string(335) "As part of the United Frontline Tabel, Climate Justice Alliance co-released A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy, which offers community groups, policy advocates, and policymakers a pathway to solutions that work for frontline communities and workers."
“We are seeing that no one else is going to fight for youth of color like youth of color. We don't need people to speak on behalf of us when we can speak for ourselves”. Meet Nyiesha Mallet, a youth activist at UPROSE in Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn's oldest Latinx led organization whose mission is based in climate and community justice for Black and Brown folks.
Introduced to UPROSE at the age of 14, Nyiesha found herself in the midst of a Climate Justice boom that was in full swing. “I spent that Summer organizing my first Climate Justice Youth Summit, and was given the opportunity to speak on my first panel about how Environment injustice affected me. UPROSE not only gave me the knowledge, but the space to learn, grow and be a part of a community.” said Nyiesha. “They believed in me enough, and that allowed me to believe in myself enough to grow into the activist I am today.”
Throughout her organizing, Nyiesha has begun to connect the dots between New York City politics and environmental justice solutions, “NYC leadership is lacking right now when it comes to creative solutions to continue to support youth of color.”Even so, Nyeisha emphasized the importance of other youth like herself to use their voices as their source of power,”The most important thing that young people should know about environmentmental activism is that you’re never too young to speak up. In fact your voice is the voice that matters the most, especially young people of color. Your voice is your experience, and your activism is you speaking up for yourself and your pears.” Nyeisha continued, “Our elders in this movement can only fight and nurture us for so long, and they need now more than ever to know that we will pick up the torch and light the way for others to join.”
In the midst of our current pandemic, Nyiesha spoke passionately on the intersection between the racial injustice that impacts Black and Brown lives and higher rates COVID-19 fatalities, “Black and Brown youth not only have to deal with Covid-19 and deaths and illnesses in their families like many others, but also the added levels of Economic injustice, and at home situations that are not ideal. This has always been our situation.” She continued, “We know that the youth are going to be affected, but we know even more now than ever that youth of color will be even more affected, especially Black and Brown youth. I believe that's what Covid-19 is showing us this now more than ever.”For youth looking to get involved in CJ work, Nyeisha suggested a “bloom where you are planted” philosophy, “Join a nonprofit organization like UPROSE , that is doing the work in your community and that is made up by the community and is for the community,” she said.We are SO honored to have the chance to speak with Nyeisha Mallet about ideas, thoughts, and understanding on climate justice activism. To read the full interview and to check out more stories from youth in environmental justice, visit CJA’s youth page here."
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We at CJA, support the leadership and direction of our Black communities. We are committed to the liberation of Black people as part of a regenerative present and future. As Trump’s inflammatory comments call for the “domination of terrorists, ” we demand Justice for Black Communities. Along with other frontline allies including; It Takes Roots, and People Action, we have been planning the release of an organizing tool “A People's Orientation to a Regenerative Economy,” in which we explicitly call for the Protection, Repair, Investment, and Transformation of Black Communities as a plank to restore relationship and ecological balance. CJA continues on that trajectory explicitly supporting M4BL week of actions to #defundpolice and #defendblacklives. As a founder of It Takes Roots, we are joining forces to support the week of actions for the Movement for Black Lives, The Rising Majority and our other allies in this moment.
Message from the Co-Chairs of the Black Caucus to Our Communities
The CJA Black Caucus stands with all Black families and people who have lost loved ones at the hands of the state and systemic violence. We send our love, blessings and empathy to the family, friends and community of George Floyd and all those on the front lines right now fighting to be seen and heard. We say empathy with intention, for while sympathy is instantaneous, empathy is alive and rooted in an ability to see, feel and lend our concrete actions to all people who are suffering.
We stand in solidarity with people across the country who are mobilizing and taking to the streets, for we understand that these acts are not just a demonstration of grief, but also examples of living our individual and collective power. We see this as a time to intervene in the cycle of murder->protest -> repression -> oppression -> murder through organized and deliberate actions and demands to #defundpolice and #defendblacklife based on climate justice, land reclamation and food sovereignty and transform our reality. We want to offer mature leadership grounded in long term politics to guide and creatively build our collective future while supporting our youth and frontline communities who are face-to-face with state violence in the present.
We will use our Black Caucus Power Gathering on June 10th to outline demands and policies that will provide concrete solutions. We would also like to direct you to support allied organizations and platforms that we align with.
If you’ve been following how people are responding to the pandemic, you may have seen the words “mutual aid” show up in the news and across communities. That’s because “mutual aid networks” are springing up from the quick work of organizers trying to make sure their neighbors have access to what they need to survive given the failures of our government to provide an intact social safety net.
While folks from neighborhoods that have faced social and environmental injustices or climate disasters may already be quite familiar with mutual aid, for some of us, this is a new term.
Mutual aid consists of the collective actions it takes to support community wellbeing and reaffirm that all lives have inherent value. We all have needs and we are all capable of helping each other to fulfill some of these needs. This approach is distinctively egalitarian and rooted in reciprocity and agency.
A common principle of mutual aid is “solidarity, not charity.” Charity has an inherent imbalance; it moves resources from places of abundance to places deemed as needy, a deficit-based perspective instead of one based on the values and abundance already present within communities. It also places agency in the hands of the “giver” to decide who is most “deserving” of support. In fact, sometimes charity can do more harm than good because often people outside of the community dictate what the community itself needs rather than based on what the community itself knows it needs.
Mutual aid networks often grow from the cracks formed by incohesive public and private sector responses that fail to meet the needs of all people. The lack of a coordinated deployment of resources from national to state and local levels leaves frontline communities no other choice but to gather and share whatever they do have with each other — as the saying goes, “make a way from no way.” The community grows an ecosystem of ways to take care of itself when systems and institutions fail to or even cause them harm.
Right now, this shows up in neighbors setting up meal delivery and grocery schedules for elderly community members or people with disabilities. This shows up in translation of public health resources into multiple languages when municipal agencies fail to do so. This shows up in organizing personal protective equipment donations to local healthcare establishments and sewing masks or creating hand sanitizer to give to neighbors without.
This shows up in volunteers signing up to serve school meals or to serve meals to essential workers. This shows up in people housing displaced folks or people without homes. This shows up in folks organizing to hold the government accountable for its responsibility to meet the needs of the people.
However, we shouldn’t forget that mutual aid has a long history of practice. Free Black populations post-Civil War often had to rely on each other for support. The Black Panthers also had many “survival programs,” intended to develop and fill in the social services that should’ve been provided by the state to underserved Black communities, like free health clinics, providing free breakfasts to school kids, employment and workforce development, and legal aid, to name a few.
Some mutual aid networks in existence today are a result of community responses to recent natural disasters, like Hurricanes Katrina, Maria, Florence, and Harvey, and continue to exist so that neighborhoods remain equipped with a strong social infrastructure to be able to respond to acute crises and rebuild over the long term toward a Just Transition.
How to Engage in Mutual Aid
As this global pandemic continues and mutual aid groups proliferate, it is important to understand how best to show up in these spaces (even if they are digital), especially if you are new to this practice. If you aren’t familiar with this type of organizing, here are some thoughts about how to engage with mutual aid spaces:
Do your research and join efforts instead of starting something new! Chances are that networks already exist and that neighbors are already engaging in some sort of support system where your unique skills and abilities will be useful. If you are looking for one in your area: check out local media, the websites and social media of your local grassroots organizations, infoshops, collectives and cooperatives (our member list is a good place to start!), and mutual aid groups here or in this mutual aid coordinating slack channel.
Take stock of what you have to offer: sharing resources (eg. money and food) is important, but don’t downplay other skills you may be able to share. Are you good at sewing? Do you have experience teaching young people? Are you a great communicator or techie? Do you have a way of making people feel comfortable around you? Do you know another language? Your full experience and wisdom is invaluable.
Bring a lot of compassion, for yourself and others: Some people have been doing this for decades, for others it might be their first day.
Be aware of how you show up in a space: Are you usually the first person to offer ideas in a group? If so, try stepping back so other ideas can be heard first. Is your perspective underrepresented? Chime in so that your views spark fresh ideas.
As we all continue to weather this new storm, we hope this will help guide you in the best ways you can support your community and those on the frontlines of our multiple, overlapping crises.
Once again CJA member groups joined other workers and social movements around the world to engage in demonstrations, strikes, and protests for May Day. This year, however, the stakes were even higher: https://ClimateJusticeAlliance.org/mayday/
In the face of COVID19 and the Climate Crisis, frontline communities and workers engage in collective mutual aid, and align our strategies to to build Our Power and forge change.
Frontline Communities and Workers Demand Immediate Relief & Investment in Long Term Recovery and a “Down Payment” on a Regenerative Economy
Today, May 1, 2020, Climate Justice Alliance members, community groups and workers across the country are hosting actions to demand President Trump, Congress, and other local and state leaders act on the demands of working people, not corporations and the wealthy. Whether through a people’s strike or demands to cancel rent and debt, a people’s just recovery is what’s in order, and it’s possible right now. In recent weeks, we've seen workers at Amazon and other corporations striking for safer working conditions and improved pay, while frontline health workers demand masks and protective equipment. Immigrant communities, excluded from the last stimulus package, are calling for immediate support and inclusion. Renters and homeowners have pressured landlords and banks to cancel rent and mortgage payments, while calling for a moratorium on water and electricity shut offs. Meanwhile, over 26 million people have filed for unemployment, making these solutions even more pressing. This May Day, community groups and individuals are joining together to participate in local actions and a national virtual rally, twitter storms to Congress and the White House, car caravans to show support for essential workers and their livelihoods, and intentional shopping at local businesses while refusing to support chains that put profit over the safety and well-being of their own workers. This is a pivotal moment for congressional and corporate leaders to not simply qualify frontline workers as “essential” but actually do something meaningful to ensure they can carry out their work with fair wages and under safe working conditions. Either elected officials will continue to spend billions bailing out Wall Street and oil companies or they will invest in the health, safety and well-being of millions of people through good jobs and the expansion of inclusive social safety nets. We need a People's Bailout that includes us all. More information about local and national actions happening around the country can be found here.Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network“The Navajo Nation has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 infection rates in the country despite a population of 175,000. It’s imperative we immediately get the resources we need to address this crisis. By ignoring the pandemic in Indian Country the US government continues its legacy of genocide.”Rosalinda Guillen, Community to Community (Washington)“We need to look at containing COVID-19 in the food system from the human rights and food sovereignty perspective, not from the capitalist perspective of keeping profit margins up. Farmworkers, as essential workers, want to stay alive and need essential resources and enforceable rules in the workplace to survive and keep food on everyone’s tables.” Antonio Tovar, Executive Director Farmworker Association of Florida “Farmworkers ARE essential workers and have always been so, but for too long they have not been valued as such. In the same way that people applaud and thank healthcare workers in this crisis, everyone should thank farm workers as they sit down for every meal.” Davin Cardenas, Right to the City Alliance "Today, renters, homeowners, and small businesses are taking action across the country to ensure that they aren't left behind as corporation after corporation is bailed out. Legislators need to put their money where their mouths are, to support the millions of people and 48% of renters nationwide who are unsure about how they will pay for rent in May, by cancelling rent, mortgages, and guarantee homes for all immediately." ###"
string(6392) "Last week, we had the honor of featuring our Youth Spotlight Interview with Hery Zayas on the CJA social media pages. Hery Zayas is a youth member of the Jobos Bay Eco-development Initiative Organization, and he shared his experiences with us on getting involved in environmental justice is his home country of Puerto Rico. Check out the interview below in English and Spanish!
Youth Spotlight with Hery Zayas of IDEBAJO y Organización Boricua
Interview in English:How did you begin doing environmental justice work?It all began in 2006 at about 11 years old, while on an interpretive trail through the Aguirre Estuary (where I live). I realized how important it is to protect natural spaces since I would go fishing in the bay, and I internalized that knowledge. Time passed and six years later at 16 I became a full-fledged member of an organization fighting for climate justice. My first concrete experience was as the Convivencia Ambiental, an overnight environmental retreat with other youth; it was an intense week of learning about environmental preservation. Since then I’ve remained part of the Jobos Bay Eco-development Initiative Organization, known by its acronym IDEBAJO. What do you think is the most important thing for young people to know about environmental activism and how they could get involved?The most important thing they should know is that change needs to happen now. When we fight and denounce injustices it’s not just for the future of those of us out in the streets giving it our all, it’s also a fight on behalf of those that can’t come out, and when those folks don’t have a voice, we have to speak out for them. Every person that seeks change to improve our way of life is important in these processes. We can take part in different ways according to our particular gifts and interests.In the video, Frontline Youth: Fighting for Climate Justice, you ask the question “How do we support ourselves?” What does supporting each other mean to you in terms of environmental justice?Environmental justice comes along with solidarity and collective efforts, because the things we speak out against affect all of us. Speaking out comes along with supporting one another and building concrete solutions that stem from our experiences and needs. For example, where I live, we have an energy problem where energy generation isn’t done in the best way and isn’t very productive. That’s why a community collective was formed and tasked with generating viable, sustainable, healthy, renewable energy. Supporting one another happens on the micro scale all the way up to the macro scale, since each community has its own particular characteristics. Now, how can we connect internationally in line with these particular characteristics? There should be a network where we can share what’s happening on our island of Puerto Rico and learn how similar issues are being addressed in other parts of the world and join forces. That is also part of supporting each other. Interview in Spanish:How did you begin doing environmental justice work?Todo comenzó en el 2006, teniendo cerca de 11 años cuando en medio de un recorrido interpretativo por el salitral de Aguirre (donde resido) me di cuenta de la importancia de mantener las áreas naturales, pues yo pescaba en la bahía y asimilé la importancia de esto. En el transcurso, seis años después, con 16 años entré de lleno a una organización a luchar por la justicia por el cambio climático. Mi primera experiencia concreta fue en la Convivencia Ambiental donde pernocte con otros jóvenes y tuvimos una semana intensa aprendiendo sobre la conservación del medio ambiente. Desde ese entonces he permanecido en la Organización de la Iniciativa de Eco-desarrollo de la Bahía de Jobos, conocido por su sigla (IDEBAJO). What do you think is the most important thing for young people to know about environmental activism and how they could get involved?Lo mas importante que deben saber es que el cambio se debe hacer ahora. Si luchamos y denunciamos las injusticias es por el futuro no solo nuestros de los que están en la calle dándolo todo, también se lucha por los que no pueden salir y cuando esas personas no tienen voz, otros tenemos que gritar por ellos. Cada persona es importante en estos procesos que buscan un cambio para mejorar nuestra forma de vivir. Podemos incluirnos de diversas maneras según sus virtudes e intereses particulares. In the video, Frontline Youth: Fighting for Climate Justice, you ask the question “How do we support ourselves?” What does supporting each other mean to you in terms of environmental justice?La justicia ambiental va acompañada de la solidaridad y esfuerzos colectivos, porque lo que denunciamos nos afecta a todos. La denuncia viene en conjunto de tenernos unos a otros e ir construyendo otras soluciones concretas desde nuestras experiencias y necesidades. Por ejemplo, en el lugar donde vivo hay un problema energético, que no se produce energía de la mejor manera y no es tampoco la mejor productora. Por esto se formo un colectivo comunitario encargado de crear una energía sostenible, sustentable, saludable y renovable. El tenernos va desde lo micro hasta lo macro, pues cada comunidad tiene sus particularidades.Ahora, ¿Cómo nos conectamos internacionalmente según la particularidades? Debería haber un red donde podamos compartir lo que pasa en nuestra Isla de Puerto Rico y saber como los problemas similares que estén sucediendo en otra parte del mundo se han trabajado y unir fuerzas. Esto ultimo también este “tenernos”.
