Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stand On The Side Of The Planet And Free Speech

When we become aware of a great moral issue, it's good for the soul to decide which side we will stand on: with the riot police, or with the defenders of the coral reefs? This anonymous woman visiting South Korea from Hawaii was honored by villagers of Gangeong village on Jeju Island. They gifted her with the traditional Korean robe she wears so beautifully here, and she responded by playing a concert to lift the spirits of the activists. They have been standing firm for years now against the entombment of their beloved coastline and fisheries, against the destruction of the natural resources that gave them life for so many generations.

The photo above was posted by one of the bravest of many brave activists, Sung Hee-Choi, who has been arrested as well as physically attacked for putting himself between the UN World Heritage Site and the trucks that the Samsung corporation is using to destroy it. 
South Korea has been required by the U.S. to build a deep water port from which to menace the South China Sea. It needs to be big enough to handle ships like Aegis destroyers.

Aegis nuclear-equipped destroyers are ships which are built far away, at Bath Iron Works in Maine. Maine's newest Senator Angus King visited the General Dynamics facility this week to pay homage to his campaign contributors, and to vow to fight cuts to the Pentagon's budget (currently at 57% of total discretionary spending) to save the 5,500 jobs there. "Jobs" being a mythically powerful word that is repeated like an incantation by politicians looking to deliver on the favors that corporations purchase at election time.

Angus was once a hippie who hung around in the north woods smoking pot and building geodesic domes. Somewhere along the line he succumbed to either greed (he became quite wealthy on industrial wind investments) or the lust for fame. Possibly both. 

Now Angus favors fracking because his aide told me "it can be done safely" and anyway we must do it because heating oil is too expensive and we need natural gas as a "transition fuel."
Source: 8020 Vision -- Use their inteactive diagram to see what fracking does to ground water.
The inspiring example of the Jeju Island resistance will be useful when Mainers are resisting the planned corporate looting of our own wealth of natural resources. Tar sands pipelines, an East-West Corridor with mining rights and hundreds of feet wide right of way, private-public partnerships to cash in on eminent domain, a mammoth (13 stories high) LP gas tank on the Penobscot Bay, mountain top removal open pit mining, and expansion beyond the seven already existing wells to pump out the spectacular Maine aquifer are all planned.

Hearings where you can stand on the side of Mother Earth include Searsport High School on Monday, Feb 25 at 6pm with Thanks but no tank, and Fryeburg.
SAVE THE DATE - Mark your calendars!
There will be a PUBLIC HEARING in Fryeburg, Maine on Thursday, March 7, 6pm at the Fryeburg Legion Hall on Bradley Street across from the Fryeburg Academy gym next to the baseball field about Nestle having an unprecedented long term contract with the Fryeburg Water Company, a public utility.

Source: Defending Water For Life in Maine
Indigenous people of Hawaii have lived for generations with corporate degradation and pollution of their island paradise. Jeju Islanders have called on international solidarity in their struggle. Idle No More has connected the First Nations of Canada with earth defenders all over the planet.

Which side will you be on? I'm happy to say I will be on the side that has the best culture workers -- the artists and musicians and dancers and writers who lift our hearts while we struggle on in the face of the obscene wealth and greed of corporations who think they own the Earth.

Today I'll be standing in Portland, Maine for information hero Bradley Manning. February 23 is his 1,000th day in jail for sharing news of war crimes and U.S. State Department complicity in corporate hijacking of resources all over the planet. Here's the poster that Kansas artist/activist Marc Saviano made specially for the occasion:

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