You've heard it before: "I-69 is not a done deal." A panel of five activists presented ample evidence bolstering that statement at Green Drinks at the Upland Brewery banquet hall on April 27.
Chris Doran, from the I-69 Accountability Project, moderated. The panel was made up of Jody Madeira, whom Doran introduced as a "pissed-off" homeowner and IU law professor; Christine Glaser, an environmental economist; Tim Maloney, from the Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC); Tom Tokarski, from Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads (CARR); and Sam Allison, Monroe County council member.
"Justice delayed is justice denied." -- William E. Gladstone, British statesman and prime minister, 1809-1898
About 1 million women, according to the Cancer Prevention Coalition (preventcancer.com), work in industries that expose them to more than 50 carcinogens linked to breast cancer.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a large number of cases, cancer is preventable. This fact applies especially to carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals in the workplace.
“At least one in every 10 cancers – and probably many more – is the result of preventable, predictable workplace exposures,” according to Occupational Cancer/Zero Cancer: Union Guide to Prevention.
Fear of the Animal Planet: The Hidden History of Animal Resistance is a book about the power struggle between humans and nonhuman animals in captivity. Only when humans succeed in dominating the animals totally – sometimes by killing them -- does this struggle end.
But according to Jason Hribal, author of the book, the animals fight back.
“[T]rough my research,” Hribal writes, “the resistance became ever more evident. Captive animals escaped their cages. They attacked their keepers. They refused to perform. They refused to reproduce. The resistance itself could be organized.”
With regard to nuclear reactors, Don Lichtenberg operates on the principle that “if things can go wrong, they will -- though not often.”
On March 31, Lichtenberg, professor emeritus of theoretical nuclear physics at Indiana University, spoke at the Monroe County Public Library on lessons on nuclear power that the United States can learn from the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan.
This year’s Midwest Peace and Justice Summit, the seventh annual, bristled with ideas for social justice activists. It took place March 26 on the IUPUI campus in Indianapolis and was sponsored by the IUPUI chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.
The all-day, free summit began with a plenary session on grassroots organizing: from the Middle East to the Midwest, by two state activists, Omar Atia, president of Bridge, and Allison Luthe, community activist with Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, with Carl Davidson, a long-time activist and writer from western Pennsylvania, moderating.
Many people apply lawn chemicals on their properties to achieve the much-touted gorgeous, green, weed-free lawn. Lawn chemicals, however, can be deadly.
“The entire U.S. population is exposed on a daily basis to numerous agricultural chemicals, some of which are used in residential and commercial landscaping,” according to the latest edition of a report called Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now, by the President’s Cancer Panel.
Coal is the No. 1 single cause of global warming, and a student environmental movement has arisen around it. IU students have their own vigorous IU Coal-Free Campaign, which targets the university’s coal-fired power plant. Lauren Kastner, an IU sophomore and Ernie Pyle Scholar in the IU School of Journalism, is the president of Coal-Free IU and talks about the campaign below.
LG: Tell me what the IU Coal-Free IU Campaign is about.
LK: Coal-free IU is a Sierra Club-sponsored campaign. The Sierra Club is the largest environmental organization in the country. In 2009 the Sierra Club and the Sierra Students Coalition launched a campaign called “Beyond Coal.” It’s a national campaign that’s taking place in communities and on college campuses, and Coal-Free IU is one of those campuses.
IU’s dependent on electricity that’s generated by coal that we purchase off the grid from Duke Energy. We want to see the university switch from this outdated and dirty technology to clean, renewable technology, like experiments with biomass or solar or wind or another renewable that will sustain our campus, and of course conservation is a huge part of our effort as well.
The U.S. military, especially the CIA, is relying increasingly on unmanned aerial vehicles, or “drones,” to conduct both surveillance and bombing in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. Indiana is home to multiple sites of manufacturing, testing and support of drones and drone technology. Purdue University is involved, as are several Indiana companies.
In Bloomington at 7 p.m. on March 2, Quigley will outline those Indiana connections and the legal and moral concerns over aerial robotic attacks. He will also discuss the growing resistance to drone warfare. The talk will take place in room 1B of the public library, and its title is, “Indiana Drones: Robotic Warfare in the Heartland.”
The “green scare” is in full swing, with COINTELPRO-style targeting of environmental and animal rights activists. The green scare, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, is “the repression of environmental activists by designating them as terrorists.”
The challenge for activists is to peacefully protest and avoid criminalization of their dissent. Nowhere is that situation more evident than in the case of two I-69 protestors, Hugh Farrell and Gina “Tiga” Wertz. After a nonviolent protest Wertz was charged with intimidation, a class A misdemeanor, two counts; conversion (unauthorized use of someone else's property), a class A misdemeanor, two counts; and corrupt business influence (racketeering), a class C felony. Her bond was set at $10,000.
At last – the idea that most cancer is caused by environmental factors is becoming mainstream.
A report by the President’s Cancer Panel, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now was published in April 2010 This latest annual report, for 2008–2009, was written by Suzanne H. Reuben for the cancer panel and published by the National Cancer Institute.