How an anti-airport occupation became a battle for France’s future
Emilie Papillon reports from the ZAD – an occupation of the site of a proposed airport that has turned into something more
After avoiding the police checkpoints, heading down road D42 and passing multiple barricades made out of wood, tires, hay bales and anything else burnable, you will eventually find yourself staring at a hand-painted sign: ‘welcome to the ZAD’.
This short documentary explores ongoing resistance and self-organization in the midst of the economic and social crisis in Madrid, Spain.
As social conditions continue to deteriorate across the country, people have been turning to the streets and to each other to find for solutions to the crisis. This film tells a story of the massive mobilization that saw millions of people converge on Madrid on March 22nd 2014, the story of the proliferation of social centers, community gardens, self-organized food banks, and the story of large-scale housing occupations by and for families that have been evicted. The film pieces together many of the creative ways that people have been coping with crisis and asks what the future may hold for Spain.
Filmed and edited in March/April 2014, it is part of the Global Uprisings documentary series. View more at globaluprisings.org.
“It is only through the Royal Family’s false and illegal claim of sovereignty over this continent that the
Federal, State and Territory governments derive their authority to pass laws and enforce them. Give back what you stole. Our sovereignty has never been ceded!” – Wayne Wharton (Kooma)
After nine years of research and illustration, the Beehive Design Collective launched their latest graphic campaign, Mesoamérica Resiste, in December of last year. Mesoamérica Resiste is the third installment in a trilogy about globalization in the Americas (following earlier graphics about the FTAA and Plan Colombia). This graphic campaign was directly researched with communities from Mexico, Central America, and Colombia who are impacted by the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project, a neoliberal regional development plan formerly known as Plan Puebla Panama. Since fundraising for a big initial print run of posters and banners last year, the Bees have been actively buzzing across the hemisphere using these illustrated popular education tools to pollinate resistance in communities facing resource-extraction industries, militarization, and forced displacement.
Since late last year, pollinators involved with the project Polinizaciones have been facilitating workshops of Mesoamérica Resiste and sharing posters with communities from Petén, Guatemala to Caquetá, Colombia. In February 2014, the Beehive was invited to participate in an artist residency with the Museo de Antioquia of Medellin, Colombia, as part of Contraexpediciones(Counter Expeditions).
Following the artist residency, the pollinators of Polinizaciones toured and brought Mesoamérica Resiste to a variety of rural and urban communities living the realities depicted in the graphic. In Medellin, weeks before the city hosted the World Urban Forum,we painted murals and shared with communities suffering the impacts of gentrification. In the Department of Caldas there was a showing in the city of Manizales, and we also spent a week visiting different schools and community spaces in the Indigenous Reserve of San Lorenzo of the Embera Chamí People.
In the city of Cali, Bees presented the Mesoamérica Resiste graphic in different public settings including the University of Valle and the San Antonio hill. In the Agua Blanca District of the city, a workshop was held with the youth of the Theatre Circus Capuchini. In the north of the Department of Cauca, pollinators visited the indigenous Nasa communities of Toribio and Tacueyo. In Tacueyo, the Bees were present for the swearing in of this year´s Student Indigenous Guard and in Toribio, at the CECIDIC educational center, numerous workshops were done with students. In the area of Silvia in Central Cauca, Mesoamérica Resiste was shared in schools of the Kiswo People and Misak People, as well as at the Misak University and community radio station.
i don’t want to sound alarmist, but because the authorities are dragging their feet, people affected by the leaking radioactive particles from the WIPP nuclear waste storage facility may not be able to be evacuated – they are radioactive biohazards by now. this shit accumulates in our bodies and never goes away. we’ll see if the robot they send in can approach the stuff, but i doubt it will be able to operate very close to the material that’s leaking.
facility meant for longterm storage of nuclear waste caught fire and leaked hot particle radioactive materials in february, injuring at least 13 workers. workers returned to search for the cause, but had to evacuate.
Albuquerque Journal, Mar. 8, 2014: WIPP radiation leak was never supposed to happen — No one knows yet how or why a waste drum leaked [...] setting off a cascade of events that could cripple the nation’s radioactive waste disposal system. [...] before WIPP opened, the [DOE] put the risk of such an accident at one chance in 10,000 to one in 1 million during any given year of WIPP operations [...] only two possible scenarios [...] an exploding waste drum or a waste disposal room roof collapse. [...] “You could have crapped up a whole lot of real estate down there,” [Bob Neill, a radiation safety expert] said. The underground drum fire scenario [...] hypothesized the “spontaneous combustion” of a drum’s contents, rupturing and spreading the radioactive waste inside [a] one chance in 10,000 in any given year of WIPP operations. The “roof fall” scenario [...] was calculated at one chance in a million during a given year [and] could leave a large number of waste drums crushed and leaking. [...] Cleaning up contamination [would] risk of further spreading the contamination. [...] In a formal legal notice, the New Mexico Environment Department said, “It is believed … that the WIPP will be unable to resume normal activities for a protracted period of time.”
Department of Energy, WIPP Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (pdf): WIPP Disposal Accidents– Eight potential accidents at WIPP during disposal operations were evaluated; they are shown in Table 5-18. [...] Potential radiological consequences to the public and maximally exposed noninvolved worker are substantially higher than hazardous chemical consequences, which are very small for most accident cases. Estimated results for members of the public, the maximally exposed noninvolved worker, and the maximally exposed involved worker are presented below and in Table 5-19. Public Population consequences from WIPP disposal accidents were estimated for the 22.5 degree sector west of the site, which includes the City of Carlsbad. The population in this sector is 25,629 and would be affected greater than any other section in the surrounding 80-kilometer (50-mile) region.
