Given the ongoing effort to quash all public dissent, and prevent people from protesting, it’s a good reminder to take a glimpse into the past, to see what people do when governments are wrong and out of control. They protest.
Given the ongoing effort to quash all public dissent, and prevent people from protesting, it’s a good reminder to take a glimpse into the past, to see what people do when governments are wrong and out of control. They protest.
© C. Ford. All rights reserved.
More and more efforts are directed at divestment, and Norway’s largest private investor has decided to go No DAPL.
The largest private investor in Norway has pulled out of three companies connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) because of the conflict at Standing Rock.
Storebrand, an Oslo-based financial-services company that specializes in sustainable, socially conscious investing, has sold off nearly $35 million worth of shares in Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and Enbridge, the company announced on March 1.
“Storebrand has made the decision to withdraw all investments from the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, including positions in the North American companies Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Enbridge Inc. and Phillips 66,” said Storebrand in a statement on March 1.
“Our conclusion is that these are poor long-term investments, both for our pension customer and from a sustainability point of view,” the company said.
Storebrand had investments of $11.5 million in Philips 66, $7 million in Marathon Petroleum Corp. and $16.2 million in Enbridge Inc., for a total of $34.8 million, said the company. According to its website, it has been in operation since 1767 and was managing pension funds since 1917, pre-dating Norway’s social security system by 50 years.
“There is too much uncertainty, for us as an investor, as to whether there has been a good process that ensures the rights of all parties in the conflict,” said Matthew Smith, Head of Sustainable Investments. “There has been involvement by the United Nations, by President Obama, and President Trump. Caught in the middle are the people directly impacted by the pipeline.”
Storebrand tried numerous tactics to enact change, Smith said in the statement, but none of them worked.
“Generally, it is our belief that we can have a more positive effect on companies and situations by using our position as an owner to effect change. We have successfully done so on many occasions, but it doesn’t always work,” Smith said. “Storebrand has been in direct contact with the companies, and has worked with international groups of investors. Our most recent initiative is an investor letter, representing 137 investors with $653 billion assets under management, that encourages involved banks that have lent money to the project to use their position and influence to engender positive change and a reconsideration the routing of the pipeline.”
Storebrand was forced to conclude that “active ownership is not going to deliver a better outcome,” he said. “We do hope that this can give a final indication to the involved companies to reconsider the routing of the pipeline.”
The investor joins a growing number of companies and entities that have pulled funds from Wells Fargo and other banks that are financing DAPL, ranging from the City of Seattle to individual account holders. Others, such as New York City, have put DAPL banks on notice.
The decision was not easy, Smith told The Guardian.
“Divestment is a last resort,” he said. “When you divest from companies, you give up your possibility to influence companies to come to a better solution.”
Full story at ICMN.
Back in 2014, this was one sentence in a long comment written to an oblivious ass about events in Ferguson, Missouri:
A lot of us recognize the dire nature of this situation, and that sooner or later, that rumble will mow down our towns.
The rumble is here. It’s been here for a while, those at the No DAPL camp got to see it up close and personal, more than once. That noise you hear is the boot stomp of a police state, soon to be wherever you live in the States. Legislators have been busy for a while, coming up with various ways to strip people of their rights, and to punish them severely for attempting to exercise those rights. We’re not only back to the bad old days of COINTELPRO (don’t need that anymore, they have Palantir), it’s much worse now. Lately, I’ve been posting a bit of music every day, from the bad old days, which reflected the protests and fights we were in, music which helped to mobilize people. Turns out, we need that more than ever now. Young people, unlike old farts like myself, don’t have the experience of just how far our government is willing to go to shut down dissent. While past experience informs my current alarm, what’s happening now is worse. Much, much worse. Don’t be thinking it’s okay because you aren’t the protesting kind of person – your rights have been shredded and tossed to the wind too. Once open dissent is shut down, it’s never long before it isn’t safe to criticise or be thought unloyal. The loyalist business has already infected the white house, and that’s gotten worse too, with people being fired for having been critical of Trump.
