In the Dark of Night, Police Backed ATT in Clash with Berkeley Neighborhood over 4/5G antennas 

This report was provided to us by WiRED Berkeley: http://www.GoWiRED.org

Berkeley police do AT&T’s illegal bidding, forcefully removing Berkeley residents who were protecting the public commons from wireless “small” cell installations.

On October 5, nearly twenty people began vigils before 1:00 AM at two sites in hopes of stopping wireless antenna installations on utility poles in the public right of way. Residences and a school are near the sites at the popular Monterey Market and Berkeley Natural Grocery. AT&T contractors arrived at 3:30 AM and, seeing the “pole protectors,” called the police who removed the residents and activists by force at both sites. Grounding wires were then installed, but not the antennas and “smart” meters.

Former Planning Commissioner Clifford Fred who lives nearby said, “I’m shocked that city officials knew that AT&T violated Berkeley Municipal Code 16.10.040 by not notifying people within 500 feet of the 1321 Gilman or 1550 Hopkins poles before the controversial cell towers were approved, but let AT&T get away with violating the city laws. Officials used to care but now are keen on letting big telecom companies have their way.” 

Background: After trying for three years to get local laws improved, residents and activists prevented installations eight times in recent months by refusing to leave utility poles when contractors arrived, or by asking to see their permit, examining it, and telling them they must leave if it had expired. Work is not allowed prior to 7:00 AM, so the team took turns guarding the poles starting at 6:30 AM on weekdays.    

On August 19, contractors arrived at 6:00 AM and quickly put up 8-foot tall chain link fences around the poles. Cynthia Papermaster parked her car close enough to be used as a ladder. Lloyd Morgan, who became an Environmental Health Trust Senior Research Fellow after surviving a brain tumor caused by EMF radiation, climbed onto the roof of her car, and then over the barrier. He is a spry 78 year old, but one foot got stuck on the fence. Papermaster reached high and pushed that foot over. He landed on a sturdy trash can inside the barrier where he stood for three hours until the workers and police gave up and left.

On September 21, the AT&T contractors and police beat the protectors to both sites, noisily setting up the metal fence at 2:00 AM, and then waited until 7:00 AM to install ancillary equipment. Since then, an elder and a young neighbor, Sierra Murphree, have sometimes slept in a tent at the foot of one pole so, if workers arrived, they could awaken and alert other protectors to join them before the barriers went up.

Stand off! On October 5, protectors arrived long before workers at both sites, but were escorted, dragged, or carried across the street by police. Papermaster, who screamed when she thought her arm was being broken as she was hauled off, later said, “More important than my pain is that we were removed from a public sidewalk so that a private multi-billion dollar company, with help from the police paid by our taxes, could perform non-essential work in the middle of the night, violating Berkeley’s laws.”

Jason Winnett wrote of the incident to the Berkeley City Council, “I exercised my constitutional rights where crews were attempting to erect a cell tower which has been protested, clearly unwanted by residents. According to my understanding, there were actions by private parties as well as Berkeley police that have questionable legality… 24 hours later, I am experiencing lingering injuries, pulled muscles from being handled roughly. I was appalled to see women in their 70’s, concerned citizens who, after being up in vigil all night, were roughly handled by a large number of young, strong officers… We seem to be heading into what is known as fascism.” 

Meave O’Connor, treasurer for WIreless Radiation Education & Defense (WiRED), was also injured by the police’s excessive use of force, photographed her bruises, and filed a complaint. She wrote to the City Council, “By trying to stop AT&T we had the Berkeley law on our side but it did not help us defend our Commons. The police were called and brutally removed us, roughing us up badly… Berkeley is voluntarily handing its autonomy to the telecom corporations, even using police to do corporate bidding… Who gave the orders to use the Berkeley police in that way?”  