“I think the most important thing for young people to know about environmental activism is why you're doing it...It keeps you motivated and gives you a reason to not give up.” Meet Aqelah Amani Amatullah Miyzaan, a youth volunteer at EMEAC, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, in Detroit Michigan. We spoke to her about her youth activism and unique role being on the frontline environmental justice.
Like one of our other youths’, Nyheim Carter, Aqelah first got involved in youth activism through interacting with nature. “I originally started with agriculture and learning about the food industries. Then I learned about how the environment affected the food and us. Shortly after, opportunities came knocking, said Aqelah.In 2019, an infamous incinerator in Detroit was shut down, no small feat for EMEAC and other environmental activists in the area. “The proudest moment in getting the incinerator shut down for me was just knowing after so many trials and protests I was able to help my community and my family.” said Aqelah.To hear more from youth activists around the globe, check out CJA’s Frontline Youth Video: https://climatejusticealliance.org/workgroup/youth/
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While President Trump erroneously predicted that a "miracle" would sweep the Coronavirus virus away, and disregarded expert advice and scientific evidence (in the same way the Trump administration deals with the climate crisis and most other things), frontline groups started preparing for the brewing pandemic. Our movement had prepared us for this moment. For centuries we have been building alternative economies, local resiliency, and mutual aid networks to deal with the interwoven crises of economic, racial, social, and climate injustice. CJA immediately provided mutual aid and support that put resources directly into the hands of those impacted. We supported member to member dialogue and support networks, developed a dashboard for information sharing, and hosted skills-shares and trainings. CJA also released a statement and helped to lead a huge coalition of progressive groups and lawmakers, to pressure Congress to ensure that relief efforts protect families, communities and workers.
string(3055) "[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.22"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.25" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"]“I think it’s important that youth know that our future is determined by what we do. The damage that continues to be done by people in power is affecting us and the land.” Meet Mariana, a volunteer at PODER, an Latinx led environmental justice org based in San Francisco.
“PODER is where I got to learn about how to work for solutions that are environmentally based. And how to stay connected with Mother Earth in my everyday life.” Mariana spoke about how she got her start in EJ work, through a friend who invited her to PODER. ) “I told her about how my mom has been working around grassroots for most of my life and how that really shaped my values and shaped my life,” explained Mariana.
In CJA’s Youth Video, Mariana talks about how mental health and environmental justice intersect. “An example I would use is that I live in California, a place that has a “fire season” because of the fires that keep happening around the same time every year,” said Mariana. “Though not all start naturally, some are human caused and due to the dry lands during the fall, they spread really fast and become catastrophic. It impacts communities, people lose homes...wildlife loses habitats,” says Mariana.
“The air is also filled with more CO2 and it affects lands and their neighboring cities and our health, not to mention the earth's health. People lose a part of themselves and it doesn’t just impact us physically but internally. We face so much loss of land and loved ones that it takes a toll on our mental health.”
“Youth can get involved by joining organizations, spreading awareness and even just being more thoughtful about how their actions impact the earth and all who live in it,” Mariana shared some tips for youth looking to be a part of EJ Movements. “I think it’s important that youth know that our future is determined by what we do. The damage that continues to be done by people in power is affecting us and the land.”
To hear more from Mariana Rodriguez, check out CJAs Frontline Youth Video, and visit our Youth Highlights Blog to read the full interview here: https://climatejusticealliance.org/workgroup/youth/
string(3294) "[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.22"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.25" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"]As nurses and grocery clerks keep the country running, Congress is developing a coronavirus rescue bill. We need to make sure that this legislation rescues people, not profits.
Demand a People’ that protects workers while ensuring safe and sustainable energyClimate Justice Alliance is helping to lead a huge coalition of progressive groups and lawmakers, united behind five principles that protect families, communities and workers:
Health is the top priority, for all people, with no exceptions.
Economic relief must be provided directly to the people.
Rescue workers and communities, not corporate executives.
Make a down payment on a regenerative economy while preventing future crises.
Protect our democratic process while protecting each other.
Contact your Member of Congress and demand they commit to the five principles for just COVID-19 relief and recovery.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are laying bare the sad state of the United States’ economic and social safety nets. Millions are losing their jobs, their ability to pay rent, pay bills, and buy groceries. And many Americans will risk working while sick because they don’t have paid leave or can’t afford health care anyway.
Frontline communities have been here before and we know how corporations and special interest groups use people’s suffering for profit.This is why we need a Just Transition away from extractive and polluting economies to economies that are governed and designed by local communities, and aim to protect workers while ensuring safe and sustainable energy.
This COVID19 recovery plan and any future relief packages must expand health protections for all and get millions of people back to work in good jobs.
Contact your member of Congress today. And then share The People’s Bailout with your community: friends, family, neighbors, co-workers.
This is a time when the power of care and community needs to shine bright. Together, we can prioritize health care, jobs, sustainability and democracy for all.
Taking Action to Resist Racist Systems of Oppression and to Build a Better World for All
by Jessica Xiao
“I have bodily pain that can’t be treated. An injury to the tailbone. I get anxious if I sit too long.”
“I’m sorry that I’m asking you to tell me about the police violence you experienced,” I said.
“It’s okay — I have to practice telling it in court anyway,” Sherrie-Anne André told me.
In August 2018, Sherrie-Anne André (they/their/them) and three other activists were arrested for protesting outside of Bristol County Jail in neighboring New Bedford, Massachusetts, as part of an ongoing #ShutDownICE Campaign.
I met Sherrie, co-founder of a network called the FANG Collective based in Rhode Island that organizes nonviolent direct action campaigns — and Arely Díaz (she/her), organizer of the ShutDownICE campaign — in November, over a Zoom call (a video conferencing app that knows too much about me now that I work remotely).
They taught me all about the intersections of climate justice, domestic violence, immigrant rights, and prison abolition, and the importance of nonviolent direct actions as one tool to make change.
The main takeaway is: What is worth fighting for, except for a life where our loved ones thrive, not at the expense of other people, but in community with each other and with the Earth?
Sherrie-Anne and their co-defendant Ann were perched on tripod structures, with banners depicting “Abolish ICE Now” and “END Incarceration & Deportation. STOP Family Separation. AHORA!” Two others locked themselves to a cement-filled tire with the words “Abolish ICE” at another entrance.
“The police pulled all the legs of the tripod out. The middle slammed [Ann] down, and they dropped the poles on her body — just witnessing that is violence in itself, because now I know they’re going to do it to me. They had already been threatening to kill us — ‘if you hurt us, we will hurt you.’ They were mad at us for being in the way.”
Their action in August (described above) was in protest of IGSAs and 287(g) agreements: Bristol County Jail has an intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) that allows the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to pay for the use of the Bristol County Jail to lock up undocumented immigrants.
Bristol County Jail also has a 287(g) agreement with ICE that allows police officers to act with the authority of immigration officers. Local officers go through a woefully inadequate four-week training (ICE officers themselves must complete a 12 to 16 week training) and are given authority to enforce immigration law. (Read more about these agreements here.)
Who AGREED to these agreements, though? A man named Thomas Hodgson, sheriff of Bristol County, BFFs with Trump, and staunch supporter of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, offering to send Bristol County jail inmates to help build the wall.
He once said, “The ink of no other project that would have such a positive impact on our inmates and our country than building this wall.”
Although Massachusetts, described in broad strokes, is a blue state whose residents vote Democrat, Hodgson is representative of too much of this nation, where backward and racist ideas about the incarcerated and immigrants flourish and are rarely pushed back against institutionally (regardless of geographical location).
He has been sheriff of Bristol County since 1997, and in his most recent election, he ran unopposed, a reminder of why it is important to give some attention to local elections (and to participate in local government), if you have the capacity — and why it is important for local governments to make it easy for community members to participate.
I was locked into a piece of equipment when they pulled out the poles of the tripod. I didn’t hit my head on the ground as hard as she did. I landed on my tailbone on the pavement. They tried to use pain compliance* on me, punching me in the nose over and over again with their fists, rolling my ears, pulling my arms, to get me to unlock myself.
Men came over me with knives and cut my gear off of me while I was on the ground. They pulled me to the side to remove the lockbox(?) because I didn’t unlock myself through their use of pain compliance, and then dragged me to be arrested.
Having worked with incarcerated and justice-involved young people mostly from Washington, DC, before joining the Climate Justice Alliance, I was grateful for Sherrie’s actions because I had witnessed firsthand how the U.S. prison system is an ever-spreading stain that perpetuates the legacy of how this country came to be: on the blood of those considered other — and still treated as other to this day.
Undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be detained for changing where they live on the planet. And people who have been found guilty (rightly and far too many times wrongly so) of breaking the law shouldn’t be thrown away, behind bars, to live in inhumane and often life-threatening conditions.
I mention my experience because I didn’t grow up in an overpoliced community and was not negatively targeted by the police. I didn’t grow up knowing anyone who’d been arrested or locked up. So I learned what I know today through friends sharing their experiences with me, through reading lots of letters from incarcerated folks, from reading the research of investigative journalists, researchers, and more.
I see that we can grow up with such different experiences of law enforcement and the government based on our unique sets of identities and circumstances. It can be easy to underestimate or dismiss the devastating consequences on the psyche and wellbeing of entire communities from racial profiling, police shootings, and extended interactions with the criminal justice system when your own relationship with law enforcement and the government has felt trustworthy, or distant at worst.
And I can rant about how unjust, racist, and classist the criminal justice system is and how sh*tty prisons are for hours — in fact, I did, while drafting this — so thank my colleagues for cutting out most of it. But the point is, just as with our modern police force which originated from slave patrols and night watches to catch those who escaped from slavery, ICE is built on the same racist, classist, and punitive foundations as the criminal justice system.
Because to be honest, the idea “If you didn’t do anything wrong, you have nothing to fear” is a privilege.
After we were arrested, we were seen by a doctor for a second. He glanced at us, said we look fine, and left. We didn’t receive any medical treatment.
Then we were held in Ash Jail. They play this video about prison r*pe over and over again, and have you sign a form to say you’ve gone through sexual assault training, when it just warns you not to interact with people, don’t share food. It was a f*cked video. To have a concussion and sit through all that.
Jails and prisons are designed in a way that fosters dehumanizing interactions — and they can often get away with lots of human rights abuses beyond restricting freedom (like not evacuating a prison during a climate disaster) and constitutional violations (like banning books or decades of solitary confinement). Justifications abound to cut costs and make more profit just because people aren’t paying close attention or subconsciously believe it’s okay to treat people convicted of a crime in a punitive way. (Let’s not forget, wardens have a lot of leeway over deciding how to run their facility and can justify taking away rights by invoking concerns about “safety.” 🙄)
By the way, Bristol County Jail has one of the highest suicide rates in all of Massachusetts, a pretty damning reflection of Hodgson’s lack of empathy.
It’s harder for me to be steadfast about my ideals that no one should be locked up in inhumane conditions or lose all of their freedom forever when I think of someone like Harvey Weinstein or Larry Nassar who have caused so much harm, but I still think the prison system as it exists today needs to be abolished and we need to reckon with how do we create a just justice system that doesn’t disproportionately criminalize particular communities like poor people, people with substance abuse issues or mental illness, and Black and Brown folks?
Knowing that incarcerated citizens are already subject to cruel conditions, just imagine being detained without even the supposed rights of U.S. citizenship.
“What we need in here is the support from people and organizations on the outside to help us raise our voices to denounce the system. We’ve been kidnapped.…There’s one toenail clipper per one hundred who live here. Nothing is sanitized. We are not entitled to extra clothes, things that are supposed to be there for no cost are being sold in the commissary. The items are so expensive that we can’t even buy them.…We cannot truly complain because we are immigrants. We do not have any rights in this country — that’s what we are told.”
In July 2018, the people imprisoned at Bristol County Jail, in solidarity with the people detained, joined together in a hunger strike protesting these conditions. Sherrie’s direct action was in solidarity with this strike.
As a low-income Indigenous person [of Puerto Rican and Southeast Asian descent], my body is the only social capital I have — I don’t have money to file a lawsuit against energy companies. I don’t live in Massachusetts where these detained immigrants from Rhode Island are being held and I can’t vote there. I have to do something — how would I do an action as a person of color with access to safety supports and elements of healing?
Of the four activists arrested for protesting outside the jail, three of the defendants took pleas: two of them served a ten-day jail sentence. The third codefendant paid $3,000 in restitution.
When I spoke with Sherrie, they were preparing to fight two charges in court: a trespassing charge that carries a sentence of 30 days in jail and a disturbing the peace charge of a $150 fine. And this is just another example of the fickle and inconsistent application of law in order to enforce particular states of societal obedience.
With a trial date in January, Sherrie, their lawyers, and their team of friends and organizers were all planning their strategy in court as well as how to use the trial to publicize and raise opposition to Sheriff Tom Hodgson, as well as opposition to collaborations between local law enforcement agencies and ICE more generally.
“FANG believes in long-term jail and court support,” Sherrie told me. What we need is “For emotional support, some people experience depression from action or police violence, to support accessing resources like dental work because dental healthcare is notoriously lacking in jails and prisons, to check in on family and help them understand what is going on, to strategize, to pay small fines for community members. I am privileged to have this much support going through the process.”
It’s taken me seven years to find a therapist I can talk to about [direct] actions. As a mixed status queer Indigenous / South Asian woman, it’s f*ucking hard to find a therapist to talk to about cultural things because they don’t understand. ‘Why does your mom do that?’
And then you have to figure out, are they a police apologist? Are they going to tell me or my loved ones it’s our fault when we’re abused or violated by the police?
In January, my colleague Senowa travelled to Massachusetts to attend the trial in support of Sherrie, and a series of events around the trial (a community dinner and a march to Ash Street Jail), but the trial was postponed, and court supporters were aggressively removed from the courthouse without warning.
“The judge cited ‘court congestion’ as the reason for it being postponed,” Senowa emailed me, “Pretty sure that was BS — but about 100 people showed up to court to support, and brought snacks, coffee, and cigarettes to hand out to folks who had court dates.”
Finally, the trial took place over three days just last week, and Senowa graciously sent me her notes from the trial, the most egregious tidbits here:
lots of potential jurors had ties to cops/were retired cops which is apparently very indicative of Bristol county
prosecution actually opposed using gender neutral language for Sherrie, and when pressed why said “I don’t know”
prosecution argued that because Sherrie was able to walk away from the fall that they were fine, which was then contradicted because they also said that they had to pick sherrie up off of the ground
officers were caught on video saying they didn’t care if the activists were hurt
Sherrie was not even allowed to mention Sheriff Hodgson’s name — it was his court.
Sherrie had safety gear on to protect them in the tripod, the officers cut that first, which could have been extremely dangerous
On March 9, Sherrie was found guilty and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
And speaking of direct actions, young, white college students are celebrated and supported.
