YABAI BICYCLE CLUB
STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY WITH EVERGLADES EARTH FIRST! AND THOSE SENTENCED FOR THE "CRIME" OF NON-VIOLENT DIRECT ACTION IN DEFENSE OF THE EVERGLADES
WE, as a bicycle club seeking to resist - through our actions and ideas - car/oil culture and the further destruction of the earth by oil barons, coal profiteers and all others who aim to and (in many cases) succeed in lining their pockets in the name of "progress," and at the cost of the health of native ecosystems, the continued existence of species, and the well-being of indigenous and marginalized peoples - across the globe and in our own backyards; and to promote our alternative, bicycles and creative resistance; wish to express our collective solidarity with Everglades Earth First!, Lynne Purvis and Panagioti Tsolkas and the others arrested in both the February, 2008, and January, 2009 actions against the construction of Florida Power and Light's West County Energy Center, and to reopen Barley Barber Swamp for immediate scientific monitoring and public use.
We strongly condemn the continued construction Florida Power and Light's West County Energy Center, a 3,800 megawatt coal-fire power plant under construction in the Everglades, that, when complete, will be the nations largest coal-burning power plant, and result in the emission of 12,000,000 tons of toxic carbon per year and dispense 13,500,000 gallons of contaminated water into Florida's aquifer per year, while drawing 6,500,000,000 gallons of water a year from the surface and the aquifer. We call for the immediate cancellation of the project, by direct action, if necessary.
We also request that Florida Power and Light remove all "green," "clean," and other incorrect environmental information and "greenwashing" off all promotional materials for this project, as it insults the intelligence of not only environmental activists, but also to the public at large. There is no "Clean Coal," and arguing that this is environmentally responsible ignores the heightened levels of mercury present in the long list of pollutants.
We support the actions of Everglades Earth First! to resist the further construction of the West County Energy Center, and acknowledge that direct action has become the ONLY way to effectively combat the further degradation of the Everglades, and more broadly, the earth. To quote John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." While this issue doesn't deal with violence, it does speak to the fact that every effective means to environmental justice is becoming illegal or ineffective to the benefit of those who make their living destroying the earth, thus the necessity for other creative and more direct outlets.
Earlier this month, Lynne Purvis and Panagioti Tsolkas were sentenced to 30 and 60 days, respectively for misdemeanor trespassing and blocking traffic as an act of civil disobedience in an action to slow the construction of the West County Energy Center in February of 2008. They were engaged non-violent direct action during a protest against the plant.
We wish to express solidarity with Purvis and Tsolkas, as well as the others arrested in this action, as they are doing the work that is necessary to have a shot at saving the Everglades and it's right to exist as one of the last "wild" spaces left in the civilized world, and as a biotope unique to our part of the world. It could have been any of us, and it was them.
We strongly condemn this unnecessary show of judicial might and the unusually long sentences handed down to these activists. It is our belief that the sentences are politically motivated, and although we no longer expect any measure of judicial fairness, as "saving the world" seems to have been reduced to a petty crime by the powers that be, we are saddened that it would be our comrades who take the brunt of this arbitration, known as justice, and call for their immediate release and their records wiped clean of these "crimes."
As such, we strongly urge activists and others alike to look between the lines of newsprint, beneath the words in the news to the real truth. News is paid for by advertising and industry, and as such, there is a relationship of control on part of industry over the media - to ensure continued support of advertising - that distorts the truth to pacify the masses into inaction and ignorance of issues that affect their lives. We urge people to organize within their communities to fight the destruction of the earth, and the exploitation of it's resources; to a degree according to their comfort level, become involved. WE are those who they must win over. They cannot exist without OUR permission. The future of the Everglades is in OUR hands, not theirs.
Yabai Bicycle Club
"es mejor morir de bicicleta que vivir arrodillado"