How protest signs are being used at the Women’s March

Participants gather for the 4th annual Women's March in Washington, DC.

(CNN)“A woman’s place is in the resistance,” “Females are strong as hell” and “Without Hermione, Harry would’ve died in book 1” are among the thousands of protest signs being held at the fourth annual Women’s March taking place around the country Saturday.

While the reasons why people are participating vary, President Donald Trump has been a core source of frustration for many, including Rachael Ryan in New York City. Ryan joined roughly 3,000 other people Saturday near Central Park to stand against the President.
“These protests are hugely important. We cannot have four more years of Trump. He has done too much damage already,” Ryan told CNN on Twitter.

Rachael Ryan captured this photo of protesters Saturday morning in New York City.

Ryan spotted a group of protesters in New York holding signs that read: “My milkshake brings all the girls to the MARCH,” “Feminism: the radical notion that women are people” and “Girls just wanna have fundamental rights.”
Another common theme seen on protest signs around the US was reproductive rights. Linda Webb saw many signs in that vein in St. Louis.
“We will stand up [for] women’s rights and equality! HUGE crowd. So many young women here who are fighting for their future,” Webb tweeted.
Webb snapped two photos of women in St. Louis holding signs that read, “My body my choice,” “Who run the world” GIRLS” and “No sign is big enough to list all the reasons I’m here.”

Linda Webb took this photo at the Woman's March in St. Louis.

"We will stand up womens rights and equality! HUGE crowd. So many young women here who are fighting for their future," Linda Webb said in St. Louis.

The Women’s March began in response to Trump’s election and has since transformed into a nationwide movement. According to the Women’s March website, organizers follow eight “unity principles:” ending violence; protecting reproductive rights, LGBTQIA rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights and immigrant rights; and environmental justice.
The march is intended to ” harness the political power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.”
Maggie Rowe attended the first Women’s March at the Capitol and others around Delaware since. She was in Newark, Delaware, on Saturday and heard Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester speak “about the increasing number of women in Congress, the most we’ve ever had, yet women still make up less than a quarter of US Representatives,” Rowe said.
During Blunt Rochester’s remarks, Rowe snapped a photo of a protest sign resting in front of the podium that said, “A woman’s place is in the resistance.”

Maggie Rowe attended the Women's March held in Newark, Delaware.

In Portland, Maine, Riley Rourke attended the march with roughly 250 others.
“These marches are incredibly important now more than ever with Susan Collins up for re-election and the upcoming trial of the President. It shows that women cannot and will not be silenced,” Rourke told CNN on Twitter.
Collins, a Republican, is a pivotal swing vote in the fight over whether to allow new witnesses during the Senate’s impeachment trial of Trump, including possible new evidence from indicted Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas.
While at the march in Portland, Rourke spotted the following signs: “My arms are tired…from holding this sign since the 1970s!!!” and “We are the granddaughters of the witches you weren’t able to burn.”


After nearly 30 years of fighting for grizzly bears, of fighting for Ktunaxa rights, and of fighting for wild places, Jumbo Glacier Resort is finally dead. Today is the day we can finally say: Jumbo will stay wild. 

Now and forever, Qat’muk will be safe in a special Indigenous protected area, declared today by the Ktunaxa Nation with the support of our federal and provincial governments.

From the earliest marches through the streets of Invermere and protest camps in the Purcell Mountains, to the thousands who signed petitions and proudly placed Jumbo Wild Forever bumper stickers on their cars, we fought proudly alongside the Ktunaxa people to protect the home of the grizzly bear spirit. Now, this sacred place has been returned to the Ktunaxa people, to protect for grizzly bears and for all living things.

Together, Kootenay people, the Ktunaxa Nation and supporters around the world stopped a resort town from being built in the middle of the wild Purcell Mountains. Together, we fought for a home for grizzly bears over private profit—and we won!

Photo (and header photo) by @tomweagerphotography

The Ktunaxa Nation and the Province of British Columbia are creating an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in Qat’muk, the Ktunaxa people’s sacred landscape that includes the Jumbo Valley. Our governments have finally recognized the Ktunaxa’s rights to protect Qat’muk and its beating heart in the Jumbo Valley.

