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Revelations: Goddess of the Taiga

October 19, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Amur Tiger. Photograph: Toshiji Fukada

Amur Tiger. Photograph: Toshiji Fukada

Struggle Against Extinction

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will again document the planet’s rarest animals and focus on the twists of fate that decide survival

Toshiji Fukuda went to extraordinary lengths to photograph an Amur tiger, one of the world’s rarest mammals, in 2011. He built a tiny wooden hut overlooking a beach in Russia’s remote Lazovsky nature reserve, on the Sea of Japan, and spent the winter there. Fukuda was 63 at the time. “Older people have one advantage: time passes more quickly for us than the young,” he said later.

Possession of such resilience was fortunate because Fukuda had to wait seven weeks for his only glimpse of an Amur tiger, which resulted in a single stunning image of the animal strolling imperiously along the beach below his hide. “It was as if the goddess of the Taiga had appeared before me,” he recalled…

50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year – in pictures

Revelations: I Am the Walrus

October 05, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, Spirituality

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Are walrus at risk from climate change?

A mass haul out of 35,000 animals on an Alaska beach doesn’t bode well for the future of wildlife dependent on the Arctic ice

 

CI: Misdirection ~ Imposing Silence; Criminalizing Reality

October 01, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

Misdirection: Imposing Silence; Criminalizing Reality

by Kay Whitlock

So the problem in Ferguson, Missouri isn’t the extrajudicial execution by a local police officer of 18-year old Michael Brown, who was unarmed and had his hands up. The problem isn’t the fact that Brown’s murder constitutes part of a grotesque, racist national tapestry of killings of unarmed people of color by police, security guards, and self-appointed white vigilantes.  The problem isn’t that law enforcement misconduct and abuse are endemic.  The problem isn’t racial profiling within a framework of white supremacy, or the criminalization of entire communities of color and U.S. race-based mass incarceration.

The problem, said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, as he called out the national guard and state highway patrol to buttress local policing of demonstrators, is “a violent criminal element intent upon terrorizing the community.” Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson agreed that the “criminal element” is riling up – agitating – the protesters. He also believes that “that some — and he emphasized some — of the media outlets on the ground in Ferguson were enabling the looters and criminals embedded within the otherwise peaceful protestors.” In this way, protesting itself – purportedly a Constitutional right – becomes the problem, and the people doing the protesting are themselves framed as the source of violence.

Silence is a Lie- Urban Art

Silence is a Lie- Urban Art

And the problem when Amy Meyer stood on a strip of public land outside a Utah slaughterhouse to video a “downer cow” – one who is alive but too sick or injured to stand and walk – being moved around on a forklift was not the misery of that cow. It was neither the cruelty and horrific mistreatment of living beings, nor the lousy labor practices and unsanitary conditions endemic to the meat-producing arm of Big Ag – the huge feedlots, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. The problem isn’t the kind of supremacist belief that encourages human beings to permit countless animals to be subjected to unimaginable suffering at our hands.*

The problem, according to the “Ag-Gag” legal frame under which she was the first to be charged, is that she was an “animal rights terrorist.”  (Charges against her were dropped, but more arrests have been made under Utah’s law.)  The goal of such a terrorist? To destroy America’s agricultural industry. While charges against Meyer were dropped, more Ag Gag arrests are being made; in fact, state and federal Ag Gag laws constitute a chilling, much broader template for criminalizing undercover, independent exposure of cruelty and protest directed at that cruelty.  It’s a cautionary lesson; one need not be an animal rights activist to learn from it.

This is how is you utilize the political and cultural art of misdirection in order to alter reality, or at least the perception of it. This is how you convince people that multiple forms of cruelty, abuse, dishonesty, and exploitation aren’t really happening.  Or if they are, that they aren’t  that widespread or worrisome because the problems are caused by only a few “bad apples” within institutions that are basically fair, responsible, and trustworthy.

This is how you render invisible massive, structural forms of violence  that are so commonplace as to be normative.

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Revelations: “We Have to Fight”

September 28, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Civil Rights, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, Spirituality

We Are PowerShift 2012 – Winona LaDuke “We have to fight”

 

AN AMENDMENT FOR THE SEVENTH GENERATION, Walter Bresette

The right of citizens of the United States to use and enjoy air, water, wildlife, and other renewable resources determined by the Congress to be common property shall not be impaired, nor shall such use impair their availability for the use of future generations”

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Revelations: “I Will Be a Hummingbird..”

September 14, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Civil Rights, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Wangari Maathai and The Greenbelt Movement

Nobel Peace Prize: The Nobel Lecture (Oslo, December 10, 2004)

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Revelations: “Nature is on Our Side..”

August 10, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Consumer Rights, Eco-Justice, Economic Development, Economic Terrorism, Imperialism, International Law, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Dr Vandana Shiva, Rights of Nature and Earth Democracy

 

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Revelations: ‘The End of the World’

July 20, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Eco-Justice, Education, Intersectionality, Science/Technology

Crater

Large crater appears at the ‘end of the world’, Siberian Times

“The striking puncture in the earth is believed to be up to 80 metres wide but its depth is not estimated yet. A scientific team has been sent to investigate the hole and is due to arrive at the scene on Wednesday.

The cause of its sudden appearance in Yamal – its name means the ‘end of the world’ in the far north of Siberia – is not yet known, though one scientific claim is that global warming may be to blame.

There is additionally speculation it could be caused by a space object – perhaps a meteorite – striking earth or that it is a sinkhole caused by collapsing rock beneath the hole caused by as yet unknown…

Anna Kurchatova from Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre thinks the crater was formed by a water, salt and gas mixture igniting an underground explosion, the result of global warming. She postulates that gas accumulated in ice mixed with sand beneath the surface, and that this was mixed with salt – some 10,000 years ago this area was a sea.

Global warming, causing an ‘alarming’ melt in the permafrost, released gas causing an effect like the popping of a Champagne bottle cork, she suggests.”

Revelations: Mother’s Day

May 11, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Intersectionality, Spirituality, Sunday Music Flashback

Earth Song, Michael Jackson