The Rev. Jesse Jackson and former Vice President Al Gore are the latest public figures to join the resistance against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Gore released a statement saying, “I stand with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We have witnessed inspiring and brave acts by Native Americans and their allies who are defending and trying to protect their sacred sites and the safety of their sole source of water.”
Civil rights activist Jackson arrived at the Standing Rock protest camp in North Dakota on Wednesday, where he told the Associated Press that he joined the water protectors “to pray together, protest together, and if necessary, go to jail together.”
Notable Arrests and Warrants
Actress Shailene Woodley is among those who have been arrested and strip-searched in the last several weeks. On October 10th, while streaming live on Facebook, she was taken away by armed police who singled her out from among hundreds of other peaceful protesters. She wrote about her reasons for being there for Time.com.
Independent journalist Jihan Hafiz is another who was in North Dakota to report on the situation, and was also arrested and strip searched. She told the RealNews.com about how some of the women were searched, saying, “The way they were stripped searched, it was very humiliating. I’m talking about, like, asking the women to lift their breasts, pull apart their cheeks, do jumping jacks and go up and down, cough.” She continued, pointing out that those arrested were peaceful protesters, who were praying, rather than violent criminals. “There’s video evidence that there was no one there being violent, so the fact that they used this type of behaviour toward peaceful protesters and journalists is really troubling.”
The RealNews.com video of Jihan’s interview after her arrest contains a warning: “Media, protect your cameras, protect yourself. They are coming after media first.”
Jihan’s filming equipment was not returned to her after her release.
Award-winning broadcast journalist Amy Goodman was among those charged with criminal trespass, and later, rioting, when the trespassing charges were dropped, after she filmed security guards using pepper spray and dogs on protesters. While filming a dog that had been attacking protesters she says, “The dog has blood in its nose and its mouth. Why are you letting their – her – dog go after the protesters? It’s covered in blood.”
“This is an unacceptable violation of freedom of the press,” said Goodman in a statement. “I was doing my job by covering pipeline guards unleashing dogs and pepper spray on Native American protesters.”
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Deia Schlosberg has been threatened with 45 years in prison for filming an activist who turned off a TransCanada oil sands pipeline.
“I did not ever intend to be the story. It’s safe on this side of the camera usually,” Schlosberg told DeSmog Blog.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is another who has had legal action threatened against her. As a play on US political ads, she spray-painted the words, “I approve this message” on a bulldozer at the site.
Dr. Stein does not deny the charges or criminal trespass and criminal mischief laid against her, however, and states, “I hope the North Dakota authorities press charges against the real vandalism taking place at the Standing Rock Sioux reservation: the bulldozing of sacred burial sites and the unleashing of vicious attack dogs.”
Supporting the Water Protectors
“Going to stand with the Sioux Indians today in North Dakota to preserve the land & the sacred sites,” wrote actor Mark Ruffalo.
Ruffalo arrived in North Dakota on Tuesday, and with Wahleah Johns, founder of Native Renewables, delivered Navajo-made solar trailers on Wednesday, which will power the encampments of the water protectors.
On Tuesday night, he took part in a panel with the Indigenous Environmental Network.
“They are very antagonistic to people trying to save their water, they’re made out to be criminals. But each time they hit us, they lose. The more quiet and serene we are in the depth of that violence, the faster we win,” he said. “That’s where our strength is: we’re right and they know we’re right. It’s scary. I’m scared, but when we come together our fear drops.”
Leonardo DiCaprio wrote on Facebook: “Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux in their opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline which threatens our climate.” It has been reported that he is heading to Standing Rock this week.
Matt McGorry has been working to raise awareness, sharing news items such as “Dakota Access pipeline protesters face off against armed police in riot gear” with his followers on Twitter, and donation information on Instagram
“This is the first time the seven bands of the Sioux have come together since [the Battle of] Little Bighorn [in 1876],” Hawste Wakiyan Wicasa, one of the people living in a tent at protest camp in the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, told the BBC. “Now, we have no weapons, only prayers. We are here for what our ancestors fought and died for. We have endured 250 years of betrayal by the white man.”
The Standing Rock Sioux, other tribes and environmental groups are concerned that the water supplies for millions of people are at risk. Greenpeace and the Sierra Clubare among more than 30 environmental groups who have signed a letter to President Obama calling the project “yet another example of an oil pipeline project being permitted without public engagement or sufficient environmental review.”
The possibility of leaks is a concern, as the pipeline would carry 470,000 barrels of volatile Bakken crude to Illinois each day, travelling across 1,168 miles of land – some of which has been taken from farmers under the guise of eminent domain. Its route crosses the Ogallala Aquifer and the Missouri River, which provide water for millions of people.