What does an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area mean? No resort. A safe space for grizzly bears to roam. And a special place in the mountains that will stay wild.

The Qat’muk protected area will be much more than just the Jumbo Valley. Stretching over an anticipated 700 square kilometres of Purcell Mountain wilderness, the protected area will include glaciers, rocky peaks, rushing rivers, dense forests and deep mountain valleys spreading out in all directions from Jumbo. To the south, it will connect with the vast Purcell Wilderness Conservancy, giving grizzly bears and creatures of all kinds an expanse of connected habitat with few equals in Southern Canada.

As one of the only wildlife corridors left for grizzly bears to travel north-south between the United States and Canada, the protection of Qat’muk, a crucial part of the Purcell and Columbia Mountain habitat corridor, is great news for grizzlies across the continent.

Photo by Pat Morrow

Qat’muk is a sacred place for the Ktunaxa, where Kǂawǂa Tukǂuǂakʔis, the Grizzly Bear Spirit, was born, goes to heal itself, and returns to the spirit world. Kǂawǂa Tukǂuǂakʔis is an important source of guidance, strength, protection and spirituality for the Ktunaxa, and the Nation has a duty to protect the Grizzly Bear Spirit and Qat’muk—a duty they can now proudly fulfill.

After years of legal and political wrangling that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, the provincial and federal governments have finally taken steps towards reconciliation by recognizing Ktunaxa rights in Qat’muk.

Qat’muk is one of only a handful of Indigeneous Protected and Conserved Areas in all of Canada. The recognition of Ktunaxa rights to protect Qat’muk marks another important step forward for the recognition of Indigenous rights to defend their traditional territories in Canada.

Grizzly bears in Qat’muk

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who joined the fight to keep Jumbo Wild. For everyone who kept up the struggle, year after year, kept coming to meetings, kept heading up into the mountains, thank you. For the generous donors and funders who gave to keep us going for nearly three decades and the foundations whose support for the Ktunaxa’s vision made this day possible, thank you. For Patagonia and the film that brought Jumbo Wild to the world, thank you.

For everyone who spoke up for grizzly bears and for Ktunaxa rights, thank you. For everyone, from all around the world, who stood up to proudly say “Keep Jumbo Wild”, thank you!

Jumbo Wild forever!

For years, Jumbo Wild supporters hiked to Jumbo Pass from the west and the east, meeting at the cabin to celebrate another year of keeping Jumbo Wild.


Can State-of-the-Art Batteries Fuel a Clean, Renewable Energy and Transport Future?

Image result for resilience: Can State-of-the-Art Batteries Fuel a Clean, Renewable Energy and Transport Future?

In South Australia in 2019 the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery – 129MWh, which is enough to power 30,000 homes for one hour during blackouts – was switched on just 60 days after the contract to build the facility was signed. The battery is paired with the neighbouring Hornsdale Wind Farm, in partnership with its French owner Neoen. It was installed to bring greater reliability and stability to the state’s electricity grid, helping to even out price spikes, prevent blackouts and improve reliability across the network. The state’s efforts to increase their proportion of renewable energy had previously been hampered by freak weather events causing outages, which in turn sparked a political brawl over energy policy; the federal government blamed the supply failures on the use of renewable technologies.

The Australian Energy Market Operator said there were actually many factors behind the power cuts, including extreme weather events and higher demand than anticipated. But the solution came about after the state premier challenged battery entrepreneur Elon Musk on Twitter and he responded to say he would build a giant battery within 100 days of signing the deal.

The idea is to charge up the battery packs when the system is producing excess power and the cost of production is very low and then discharge it when the cost of power production is high, lowering the average cost to the end customer. This is just the latest example of the importance of battery technology and our future reliance on it for a rapid transition to stable renewable energy supply.