Flint Taylor, a founding partner of the Chicago-based People’s Law Office, told AlterNet that he believes that Trump’s three executive orders on crime and policing have emboldened these state-level initiatives. One decree, titled “Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers,” is premised on the false claim that there is a war on cops. The order instructs the executive branch to “develop strategies, in a process led by the Department of Justice (Department) and within the boundaries of the Constitution and existing Federal laws, to further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.”
Sessions, who heads the DOJ, has said that he does not believe systemic police brutality is a problem worth addressing.
“The language of this executive order is focused on ‘preventing violence,’ which was the exact language of the memoranda that former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote justifying the neutralization—i.e. destruction—of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to the Black Panthers,” said Taylor. “One of the key aspects of COINTELPRO was to ‘prevent violence.’ That was the cover for destroying movements.”
“Together with all the other preliminary indications from the Trump administration, this executive order bodes extremely ill, particularly for communities of color, in terms of unleashing the already awesome and racist power of police departments in cities across the country.”
Meanwhile, right-wing Republicans in Congress, with apparent backing from the Trump administration, are advancing efforts to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The initiative, which emanates from far-right conspiracy theories that the Sunni Islamist group is infiltrating the U.S. government, is aimed at crushing Muslim civil society organizations at the core of resistance to Trump.
Amidst a climate of authoritarianism, anti-protest laws are advancing alongside so-called Blue Lives Matter bills that protect police officers under hate crime laws meant to safeguard historically oppressed communities. These initiatives are spreading across the country, with Republicans now in control of roughly two-thirds of the partisan legislative chambers in the United States.
“I definitely think there are a lot of Republicans who feel that Trump is a dog whistle to start writing bills that infringe on people’s rights, because we’re seeing that on a federal level,” said Grimm. “They are taking advantage of this time to make sure that people who don’t agree with them don’t have the right to express that. This is how you move toward fascism and nationalism, by getting rid of dissent.”
That’s just a bit of the full article running down all the current legislation looking to strip rights and quash dissent.
There’s also this:
Upon entering Spicer’s second floor office, staffers were told to dump their phones on a table for a “phone check,” to prove they had nothing to hide.
Spicer, who consulted with White House counsel Don McGahn before calling the meeting, was accompanied by White House lawyers in the room, according to multiple sources. There, he explicitly warned staffers that using texting apps like Confide — an encrypted and screenshot-protected messaging app that automatically deletes texts after they are sent — and Signal, another encrypted messaging system, was a violation of the Federal Records Act, according to multiple sources in the room.
The phone checks included whatever electronics staffers were carrying when they were summoned to the unexpected follow-up meeting, including government-issued and personal cell phones.
Spicer also warned the group of more problems if news of the phone checks and the meeting about leaks was leaked to the media. It’s not the first time that warnings about leaks have promptly leaked. The State Department’s legal office issued a four-page memo warning of the dangers of leaks — that memo was immediately posted by the Washington Post.
But with mounting tension inside the West Wing over stories portraying an administration lurching between crises and simmering in dysfunction, aides are increasingly frustrated by the pressure-cooker environment and worried about their futures there.
Full story at Politico. It should not need to be said that open, transparent governments don’t need to fear leaks. Authoritarian regimes, however…
© C. Ford.
North Dakota legislators have been pushing a raft of draconian bills through to make any protesting impossible to do, if you’re actually outside your abode. The worst of them is one which would allow drivers to ‘accidentally’ hit a protester without penalty. Thankfully, it didn’t pass, but the shit-filled asshole who authored it still wants it to be enacted, because:
Republican state Representative Keith Kempenich told local media that he sponsored the bill after his mother-in-law was caught in a protest while driving.
Kempenich defended the bill Monday before a vote, saying current laws had failed to protect citizens, and that the much publicized bill was mischaracterized by the media.
“I’d like to see this bill passed forward. I think that it shows that we are willing to stand up for the citizens of this state,” he said.
How about you say what you mean, you piece of shit? You want that bill to pass because you think us nasty Indians ought to be killed. We sure as hell obviously aren’t citizens of this state in your colonial, genocidal eyes. Fuck you, Kempenich.
Via Raw Story.
A group of 100 people gathered in Park City to protest the revival of the project by new U.S. President Donald Trump. Despite freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, Malia Obama joined the protester who were holding up signs that read: “Exist. Resist. Rise.” and “Impeach corporate control,” according to the Daily Mail.
