Floridians Continue To Oppose Natural Gas Pipeline

A 3.2 billion dollar pipeline has begun construction in the Sunshine State. The controversial line is set to go from Florida to Alabama running an estimated 474 miles, and will be able to move up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day upon completion.

With environmental impacts heavy on their minds Floridians are already hurling sharp criticisms at Governor Rick Scott’s full throated endorsement of the project. Ground water advocates have been quick to point out their concern for the natural aquifer that runs beneath their state.

Protesters gathered on the Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida, an area that owes much of it’s economic security to tourism related to the nearby head springs. They were well received with motorist honking and waving their support. Local organizer Robyn Hawkins Dodd did not mince words.

“The pipeline is extremely dangerous going across such vast topography and stands to impact our delicate limestone aquifer. It isn’t a matter of if we will have a sinkhole, it is a a matter of when. A dangerous pipeline is set to be running by homes and schools and the government is seizing property  for it through eminent domain. It isn’t right.”

Citizens remain on edge after a sinkhole in Polk county opened up under a fertilizer runoff pond owned by Mosaic, a Fortune 500 company based in Minnesota. The incident poured  an estimated 215 million gallons of contaminated water into the Florida aquifer. The sinkhole that opened up underneath a gypsum stack at a Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Florida, which has dumped at least 215 million gallons of contaminated water an aquifer over the past three weeks.

The Sabal Trail Pipeline will undoubtedly also have an environmental impact. Leaks are a well known concern in pipeline construction and come with their own slew of hazards. Also, close to 700 acres of Florida wetlands are scheduled to be drained or impacted in such a way that could take up to 50 years for their ecosystems to recover. Additionally, drilling near the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers may prove deep enough to effect groundwater and cave systems.

While federal reports have stated a concern for increasing sinkhole development, alterations in springs characteristics and  local groundwater flow they still gave the go ahead on construction.

Protesters plan a demonstration in Ocala’s downtown main square on October 1st. Also, a four day car caravan is planned to start on October 21st starting in Stuart, Fl and moving on through Ft. Meyers and up to the Live Oak area. Demonstrators intend to bring water samples with them to Tallahassee on the 24-25th as schedules permit.

For more information on dates of future demonstrations please see the “Citrus Co No Pipeline” group on Facebook. 

Doing Nothing Changes Nothing

I would be interested (purely academically) if law enforcement officers have seen a dramatic rise in violence directed at them, or if there are just several instances of high profile retaliation.
I see all the news coverage these stories get as a double edged sword. It drums up tons of support for the officers and spawns hashtags like #BlueLivesMatter (which I find a tasteless hijacking of BLM), but on the other side galvanizes communities tired of being misrepresented and strong armed.
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When violent actions against a population radicalize people abroad against America then what do violent actions against her own people hope to accomplish? Mark my words.. Milwaukee, Ferguson, Baltimore…  They are a cake walk compared to what is to come if some drastic change doesn’t sweep the country. The discontent is to palpable. The poverty levels are too real. The people have asked, begged, and demanded a peaceful revolution.
Are you really going to act surprised when frustration manifests itself with civil discord?

Or are you going to be a part of the change that invigorates the population and calms the country?

 

Our Bernie and Jane

Distractions.

So many of them…An endless fount of choices,
a million ways to silence a million different voices.
That is until he came out of nowhere like a beacon,
tirelessly giving us a dream, a hope, and a reason
to get out of our comfort zones… to be bold and Bern bright,
and to never NEVER give up the good fight.

Right and Left spin lies and propaganda,
his steps faltered and so we picked up his mantra.
He is a humble man but not without his pride,
but his pride is in us– we helped him find his stride.

We marched and screamed ourselves hoarse
as our “leaders” mocked him with little remorse.
We watched as our dream cracked and our path diverged,
our hearts breaking as we fought the merge.

And we wept…

…for the future that delegates no more super than you or I
robbed from us with not even a bat of an eye.
And when they couldn’t silence us with their gaslighted tactics
they just switched over to their shady mathematics.

But we’re just getting started and finding our cause,
We will fight for justice with new blood and laws.
This is how we will process our righteous anger and pain,
because we will never forget our Bernie and Jane.

Our Revolution!

The Revolution Lives On

In the wake of Senator Bernie Sanders endorsement of Hillary Rodham Clinton progressives everywhere were holding their head in their hands. To say that they, in that moment, felt their movement had been betrayed by backroom politics is an understatement. However, in the light of the next day there was an impressive rallying cry throughout Sanders groups and beyond.

Some find Jill Stein to be the next standard bearer in the fight for progressive policy and with breakneck speed jumped ship to the Green Party with the battle cry #HillNo #JillYes! Others have chosen to give the Vermont Senator a bit more faith and wait until after the DNC to make their promised #DemExit.

Can this political revolution survive fractured as it is? Almost undoubtedly. With a large swathe of the Democratic base and Independents, who largely decide elections, finally wide awake to the problems our country faces it’s a sure bet. The anger that is honed in on Senator Sanders is already refocusing on the broader picture, and people are really beginning to understand his campaign slogan… “Not me, Us.”