The community reception towards bodies like mine or Black folks doing this work — we are not celebrated or heroes. We don’t do this work to become one — but our stories become hidden and fresh movement folks move in starting from scratch without ever checking to see how issues have impacted communities of color and how we’ve been resisting the whole way. Our community organizing gets erased and white people just assume we haven’t done anything.
FANG, which at its founding stood for “Fighting Against Natural Gas Collective,” started six years ago to fight fracking because of violence against women.
Yes. That is not a typo. Sherrie had been working in domestic violence shelters on the East Coast — which were isolating and impersonal spaces that were un-inclusive of trans women and often replicated the dynamics of an abusive relationship: “The food in the shelter has been locked up and people would have to get permission to access food. Some shelters only let one family cook at a time or wouldn’t let women watch each other’s kids because it’s a “liability,” so it’s difficult for people to bond because they can’t build trust with each other. And how are you supposed to get to your job interview without public transportation if you don’t want to bring a young child on a bus for so many hours?
They then moved on to a domestic violence shelter in South Dakota on an Indigenous reservation, a much more healing space: “There were opportunities for people to share food and cook together. Social services under capitalism want healing to be your personal responsibility even if it’s not ‘your fault’ to get here to begin with. Shelters are not fun — but why does it have to be this awful space for people?”
While there, the Midwest experienced massive flooding. At the same time, man camps — miles of trailers — were being set up in the area in preparation to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
Sexual violence has been demonstrated to increase after natural disasters, with Indigenous women being one of the most vulnerable populations because abusers can get away with it (it is difficult to prosecute a U.S. citizen after they’ve left the reservation because of jurisdictional issues).
Altogether, this set of conditions significantly constrains the ways in which Indigenous women can live and move through the world — and it was taxing the shelter. The challenge became, how to access more funding to run the shelter with more beds? There was nowhere for people to go.
It was becoming clearer and clearer that the consumptive way we treat the Earth is the same consumptive way patriarchy teaches men to treat women — capitalism and patriarchy and white supremacy intertwine at great cost to all of us across the United States — and at greater cost to those who are seen as commodified or disposable. Thus, gender justice must include climate justice, and climate justice must include gender justice.
That was the catalyst for Sherrie to start connecting with anti-fracking campaigns, moving back to the East Coast and figuring out how they could uplift and support the work of organizers from Pennsylvania through Florida.
I’m afraid of what it would look like to have children — to want children and family. My partner and I talk about it, but we’d have to stop organizing in order for that to happen and that also seems not fair.
Fighting Against Natural Gas or FANG started as a support network and a way to share resources, Sherrie told me. It is mostly capacity building work — for folks to share with each other information about writing grants, about seeking funding, about how to start doing their own work, to receive trainings on non-violent direct actions, or to seek connections with others doing similar work.
It expanded to include campaigns targeting the military’s largest supplier of cluster bombs — Textron — which is based in Rhode Island.
Then in 2016, they changed their name to the FANG Collective, as they adapted to the organizing needs of its members — children of immigrants, undocumented, and mixed status folks — and helped to form a coalition of people and grassroots organizations called AMOR: Alianza para Movilizar Nuestra Resistencia (loosely translated: AMOR: Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance), which shepherds the #ShutDownICE Campaign, the natural next step.
And direct action is not invented for you to talk and use them without a sense of urgency. [Direct actions] were used in crisis — and it is crisis. It is hard to teach folks of privilege that. They think it is a game sometimes. They feel like they’re supposed to do something, but then they don’t.
And when they do, they want all the resources they have access to — like media, therapy, yoga, etc. — none of those resources are offered to us. Requiring lots of resources to heal is sloppy, and extracts a lot of resources.
We can’t afford to mess up. We don’t have the money to f*ck it up. They also don’t have a level of fear of the police. I’m very aware of how the police can harm me and other people, particularly Black folks, in my organization, and I have to think, how am I going to protect every single one of you so you can participate in the ways you want to?
It is definitely a challenge to keep track of the many coalitions, and it quickly can become a confusing web that’s hard for newcomers to understand fully without time, but it also shows how intentional FANG is about working in ways that are inclusive, equitable, and democratic, grounded in the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organization and Principles of Environmental Justice (both established about two decades ago and tenets of the climate justice movement).
Similarly, it is difficult to keep track of how varying oppressions are connected to each other.
Why is it important, as we figure out how to stop contributing to climate change and how to adapt to climate change, to also figure out how to abolish ICE or dismantle racist institutions or fight extractive practices that prioritize profits over people or how to live with each other with more kindness, care, and thoughtfulness?
The key is, they all work together to support this broken system and the status quo.
And in all honesty, even FANG sometimes isn’t sure how they fit into the Climate Justice Alliance. That’s the beautiful challenge of building a future that doesn’t exist yet — we can feel it and we can work towards it, but it evolves in unexpected ways as we do the work of figuring out how to live our values of prioritizing each other and prioritizing justice even when we have conflicts or ambiguity or differences in values and tactics.
Why is it important to make sure that transitioning away from fossil fuels is actually much more than that? That we’re fundamentally changing our societies and economies to be more just and to take care of one another, and to ensure as we transition we stop the historical harm that these industrial and capitalist systems have inflicted on our communities for centuries?
Because if we don’t, we’ll continue to cause harm to each other and we’ll continue to behave in ways that actually created the climate crisis in the first place.
There are links that are more obvious on paper as well: as climate disasters increasingly displace people, there will be more climate refugees, but both Sherrie and Lee caution against this justification for centering social justice in climate change work.
“I don’t give a f*ck why someone is here — they shouldn’t be detained. We need to be mindful in environmental movement to not create a good/bad immigrant narrative,” Sherrie said.
Besides, we should be more expansive about our language, when it comes to climate, says Lee, “There are obviously direct links between people’s countries and climate — the climate of where and when you’re living. What is the climate we are trying to survive? And that’s what Just Transition needs to be. Things don’t fit neatly into a box and we don’t have to try so hard to find the connections — they just exist. We know they exist. We use the language we know to talk about them as they exist. We recognize the interconnections and encompass the interconnections without us having to spell it out all the time.”
If you’re looking for NVDA training, pay attention to who is doing the work. If a group or organization or a few people are doing work I really value and want to participate in, I approach humbly and ask how I can support that work.
Oftentimes, direct action trainings are not for people to do them, but for them to understand the parts and history of direct action, and within our own communities. Not asking to come learn a tool to apply, but to understand why it exists. That’s how we [FANG] approach direct action. It’s a way of us teaching people a history class. You may or may not use it, but at the least understand why people are doing it. This makes it safer for people who choose to do it.
I spent a year and a half painting banners before I ever asked to participate in anything. If you want to hop onto a direct action campaign, you might be asked to do support roles before risk roles because they want to understand you enough to be able to support you afterwards. Who are the people who are supposed to take care of me after I take? this risk? It’s scary to think about breaking the law — it’s a mindshift that you do need a lot of support going into.
Recently, a friend of mine has used the expression “building the car while driving it” and that’s what the Climate Justice Alliance is doing as it supports Just Transition work — we have to build the world we want to see while acting like we are already living in it.
The Climate Justice Alliance has six meta-strategies. One of which is fighting the bad. I like to think of what FANG does as the first one, even though we need to do everything concurrently — and preferably using the same outlook — can we build a strong, lasting, sustainable, and healthy NEW way of being with the same tactics we use to fight the bad? I’m not sure. It’s not always realistic. But what many involved in this work, like FANG, are currently doing certainly points that it is possible.
Ensuring that our communities have rights — that’s fighting the bad
Ensuring our communities receive social justice is fighting the bad.
All of these pieces are necessary for a Just Transition to an economic and social system that prioritizes the wellbeing of humans, community, and Mother Earth.
I started in nonprofits and lobbying. We would work really hard to have a new person in office, then our budgets would be cut and we’d have this cycle of having the next elected official fixing our problems. But resistance can look and feel different.
Direct action is seemingly inaccessible because it feels uncomfortable to use our bodies — but we have to feel uncomfortable. It is a visual representation of how we are feeling, and we don’t have to be the most verbally eloquent to be heard. If we have to be polite and respectable, we are subjecting ourselves to white supremacy by using “the right ways” to request change and we cannot wait — we cannot keep waiting.
The moral of the story? Climate justice is about so much more than the “climate.” The mainstream’s definition of climate just won’t cut it. Climate actually speaks to our entire environment (not a narrow vision that only relates to weather conditions) but rather, the interlinking set of conditions that we experience every day. As FANG demonstrates, frontline communities are leading the way in addressing the multiple factors that continue this cycle of devastation and destruction in our communities, including climate change.
It is through this lens that we come to climate justice and understand the importance of working not just for a transition away from fossil fuels but for a Just Transition so that our communities not only survive, but thrive.
March 24, 2020 CONTACT: Hendrik Voss, Climate Justice Alliance, 202-425-5128
Dear Colleague letter to Congressional colleagues calls for “down payment” on green economy
WASHINGTON -- Senator Ed Markey, Senator Tammy Duckworth, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Rep. Barbara Lee have joined the People’s Bailout campaign, which was launched today and inspired by the recently released "Five Principles for Just COVID-19 Relief and Stimulus," endorsed by more than 500+ progressive organizations to push Congress to focus on the needs of working people and address the urgent threat of climate change in any federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As reports warn of unemployment rates hitting over 2 million Americans soon, the advocates’ push for a People’s Bailout laid out demands in a letter sent by the seven progressive lawmakers to fellow lawmakers in the U.S. House and Senate for any coronavirus response legislation, including providing economic relief directly to people, forbidding bailouts for corporate executives, and encouraging investment in a green economy.
"Frontline communities have been here before and we know how corporations and special interest groups use people’s suffering for profit." said Climate Justice Alliance Executive Director Angela Mahecha Adrar. "This is why we need a Just Transition away from extractive and polluting economies to economies that are governed and designed by local communities, and aim to protect workers while ensuring safe and sustainable energy."
“As we work to advance further spending packages to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, we need to consider the interrelated crises of income and wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified,” read the Dear Colleague letter sent by Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Pocan, Dingell, Jayapal, and Lee.
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a growing member alliance of 70 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is part of a group of progressive organizations, who are calling for COVID-19 relief and stimulus packages to contribute to a just recovery.
string(3316) "[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.22"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.25" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text _builder_version="3.27.4" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"]Last week, as part of CJA's Youth Spotlight Interview series, we debuted our interview on our social media pages with Nyheim Carter (he/him). An intern at Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) in New Jersey, a group that organizes around community needs, Nyheim teaches gardening and harvesting classes to fellow youth volunteers.Speaking to Nyheim was truly a pleasure, getting the chance to soak in the joyful wisdom that he had to offer. We spoke bout his role as a youth in environmental justice movements and what it's like being on the frontlines of climate change and here's what he said!
Youth Spotlight with Nyheim Carter of Ironbound Community Corporation
Newark, New Jersey
How did you begin doing environmental justice work?To help save my community because a lot of people in my community can’t come out to hearings and marches to speak out so i do it for them.What do you think is the most important thing for young people to know about environmental activism and how they can get involved?An important thing for young people to know about environmental (justice) activism is that most of the time you’re around lots of people who have been fighting for years, maybe decades; and their experiences you should want to learn about. Maybe it can spark an idea that you can use to help your community.In the video Frontline Youth: Fighting for Climate Justice, you talk about how your organization, Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), based in Newark, New Jersey, has programs where you teach kids how to garden and harvest crops. What’s it like to be young teaching a generation even younger than you?it's Amazing, because now i'm able to inspire these kids and show them to love and take care of their community. Plus, since I’m still young we can relate on some topics and I'm up to date on all the trends and stuff so I know what they like and I can incorporate that stuff so the kids can have fun gardening and harvesting.
string(12992) "- Calls for a Just Recovery Response to COVID-19 that Centers The Most Vulnerable - Contact: Olivia Burlingame email@example.com 301-613-4767Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) calls upon the Trump Administration, states, and local health agencies to ensure a rapid and responsible approach to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that will lead to the long term resilience of vulnerable communities. Disease and climate disasters are the new normal, and the speedy, though inconsistent and inequitable, response to coronavirus so far proves that governments, businesses, and communities are capable of quickly addressing crises, including the climate crisis. CJA is committed to holding our governments accountable, while supporting our members and grassroots, frontline organizations in preparing a community care and centered approach to COVID-19.Whether it is our elders and frontline communities that have high rates of respiratory illness, diabetes, and autoimmune disease; or working class families, those who are houseless, undocumented, incarcerated or those with disabilities who have the least access to housing and healthcare, COVID-19 puts our communities at further risk, especially those in rural areas and American Indian and Alaska Native lands. Trump’s xenophobic and racist response, and his refusal to heed the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), which would have delivered test kits to the US given the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) inability to create its own, has only increased the danger. It also underscores the need for a response based in a Just Recovery approach, where local communities are involved and lead the way in assessing and addressing the real concerns of their communities, including developing the best care models for their most vulnerable.INTERNATIONAL TO LOCAL ECONOMIC REPERCUSSIONS SHOW THE NEED FOR A JUST TRANSITION Coronavirus is here and is a litmus test for how the climate crisis will destabilize markets, open opportunity for disaster capitalism, disrupt global supply chains, and expose inadequate or failing systems like our healthcare system. We are already seeing a stunning drop in oil prices, price manipulation of key health related products, hoarding, and a concern on the supply side of renewable energy components. Frontline communities have been here before and we know how corporations and special interest groups use people’s suffering for profit. This is why we need a Just Transition away from extractive and polluting economies to economies that are governed and designed by local communities, and aim to protect workers while ensuring safe and sustainable energy. There is no need for us to be dependent on energy giants who exist only to make a profit and who have historically harmed our communities when we can control our local economies, create jobs, learn trades and plan our own development justly. THREATS OF QUARANTINE HAVE HISTORICALLY BEEN LINKED TO RACIST, MILITARIZED STRATEGIES Quarantines, containment strategies (including surveillance that typically has a security component), and states of emergency can escalate to authoritarian and racist policies of control. As more cases are identified in the U.S., there are reports that people exposed to the virus are being caught up in quarantine, sometimes in military bases like Lackland Airforce Base in San Antonio, or at the behest of the National Guard, as in New York. In the U.S. we know that local law enforcement agencies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have used every opening to attack the undocumented and other immigrants and racially profile members of our communities. Access to adequate preventative health care and testing for those who often live in the shadows, such as the houseless and undocumented communities, must be guaranteed. Therefore, we call on local and state health departments to guarantee access to care free of fear of repercussions for all in the community. Further, we demand no coordination of any agencies managing the public health crises with ICE, Department of Homeland Security (CHS), or U.S. Border Patrol agents.RACIST ACTS AND PORTRAYAL OF VIRUS VICTIMS IN THE MEDIA MUST BE CONDEMNEDPhysical violence and abuse are a reality for many in our communities.We condemn the racist and anti-immigrant attacks being waged by the Trump administration and its surrogates. We call on the Trump Administration, all state and local officials and media outlets to immediately stop promoting the lie that some groups of people (primarily those with Chinese and Asian roots) are more likely to carry the virus. This is categorically untrue and there are reports that this is already having economic ramifications in Asian communities and businesses across the country.
