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Direct actions to defend Knowland Park against fencing and development begin in Oakland, CA!

By Eco-General Strike - Defend Knowland Park, August 11, 2015

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

On Friday, August 7th, after discussion amongst participants, Defend Knowland Park took its first direct action against the fencing construction in hopes that people would do the same on a regular basis.  Chain Link Fencing and Supply Inc. has started to construct a mile-long perimeter fence around the proposed development. We can find no  approved building permit for this construction so this fence may be illegal.  No permit is posted on-site and there has been no response about the fencing from the City building permit staff. Therefore, it is within our “legal” right to take direct action  and stop fencing from going up .

Please Join us, Monday – August 17th at Knowland Park to demand their permit to work or if you cannot make it call and email their office repeatedly to jam their lines and respectfully demand information regarding their Work Permit for fencing construction at Knowland Park.

Monday, August 17th, 2015 at 11 AM: Knowland Park entrance at the end of Edgemont way near Edgemont and Malcolm Avenues in Oakland, California.

Can New York Create Affordable Housing That’s Also Environmentally Sustainable?

By Michelle Chen - The Nation, September 24, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

At the moment of silence during Sunday’s People’s Climate March, a deep hush washed over Sixth Avenue, symbolizing a growing, worldwide commitment to fighting climate change. Yet the moment also recalled the aftermath of the city’s most recent climate catastrophe, Superstorm Sandy, when Manhattan’s mighty skyline was for several days stunned into an eerie stillness by nature’s ire.

But on Sunday, the city put a more positive spin on the connection between the global environmental struggle and the local disaster of Sandy. Mayor Bill de Blasio tried to make good on his campaign vow to address the underlying climate-change problems Sandy exposed, starting with a retooling of the city’s buildings.

The “One City, Built to Last” plan aims to slash building-based greenhouse gas emissions and boost the economy simultaneously. Overall, the plan promises to bring “$8.5 billion in energy cost-savings over ten years.” The long-term goal is to cut total emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Buildings contribute a large majority of local carbon pollution, and the plan would “cut energy use across all building sectors on average by at least 60 percent from 2005 levels and switch to renewable fuel sources.”

Many of the changes outlined in the 110-page blueprint are basic. In contrast to the sexy tech-driven solutions like electric cars and flashy rooftop photovoltaics, the de Blasio administration and City Council members are focusing on nuts-and-bolts efficiency projects to expand “green collar” job sectors.

The plan would in the immediate term “generate approximately 3,500 new jobs in construction and energy services,” according to Amy Spitalnick, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office. Modest numbers, but the main goal is putting the city’s infrastructure on a greener and more equitable development path.

Matt Ryan, executive director of the advocacy group ALIGN-NY, tells The Nation that the plan reflects a “need to think about dealing with climate change in a way that not only addresses the root causes, such as carbon emissions, but also addresses jobs and economic issues that are related.”

Some of the proposed initiatives include a “retrofit accelerator” program for an estimated 20,000 private buildings, about 40 percent of them public housing or rent stabilized. Public school buildings, firehouses, hospitals, police stations and homeless shelters would get energy-saving retrofits and lighting upgrades, and fixed up with clean technologies. The city would install solar panels “on more than 300 city buildings, generating 100MW of energy over the next decade.” The plan would link green building projects to the broader agenda of controlling housing costs: less energy consumption means lower utility bills, which “will make it easier for people to afford to live in New York City” and “invest in other capital upgrades to improve the quality of our housing stock.”

But the plan doesn’t spell out exactly how the city will push the private sector to invest in efficiency and renewables. The report focuses on voluntary programs, and the administration has for now avoided proposing strict mandates for carbon reductions, relying instead on seeding environmental business incentives (though mandates may be “triggered” later if needed). The administration advocates, for example, providing “green grants” that tie affordable-housing goals with eco-friendly construction, “which would fund efficiency upgrades in exchange for regulatory agreements to preserve affordability.”

Nonetheless, progressive groups are wary of leaving too much of the plan to market forces. Though some landlords may respond to green incentives because it makes business sense, Ryan says, given the ambitious emissions targets, “There is no way we’re going to move fast enough through a voluntary system, to meet the urgency of the climate crisis.”