After being dragged offsite that night, WiRED co-founder Phoebe Sorgen asked Sgt. Ronnie Hernandez who was paying the police, and was told that AT&T will reimburse the city. Instead, why aren’t the police patrolling the streets to stop assaults and burglaries? Catalytic converters have been stolen from three WiRED members’ cars.  

Sgt. Hernandez then asked what the fuss is about.  Sorgen told her that antennas emit EMF/RF microwave radiation that sickens people and harms flora and fauna. They also increase fire risks, and overloaded, weathered poles sometimes fall.  Business and property values plummet nearby. 5G is an energy glutton  too. Wired connections—whether copper or fiber—will always be faster, greener, safer, more reliable, and more secure than wireless. “We need to preserve our right to privacy. Furthermore, there’s no AT&T service gap here, and the people don’t want additional ugly industrial clutter destroying the character and peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhoods. 5G is a scam for corporate greed.” Though appalled by the police misconduct, she is grateful that no one was jailed and that those who obeyed the police order to leave were not injured. However, several of them said they were emotionally traumatized. Daniel Borgstrom, whom police escorted across the street, mused, “According to scientific reports, microwaving from 5G can cause memory loss, so maybe we’ll forget all about it.” 

Onward! AT&T has unsigned permit extensions to install twelve more antennas on Berkeley sidewalks, many near residences, schools, and healthcare facilities. Most of the permits expired in August, but were extended until 2021. Without a signature, they are invalid. Berkeleyans had urged the City Manager to exercise her option of requiring AT&T to reapply. WiRED has been lobbying and raising awareness since 2017, including hosting public forums.  Two City Councilmembers co-hosted a forum featuring Dafna Tachover of  Children’s Health Defense. WiRED is fundraising to pay attorney Ariel Strauss, of Greenfire Law, who helped craft stronger local laws such as requiring companies to put equipment underground, but the laws do not apply retroactively, and the City Council did not go nearly far enough, so WiRED is pushing for amendments.  

Similar injustices have occurred nationwide. When public officials or officers brutally take the side of giant corporations against the public health and interest of the people whose taxes pay their salaries, they betray their oaths of office. They are no longer public servants. Instead of serving the people they are supposed to represent, they are serving corporate interests, which is the definition of fascism. Big Telecom will stop at nothing to increase profit. We, the people, are able to stop our officials from doing Big Telecom’s bidding against us. Wherever you are, please forge alliances, educate your neighbors, strategize, and resist creatively together. Now is the time to stand up to the corporatocracy, non-violently but assertively, in order to reclaim our power.

 

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Posted in 5G, Berkeley, California, Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, Democracy, EMF Mitigation, health effects, Installer Threats and Assaults, neighborhood organizing, Oakland, Police, radio-frequency radiation, Safety, Smart Grid | Leave a comment

Pre-COVID Interview with New Zealand’s Grow Sanctuary, Covering EMF’s, Community Rights, and Resistance

Posted in 5G, California, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, PSREC, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid | 1 Comment

Letter Opposing Our Local Library’s Planned Verizon Hotspot Loan Program

We recently found out that our County is planning to loan out “Verizon Hotspots” through the library to residents including students affected by the school shutdowns. This is a really bad idea- and we outline the reasons why below.

Find out what’s going on in your local community – you can use this letter as a basis for yours. -SSM!


Dear Plumas County Library and Friends of Portola Library,

Thank you for your reply. Our group- Plumas Residents for Safer Wired Telecommunications opposes the use of hazardous so-called “hotspots” for the following reasons, and urges the library to abandon this program in favor of safer methods of accessing the internet, such as wired ethernet or 56K dial up modems, and grants for safer wired access to low-income homes.