“As COVID-19 spreads, so do the panicked reactions that are targeting our Chinese and Asian immigrant and refugee community members and workers in Oakland Chinatown and across the state. Home-care workers are being interrogated, businesses are being targeted, and people are being assaulted in public places. The fear and hatred that promotes racial profiling and xenophobic attacks on immigrants and refugees is a pre-existing condition that has been weaponized by the Trump administration since day one.” - Miya Yoshitani, CJA Steering Committee Member and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Environmental Network
To date, those most at risk are the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, regardless of race or country of origin. We must create communities of care, not ignorance. DISRUPTION OF WORK AND TRAVEL DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTS INMATES, LOW-WAGE WORKERS, AND CONTRACTORSJust as we see xenophobia rising, disease capitalism is currently accelerating in the U.S. Grounded in profiting off the misery of others, it includes price hikes and hoarding of sorely needed medicines and disinfectants, forcing the incarcerated to produce currently hard-to-find items for little or no pay, costly testing and potential vaccines that may be out of reach for many, or layoffs. The ripple effects of quarantine, remote work, canceled travel, and disrupted supply chains result in more demands being made on low-wage workers and incarcerated people; often no protocols or rapid response plans exist for those in prison or jail. Workers are being laid off with little to no support systems and some, such as nurses, taxi drivers, or cruise ship workers are being put in high risk/exposure situations.We condemn disease capitalism and demand free access to healthcare, paid sick leave and containment leave, eviction protections, safety protocols, unemployment benefits, and jobs guarantees so our communities are able to recover justly. Given the current politically motivated response to COVID-19, which has included downplaying the impact to the public, lax containment and social distancing recommendations and militarization, the Trump Administration has paved the way for disease capitalism to prosper.THE U.S. HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED FOR PROFITCOVID-19 has exposed how deeply inadequate, inequitable, and limited the United States healthcare system is. Built for profit rather than human need, those most vulnerable in our communities are at higher risk of serious health concerns, including death, if they become infected. Health care costs are real, especially when you consider loved ones who don’t have coverage and no paid time off. Just imagine the 7 million food service workers who would have to take unpaid leave to care for themselves or a loved one. This expectation is unrealistic, unfair and unsustainable. Therefore, we demand immediately that the federal government ensure an abundance of tests and make resources available to all states and American Indian and Alaska Natives so that adequate testing and intervention can begin. Due to the lack of any real federal response, many states with only a few cases of COVID-19 have already declared states of emergencies in order to receive funding to begin a robust medical response. We do not know, however, if this will suffice. Congress recently passed an $8 billion bill for recovery. We demand that the federal government immediately pass these funds on to local, state and tribal health departments, which at this time, have the best capacity to control the spread of the virus. Moreover, we recognize the need for the United States to live up to its trust and treaty responsibilities to tribal nations and we support the request of no less than $120 million allocated to tribal nations and urban Indian organizations who deserve access to the same funding support and information as states. Further, it is imperative that local officials work with community base building organizations who understand the best way to access and address the real concerns of frontline communities. Local community involvement and leadership is key. With recent community hospital closures, especially in rural areas, along with a reduction in hospital beds, it is critical that resources be made available across the board and that federal, state, local and tribal authorities are working in a coordinated effort to combat the spread of the virus. Universal health care is a right and is the strongest way to ensure all of us can access testing and treatment now, and well into the future. IT’S TIME FOR A RESPONSIBLE APPROACH THROUGH LONG TERM JUST RECOVERYWe encourage everyone to continue to follow the latest developments within the scientific community about COVID-19. At this point, we know little and encourage the federal government to strengthen and support, rather than impede, the larger medical community as it moves to implement measures and protocols that are based in sound science rather than fear. In the coming weeks and months as presidential elections draw near, our environment will become increasingly politicized. We remind everyone that medical experts, not politicians, should be consulted and sought out for advice on self-quarantine and testing. The extreme mismanagement, at the highest levels of our government from the outset, speaks to the dire situation we face in the U.S. and the importance of who holds public office. As more cases of the virus are identified in more states, we must look to our communities to support them and learn from them about how best to safeguard those on the frontlines of this public health crisis.The Climate Justice Alliance, representing 70 members from urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks, is committed to a collective care and community building approach developed through a process of intentional deliberation. We understand from the WHO that the next couple of weeks can be pivotal and we want to contribute to the management of this virus for vulnerable members of our communities. We must be smart, not scared. We call for and embody a sensible approach, drawing upon the wisdom of our elders, to stop the spread of the virus, grounded in community leadership and a Just Recovery. ###
“The most important thing to know about getting involved in Climate Justice is that the movement is rooted in inclusion.“
Meet Chelsea Turner: a 19 year old Youth Organizer at UPROSE, Brooklyn’s oldest Latino-led community organization that seeks to engage and preserve community in the Sunset Park Neighborhood through intersectional principles and cultural expression. Chelsea spoke to us about how youth can get involved in organizing, recovering from burnout, and more.
“I began doing Environmental Justice work when I was asked to do art for the Climate Justice Youth Summit in the Summer of 2018," said Chelsea. “From there, I was offered an internship for the summer with UPROSE, where I got a view firsthand of what it means to be an artist in the movement as we prepared for a direct action in the Puerto Rican Day Parade, shedding light on the thousands dead and continually affected by Hurricane Maria. The power in the visuals and the reactions reassured me that my space was just as needed as anyone else’s in the movement.”
Chelsea spoke to us about the exhaustion that youth organizers often face while working climate justice movements. “..a Just Transition is rooted in true Love and care for all, it can fuel you even in the face of disappointment and burn out.”
In CJA’s Frontline Youth: Fighting for Climate Justice Video, Chelsea talks about the effects of displacement on marginalized communities and how it’s very much impacted by climate change. “Displacement innately threatens the cohesive nature of community and weakens the ability to be resilient, especially in communities of color,” said Chelsea. Displacement is an issue that UPROSE organizes against continuously.
“The biggest source of power has been a collective community voice and an understanding of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which is the process that zoning applications has to go through to be passed and implemented. Being informed and being unified against the threat (of displacement), I feel are the most important organizing tools to have at your disposal.”
Climate Justice Alliance is so grateful that we had the chance to speak with Chelsea and to learn more about her activism work and thoughtful experiences as an organizer. To see and hear more from Chelsea, take a look at our youth video."
string(2768) "CJA launched its first podcast series:Stories from Home: Living the Just Transition. In this inaugural episode, hosted by youth organizer and artist, Keenan Rhodes of the Kheprw Institute in Indianapolis, we chat with CJA member organizations, creators and the frontline communities spotlighted in our new Story Snapshots project, launching next week.
The podcast series will air monthly and spans across landscapes and languages to provide the listener with experiences from the often overlooked but extremely valuable climate justice work of everyday people, as they decolonize through cooking, paint future visions on the page, build family, take back food systems and more.
Over the next few months, we’ll be airing Stories from Home to provide a behind the scenes look at Story Snapshots from the Indigenous Environmental Network (global), Micronesia Climate Change Alliance (Guam), Southwest Organizing Project (Albuquerque, NM), and GreenRoots (Boston, MA). The full episode schedule is below.
Episode 1 - Feb. 18, 2020
Stories from Home: An introduction to the Story Snapshots project from the frontlines of the climate crisis.
Episode 2 - Feb. 25, 2020
What Thriving Communities Look Like with the Indigenous Environmental Network
Episode 3 - Mar. 24, 2020
The Heart of Guam Through Sustainable Recipes with the Micronesia Climate Change Alliance
Episode 4 - Apr. 21, 2020
Family Portraits of Eastie, Boston and What Earth Day Means for Frontline Communities with GreenRoots
Episode 5 - May 12, 2020
Intergenerational Gardening and Food Sovereignty with Southwest Organizing Project
Episode 6 - June 23, 2020
Snapshots Roundtable: Cross Pollinating Just Transition
Stories from Home: Living the Just Transition is available at https://storysnapshots.climatejusticealliance.org/ and on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify."
string(5472) "For Immediate ReleaseContact: Olivia Burlingame firstname.lastname@example.org 301-613-4767Today, CJA launched its first podcast series:Stories from Home: Living the Just Transition. In this inaugural episode, hosted by CJA fellow, youth organizer and artist, Keenan Rhodes of the Kheprw Institute in Indianapolis, we chat with CJA member organizations, creators and the frontline communities spotlighted in our new Story Snapshots project, launching next week. The podcast series will air monthly and spans across landscapes and languages to provide the listener with experiences from the often overlooked but extremely valuable climate justice work of everyday people, as they decolonize through cooking, paint future visions on the page, build family, take back food systems and more. Over the next few months, we’ll be airing Stories from Home to provide a behind the scenes look at Story Snapshots from the Indigenous Environmental Network (global), Micronesia Climate Change Alliance (Guam), Southwest Organizing Project (Albuquerque, NM), and GreenRoots (Boston, MA). The full episode schedule is below.Episode 1 - Feb. 18, 2020 Stories from Home: An introduction to the Story Snapshots project from the frontlines of the climate crisis.Episode 2 - Feb. 25, 2020 What Thriving Communities Look Like with the Indigenous Environmental Network Episode 3 - Mar. 24, 2020 The Heart of Guam Through Sustainable Recipes with the Micronesia Climate Change AllianceEpisode 4 - Apr. 21, 2020 Family Portraits of Eastie, Boston and What Earth Day Means for Frontline Communities with GreenRootsEpisode 5 - May 12, 2020 Intergenerational Gardening and Food Sovereignty with Southwest Organizing ProjectEpisode 6 - June 23, 2020 Snapshots Roundtable: Cross Pollinating Just TransitionStories from Home: Living the Just Transition is available at https://storysnapshots.climatejusticealliance.org/ and on Soundcloud,iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and Spotify.Those featured in the podcast, the artists and the producers of Stories from Home are available for interview. If you’d like to broadcast an episode please contact us. ###The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 70 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transitions away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies."
string(4944) "Contact: Tom BK Goldtooth- 218-760-0442 / Elizabeth Yeampierre- 347-603-6600 / Anthony Rogers-Wright- 631-402-7855, email@example.comHydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it is commonly referred to, has an unquestionable track record of wasteful water use and environmental racism that continues to treat frontline communities as sacrifice zones. While Big Oil (and too many capitulating environmental groups) contend that fracked gas is a bridge fuel to renewable energy, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) - 70 members strong - knows that it’s actually nothing more than a gangplank to climate catastrophe.Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, remarked,“Fracking is a poisonous practice that adversely impacts land and water throughout Indian country, it represents a direct assault to the territorial integrity of Mother Earth and the inherent rights of Native nations to be thoroughly informed of all risks associated with fracking, and to be fully consulted under the standards of free, prior and informed consent.” CJA welcomes Sanders’ Fracking Ban Act, a bold piece of legislation that must be considered and approved by Congress as quickly as possible. The Act increases environmental justice as it demonstrates a clear understanding of the disproportionate impacts that fracking has on frontline Black, Brown, Indigenous and poor white communities. That said, CJA requests more information on the Senator’s proposed Just Transition Committee, which will only be successful if it centers frontline workers and their communities, while also adhering to the actual principles of Just Transition rather than inaccurate, neoliberal interpretations. We beseech Senator Sanders to take this issue seriously, as the fracking industry currently employs an estimated 1.7 million workers - the transition to a regenerative economy must leave no one behind. Various states and counties throughout the country have already banned fracking outright, or are in the process of limiting it markedly. CJA Steering Committee Co-Chair and UPROSE Executive Director, Elizabeth Yeampierre, based in New York stated,“When Governor Cuomo banned fracking, he cited public health as the main reason. But New York continues to import and utilize fracked gas from neighboring Pennsylvania while constructing harmful pipelines that leak methane and put our communities at risk. Senator Sanders’ bill, if passed, would complete the work of a full and complete fracking ban in New York and everywhere else this extractive practice continues to harm frontline communities.” Because the United States has emerged as a global leader of Liquefied Natural Gas exports, the Fracking Ban Act should also have international implications. Therefore, any national fracking ban must also cease these exports immediately to be effective.CJA Executive Director, Angela Adrar explains,“Climate change is a global issue and the U.S. can not be a global climate leader while sending its poison to other nations, especially those in the Global South. I welcome the Senator’s leadership on this issue, but would also like to know how he plans to address provisions in the Natural Gas Act that permit fast-tracked exports to nations we have trade agreements with.”If former Exxon CEO, Rex Tillerson, who once joined a lawsuit to block fracking operations planned near his Texas home can take action, the rest of our elected leaders can too. While it’s rare to see fossil fuel executives fighting to prevent extractive practices like fracking, it’s even rarer to see the kind of political valor exercised by Senator Sanders and other lawmakers who understand the requirement for an expeditious departure from the use of all fossil fuels, in an effort to effectively address the climate crisis. ###The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 70 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies."
and why this work is a matter of self-transformation
by Jessica Xiao
Change the Story Communications Fellow, Climate Justice Alliance
“This is not what you were expecting, was it?” Angela, the executive director, asked me by the snack table, as we took a short break during the staff retreat in Indianapolis, hosted by CJA member the Kheprw Institute (which does awesome community work there, check them out).
It was my fourth day into my role as a communications fellow at the Climate Justice Alliance, and here I was, in an immersive full-week staff retreat meeting colleagues (and kindred spirits, as I would now describe them) who work together from home bases all across the country.
But it wasn’t a series of training modules and half-hearted icebreakers. It didn’t consist of presentations from “leadership,” for the most part. We were sitting in a circle, making eye contact, sharing out the real sacrifices made for the work, the real joys and burdens we each carry, the ways in which we are leaders, the struggle of living in a society not currently designed for us to actualize fulfilling lives, the challenge of imagining and BEING beyond the ways in which our economy currently works while still existing within the nonprofit industrial complex.
I felt like a voyeur, privy to an intimate space, to the gifts of vulnerable conversation and deep sharing, while trying to figure out what CJA even does exactly, as an alliance with 70 member organizations across the United States. Replicating this kind of sharing and vulnerable storytelling would be a key part of my role as a fellow, it turns out, as CJA moves more intentionally to express our members contributions and solutions to the climate crisis.
~*My Thought Process During the Retreat*~
What is climate justice? Why can’t I just say environmental justice?
Oh, the difference is actually significant and meaningful and comes with much history? I see…
What is “food sovereignty?” And “energy democracy?” And “regenerative economy?”
What’s a base building organization? What books should I be reading?
Will I understand enough by the time my placement as a fellow here ends, much less actually contribute to communications now?
What is a Just Transition? Does everyone, like the “general public” know what these terms and acronyms mean and have I just been really ignorant and privileged to not have heard of these frameworks for climate change mitigation?
LOL, who is the “General Public,” Jessica? Am I enough? Am I enough? Am I enough?
Thus, with questions on top of questions, I had no idea which version of myself to bring to the circle — because I hadn’t even figured out whether I was worthy of being “in the movement.”
I’m entering a community of people who are passionate about how humanity harms each other through producing things that disrupt Earth’s balance and that spew toxic chemicals into the air (usually in neighborhoods of lower income folks at the expense of rich white folks with generational wealth power maintained through oppressive actions and laws since before the conception of what is known today as the United States). I would later learn these communities are referred to rightly as sacrifice zones.
I’m here with individuals who are considerate of all the living elements of Earth as a whole organism, who must feel the urgency deep in their bones every day, and who are living in their future visions while grounding it in the reality of today.
First of all, I still order sh-t on Amazon, with no better reason than out of convenience.
