Earth Action Network (EAN)

organization

Overview

  • Environmental and social justice activist group that uses letter-writing campaigns to influence politicians and policy-makers
  • Founded in 1989 by Los Angeles chiropractor Dr. Mha Atma Singh Khalsa
  • Opposes Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism legislation
  • Opposes oil drilling in Alaska

Founded in 1989 by Los Angeles chiropractor Mha Atma Singh Khalsa, the Earth Action Network (EAN) describes itself as a “non-profit, environmental/social justice organization dedicated to the prevention of Earth-damaging developments.”

From its inception, EAN’s activism mainly took the form of letter-writing campaigns. Specifically, the organization’s members and supporters could download, from the EAN website, pre-written letters expressing concern about various environmental issues. Those people could then simply sign and send the letters to elected officials, world leaders, corporate CEOs, and anyone else capable of affecting public policy vis-a-vis the environment. (This download option was no longer available as of 2019, due to the fact that EAN’s website had become inactive by that time.) As an alternative to obtaining letters from the EAN website, members and backers could arrange to receive monthly packets of already-personalized, pre-addressed letters via postal mail or email. EAN claimed that its letter-dissemination initiatives helped bring about the end of land development in Latin America and Indonesia by Citibank/Citgroup, and the defeat of efforts to initiate oil drilling in the ANWR Arctic refuge.

EAN also attempted, through its letter-distribution campaigns, to influence U.S. foreign and domestic policies outside the realm of environmentalism. For example, in the first few years of the 21st century, the Network issued “Action Letters” opposing post-9/11 Homeland Security measures. These letters bore such titles as “Vital Changes Needed in U.S. Foreign Policy!”; “Missile Defense Is Wasting Billions That Could Be Spent on Real Security!”; and “Don’t Extend USA Patriot Act!” They also counseled Americans to “Reverse New FBI Guidelines” and “Protect Our Bill of Rights” by opposing anti-terrorism legislation like the “VICTORY Act.” Ans as a leading opponent of free trade and globalization, EAN condemned the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) of 2004.

To further spread its message on issues of concern, EAN regularly sent email alerts to its members and produced a series of audio recordings which it sold for a nominal fee. Among the speakers featured in these audios were Noam Chomsky and Kevin Danaher.

After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, EAN founder Mha Atma Singh Khalsa was a signatory to Not in Our Name’s “Statement of Conscience,” which condemned the Bush administration’s “stark new measures of repression” and its “unjust, immoral, illegitimate, [and] openly imperial policy towards the world.”

Over the years, EAN has received a funding from such entities as the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Ford Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Heinz Family Foundation, the Jenifer Altman Foundation, the Park Foundation, the Glaser Progress Foundation, and the Turner Foundation.

Further Reading: “Earth Action Network” (Wiser.directory); 57 Varieties of Radical Causes (by Ben Johnson, 2004, p. 82, re: the Action Letters).

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