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As French anti nuclear activists organise protests, police carry out violent raids

 The French state intensifies its crackdown on anti-nuclear groups https://litbyimagination.blogspot.com.au/2017/09/sept-2017-french-state-intensifies-its.html  Possible Slow Fuse,

Many people have bought the argument that nuclear energy is carbon-free, even though it isn’t, and they have accepted the promise from the nuclear industry that there will be no more nuclear catastrophes because all the “lessons have been learned” and nothing of the kind will ever, ever happen again. They say that after every nuclear mistake big or small. The public also accepts without too much inquiry that nuclear reactors could exist in this world alongside a hypothetical abolition of nuclear weapons. Enough people seem persuaded of these arguments, so a passive acceptance of nuclear energy is the norm in most countries that still depend on it.

The issue that ought to be the real deal-breaker is none of the above-mentioned objections, even though they are each, individually, sufficient to make any nation reject nuclear energy. The most serious problem with nuclear energy is that no one, since the time when nuclear power plants were first switched on, has found a way to dispose of irradiated uranium and plutonium, commonly known as “nuclear waste.”

The public has been told that it can be safely buried as soon as nuclear reactor operators find a suitable geological disposal site and a “willing host community” to take it. So far both of these conditions have not been met. Willing host communities are extremely hard to produce, and reluctant host communities have exposed the fact that no proposed disposal site can be guaranteed to be safely sealed off from the ecosystem for the thousands of years into the future.

Over the last five years I have followed the opposition that has arisen to France’s plan to bury its nuclear waste in an enormous facility in northeastern France near the town of Bure. The articles I translated previously can be found at the links at the end of this article. The translation that follows this introduction describes what is happening to opponents in September 2017 as their movement has grown and their lawsuits and legal challenges have been rejected. The state has finally decided to crack down. When a group of people decide to stand up and protect future generations, this is the thanks they get.

Events in France illustrate the serious flaws in our civilization’s approach to energy policy. Any solution that imposes destruction on a local people cannot be called the product of a democratic process. One can say that this is a majority decision, or the nation requires this sacrifice, but any such abuse of a minority is incompatible with democracy because anyone, and thus everyone, becomes susceptible to such tyranny in different times and circumstances.

Some nations are aware of this dilemma so they are content to delay indefinitely the quest for a final resting place for irradiated fuel rods. They hope to someday find the appropriate host community, but it doesn’t matter if they never succeed. As long as they talk of having this intent and pretend a solution is possible, they can continue operating their reactors. France, on the other hand, seems to have been foolish enough to take the idea of building a permanent disposal site seriously. They proceeded to build it over the objections of citizens and in spite of evidence that it would jeopardize future generations.

On Wednesday September 20, police raided several locations in Bure (Meuse region) and surrounding areas inhabited by opponents of the nuclear waste disposal project. For many of them, this operation seems to be “the main focus of police pressure that has become widespread and permanent.” Gatherings of support are being organized throughout France.

La maison de résistance in Bure, the place where opponents of CIGEO meet and organize, was raided for the first time on September 20 at about 06:15.

Bought in 2005 by French and Germn antinuclear activists from belonging to Bure Zone Libre (BZL), this old farm today welcomes activists of many kinds on a regular and permanent basis. “Raiding la maison de resistance is very symbolic. They are getting serious now,” remarks Joel, a resident of Mandres and opponent of the nuclear waste repository. Over almost ten hours, officers went through everything in the building, and seized numerous objects. Joel explained, “They didn’t have enough boxes to seal everything up properly, so they had to have more brought to them. They came with a moving truck, ready to empty the house.”

It was about 6:20 in the morning when officers started their raids at the maison de resistance, in Bure, the grounds of the station at Lumeville, and a residence in Commercy. They also went to an apartment in Mandres-en-Barrois, near Verdun. These places are occupied by people opposed to the burial of nuclear waste in Bure. Managed by ANDRA (l’Agence Nationale pour la gestion des Déchets RAdioactifs), this project was baptized as CIGEO (Centre Industriel de stockage GEologique)

The forces of public order justified their entry into the maison de resistance with a warrant from a commission of inquiry formed to investigate an attack on the hotel-restaurant of the ANDRA laboratory last June.

According to the website MVC.Camp maintained by the activists on the site, “There were forty officers, and they made their entry violently. Equipped with a crowbar, they broke the door and, it seems, some car windows.”

At the train station, about fifteen officers were present, accompanied by a prosecutor and drug-sniffing dogs. They came in with a warrant from the commission allowing a search for drugs. In Commercy, they also arrived about 6:00 and seized a computer, a hard drive and a portable phone. During this time, roadblocks were put up at Ribeaucourt and at Mandres.