But more importantly, I should’ve been here the whole time. I should’ve paid more attention. I recycle. I use water bottles. I try to buy only things that I need (let’s be real, as a grad student living in the epicenter of gentrification, I can’t afford to be frivolous with spending). What makes me feel like I’m not “in it”?
And so the thoughts spiral.
…Butthis kind of immobilizing self-judgement and disempowerment is something we can’t afford in a time of climate crisis. I need to leave them behind.
The only thing I can bring are my own two hands, heart, and gut as well as the 27 years that came behind them. That has to be enough, because even the tenets of climate justice itself say that we are experts in our experiences and must use our unique ways of being to steward change: the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing, a foundational guiding set of guidelines for the climate justice movement says we must commit to self-transformation.
“You’ll meet people who self-grow all their food to those who only eat organic when it’s on sale at the grocery store,” Kari, also a CJA fellow (except with deeper roots in climate justice), told me. The most important thing, I discovered, is just the will to do something about the climate crisis, and the will to grow.
This version of me would have to be enough, because while I’m having this minor existential crisis in my head, I could be using all the existing pieces of me — my storyteller nature, my tendency to overthink, the sensitivity to beauty, the desire to give care, the nerd, the dancer, the child — to do what I can in making sure others like me realize the costs of tuning out the realities of climate change.
So to answer Angela’s question of whether I could have anticipated being in circle process, a heck of a way to get to know each other — the gist before the facts, getting to understand the how before knowing all the whats, the beautiful willingness to be vulnerable while recognizing true vulnerability is dangerous in any employment relationship in a state of capitalism, the answer is yes and no.
Yes, I have been genuinely lucky enough to work in spaces where I don’t have to check my values at the door, where we process and work through thorny questions about how to do our work and live responsibly.
But also no, I could not have anticipated that I was going to go salsa dancing with the E.D., my boss, and new colleagues a few days later, an act that felt like breathing, like my full self is at home here. (Now you know, I love to dance.)
Nor could I have anticipated just how many climate leaders made time to share their stories with me. Over the next five months, I’ll share with you what I’m learning about the work our members are doing in their local communities to move away from the oppressive and exploitative foundations that fuel climate change and inequality towards a society that centers human wellbeing over growth for growth’s sake. We call these solutions, broadly, Just Transitions.
Just Transition is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This means approaching production and consumption cycles holistically and waste-free. The transition itself must be just and equitable; redressing past harms and creating new relationships of power for the future through reparations. If the process of transition is not just, the outcome will never be. Just Transition describes both where we are going and how we get there.
Toward that end, I want to share these stories, sometimes through my eyes and sometimes directly through the thoughts and writings of our members, imperfectly and with your help, reactions, suggestions, thoughts, and feelings along the way. No matter how extensive your history with climate justice or whether you are an elder, a veteran, a movement leader, someone who’s been doing the work of Just Transition without the language, newly activated, or accidentally here, we all have room to grow.
I need you and your stories, we all do.
The world is kinda dire right now and 2020 has started (for me) with some reckless energy, but we can harness that potent new decade energy for the tectonic shifting we are doing together.
I want to share with you a poem (at the end) that I got to harvest from the potent new decade-new world energy of Climate Justice Alliance members at a storytelling training in December. It reminds me that we can lean into a love for our communities so ferocious, joyous, and cleansing that we will become willing to do the inner work of self-transformation.
Being in community and learning from our members has helped me to claim my organic power too: I can contribute and in fact, find myself every day more and more as a climate justice advocate in my own right.
And so I invite you to dance with me, wherever you are on this journey. If you have something to share, I invite you to share it. To question, to reflect, to act. To be brave, and a little scared. Just Transition takes practice. Embodying justice in a world where it is in short supply takes practice. Let’s practice until all the variations of Just Transition move in our memories like breath through our lungs.
So, over the course of the next few months, Climate Justice Alliance will be releasing stories from the frontlines of the Just Transition trenches right here!
Time Here on Earth.
Thinking about seven generations after.
Keep building, keep building, keep building.
There was space for everyone’s words, thoughts, and ideas.
These beads are a reminder —
I’m a spiritual being having a physical experience
The tangible starts in the intangible
So…pay attention to energy.
There Was Intentionality Here.
Let’s continue being present because that’s where learning is.
Cultivate your deep listening
I’m going to stretch myself —
A demonstration of our commitment to power and redefining it in our lives collectively
Steeped in information and experiences —
Our desired Future State of Being.
We took a walk during lunch to take knowledge with us.
It is dark outside,
— not enough healing and growing work
— can’t all be action
This is uplifting and that’s what I Am Going To Build.
We are all seed bombs, with the DNA and knowledge of our ancestors.
We learned to think short-term, but Look At Where We Are.
Together, we are powerful,
We’ve been dreaming of this.
I’m going to say it in my voice.
We don’t have a firm blueprint.
Statice flowers — they are always alive.
The energy of the youth at PODER are here.
I felt nourished.
We share our shoes.
Possibly orange peel
Desde el 28 de diciembre se llevan sintiendo temblores en el archipiélago de Puerto Rico. El 6, 7 y 11 de enero de 2020 en Puerto Rico los temblores alcanzaron una magnitud que llevó a la destrucción de estructuras, deslices de tierra, y la pérdida de energía eléctrica para todo Puerto Rico. Escribimos estas declaraciones desde la oscuridad en la que nos han dejado nuestros gobernantes tras décadas de negligencia gubernamental y la insistencia en la generación de energía con combustibles fósiles. Bajo esta misma oscuridad es que nuestros gobernantes otorgan contratos multi-millonarios para la privatización de nuestros recursos naturales, agencias gubernamentales, y servicios esenciales.
Puerto Rico lleva en crisis económica por más de una década. La respuesta gubernamental a esta crisis y los desastres climáticos que nos vienen afectando por los pasados tres años ha sido la misma fórmula fallida del modelo neoliberal de desarrollo económico.
¿Qué ha hecho el gobierno de Puerto Rico durante este periodo extenso de crisis económica?
Este ha sido el panorama en los últimos años:
-Cerraron más de 247 escuelas, muchas de ellas eran refugios. Muchas escuelas cerradas quedaron abandonadas a pesar de servir como centros de acopio y refugios en tiempos de desastres. El gobierno ha entorpecido el reclamo de las comunidades que han querido retomar estas escuelas, como es el caso de la comunidad Las Carolinas en Caguas, PR.
-95% de las escuelas que quedan abiertas no cumplen con los códigos de construcción. Estos son los supuestos “refugios” que el gobierno pretende ofrecerle a la ciudadanía en caso de emergencia. Una de estas escuelas colapsó tras el sismo del 7 de enero. De haber ocurrido durante horario escolar, la negligencia gubernamental nos hubiese cobrado la vida de un sinnúmero de niños.
-Ignoraron la decadencia del sistema energético. Por décadas, nuestros gobernantes despilfarraron dinero en megaproyectos que enriquecieron a sus allegados mientras ignoraban la decadencia del sistema energético. Una vez entramos en crisis económica, optaron por reducir el gasto en servicios esenciales y despedir empleados públicos para pagar a una deuda gubernamental creada ilegalmente. La solución del gobierno ante la crisis ha sido privatizar la generación de energía. Sin embargo, la llegada de entes privados a la industria energética solo ha servido para contaminar nuestros acuíferos con depósitos de cenizas tóxicas y continuar la dependencia de combustibles fósiles.
-Despidieron trabajadores. Redujeron a mitad la fuerza laboral de trabajadores en la industria energética, dejándonos desprovistos de celadores que pudiesen salir a restaurar la energía durante desastres. Esta política pública de austeridad nos costó un sinnúmero de vidas tras el paso del huracán María, ya que muchas de las muertes se deben a la falta de energía eléctrica.
-Continuaron la dependencia de combustibles fósiles. A pesar del estado vulnerable en el que se encuentran las plantas generadoras de energía en Puerto Rico, los gobiernos de EEUU y PR siguen gastando nuestros recursos económicos escasos en un sistema energético anticuado en vez de invertir en una transición justa a la generación de energía con fuentes renovables.
-Cortaron el presupuesto de unidades críticas para el manejo de emergencia. La Junta de Control Fiscal impuesta por el gobierno federal ha trabajado de la mano con el gobierno local y federal para reducir el presupuesto de unidades críticas para el manejo de emergencia, tales como la red sísmica y el instituto de ciencias forenses, provocando mayor inseguridad y desconocimiento ante una situación catastrófica.
-Ignoran la crisis de violencia de género. Los gobernantes ignoran la crisis actual de violencia de género y su alta incidencia durante tiempos de desastres.
-Obstruyen la solidaridad. Los gobernantes obstruyen nuestros intentos de desarrollar lazos solidarios con nuestros hermanos caribeños y exigen aplicar una lógica de mercado a la provisión de servicios y el alivio de desastres.
¿No fue suficiente el huracán María para comprender que solo nos tenemos a nosotros mismos?
Repudiamos la negligencia y las medidas de austeridad que imponen el Gobierno de Puerto Rico, la Junta de Control Fiscal, y el gobierno de los EEUU. Apostamos a la solidaridad de los pueblos y a una Transición Justa.
Trabajemos por una recuperación del desastre, que sea justa, equitativa y basada en la comunidad, para Puerto Rico.
Tenemos las prácticas y lecciones experimentales aprendidas por haber aplicado un modelo de Recuperación Justa después del Huracán María. Los miembros de CJA en el territorio, la diáspora y toda la gente hermosa de las primeras lineas estan peleando juntos para proveer a Puerto Rico las herramientas resilientes para que su pueblo no sea reconstruido en la contaminación, la deuda, dependencia e infraestructura desmoronada, más bien, que se mueva hacia la justicia ambiental, la energía democrática y popular, la autodeterminación y la resiliencia climática.
Puerto Rico has been experiencing intense seismic activity since December 28th, 2019. On the 6th, 7th and 11th of January, the seismic activity reached a magnitude that destroyed structures, provoked landslides, and led to a power outage throughout the entire Puerto Rican archipelago. We write this statement under the darkness that our ruling class left us in after decades of government negligence and an insistence on generating energy with fossil fuels. It is under this darkness that the ruling class issues multi-million dollar contracts to privatize our natural resources, government agencies, and essential services.
Puerto Rico has been subsumed in an economic crisis for more than a decade, and a series of climate disasters over the past three years. The government response to this crisis and disasters has been to deploy a tired and failed neoliberal logic and economic model.
What have the Puerto Rican and US governments done during these periods of crisis?
This has been the panorama:
-Closed more than 247 schools, many of which served as emergency shelters. Many of these schools were abandoned despite their role as collecting centers for relief supplies, mutual assistance centers, and shelters in times of disaster. The Puerto Rican government obstructed community efforts to retake these schools, as was the case in the Las Carolinas community in Caguas.
-95% of the schools that remained open do not comply with building code. These are the supposed shelters that government intends to offer the people in case of emergency. These are the structures in which children are supposed to take classes in the midst of heightened seismic activity that could last for a whole year. One of these schools collapsed during the January 7th earthquake. Had this happened during regular school hours, government negligence would have taken the lives of children.
-Ignored the energy grid’s decay. For decades, the ruling class squandered public funds in megaprojects like stadiums and convention centers that lined the pockets of their cronies while they ignored the decay of the energy infrastructure. Once Puerto Rico became subsumed by its economic crisis, the ruling class has opted to pay an illegally issued public debt by reducing spending on essential services and dismissing government workers. Government’s solution to our crises has been to privatize energy generation. Yet, the arrival of private firms in the energy industry has only contributed to the contamination of our fresh water supply through their environmentally hazardous toxic ash waste disposal practices and to perpetuate our dependence on fossil fuels.
-Dismissal of government workers. They reduced the power authority workforce by half, leaving us devoid of line workers who could provide rapid response in the aftermath of natural disasters. This policy of austerity led to the loss of countless lives in the aftermath of hurricane María, given that a large share of these deaths were due to the lack of electricity.
-Continued relying on fossil fuels. Despite the vulnerable state of fossil fuel energy generation plants in Puerto Rico, US and PR governments continued to put our scarce economic resources towards propping up this decayed energy infrastructure instead of investing in a just transition away from fossil fuels.
-Budget cuts for critical infrastructure and agencies. The federally-imposed Fiscal Control Board has worked hand in hand with local and federal governments to reduce the budget of agencies and organizations that are critical for emergency management. This includes reducing funding for the Red Sísmica (seismic monitoring network) and the Institute of Forensic Sciences, thereby creating more insecurity and a lack of knowledge in the face of catastrophe.
-Ignored the crisis of gender-based violence. The ruling class has ignored the ongoing crisis of gender-based violence and its rising incidence during times of disasters. Budget cuts have made it impossible to perform basic functions needed to address this crisis, such as processing rape kits.
-Obstruct solidarity. The ruling class has obstructed our efforts to develop solidarity with our Caribbean brothers and sisters and mandated the adoption of a market-based logic for the provision of essential services and disaster relief.
Was Hurricane María not enough to understand that we only have ourselves?
We denounce the negligence and austerity measures that the Fiscal Control Board, the Puerto Rican government, and the US government impose on us. We join a call for solidarity between our peoples and for a Just Transition.
Let's work towards a just, equitable, and community-based disaster recovery for Puerto Rico.
We have the practices and experiential lessons learned from applying a model of Just Recovery following Hurricane María. CJA members on the ground in Puerto Rico, the diaspora, and all the beautiful people on the frontlines are fighting together to provide Puerto Rico with resilient tools so its people don’t rebuild on pollution, debt, dependence, and crumbling infrastructure, but rather, bounce forward to environmental justice, energy democracy, self-determination, and climate resilience.
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Four Climate Justice Alliance Fellows are joining our team for 2020, strengthening capacity for the Frontlines: Youth Articulation Organizing Fellow Inkza Angeles, based in San Francisco with People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Justice (PODER), Just Transition Policy & Curriculum Fellow Moñeka De Oro, based in Guam with the Micronesia Climate Change Alliance, Digital Organizing Fellow Kristen Jeré, based in Chicago, Illinois with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), and Frontline Solutions Storytelling Fellow Keenan Rhodes, based in Indianapolis, Indiana with the Kheprw Institute. The fellows joined other CJA members and staff for a training with the Center for Story-based Strategy, to get equipped with comprehensive frameworks to create more holistic social change narratives, while integrating Just Transition messaging and storytelling with solid grassroots organizing and effective campaigning for climate justice.[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]"
string(2212) "The 25th annual UN Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is taking place from Dec. 2-13, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. We are on the ground to participate in inside and outside actions and events, together with international social movement groups. Our work at COP25 includes pushing back against Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which supports Carbon Pricing and offsets, exposing the thread of Geoengineering, building for a Just Transition, and to coordinate with others around Frontline Green New Deal work.
COP25 was initially scheduled to take place in Santiago, Chile. However, a massive popular feminist and student uprising against neoliberalism, which started in Santiago, led the Chilean government to move COP25 to Spain. We are standing with the courageous Chilean social movements, who continue the resistance in the face of police repression and violence. We are in Chile in the streets, and we are taking part in the Cumbre de los Pueblos and the Carpa de Mujeres, to build an alternative to the extractive systems of production and consumption, which have caused climate change.
string(2790) "Ahead of UNFCC COP25 Indigenous Environmental Network & Climate Justice Alliance Launch Carbon Pricing Toolkit Volume 2 November 18, 2019: Today the Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance launched their Carbon Pricing Toolkit Volume Two. The launch comes just ahead of the groups attending the UNFCCC COP 25 in Madrid, Spain. The educational guide and toolkit is designed to explain the flaws in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement ahead of its approval at UNFCCC COP 25 next month.