Some progressive labor advocates fear that the workforce initiatives may not be ambitious enough, either. The Center for an Urban Future (CUF), which has pushed the administration to expand jobs programs for disadvantaged youth, warns that although green jobs could benefit struggling young workers, they need more comprehensive job training and placement services.

Read the entire article: here

Listen up, America: It’s time to start making mass transit free! - Though it might seem counterintuitive, city governments have much to gain by letting riders off the hook

By Henry Grabar - Salon, July 27, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

In March, when a cloud of particle pollution settled across Western Europe, Paris took a radical approach. The Ile-de-France region introduced alternate driving days (odd-number plates one day; evens the next) and eliminated fares on local trams, buses, trains and subways.

Traffic dropped by nearly 20 percent in Paris; congestion on the Périphérique ring road fell by 30 percent at rush hour; large-particle pollution fell by 6 percent. Measured by the impact on the roadways, the emergency measures worked as intended.

And on the rails? Unfortunately, the open-gate policy meant that the transportation authority didn’t count how many travelers boarded trains, subways, buses and trams during the fare-free days. The city performed a huge experiment in transportation policy, and nobody bothered to watch.

It doesn’t matter much in context. We can’t expect the traffic-choked French capital to make a habit of such initiatives. Alternate driving days are an intolerable hassle for car-dependent commuters; lost fares and the provision of supplementary service to the tune of 600,000 seats on the Métro, the tramway and suburban rail system cost the region nearly $3.5 million per day. Fares cover nearly half the operating costs of the RATP, the state-owned transit operator, so eliminating them would put a tremendous hole in the annual budget.

And yet, Paris would have been a valuable case study. The consequences of eliminating transit fares remain surprisingly obscure. Can a fare-free policy transform a regional transportation picture? Can it pay for itself? Or is it merely a publicity gimmick that inflicts needless financial woes on local transit agencies?

Many people reject the idea out of hand, saying free rides are a problem, not a solution. But “free” transit, of course, is only as free as public libraries, parks and highways, which is to say that the financial burden is merely transferred from individual riders to a municipal general fund, a sales tax or local businesses and property owners. A free ride policy represents the culmination of a long shift from thinking of transit as a business sector — one that was quite profitable in its heyday — to considering it an indispensable public service.

Read the rest of the article here.

Lockdown Defends the Albany Bulb! More Support Needed

From the Earth First! Newswire - May 16, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

A lockdown at the Albany Bulb ensured defense of the land for one more day yesterday.

Activist with the IWW Environmental Caucus and EF!er, Elliot Hughes, explained, “Today, I locked down to a backhoe and negotiated with Albany police that the Amber’s house and the two barricaded roads leading to it would not be demolished for the day after hearing cops threaten to demolish her house early in the morning. We need support to stop the eviction of the Albany Bulb ASAP!.”

The Albany Bulb is, according to its declaration, “an Autonomous Zone, a space where Art and Music continue to flourish, where People assemble Freely, where Dogs run unleashed, and where long-term Residents can continue to maintain and improve their Homesteads.”

The Bulb is known has been known as an anarchic place for a long time. Tolerance for camping has allowed human and nonhuman inhabitants to live and flourish among the tidal mudflats, sub tidal eel grass and salt marsh gum plants. The area is populated by barn owls, snakes, hawks, songbirds, and black-tailed hares, along with vegetation like Himalayan blackberries, acacia trees, and palms.

According to the website, Share the Bulb, “Over the past three decades, Nature and a particularly resourceful group of homeless people have reclaimed the Bulb as a wild space and a community space. The combination of reclaimed nature, community, and outsider art have made this former dump one of the most beautiful peninsulas into the San Francisco Bay, and has attracted daily dog-walkers, day-strollers, curious wanderers, picnickers, and others to an amazing place that reminds us of the many ways humans need the wild”

Last November, the state tried to forcibly evict the bulb, leading to barricades and an encampment. Residents sued the city to halt the eviction, and the suit was settled last month.

Transit Irony: The More You Rely on It, the More They Cut

By Samantha Winslow - LaborNotes, May 1, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

On the other side of town, workers wait at bus stops. The buses that carry them to work come less and less frequently, thanks to service cuts. Drivers struggle to get through their routes in less time.

Both scenarios are part of a promising trend: transit ridership is at its highest since 1956, with 10.7 million trips in 2013, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

This is despite widespread cuts to bus and rail service—and rising fares. The 2008 economic crisis started the pinch, but federal and local officials have continued to squeeze.