Along with protesting the construction of the pipeline, which will disturb sacred grounds and introduce contaminants into the local water supply, the group was protesting the festival sponsorship by Chase Bank, which is invested in the pipeline. The rally was held in front of the Chase Sapphire on Main lounge.
Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II was more surprised at the rapidity with which Donald Trump signed presidential memoranda purporting to speed up the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and reinstate the Keystone XL pipeline than he was by the act itself.
“We were prepared for President Trump take a run at everything we have accomplished in the last two years,” Archambault told Tamron Hall on MSNBC on Wednesday January 25, the day after Trump signed a Presidential Memorandum attempting to move DAPL along. “This nation better start bracing itself for what’s to come if in the first four days we’re witnessing him using an executive order to circumvent federal laws. It’s not right, and it’s something we better get ready for. I was disappointed that it came this soon, because we had worked so hard for the last two years.”
The tribe wants closer study of the pipeline’s potential effects on water supply, sacred sites and treaty rights, he said, and Trump is trying to do an end run around such statutes as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
“The troubling thing is that this president is circumventing federal law,” Archambault said. “We have Treaty rights, we have water rights with our Winter’s Doctrine, we have NEPA.”
For those who still insist fossil fuels are the future, the Trump administration represents a new day for some old ideas. In an early sign of things to come, the president showed his faith in big oil when he signed documents Tuesday pressuring federal agencies to support construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. Each of these projects faced enormous protests and was put on hold by the Obama administration because of legitimate environmental and due process concerns.
Congressional Republicans frequently howled at far less heavy-handed exercises of executive power under the previous administration. Today, they applaud Trump’s move on the mistaken premise that these pipelines are good investments. Not only will these projects not create long-lasting jobs – as CNBC, not exactly an anti-corporate mouthpiece, has noted: “Pipelines do not require much labor to operate in the long term” – they will further delay the inevitable transition to clean, renewable energy our economy needs and the American people demand.
Editor’s note: Reaction was swift and strong when President Donald Trump signed a series of Presidential Memoranda and Executive Orders designed to move the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) forward and revive the Keystone XL pipeline. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe responded immediately, and on January 25 Standing Rock Chairman Archambault wrote a letter to Trump explaining the legal constraints, the support that the Environmental Impact Statement and the tribe have, and the need for a leader-to-leader meeting. The full text is below.
You’ve probably seen and shared at least one of the many brilliant political cartoons by Marty Two Bulls at some point in time. Marty Two Bulls—an artist from the Oglala Lakota Nation—has been drawing political cartoons with great success for many years. His work has long been a staple on the pages of ICTMN. He’s known for bringing clever humor and hilarious imagery to hot, controversial issues: most recently the anti-DAPL movement in Standing Rock.
But now, you might see his work in places it shouldn’t be: dozens of t-shirt sellers who are hoping to make a buck from the #NoDAPL campaigns have ripped off Marty Two Bulls designs and been using them to sell t-shirts of their own with no credit, profit, or acknowledgement offered to the artist. Now, Two Bulls has taken the matter into his own hands. In addition to filing dozens of reports to stop production of the rip-offs, he has decided to sell t-shirts of his own.
The design thieves are mostly from overseas with no connection to Native country.
“So far I caught over 20,” Two Bulls said, “I go online, I search terms like #NoDAPL and Water is Life on Facebook, and there they are.”
Marty is an amazingly talented artist, and one of the best political cartoonists in the world, he’s brilliant. Please, if you want to show support for Standing Rock, take the time to make sure your item is coming from the actual artist. Most artists aren’t rolling in money, and this theft hurts, one more than one level. Marty is trying to do something for his people, and if you want to help, and like his artwork, please buy from Marty Two Bulls.
Normally, I would post about this, but all I can do is scream at all the fucking lies, so go read about the fucking asshole of the day.
There are an additional 9 more marches coming up, you can see them all, with links, at The Advocate.