“The people here are exhausted and afraid”

According to the prosecutor in Bar-le-Duc, Olivier Glady, interviewed by AFP (Agence France Presse), officers seized helmets, gas masks and fireworks, 140 grams of “packaged” cannabis resin, ten cannabis plants, as well as data and phones. They were pursuing three different investigations:

  1. The one ordered by the commission of inquiry mentioned above.
  2. Another investigation was launched after confrontations that occurred at a protest on August 15, according to Mr. Glady.
  3. Some raids were related to “infractions of drug laws,” he added.

For the organization Sortir du Nuléaire, “this raid comes after many months of permanent police harassment in the villages around Bure, with constant patrols by police cars and helicopters, and roadblocks where both protesters and farmers have to show identification.”

In a press release, the group denounced “these unacceptable methods and the escalation in this strategy of tension. It is shameful that the State chooses targeting of opponents rather than abandoning this dangerous project that imposes a danger on future generations.” The group is calling for protests throughout the country (see list below.)

A resident of Mandres, an opponent of the CIGEO project, told Reporterre, “It’s the first time we’ve seen an operation of this scale in Bure.” For him, it’s the main focus of a police pressure that is now diffuse and permanent. “Officers patrol daily in the streets and villages, filming and harassing, controlling everything in a pervasive manner. They are raising the tension in order to discourage people, making people afraid, and pushing them to the margins, but all they’re doing is motivating people to mobilize more.”

Michel Labat, another resident of Mandres told Reporterre he was revolted. “It’s incredible. So many police everywhere. Today there is no more opposition. As soon as we do something, they call in the police. Then they insult and harass us regularly. They have no respect. People here are exhausted and afraid.”

For Jean-Francois Bodenreider, a physiotherapist, a resident of Bonnet, and president of the group Habitants Vigilants de Gondrecourt said, “These raids are a way of destabilizing the struggle, a way of focusing on other things. While we are pointing out the dangers of CIGEO, they are conducting disciplinary operations, portraying opponents as druggies and criminals. This makes people stop talking about the real problems. They don’t know what to say or do to defend le nucléaire, so they talk about something else.

“They are pushing us to our limits to make us do something irreparable”

On September 17, this physiotherapist who established himself in Gondrecourt twenty-five years ago, experienced another of many provocations by police. He was in his yard when a black 4×4 stopped in front of his house. Mr. Bodenreider said, “I approached and the passenger in the front took out his phone to take some photos. He told me he was looking for houses to buy in the area. I asked him to leave because our house is not for sale, then his tone changed. Suddenly, one of the passengers shouted, ‘Go! He has a hammer!’” Mr. Bodenreider’s son, Leonard, a medical student, was in the garage gathering supplies for a camping trip. “Out of fear for his father, and in anger” he threw a rubber hammer toward the vehicle. Then the family was shocked to see the passengers in the 4×4 identify themselves as police officers. They handcuffed Leonard and took him away. The spouses of father and son went to the police station in Gondrecourt and waited patiently until they were finally listened to as witnesses. Mr. Bodenreider recounted, “The officers were talking about attempted manslaughter charges, but some local officers who knew us were there and they defused the situation, and they finally got our son released that evening.”

Leonard will have to appear in court on charges of destruction of property because the hammer slightly struck the vehicle.

“After the incident, I told myself that if I reacted like that it was because I was irritated,” said the physiotherapist. I don’t live under daily pressure, not like the residents of Mandres who are patrolled eight times a day. But this pressure exerted by police patrols affects all of us.” He describes himself as “moderate” in the struggle, but he is sure of one thing: “They are pushing us so that we’ll do something irreparable.”

“Once you are identified as an opponent, you are presumed to be guilty”

Joel, an opponent of the CIGEO project, recently relived the experience of his house arrest during the COP21 summit: “At 6 AM, ten officers came to the door of the friend I was staying with in Commercy. They went through everything for the next hour. One of them had a Taser gun. They left with papers, my computer, and my phone. As a bonus question, the forces of public order asked before leaving, “Do you have anything else to declare regarding Bure?”

As in the other locations that were raided, one of which was Joel’s apartment in Mandres, officers indicated that they were investigating the attack on the hotel-restaurant of the ANDRA laboratory. One catch: Joel was on vacation in Greece at the time. He adds indignantly, “Once you are identified as an opponent, in my case since the COP21, you’re a target and presumed guilty.”

For Joel, this is all proof that the operations this Wednesday were not aimed solely at finding who is responsible for the acts committed this summer. He observes, “They are creating permanent tension in order to break people.”