“Indigenous peoples across Mother Earth are rising up against extractive industries that are creating climate chaos in our homelands,” said Indigenous Environmental Network Executive Director Tom Goldtooth. “We will not sit quietly while we watch our ecosystems destroyed. Article 6 is the status quo and we demand a just transition that keeps dirty energy sources in the ground. “
Carbon Pricing: Popular Education Toolkit for Community Resistance, Volume 2 is for every group and community organizing for climate justice, resisting the false solutions of carbon pricing. This project began side-by-side with the publication, Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance, Volume 1, which was published in 2017 by IEN and CJA. The toolkit includes short readings, workshop activities, workshop plans, and responses from Indigenous leaders directly impacted by carbon pricing projects.
“We all have to come together to support frontline communities and their local living economies if we are to survive and leave a dignified future for our children. No amount of money or profit-driven false solutions such as carbon pricing can buy that back once it is destroyed," said Climate Justice Alliance Executive Director Angela Adrar.
The accessible toolkit provides a devastating critique of both the theory and practice of carbon pricing, which lies at the heart of global climate policy. The objective of the training initiative is to continually educate ourselves on climate justice and climate policy. Because the majority of climate policies continue to include false solutions, the key purpose of this toolkit is to analyze and interrogate market-based carbon pricing initiatives in all of their forms in order to organize for a just transition.
“After decades of carbon trading failure, dispossession and human rights abuses, the continuation of market-based neoliberal policies for climate change must end now. Sharing stories through this popular education initiative is a powerful way to build international solidarity towards climate justice and action,” said IEN’s Climate Change and Forest Policy Advisor and author Tamra Gilbertson.
The toolkit can be viewed and downloaded at CO2colonialism.org"
Jackson, Mississippi - The Climate Justice Alliance Mutual Support Brigade worked with Freedom Farms Cooperative anchors on farm plots located on land managed by the Cooperation Jackson Community Land Trust. The he brigade focused on infrastructure development (tilling/amending the soil/best areas to plant based on landscape/and harvesting), and also learned about agro/afro-ecology and what that means for the region.
The goals of this Mutual Support Brigade were:
- Help establish / re-establish farmer, peasant and farmworker economies through mutual support and solidarity.
- Continue discussions and the “formación” process around the struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology with the input and perspectives of a frontline delegation and local participants.
- Create the necessary spaces of reflection to provoke a shared analysis within the context of on the ground experiences.
- Further the work of the CJA Food Sovereignty working group by building relationships and deepening analysis around Food Sovereignty and its relationship to Climate Justice and Just Transition
string(3093) "[et_pb_section fb_built="1" _builder_version="3.22"][et_pb_row _builder_version="3.25" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat"][et_pb_column type="4_4" _builder_version="3.25" custom_padding="|||" custom_padding__hover="|||"][et_pb_text _builder_version="4.0.5" background_size="initial" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" hover_enabled="0"]50 social justice activists from across the United States and Puerto Rico traveled to Havana, Cuba from October 30 - November 2, 2019 for the It Takes Roots delegation to the Continental Convergence for Democracy and Against Neoliberalism. The Convergence included commissions on specific topics such as youth and indigenous sovereignty, as well as side discussions, where members of It Takes Roots were able to strategize with our International partners.
The delegates build deeper relationships, affirmed the principles of solidarity and grassroots internationalism, and are continuing to fight for a systemic transformation against capitalism, patriarchy, colonialism and racism. The ITR delegation also exchanged ideas with community groups in spaces like Casa Tomada MirArte and the Martin Luther King Center for Human RIghts, joined hip hop performances, met with artists, farmers, childeren, and government agencies (e.g. the Cuban Women’s Federation, and the Center for Sex Education), and spent an evening at the Puerto Rican mission in Havana.
We're excited to bring what we have learned back to our communities. We'll stand with all peoples who are struggling against the authoritarian imposition of a neoliberal agenda, and who are facing a state violence that is sacrificing lives and is increasing the criminalization of our social struggles.
Click here for photos from the delegation.
Throughout history, young people of color from frontline communities have always been on the frontlines of social change. From September 20-21, more than 200 young people traveled from throughout the US, Puerto Rico and Guam to participate in the 7th Annual Climate Justice Youth Summit, the largest gathering of youth of color on climate change in the nation! The inspiring summit, organized by UPROSE and with the support of the Climate Justice Alliance, brought together young leaders to eat, commune, organize and strategize to imagine and learn from each other as they define their local, place-based strategies working toward a Just Transition, away from fossil fuels and other toxic industries and toward more regenerative and renewable economies that leave no one behind. Take a look at the media coverage that was generated by the summit, and check out the photos from Day 1 and Day 2.
string(8299) "CJA CALLS ON THE NEW JERSEY SENATOR TO REJECT NUCLEAR AND OTHER FALSE SOLUTIONSFrom the onset of the 2020 electoral cycle, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) has been clear about its desire to see bold climate plans that center frontline communities and workers, and include a pathway to a regenerative economy that leaves no one behind. A key component of CJA’s evaluation process for these plans includes the extent that they “Fight the Bad” and “Change the Rules.” Senator Cory Booker’s “Plan to Address the Threat of Climate Change,” hits the mark on fighting the bad through commitments to center the frontlines, hold Big Oil and Big Ag accountable for their legacy of pollution and environmental racism and plans to protect workers who are displaced by the transition from fossil fuels and an extractive economy. The establishment of a United States Environmental Justice Fund (EJ Fund) that would direct the replacement of drinking water service lines, the clean up of all superfund sites, including abandoned coal and uranium mines, and accountability for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations is a welcomed approach that would lead to benefits and some justice for communities of color, including those in Indian Country, that have been historically targeted and treated as sacrifice zones. Too often, frontline community members are left out of the process, so it’s very encouraging that Sen. Booker apparently believes that the Advisory Council of the EJ Fund should adhere to the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing by including the leadership of frontline/EJ community and national leaders. CJA Steering Committee Member and Director of Environmental Justice and Community Development for the Newark-based Ironbound Community Corporation, Maria Lopez-Nunez, spoke to the need for greater inclusivity and self-determination for frontline communities: “Newark is no stranger to environmental racism. Historic pollution from the region’s largest incinerator, the biggest superfund site in the country (and the largest dioxin-contaminated site in the world), and the current water crisis indicates the need to better protect and center frontline communities. A National EJ Fund that prioritizes our communities is a welcome element that should be a standard included in all climate platforms. I appreciate Sen. Booker’s call for increased accountability from the corporations that are exacerbating the climate crisis and targeting our communities for their toxic operations and pollution “While Sen. Booker’s plan lacks an explicit call for a Just Transition to ensure that workers, both in the workplace and as members of EJ communities, do not get left behind and become mutual beneficiaries of a regenerative economy, CJA is pleased to see his call for the creation of millions of renewable energy jobs with high labor standards that would allow for workers to organize and collectively bargain through implementation of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act. CJA looks forward to learning more about the Senator’s Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act and how it will adhere to the Principles of Just Transition. Senator Booker’s plan includes some direct remedies to protect family farms, including his proposed Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act. However, CJA would like more details on Sen. Booker’s plan to center Black, Brown and grassroots Indigenous farmers who have been historically excluded from programs and who have been disproportionately impacted by the intersecting crises of climate change and rising economic inequality. It will be important for Sen. Booker, who hails from a state with a significant agricultural sector, to provide more explicit details on his plans to massively decentralize and transform the industrial ag sector to one that adheres to the tenets of Agroecology. CJA is concerned that Sen. Booker’s plan to increase research and development through a 50-state “Moonshot Hub,” includes funding for the development of nuclear energy. We need to see more plans that include ‘Commit to Omit’ language as it pertains to false solutions. Unfortunately, we aren’t seeing that in Sen. Booker’s plan. Moreover, CJA requires more information on the Senator’s “carbon fee and progressive climate dividend” proposal. While it’s clear that this proposal isn’t market-driven, and intends to incorporate a “polluters pay principle” that holds corporations accountable, it’s less clear on mechanisms that would rapidly reduce emissions at source in a way that benefits environmental justice communities. CJA Executive Director, Angela Adrar, offered her opinion on Booker’s carbon fee saying, “While it’s necessary to protect low-wealth and low-income people from potential utility price hikes, it is also necessary to protect their health and well being.” She went on to explain that waiting until 2030, as Booker’s plan stipulates, to impose a fee would allow for dirty industries to continue a business-as-usual scenario of the slash, dump, dig and burn economy that is already harming people and the planet. “Rogue corporations like Exxon have known about their contributions to the climate crisis for nearly 50 years. We should not be giving them any more time. We should be signalling to them that their time is up.”Senator Booker should be applauded for centering frontline communities and proposing bold ideas that could reverse a tragic history of environmental racism, poisoning of sovereign Indigenous land and water, and an extractive economy that forces too many workers to put their health at risk to put food on the table. It’s the things that his plan doesn't say that prevents it from being as impactful as it could be. In summing up Booker’s plan, Adrar added, “As the only Senator that lives in a majority Black and Brown EJ Community, we are hopeful that Sen. Booker will build on his lived experience and center the wisdom and leadership of frontline communities. One way he can do this, is by working with these leaders to omit false solutions like nuclear, geoengineering and pricing schemes that don’t reduce pollution at source.” CJA invites the Senator to get more comfortable using terms like Just Transition, Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty. These practices are frontline-centered solutions that are pillars of a regenerative economy that’s inclusive, equitable and transformative. With some adjustments, including the rejection of false solutions, Senator Booker’s plan would be even more effective and demonstrate his leadership and commitment to protecting and uplifting frontline communities.
###The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 70 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies.
string(3981) "As the fires rage on in Brazil, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) stands in solidarity with the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon as they fight back against the war being waged on them by Brazilian President Bolsonaro. His racist and unapologetically illogical positions are a dangerous mix for all peoples of the world and Mother Earth. Now is the time to respect and honor our planet and the Indigenous peoples of her land, rather than destroy them.We stand together with our brothers and sisters who continue to fight to protect their land, their traditional knowledge and practices, and struggle for a better world. Returning to local and place based solutions, like agroecological farming, to combat the climate emergency is the only pathway forward. Opening up the Amazon to capitalists and developers for increased plunder, as Bolsonaro desires, will only cause more fires, more mayhem and push us to the brink of climate catastrophe. The fact that, just yesterday, President Bolsonaro announced that accepting global assistance to fight the fires would require an apology to stroke his ego, is further proof that he’s putting profits above people and above the planet. It’s a pernicious irony that at a time when Bolsonaro has signaled that the Amazon is “open for business,” that he accused nations who have signaled their willingness to assist with the fires as having a “colonist mindset.” That’s why CJA stands behind the Indigenous peoples of Brazil who are valiantly fighting back against racist attacks while trying to protect their land and peoples from false climate “solutions”, including market-based schemes such as carbon offsets and REDD and REDD +. These do nothing more than commodify forests and enable big industry to keep on polluting through a colonization process that encroaches on sovereign Indigenous territory. We must stop placing the burden of global white supremacy, disaster capitalism and environmental injustice disproportionately on poor communities and nations. CJA demands that our lawmakers take responsibility through just policies, just recovery and Just Transition in lieu of bigoted greed and violence.CJA will continue to stand in solidarity with Indigenous peoples as expressed in our recently passed resolution during CJA’s National Member Convening held in Albuquerque, NM in March 2019. For more information read the recent joint statement by CJA member, Indigenous Environmental Network, and the Rainforest Action Network.To directly support leaders of the Amazon fighting these attacks, we suggest you support Chief Ninawa, President of the Huni Kui Federation of the Brazilian Amazon in the State of Acre. He is a long time leader in protecting the forests and land of Brazil, and all of Mother Earth. More information is available here."
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Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policy package is heralded as one of the farthest reaching accomplishments by a president in a generation. While there were many aspects of his New Deal that should be lauded, we can no longer ignore the fact that it deliberately excluded People of Color from enjoying its benefits while enacting policies that continue to harm those in Indian Country. The New Deal, in many ways, was responsible for the creation of frontline communities, which are treated as sacrifice zones via redlining and other discriminatory housing practices.
It is imperative that any Green New Deal agenda state these truths explicitly and make firm commitments to address and erase many of the discriminatory practices of the past in order to secure a regenerative economy that leaves no one behind.
Senator Sanders’ Green New Deal does just that by centering frontline communities, including Native Nations and tribal communities, with regulatory and financial mechanisms that could have immediate and long-lasting beneficial impacts if implemented.
In 2019, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) expressed our concern that the Ocasio-Cortez/Markey Green New Deal resolution did not include “commit to omit” language associated with destructive schemes such as geoengineering, carbon markets, carbon offsets, and industrial carbon capture and storage. Senator Sanders’ plan is the first of the presidential candidate platforms to explicitly reject these false “solutions”.
Tom BK Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network and CJA Steering Committee Member, positively acknowledges this clear commitment stating, “false solutions disproportionately impact Indigenous communities here in the US and Canada, as well as globally. If we are serious about reversing the climate crisis, we have to be serious about how we’re going to do it, and false solutions like carbon pricing and offset regimes are neither serious nor realistic initiatives that cut emissions at source.”
Senator Sanders’ three-point Green New Deal approach includes holding the fossil fuel industry accountable for past harm and making it obsolete. CJA Policy Coordinator, Anthony Rogers-Wright remarked, “The climate crisis is a crisis of justice, and fossil fuel cartels are and have been at the heart of this crisis. For too long, they have enjoyed impunity for knowingly subjecting Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples to disproportionate impacts that have cost lives and adversely impacted public health. From Cancer Alley in the Gulf South to the 48217 in Detroit, MI, it’s past time for the people to realize justice. Senator Sanders is to be applauded for understanding that mechanisms that restore Civil Rights Law are integral for an equitable Green New Deal.”
We are encouraged to see that Senator Sanders understands that a regenerative economy must be inclusive and accessible for all people. His financial commitments to a transition from investor-owned utilities to a 100% publicly owned model is a bold leap towards Energy Democracy, which will allow for local control of renewable energy production and distribution.
CJA understands that Transit Justice is Climate Justice. The Senator’s plan for huge investments in zero emission personal, public transit, and shipping vehicles, while also ensuring that public transportation is affordable, are steps in the right direction. Construction of a long overdue national high speed rail network is a welcome component of his GND that will vastly reduce emissions, and also create good paying union jobs in the process.
Rural communities and farmers, especially Black and tribal grassroots communities, have been neglected and left out of the discussion for far too long, even though they suffer some of the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Worse yet, these communities have been treated as non-entities by local and federal governments. Agriculture accounts for nearly 15% of national emissions when it could actually assist in the drawdown of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.. Senator Sanders’ call for a transformation from industrial agriculture to agroecology/regenerative practices will secure soil health, increase natural sequestration of greenhouse gas emissions, foster the production of healthy food, and protect farm workers from exposure to harmful pesticides. Offering financial protections for small family farms, which produce the majority of our food shows the Senator understands the harmful role that Big Ag plays in exacerbating the climate crisis and economic inequality.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders released, arguably, the most comprehensive climate platform of all the candidates. His current proposal indicates that he continues to learn and understands the need to center frontline communities in any Green New Deal.