We are becoming increasingly reliant on battery power, largely because of the need to reduce carbon in the transportation sector; almost 60% of new cars sold in Norway during March 2019 were entirely electric-powered. A recent World Economic Forum report expects global battery demand to increase by more than 19 times current levels in the next decade. Billions of mobile devices and consumer electronics also depend on this same technology and the raw materials needed to deliver it. At the same time, our economies are relying more heavily on renewable energy – whole countries such as Uruguay, Nicaragua and Costa Rica are already approaching 100% renewable energy production, while many European and Asian states have set ambitious targets for the next decade. This means we need better ways of storing the energy we create from the sun, water and wind in batteries that can be produced and recycled sustainably.

Such expansions in demand also heighten the need for proper regulation of supply-chains to avoid damaging social and environmental impacts associated with the mining of lithium and cobalt for example. MORE


Taking climate change to the courts

Australian wildfire.

SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images

In the capital, Manila, muddy, sewage-filled floodwater trapped Veronica “Derek” Cabe’s family on the roof of their home.

“My family huddled together on the rooftop of our two-story house as the floodwaters sped past,” said Cabe, an environmental activist. “They could see bodies, animals, and even a coffin. It was like a horror movie.”

Cabe got stuck a few miles away from her family. She was getting text message updates from them, but couldn’t reach them.

“The fact that they were trapped in a life-and-death situation, and I had no idea how to help them was the worst nightmare that I’ve ever had,” Cabe told The World.

Since that day, the Philippines has been slammed by storms again and again. In 2012, tropical storm Washi killed about 1,300 people. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan killed 6,000 people.

These kinds of storms and other disasters are expected to grow more intense as the climate warms. The bushfires raging across Australia are an example of how damages from climate change are likely to grow in the future.

Cabe is among those looking for someone or something to hold accountable for the damage caused by these catastrophes.

“What are we going to do, are we just going to count the dead bodies?” Cabe said. “There should be someone that should be accountable to this.”

In 2015, Cabe signed onto a petition that asked the Philippines Commission on Human Rights to do just that. The commission agreed to investigate whether big oil and gas companies could be held legally responsible for harm caused by climate change.

And the case is not unique. Citizens, nonprofit organizations and governments around the world are increasingly turning to the courts in their search for accountability.

“Litigation in the field of climate change has grown significantly in recent years,” said Alice Hill, a former judge and climate change policy expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“And it’s anticipated that it will continue to grow on a number of fronts as we experience more impacts, and there’s greater anxiety about the very urgent need to cut emissions.”

Hill calls some of these climate change lawsuits “failure to adapt” cases. The plaintiffs are suing governments or businesses for not doing enough to protect people or their property from the impacts of climate change.

In Texas, the Army Corps of Engineers just fought and lost a case filed by homeowners claiming they didn’t do enough to prevent flooding during Hurricane Harvey.

“It’s those types of cases that will just be replicated across the nation,” Hill said, “because the damages are happening, and the courts are one of the most frequently sought-after places for people to get money.”

The number of lawsuits against oil and gas companies is also on the rise.

Several U.S. cities and states are suing for damages, seeking money to protect themselves from the impacts of climate change — by building seawalls, for example.

Attorneys general in Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands are also suing Exxon Mobil Corp. for misleading investors about climate change risk.

New York lost a similar case in December, and so far, Hill said, none of these big cases against oil and gas companies have been successful.

“We see in these large-scale cases the fossil fuel companies raising the issue that, ‘Look, everyone’s emitting carbon, and to point your finger at the fossil fuel companies isn’t really fair,'” Hill said.

The science of climate attribution has advanced in the past few years, allowing scientists to estimate how much climate change contributed to the severity of an individual hurricane or drought.

But so far, litigants haven’t been able to successfully prove that emissions from a specific company caused damages from a particular weather event. It’s a linkage, Hill said, that is typically required in many tort cases.

Geographic expansion expected to continue in 2020

Climate change lawsuits began in the litigious United States in the late 1990s, and for years remained largely a U.S. phenomenon.

That started to change after 2015 when a Dutch court ruled that the government had to cut emissions to protect the human rights of its citizens.