Later, a veteran buddy looked it up to be sure, matched it up with our pictures, and based on his experience noted:
“My suspicion is that the Avenger Missile Systems deployed to Standing Rock are a cost-effective alternative to having an Apache Helo flying overhead when they need it. The Avenger system has Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) Capabilities. The civilian plane and helicopter probably don’t have FLIR and that is when they need an Apache Helo to “monitor” situations under darkness and record for evaluation later. Instead of calling up the Apache, they can have Avengers on-site for instant intelligence day or night. The Avenger system also has video capabilities. It costs them far less to have an Avenger system on the ground 24 hrs a day than to deploy an Apache Helo occasionally. The security ground forces have Night Vision but the Avenger has FLIR and a laser rangefinder along with video capabilities. The FLIR will be at least a plate-sized round lense mounted on the weapon rail on the left side (driver side) if there is one. Just a suspicion. If I am correct, there should be more info to request in a FOIA. The sheriff’s Department can’t all have TS Sec clearances so if they brief them all using Avenger footage, it should be low hanging fruit that would be unclassified.”
Damn. Think about what was possible: A governor who is framing his entire administration on innovation just dismissed the most disruptive force in his state’s recent history. That is what Standing Rock is about. Instead of saying, “What can we learn from this? What can we do together?” The new governor relied on the screen saver that was there before; the idea that powerful forces will roll over the tribe and build the Dakota Access Pipeline without interference. Thank you.
Burgum also scratched away at an old story: The Obama administration created this problem.
But his larger message is that the state of North Dakota and its corporate partners are more powerful than any tribal government. Instead of a pause, a moment to engage in a government-to-government dialogue, the new governor emphatically says the pipeline will get built soon. No. Matter. What.
“Make no mistake, this infrastructure is good for our economy,” the governor said in his YouTube video. “And it’s the safest way to transport North Dakota products. Failure to finish it would send a chilling signal to those in any industry who wish invest in our state and play by the rules.”
The new governor could have reset the law enforcement battle lines too. Nope. “As a result of the Obama administration’s refusal to uphold the rule of law on federally owned land, both our citizens and local and state law enforcement have been put in harm’s way,” he said. “These actions are putting daily demands on the scarce resources of our state and local government.”
Those daily demands are because the state of North Dakota made it so. Pick a word: defuse, de-escalate, negotiate. There were so many better alternatives, ones that were dismissed in favor of sending in the cavalry. I have interviewed many government officials over the years that successfully reduced tension instead of using the police powers of a state. In every test the state failed in this regard and the new governor is following the same path.
I had hopes that Gov. Burgum would see the potential of the Standing Rock story as one that could make North Dakota a beacon. Think about this: This moment in history has brought indigenous people together in a way that’s unprecedented. And the world is paying attention to that. What an amazing opportunity, something that could stir the imagination of investors, entrepreneurs, and governments. Potential partners in a state that found a solution by working with tribes to solve an intractable problem.
The former governor blamed social media for this global perception. But that misses the point that the Standing Rock Tribe owns the story. And that won’t change because the new governor posts a video on his account. The problem is not social media. It’s the message that the State of North Dakota will use the rule of law, the police power of a state, to roll over a tribal nation. It’s a message of brute force instead of inspiration.
Same old tired shit. Same old tired white privilege. Nothing ever changes. Mark Trahant’s full column at ICTMN.
There are still people at the Oceti Sakowin camp, a considerably smaller number, around 2,000, who will stay until DA is gone. They are requesting that no one new come into camp right now, as weather conditions are very harsh. Those of us fighting the Black Snake still need help. You can signal boost, get involved in various actions, or donate, all is appreciated, deeply.
Have a look at the Oceti Sakowin Camp site, and see if there is a way to add your voice to the many.
Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, whose style of governance was basically “hey, let’s pray!”, has been tapped by Trump to be Secretary of Energy.
CBS is reporting that President elect Donald Trump has chosen former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to be his energy secretary.
According to Major Garrett of CBS, two sources have confirmed Perry will be offered the spot and will accept.
As CBS notes, Perry sits on the boards of two major energy companies, including Energy Transfer Partners which owns a subsidiary Dakota Access LLC, which is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline.
It’s not enough to say all these rich assholes are living in one another’s pockets, they are living in each others rectums. It’s quite the racket Trump is setting up, making sure that all his investments don’t suffer by protecting his fellow investors, all of whom are climate change deniers, and pro-fossil fuels. (See here for the Exxon mess.)