CJA Executive Director, Angela Adrar, summed up his proposal stating, “Climate change is a complex challenge and Senator Sanders’ GND offers multi-faceted solutions. We are looking for bold plans that directly benefit the frontlines, build on their wisdom and strategic efforts, and transform the economy to one that is regenerative in a way that leaves no one behind through a Just Transition. While there are some aspects of the plan that could be improved, the Senator’s GND is a solid foundation to build from and we look forward to working to ensure such a plan’s full potential is realized.”
64 organizations came together in Detroit for the Frontline Green New Deal (GND)+ Climate and Regenerative Economic Policy Summit. This powerful gathering build political power for the frontlines for 2020 and beyond. Click here for photos from the summit."
CJA members were among an estimated half a million Puerto Ricans, who took to the streets, demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello, and the alliance stood with them. Together, we are fighting for systemic change that will address the root causes of the democratic, economic and colonial crises still faced by the majority, nearly two years after Hurricane Maria."
From July 30-31, 2019, the Democratic presidential candidates converged on Detroit, for their second primary debate. Detroit has been home to some of the worst environmental injustices in the U.S., while also being a historic hub for visionary, black liberation struggles and organized resistance. The CJA member groups East Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, who have been leading voices for environmental, economic and racial justice, took to the streets as part of the Frontline Detroit Coalition. Following a spirited rally with speakers and musicians at Cass Park, about 2,000 activists marched downtown and brought the demands for Environmental Justice within earshot of the Democratic presidential debate at the historic Fox Theatre."
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In this webinar, Climate Advocacy Lab teamed up with Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) to discuss CJA's recently released multimedia report Our Power Puerto Rico: Moving Toward a Just Recovery (a project completed with support from the Lab!). During the conversation, authors, experts, and frontline organizers who contributed to the case study and report highlight tools (including the 'Just Recovery framework'), practices, and experiential lessons learned from applying a participatory model of "Just Recovery" to disaster response in Puerto Rico following hurricane María.
- Details of the Our Power PR campaign – including recaps of the on-the-ground brigades that were organized to support recovery; the efforts to bring clean energy to farms on the island; and the critical role food sovereignty and agroecology played (and play) in ongoing recovery
- Best practices & lessons learned from the Just Recovery model of people-to-people disaster response
- Some of the challenges in doing this work, and the insights that resulted from addressing these hurdles
- ...And a robust Q&A (starting at 50:55 in the recording), where speakers addressed issues like where funding comes from for this work, the role of agroecology in a regenerative economy, and advice for how to support continued, on-the-ground efforts in PR.
A special thank you to all our guest speakers, including Jayeesha Dutta (Another Gulf Is Possible), Jesús Vázquez (Organización Boricua), Shakara Tyler (Black Dirt Farm Collective), Elizabeth Yeampierre (UPROSE), and Angela Adrar (Climate Justice Alliance).
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From July 30-31, the Democratic presidential candidates converged on Detroit, for the second primary debate. Detroit frontline communities, who have been leading voices for environmental, economic and racial justice for decades, took to the streets and asked the candidates to visit Detroit, MI 48217, the most polluted ZIP code of Michigan. The candidates were invited to listen to those who are hit hardest by environmental racism and climate change.
Only one candidate showed up, Jay Inslee, to hear from the community and frontline workers and share his plans to combat #EnviornmentalRacism.
The first step on the journey to #EnvironmentalJustice and a #RegenerativeEconomy is showing up.
While we reflect on the epidemic of white supremacy infecting the nation, we must never forget those on the frontlines who are victims of it every day by being subjected to toxic air, dirty water and adverse health impacts. When lawmakers ignore the calls of the people, they too perpetuate Environmental Injustice. The invitation still stands and we hope that all candidates for the highest office in the land will #Visit48217
string(2637) "Contact: Olivia Burlingame, 301-613-4767 firstname.lastname@example.orgWashington DC - A recent set of Policy Design Principles for the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), designed by eight organizations including Green for All and others who work on transit, completely misses the mark. TCI aims to transform northeast transportation while cutting emissions. First, they purport to speak on behalf of those hit first and worst by the climate crisis and industrial pollution, yet an equitable process to include a majority of frontline communities in the formulation of these principles and the TCI as a whole was not undertaken. Our communities do not need groups like Green for All to speak for us or to place themselves between us and the governments and agencies we need to address, nor should they claim to represent our demands. We speak for ourselves. Furthermore, academic recommendations should not take precedent over the input of most affected communities.Second, rather than succumbing to the profit motive, we need to regulate an end to the extraction of fossil fuels, not offer companies ways to buy their way out of their responsibilities. The first policy design principle in the document states, “Don’t let polluters off the hook.” But, a cap and trade and invest system does exactly that. It allows polluters to buy permits to pollute. Polluters can then choose where to cut emissions and where to keep polluting. California’s experience with cap and trade shows that they’ll keep polluting in already overburdened frontline communities despite the toxic results on our families and communities.If Green for All is really going to back harmful platforms rooted in market based schemes that only serve to benefit the fossil fuel industry and other corporations, they should consider changing their name to Green for a Few. ###"
string(3265) "Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) applauds Senator Sanders, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Blumenauer who continue to demonstrate leadership in addressing the climate crisis with their climate emergency resolution.Logic dictates that we must clearly name the crisis if we are serious about addressing it. For decades, frontline communities, nationally and globally, have intimately understood the climate emergency, as we are often impacted first and worst by the interlinking economic, social and climate crises currently facing humanity. Frontline communities recognize that the climate crisis is here and now; we can't wait ten years to address it. For this reason, the frontlines have developed and championed solution-centered work that moves our communities away from extractive fossil fuel economies to renewable and regenerative economies rooted in Environmental Justice, Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty. Senator Sanders’ resolution recognizes the need to scale these local community-led solutions, while also naming the chief drivers of the climate crisis including, but not limited to, fossil fuel extraction, systemic racism and oppression, and massive wealth and income inequality. In order to arrive at a regenerative economy where no one is left behind, all of these challenges must be confronted head-on and simultaneously through just pathways for non-toxic, living wage jobs; the building of locally rooted political and economic power and concrete plans for addressing historical harm for people of color and systematically disenfranchised communities. CJA is particularly pleased that Senator Sanders included a clause to ensure that emergency powers to address the climate crisis cannot be co-opted and otherwise utilized to create harmful impacts for marginalized populations, such as immigrants and asylum seekers through misconstruing the climate crisis as an excuse to limit or halt migration.The road to a truly just and regenerative economy begins with recognizing and naming the challenge that confronts us. This resolution is a necessary step on the path to doing just that. We congratulate Senator Sanders and Reps Ocasio-Cortez and Blumenauer for this significant effort.
###The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies.
string(4718) "Miami -- Today, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) congratulated Governor Jay Inslee on his just-released plan “Freedom from Fossil Fuels,” as this plan will keep climate change at the forefront of presidential debates and the overall discussion on this quintessential issue. CJA is pleased to see a climate plan that centers frontline communities who are already experiencing the worst impacts of climate change and fossil fuel extraction, as well as workers who cannot be left behind as we transition to a regenerative economy. CJA’s Executive Director, Angela Adrar, who met with Gov. Inslee today directly after his plan was released, remarked, “Gov. Jay Inslee’s platform shows that he understands the importance of no longer treating the frontlines and communities of color as sacrifice zones, nor subjecting them to extractive practices and exploitation.”From the start, Governor Inslee’s is among the first to showcase the need for justice and restitution for communities targeted historically by the fossil fuel industry for their dirty and harmful practices. Creating an Environmental Justice division in the Department of Justice would be a powerful tool that better allows for communities to protect themselves and receive restitution for historic and future harm. As Adrar put it, “Polluters must be held accountable for current and past harms. At the same time, we must ensure that we anticipate the response of the fossil fuel industry who are likely already looking for loopholes in the Governor’s platform. I shared with Governor Inslee the need to ensure his plan closes the book on loopholes such as tax credits for unproven and false solutions like industrial carbon capture, storage and sequestration.” The plan’s goal of establishing a dedicated “RePower Fund” will serve two purposes, holding fossil fuel companies accountable for historic harm to frontline communities and the creation of jobs for local workers in communities that have been traditionally targeted and treated as sacrifice zones through extractive practices like mining, drilling and fracking. The plan’s intentional and explicit commitment to including tribal governments would be formidable, especially if done in conjunction with the Restoration Fund. According to CJA member organization, the Indigenous Environmental Network, “With further bold action, Governor Inslee's plan lays out proposals for tribal nation inclusion, by ‘directing federal agencies to fully empower tribal nations, through free, prior and informed consent, and the enforcement of treaty rights, to reject major infrastructure proposals that would adversely impact their people, land, water, or cultural resources. And requiring all federal environmental review and permitting processes to involve thorough consultation with and input from local communities.’” Read IEN’s full statement here. Adrar concluded, “This platform puts us on the pathway to a regenerative economy, it redirects fossil fuel subsidies to work for solutions that are real. it creates an EJ office within the Department of Justice to seek litigation for historical harm and assure that there are funds in place for to Repower and Restore communities and the Eco-system with workers and frontlines at its core.” It’s radical, bold and unapologetically rooted in climate justice. Governor Inslee has set a new standard for climate platforms and everyone running for office in 2020 should be paying attention. ###The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies."
string(4036) "Washington, DC-- Climate Justice Alliance applauds Senator Warren’s Green Manufacturing Platform. Elements, including a pledge to invest $2 trillion in green research, is the scale of investment that demonstrates Warren’s level of commitment as a candidate who is serious about addressing the climate crisis.In response to Sen. Warren’s Green Manufacturing Platform, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) Executive Director Angela Adrar released the following statement:
We look forward to more specifics on how Senator Warren’s $2 trillion Green Manufacturing Platform will be allocated to prioritize frontline workers, cooperatives and communities disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis. We also look forward to how it can work to scale up solutions by the frontline communities who already have solutions to curb the climate crisis and work toward a Just Transition.
“Given the Senator’s emphasis on establishing the United States as a global, clean energy leader, CJA is looking for firm commitments that Warren’s Green Manufacturing Platform will not include specious initiatives like cap and trade already introduced in state-level Green New Deal (GND) policies like Oregon’s proposed HB2020. CJA is also looking for assurances against false technological promises like carbon pricing and geoengineering. We shouldn’t forget that incinerators, nuclear, natural gas and carbon capture and storage (CCS), carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS), bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), biochar, and solar radiation management are already backed by the fossil fuel industry that continue polluting and maintaining energy dominance.
Warren’s ‘Green Industrial Mobilization’ component should build on its aggressive baseline to ensure workers are protected -- especially Black workers and other workers of color disproportionately displaced from jobs. That component should create financial incentives for consultation, implementation and evaluation to assure that vulnerable communities and those most impacted by manufacturing losses are prioritized. The Green Manufacturing Platform should also be strengthened by geographically specific guidelines for working with Indigenous communities to reach Just Transition goals. Respecting the sovereignty of Tribes and prior informed consent is also of paramount importance.
Warren’s ‘Green Marshall Plan’ seems to hit the mark in most cases, but it should be implemented with caution. For instance, solar and wind energy are an important step towards energy efficiency. Although they are readily available, they are not financially accessible to all. Additionally, predatory lending and loan packages to adopt clean energy must be avoided to protect against replicating programs that interfered with National Sovereignty and indebted countries to the dismay of their populations.
Overall, Senator Warren’s Green Manufacturing Plan seems to be on the right trajectory to fight the bad and build the new. CJA is encouraged by the Senator’s platform and believes she has set a standard that other candidates will have to adhere to if they wish to be seen as serious actors in addressing the climate crisis. We are happy to see references to frontline concepts that paved the way for a GND like the Jemez Principles, Principles of Environmental Justice and Principles of Working Together, and we look forward to working with Sen. Warren and others to ensure these concepts are exercised at all levels of government and via grassroots, bottom-up organizing power.”
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The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies."
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At the Membership Convening, CJA membership elected five new incredible members to the Steering Committee! We asked them to introduce themselves a bit more for those who couldn't join us in Albuquerque --
Kirtrina Baxter - Black Dirt Farm Collective
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
2. What Just Transition work do you do in your community and region?
3. Why are you excited to start your work with the CJA Steering Committee?
4. Anything you'd like CJA membership to know?
NEW STEERING COMMITTEE
At the Membership Convening, CJA membership elected five new incredible members to the Steering Committee! We asked them to introduce themselves a bit more for those who couldn't join us in Albuquerque --
Kirtrina Baxter - Black Dirt Farm Collective
1. Tell us a bit about yourself!
As a spiritual being who is a mother, farmer and organizer, my family, friends and comrades are generally centered around earth-based resistance. I am in community with those people who understand that our struggle exists under the conditions of a white supremacist construct. Folks who know that the development of capitalism and agribusiness, land dispossession and state-violence, coupled with aggressive destruction and exploitation of the land and the places we live, keeps us in chains.
One of the many blessings in my life is the ability to build with wonderful agrarian folk who are dedicated to food and land justice through stewardship of the land, as well as, through organizing and community education work, which is required to mobilize folks onto the land within a liberatory framework. My communities in formation are Soil Generation and Black Dirt Farm Collective. We sit in community together to heal, grow, resist, love, and sustain each other through the work and in service to other Black and Brown communities because we deeply know and feel the link between the destruction of our mother earth and the exploitation and destruction of black and brown bodies.
2. What Just Transition work do you do in your community and region?
Soil Generation and Black Dirt Farm Collective, are a vital resource among Philadelphia and the mid-Atlantic’s land, environmental and food landscape. We recognize that modeling systems of power that are alternative to dominant ones, grows us as individuals and organizations, it prepares us for the future. Black and Brown leadership, and economic power is essential to forwarding these ideas, not as trends, but as essential foundational practices to grow historically disenfranchised communities out of their default position in a broken capitalist system. We see this as an expanded cycle of culture shifting, a just transition.
Because agroecology, and racial and economic justice are two of Soil Generation’s pillars, we have been studying cooperative business models and are piloting our first 2 business collectives; our “Agroecology School”, and a business administrative hub for our member organizations. We will continue to work with consultants and partners who have willingly dedicated their time and knowledge in business and cooperative development. These services will benefit the community with an understanding of the social and environmental impacts that threaten us, while providing living wage jobs and worker-owner opportunities, along with providing our member organizations with administrative services that better position them to be more sustainable. Ultimately we desire self-determined and reliant, earth-conscious, politically active, resource heavy, Black and Brown communities, economies and organizations.
3. Why are you excited to start your work with the CJA Steering Committee?
All the work that I do is interconnected and this experience at CJA will support my continued work by providing me with resources and networks to strategize for our ensuing growth, connectivity and successful movement forward.