Problems with Verizon Hotspot:

– Verizon hotspots send out and receive both cell and wi-fi signals- a type of radiation deemed a “possible carcinogen” by the World Health Organization. In addition, the $30 million National Toxicology Program has found that exposure to this type of radiation causes significant increases in cancerous brain and heart tumors in rats. The continued, virtually unregulated use of this technology flies in the face of serious evidence of harm, particularly to children. Widespread harm may only become apparent in retrospect in future years after decades of exposure in the form of significantly increase brain and other tumors, as is typical with radiation injuries (as from Hiroshima where brain tumor rates were stable for years after WWII and then shot up in the 1980’s.). Damage to the human immune system from routine wireless exposure is well documented, and it is the last thing our community needs right now.

Preventative and precautionary action now to avoid chronic exposures that will very likely result in a wave of illness is imperative.

– Many homes in our rural area have poor cell reception. This means that the hotspots may not work in many locations and that if they do work, RF from the hotspot will be ramped up to reach a cell tower, exposing rural users to higher levels of microwave radiation.

– Access to the internet would yet again be limited to people who are not Electro-Magnetically Sensitive (EMS) or who are unaware of, or choose to ignore the clear health risks listed above. There is a significant proportion of the population that will not be served by this expenditure of public funds which are required to serve the whole public.

– In addition to serious health risks from RF radiation, the library and county (and Friends group if they participate) face liability risks in distributing this technology to Plumas County families, particularly without any health warning.

– Verizon is currently applying to the City of Portola for a permit for a 135 foot 5G tower mere feet from the hospital that includes microwave lasers (masers) that track individuals. Eastern Plumas Health Care has gone on record opposing this project and many community members (including myself) have publicly testified their opposition to this project, stating that it will prevent access to the library, municipal buildings, and the hospital among those who are EMS. Distributing Verizon hotspots to the community will add to wireless demand, and general electrosmog pollution. This will help Verizon justify an unnecessary project that is not needed to meet capacity.

– It is imperative that in today’s world, everyone who wants it has permanent, safe and affordable, secure high speed wired internet access at home, using the model of universal telephone service that brought voice connections to many “unprofitable” locations. Without this, people will continue to lack access to not only library services but also tele-medicine, education, entertainment, and all the other resources available online. Today, internet service has become an essential public service, but is mainly the providence of corporations who refuse to provide service to areas where they would not see a profit. This approach has left many of us, including kids trying to do their schoolwork, out in the cold during the COVID-19 pandemic. The County, state and feds need to solve this problem in an urgent and systematic way for the long term, spurred on by the lockdown. If we can run phone lines to everyone in the 20th century, we can run high speed internet lines to everyone in the 21st. With internet, as with healthcare, everyone suffers if it is not universally available (through economic harm caused by the damage to education and lack of a unified fiber optic internet strategy, and greater risk of infection, respectively).

We recommend that the library instead:

– use available funding to provide grants to low income families to afford basic wired internet at home (Cable internet via PSREC is widely available throughout City of Portola)

– If you want to add to the tool lending library, loan out 56K USB modems which can be used through a phone line and provide basic (safe and wired) connectivity to the library’s site, Wikipedia, well-designed school lessons etc. but not porn, videos, zoom chats, or gaming which is what the Verizon hot spots would likely be used for.

– provide wired ethernet plugs at all County libraries when they re-open, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for public access. We do not accept the County IT department’s response that they would not be able to maintain security with a public wired system- according to the experts we consulted, the same level of security is available with wired ethernet as with wi-fi- there is simply a need to purchase additional software. There is a long history of IT staff in general belittling those who aren’t internet savvy or those who experience EMF sensitivity (tin-foil hat crazies etc.). The Friends of Portola Library made a formal request for wired ethernet plugs at the library and have not received an adequate response explaining the specific security issues on a technical level. We re-submit our request for ethernet plugs at the library, and a technical, formal response from the county IT department.

– consider that many people will not want to use public computers due to covid-19 risks. If someone brings a laptop, ipad, or iphone and own ethernet cable and adapter, the risk of transmission is far less than using a public computer with a shared keyboard and mouse. I and many others will not be willing to use a shared public computer, and I personally get extremely nauseous when using the wi-fi for more than five minutes, so what do you suggest that we do to access these resources?