List of protest events being organized by Sortir du Nucleaire this Wednesday:

Paris à 18h, appel à rassemblement au marché aux fleurs, métro Cité, à 18h. En solidarité également avec les camarades en procès de la voiture brûlée.

devant la Préfecture de Bar-le-Duc à 17h30

Nantes, rdv 18h à Commerce dans le cadre du Front social.

Grenoble, 17h30, au pied de la tour Perret, parc Paul Mistral, par le comité local de soutien contre les GPII.

Nancy place Stanislas à 18h.

Angers, 18h, devant la Préfecture d’Angers.

Épinal, 18h, devant la Préfecture.

Colmar, 18h, devant la Préfecture, Champ-de-Mars.

Dijon, 18h, devant la Préfecture. Événement ici.

Rassemblement en cours d’organisation en Alsace, on vous tient au courant dès que possible.

Rassemblement en cours d’organisation à Reims, idem.

Une conférence de presse commune du mouvement de résistance se tiendra jeudi 21 septembre à 11h à la Maison de résistance à la poubelle nucléaire, à Bure.

More articles about Bure, CIGEO and French nuclear history:

Nuclear Waste Project Hungry for Land

French court: NGOs have no right to challenge nuclear “public authorities”

France’s Bure Nuclear Waste Site on Trial

The Inconvenience of a Geothermic Energy Source Under France’s Nuke Waste Dump

L’état, c’est MOX

Superphénix (some history of the French anti-nuclear movement)     Very valuable information for the anglophone world.  We are constantly being told of how popular and successful is the nuclear industry in France. This is a timely counter to the pro nuclear English language propaganda

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September 23, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

No free speech in Trump’s America when it comes to climate research

The Trump Administration Censors Climate Change Research as Hurricane Harvey Barrels Down on Texas http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a57202/climate-change-censor-scientist/ This is nothing new, but it’s still a disgrace. BY AUG 25, 2017

Free speech for me but not for thee” seems to be a core principle of the Trump administration.

August 26, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

America’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has deleted references to climate change from its site.

Another Government Agency Has Purged References to Climate Change From Its Site http://gizmodo.com/another-government-agency-has-purged-references-to-clim-1798397016?IR=T Sidney Fussell 24 Aug 17, Data-tracking watchdog group, Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI), has reported dozens of instances where the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has deleted references to climate change from its site.

 As the name suggests, the NIEHS’ site links to research summariesdetailing how the environment affects personal health. Since it began tracking changes to the site in April, the EDGI report found that the NIEHS has deleted dozens of references to climate change or edited them to simply say “climate.”

Obviously, “climate” is not the same as human-driven climate change. But eliding that difference casts climate change as something abstract or distant. It’s not. It’s real, it’s tangible and its effects have an enormous impact on people’s health. Unfortunately, the NIEHS is failing in its mission to inform people of this. Among the removals is a fact sheet, “Climate Change and Human Health” that lists the immediate health impacts of climate change. Though still hosted on the site, the links have been removed and its no longer listed on the NIEHS’ Brochures and Fact Sheet page.

The fact sheet regionalizes weather effects like extreme heat, flooding and poor air quality and connects them to climate change, summarizing how climate change has an outsized impact on specific vulnerable populations—the elderly, pregnant women, low income and indigenous groups. These groups are both the most vulnerable to the effects of climate and are the clear targets of campaigns meant to mislead on the dangers of climate change.

  The latests revisions in the NIEHS only compound with similar deletions on the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency websites. They’re falling in line with the Trump administration’s stance on climate change: deflection (senior officials admitting they “haven’t asked” if the President believes in climate change,) and casting the consensus as a “both sides” debate. Further, it works against the newer, soft rebranding of climate denial employed by EPA head Scott Pruitt—this pernicious idea that the science of climate change is unsettled and no cause for alarm.

But if climate change doesn’t pose a threat, then why are they so afraid of it?

August 25, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Aggressive approach of French police to anti nuclear protestors

Anti-Bure website 18th Aug 2017, In Bure on the 15 August 2017, around 800 people set off on a demo (numbers
like this had never been seen before for a non-declared demo in Bure). The
prefecture deliberately chose a strategy of aggression and asphyxiation
that led to a number of injured people.

The police deployed were twice the number deployed for the demo of the 18 February 2017, 15 riot cop vans and
a water cannon were counted. The route of the demo headed towards Saudron
and not the “laboratory”, chosen to avoid the fortified red zone and
all the blue team.

