Standing Rock Sioux Achieve a Victory

Standing Rock #DAPL

This is proof that direct protest action works.

The US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to not grant permission to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to be built as planned. The pipeline was meant to go through burial lands of the Standing Rock Sioux which is offensive in itself, but there’s more to it. The pipeline would have also greatly harmed the local ecosystem and drinking water. In the event of a spill (and pipelines spill all the time) the damage to the natural environment and to people would be epic.

Despite these risks, Energy Transfer Partners and the Army Corps of Engineers will continue to try to build the pipeline elsewhere. Of course this recent development will make it harder to do so and the protestors will continue to fight big oil for the average person’s right to clean water. What’s more, is that the economic argument for pipelines is weak at best.

The Army Corps of Engineers will not grant the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline to drill under the Missouri river, the army announced on Sunday, handing a major victory to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe after a months-long campaign against the pipeline.

The announcement came just one day before the corps’ deadline for thousands of Native American and environmental activists – who call themselves water protectors – to leave the sprawling encampment on the banks of the river. For months, they have protested over their fears that the pipeline would contaminate their water source and destroy sacred sites, and over the weekend hundreds of military veterans arrived at the camps in a show of support for the movement.

Read more.

Stop The Traffik App

Human trafficking is a real problem throughout the globe and sadly it isn’t showing signs of slowing down. An organization, Stop the Traffik, is focused on ending human trafficking and has launched an app to help in that process. The charity has a good history of stopping trafficking (see their chocolate campaign) and this app should help them in their work. The app uses input from people to gather data from around the world then that data will be analyzed to figure out larger patterns and issues in how human trafficking works. That data will then be used to shape policy and future campaigns.

One of the greatest obstacles in disrupting this global crime is the lack of intelligence on the inner workings, the back-stories, the networks, all the factors that build the real time picture of what is taking place. To help to stem the tide there is a strong need for an accurate and analysed global perspective, which can only happen with the coordinated gathering and sharing of data.

We seek to develop a revolutionary culture of sharing.

To have a meaningful impact STOP THE TRAFFIK believes there is a need for a global perspective, which can only happen with the co-ordinated gathering and sharing of data. Because of our established global network and its big data potential, our commitment to building local community resilience brings the possibility to truly disrupt, and STOP THE TRAFFIK.

Read more.
Thanks to Delaney!

Easily Browse Online Anonymously

In a world where our digital lives are tracked by democratic governments (Canada and the UK amongst them) we need to ensure that we can have private conversations online. Over at Digg they have collected a very easy to follow setup to get your protecting your privacy online in only an hour!

Keep Your Private Conversations Private

It’s rude enough for a stranger to even eavesdrop on your conversations in a place as public as a park. So opting to use messaging services with end-to-end encryption doesn’t make you some sort of criminal or tin foil hat-wearing nut. Whether you mind or not, there are organizations out there that are just scooping up every chat (Hello NSA!) you send out over the internet. No one is actively looking at them, or might ever look at them, but they’re listening so you might as well turn some music on or something.

It’s sort of like taping over your webcam or looking both ways before you cross the street — it’s such an easy and painless thing to do that it far outweighs the consequences of not doing that thing.

Read more.

Think that because you have “nothing to hide” that you shouldn’t be concerned about being tracked? Or that it’s OK for the democratically elected governments to justify mass surveillance? Well, Edward Snowden has a nice and short counter argument:

Some might say “I don’t care if they violate my privacy; I’ve got nothing to hide.” Help them understand that they are misunderstanding the fundamental nature of human rights. Nobody needs to justify why they “need” a right: the burden of justification falls on the one seeking to infringe upon the right. But even if they did, you can’t give away the rights of others because they’re not useful to you. More simply, the majority cannot vote away the natural rights of the minority.

Slavoj Zizeck on the Ethics of Consumption

Slavoj Zizeck is a modern thinker that has done a great job of critiquing the overarching assumptions in our society when it comes to power dynamics and the insidiousness of neoliberalism. In the video above his views on capitalistic consumption are summed up rather nicely. It’s worth the ten minute coffee break to watch it. Just be conscious of where you get your coffee from.

Little Towns Doing Good Things About Climate Change


Even the tiniest of towns can do good things for the environment and contribute to global efforts to fighting climate change. We usually cover big cities and their efforts of improving their relationship with the natural environment, so it’s worth looking at the other end of the scale. We’ve looked at a zero-waste town in Japan, a town banning bottled water, and way back in 2007 we looked at a town banning smoking around kids and another that was Europe’s first town to ban plastic bags. This all proves that no matter where you live you can make the world a better place and maybe you can get inspired by these villages.

Grist has collected recent examples of small towns making big change. Here’s one that decided to fight apathy:

Ashton Hayes, a small town in the British countryside, set out to be the country’s first carbon-neutral community in 2006. But instead of using policy to regulate emissions, the community-led initiative focused on changing residents’ behavior. The townspeople strung up clotheslines, took fewer flights, and improved the insulation in their homes, shrinking their total carbon footprint by 40 percent so far.

Garry Charnook, the villager who jumpstarted the town’s low-carbon quest, told the New York Times: “There’s so much apathy. We need to squeeze that layer of apathy jelly and get it out.” About 200 towns, cities, and counties from around the globe have reached out to the Ashton Hayes community to learn how, exactly, they squeezed their “apathy jelly” (what is that — a dessert?) and got to work.

Read about more towns making change.
Thanks Delaney!