This Political Revolution started *before* Senator Sanders. It’s infancy partly began with the Occupy movements. While the energy was there the protests had lacked focus. Fast forward a few years later and we have Senator Sanders harnessing that energy and picking a near perfect moment to rally that discontent into clear demands that the rest of the populace could find a cause in.

The Revolution doesn’t die with Senator Sanders. He just raised the bar. We now know that our true strength lies in our numbers and not our wealth. We know that real progressive change can happen when we demand things in unified fashion. We know that the establishment will bend when we push together… If nothing else we owe Senator Sanders a debt for that. Who else would have helped us realize our power and potential on such a large and brutal stage?

We have to find ourselves willing to fight when the fanfare has ebbed. When it’s hard and when there are no accolades and it seems no one cares. When each victory takes our time, money, and fierce commitment… Because it’s safe to say the Revolution lives on, but it will not be televised.

 

 

The Hero America Needs

In a world awash with the plastic and pandering politicians Bernie Sanders stands above the rest. His no nonsense and unapologetic nature has managed to engage a politically apathetic generation and he been the rallying cry for progressives from coast to coast.

So why Clinton?

In a landscape dominated by political families, CEOs, and special interest groups name recognition is key. A second Clinton run was forecasted from the moment she joined the Obama White House as Secretary of State. With decades of D.C. connections and a southern firewall at her back two years ago it seemed general knowledge that Clinton would be next in line. It seemed that it would be her turn. Who could have predicted a known but relatively low key Senator from Vermont would take the to the field with a resonating message born from decades of public service and genuine concern.

When Senator Sanders first started his campaign he was laughed at. The venues he booked were thinly attended and the media coverage even more threadbare, but soon and in rapid succession all that would change. Bernie Sanders became a household name overnight as people from both sides of the aisle took notice. Suddenly this man with no name recognition was filling venues that surpassed even Obama’s attendance records… Bernie Sanders was for real. His stump speeches followed a common formula and kept both young and old listening with his natural story telling ability and light humor, but what kept them coming back was the promise of a political revolution.

While Clinton’s promises sounded more and more like a third term for President Obama with a heavy dose of the status quo Bernie Sanders was not mincing words.His message was clear… No more economic and political oligarchy. The internet was Sanders domain as his message spread across social media like wild fire and seemed to thrust a new generation into it’s first baby steps of political activism.

But is he the hero America needs?

There are very few people in a lifetime that can be a benevolent figurehead of a movement. Fewer still who are willing to face ridicule and tirelessly campaign at the age of 74. Bernie Sanders is a man who sees a future for his fellow citizens. A future free from the daily grind that a starvation wage dictates. One free of choosing between medicine or food. School or shelter.

In short? Yes.

Bernie Sanders is and will remain a role model for current and future generations regardless of how this election season plays out. His message is now carried by thousands and his burden is lightened by the many hands of the political revolution. For those who have been influenced by the Sanders movement things will never be the same again.

We’re awake now Bernie! Thank you.

 

Is America In Distress?

Following the wake of FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation for no charges to be filed against Secretary Clinton there was a change so small on social media you may have not noticed it. Profile pictures are being changed to display the inverted American flag… a move that is generally reserved for moments of intense and immanent distress. When asked you get a litany of reasons for the change, but the core belief is that the country is broken. Protesters claim that while the Clinton incident prompted the change she is not the only reason.

In just the past week both Philando Castile and Alton Sterling lost their lives in officer related shootings. They were just the latest names on a list already too long, and the growing frustration with law enforcement protecting its own is adding fuel to a fire that is already blinding to look at.

With the growing number of officer related shootings of unarmed citizens, wealth disparity, and a justice system that favors the wealthy and well connected you can expect this trend to continue.

Thousands Prepare To March On The DNC

 

Grassroots movements are circulating on social media and their goal promises to be a memorable one. Thousands of United States citizens are preparing to descend on Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention to assure that their voices at heard, and that voice is saying one thing… Bernie.

This energy and enthusiasm is exactly what has carried the Democratic presidential candidate this far, and his internet following has locked arms in light of recent events. A pro Clinton super pac is reported to have shelled out a million dollars to help solve the former Secretary of State’s social media problem and “forcefully correct” what they deem as negative commentary.

Support for Bernie Sanders is far from waning. Donations continue to pour in as enthusiasts dig in their heels and go door to door in preparation for a fight until the end. The hashtag #ItIsntOverTilCalifornia has been circulating as Sanders surged 6 points in the battleground state.

Given that a contested DNC is a near assurance Sanders supporters are hedging their bets. Some are vowing to drive from one side of the continent to the other in support of the Vermont Senator. The movement is highly organized and sports drivesharing  and a “BernieBnB” for those wayfarers on a budget.

 

Lodgings –   www.BernieBnB.com

Transportation    http://bit.ly/1SDYz2k

https://www.facebook.com/groups/MarchOnTheDNC/

https://twitter.com/MarchOnTheDNC

#SeeYouInPhilly