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HEAL THE OCEANS Benefit Spearheaded by Michael Franti, Jack Johnson Benefit

by Geof Bard Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 at 2:44 PM

SPEARHEAD, ANIMAL LIBERATION ORCHESTRA, MATT McAVENE and CULVER CITY DUB COLLECTIVE rocked the house for the sea and all that lives therein...

avene2.jpg, image/jpeg, 700x525

original image ( 700x525)




Santa Barbara, CA
Michael Franti and his band, Spearhead,  headlined a dynamite benefit

concert for various environmental organizations lead by Heal the

Ocean this weekend. Adding to the festivities was a special guest

appearance by Jack Johnson.


 Michael is a long time political activist, using his

musical talents to support anti-racist, anti-police brutality and anti-war

organizing around the country. Other fantastic acts included the Animal

Liberation Orchestra and multimedia artist Mathew McAvene, who

provided awesome puppets in the form of fish, jellyfish,  and assorted

creatures of the sea. Opening was the Culver City Dub

The benefit was organized under the inspiring moniker  Solutions for

Dreamers. It would be impossible, in a brief news item such as this,  to

do justice to the many fine performers and outstanding activists who

contributed to this event. Please surf the websits and educate yourself

on the fine work being done by and

http://// Then reward yourself by cruising over to the

musican websites which are listed at

Heal the Oceans believes that the ocean can no longer be used as a

dump. Attacking all sources of ocean pollution, the group has an

interesting take on activism: instead of lobbying the government for

action on ocean-pollution issues, they study the problem ourselves and

recommend practical solutions.

They recently scored a major victory in the campaign to stop the

dumping of homeowner waste into the ocean. They succeeded in getting

a district of 81  homes to change their method of waste management.

This will remove septic systems from seven miles of coastline in the

Santa Barbara south coast.

Other organizations represented at the event include the Environmental

Defense Center. IMC spoke to Shiva Polefka, EDC Marine

Environmental  Analyst, who described numerous issues such as the

Liquified Natural Gas projects which the energy companies are striving

to plant off the southern California coast. According to the EDC

website, the proposed Cabrillo Port would be moored off Malibu and

Oxnard for at least 40 years and would have no firm expiration date

and the floating factory terminal could remain moored offshore for

decades longer. This raises serious environmental concerns, as LNG is

just a continuation of fossil fuels dependency with commensurate

impact on global warming and disruption of marine ecosystems.

The LNG factory terminal threatens one of the world’s richest and

most productive ecosystems -The Channel Islands National Park and

Marine Sanctuary.  Cabrillo Port would be sited just outside the

sanctuary, resulting in serious impacts which may be irreversible.

Other projects of EDC include work with the Mixtec agricultural

worker community - Central Coast Envionmental Health Project. 

These workers, many of whom labor under the spectre of deportation,

are often subject to levels of pesticides which are intolerable. Due to

their technical immigration status, they are subjected to greater 

pressure to accept substandard working conditions and heightened

risks to their health and well being. EDC has trained trainers who are

conversant in both Spanish and Mixtec so that workers will be aware of

the risks and in a position to insist on safer workplace practices.

Shiva was also aware of recent developments in the ongoing issue of

Naval sonar war games and its impact on marine life. Despite efforts

via the California Coastal Commission and a coalition of activist

organizations, the Navy appears to be prepared to completely disregard

the recommended stipulations to reduce the impact of sonar on marine

mammals. In other words, the military wants to use sonar round the

cloack at will, with no mitigation; for whales and dolphins, this means

pure hell, disrupting their own natural sonar navigation and possibly

endangering the viability of whole tribes of marine mammals.

This point was brought home by a Nils Larson documentary, filmed

entirely underwater, in which the soundtrack was increased until

everyone in the audience was forced to cover their ears. This hellish

racket is what Naval sonar sounds like to the whales and dolphins.

Despite the serious issues at hand, the festival focused on spirit and

light and affinity for the awesome oceans on this planet and the

inhabitants therein. As I remarked to my companion, " Soy una

criatura del mar, tu es una creatura del mar, todos criaturas del mar."
I am a creature of the sea, you are a creature of the sea, we are all

creatures of the sea.

As this shared planet grows more crowded, it is inspiring that we can

still bond in celebrations such as this one, brought to you by Jacob Tell

and Oniric Records, Simple Shoes, and the organizing efforts of Heal

the Oceans.  Be sure to check out the compilation CD and the websites

of these dynamic organizations.

(C)2007 Geof Bard

8:00? 8:25? 8:40? Find a flick in no time
with theYahoo! Search movie showtime shortcut.


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by Geof Bard Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 at 2:44 PM

weareallcreaturesofthesea.jpg, image/jpeg, 700x525

Photo Credit: Clara Martinez

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by Geof Bard Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 at 2:44 PM

avene.jpg, image/jpeg, 700x525

Photo Credit: Clara Martinez

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Heal the Ocean .Volunteers

by Geof Bard Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Heal the Ocean .Volu...
healtheoceanvolunteers.jpg, image/jpeg, 393x525

Photo Credit: Clara Martinez

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