The objective was to arrive in a big field between the
village of Saudron the “Espace Technologique” (an Andra Building) to
highlight a very important Neolithic site discovered by archaeologists and
ignored by Andra  http://en.vmc.camp/2017/08/18/bure-prefecture-chose-strategy-agression-led-number-injured-people-lets-keep-supporting-struggle/

August 23, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Protestors against nuclear dumping injured in police attack in northeast France

French Police Attack Protest Against Nuclear Waste Site http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/French-Police-Attack-Protest-Against-Nuclear-Waste-Site-20170816-0012.html 16 August 2017 Protest organizers said 36 people were injured, with six gravely hurt.

Police in northeast France used water cannons and fired tear gas and stun grenades Tuesday against demonstrators protesting plans to store nuclear waste at an underground site.

The issue has been raging for years as the waste is the dangerous long-term by-product of France’s extensive nuclear energy program.

Around 300 protesters took part in the demonstration in Bure, a commune in the Meuse department, against plans to store highly radioactive waste 500 meters underground.

Protest organizers said 36 people were injured, with six gravely hurt in the clashes, while the local prefecture said at least three demonstrators had been injured, according to calls to emergency services.

The protest was one in a series to try to block the waste site. France’s Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot has said he needs more information before he gave his position on the project.

Earlier this month, the Nuclear Safety Authority said it had “reservations” about the project, known as Cigeo, citing uncertainty about the potential danger from highly inflammable material in the case of rising temperatures.

In July, the National Agency for the Management of Radioactive Waste said construction of the storage site would start in 2022 at the earliest.

August 19, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, incidents, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

How USA’s Argonne National Laboratory abused a small Australian boy, with plutonium injections

Paul Langley,  https://www.facebook.com/paul.langley.9822/posts/10213752429593121CAL-2, 14 Aug 175 yr-old Simon Shaw and his mum. Simon was flown from Australia to the US on the pretext of medical treatment for his bone cancer. Instead, he was secretly injected with plutonium to see what would happen. His urine was measured, and he was flown back to Australia.

Though his bodily fluids remained radioactive, Australian medical staff were not informed. No benefit was imparted to Simon by this alleged “medical treatment” and he died of his disease after suffering a trip across the world and back at the behest of the USA despite his painful condition. The USA merely wanted a plutonium test subject. They called him CAL-2. And did their deed under the cover of phony medicine.

“Congress of the United States, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515-2107, Edward J. Markey, 7th District, Massachusetts Committees, [word deleted] and Commerce, Chairman Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Natural Resources, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe] MEMORANDUM To: Congressman Edward J. Markey From: Staff Subject: The Plutonium Papers Date: 4/20/94

Staff Memo on Plutonium Papers

The medical file for Cal-2 also contains correspondence seeking follow-up from Argonne National Laboratory in the 1980s. Cal-2 was an Australian boy, not quite five years old, who was flown to the U.S. in 1946 for treatment of bone cancer. During his hospitalization in San Francisco, he was chosen as a subject for plutonium injection. He returned to Australia, where he died less than one year later.

Document 700474 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to an official at the Institute of Public Health in Sydney, Australia, in an attempt to reach the family of Cal-2. This letter reports that the child was “injected with a long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclide.” Document 700471 is a letter from Dr. Stebbings to New South Wales, Australia (names and town deleted), inquiring about recollections of the boy’s hospitalization in 1946. The letter notes that, “those events have become rather important in some official circles here,” but provides few details to the family.

A hand-written note on the letter reports no response through October 8, 1987. Considering the history on the lack of informed consent with these experiments, it is surprising that the letters to Australia failed to mention the word “plutonium.”

The Australian news media has since identified Cal-2 as Simeon Shaw, the son of a wool buyer in New South Wales, and information on the injection created an international incident. The information in the medical file does indicate that at a time when Secretary Herrington told you that no follow-up would be conducted on living subjects, the Department of Energy was desperately interested in conducting follow-up on a deceased Australian patient.

In an effort to determine the full extent of follow-up by the Department after 1986, your staff has requested, through the Department’s office of congressional affairs, the opportunity to speak with Dr. Stebbings, Dr. Robertson, and any other officials who may have been involved in the follow-up. So far, that request has been unsuccessful. It remains an open question as to what was the full extent of follow-up performed in the 1980s, and whether the efforts then would facilitate any further follow-up on subjects now. It seems appropriate for the Interagency Working Group to address these questions as its efforts continue.”

Source: National Security Archives, George Washington Universityhttp://www.gwu.edu/…/…/mstreet/commeet/meet1/brief1/br1n.txt

See also ACHRE Final Report.

NO MORE DUAL USE ABUSE OF AUSTRALIANS MR PRESIDENT. STOP FUNDING SYKES AND FLINDERS UNIVERSITY IN THE DOE QUEST FOR CHEAP CLEANUP OF URANIUM CONTAMINATED SITES.