According to a Reuters analysis of government data, the company responsible for operating the DAPL, Sunoco Logistics, spills crude more often than any of its competitors, with more than 200 leaks reported since 2010. Sunoco Logistics spilled 55,000 gallons of gasoline into the Susquehanna River a week ago.
“It’s not a question of if the pipeline leaks – it’s a question of when,” Susan Sarandontold CNSNews.com at a rally on the steps of the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “We have the history of what happens with these pipelines. That’s the most important thing.
“And we have the history of what we’ve been doing to Native American peoples for the last 500 years and it’s time to listen to them and stop,” Sarandon said.
Protecting the Past
Former Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rallied against the pipeline in September, saying, “There are several basic issues that we’re discussing today and number one is the end of the exploitation of Native American people, and the respect of Native American rights, period, end of discussion.”
He more recently led the call to ask President Obama to suspend all construction permits, penning a letter with a handful of other Senate Democrats, writing,
“Over the past several weeks, hundreds of Native American tribes have mobilized in unprecedented solidarity to draw attention to the pipeline’s encroachment on sacred lands. Nationally, there has been a groundswell of opposition to the project. The pipeline’s construction is not only a violation of the tribal treaty rights, but has the potential to cause more damage to sacred land. Until there has been full and meaningful tribal consultation, all pipeline permits and easements should be revoked or denied.”
Tribal Chairman David Archambault II said, “Dakota Access Pipeline and Energy Transfer Partners brazenly used bulldozers to destroy our burial sites, prayer sites and culturally significant artifacts. They did this on a holiday weekend, one day after we filed court papers identifying these sacred sites.”
“I surveyed this land and we confirmed multiple graves and specific prayer sites,” said Tim Mentz, the Standing Rock Sioux’s former tribal historic preservation officer, in the tribal press release. “Portions, and possibly complete sites, have been taken out entirely.”
The Atlantic reported in its piece, The Legal Case for Blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline that in cases where a federal agency undertakes or approves a construction project, if must first consult with local Native nations or tribes about nearby sacred sites, whether or not the project is near reservation land. The committee in charge of historic preservation on behalf of Congress clearly decrees that “regulations require Federal Agencies to consult with Indian tribes when they attach religious and cultural significance to a historic property regardless of the location of that property.”
“We have so much we can learn from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Native American tribes,” wrote Pharrell Williams on Facebook. “The children of Standing Rock ran 2,200 miles on foot to Washington, DC to save their sacred land from the oil industry. Let’s help protect them so they can continue to live in peace #rezpectourwater”.
Andy Murray Live presented by SSE, the tennis exhibition event set up by the British number one, has raised over £305,000 for two children’s charities – Unicef UK and Young People’s Futures.
The money raised will be used by Young People’s Futures to buy much needed facilities for young people in Possilpark, one of the most deprived areas of Glasgow. These will include a minibus to transport children to sports facilities, and a caravan to provide respite and holidays for families.
Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, will use the money raised to help protect children in emergencies, such as those affected by the Syria crisis. For example the funds could help Unicef provide 29,000 children with thermal blankets to keep them safe and warm when bitter weather hits this winter.
In its first year, the event sold out within 48 hours, giving 10,000 people the chance to see Andy Murray play live at The SSE Hydro. Over half the tickets for the event were priced at less than £25 making it very affordable for all.
Those not able to watch the event live could watch on SKY and over a million people globally tuned in to watch on Facebook – the largest audience of its kind so far on the social network.
Murray commented: “It was always really important to me that this event should be for charity and so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to raise a significant amount in our first year. Children’s charities have become more relevant to me now I’m a father, and both these organisations are doing great work with young people in Scotland and around the world.”
Lily Caprani, Unicef UK’s Deputy Executive Director said: “We are incredibly grateful to Andy for his continued support as a Unicef Ambassador to help children in danger. Right now, children’s lives are at risk from sudden disasters, long running and overlooked conflicts around the world. Millions are being forced to leave their homes, risking their lives on dangerous journeys in search of safety. The money raised by Andy and his fans will help Unicef provide life-saving food, clean water and vaccines, as well education and psychological support for children affected by conflict and disaster around the world.”
Young People’s Futures spokesperson, Ann Lawrance said: “This was truly an amazing opportunity for our charity. Not only will the money raised make a huge difference to us, but also the awareness our charity received through being a partner of the event, was enormously important. It has made a real difference for the children on our programme and for that we are so grateful. Some of our children were able to attend the event, and to see Andy live, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity and will hopefully go on to inspire them to better things.”