Yet “young people are rejecting cars in record numbers; they are moving to urban America,” Amalgamated Transit Union President Larry Hanley said at the recent Labor Notes Conference.

Whether the spike in rider numbers is caused by environmental consciousness, urbanization, or belt-tightening, clearly it calls for more transit funds, both for more frequent service and for infrastructure—not for cutbacks.

And the spending needs to be spread across our communities—not target one area at the expense of another.

Protecting Public Health on the Italian Riviera: the Maersk Case

From libcom.org, February 25, 2014

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Liguria, with its beautiful coastline and wonderful mountainous hinterland, has been a place for people from Northern Europe and the north of Italy to take holidays since the 19th century. After the Second World War the region saw a boom in tourism and in industrial development with all the attendant consequences: illegal building activity, destruction of the environment, very large numbers of migrants and urbanisation of the rural population.

Today the region is being hit by de-industrialization and a difficult rebuilding of the economy. Local government is focusing on mass tourism (particularly cruise ships) and port development, seemingly ignoring the increasingly impoverished population which pays the environmental costs of the associated pollution. Each autumn and winter there are devastating floods which claim lives, caused by the destruction of forests, the abandonment of rural areas and uncontrolled building. Little Liguria comes first on the list of Northern Italian regions for crime connected to illegal development (often involving the mafia and politicians) and second for unemployment.

Looking at the issue of the Maersk platform in Vado Ligure is a good way to understand Liguria’s economic system: public money serving private companies, indifference to the needs of the region and its inhabitants’ wishes and opinions, and the destruction of the natural environment.

No Thanks Resistance Festival this Weekend (November 28 - 30) at the Albany Bulb!

By x363464 - November 25, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

Come join us for The No Thanks Resistance Festival and three day Camp-out to defend the Albany Bulb from Eviction! See the Flyer for the schedule of events! Schedule updated to the event page tonight!

FB Event Page - http://www.facebook.com/events/405870986212443/

FB Event Page for the No Thanks Anti-Colonial Potluck - http://www.facebook.com/events/547036912048234/

FB Event Page for the Artwalk of Friday and Saturday! - http://www.facebook.com/events/587362084664394/

To help organize, distribute flyers, and or propose a workshop send an email to nothanksresistancefestival [at] gmail.com

Workshop proposals should include if you want to do it on Friday or Saturday, What time between 10 AM and 3 PM, things you need from organizers, and the title of your workshop!

Existing workshops include: Know your rights training - Labor, the Working Class, and Housing - Towards An Ecological General Strike - Tarsands Blockade - Direct Action Training - The IWW EUC, The BLF Green Bans, and Working Class Strategies to Halt Gentrification and Ecological Destruction - ect.

Emergency Mobilization Against Gentrification in Oakland!

By x363464 - November 6, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

EMERGENCY ENVIRONMENTAL/ANTI-GENTRIFICATION MOBILIZATION TOMORROW NOVEMBER 7TH AT 3PM! JACK LONDON AQUATIC CENTER!

PLEASE COPY, PASTE, AND SHARE!

3100 NEW "ECO" CONDOS TO GENTRIFY THE 5TH AVE MARINA / CHINATOWN AND DESTROY THE OAKLAND ESTUARY UNLESS THEY ARE STOPPED!

Emergency Mobilization to resist the Oak to Ninth project this Thursday November 7, 2013 3PM, Jack London Aquatic Center, 115 Embarcadero Oakland: public "outreach" meeting to introduce Phase 1 design & schedule.

Governor Jerry Brown is waging a war on on the environment and the working class! We must draw the line in Oakland!

http://oaklandchamber.blogspot.com/2013/10/brooklyn-basin-outreach-and-information.html

The Oak to Ninth Project is the definition of gentrification. "The Oak to Ninth Project would wall off the waterfront, demolish the historic Ninth Avenue Terminal, build housing next to I-880, and create yet more traffic congestion. This deal, which its opponents point out received virtually no coverage in the corporate media, has been called 'shady.' "[1] To add insult to injury they are calling it the "Brooklyn Basin" [2]

The project would build into the estuary which the Sierra Club once again uses their privilege to compromise the environment and state "Rather than approving the developer's request for 3,100 units, the Council should insist on the environmentally superior project of just 540 units."

