START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
Aug 13, 2010
Focus: Environment
Action Request: Petition
Location: Alaska, United States

Stop new BP oil drilling in Alaska BP is now just one step away from opening up a new oil rig off the coast of Alaska. Shockingly, the company whose oil rig in the Gulf just became the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history is on the verge of getting a permit to drill some more -- this time just off the coast of Alaska, near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Please sign our petition to tell President Obama to stop BP's dangerous Alaskan drilling scheme, and all new drilling off our coasts.


Clean Water Protecting Great Bay Estuary Pollution from development threatens to degrade Great Bay Estuary. Research we released in February 2008 outlined the steps we can take to keep this important New Hampshire waterway healthy for years to come—it's time to put them into action.

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Sign the petition:


Dear President Obama: I am writing to urge your administration to deny BP a final permit for its Liberty Project to drill for oil off of Alaska's coast. It is simply beyond the pale that the very company that just created the worst environmental disaster in our nation's history would be granted a new permit to drill -- just miles from the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, no less. It is time to for you to draw a line in the sand against new oil drilling, and to turn our nation toward clean, renewable energy instead. Rejecting BP's drilling permit and canceling its lease for the "Liberty Project" is a perfect first step to put us on that path. I urge you to take it now.


 Acess this petition here:


 BP is now just one step away from opening up a new oil rig off the coast of Alaska. I'm not kidding. The company whose oil rig in the Gulf just became the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history is on the verge of getting a permit to drill some more -- this time just off the coast of Alaska, near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 


 Tell President Obama to reject BP's permit to drill off Alaska's coast. In light of the damage still unfolding in the Gulf, it seems outrageous that the administration would even consider granting a permit to any oil company to drill anywhere off our coasts. But to BP? Thirty miles from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? That is just beyond words. In fact, you might even be asking yourself how on earth this could be going forward in light of President Obama's moratorium on new deepwater drilling?


Here's how: For its "Liberty" drilling project, BP has actually built a man-made island off the Alaskan coast from which to drill. Technically it's not deepwater or even offshore drilling -- but if we don't act now, it could cause deep trouble. Click here to tell President Obama to stop BP's Alaska scheme and all new drilling off our coasts. BP's "Liberty Project" would mount one of the world's most powerful drill rigs on a man-made island in Alaska's Beaufort Sea, and then drill two miles down and eight or nine miles out into the ocean to hit oil -- farther than any drill rig has reached before.


 Cleaning up an oil spill in these Alaskan waters would be even more difficult than in the Gulf of Mexico. Unlike the balmy Gulf, the waters of the Beaufort Sea are near-freezing, covered with ice for nine months a year and totally dark for the entire winter. But the Beaufort Sea is similar to the Gulf coast in one respect: Fish, marine manmals and birds abound. After months of seeing pelicans and sea turtles covered in oil, how could we possibly risk polar bears, seals, bowhead whales and rare birds suffering the same fate, at the hands of the same reckless company? And yet, BP is only one permit approval away from starting up its giant drill rig off of Alaska's coast.

 Please click the link below to join me in calling on the President to stop this madness now.

 Sincerely, Paul Burns Environment New Hampshire Regional Program Director


P.S. Thanks again for your support. Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.




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Posted: Aug 13, 2010 9:13pm
May 7, 2009

What Would Warren Harding Do?

Freeing Leonard Peltier

B arack Obama plainly aspires to join the select ranks of United States presidents who led the nation through national crises with relative wisdom and resolve. Obama and his supporters often invoke Lincoln, Kennedy, and FDR as historical exemplars. But in one important respect, Obama need reach no higher than to emulate the precedent set by Republican president Warren Harding.

Rightly reviled as one of the worst presidents in American history for the corruption and mendacity of his cabinet (known, for good reason, as the Ohio Gang), Harding should nevertheless be acknowledged for freeing 24 political prisoners (excluding, of course, most IWW activists) in his first year of taking office in 1921. Among the beneficiaries of Harding's conciliatory gesture was Eugene V. Debs, the socialist party candidate for president who polled nearly one million votes in the 1920 election from behind federal prison walls. Perhaps due to his unique status, Debs was granted special dispensation to leave prison unsupervised to meet with attorney general Harry Daugherty.

Debs, to his credit, spurned the attorney general's request that he renounce his revolutionary views in return for a full pardon Yet Harding commuted Debs' sentence and released him and other political prisoners less than one year into his term and two and one-half years into Debs' 10-year sentence, which he landed for speaking out against then-President Woodrow Wilson and the military draft at a socialist party convention shortly before the conclusion of what was then known as the Great War.

At first glance, Harding's call for a return to “normalcy” and Obama's ringing but amorphous promise of change would seem to have little in common. Yet both campaign slogans signified a sharp break from the immediate past, in the case of the former from the imperious and imperial presidency of Wilson and in the latter from the reckless and lawless regime of George Bush II. Like Harding before him, Obama has sought to reach out to his ideological opponents in the spirit of reconciliation and to bring the office of the presidency back down to earth. Harding went so far as to meet personally with Debs after liberating him from captivity to the cheers of his guards and fellow inmates alike.