Joe Aitken, Head of Major Events at Glasgow City Marketing Bureau said: “Glasgow enjoys an enviable reputation as a top five global sports city with a world-class events portfolio and a state-of-the-art arena in The SSE Hydro, which provided a fantastic backdrop for a thoroughly entertaining evening. We’re also a city of hugely supportive tennis fans, as our hosting of the Davis Cup has shown, so it was no surprise that the event proved to be a sell-out in its first year – in front of a packed home crowd it felt like the roof was going to come off when Andy and Jamie stepped onto the court. To have raised such a terrific sum of money, which will make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in Glasgow and beyond, was the icing on the cake.”
Murray plans to run a similar event in 2017, with more details being announced early next year.
Oct 27, 2016 12:30 pm
This week, adored pin-up and animal advocate Pamela Anderson joined PETA’sgiant animal mascots to promote vegan food choices just ahead of World Vegan Month (November).
Holding signs which read, “Love Me – Don’t Eat Me”, the actor encouraged everyone to show compassion for the billions of animals slaughtered for their flesh every year.
“Eating animals is so yesterday. Animals are wonderful individuals, full of emotion and intelligence, which is why I urge everyone to see them as I do: as friends, not food”, says Anderson. “It’s now so easy to choose animal-, artery-, and eco-friendly vegan foods, whether for animals, the planet, your figure, or your arteries. Please just try it, and I think you’ll feel good inside and out!”
Why go vegan? For starters, butchering and eating other living beings is so yesterday, as Anderson notes – or rather, so Stone Age, so uncivilised. Animal-based agriculture will ruin the planet, too. It’s the reason why the United Nations has warned that a global shift towards a vegan diet must occur if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change. And then there’s the fact that many of the Western world’s top killers – obesity, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and cancer – are all linked to a meat- and dairy-based diet. But most importantly, eating vegan is the only way to stop billions of animals from suffering and dying on filthy, severely crowded factory farms and in abattoirs at the hands of the meat, dairy, and egg industries. PETA’s free vegan starter kits are downloadable from its website, where people can also sign a 30-day vegan pledge and receive helpful tips and advice on switching to a healthier, more humane, and more environmentally friendly diet.
Earlier this month, Anderson urged Prime Minister Theresa May to bring forward legislation banning wild-animal circuses, and she has received massive support for the move.
Oct 27, 2016 11:15 am
In a powerful new ad for peta2, PETA’s youth division, the members of Union Jcrowd together in a bathtub to illustrate just how tiny the tanks are for orcas imprisoned at SeaWorld.
Starring in their first campaign together since Casey Johnson joined the group, the bandmates appear next to the words “Imagine Spending Your Entire Life in a Small Bathtub. Orcas Deserve to Swim Free. Boycott SeaWorld.”
In an exclusive interview with peta2, Josh Cuthbert says that the documentary Blackfish led him to realize that “these beautiful, intelligent animals should not be in captivity. No animals should be in captivity.” After Jaymi Hensley visited the marine park Loro Parque in Spain — where PETA has documented abuse of the orcas, who are on indefinite loan from SeaWorld — Josh showed him Blackfish, and he was equally horrified.
The band notes that while SeaWorld took a step in the right direction by ending its captive orca–breeding program earlier this year, it’s not enough. Josh adds, “[W]e’re not going to stop until every dolphin, every orca, and all the other amazing animals are free in sea sanctuaries.”
In the wild, orcas form intricate social relationships and traverse up to 100 miles of ocean every day. At SeaWorld, they’re housed in incompatible groups inside tiny concrete tanks, swim endlessly in circles, break their teeth by gnawing on metal tank bars, and are often given the drug diazepam to manage stress-induced aggressive behavior.
Union J joins a growing list of celebrities — including Little Mix, James McVey, Fifth Harmony, and Noah Cyrus — who have teamed up with peta2, whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment.”
Oct 27, 2016 10:00 am Save the Children, the leading organization investing in childhood, honored supermodel and activist Iman; gamer, philanthropist and activist Bachir Boumaaza aka “Athene;” writer and Red Nose Day co-founder Richard Curtis; and the organization’s philanthropic corporate partner Toys”R”Us at the 4th Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala.
The event, which took place on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, at The Plaza hotel in New York City, was hosted by Save the Children Artist Ambassador and Trustee Jennifer Garner, and featured a special performance by country music superstar Jennifer Nettles.
