For years, the people of Bil'in, a Palestinian community, have held weekly demonstrations against the building of an Israeli-helmed "separation wall" through the community's agricultural lands. Iyad Burnat, a Palestinian farmer and nonviolent peace activist, has been a leader in the movement to protest such settlements on Palestinian land. He's currently on a three-month speaking tour of the United States, telling stories of Palestine and discussing strategies for nonviolent popular resistance, and arrives in Marin on Jan. 8. "Since the 1936 intifada against British occupation, we have been working peacefully for freedom. We don't know the meaning of 'freedom.' We know it's the most beautiful thing in the world, but we don't know how it feels," Burnat told a crowd in Columbus, Ohio, this past December. Hear Iyad Burnat tell his story—along with a showing of 5 Broken Cameras, a documentary by Emad Burnat, the speaker's brother—on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at the First Presbyterian Church. 72 Kensington Road, San Anselmo. 7pm. Donations accepted. 415.456.3713.
The Price of Pot
Illegal pot farms take a severe environmental toll on the North Coast, according to an extensive Dec. 24 report in the Los Angeles Times. Growers have clear-cut trees, siphoned hundreds of gallons of water from nearby creeks and streams, poisoned wild animals with a powerful rodenticide called Carbofuran and polluted watersheds with potting soil and fertilizers. The problem has gotten so extreme that scientists have begun to blame unregulated marijuana "supergrows" for a breakout of cyanobacteria in North Coast rivers, a toxic blue-green algae that has been responsible for the deaths of water creatures and dogs.