Mr. President, you are wrong if you think you can do the same again re hormesis funding in Australia as the USA did with CAL-2. We have not forgotten and do not trust you or your paid agents in Australian universities such as Flinders.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, radiation, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

U.S Government employees ordered not to use certain words, especially “climate change”

US Government department tells staff to not use term ‘climate change’ http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/us-government-department-tells-staff-to-not-use-term-climate-change/news-story/27acd486093634ad3db49ab5ebcb0b9d

A PUBLIC sector department has told employees to cease using the term ‘climate change’ and opt for other more benign words  insteadBenedict Brook@BenedictBrook, news.com.au , 8 Aug 17 GOVERNMENT employees in the US have been given a dictionary of accepted words to use — and “climate change” isn’t one of them.

In a directive reminiscent of George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, where people were only allowed to communicate in an ever diminishing language called “newspeak”, employees of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to ditch the word “climate change”.

They should use “weather extreme” instead.

The clampdown comes as President Donald Trump further distances the US from global moves to limit global warming. Last week, the US formally announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In a series of emails received by the Guardian, the director of the USDA’s soil health department, Bianca Moebius-Clune, listed terms that should be avoided and the alternatives to be used instead.

As well as giving climate change the flick, staff were told to avoid the term “climate change adaptation” and instead opt for “resilience to weather extremes”.

When talking about the cause of climate change, sorry “weather extremes”, saying people should “reduce greenhouse gases” is a big no-no. Rather, staff should talk in favour of “build soil organic matter, increase nutrient use efficiency”.

The email was dated 16 February but has only just come to light.

However, far from being a politically motivated reaction against the science of climate change, the instructions to staff may instead be a way for the Government department to continue its work without ruffling feathers in a White House averse to discussing global warming.

In the missive, Ms Moebius-Clune said that, “we won’t change the modelling, just how we talk about it — there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the soil, climate mitigation is just one of them”.

The Guardian report added that public relations staff from the USDA had advised departments should “tamp down on discretionary messaging right now”.

The USDA denied it was limited discussion of climate change.

In a statement, the department said, “this guidance, similar to procedures issued by previous administrations, was misinterpreted by some to cover data and scientific publications.

“This was never the case and USDA interim procedures will allow complete, objective information for the new policy staff reviewing policy decisions.”http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/us-government-department-tells-staff-to-not-use-term-climate-change/news-story/27acd486093634ad3db49ab5ebcb0b9d

August 9, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Trump administration’s banning of the term “climate change” may backfire

The Trump administration’s solution to climate change: ban the term https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/08/trump-administration-climate-change-ban-usda, Bill McKibben
The US Department of Agriculture has forbidden the use of the words ‘climate change’. This say-no-evil policy is doomed to fail, 
 ‘Also blacklisted is the scary locution reduce greenhouse gases.’@billmckibben, 8 August 2017 .  In a bold new strategy unveiled on Monday in the Guardian, the US Department of Agriculture – guardians of the planet’s richest farmlands – has decided to combat the threat of global warming by forbidding the use of the words.

Under guidance from the agency’s director of soil health, Bianca Moebius-Clune, a list of phrases to be avoided includes “climate change” and “climate change adaptation”, to be replaced by “weather extremes” and “resilience to weather extremes”.

Also blacklisted is the scary locution “reduce greenhouse gases” – and here, the agency’s linguists have done an even better job of camouflage: the new and approved term is “increase nutrient use efficiency”.

The effectiveness of this approach – based on the well-known principle that what you can’t say won’t hurt you – has previously been tested at the state level, making use of the “policy laboratories” provided by America’s federalist system.

In 2012, for instance, the North Carolina general assembly voted to prevent communities from planning for sea level rise. Early analysis suggests this legislation has been ineffective: Hurricane Matthew, in 2016, for instance drove storm surge from the Atlantic ocean to historic levels along the Cape Fear river. Total damage from the storm was estimated at $4.8bn.

Further south, the Florida government forbade its employees to use the term climate change in 2014 – one government official, answering questions before the legislature, repeatedly used the phrase “the issue you mentioned earlier” in a successful effort to avoid using the taboo words.

It is true that the next year “unprecedented” coral bleaching blamed on rising temperatures destroyed vast swaths of the state’s reefs: from Key Biscayne to Fort Lauderdale, a survey found that “about two-thirds were dead or reduced to less than half of their live tissue”. Still, it’s possible that they simply need to increase their nutrient use efficiency.

At the federal level, the new policy has yet to show clear-cut success either. As the say-no-evil policy has rolled out in the early months of the Trump presidency, it coincided with the onset of a truly dramatic “flash drought” across much of the nation’s wheat belt.

