The recently established Green Army has been raising a lot of eyebrows (and anxiety) in the ranks of the oil and gas industry. "We are under attack from these people, and we have to push back," explained Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) President Don Briggs at the recent State of the Industry Luncheon held in Lafayette, La.
Although identified by Briggs as one of several individuals and groups who are enemies to the industry, John Barry -- who until recently was vice-president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority -- says that is just not the case.
"The industry may see me as an enemy, I do not see the industry as an enemy," he explained at a public meeting held at the Clifton Chenier Center, also in Lafayette, on February 6.
Barry has been perhaps the most prominent public face regarding the landmark lawsuit filed last summer by the levee board against oil and gas producing companies operating within the state. The board filed the suit after citing studies that show the industry, which has cut around 10,000 miles of canals and pipelines through Louisiana coastal lands, has significantly contributed to the state's land loss and increased risk of flooding.
"What this lawsuit is about is three things, what every parent teaches their kids -- you keep your word, you obey the law, and you take responsibility for your actions," Barry added.
Barry, who has been a recent target by both LOGA and the Jindal administration, is also the President of Restore Louisiana Now (RLN), which was created in order to support the lawsuit and the levee board.
RLN is also a member of the growing Green Army -- a network and coalition of environmental groups and citizens concerned with issues that are affecting the human health and the ecological well being of the state.
The Green Army also includes the groups Save Lake Peigneur, Baton Rouge Aquifer Protection, Concerned Citizens of Grand Bois, the Sierra Club, VAYLA New Orleans, Zion Travelers Cooperative Center, 350 NOLA, Ouachita Riverkeeper, Restore Louisiana Now, Save Charity Hospital, NOLA Trash Mob, Lower Ninth Ward Village, Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper, Louisiana Progress, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Levees.org, Louisiana Environmental Action Network, the League of Women Voters, Global Green USA, Gulf Restoration Network, The Green Project, Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights, Alliance for Affordable Energy and the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, and is led by retired Lieutenant General Russel Honoré.
"There is an expiration date on clean drinking water in Louisiana. We will have less tomorrow than we had today. And this is because of the acts of men, of greed and of a failed democracy. A democracy that put the flag of oil and gas companies over our capitol, over the constitution of responsibility to look out for the welfare of the people," explained Honoré at the meeting.
Honoré, who is best known as the commander of the Joint Task Force Katrina, which coordinated military efforts for relief to a storm-ravaged New Orleans following the 2005 hurricanes, went on to challenge the audience to take action in defense of the state's resources.
"We are the witnesses. We must report. We must speak out. We must take action to make sure that the rest of the Nation knows that we are killing our water."
Additionally, speaker, attorney and Acadian cultural defender, Warren Perrin, expressed worry of the effects of land loss to the Cajun culture and people to those present at the meeting.
"Initially the state would allow the landowner mineral rights if indeed the wetlands went underwater. That is no longer the case today ... If your land is underwater and it is attached to a navigable body -- can you get in or out by boat? It's no longer your land. It is in effect disproportioned, or eminent domain, and the public is unaware of this ... The state has had no incentive to protect and prevent the erosion of our wetlands," he explained, adding, "That is one of the items that I think needs to be addressed, and make sure that we don't force the Cajun people, who settled primarily in the prairies and wetlands, to experience the second Le Grand Dérangement [Expulsion of the Acadians], like their ancestors suffered in 1765."
Next steps for the Green Army include the "Water Festival in the Capitol," set for Saturday, March 8, days before the opening of the next legislative session. The rally will include speakers and talent from across Louisiana who are working to protect the state's waterways and aquifers.
Link to original article from Bridge the Gulf
The stunning military advance into cities in northern and central Iraq by an Al Qaeda offshoot, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria—backed by some of Iraq's Sunni tribal paramilitary forces and a militia tied to remnants of the deposed Baath party—compounds Iraq's long-running tragedy.
According to Ha'aretz correspondent Amira Hass, the [Israeli Defense Force] ] IDF has been conducting mass arrests in the West Bank, between 10 and 30 every day. Twenty-four of the arrested are members of the Palestinian parliament from Hamas' Change and Reform party. The number of those arrested since the kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens has already exceeded 1,000. The Palestinians are convinced that most of those detained have nothing to do with the kidnapping and that these are mainly political arrests for purposes of intimidation and revenge.
PDA Advisory Board members Reps. John Conyers, Keith Ellison, and Barbara Lee joined 3 congressional colleagues--Reps. Jim Moran, Hank Johnson, and Alan Lowenthal--calling upon President Obama and Secretary Kerry to "redouble" their efforts to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to reach a cease-fire agreement. The full text of their letter is below, and a signed PDF can be found here.
80 Members of Congress Write to the President on Iraq
Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA13), Congressman Scott Rigell (R-VA02) and seventy other Members of Congress sent a letter to President Obama calling on him to seek Congressional approval before taking any military action in Iraq.