“A number of other countries and litigants started seeing how litigation could be used strategically against governments and against companies,” said Joana Setzer, a climate litigation expert at the London School of Economics and Political Science. That included cases in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and Chile.

Setzer predicts the trend is likely to continue in 2020, especially in developing countries.

“I expect to see more cases being brought in countries where either we haven’t seen any case of strategic climate litigation or where there’s been one or two,” Setzer said.

Some of those cases might come in the Philippines, where, in December, the head of the Commission on Human Rights announced on the sidelines of a U.N. climate conference that the body had decided in favor of petitioners like Cabe looking to hold oil and gas companies legally responsible for future harm caused by climate change.

The full decision, expected to be released in early 2020, won’t be legally binding. But the activists behind the petition hope it lays the groundwork for future court cases.

Still, even those behind these climate change cases recognize that the courts might not be the best place to fight the battle against rising carbon emissions.

“Courts can’t make climate policies. Courts are obviously not the best intuition to deal with these issues,” said Dennis van Berkel, one of the lawmakers who worked on the landmark Dutch case that inspired climate lawsuits around the world.

“What courts can do is they can look at the facts and they can say, ‘Well, here the government really crossed the line,’ and what we really want is for governments not to cross the line, and to start acting in the interest of the people.”

Van Berkel and others hope that the threat of lawsuits will at least nudge them in that direction. SOURCE


China lays foundation for Asia’s most powerful wind turbine

Incredible growth over the past 2 decades, from the Vestas’ 660 KW turbines first proposed for the wind farms in PEC at the turn of the century ( state of the art at that time ) to 10 MW turbines as this one in China will become.

Installation completed to support 10MW prototype that will be region’s highest-rated machine yet in service

The foundation will support the 10MW DEC turbine.Photo: CCCC Third Harbor

China is poised to install its first 10MW offshore wind turbine – and the most powerful seen in Asia to date – after its foundation was completed off Fujian Province.

Contractor CCCC Third Harbor Engineering earlier this week reported completion of “the foundation of the largest turbine, a 10MW unit” at the Xinghua Bay Phase 2 project, referring to the nation’s first double-digit prototype launched four months ago by Dongfang Electric (DEC) and China Three Gorges (CTG), Recharge understands.

Completion of the 18-metre-diameter foundation provides “solid ground for the turbine’s installation work in the next stage”, the contractor added.

The installation and performance of the first prototype could have a decisive impact on DEC’s future position in the Chinese offshore wind sector. The firm previously had only a limited presence in the market, with a single 5MW machine introduced in 2017 and just two major orders so far.

Both those deals are courtesy of CTG — 60MW for Xinghua Bay Phase 2 project and 100MW for the Zhangpu Liuao Zone D wind farm.

It has now emerged that the Xingha Bay order includes the single 10MW prototype, with the remainder 5MW machines.

Once in place, DEC’s 10W turbine will be the most powerful installed at sea in the Asia Pacific region, with Ming Yang Smart Energy’s (MYSE’s) 7.25MW machine currently the largest.

Shanghai Electric erected an 8MW prototype early this month, but that installation is onshore at the firm’s Shantou-based industrial park in Guangdong province.

Goldwind and MYSE last year also unveiled larger machines — 8MW and an “8-10MW platform” turbine respectively. Construction of Goldwind’s is ongoing at Xinghua Bay Phase 2, not far from DEC’s turbines, with MYSE expected to put up its prototype at a wind farm off Yangjiang. MORE


The Colonizer Always Comes Out

Extractive industries and governments have gotten smarter about how they talk about Indigenous rights—but the bottom line stays the same.

Martin Ouellet-Diotte/AFP/Getty Images

A soft piano tune twinkles in the background. The words “Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project” appear and then fade to white. Edward, a member of the Gitdumden clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation and a construction monitor for the project, introduces himself as the scene cuts to a series of picturesque shots of snow-topped trees. Speaking to the middle distance off camera, Edward talks about the preservation efforts of the pipeline project and his ancestors’ desire “to build a better life for themselves and their family.” Speaking of his CGL co-workers, he says, “Well, I guess they are my family.” Cue a final shot reading “Coastal GasLink Pipeline Project.” This is the face of the pipeline that TC Energy and its investors want the public to see.