As the Farm Journal website pointed out earlier last week: “Crops in the Dakotas and Montana are baking on an anvil of severe drought and extreme heat, as bone-dry conditions force growers and ranchers to make difficult decisions regarding cattle, corn and wheat.”

In typically negative journalistic fashion, the Farm Journal reported that “abandoned acres, fields with zero emergence, stunted crops, anemic yields, wheat rolled into hay, and early herd culls comprise a tapestry of disaster for many producers”.

Which is why it’s good news for the new strategy that the USDA has filled its vacant position of chief scientist with someone who knows the power of words.

In fact, Sam Clovis, the new chief scientist, is not actually a scientist of the kind that does science, or has degrees in science, but instead formerly served in the demanding task of rightwing radio host (where he pointed out that followers of former president Obama were “Maoists”). He has actually used the words “climate change” in the past, but only to dismiss it as “junk science”.

Under his guidance the new policy should soon yield results, which is timely since recent research (carried out, it must be said, by scientist scientists at MIT) showed that “climate change could deplete some US water basins and dramatically reduce crop yields in some areas by 2050”.    But probably not if we don’t talk about it. Bill McKibben is the founder of the climate campaign 350.org.

August 9, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change | Leave a comment

Japan’s Anticonspiracy Law – risk of abuse of power

Japan’s Anticonspiracy Law Draws Mixed Responses http://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2017071100602,  Tokyo, July 11 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s controversial anticonspiracy legislation, which took effect on Tuesday, has been welcomed by some as being necessary as part of the nation’s efforts to prevent terrorism, while others are concerned that it could lead law-enforcement authorities to launch investigations prematurely before conditions are met and help create a surveillance society.

   The revised organized crime punishment law now newly enables authorities to criminalize people planning and preparing to commit acts of terrorism and other serious offenses.
Noting that Japan can ratify the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime following the enforcement of the law, a senior police official expressed hopes that the country will be able to “cooperate more smoothly with other signatories in criminal investigations and handovers of suspects,” leading to progress in probes into organized crimes.
The official brushed aside concerns over possible abuse of the law by investigative authorities. Any compulsory investigations require search warrants from courts, meaning that such probes are subject to judicial scrutiny, the official noted.
Still, the official said that the application of the law to specific cases will have to be considered carefully, citing parliamentary debates on the legislation during which opposition parties strongly opposed the legislation.

 

Anticonspiracy Law Comes into Force in Japan

   Tokyo, July 11 (Jiji Press)–The anticonspiracy law took effect in Japan on Tuesday, allowing authorities to criminalize planning and preparations to commit serious crimes, including terrorist attacks.
The government now plans to ratify promptly the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime so that the country can share investigative information about organized crimes with other nations.
Under the law, a group of two or more people can be punished for plotting a crime at the planning stage, or before committing it, if any member starts an act of preparation for the crime.
The Diet, Japan’s parliament, enacted the law last month, with support from the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito, as well as Nippon Ishin no Kai, an opposition party.
During Diet debates on the controversial law, opposition parties expressed concerns that investigative authorities may use the law arbitrarily.

July 14, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, Japan | Leave a comment

New law in whistleblowing in France

Major Changes on Whistleblowing in France, Lexology 
Blog The Anticorruption Blog Squire Patton Boggs France June 16 2017

From January 1, 2018, there will be an obligation on almost all employers to implement reporting/whistleblowing schemes.

France has historically been very reluctant to support workplace whistleblowing, especially anonymously. Whistleblowing schemes were effectively only authorized in 2005 to permit US companies to comply with their SOX obligations. Those regulations were very restrictive, limited to employees and only in relation to certain legal breaches.

However, since December 2016, we now have a law relating to “transparency, the fight against corruption and modernization of business life,” also known as “Sapin 2.” This has introduced a number of changes, including the obligation to implement whistleblowing schemes and anti-corruption compliance programs.

Definition of Whistleblower

Sapin 2 Law defines a whistleblower (in French “lanceur d’alerte”) as:

  • Any individual (i.e., not limited to employees)
  • Acting in good faith
  • Reporting or revealing a crime, a serious and manifest breach to an international treaty, a serious breach of a law or regulation, or a serious threat or harm to the public interest
  • Of which he or she has personal knowledge……….

Principles Governing Reporting Schemes

  • Reporting schemes must protect the identity of the whistleblower, the identity of any person incriminated and the information collected. The disclosure of any of these details carries up to two years’ imprisonment and a €30,000 fine (€150,000 for corporations)……….

