Saturday, November 8, 2014

Three Arrested at Everglades EF! Briger Forest Blockade, Jail Support Needed!

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from Earth First! Newswire
According to most recent reports from Everglades Earth First!,”The three arrested during the Briger Forest blockade are in custody at Palm Beach County Jail. Each are facing multiple misdemeanor charges. Bail has yet to be set. The blockade reportedly stopped workers from entering the site for over four hours.”
At least 22 cop cars, an emergency field force vehicle, and a mobile command unit were on site, and both people participating in the lockdown were arrested, along with the support person.

Support direct action, and help us continue to defend the Briger Forest before it’s too late! Donate to these brave individuals’ legal funds here:

Groups like Everglades Earth First! and the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) have been fighting to protect the Briger Forest since 2010. Last winter a justice department lawyer admitted to PBCEC’s lawyer Bill Eubanks that there were no practical alternatives to site layout designs that could both benefit continued snake use of the site and also satisfy the project’s purpose and need, effectively sentencing to death any Eastern Indigo Snake on the property. The Eastern Indigo Snake is one of 13 state and federally listed animal and plant species whom the Briger is suitable to support. A member of PBCEC is also appealing permits for construction needed from the South Florida Water Management District. Beyond the legal challenges the groups have gathered hundreds of petition signatures, held demonstrations and even staged a six-week tree-sit in the forest to protest the development.

“Kolter and Palm Beach County have had a corrupt deal from the beginning. It is a crime against nature for developers to keep bulldozing over wild South Florida in order to perpetuate an animal torturing biotech expansion agenda,” said Ashley Lyons, an organizer with Everglades Earth First!

Since the early 2000’s, Jeb Bush has tried to lure the Biotech industry to Florida with heavy state and local subsidies including this project and the construction of a campus for biotech company Scripps Florida. In the past few years Scripps has received about half a billion dollars in state subsidies for new facilities and has an agreement to lease the county owned portion of the property for $1 dollar a year ensuring their corporate welfare for years to come.

With the construction of a massive primate breeding facility in Hendry County, the “progressive” biotech industry is solidifying it’s future of inhumane animal testing and Scripps will be no exception. Scripps in Lajolla, California, has a history of testing on primates and Scripps Phase II will more than likely vivisect primates if constructed.

Everglades Earth First! promises to continue fighting the development every step of the way.

“We’re going to fight this project until it’s stopped because this forest is worth fighting for,” said Rachel Kijewski.

For more info on the blockade and its reasons, click here.

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