Coastal GasLink@CoastalGasLink

Meet Edward, a member of the Clan. He’s one of many proud people working on the project. Let’s listen to his perspective.


The TC Energy-backed Coastal GasLink Pipeline is a 416-mile project designed to carry natural gas through northern Canada and on out to Kitimat, on the western coast of British Columbia. There, at the heavily subsidized LNG Canada plant, the gas will be refined and shipped overseas to customers in Asia. The project, which snakes across the province like a cobra with its head raised to strike, also cuts through the unceded traditional territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.

On TC Energy’s website for the project, the company, in bold font, boasts the claim, “more than one-third of all field work conducted by Indigenous Peoples,” adding, “we listen to and value Indigenous voices and their connection with the land.” As noted in nearly every other article on the pipeline, CGL has the approval of both the Canadian federal government and B.C.’s provincial government. It also has the backing of 20 elected First Nations councils, including the Wet’suwet’en’s elected band councillors, a body of local politicians with authority over the municipal functions of their villages. It is, by all appearances, the ideal scenario: a pipeline developed in partnership with the Indigenous stewards of the land.

Except that beyond the soft focus ads and hollow pledges about partnership, there remainsthe violence of the project—a violation of the land itselfand the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, the matrilineal leadership of the First Nation, who have not given their consent to the project.

At its heart, this is the story of another pipeline devouring culturally significant and sacred Indigenous lands. But it is also a story of the ways that extractive industries and seemingly liberal governments are evolving in response to highly visible land disputes with Indigenous communities and growing public alarm over a looming climate disaster. TC Energy and multiple layers of government are trying, often successfully, to take advantage of distressed First Nations economies, a slanted legal system, and a biased media atmosphere to present themselves as reformed—environmentally conscious, broadly respectful of Indigenous sovereignty—while they quietly and violently seek to demolish Wet’suwet’en resistance to the pipeline.
Earlier this month, the hereditary chiefs—seven citizens who represent the five clans and, under Wet’suwet’en law, have the ultimate say over what happens in the traditional territory—evicted all CGL workers on their land. Later that same week, the Wet’suwet’en leaders allowed CGL workers to return to the land in order to winterize their equipment, in what Hereditary Chief Na’Moks of the Tsayu clan told The New Republic was meant to be a “sign of good faith.” For a brief moment, it seemed like a rare victory might be in store for First Nations leadership fighting to protect its ancestral homelands.


Activist Naomi Klein Tells Women’s March Crowd That Climate Change Is a Women’s Issue

“All of these issues are interrelated.”

naomi klein giving speech

Getty Images

The fourth annual Women’s March happened on Saturday, and around the globe, people came together to advocate for change across critical social justice issues. Some of the principles the official Women’s March lists in its mission include civil rights, immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, environmental justice, and more. These issues are not separate — they are all intertwined, and many believe we need to take an intersectional approach to the development and implementation of solutions. Canadian author, filmmaker, and activist Naomi Klein is one such believer.

Before introducing senator and presidential nominee Bernie Sanders to the crowd at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Women’s March, Klein took the stage and spoke about why climate change — and many of the natural disasters occurring as a result — is a feminist issue.

“We have seen in the aftermath of all of the disasters that I’ve mentioned, that rates of domestic violence increase — that femicide, the killing of women increases — so of course, all of these issues are interrelated,” she said. She continued, saying that we need to recognize the work that many women do in these situations. “The other thing that we see is that women on the ground in these disaster zones are actually first responders. That it is nurses who are saving lives, that it is home care workers and teachers who are saving lives, saving the lives of the people they care for, of the kids that they teach in their schools.” Thus, Klein believes that when we’re talking about climate change as a women’s issue, other issues like militarism and workers’ rights need to be considered, as well.

