When the tropical storm Muifa broke along the shore of the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian on 8 August 2011 it broke through the protective dike in front of the Jinzhou Industrial Complex. The dike was immediately protecting some 20 metal tanks holding oil-based chemicals at the Fujia Chemical Plant. The Chinese government dispatched emergency workers, the Dalian Border Guard, and the military to provide emergency repairs to the dike. Local residents near the plant were evacuated.
Since April 2011 the JinkoSolar plant near the industrial city of Haining failed local Environmental Protection Bureau pollution tests. Throughout late August and early September 2011, local residents found a large quantity of dead fish in streams and rivers near the plant. On Thursday September 15, 2011, approximately 500 local farmers and residents gathered at the JinkoSolar plant to demand an end to the pollution. Due to lack of information, it is unclear which individuals or groups organized and orchestrated this demonstration.
The history of Israel-Palestine relations since 1987 can be marked by a series of Palestinian uprisings against Israeli occupation (for more information see the BBC’s timeline of the First Intifada and its causes- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/israel_at_50/history/82302.stm). In 2002, the Israeli government began construction of a wall to separate Israel from the West Bank territories. The government justified the barrier as a necessary security measure to shield communities from terrorist threats.
The plateau of Larzac is a limestone karst plateau located in the southern Massif Central area of France, extending between Millau (Aveyron region) and Lodeve (Herault region). The area is mainly agricultural and the economy relied mostly on sheep breeding and production of ewes’ milk for Roquefort cheese. Sheep farms dominated the landscape, and the land is rocky, arid, and windswept, with thin and relatively infertile soil. The French army established a military camp on the plateau of Larzac in Aveyron in June 1902, where it served as a garrison and training center.
In 1968, the Civil Rights movement was in full swing in the Southern and Eastern parts of the United States, but it was just beginning to reach Seattle, Washington. Buoyed by a series of speeches given by Stokely Carmichael, a group of black students from the University of Washington founded a Black Student Union (BSU), to advocate for the rights of black students at the university and area high schools.
The Bishnoi faith is a religious offshoot of Hinduism founded on 29 principles, most of which promote environmental stewardship. Bishnois strictly forbid the harming of trees and animals. The religion was founded by Guru Maharaj Jambaji in 1485 AD in the Marwar (Jodhpur) desert region of western Rajasthan, India. Jambaji witnessed the incessant clear-cutting of trees during times of drought to feed animals, only to see them die eventually as the drought continued.
From 1916 to 1921, villagers in Kumaon in northern India set hundreds of forest fires to protest the colonial British state’s increasing regulations of the natural environment.
In response to labor strikes on banana plantations throughout the country, which were a result of a large drop in wages for plantation workers, Chiquita Brands International closed its plantation in Tacamiche and three other farms in June of 1994 due to their heightened involvement in the strikes. The closure was not only devastating to the strike, which soon after conceded to a pay increase, which due to inflation was far below the amount from before the strike, but also for the people living on the plantations.
Seeking extra tax revenue to bolster a struggling state budget, the United States state of Pennsylvania passed a bill in 2004 authorizing casinos in the state. The bill, Act 71, legalized the construction of 15 new casinos in the state, two of which would be chosen from among five proposals in the city of Philadelphia. The location, size, management, and other details remained open-ended. As the permitting process began, Philadelphia community members voiced concern to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) about the intrusion of casinos into their neighborhoods.
During the first week of August 1944, employees of the Philadelphia Transit Company (PTC) effectively shut down the city's transit system, defying both the federal government and their own union. The strike, which lasted for six days and halted much of the city's war production, was in response to a PTC decision to promote eight African Americans to the position of trolley car driver. Throughout the decade leading up to this "hate strike," African Americans had demanded that the PTC hire them as bus and trolley drivers, motormen and conductors, and station cashiers.
The state of New York was required by federal law to have a nuclear waste dump by January 1, 1993. In 1988, a special siting committee formed to determine where to put the dump. The siting commission considered five sites in rural Allegany County, New York, as potential spots to put the nuclear dump. The people of Allegany County linked arms in several acts of civil disobedience to prevent the construction of a nuclear waste facility in their backyard.
The Isle of Man (also known as Mann) is an island British Crown Dependency, located between Great Britain and Ireland. On March 30, 2008, a ban on smoking in public places came into effect. This ban also included smoking inside the Victoria Road Prison in the capital city of Douglas, in an effort to “provide clean air” for prison staff and inmates. The Department of Home affairs also hoped to encourage the prisoners, most of whom smoked, to break their nicotine addiction.
