Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Protest Against Private Prisons Tomorrow: GEO Group’s Gulags Grasping for Green Approval

Come out to the GEO Group Shareholders meeting protest in Boca Raton and bring an environmental message about the private prison industry's greenwashing. See below for some ideas.

From the EF! Newswire
Greenwashing the Gulags meme UPDATE

All the LEED certifications in the world can’t cover up the constant flow of atrocities associated with prisons-for-profit, but that’s not going to stop them from trying.

Last month GEO Group garnered attention from the Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) #GreenwashingTheGulags campaign for announcing that they had taken advantage of a publically-funded grant program to promote water conservation by installing a native landscape plan at the Desert View Modified Community Correctional which they run in drought-stricken Adelanto, California. Of course, the labor for the project was completed by prisoners, and now, where there was once just some dirt, there are well-arranged rocks. The landscape even includes rocks that were painted blue to spell out “GEO.”

Despite the new rocks, GEO still draws over 140,000 gallons every day to operate that 700-person facility alone. Never mind the nearby 1,300-bed Adelanto Detention Facility they also operate to house immigrant prisoners.

You can do the water math yourself, it’s not too complicated. The average prisoner requires about 200 gallons of water per day (well, a recent Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed federal prison actually put it at 214 gallons, but I’m trying to keep the calculations simple here.)
That’s more than double the average that someone uses outside of a prison, according to the scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey who says that a person uses about 80-100 gallons of water per day in their home.

Sunday, April 5, 2015



8:00AM Saturday, April 11th 12201 Prosperity Farms Rd., Palm Beach Gardens 33410

On the morning of April 11th, Everglades Earth First! Will be leading a bird walk to highlight the biodiversity or Souther Florida and the destruction of the Briger Forest, which shares much of its ecology with Frenchman's Park.

Bring walking shoes, a hat, and binoculars, if you have them! There are 114 documented species of birds in the park. Questions: comtact Ruddy at (707) 902-3262(707) 902-3262 or evergladesearthfirst@riseup.net
You can visit our website at scrapscripps.info for more info on the campaign.

Suggested donation $5-10. Wheelchair accessible

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Protest Calls Attention to Clearing of the Briger Forest, Despite Police Interference

by Everglades Earth First!

10801517_10152816896280928_3136914036456463746_nOn Friday, December 5, over 50 activists gathered for a rally outside of the Briger Forest in Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens. The group was protesting the Scripps Phase II project, which is currently clearing the 681-acre forest for the construction of a biotech city, complete with animal testing labs and shopping malls.

The Briger Forest is a unique mosaic of scrub, flatwoods and wetlands. Florida has more endangered and threatened species than any other continental state, and the habitat found in the Briger Forest is increasingly rare, as so much of Florida’s southeastern corridor has been paved over for development. There are at least 13 species of plants and animals listed for protection likely present in Briger.

Altering the rush hour traffic and neighboring communities to the destruction happening right behind the treeline, Friday’s crowd sang chants, flew flags, swung banners, and displayed signs in solidarity with the wildlife inside. The two-hour protest was completely peaceful, with the exception of one element: the police. Despite the fact that this was a legal gathering of families, students, activists and children engaging in free speech activities, Palm Beach Gardens police—many undercover—surrounded the protest, blocked traffic, followed vehicles, covertly filmed protesters, prohibited participants from accessing public roads, and used loudspeakers to shout their opinions and drown out the chants of the crowd.

Protesters are told they cannot protest on the public roads in front of a recently-cleared section of the Briger. Only days ago, the area directly behind this fence was dense with trees, shrubs, and animal life.
Protesters are told they cannot protest on the public roads in front of a recently-cleared section of the Briger. Only days ago, the area directly behind this fence was dense with trees, shrubs, and animal life.

grandiflora cop 1

Police prevent the public from getting footage of the leveled section of forest visible from the road.
Police prevent the public from getting footage of the leveled section of forest visible from the road.

This was not surprising to Everglades Earth First!ers, due to past experience, and in light of a Palm Beach Post article released the day of the protest. In the article, titled “Palm Beach Gardens Chief: Briger protest could endanger people,” the police chief claimed that he was concerned about Everglades Earth First! causing harm to businesses and individuals, based on the fact that we posted a link to a book called Ecodefense on our website.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Everglades Earth First! Lockdown Halts Destruction of Florida’s Briger Forest

Re-posted from the Earth First! Newswire

from Everglades Earth First!
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL— Community activists with Everglades Earth First! have halted what they call Kolter Development’s “illegal” construction in Palm Beach Gardens’ Briger Forest. A disabled vehicle is sitting in the road at the construction entrance to the site and two people have locked their bodies to it. This week work crews began clearing trees for the construction, which has been mired in controversy for years. If completed, the development would destroy the 681-acre Briger Forest, one of the largest unprotected forests of its size in the southern region of the state.

Update: Three activists have now been arrested, while the van continues to blockade the entrance to the construction zone. Donate to their bail fund.

“We’re here stopping a crime; the illegal destruction of the Briger Forest. Kolter Group Co. is violating the Endangered Species Act and operating without all the proper permits fully approved,” Said Ryan Hartman. “The time for compromise is over. If we don’t take direct action and put our bodies on the line to protect what we have left, developers will pave over and pollute every last inch of this place.”

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

For a Greener Way

Or, Why you should come to the meeting against a new road on 7th Ave South in Lake Worth, Nov 6th, 6pm
This is 7th Ave South at F Street. Should this really be cleared for a paved road?
[UPDATE: Following this well-attended community meeting, city staff said they are going back to the drawing board for 7th Avenue South. Nice work folks!]

When I went out to knock on doors in the neighborhood surrounding 6th Avenue South yesterdayspreading the word about an attempt to pave a new roadI was reminded of the years I spent in the area working with families in a community garden on 6th Avenue and F Street.

After 8 years of growing fruits, vegetables and community bonds, the land we had worked was bulldozed, in 2007, by the forces of greed and indifference.

One year later the City of Lake Worth would spend millions to renovating the "gateway" corridors to get people from I-95 to the east side of town with a landscaped, whitewashed view of the south side.