Monday, November 23, 2015

PBCEC's Invitation to Residents Neighboring the Briger Forest for Dec 5th Rally Against Corporate Cancer Clusters

The following letter was sent by a local homeowner with support from PBCEC on 11/24/2015 to thousands of residents in Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter and unincorporated Palm Beach County who live in communities surrounding the Briger property. [Details on Dec 5th Rally can be found here.]

Greetings Neighbor,

I am a homeowner in Palm Beach Country Estates. I’m sending this letter to ask for your help in protecting our community from over-development and hazardous pollution.

Surely you’ve noticed that construction has begun in the Briger Tract forest on Donald Ross Road, across from the FAU campus.

The current development plan entails clearing almost the entire 683 acres of forest on both sides of I-95, for homes, corporate offices, animal testing labs and biotech research.

What you have not likely heard is what these corporations will actually be doing.

  •          What hazardous materials will they be researching with?
  •          What kind of waste will they create?
  •          How will they dispose of it? 
  •         How could this effect property values?

As you also may have seen in the news over the years, Phase II of The Scripps Research Institute intends to deal with high-level pathogens and toxic substances such as anthrax, Mad Cow disease, radioactive materials and genetically engineered organisms.

In the past several months, USA Today has done a series exposing high-level “biolabs” and the frequency that they experience unreported accidents or operate without transparency nationwide. Their report listed Scripps’ facility on the Jupiter FAU campus as a problem facility with regard to failures in disclosing information needed to safeguard the public.

On top of this is the addition of United Technologies Corporation (UTC) into the development plan for Briger. UTC is at the top of the suspect list for bringing a cancer cluster to the Acreage with their repeated toxic spills causing water contamination in Western Palm Beach County. While they have attempted to dodge responsibility for this, they cannot deny their record of repeated environmental violations.

I am including links below for more info on Scripps and UTC so that you can follow up with your own research.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Welcome to Palm Beach Gardens:

Beware of Cancer Clusters and Killer Cops

by Panagioti Tsolkas

PBCEC is hosting a demonstration on December 5th 2015 to "Defend Briger Biodiversity from Corporate Cancer Clusters"

The group has been protesting plans to destroy the Briger forest to build a biotech city since 2009. One year ago, in November 2014, developers broke ground and have cleared over 100 acres despite all efforts to protect this unique forest which is home to many threatened and endangered species.

Now the site is slated to become the home of a shady biotech research development which will generate high-level toxic waste without public transparency, including facilities operated by United Technologies the most likely suspect in bringing a cancer cluster to the Acreage.

This development could not have happened without the City of Palm Beach Gardens’ approval, and specifically the actions of the Gardens police, who arrested protesters to literally clear the path for the bulldozers last year.

In October 2015, this same police department was responsible for the senseless and brutal killing of Corey Jones, a young black musician from Boynton Beach whose car broke down in Gardens.

The same system that is paving over rare forest habitat for corporate profits is putting cops on paid vacations for committing racist murders. This is not a local phenomenon—it’s happening all over the country.

It is critical that environmental activists nationwide to make these connections, to view police brutality as an environmental justice issue and to stand in solidarity with movements against state violence.

PBCEC has a strong history of challenging issues of environmental racism, some of which can be found in the links here. In relation to Scripps and biotech plans, PBCEC worked with residents of the Limestone Creek, a historic black community, to defeat plans for a Scripps spin-off biotech waste site in their Jupiter neighborhood.

Please educate yourself on the realities of racist, violent police, and how this impacts the communities who are often also most impacted by environmental injustice and pollution. The success of an environmental movement to fundamentally change the society we live in must recognize these connections to grow stronger.

For more info on the connections between police accountability and the earth defense come to this event:

The Ecology of a Police State
December 5th 8pm in Lake Worth
Stonzek Theater (Click here for details)
Participate in an evening of short films and discussion about the intersections of environmentalism, mass incarceration and the criminal justice system.

$5 - $10 donation at the door (no one turned away)

TOMORROW MORNING: Support Everglades Earth First! activists on trial blockading road used for construction in Briger Forest.

Message from Everglades Earth First!

Come out and support three Everglades Earth First! activists who are facing trial this week for blockading a road used for construction in Palm Beach Garden's Briger Forest.