NRDC Releases Petition to Curtail Navy Testing Off Florida Coast

Photo by Bastique via Wikipedia Commons
Environmental tests have proven that sonar exercises performed by the U.S. Navy confuses marine life, specifically whales and dolphins, so severely that the animals end up either stranding themselves, going deaf, or suffering organ hemorrhaging. Sonar confuses them, often making them swim in different directions and disrupting their foraging and forcing them to abandon their habitats. In some cases, whales breaching the surface too quickly have suffered a form of the bends.

Last year, a federal appeals court sided with the Navy after environmental groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), challenged its plan to hold undersea warfare training 50 nautical miles off the coast of northeast Florida.

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Activists Call Fort Lauderdale's Proposed Ordinances "Homeless Hate Laws"

Categories: Activism

via Wikimedia Commons
Food Not Bombs distributing meals in Sarasota, which was named the worst place to be homeless in America in 2006.
Despite the warm weather, Florida is one of the worst places to be homeless in the country. Almost every year, the state gets ragged on by the National Coalition for the Homeless for being one of the "meanest" in the union. Cities like Miami, Sarasota, Pensacola, and St. Pete have been specifically targeted for either passing laws or getting litigious regarding the rights of their most disenfranchised residents.

Now Fort Lauderdale is gearing up to join the list of places that activists say openly discriminate against the homeless. On the agenda for tonight's City Commission meeting are two ordinances that, if passed, would effectively ban homeless people there from relieving themselves or owning personal property.

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Anti-Scientology Conference in Clearwater May 5-11

Categories: Activism

Photo by Michael - Truth Revealed 2012/Flickr CC
Scientology's headquarters in Clearwater.
It's kind of amazing that there's anyone left in Scientology, given all of the bad press this so-called religion has received -- from Tom Cruise's couch-jumping, revelations about Xenu, and some high-profile exits from the church.

But one drive past the organization's headquarters -- a historic building called "Flag" in downtown Clearwater -- and you'll see devotees swarming, dressed in crisp white shirts and dark pants, evidence that some people are still believers in the elaborate scheme devised by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

See also: Ken Dandar Messed With Scientology, and Now the Spies Are After Him

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Blackfish Producer to Be Honored by PETA at Sublime Vegan Restaurant

Categories: Activism

Photo by Yathin S Krishnappa via Wikipedia Commons
Manny Oteyza, best-known as the producer of the documentary Blackfish that was watched by more than 21 million people on CNN, will be honored by Fort Lauderdale philanthropist and restaurateur Nanci Alexander at her Fort Lauderdale gourmet vegan hot spot Sublime Restaurant & Bar this weekend.

Fred Schneider, from the band the B-52's, will present Oteyza with an award.

See also: Could Miami Seaquarium Orca Lolita Be Days Away From Freedom?

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Florida's First Openly-Gay Judge Predicts Marriage Equality Will Be Legal by 2016

Categories: Activism

via PBCHRC Facebook

Rand Hoch, Florida's first openly- gay judge, predicted that marriage equality would come to the state -- and the rest of the U.S. -- no later than by the end of June, 2016. The prediction came during Hoch's remarks at the marriage equality demonstration in Lake Worth on Sunday.

The demonstration, which was spearheaded by Andy Amoroso, the first openly gay city commissioner in Palm Beach County, drew a crowd of over 100 people carrying signs and calling for Florida's legislature to legalize gay marriage in Florida.

See also: Gay Weddings Could Bring Lots of Business to Lake Worth if Legal, Commissioner Says

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President Obama Greeted by Animal Costume-Wearing Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters

Categories: Activism

courtesy 350 South Florida

President Barack Obama left South Florida on Thursday night after attending a fund raiser at the home of former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, but not before being greeted by dozens of people protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Protesters, some wearing costumes representing everything that's wrong with the pipeline, lined a portion of street blocked off for them in along the 108th block of Ludlam Road in Pinecrest. They held up signs and led chants as the President was hosted by the Mournings at a fundraiser attended by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

See also: President Obama to Be Met by Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters Dressed as Sea Creatures

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Members of Westboro Baptist Church on Leader's Death: "God Still Hates Fags"

Categories: Activism

Hey Paul Studios via Flickr cc
Visitors at the Equality House
Former South Floridian Aaron Jackson began his career of philanthropy by deworming Haitian kids -- for which he was first the subject of a New Times cover story and later named a CNN Hero.

With his charity Planting Peace, he then went on to buy an "Equality House" in Topeka, Kansas directly across the street from Westboro Baptist Church, famous for its "God Hates Fags" rhetoric. The house was painted in rainbow colors, to serve as a symbol of love and support for the LGBT community and counter Westboro's influence.

Well, Westboro leader Fred Phelps Sr. -- who believed that natural disasters and school shootings were god's way of punishing people for homosexuality -- died yesterday at age 84, and Planting Peace responded only with love. Surviving church members said that Phelps' death meant little, as God still hates the gays.

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President Obama to Be Met by Keystone XL Pipeline Protesters Dressed as Sea Creatures

Categories: Activism

courtesy 350 South Florida
Protesters dressed in scuba gear, a polar bear costume, and as various sea creatures are gathering in Pinecrest near former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning's house Thursday afternoon.

President Obama is scheduled to have a fundraiser at Mourning's home, and members of groups like 350 South Florida, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, and CREDO are gathered to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline.

If built, the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline would transport oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, all the way down to refineries in Texas. And while the pipeline would not be placed anywhere in Florida, the group says the state's environment will be negatively affected.

Thus the animal getups.

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Gay Weddings Could Bring Lots of Business to Lake Worth if Legal, Commissioner Says

Categories: Activism

Andy Amoroso, the first openly gay city commissioner in Palm Beach County, is leading the charge for a gay marriage demonstration this coming weekend.

But the angle Amoroso is taking is unique.

Instead of the usual call for gay rights, the city commish and countless others will try to reason with Tallahassee where it seems to matter most: the economy.

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Broward Activists Fight Florida Bill Against Boycott of Israeli Universities and Colleges

Categories: Activism

Noor Fawzy
No single debate is as overstuffed with bloody history and hot feelings like the Israeli-Palestinian standoff. With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expected to unveil a plan to settle the century-long tug of war this spring, the heat is only rising. And now, stumbling into the picture, here comes the Florida Legislature.

See also: Florida Bill That Would Arm School Employees to Go Before Senate Panel

In December, the academic world went apoplectic when the American Studies Association, an organization of college faculty in school's across the country, decided it would boycott Israel's universities and colleges in protest of the country's treatment of Palestinians.

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