Please act now! We need your Congress member's signature on the Lee-Rigell Letter opposing a military attack on Iraq. Consult the list (see below). If your member of Congress is not there, call the Congressional switchboard ASAP (before Close of Business July, 2nd) and ask them to sign on to the Lee-Rigell Letter. Republicans may be willing to sign on, so it's worth trying them as well. The Switchboard number is 202-224-3121. Tell them to contact Rep. Barbara Lee's staffer Monica Pham at
At this writing, President Obama has neither the legal nor the political mandate to conduct airstrikes in Iraq or Syria.
On Thursday night, 182 Members of the House voted yes on Representative Barbara Lee's amendment defunding the use of the 2002 Iraq Authorization for the Use Military Force.
Members of Congress want to send a clear message to Obama: They won’t stand for another war.
After a recent string of insurgent attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the northern part of Iraq, President Obama told Congress on Monday night that he will order 275 troops to the country to protect American personnel and the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
Residents of Mosul and Samarra, and a spokesman for a militant group, speak about their experience of the latest conflict
Why is Congress trying to allocate $601 billion to the military?
Next week, Congress will begin debate on a roughly$601 billion Pentagon budget for FY2015. Before we let this pass unchallenged, let's take a few minutes to put it in some historical perspective.
During the Bush years, people all over the world were horrified by America's aggression, human rights abuses and militarism. By 2008, only one in three people around the world approved of the job performance of U.S. leaders. The election of President Obama broadcast his message of hope and change far beyond U.S. shores, and Gallup's 2009 U.S.-Global Leadership Project (USGLP) recorded a sharp rise in global public approval of U.S. leadership to 49 percent.
U.S. efforts to overthrow foreign governments leave the world less peaceful, less just and less hopeful.
Soon after the 2004 U.S. coup to depose President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, I heard Aristide's lawyer Ira Kurzban speaking in Miami. He began his talk with a riddle: "Why has there never been a coup in Washington D.C.?" The answer: "Because there is no U.S. Embassy in Washington D.C." This introduction was greeted with wild applause by a mostly Haitian-American audience who understood it only too well.
Or How the U.S. Military Avoided Budget Cuts, Lied About Doing So, Then Asked for Billions More
Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II.
Washington is pushing the panic button, claiming austerity is hollowing out our armed forces and our national security is at risk. That was the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered last week when he announced that the Army would shrink to levels not seen since before World War II. Headlines about this crisis followed in papers like the New York Timesand members of Congress issued statements swearing that they would never allow our security to be held hostage to the budget-cutting process.
The U.S. is backing Ukraine's extreme right-wing Svoboda party and violent neo-Nazis whose armed uprising paved the way for a Western-backed coup. Events in the Ukraine are giving us another glimpse through the looking-glass of U.S. propaganda wars against fascism, drugs and terrorism. The ugly reality behind the mirror is that the U.S. government has a long and unbroken record of working with fascists, dictators, druglords and state sponsors of terrorism in every region of the world in its elusive but relentless quest for unchallenged global power.
America's military adventures have fueled a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.
Twelve years into America's "war on terror," it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an "arc of terror" stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond.
The implementation of the Iran accord Monday signaled a modest but still important sea change in that country’s relationship with the world. As with all good diplomacy, the deal is a win-win for Iran and the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members.
MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) — The United Nations is taking a day to see if there is enough common ground between Syrian President Bashar Assad's government and the opposition to talk directly for the first time since the rebellion began in 2011.
The talks in Syria began today, with the Syrian government and opposition exchanging accusations and invectives. Missing was the voice of nonviolent civilians, especially women, even through they have been trying for months to have a seat at the table.
At least ten states will be sites for testing drones — unmanned aircraft — in the next couple of years, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) announced on Monday. Six institutions have been authorized to operate test locations for the use of drones and for studying how they will interact with air traffic systems.
As we end the longest period of war in our history, we should be entering a period of postwar downsizing - but what about the communities dependent on the massive post-9/11 military budget?
End wars. Shrink the Pentagon budget. Reinvest the savings in neglected domestic priorities. It’s a logical progression. Right?
Washington, D.C.— Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela:
Iraq is still suffering from the US invasion because the apparatus of state oppression and terror is still in place, killing people every day. But few in the US seem to realize the scale of the war crimes committed in Iraq, an expert author told RT.
Having the most expensive and destructive military does not make the American people safer. The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."
All of a sudden we’re talking to Iran. Now, granted, that shouldn’t be such an astonishing bombshell. But given the reality of the last several decades, it pretty much is. And that’s all good. It’s been too long coming, it’s still too hesitant, there’s still too much hinting about military force behind it… but we’re talking. Foreign minister to foreign minister, Kerry to Zarif, it’s all a good sign.
A trillion dollars. It's a lot of money. In a year it could send 127 million college students to school, provide health insurance for 206 million people, or pay the salaries of seven million schoolteachers and seven million police officers.
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