Now in its fourth year, the Illumination Gala benefitted Save the Children’s efforts to give more children a stronger start in life by helping end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths and by supporting early childhood education. In recognition of the occasion, Save the Children celebrated each of the honorees for their achievements in giving children a brighter future:
• The Voice Award for Iman, Supermodel, Activist and Founder of IMAN Cosmetics, who was recognized for her enduring commitment to sharing the stories of the world’s most deprived children. While serving as our Artist Ambassador, Iman was tireless in her efforts to raise awareness for the 2011 food crisis in East Africa. By participating in our Fast-athon, using her jewelry line to raise emergency funds and calling on the international community to take action, Iman has given a voice to children who would otherwise go unheard.
• The Next Generation Award for Bachir Boumaaza aka “Athene,” Gamer, Philanthropist and Activist, who was recognized for inspiring young gamers to make a positive impact on the world. Athene has visited our programs in Southeast Asia and Africa to livestream from the field while generating media coverage, brand awareness and millions of dollars to support our programs. His GamingforGood volunteer team, platform and network have connected thousands of gamers and streamers to our work, and transformed our approach to reaching the next generation of donors and fundraisers.
• The Advocate Award for Richard Curtis, Writer, Campaigner, and Red Nose Day Co-Founder, who was recognized for pioneering the use of entertainment to drive positive change. As co-founder of Comic Relief in the UK over 30 years ago, Curtis has devoted much of his life to achieving the vision of a just world, free from poverty. Through innovative programs like Red Nose Day, that today engage millions around the world, he has helped direct billions of dollars and priceless public attention toward tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.
The Visionary Award for Toys”R”Us, being accepted David Brandon, CEO and Chairman. The company was recognized for their commitment to keeping kids safe and helping them in times of need in the United States and around the world. Through the Play with Purpose campaign, Toys”R”Us leveraged its brand to spotlight early learning through play as a critical component of childhood development. Since 2005, Toys”R”Us has contributed more than $9 million to Save the Children’s emergency response and early childhood education programs, demonstrating their commitment to children every day and in times of crisis.
The event’s entertainment was provided by Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Jennifer Nettles, who has also won five American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards and six Country Music Association Awards, among others.
“We were thrilled to recognize such a diverse group of honorees who have done outstanding work with and on behalf of children around the world. It was a wonderful event and an amazing opportunity to highlight their important work and to celebrate their achievements. They have all committed their time and lent their voices to giving children a brighter future,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children president & CEO.
Other notable guests in attendance included Dakota Fanning, actress and Save the Children Artist Ambassador, Michiel Huisman, actor and Save the Children Celebrity Cabinet member, Bridgit Mendler, actress, singer/songwriter and Save the Children Artist Ambassador, Sara Sampaio, model and Save the Children Celebrity Cabinet Member, Ryan Serhant and Emilia Bechrakis Serhant (Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York), Alix Angjeli (Model), Juana Burga (Model), Gracie Carvalho (Model), Rubina Dyan (Model), Madison Headrick (Model), Bregje Heinen (Model), Caroline Kelly (Model), Paige Reifler (Model), Cate Underwood (Model), among others. Gabriela Hearst, fashion designer and philanthropist, and Mary Dillon, Save the Children Trustee and CEO of ULTA Beauty, served as co-chairs of the 4th Annual Save the Children Illumination Gala.
Oct 27, 2016 08:45 am
As part of her ongoing commitment to help children with clefts, Kylie Jenner, Creator of Kylie Cosmetics, entrepreneur, television personality, fashion designer, style icon and Smile Train Ambassador, held a special event yesterday at Kylie Cosmetics’ headquarters where she presented a check for over $150,000 to Smile Train’s CEO, Susannah Schaefer.
The funds raised will help 638 cleft children receive not only new smiles, but also second chances at life. Jenner’s support comes from the net proceeds of her limited edition “Smile” Lip Kit from her Kylie Cosmetics line.
“Through my company Kylie Cosmetics, I was able to create a beautiful pink lip kit shade called Smile specifically for Smile Train. I couldn’t be happier that 100% of the net proceeds are going straight to Smile Train to help kids around the world get the surgery they need to help them have beautiful smiles and the opportunity to live healthy, happy lives,” said Jenner. “It’s really important to me to present this check to Susannah today, knowing that 638 cleft children will now have the chance to thrive. It’s an honor to be part of changing so many children’s futures, I’m excited to continue my relationship with Smile Train and see the difference we make together.”