Instead of extending his hand to the unresponsive GOP, however, Obama should be reaching out to Leonard Peltier and apologizing for two centuries of violence, oppression, and empty promises to the indigenous peoples of the United States.  If ever there was a sphere in which change, and one might even say a return to normality (in terms of normalized relations with Americans), is needed, it is in Indian Country.  Reservation Natives live in something of a parallel legal universe in which they are the only racial group victimized in a majority of criminal assaults by members of other races, yet tribal police are granted no criminal jurisdiction over non-Natives.

When it comes to civil rights, tribal governments, which again with limited exceptions have jurisdiction only over Indians, are virtually beyond the reach of not only the United States constitution but even their own tribal constitutions. With rare exceptions, tribal courts are subordinate arms of tribal councils, unable or unwilling to uphold any semblance of civil rights and liberties.  As if by cruel joke, that great guardian of civil liberties, the FBI, is responsible for upholding the civil rights of tribal members.

Likewise, individual voting rights on reservations have no protection under federal law, nor are there any reporting requirements on campaign contributions in tribal elections. This allows not only for electoral fraud and dictatorial governance, but also opens to door to external influence through unreported contributions to pliable candidates. Thus, while the U.S. has no qualms about critically evaluating elections throughout the world, even imposing sanctions on Haiti for failing to conduct runoff elections in two legislative races, it routinely turns a blind eye to vote fraud on reservations. Yet despite this elevated deference to tribal sovereignty, one of the unchallenged premises of federal Indian law is that Congress (in which indigenous nations have no formal or informal representation) has the unilateral authority to limit or obliterate tribal sovereignty without the consent of
affected peoples. This happened most recently in the wake of World War II under Truman and Eisenhower, when the federal government embarked on the termination program, which sought to achieve the original American dream of extinguishing tribes as such and negating indigenous identity.

It is little wonder that Leonard Peltier's generation, which grew up in the shadow of termination in boarding schools, white foster homes, racist schools, and penal institutions, rose up in the turmoil of the Vietnam War and civil rights era to demand sovereignty and recognition under international law.  The American Indian Movement, led by urban Natives seeking to return to their traditional roots, came to the aid of tribal members against state and federal discrimination, but soon found to its chagrin that tribal government was more often than not part of the problem.

On Pine Ridge reservation in the 1970s, tribal chairman Dick Wilson was Richard Nixon's right hand man. Wilson denounced AIM after its takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Washington DC  at the culmination of the Trail of Tears march in November of 1972. He banned AIM members, including reservation enrollees, from meetings on the reservation and created with federal funds a private security force known to all as the goon squad. Led by officers of the official BIA reservation police, the goons terrorized Wilson's opponents, shooting up and burning down houses, beating, raping, and killing untold numbers of Oglala people with benefit of FBI ammunition, training, and protection. At the same time, the FBI was engaged in an intensive COINTELPRO operation against AIM tin an effort to create and exploit differences within the loosely-organized movement through various tactics,
including infiltration and snitch-jacketing of activists.

Contrary to its media image, AIM did not respond with violence or retaliation. Its credo was armed self-defense of individuals and of tribal sovereignty, and it was never accused of shooting up houses or targeting goons or BIA police. Even the best-known FBI informant and provocateur, Douglass Durham, admitted publicly that AIM was non-violent and community oriented, though he later found profit by regurgitating the commie-terrorist hype on the John Birch Society lecture circuit. In the best tradition of guerilla resistance, AIM activists on Pine Ridge attempted to provide the space for people to develop community organizations that reflected their own traditions and served their needs. By no stretch of the imagination did a camp of a few dozen activists intend to engage in a shootout with the FBI on June 26, 1975, much less precipitate what was initially claimed as an ambush by the FBI.
Unlike his codefendants, Bob Robideau and Dino Butler, Peltier was never allowed to present a self-defense argument, and the government withheld exculpatory evidence that only surfaced due to FOIA litigation that continues to this day. The 8th Circuit recently held that the F BI is allowed to suppress more than 10,000 pages of documents relating to Peltier's case, which has never been retried despite ample evidence of investigative, prosecutorial, and judicial bias and misconduct.

Executive clemency for Leonard Peltier is but a small first step that the Obama administration might take toward repairing relations with indigenous peoples, but it is an essential one. Many anticipated some action on the Peltier case in his vaunted first 100 days, but Obama is evidently no modern-day FDR. He can, however, still aspire to the more modest historical stature of Warren G. Harding.

Jeff Armstrong is a longtime writer on Native affairs, a graduate student in history, and a volunteer with the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee. He can be reached at:

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Posted: May 7, 2009 9:30pm
Nov 30, 2006
Ariel's  Message is especially for kids! Created with Disney to help children understand that trash hurts the sea - we must keep our Oceans clean!
Parents and Teachers can go to Oceans Alive @ EDN and play games!

Imported from " target="_new">external blog

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Posted: Nov 30, 2006 3:02pm


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Rosemary Rannes
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