freezing temperatures, for hours. People could die from this inhumane escalation. Your officers are willing to risk killing peaceful protectors. It’s time to end these dangerous tactics and torture against the people at Standing Rock.

After your call, fill out this form to tell us how the call went. Tell us how Morton County is responding to concerns that they are risking people’s lives.

Morton County law enforcement is already claiming that they were putting out fires started by the protectors, but several livestream feeds, including the one we followed all last night, show that the fires were started by Morton County officers and their tear gas and concussion grenades. Do not let them get away with telling this lie!

Every level of government needs to hear from the people loud and clear that we will not stand for the torture of peacefully gathered water protectors, all in the name of oil money.

If you have more time, we need you to make two more phone calls–To the Army Corp of Engineers and the Department of Justice. Click this link to view the phone numbers and scripts for each agency, as well as report back on your calls.

These agencies have the power to stop all of this. We need to light up the phone lines of every official who is allowing law enforcement to torture people who are fighting to maintain clean drinking water and preserve their sacred sites. We cannot sit idly by while people are brutalized like this.

Keep fighting,
Irna Landrum, Daily Kos