Also present at the event was six-year-old Zachary, a patient who received his free cleft surgery at a local Smile Train partner hospital in Ethiopia. Zachary represents just one of the estimated 170,000 children in developing countries who are born with cleft lips and/or palates each year. Children with untreated clefts live in isolation and, more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Smile Train’s sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in over 85 countries in the developing world to provide 100 percent-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. Since its founding in 1999, Smile Train has provided more than one million new smiles.
“Smile Train is extremely appreciative of Kylie’s selfless generosity in supporting children living with untreated clefts,” said Schaefer. “I’m grateful to be here today accepting this check on behalf of the 638 children who will receive their new smiles and am thankful to Kylie for helping raise awareness for the millions of cleft children still waiting for their turns.”
Kylie also answered some questions about her involvement with Smile Train.
Why is Smile Train’s cause important to you and what made you want to get involved?
When I first started learning about Smile Train, I was shocked by how many children around the world are born each day with a cleft lip or cleft palate. Smile Train’s local doctors help these children in need with free surgery every five minutes, 365 days a year. Similar to when I launched my #IAmMoreThan campaign, I wanted to use my social media platforms to help inform my fans about clefts and raise money to give these young kids the surgeries they need to get the smiles they deserve.
How are you and your company, Kylie Cosmetics, helping Smile Train?
Through my company, I was able to create a beautiful pink lip kit shade called Smile specifically for Smile Train. 100% of the proceeds are going straight to Smile Train to help kids around the world get the surgery they need to help them have a beautiful smile and the opportunity to live healthy, happy lives.
What does the power of a smile mean to you?
I think a person’s smile tells so much about them. One person’s smile can change someone else’s day.
How can others learn more about Smile Train and help children with clefts?
Visit smiletrain.org/kylie to get all the information you need to learn more about how you can get involved.
To learn more about Smile Train’s global efforts and to make a donation, please visit smiletrain.org/kylie.
Bloomberg Tradebook’s annual Charity Day, now in its fifth year, will bring together employees and celebrity guests on October 27th to raise funds in support of charitable causes around the globe.
New and returning celebrity ambassadors will join Michael R. Bloomberg, Bloomberg Tradebook’s President and CEO, Glenn Lesko, and Bloomberg employees on the trading desk in New York, London and Hong Kong, with net trading commissions from the day being donated to the more than 15 charities involved. This year, Charity Day will support a range of causes such as youth development, medical research, environmental conservation and community outreach.
“Philanthropy and public service are core values of our company,” said Founder of Bloomberg LP, Michael R. Bloomberg. “We’re proud to welcome new and returning celebrity ambassadors for our fifth annual Charity Day and encouraged to see the positive impact the event has had in our communities around the world.”
Charity Day is an opportunity for Bloomberg Tradebook and the financial community to support worthy charitable causes by donating the day’s trading commissions. Since its inception in 2012, Charity Day has raised nearly $4 million in trading commissions earned through futures, equities, options and FX trading. In addition to the events in New York, London and Hong Kong, Bloomberg’s Sao Paulo office celebrated Charity Day on Monday, joining BVSA (Socio-Environmental Investment Exchange) to ring the bell in support of several educational and social projects in Brazil.
“As we celebrate our fifth Charity Day, we continue to receive immense support from the industry around our philanthropic endeavors,” said Glenn Lesko, CEO and President of Bloomberg Tradebook. “We’re excited to engage our employees and clients in Bloomberg’s strong tradition of giving back, raising money and awareness around several important causes.”
Michael R. Bloomberg and Tradebook CEO and President Glenn Lesko will be joined in New York by:
Asia Society – Model and actress, Coco Chiang The Nature Conservancy – Model, Danielle Graham
The Nature Conservancy – Producer and activist, Sean Lee Davies
Orbis – Actress and singer, Gigi Leung KELY Support Group – Comedian, Vivek Mahbubani
The Nature Conservancy – Model, Sofia Wakabayashi
Bloomberg and its global agency brokerage business, Bloomberg Tradebook, are involved in numerous philanthropic causes year round. In 2015, more than 9,800 employees volunteered more than 86,800 hours with 300 charities in 56 cities around the world. The company’s philanthropy and engagement program supports causes and efforts that strengthen communities and improve quality of life worldwide.
Gates talked about creative capitalism at the World Economic Forum in Davos. The Forum saw world leaders discuss extreme poverty, among other topics. A thirty minute video of Gates’ speech is available on YouTube.
At a bridal lunch the day before his wedding to Melinda, Gates’ mother Mary read a letter to the couple saying, in effect, “From those who are given great resources, great things are expected.”
With further encouragement from their friend the investor Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda established a charitable foundation that has grown to be among the largest of its kind.