The People’s Climate March & My Petition Against The Three Koch Brothers

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On September 20, 2014, I caught a flight up to NYC from Charleston to attend the big “People’s Climate March.” Early the next morning, I joined the crowd at 77th Street and Central Park West, just in front of the Museum of Natural History. As I approached the park, I overheard two French guys talking excitedly about “ la manif.” I had chosen this spot at the back of the 25- block-long parade because it had been designated as the anti-corporate section.

 

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It was appropriate for me to begin my protest against fossil fuel next to the museum where polluter and climate-change denier David Koch has funded the famous dinosaur exhibit. Like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, I’m not crazy about Charles and David Koch. I’m not a big fan of David’s twin brother Bill, either. I corresponded with Bill back in the 1990’s when he was suing Charles and David. Bill used to be considered something of an environmentalist, but he has changed his stripes. See my petition which asks the directors of a Swiss zero-carbon technology park to expel six Koch-owned businesses from their city: www.change.org/p/directors-of-bluefactory-fribourg-must-expel-the-koch-brothers

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Just south of the museum, I had an encounter with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Grrrrrrr!  Had it escaped from David Koch’s collection? A friendly German guy took my picture, and we had a nice chat about Freiburg im Breisgau, the “green” German city which is the sister city of Fribourg in Switzerland. It is in the Swiss city of Fribourg that Charles, David, and Bill Koch have companies that support their far-flung fossil-fuel businesses.

 

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This photo was taken in front of the Dakota where John Lennon used to live. I am sure he would have thought the march was a cool idea.

 

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Everyone had a good time at the march—even the cops!

 

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People came from all over the country. A special train from the San Francisco Bay area was chartered for the marchers. I met a family who had driven in from California. Before the march got underway, I had a long conversation with a vet-for-peace who had ridden his bike to NYC from the Mid-West.

 

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Sometimes, we had to stand and wait for the march to get moving. My feet were still aching two days later when I was flying home to Charleston.

 

 

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There were many thought-provoking signs.

 

 

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They told us to bring noisemakers. I bought a police whistle at Target, but I left it in South Carolina.

 

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All kinds of people attended—even “Bible-thumpers.”

 

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People did their own thing. Some “heavy” meditating was going on in Central Park South off 59th Street.

 

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The next day, there was an “occupy” style march from Battery Park to Wall Street where some people got arrested. I went down there, but left early so I could meet my family for a pizza at Roberta’s in Bushwick (Brooklyn). My spur- of- the- moment decision to fly up to the march gave me the opportunity to visit with my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandson, Oliver.

 

MY PETITION AGAINST THE THREE KOCH BROTHERS

 

Please sign my petition which asks the directors of a zero-carbon technology park in Switzerland to “expel” Charles, David & Bill Koch from their city. The polluting climate-change deniers have set up fossil fuel companies in the vicinity of the park. Go to: http://www.change.org/p/directors-of-bluefactory-fribourg-must-expel-the-koch-brothers

Petition text

Directors of blueFACTORY:

Fribourg, Switzerland is currently building a zero-carbon technology park: blueFACTORY. In the vicinity of this environmentally-friendly project, the American industrialists Charles, David, and Bill Koch have established six companies which support their far-flung fossil fuel businesses. The Kochs are major polluters. They are also major climate-change deniers who have spent untold millions to discredit the efforts of environmental groups to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Koch brothers have no business being in Fribourg near a zero-carbon technology park! Please ask the Koch brothers to wind down their Fribourg operations.

–Matthew Temme   @ thecatholictaxhaven.com

 

Contact Directors of blueFACTORY  at  email:  https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?view=cm&fs=1&tf=1&source=mailto&to=info@bluefactory.ch

Directors of blueFACTORY: Maurice Pasquier (Chairman), Pierre-Alain Clément (Fribourg’s mayor), Annette Heinlicher, Richard W. Greaves (Vice-Chairman), Hans Rudolf Schalcher, André Schneider, and Beat Vonlanthen (Chairman of Fribourg’s State Council)

http://www.bluefactory.ch/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CONSEIL-ADMINISTRATION_LS.pdf

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The above Google maps show the locations of the Koch brothers’ six companies

 

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The above picture was taken from the roof of one of blueFACTORY’S buildings. The CO₂ icon indicates where “Pet-coke King” Bill Koch’s three Oxbow companies are domiciled.

The picture below shows blueFACTORY administrator Beat Vonlanthen standing on the same roof. Again, the CO₂ icon indicates the location of Bill Koch’s three Fribourgeois companies.

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In the conclusion to a recent article in Rolling Stone entitled “Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire,” Tim Dickinson writes:

“The Koch brothers [Charles & David] get richer as the costs of what Koch destroys are foisted on the rest of us—in the form of ill health, foul water and a climate crisis that threatens life as we know it on this planet.” (Oct. 9, 2014, p.82)

It is my belief that if the three Koch brothers [Charles, David & Bill]—infamous polluters and climate-change deniers—are allowed to operate companies which support their “toxic empires” in proximity to the  zero-carbon blueFACTORY, the much-ballyhooed  project will be guilty of “green-washing.” For over a quarter of a century, I have implored Fribourg’s secular and ecclesiastical leaders to address the “Faustian bargains” that members of their community have struck with dirty and unethical businesses. These shady deals detract enormously from Fribourg’s historic reputation as a bulwark of the Counter Reformation and the Catholic social justice movement of the 19th Century. The site of the Cardinal brewery, which has been inherited by blueFACTORY, should be remembered as a shining symbol of those heroic times when Cardinal Mermillod—after whom the beer was named—was convening the Fribourg Union to prepare the way for Pope Leo XIII’s seminal social justice encyclical Rerum Novarum. The blueFACTORY site should not be tarnished by neighboring companies whose policies are aggressively anti-environmental, and whose owners—in the case of Charles and David Koch—fund organizations which attempt to undermine the principles of workers’ rights as set forth 123 years ago in Rerum Novarum.

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In my next posting, I will resume my “deconstruction” of the Fribourg tax haven, which has been suspended for the past six months. I will examine the Fribourg connections of Nicolae Bogdan Buzaianu, the Eastern European “Energy Mogul”; Clemard Joseph Charles, “Papa Doc” Duvalier’s “bag man’; Regine Choukroun, Disco “Queen of the Night”; and Bernie Cornfeld, the notorious “Fund of Funds” swindler.

 

Speak up! Let us know what you think.