FSRN Weekly Edition – December 5, 2014
- Protests grow nationwide after no charges in Eric Garner police choke hold death
- UN climate talks open in Lima, activists hold parallel summit
- Opponents of LNG export terminal at Cove Point say FERC rubber-stamps projects
- A visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda
- Colorado apologizes 150 years after the Sand Creek Massacre
- Florida judge issues ruling in favor of Food Not Bombs feedings
Protests grew Thursday night in dozens of U.S. cities, from coast to coast and border to border, after a Staten Island grand jury returned no indictments against NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in the July 17th death of Eric Garner. Cell phone footage showed Pantaleo place Garner in a choke hold, then wrestle him to the ground and pin him in place while other officers handcuffed him. Garner, who suffered from asthma, said eleven times that he couldn’t breathe. The police had approached Garner for allegedly selling loose, untaxed cigarettes. The NYPD 2013 Patrolman’s Guide bans the use of choke holds. The medical examiner who conducted the autopsy of Garner’s body ruled the death a homicide.
UN climate talks open in Lima, activists prepare for parallel summit
The 20th round of United Nations climate talks opened Monday in Lima, Peru. UN delegates will discuss measures like mitigation and mechanisms to formalize a carbon credits market, while Latin American environmental and social movements come up with a list of recommendations at their own parallel summit. Aldo Orellana reports from Lima.
Opponents of LNG export terminal at Cove Point say FERC rubber-stamps projects
Anti-fracking activists held three days of actions this week at the liquid natural gas facility at Cove Point on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In September, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, signed off on the Dominion Resources project to convert the facility to a liquification plant and export terminal. If completed, the massive facility will be the first of its kind on the U.S. East Coast and will underpin expansion of the controversial natural gas extraction method known as fracking. 71-year-old Steven Norris was among nine people arrested during this week’s actions. He explains why clean energy advocates have targeted FERC in a series of recent actions.
“FERC is a kind of rogue governmental agency that has very little oversight from either the President or from Congress, and is entirely funded by the fossil fuel industry itself. It has not unlimited powers, but great powers in licensing and permitting the all the interstate infrastructure for natural gas and some of the fossil fuel industry. And in the past it’s pretty much done everything industry has asked of it, since its 300 million a year budget comes from industry.”
Last month, opponents of fracking held a week of actions in Washington, D.C. demanding that FERC stop what they call the “rubberstamping” of such infrastructure projects – like the Cove Point facility. Cove Point is one of 14 proposed LNG export terminals around the country.
Listen to the full-length interview here.
A group of 17-states filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration Wednesday, seeking to block President Barack Obama’s recent executive action on immigration. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Texas, argues that the president exceeded his authority under the “Take Care Clause” of the U.S. Constitution, didn’t follow procedure for rule changes, and that the order places additional financial burden on the states.
White House officials have previously said they believe the executive order passess Constitutional muster.
In a separate maneuver challenging Obama’s recent executive action, the immigration orders came under scrutiny Tuesday on Capitol Hill. During hearings in the House Homeland Security Committee and House Judiciary Committee, members of Congress also challenged the constitutionality of Obama’s go-it-alone actions. Ashley Westerman reports from Washington, D.C.
In Denver this week, descendants of the dead and wounded in a major massacre that killed hundreds of native Americans in Colorado 150 years ago wrapped up several days of events commemorating the atrocity. But if you don’t remember hearing about the Sand Creek massacre in high school history lessons, you aren’t alone. Maeve Conran has more from Denver.
Twenty years ago, Rwanda experienced one of the worst genocides in living memory. State forces and Hutu militants killed close to a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus. To insure the tragic history and its victims are not forgotten, the Rwandan government established the Kigali Genocide Memorial. FSRN’s Ngala Killian Chimtom visited the memorial center and files this report.
Seven hungers strikers in Florida broke their fasts this week, after a Florida judge issued a 30-day ban on a controversial ordinance that outlawed most food sharings in Ft. Lauderdale public parks. Activists say that arrests and citations issued under recent city rules are akin to making it illegal to help homeless people. One of the hunger strikers is with Tampa Food Not Bombs. FSRN’s Sean Kinane spoke with Dezeray Lyn just before she broke her strike.
(Music Credit: Kendra (Springer) Logozar via Jamendo.com)