AP: Crews retreat after nuclear material found at WIPP — Officials: Correct to turn back, contamination was increasing — Robots brought to site for radiation levels too high for humans — ‘Significant amount of information’ will be revealed to public in next few days
AP, Apr. 17, 2014: Crews on their fourth trip into the mine on Wednesday made it into the only active waste storage area and found contamination, [Tammy Reynolds, U.S. Dept. of Energy’s deputy recovery manager] said. The deeper they went into the area, the more widespread the contamination, she said. But the crews had to retreat before identifying the possible source because they had been underground for five hours in protective gear that retains heat and the batteries on their respiratory equipment were running low. [...] The next step is for crews, and possibly robots, to go back down to see if they can identify what caused the leak.
Tammy Reynolds, deputy WIPP recovery manager: “The more they went into panel seven, the more (the contamination) became more widespread [...] They made the correct decision to turn back [...] Everyone was safely returned to the surface.”
John Heaton, former state representative and chairman of the Carlsbad Mayor’s Nuclear Taskforce, WIPP Town Hall, Apr. 17, 2014 (at 7:00 in): I think that next week might a very busy week in that I think that there will be progress to report in terms as to what might have been the cause and also Phase 1 of the accident investigation report. […] I believe — I hate to speculate on this — but there will be a significant amount of information that will come out next week. So I think it will be a very important meeting and I think we need to have adequate time for people to be able to ask questions.
Reynolds, WIPP Town Hall, Apr. 17, 2014 (at 23:00 in): One of the other things we’ve been working on is the contingency plan […] They’ve been working to have robots prepared that in the event that the conditions in the underground don’t allow us to be able to get to the waste space or other parts of the mine later on in recovery activities because of the level of contamination, as a contingency we’re looking at the use of robots. And so there’s a couple of robot operators, they’ve already been to the WIPP site, today they brought the robots out to the site and they did a demonstration for us […] so that if we can’t go and visibly put our eyes on certain pieces of the mine, the robot can do that for us and feed us back that information.
WIPP released plutonium and americium, which are long-lived alpha emitters, which can stay in the body for a lifetime. They thus bioaccumulate upon inhalation and ingestion, and even absorption. That is the hidden, dirty, secret. [...] The BEIR VII report is well-known for its Linear No-Threshold Model (LNT), i.e. no safe dose: “the risk of cancer proceeds in a linear fashion at lower doses without a threshold and that the smallest dose has the potential to cause a small increase in risk to humans.” However, BEIR only “focuses on the health effects of low levels of low linear energy transfer (low-LET) ionizing radiation such as x-rays and gamma rays.” And, as pointed out “Most radiation sources have a mixture of high- and low-LET radiation. Compared to high-LET radiation [Alpha radiation is high LET; beta and gamma radiation are low LET], low-LET radiation deposits less energy in the cell along the radiation path and is considered less destructive per radiation track.”
Sen. Tom Udall, New Mexico: I appreciate that many in your agency have made it clear that the radioactive releases from WIPP have been at levels that are a public health danger and I’m hopeful that you’re monitoring and verification will continue to support their unfortunately the facts are the two accidents have happened to WIPP that were not supposed to happen — a fire in a mine and a radiological release. DOE oversight has already been found to be lacking and that’s why it’s important to the community that an independent public health agency like EPA be on the ground overseeing the recovery phase to ensure public health is protected. [...]
From the introduction: Communities that are effective in carrying out resistance will inevitably face some form of state repression, most often carried out by police forces. This text is intended as a review of tactics and techniques that have been used in countering police assaults on crowds and communities.
For police, these types of assaults are referred to as “public order” or “crowd control” operations. Communities targeted by such operations may face riot cops as well as armed tactical units, dog teams, armoured vehicles, the use of chemical agents and baton charges.
Late on Sunday night, Alex Reynoso and Merilyn Topacio Reynoso, father and daughter activists involved in the resistance against Canadian company Tahoe Resources’ Escobal Mine in Guatemala, were attacked by unknown suspects. Alex and Merilyn were on their way home to Matequescuintla after attending an activity in a nearby community. Merilyn, who was sixteen years old, was shot and killed; Alex was severely wounded and remains in intensive care.
When I spent time in communities around this mining project in February and March I heard countless stories of activists who had received death threats, who had been attacked, and who have been forced to live in a constant state of fear in their own homes and communities (I’ll be sharing these as videos and articles in the coming weeks). While details of the attack against Alex and Merilyn remain unclear, this incident clearly forms part of this larger pattern of recent violent acts and intimidation.
The acts of violence that took place on Sunday are the worst and most heartbreaking types of reminders of what the impacts of these mining projects truly look like, and of why solidarity work with communities who are resisting Canadian mining companies, and with all those who defend their right to life and territory is vital.
… Neither think yesterday you felt very happy, because we were going to do what you love, music.
I still remember these, your words “our generation should lead the people in power.”
Still, I remember the tone of your voice is heard so shy, but with the enthusiasm of joy that fills we who hear.
Topaz Reynoso – life is unfair, some people deserve to die, but there are those who deserve to live; and you were one of those that deserve to live. And being an engine of life and hope.
Enough! Out! We can not keep killing, imprisoning, slandering, chasing, only to defend RIGHTS. War never ended, these dinosaurs are still there … but both milestone, in the end it breaks, very soon, our martyrs will be vindicated, because we will not keep silent … stupid!