Breach of Secrecy by the Whistleblower

A whistleblower will not be liable for breaching a secrecy obligation by law provided that:

  • The disclosure is necessary and proportionate for the protection of the interests at stake, and
  • The reporting procedures provided by law are complied with

However, Sapin 2 does not allow a whistleblower to disclose information covered by doctor/patient or client/lawyer professional secrecy or national security.

No Retaliation

Whistleblowers are protected from retaliation in the hiring process, in terms of access to an internship or professional courses or in salary or otherwise. However, where the report is made in bad faith, the employee can:

June 19, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, France | Leave a comment

In Trump’s America, freedom of speech, whistleblowing, is stifled for government employees

Paul WaldonFight To Stop Nuclear Waste Dump In Flinders Ranges SA  March 30 17

Since Trump came to power, the American supreme court has now ruled that a government employee does NOT have protection of the first amendment (freedom of speech). Jeff Ruch executive director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) who describes PEER as a “shelter for battered staff” said government workers have fewer rights with freedom of speech than a incarcerated person in a penitentiary.

If you are wondering what the big picture is in this story, it stifles a whistle blower’s resolve to engender the hidden facts in the safety of nuclear, medicine, air travel or any other industry where the government has their foot in the door. Some people may not give a damn what happens in America but this impacts on every man, woman and child on this planet. https://www.facebook.com/groups/344452605899556/

April 3, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese companies exploit refugees for Fukushima radioactive clean-up work

Spotlight: Fury sparked in Japan as companies found duping foreign refugees into decontamination work in Fukushima 2017-03-17 TOKYO, March 17 (Xinhua)— “Such scams are a shame to Japan,” said a reporter from Tokyo Metropolitan Television Broadcasting Corp., referring to a recently-exposed scandal involving labor dispatch agencies duping foreign refugees into doing decontamination work in Fukushima.Various local media have exposed recently that some Japanese companies have swindled foreign refugees into doing decontamination work in Fukushima with empty promises that such work might help extend their visas to stay in Japan.

Fifty-year-old Hosein Moni and 42-year-old Hosein Deroaru from Bangladesh were both caught in such a scam, according to a recent report by the Chunichi Shimbun, one of the largest newspapers in Japan.

The two came to Japan in 2013 seeking to be recognized as political refugees. In Japan, foreigners are given temporary permission to stay for up to six months at one application before they are recognized as refugees and given status as residents.

According to government data, the number of refugees actually afforded recognition as refugees in Japan is disproportionately low among developed nations, while the numbers of those applying for refugee status has been rapidly increasing in recent years in Japan.

The government received some 5,000 such applications in 2014, but only 11 were granted refugee status, according to the data.

Moni and Deroaru were told by a so-called labor dispatch agency in Nagoya that they could do decontamination work in exchange for an extension of their visa.

The two, knowing little Japanese and trying to seize every opportunity they could, accepted the job and worked in Fukushima for three months in 2015.

But when they finished their work and went to the local immigration bureau to extend their stay, they were told by officers there that they knew nothing about such a policy.

They later found out that the construction company that had hired them had changed its company name, and its Fukushima branch had closed.

Half of the 20 workers that they had worked with in Fukushima were foreigners, many of whom had been applying for refugee status in Japan, the pair later recalled. Their work mainly involved clearing away contaminated soil with spades, and while they were at work might well have been affected by high levels of radiation. “The radiation detectors we brought with us kept sounding alarms, which was rather scary,” they were quoted as saying.

The incident, after been exposed by local media, also caused a splash on social network sites. Many Japanese netizens felt indignant that such scams were happening in their homeland…….

Most of the foreign workers could hardly speak Japanese. As anti-radiation brochures provided by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO), were only available in Japanese or English, many of the workers could not understand it, Ishikawa was quoted as saying.

The foreign workers, to some extent, saved the contractors and TEPCO by pushing forward the decommissioning work of the nuclear plant, remarked the report…..http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/17/c_136137295.htm

March 20, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, employment, Fukushima continuing, Japan | 1 Comment

Attacks on climate scientists will continue

Climate scientists face harassment, threats and fears of ‘McCarthyist attacks’
Researchers will have to deal with attacks from a range of powerful foes in the coming years – and for many, it has already started “…….
The Texas Tech University professor Katharine Hayhoe, who has gathered a healthy following for her Facebook posts that mix climate science with evangelism, has opened her inbox to missives including “Nazi Bitch Whore Climatebecile” and a request that she “stop using Jesus to justify your wacko ideas about global warming”.

Threats and badgering of climate scientists peaked after the theft and release of the “Climategate” emails – a 2009 scandal that was painfully thin on scandal. But the organized effort to pry open cracks in the overwhelming edifice of proof that humans are slowly baking the planet never went away. Scientists are now concerned that the election of Donald Trump has revitalized those who believe climate researchers are cosseted fraudsters.