Thank you for your attention to this matter of health, public access, and for many, life and death.

Josh Hart

Spokesperson, Plumas Residents for Safer Wired Telecom

Director, Stop Smart Meters!

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How to Reduce Your Kids’ EMF Exposure During Lockdown? It’s Not Difficult, With CHD’s Guide

Concerned about your exposure to RF radiation? Pick the low hanging fruit and start with your own house! There is no need to use wireless at all within the home. Many people do not understand that access to the internet does not require WiFi. You can easily set up a wired connection to your computers and devices using a modem and ethernet cable(s) with zero microwave radiation exposure (at least within the home) while you quarantine. Use a corded landline phone and you will have full telecommunications capabilities- with zero toxic microwaves. Check out this page from Children’s Health Defense for a step by step guide to achieving this.

Don’t stop with your own personal safety. Realize that radiation doesn’t stop at your front door—it is a community problem and must be dealt with as such. An EMF meter (that measures microwave intensity) is a prerequisite for reducing EMF pollution in your home as well as your community. You can get affordable and high quality EMF meters in our online store.

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Standing Up To Toxic RF Irradiation / Staying “Safe and Sound” During the Crisis

Now, more than ever, the smart grid poses a grave risk to your health. If you still have a “smart” meter on your home, now is the time to be assertive and get it removed. The utilities do not have any legal basis to force a smart meter on your home—period. The only legal rights they do have on private property are contained within your “utility easement”—usually limited to reading and maintaining your (analog) meter. They have zero legal right to install an irradiating surveillance device (AKA “smart” meter) against your will. They simply pretend they do, and most of the time they get away with it, because very few people know the law. If a utility tries to bully you and force a smart meter on your home, they are breaking the law. Take them to court or choose to go off grid and deprive them of your blood money. People were “off grid” for most of human history without even small scale photovoltaic electricity and they did just fine. (Of course, there are some people with medical conditions and equipment whose lives depend on electricity as an essential service.) Most people have now become hooked on the “convenience” and now the dealer is abusing its customers.

Staying Safe and Sound During this Emergency If you don’t already have an EMF detector to measure levels of man-made “electrosmog” in your home and community, now is a good time to get one. These are critical tools to identify and locate EMF so you can then minimize your exposure and allow your immune system to recover from the unprecedented artificial radiation assault we are being subject to.

We want you to stay “Safe and Sound” during this crisis. Visit our online store to browse the latest EMF meters and detectors available at reasonable prices. Lowering EMF exposure is one of the most affordable forms of health insurance available to us. We recently received these nifty new RF meters from Safe Living Technologies, now available in our store for a 5% discount if you use the code “RFDEFENSE” during checkout. Wider frequency meters like the “Safe and Sound” Classic and Pro 2 meters are more likely to detect 5G and other higher frequency radiation sources than traditional RF meters. Check out the Scientists for Wired Technology review of the Safe and Sound Pro 2. We offer fast and free shipping to the United States. Those living outside the U.S. can purchase through our ebay store. Every purchase supports our grassroots organization and helps build resistance to RF pollution (your Amazon purchases do the opposite). Please spread the word.

Lower-priced EMF meters available to the vulnerable: If you have Electro Magnetic Sensitivity (EMS), have tested positive for COVID-19, or would like to purchase EMF detectors for public use, i.e. at a library/ community center, you are eligible for a 10% discount on all materials in our store including EMF meters. Write to us with verification of any requests.

Our resources, advice, toll-free hotline and grassroots organizing interventions are in more demand than ever. It seems that the public is finally waking up to the electrosmog crisis. Please consider a store purchase or a donation to help us expand our offerings during this evolving crisis and “meet the moment.”

We wish all of you and everyone you love good health, privacy and safety during these difficult times.

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