|From:||CPEO Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|Date:||Fri, 3 Mar 2000 16:42:29 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] 26 Arrested Protesting Military Pollution in Philippines|
[This was posted to the list by Arc Ecology, email@example.com] Once again, thanks to CPEO for the continued posting of these accounts. Saul Bloom for the US Working Group for Philippine Bases Cleanup GREENPEACE DELIVERS HAZARDOUS MILITARY WASTE TO US EMBASSY IN MANILA - TWENTY-SIX ARRESTED FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Manila/Washington, D.C. March 3, 2000: Twenty-six Greenpeace activists were arrested today in Manila after they delivered to the US Embassy a container filled with poisonous industrial chemical waste (PCBs) collected from residential areas near Clark Air Base. The activists demanded that the United States clean up contamination at its former military bases in the Philippines. After being taken to the police station, the activists were soon released without charges. "We were delivering this toxic cargo back to its rightful owner. The US government should take immediate custody of this hazardous material and accept responsibility to clean-up the contamination at Clark and Subic, "said Von Hernandez, Greenpeace Toxics campaigner in the Philippines. Using a forklift truck driven by Peter Willcox, Captain of Greenpeace's flagship the Rainbow Warrior, the environmental group delivered and dropped a 6 by 9 foot shipping container of contaminated waste and pieces of equipment collected from near the Clark Air Base earlier this week. The truck with the container was later taken by the police and Willcox charged with driving without a full Philippine forklift truck license. A container labeled "Danger - Toxic: Property of the United States" held some 40 litre of liquid PCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), contaminated soil and 12 pieces of disassembled PCB-leaking transformer wrapped in plastic. The waste was packed fufilling proper hazardous materials handling and transport requirements. "This is not symbolic cargo, it is the real stuff. The material has been lying around in communities surrounding Clark for at least the last five years. We are reminding the US government of its moral duty and obligation to clean up the mess its military left behind in the Philippines," said Willcox. A Greenpeace survey of the area surrounding the bases show this waste load represents just the tip of the toxic iceberg at Clark and Subic Bay. The US military withdrew from the Philippines in 1992 leaving their bases in their present state. The local communities surrounding these bases have for many years suffered from mysterious deaths and health complaints including cancer, nervous system disorders, and reproductive problems. Greenpeace called on the Philippine President Joseph Estrada to demand a commitment from President Bill Clinton to clean-up the former bases and compensate the victims of its toxic legacy in the Philippines when the two presidents meet in April in Washington, D.C. "The United States has committed to cleaning up contamination caused by its bases in rich countries in Europe and Japan but has walked out on the Philippines. This is a clear double standard and a grave environmental injustice, " stressed Hernandez. For more information: In the Philippines: Von Hernandez, Greenpeace, +63-917-5263050 Jack Weinberg, Greenpeace advisor, +63-918-9038687 Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, Greenpeace media, +63-917-813156; In the US: Lisa Finaldi, Greenpeace, +1-919-828-5202 Video footage available on request. Pictures will be available from Greenpeace's picture desk website: http//www.greenpeace.org/library/picturedesk.html For background information including results of Greeenpeace survey of contamination surrounding the bases, follow Greenpeace's Toxic Free Asia Tour on the web: http://www.greenpeace.org/~toxics/toxfreeasia/documents/clarksubic.html Notes to the editors: PCBs are persistent toxic chemicals. Once released, they remain in the environment for many years. They can contaminate not only the local environment, but travel via air currents to colder climates. PCBs have been short listed by the United Nations Environment Programme as one of the 12 Persistent Organic Pollutants slated for action under a global treaty being negotiated by over 100 governments. The next negotiating meeting begins on March 20 in Bonn, Germany. It will address, among other issues, commitments to provide technical and financial assistance to countries that otherwise would not have the capacity to eliminate these persistent poisons. Greenpeace's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, is in the Philippines until the 8th of March on the third leg of its Toxic Free Asia Tour. The tour includes India, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan. ENDS You can find archived listserve messages on the CPEO website at http://www.cpeo.org/lists/index.html. If this email has been forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe, please send a message to: firstname.lastname@example.org _____________________________________________________________ Want to find the best email lists? Check out the Topica 20! http://www.topica.com/topica20
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