Mann said climate scientists “fear an era of McCarthyist attacks on our work and our integrity”. The odd unfulfilled threat may be perturbing but a more morale-sapping fear is that the White House and Congress will dig up and parade seemingly unflattering emails, sideline or scrap research and attempt to hush the scientific community…..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/22/climate-change-science-attacks-threats-trump

February 25, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Britain’s Espionage Act change wanted: it could then be used to prosecute foreign journalists

flag-UKcivil-liberty-2smUK COULD PROSECUTE US JOURNALISTS WITH NEW ESPIONAGE ACT http://govtslaves.info/uk-could-prosecute-us-journalists-with-new-espionage-act/ [2/3/17]  KIT DANIELS–  The UK Law Commission wants to overhaul the country’s Espionage Act to prosecute foreigners who “leak confidential information” which “damages” national security and the UK’s economy.

This could, in theory, be used to prosecute overseas journalists – including those in the US – who release damning information on UK officials given to them by whistleblowers.

“Foreigners who leak information overseas that damages British national security could also be prosecuted in the UK for the first time,” the Telegraph reported. “This would include a non-British citizen seconded to a government department and in that role have access to information that relates to security and intelligence.”

“Currently, they can only be prosecuted if the leak is by a British national or happens on UK soil.”

And anyone who leaks “sensitive information” that “affects the economic well-being of the UK” would also be at risk for prosecution, an Orwellian premise given its broad scope.

If the UK adopts the Law Commission’s recommendations, prosecuted foreigners could face up to 14 years in jail – and the UK has extradition agreements with at least 105 countries, including the US.

In addition to foreign journalists, US whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden could also be targeted due to the global interconnection of spy organizations; his NSA leaks in particular also implicated British intelligence.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence already issues “D-Notices” to gag news stories from appearing in British media which the government claims is “harmful to national security implications,” including bombshell reports such as the Snowden leaks that exposed government criminality.

But now it appears the UK wants to go one step further and ensure that damning information is never released to the public to keep the population ignorant and under control.

February 6, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties | Leave a comment

Trump gagging scientists – this is scary stuff

trump-anti-scienceGag Order Or Not, Here’s Why Trump Cracking Down On Government Science is So Scary, Modern Farmer By  You may have seen news about a crackdown on communications between USDA (and the EPA, HHS, and Department of the Interior) and the public. In this latest affront, the administration on Monday directed the USDA to stop all “outward-facing” communications. But by Tuesday night, the gag-order had been “rescinded.” So what’s going on? And what could happen if scientists can’t speak to the public?

It all started yesterday, when BuzzFeed obtained a memo distributed on Monday within the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The memo was written by Sharon Drumm, chief of staff for ARS, and it informed the more than 2,000 ARS scientists—who study everything from methane emissions to the economy of rural America and have a major focus on climate change—to, essentially, keep quiet. Here’s the text, provided to Modern Farmer by the Christopher Bentley, director of the office of communications at ARS:

“Starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content.”

According to reports today, however, a second email went out to ARS late Tuesday evening stating that Drumm’s note should have never been issued and has been “hereby rescinded.”

Wait, what?

The Play-By-Play

Once BuzzFeed published the memo yesterday, people got loud. News of a gag-order on the USDA was the latest of several similar edicts:

  • The Department of the Interior, after tweeting images Friday comparing President Trump’s meager inauguration crowds to the throngs at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, found its Twitter account shut down, only to reappear the next day with an apology.
  • Tuesday, Badlands National Park’s account tweeted a few facts about climate change—a subject President Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed to be “controversial”—that were soon deleted.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was told not to respond to any public questions, but to wait for the new leadership to arrive.
  • And the Environmental Protection Agency—which Trump pledged to “abolish” during his campaign and whose nominee to head the department, Scott Pruitt, is an avowed enemy who’s currently suing the agency—has issued a complete freeze on all communications (including social media, email, press releases and website updates), as well as a funding freeze on its grants and contracts.

Trump ordering USDA scientists—who conduct a great deal of research on climate change given agriculture is a notable contributor—to cease communicating with the public seemed to follow a pattern……..

Even if the Drumm memo has truly been rescinded, similar policies have been enacted at other governmental organizations. This isn’t a weird aberration; it’s part of a systematic clampdown on the parts of the government that the Trump administration finds problematic. So let’s take a look at how a crackdown on government science could affect the nation……….

This isn’t just a matter of keeping reporters from doing their jobs,” says Humiston. “There are real safety issues at stake here.” http://modernfarmer.com/2017/01/gag-order-not-heres-trump-cracking-government-science-scary/

January 27, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, USA | Leave a comment