“That’s why it is so exciting that we are finally talking about a truly transformational approach to crisis. And that is what the green new deal represents,” she continued. “It is, of course, a jobs plan. It is, of course, a climate plan. But I also see it as a profoundly feminist project, especially if we do it right the way the senator is proposing, especially if we link it with Medicare for All, right? Especially if we link it with universal childcare.” Klein went on to say that jobs like taking care of children and the elderly are often the most undervalued jobs in our culture because they’re considered “women’s work,” but in reality, they require highly valuable skills.

“We need way more of these jobs, and we need to make sure that they’re well-paying jobs, that they’re unionized jobs, and that we value women’s work,” she said, before introducing Sanders.

While introducing him to a cheering crowd, she said, “Bernie Sanders has been standing with women and defending women’s rights for decades. He has been unwavering in his support for our right to control our bodies.” Sanders then took the stage and spoke about issues such as universal healthcare, raising the minimum wage, abortion rights, and student debt.

He closed his speech by saying, “The men have got to stand with the women. We are in this together…all women and men, gay and straight, black and white and Latino. We are in this together not only to defeat Trump, but to create the kind of nation that you and I know we can become.”

You can watch both of their speeches here.


Women Activists Escalate Demand for “Bodily Autonomy” as 19 Nations Dissent

Credit: UN Women

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 17 2020 (IPS) – The United States and 18 other UN member states have come under fire for denying a woman’s legitimate right to “bodily autonomy”—the right to self-governance over one’s own body without coercion or external pressure.

The Executive Director of Women’s March Global, Uma Mishra-Newbery, told IPS the United Nations has worked towards progress in fighting for women’s rights.

But many countries on the Human Rights Council continue to negotiate women’s human rights off the table, she pointed out.

In Sept 2019, she said, the world watched as the US, in partnership with 18 other member states, put forth a statement saying there is no international right to abortion.

She said UN member states have also witnessed “the continued and grave human rights violations in Saudi Arabia”, including the continued torture of imprisoned women human rights defenders like Loujain al-Hathloul.

“Yet the UN and member states fail to hold Saudi Arabia truly accountable for its actions. The UN must hold these governments accountable as they work to strip women’s rights away without repercussions”, she declared.

Beside the United States, the 18 countries singled out include Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The member states who deny women access to safe and legal abortion represent 1.3 billion people, according to Women’s March Global.

As part of a global campaign for women’s reproductive rights, Women’s March Global has called attention to the “dangerous and alarming repeal of women’s rights to bodily autonomy, bringing international attention to these pressing issues.”

The 45 marches—the fourth annual event, with the participation of millions of women and allies – took place in Africa, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia.

Purnima Mane, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), told IPS the March on January 18 to protest the inadequate progress and sometimes downright rollback of women’s right to exercise bodily autonomy through the right to abortion, “comes at a critical juncture in our history.”

She said as many as 48 of the 58 existing UN countries, signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

Nonetheless, the UN as a body, has been limited in its work on abortion, due to its exclusion as a right from human rights treaties as a result of significant opposition from many quarters, she added.

“Besides, these treaties are not legally binding and some countries specifically see these issues as covered by domestic law.”

For example, she said, the Programme of Action (PoA) of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), focuses on the obligation of governments to prevent unsafe abortion but does not refer to making abortion legal.

This obligation can of course open the door for national debates on how women’s overall health and bodily autonomy are linked. International human rights treaties which most governments have ratified, support the right of women to liberty and to health.

The UN often provides platforms to learn from examples of countries which have implemented these rights successfully, integrating women’s rights more broadly, including the right to bodily autonomy, said Mane, who is a former President and CEO of Pathfinder International.

Antonia Kirkland, a global lead at Equality Now, told IPS that UN Women, alongside the Mexican and French governments and feminists around the world, have chosen bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health rights as one of the Generation Equality Forum’s six Action Coalition themes to in the lead up to Beijing +25.

“This is a good sign that attention and resources are being focused in this direction and can hopefully help counteract moves towards greater restrictions on access to abortion in countries like the USA, as well as forced pregnancy and motherhood in Latin American countries”. MORE

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