Under the leadership of President Alexandr Lukashenko, Belarusians who do not practice Russian Orthodox Catholicism have had to deal with varying degrees of religious repression.
In the southern Polish city of Kielce, in the late 2000s, a public bus company, MPK (Miejskie Przedsiębiorstwo Komunikacyjne), employed around 630 people and ran 160 buses regularly in the city. For several years, the company had been struggling to survive. It had been put under a traffic planning authority, ZTM, which controlled business operations and pushed it into debt. Working conditions were also unfavorable: wages were low, bus schedules didn't allow drivers regular breaks, and it became difficult for the company to hire new employees.
Cairo at the beginning of the 20th century was a fast growing city under British control. Many of the British in Cairo saw themselves as “civilizing” or “modernizing” the city as part of “the white man’s burden” to help those “lesser” than him. One such group that sought to do this was the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The RSPCA opened a branch in Cairo in the 1890’s, where animal cruelty prevention efforts had not gotten off to a very successful start. They did build a hospital to treat animals in the city.
The Channel Islands, two British territories, fell under German occupation in 1940 during WWII. The Islands politically took on a policy of “passive cooperation.” Fearing a German monopolization of oil, Britain interned German civilians living in Persia in 1941. In retaliation, German soldiers deported 2200 Channel Islanders to internment camps in Germany and France. The majority of deported were English born males between the ages of 16 and 70.
University of Washington Student Worker Coalition strikes against cutting higher education budgets, 2010
The University of Washington Student Worker Coalition (SWC) is a group created to advocate for the rights of students who work on campus and employees of the campus. The SWC has protested against worker abuses, unfair labor practices, and most recently, against budget cuts affecting employees of the University, student workers, and the student body as a whole.
New York City is home to hundreds of community gardens spread throughout the city. Over the past 20 years, these gardens have served as green spaces in which community members can come together and share ideas, children can get to know the process of growing food and become familiar with the earth. However, in 1998, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani began allowing the demolition of community gardens around the city in favor of luxury apartment development.
For approximately two years, beginning in June 2008 and ending in 2010, churchgoers in the Cook Islands protested airplane flights taking place on Sundays. The protesters viewed Sunday as the day of rest but many local businesses retorted, saying that Sunday flights were crucial for the economy. The protesters’ ultimate goal was to ban all flights from taking off and landing (specifically on the island of Aitutaki) on Sundays.
In 2001, the state of Pennsylvania started a process that eventually led to a full state takeover of the School District of Philadelphia. Governor Tom Ridge, followed by Governor Mark Schweiker, sought this takeover due to the dismal track record of the public schools in Philadelphia. With the takeover came the privatization of many of Philadelphia's lowest achieving schools. Edison Schools, Inc., a for-profit school management firm, eventually received a contract to run 20 schools in Philadelphia.
In an effort to prevent Palestinian suicide bombers from entering its borders, the State of Israel began constructing a 425-mile separation barrier along its border with the West Bank in June 2002. The separation barrier, known to Israelis as the “Security Barrier” and to Palestinians as the “Apartheid Separation Wall”, extends beyond Israel’s internationally recognized borders and weaves through Palestinian territory, often cutting through Palestinian farmland and dividing villages.
In 1957, in an effort to frustrate increasing black voter registration and the threat of losing a white voter majority, Alabama state senator Sam Engelhardt sponsored Act 140, which proposed to transform the Tuskegee City boundaries from a square into a twenty-eight sided shape resembling a “seahorse” that included every single one of the 600 white voters and excluded all but 5 of the 400 black voters.
Pilson, Chicago is home to a large community of Mexican immigrants, and is one of many low-income neighborhoods in Chicago with underfunded schools. In 2011, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) faced a deficit of around $712 million in funding for education, creating what seemed like a void in the resources available for many public schools. At the beginning of the new millennium, Whittier Elementary School was one of more than 150 public schools that lacked basic resources such as an adequate cafeteria, safe and maintained buildings, and a proper library.
In 1954, Congress approved the Atomic Energy Act in an attempt to jumpstart nuclear energy in the United States. The Atomic Energy Commission was charged with creating a positive image of the peaceful applications of nuclear power as well as with regulating safety measures.