Bruce Stanley

★ ★ ★ on The State of Florida ★ ★ ★


Environmental Policy

It’s Time to Ban Fracking in Florida

In the recent past, Florida nearly became the largest state to pave the way for fracking, which would have opened up much of the Everglades to widespread oil and natural gas exploration. The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) revealed that a Texas-based company made the very first fracking attempt in Collier County. For starting operations without an environmental review or permission, the company was fined a mere $25,000.

In response, a diverse group of nearby citizens concerned about the safety of the drinking water began to flood committee meetings and protest outside State Senator’s offices, culminating in an 80-mile six-day march from the West to the East coast led by outspoken activist Karen Dwyer. A similar citizen-initiated campaign quickly formed in Miami-Dade, and was successfully able to convince a handful of State Senators to switch their votes on the issue. Both coalitions quickly pivoted the conversation and began to demand a full statewide fracking ban instead. Dan A. Hughes has since shut down all of its operations in Florida.

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Tollmageddon Strikes: MDX Rolls Out New Rate Hikes

Drivers on the SR 836 and SR 112 expressways faced a 50% increase in toll fees starting Saturday, November 15 as the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority implemented a rate hike at 17 new tolling locations along the east and west bound lanes and exit ramps.

For the non-SunPass’er, the roundtrip rate has doubled from $4.20 up to $8.40 which would cost daily commuters an additional $400 a year. While this could help discourage automobile traffic, there are very few alternative transit options locals can turn to.

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Trade Policy

March Against The TPP in Miami

Protesters in Miami, Florida marched from Government Center to the Torch of Friendship on November 16, 2013 against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multi-nation trade deal that is being negotiated by corporations behind closed doors and kept secret from the public.

Food Policy

Thousands in Miami March Against Monsanto

On May 25th, over 1,500 Miamians of all ages marched up and down Biscayne Boulevard in protest of global seed giant Monsanto and to demand a GMO Free Future.

Responding to a callout to March Against Monsanto made by activist and mother Tami Canal in late February, over 52 countries and 436 cities organized rallies to raise awareness of Genetically Modified Organisms in the food supply and raise questions about their long term health impacts.

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Economic Policy

Occupy Miami Ignites The Torch of Friendship

Introducing Occupy Miami – Nearly 200 activists, artists, and organizers made clear their intentions last Saturday, at the first #OccupyMiami organizational meeting. The new collaboration assembled to discuss problems facing the community at a local and national level- and subsequently global level- democratically deciding how to address such issues through direct action. The event was the first official meeting, after many of its members spent the previous days conceptualizing how to bring Miami into the effort in conversations that spanned ad-hoc video conferences, Facebook chats, and IRC.

The nationwide Occupy movement was inspired by the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests which took over New York’s Zuccotti Park, aka “Liberty Square”, on September 17th. The idea, with heavy support from Adbusters, spread to cities from Boston, to Chicago, to LA and around the world, springing up with unprecedented velocity. The message is multifaceted, touching upon common grievances: money’s corrupting influence on politics and the resulting breakdown of hallowed democratic institutions. The symptoms become evident when we observe one of the highest income gaps in the developed world, and extended tax cuts for the wealthy forcing public services to face austerity measures and downsizing.

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Foreign Policy

WikiLeaks: Truth to Power

“The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops.”
– John Perry Barlow Co-Founder, Electronic Frontier Foundation Author of A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

In the effort to bring anybody who’s been reading up to speed on what I have observed during the unfolding of the WikiLeaks story, I feel that it’s important to address a very specific point. Now that the pressure has intensified on the organization, now that PayPal, Visa, & Mastercard will no longer accept their donations, and the increasingly violent calls for Julian Assange’s assassination remain on record, it would be easy to characterize WikiLeaks as the “Terrorist” organization that our elected officials are attempting to lead us to believe it is. What WikiLeaks has done, has uncovered multiple criminal and illegal acts on the part of the U.S. and other Governments. There has been absolutely zero accountability for these acts, and our mainstream media is intent on only speaking ABOUT the organization and its founder, rather than acting like journalists and reporting the stunning revelations contained in the U.S. Diplomatic Cables.

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