People must get serious about fighting filthy energy, our lives are at stake. When we remove the earth’s ability to sustain us, we’ll die, and not pleasantly so. When we have poisoned all the water, we’ll die. And once again, water systems are not neatly contained puddles. Water flows, it meets other water, it’s an intricate and beautiful network, one which is vital to the health of our earth, and the life residing on it. Everywhere you look, more pipelines are being approved, against public sentiment and wishes. Trudeau, who styled himself a friend to the Indigenous nations of Canada, recently approved two major pipelines. Trump has vowed to okay Keystone XL, and while he won’t be pinned down on DAPL, he says “there will be a fast resolution”. As he’s heavily invested in ETP, I’m sure it doesn’t take much work to figure out which way he will go. The coal industry is also getting much more pushy, pinning their hopes on a Trump presidency. As usual, much of the pipelines and planned coal stations will be on Indigenous land, and treaties will be broken left and right, while colonialists happily destroy the ability of Indigenous people to sustain themselves, and make sure their land and water is always at risk of being poisoned beyond repair.
Does anyone think that the blatant disregard shown by Trump and his appointees won’t matter? Climate change is real, and we are already feeling the effects of it. Sea levels are rising. Water is routinely poisoned by gas and oil. Land which used to yield food is now rendered blasted and useless from fracking. Things will continue to get worse unless we change things right. fucking. now. Trump and his cronies have no interest in that at all. They plan to accelerate all the damage. When great swathes of the U.S. are no longer inhabitable for 3 to 6 months a year, what’s going to happen? Do you have enough money to purchase alternate residences, and the money cushion involved in moving back and forth? Are you going to get out your precious, beloved gun and start shooting people who don’t have resources? What do billionaires care about any of that? The entitlement brought on by having endless amounts of money and power allows them to think they will never, ever be victimized by such things, but planetary climate change doesn’t care about billionaires, and while it might get them last, it will get them.
The most recent pipeline leak here in nDakota, it was not detected by all that supposed early detection equipment, so no more of the same, tired bullshit about how safe pipelines are, and oh, they have detection equipment, because that crap does not work, and pipelines leak, end of story.
…More. Right. The orange man is on deck. Trump the troll. His minions. Pipeline lovers. Oil-addicted junkies. Wall builders and bigots. The illegal immigrants in this country are not brown. I’ve said this before. Many times. These gibbed geeks are the descendants of European invaders. But enough of that. Word is the oil-and-gas fat cats at Energy Transfer Partners are pissing and moaning into their whiskeys and ryes. Whiny brats. They said they’ll push on. President Andrew Jackson pushed on, too. The Trail of Tears happened anyway. “Justice Marshall made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Another whiny brat.
There’s little justice in this world, but on December 4, Native Americans got a taste. It’s always a fine feeling when good prevails over evil. And that’s what these pipelines are. Evil. Pure. Unadulterated. How could they not be? The oil oafs and their seedy oligarch asshat homies know pipelines leak. And they know people get sick when they do. Just ask the folks in the gulf who are still suffering from the massive BP oil spill. They agonize from chronic respiratory illnesses and skin diseases. THEY know what happens when pipelines leak and poison the water, sink into the soil. But these paunchy pipeline pricks turn a blind eye in the name of profit. They are gibbed vermin, and they deal in deception. …
We, the below stated, are a coalition of grassroots groups living and working in the Dakota Access resistance camps along the Cannon Ball River in Oceti Sakowin treaty lands.
The following is a coalition statement on the next steps for the #NoDAPL fight:
As we reflect on the decision by the U.S. Army (NOT the U.S. Army Corps) to suspend the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) river crossing easement and conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the resistance camps at Standing Rock are making plans for the next phase of this movement.
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II has asked people to return home once the weather clears, and many will do so. Others will stay to hold the space, advance our reclamation of unceded territory affirmed in the 1851 Treaty of Ft. Laramie, and continue to build community around the protection of our sacred waters. They will also keep a close eye on the company, which has drilled right up to the last inch it can, and remains poised and ready to finish the project.
Oren Lyons is a faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs, Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy) and a longtime international indigenous rights and sovereignty activist.
Accompanying article at ICTMN.