Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Clorox Coup

by BETSY ROBERTS And KAREN ORR

The National Sierra Club Board of Directors voted on March 25, 2008 to dismantle the entire democratically -elected structure of the Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club, the fourth largest Chapter in the nation.

The Florida Chapter, comprising 35,000 individual members representing 5% of Sierra’s National membership, was usurped in an unprecedented and appalling coup.

The sacking of 27 elected representatives and removal of 75 volunteer appointees, 24 Issue Committees – over 150 state-level positions in all – constitutes the main carnage of the March 25th Massacre.

They are all now gone – dismissed in one fell swoop by National’s decision.

The National bureaucracy manufactured the convenient local dissent to serve as a pretense for  swatting our Chapter leadership out of their way.  They found the Chapter’s scrutiny of their policies inconvenient.

It was inconvenient to justify their devotion to  ill-advised biofuels schemes.

It was inconvenient to justify their Clorox-like promotion of more commercial products (the backbone of their announced $500 million dollar fundraising campaign) authorized in an unannounced board decision just days before the Florida suspension.

And it was really inconvenient and annoying to put up with local resistance to the stampede toward  National control of Sierra activities in Florida.

Thus, the passion, expertise and devotion of the many democratically elected local volunteers was deemed inconvenient and disposable, replaced by an “Executive Committee” of 5 National officers.  This absentee “brain trust” has wrested control of approximately $200,000 of the Chapter’s funds, along with control of Florida Sierra programs.

With this one visionary act, the Chapter’s various conservation, political and legal programs have ground to a halt under this absentee control.

But a far greater price is to be exacted in the incalculable damage to the greater cause of conservation — damage recklessly inflicted to the reputation and credibility of Sierra Club, eviscerating the effectiveness of the very members and volunteers who stand in the front lines of the struggle to protect some vestige of Florida’s remaining natural systems.

It is telling that the National Sierra Club is disbanding this hard-working and successful team of volunteers and grassroots conservationists even as National eagerly pursues its unsavory new focus on lucrative revenues from corporate donations.

The process of the investigation of the Florida Chapter by National staff was scandalous.  There was no fair play involved.

The investigation was based on unfounded accusations, vague and unsubstantiated claims, advanced on a patchwork of hearsay, obscured by anonymity and cloaked in secrecy.  The Chapter, leaders, and volunteers were denied the precious and essential American rights to due process – to be able to face their accusers, and to have a fair hearing based on facts.

National Sierra Club President Robert Cox continues to roll out his tawdry collection of unsupported statements in his letter to Grist posted by the National Sierra Club press office.

Robert Cox is queasy about this because he knows that these Florida Sierrans have unfairly been personally attacked, maligned and slandered before the state and the entire nation.  He knows that public scrutiny will expose the actions of the National Sierra Club as contemptuous of basic American rights, and of the Club’s own code of conduct.

The National board has destroyed the largest and most effective environmental organization in Florida.  For that, Robert Cox owes an apology.

Betsy Roberts is former Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club Chairwoman.

Karen Orr is former Florida Chapter of the Sierra Club Political Committee Chairwoman.

They can be reached at: thibeau48@bellsouth.net

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail