With Local Democracy Squashed, Fracking to Resume in Texas Town

Just seven months ago, nearly 60 percent of Denton voters approved local fracking ban, but city says law is ‘rendered unenforceable’ by state legislation

by: Deirdre Fulton

Earlier this year, Denton residents went to the Texas capital to defend their fracking ban. (Photo: Frack Free Denton/Facebook)Less than two weeks after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation to prevent local municipalities from regulating a wide variety of drilling practices, fracking is set to resume in the city of Denton, where nearly 60 percent of voters banned the practice last November.According to KERA News, “Vantage Energy plans to resume fracking operations at eight gas wells in the North Texas city on June 1, the Colorado-based operator has told city officials, and it plans to frack at least eight more wells later in the year—flouting the town’s seven-month-long ban on the controversial technique of blasting apart shale to bolster petroleum production.”The new state law—House Bill 40—forbids the city from enforcing the ban, though Denton vowed in a press release to “continue to regulate other surface activities related to drilling operations per our existing oil and gas well drilling ordinance.”Of the state ban on fracking bans, the group Frack Free Denton wrote earlier this month that “the legislature just used its oil and gas money and its bully pulpit in Austin to overturn a grassroots democratic decision in Denton.”KERA News reports “[t]here are rumblings about town that some Denton residents — unhappy with the city’s decision to stand down — plan to protest around the Vantage well sites.”As Frack Free Denton previously declared: “We can’t say for sure, but it’s a good guess that the people of Denton won’t just let that happen without at least bearing some sort of witness there to the demise of democracy.”In Oklahoma, where a sharp uptick in earthquakes has been conclusively linked to fracking, the state legislature has passed similar legislation that would overturn an 80-year-old statute that allows cities and towns to ban drilling operations within their borders. That bill is currently awaiting the signature of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

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Source: With Local Democracy Squashed, Fracking to Resume in Texas Town | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Activate Radio Welcomes You to Memorial Day / March Against Monsanto Weekend ! Help us Reach our Fundraising Goal

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Greetings and Welcome to Memorial Day/ March Against Monsanto  Weekend! Activate Radio has a Great Weekend of special Programming celebrating our past and also working to Raise the Funding to secure our immediate  future!

Activate Radio is an online streaming radio station that has it’s roots in the Occupy Movement. We broadcast news and commentary programs, with a focus on social justice and providing learning experiences that are unavailable in most of the mainstream media. We seek to educate while simultaneously affecting change in communities throughout the world.

We are not a new station, as we have been broadcasting for over three years. Recently however, we have restructured the station to become a non profit organization. We are a non-commercial station that prides itself on being free from corporate influence. As many of you know, most of the media in our world is controlled by six corporations.  We believe that the people deserve the truth, and that marginalized voices deserve to be heard. 

Please, over this weekend be safe! And please take a moment and make a donation to Activate Radio to help us on this mission that benefits all our causes! Whether your donation is $10 or $1,000, it all adds up, and gets us to our goal a little quicker. You’ll see a blue ‘Donate’ button on the upper right hand portion of the Activate Web Site. Your donation will help us to cover costs like studio space, servers and all the necessities of running any organization.

Thank You in Advance! And Solidarity to each of you!

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Get Ready: Protesters Vow to ‘Flood the System’ for Climate and Planetary Justice

Rising Tide North America calls for mass actions this fall ‘to shut down the economic and political systems threatening our survival’

by: Sarah Lazare

“Communities on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction are fighting back,” said Ahmed Gaya, an organizer with Rising Tide Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Rising Tide North America)

From the tar sands of Alberta to the Port of Seattle to the communities in the blast zone of oil trains, organizers across North America are calling for a “wave of resistance” this fall to “shut down the economic and political systems threatening our survival.”Under the banner of “Flood the System,” the announcement was unveiled Wednesday by Rising Tide North America, part of an international climate justice network. The mass actions, slated for September and November, are timed to lead up to the United Nations COP21 climate negotiations slated to take place in Paris in November and December.Organizers say they are targeting the international gathering in order to highlight exactly what is not working. “[T]he UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process has been co-opted by elite interests and that any Paris outcomes will be insufficient to meaningfully address the climate crisis and ensure justice for the majority of the world’s people,” declares a press statement.But the real target goes far beyond any one event or body. “We need to wash away the root causes of climate change—capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism,” reads the group’s call-to-action. “These systems enable the domination of people and Earth. They place gains for the elite before the well being of our communities.””We need to wash away the root causes of climate change—capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and colonialism.” —Rising Tide North AmericaSo as people from around the world mobilize and demand meaningful change at the talks in Paris, and highlight grassroots solutions, Flood the System will stage direct actions across North America.Sandy Nurse, organizer with the New York City chapter of Rising Tide, told Common Dreams that the network is urging people to plan their own actions locally and coordinate regionally and continentally through spokescouncils—formed when affinity groups come together around a common purpose. Nurse said that, while actions are not yet public, “there are a lot of ideas. Groups might block oil trains, they might block fossil fuel destruction.”Organizers in the U.S. and Canada are having “initial conversations” with groups in Mexico about the coordinated actions.If past actions are any indication, Flood the System will make a big splash.Rising Tide Seattle is one of the organizations behind last week’s series of direct actions—by land and sea—to protest Shell Oil’s arctic drilling fleet in the Port of Seattle.Furthermore, many of those organizing Flood the System were involved in last year’s more than 400,000-strong People’s Climate March in New York City, followed by the “Flood Wall Street” demonstration and sit-in attended by thousands in the financial district of lower Manhattan—the hub of global capitalism.Organizers say Flood the System looks to other movements for inspiration, especially those “led by low-wage workers, immigrants, and communities responding to police brutality,” with many Rising Tide organizers directly involved in, or allying with, these various struggles.””There is a sense that there is so much happening right now that is powerful and empowering from the grassroots,” said Nurse. “People are expressing anger, taking to the streets, not fearful, and very activated in a way that has caught the imagination of the entire country and many places around the world.””Communities on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction are fighting back,” said Ahmed Gaya, an organizer with Rising Tide Seattle, in a statement. “From Seattle, to Alberta, to Appalachia, people are organized in opposition to extraction, and taking action to uproot the systems driving the crisis.”

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Source: Get Ready: Protesters Vow to ‘Flood the System’ for Climate and Planetary Justice | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community