In 2006 opposition was raised The League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, the Coalition of Advocates for Lake Merritt (CALM), and the Green Party. They were met with a demand to collect 18,700 signatures in 30 days for the plan for the a referendum [5] They ended up collecting 25,000 but were shut down and in response filed a lawsuit in Superior Court.

“After mounting an enormous and successful effort to alert the public and collect signatures, the Referendum Committee faces an impossible situation,” president of the League of Women Voters of Oakland Helen Hutchison said in a prepared statement announcing the lawsuit. “The city gave us the authorized documents several days into the brief 30-day signature gathering period. Then when we turned in the signatures, they said, ‘we supplied the wrong documents so the referendum petition is invalid.’ Invalidating our petition for this reason completely undermines the right to petition for referendum on a city action"

This project is being pushed forward by Gov. Jerry Brown who recently received an award from the Blue Green Alliance and the Sierra Club for "catalyzing the clean energy economy" This was a complete farce considering Jerry Brown has been attacking unions and the environment for some time now [3] This project may be exactly why he is working to dismantle the California Environmental Quality Act for infill housing development! [4] In the Environmental Impact Report it states:

"The Court Order found that the EIR failed to comply with CEQA by not including a sufficient analysis of the cumulative land use/plans and policies impacts of the proposed project."

Why Environmentalists Need to Support Transit Workers' Struggles - Solidarity With Bay Area Transit Workers!

By x344543 and x363464 - October 1, 2013

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are not the official position of the IWW (or even the IWW’s EUC) and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone but the author’s.

In the San Francisco Bay Area union workers at BART and AC Transit are embroiled in bitter contract fights with their bosses. Details on these struggles can be found at the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee (TWSC) site: transportworkers.org

Without going into a long analysis why we know this to be true (TWSC has already done that) we simply assert that the demands for concessions by the BART and AC Transit bosses is a result of the austerity measures being demanded of the 99% by the employing class in order for the latter to shore up their sinking capitalist ship.

Rank and file transit workers are organizing a militant response in the face of repression from their bosses (and the wider capitalist class in general) as well as the class collaborationist bureaucrats in their AFL-CIO unions, who simply cannot accept that this assault on the basic rights and livelihoods of trhese workers is happening.

Environmentalists should support the transit workers and oppose the bosses for the following reasons:

  • (1) Contrary to the information you might get from the capitalist media, these workers are not greedy and overpaid. In the Bay Area, an urban megalopolis with one of the highest costs of living in the US, these workers--on average--are barely making enough to survive.
  • (2) The bosses' latest contract offers are full of concessionary demands, and their wage offer amount to a pay cut.
  • (3) The transit bosses are following a pattern being followed by public agencies around the US of funding cuts, union busting, service cutbacks, outsourcing, and privatization.
  • (4) All of these are linked and are part of the systemic functions of capitalism which demands that wealth be continually transferred from the working class to the employing class.
  • (5) Capitalism cannot be reformed and cannot be effectively regulated. Even if temporarily constrained as it was in the Keynesian era, it ultimately seeks a way out of those constraints. Only working class solidarity and organization can effectively check and overcome the power of the employing class.
  • (6) Capitalism is inherently anti-ecological.
  • (7) Because an attack on the transit workers by the employing class enables the latter further, the bosses' actions are also an attack on the environment.
  • Negative consequences to the environment from the bosses actions have and will continue to manifest themselves thusly:

    • Cuts in service (resulting in lower ridership and increased use of personal automobile usage);
    • Cuts in maintenance which risks the safety of workers and commuters as well as causing increased long term wear and tear;
    • Less expansion of service to much needed areas;
    • Anti environmental practices within each agency.
  • (9) The arguments made by the bosses that the above conditions are caused by "workers' greed" are bogus. The bosses make far more by comparison and the real issue is one of allocation of adequate public funds.

Environmentalism and Gentrification

By Lizzy P - 2012

Sometimes movements for environmental justice fall into the trap of promoting gentrification. This text looks at how green consumerism, middle-class activist spaces, and even improved public transport can push poor people out of their homes, and how environmental activists can work against it. Written in an Australian context, print format:

PDF File

Recovered from zinelibrary.info

Pages

The Fine Print I:

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