4. Anything you'd like CJA membership to know?
I am really excited about this opportunity and to be a part of understanding and participating in a National Alliance that truly support grassroots organizing at the local level. To growing our understanding and practice of relationship building, allyship, and restorative justice, as well as racial, climate and economic justice. I look forward to building the future together!
string(845) "This training, hosted by the Reinvest in Our Power Workgroup of CJA, took place from May 16-19 at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center in Occidental, California, which is the territory of the Pomo and Coast Miwok (Federated Tribes of the Graton Rancheria). It was an orientation and exploration into the work of how we can finance our visionary Just Transition projects in a way that confronts capitalism and intervenes in the very nature of finance. Representatives from CJA member groups learned from each other about creating non-extractive revolving loan funds and engaging in other ways of financing JT projects, discussed how to support self-sustaining projects, such as worker and community owned cooperatives, and became familiar with the National Financial Cooperative that CJA has been actively involved in co-creating since 2014."
string(2438) "“...his overall plan falls short on specifics.”Washington, DC-- In response to Senator Michael Bennet’s (D-CO)recently released climate change plan, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) released the following statement:
“Colorado Senator Bennet’s plan to address the climate crisis includes some interesting ideas. However, his overall plan falls short on specifics.
“Addressing the climate crisis requires specific declarations including a commitment to a moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure, ending extractive practices like fracking once and for all, and rejecting false solutions such as carbon markets, carbon offsets and industrial carbon capture and sequestration.
And, given his plan’s emphasis on the protection and use of federal lands, CJA hopes that Sen. Bennet will be clear with all of us on where he stands on these issues, as well as the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples for all decisions that affect them and their traditional territories.
“Those hit first and worst by the climate crisis are everyday people who experience racism, sexism, economic disenfranchisement, disparities in education and lack of access to safe, non-toxic and affordable housing at the hands of some of the worst and wealthiest corporate actors and big oil barons.
“In order to effectively confront climate change without sacrificing communities on the frontlines, we must make a just transition towards more localized systems that are sustainable, resilient, and equitable. Based on Sen. Bennett’s plan, at this time, it does not appear that he is clear on the necessity of these critical details.
“We invite the Bennet campaign to look to the innovative projects and policies coming from frontline communities and city and state governments throughout the country. Many have already begun implementing genuinely safe and renewable solutions that ensure no communities are left behind.”
# # #
The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies."
string(3926) "Washington, DC-- In response to WA Governor Inslee's just released Evergreen Economy Plan, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and Washington-based CJA member group, Got Green released the following statements:STATEMENT FROM CLIMATE JUSTICE ALLIANCE: "Those most affected and disproportionately impacted by climate change overwhelmingly live and work in communities on the frontlines of climate-exacerbated disasters, industrial pollution and corporate loopholes. At the intersection of economic, social and racial injustice, our members work, create families and find ways to not simply survive, but thrive."That’s why our members, who represent the frontlines, continue to create and call for adequate solutions that address the speed and scale needed to tackle the multiple challenges they face in a way that is inclusive, intergenerational and effective. "We appreciate many aspects of Governor Inslee's plan that aim to address the legacy of environmental racism and economic disenfranchisement, which for decades has resulted in health problems, inadequate housing and hazardous jobs for our communities. However, we must urge him to go farther if the aim is to truly mitigate the effects of climate change and solve this crisis for good."Governor Inslee’s reference to workers and communities displaced through changes to the energy industry, along with a promise to build in just and fair standards for all workers, shows the kind of forward thinking the country needs to make the transition to a clean, renewable economy that leaves no one behind. "We believe the Inslee Campaign desires to implement real and effective climate solutions and invite his campaign to model the local and national efforts, led by members of the Climate Justice Alliance, rooted in equity and Just Transition, as a means to effectively address the quintessential social, economic and public health threats that accompany climate change."STATEMENT FROM GOT GREEN: "Governor Inslee’s net-zero approach to reducing carbon emissions does not completely hit the mark. We support reductions at the source of extraction, which are often located in Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities, along with manufacturing upgrades that reduce cumulative pollution and other carbon emissions. However, we are wary of the research and technology development designed to mitigate pollution if this includes carbon capture and storage techniques, which are both dangerous and unproven. The governor appears supportive of these methods, and this is something which we do not support using,” states Jill Mangaliman, Executive Director of Got Green, CJA member group. # # #The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies.
string(1620) "Washington, DC-- In response to Joe Biden's “middle of the ground” climate change policy currently being drafted by Joe Biden's 2020 campaign, the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) released the following statement:
"As it pertains to the climate crisis we have breached the point of peak incrementalism. The science simply does not allow for non-chalant, middle-of-the-road solutions when our survival is on the line.
For frontline communities, the situation is even more dire. In order for our movement to be successful and to build support, we need buy-in from all communities. That’s why our communities continue to push for creating and executing solutions that meet the scale of the climate crisis.
“We invite Biden and all lawmakers to model the local and national efforts, led by members of the Climate Justice Alliance, rooted in equity and Just Transition, as a means of effectively addressing the quintessential social, economic and public health threats that accompany climate change."
# # #
The Climate Justice Alliance is a growing member alliance of 67 urban and rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA is dedicated to building Just Transition away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies.
Check out the latest #ItTakesRoots video "Venceremos: One Struggle, Many Fronts" highlighting movement leaders from Brazil, Nigeria, Mozambique, Haiti, Mexico, Ecuador, and more in our shared struggles in defense of life and Mother Earth.
string(8994) "By Ananda Lee Tan (but not really)
If Game of Thrones were an allegory for climate change, and the Army of the Dead represented the forces of destruction causing this ecological crisis, then:
The White Walkers would be Multi-National Corporations (MNCs), whose zombie army represented the hordes of utility companies, bankers, government shills, venture capitalists, climate engineering firms, clean energy technology vendors and pollution traders advancing an agenda of climate capitalism.
House Lannister would be leaders of philanthropy, entrenched in their allegiance to the oppressive systems that created their wealth, while divided in their conscience and recognition that their wealth was stolen from the lands, lives and labor of others – folks who need it back, if the army of the dead is to be stopped.
Other Houses of the 7 kingdoms resemble various civil society clusters at large.
The Houses of High Garden, Dorne and the Baratheons resemble the Big Green NGOs, with varying degrees of loyalty and allegiance to Lannister wealth, their campaign goals and strategies guided by Lannister money. And these national and international NGOs often find themselves confronted by frontline communities, whom they sometimes side with when forced to reckon with the values, common sense and ecological knowledge of place-based power.
The Houses of the Riverlands and the Iron Islands are the associations of farmers and fisherfolk - salt of the earth and sea, whose loyalty to place and tradition is often manipulated to serve the needs of the MNCs, usually resulting in their own demise. However, when the day comes to take a final stand, there is no one else you’d rather have by your side.
The Kingdom of the Mountains and Vale appear to have the closest likeness to the House of Labor – who are deeply suspicious of the Lannisters and the non-profit complex that serves them. Like many International Unions, the Knights of the Vale are often wary of stepping outside the boundaries and comforts of their well-protected fortresses and towers, to serve the needs of those less fortunate and more vulnerable. However, when push comes to shove, these Knights will honor their commitments - stepping up in times of peril to respond to the call for solidarity.
This brings us to House Stark, the environmental justice movement - least favored or funded by the Lannisters; honor-bound by principles and often suffering the consequence of speaking inconvenient truth to those holding the purse-strings. This is a family that strives to remind itself that “protecting the realms of men” includes serving a deeper and more inclusive democracy – including all frontline communities, free-folk challenging imperialist borders and walls, slaves seeking liberation from the ruling class of Essos. And by diligently following principles of Inclusion, Bottom-up Organizing and Just Relations, House Stark can help align diverse formations – so that Dothraki and Unsullied, Wildlings and Crows can band together against the Night King’s armies.
Of course, Winterfell is not the only bastion of environmental justice but simply one amongst many metaphorical frontiers. For the long history of Dothraki struggle, or that of the Unsullied, and so many other movements of black, brown and Indigenous peoples are barely mentioned in this otherwise epic saga. And we cannot even begin to comprehend the root systemic drivers of climate change without examining the 500 + year war waged by European colonialism, or the role of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in building the foundations of the settler, colonial economy and concentrating the wealth of the fossil fuel corporations.
We cannot begin to unpack the complexity of the climate puzzle, without first understanding the historic struggles for Indigenous Sovereignty and Black Liberation, and connecting the dots between these struggles to the realities that Black, Brown, Indigenous and Migrant communities around the world continue to face today. For not only are these communities the first and most impacted by the storms, floods, fires and droughts brought on by climate change, they have historically suffered the most harm from the systemic pollution, poverty, police and prison violence deployed by the empires warming this planet.
It's no surprise that the thought-leadership and wisdom of the Dothraki tribes and the Unsullied warriors are not included at the war room tables and strategic high commands of the NGO elite, and that their forces are the first to be deployed in the fighting vanguard. While they have always been the front lines of defense for planetary survival, offering them up as poorly-equipped cannon-fodder is akin to trade-offs made at pollution policy tables where the NGO elite negotiate compromise and “Net Zero Common Sense” with the dead.
So many more likenesses abound, such as:
The Brotherhood without Banners - clearly Rising Tide renegades, anti-authoritarian trouble makers who bow to no king nor non-profit sigil, but willing to play undervalued, yet critical roles in standing with climate justice;
The Order of Maesters - scientists and scholars, many whom serve the MNCs, their markets and neoliberal ideologies, and a few whose integrity cannot be easily bought or sold;
Sellswords – consultants who serve the Lannisters one day, and then the Brotherhood the next – depending on who offers the weightiest purse or the most pleasurable company.
And, of course the Society of Faceless Men/Women - those operatives who work in the shadows; highly-skilled organizers who are not in the game for money, status, accolades or honorific titles - folks who get the work done quietly, behind-the-scenes, and in ways that avoid the gaze and detection of the white walkers. We could certainly use less “rock stars” and more unsung heroes like Arya Stark across our movements.
What becomes clear in the staging of this all-time greatest zombie apocalypse battle scene, is that however large a movement force we muster against the Corporate white walkers, and their armies of ecological collapse, we will never win…
We will never win if we rely on the false promises and resources of the Lannisters.
We will never win if we continue to neglect and sacrifice our best fighting forces, sending them out to face the full onslaught of winter with token flaming swords, and weak campaign strategies designed by elite war councils of privileged and inexperienced youth.
We will never win unless we center the thought leadership of those who best understand the forces of the dead; those who have struggled against the white walkers for centuries and have even succeeded, from time to time, at pushing back their advance without any support from the Lannisters or their NGO banner men.
We will never succeed in defeating the MNC white walkers without transferring the wealth and power of the seven kingdoms to serve the true needs of the frontlines of the crises, the communities who understand that dismantling hetero-patriarchy, white supremacy and capitalism are all essential components of a comprehensive battle plan against climate change.
And we will never win unless we develop a creative, holistic, collaborative and coordinated strategy that plays to everyone’s strengths and skills involved.
Unless we ensure that cavalry, infantry, dragons, catapults, burning trenches, valerian steel and dragon glass are all synchronized in their purpose - the forces of climate capitalism will remain far stronger in its unified goal of overwhelming and destroying us all
For in real life, what we need to say to the God of Death is “Not This Way”."
string(5356) "On Saturday, April 20, 2019, the Climate Justice Alliance partnered with Grassroots International, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and its Jamaica Plain Forum for the first Frontline-Centered and Black-woman led Green New Deal discussion in Massachusetts. The event, which was attended by approximately 350 Boston-area community members, was headlined by a discussion with IPS’s Director of the Jamaica Plain Forum and Special Donor Assistant at the New England Office, Anny Martinez, who curated, moderated and produced the event, Representative Ayanna Pressley, the first Black Congresswoman in Massachusetts history, and Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, a local climate justice leader and Associate Minister for Ecological Justice at the Boston-based Bethel AME Church.
The goals of the Town Hall included increasing awareness of the history of the climate justice movement and the myriad contributions it has brought (and is bringing) to this Green New Deal moment we find ourselves in. It also aimed to engender a discussion on the importance of local versions of the Green New Deal, similar to the Climate Mobilization Act, which was passed last week in New York City. Representative Pressley, for instance, stated, “We need states and cities to lean in more, this definitely needs to be a local process. We’re seeing this [the Green New Deal] on a local level from New York [City] to Boston right now. What we need to do to make this happen at the local level is organize like hell.”
A key theme evoked throughout the discussion was the need for a Green New Deal to include concerted equity goals. This point was compounded by a segment led by local frontline youth who shared some of these initiatives with the audience including a call for “Greater racial and economic equity,” that would “ensure disproportionate benefits of a Green New Deal would go to the working-class families and communities of color that have endured disproportionate economic and environmental hazards for decades.” Reverend Mariama elaborated on this point by sharing with participants a troubling history of the allocation of environmental benefits, like subsidies for solar, to majority white/affluent communities. She explained, “Massachusetts may be great on solar, but not in communities of color. All the subsidized solar is going to majority-white communities like Northampton and Wellesley - we need to talk about this and why communities of color can’t get subsidized solar.”
Before taking questions from the audience, both featured panelists agreed that addressing the climate crisis must operate through an intersectional lens because many of the existing oppressions, racial injustice, patriarchy and economic inequality, are inextricably linked to climate change. Reverend Mariama explained, “we have to talk about climate change in a way that we can also talk about mass incarceration – in a way that allows us to see the relationships between multiple struggles happening together.” Pressley added, “All of these things that are driving climate change are interconnected. That’s why we have to look through a lens of intersectionality and equity, or it won’t matter what we do.”
The major takeaway from this community forum was the need for more frontline leadership at the table for any Green New Deal process. Moving forward, it’s imperative that we build off of community-based, frontline-led victories at the local level, as well as years and decades of Indigenous/frontline wisdom that have brought us to this moment. The road to a Green New Deal was paved by the frontlines and must be traveled through a lens of Just Transition. This is what Climate Justice Alliance and its members mean by #LivingOurPower, and that’s exactly what was demonstrated on a lovely Spring day this past Saturday in Boston
We had the opportunity to sit down in discussion with Rev. Mariama following the event:
Note: CJA believes allowing for neoliberal constructs such as Net Zero emissions, which equate carbon emission offsets and technology investments with real emissions reductions at source, would only exacerbate existing pollution burdens on frontline communities. Such loopholes for carbon markets and unproven techno-fixes only serve to line the coffers of the polluting corporations, while increasing (not reducing) harm to our communities. We understand that our best chance for Just Transition would include a low energy transition that prioritizes real climate emission and co-pollutant reductions at source. It would center workers as well as, communities most impacted. This transition would not leave the door open for dirty energy like gas, nuclear, and incinerators for example to serve as bridge fuels or continue to dump, dig, burn up sacrifice zones often included in the definition of net zero goals.
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The CJA Member group The Alliance for Appalachia worked with Representative Raul M. Grijalva and the House Committee on Natural Resources, when the Congressman visited Mountain Top Removal sites in Virginia. Mountaintop removal mining severely damages public health and the environment. The House committee held a Congressional hearing on the ecological and health impacts of strip-mining in Central Appalachia today, on April 9, 2019:
We're encouraged that the committee is taking this step. Some familiar folks testified and shared their experiences including Donna Branham from Lenore, WV, Carl Shoupe from Kentuckians For The Commonwealth from Benham, KY and Michael McCawley from the School of Public Health at West Virginia University.
This morning, Climate Justice Allianceissued this statement to the New Consensus and its partners involved in moving forward the Green New Deal. CJA Steering Committee representatives, members, Indigenous and Environmental Justice allies demand that historic movement principles inform the policy development strategy for the Green New Deal.
"To this end, in order for us to continue in this process, we have four clear demands:
Disclose and maintain transparency in funding sources, current and emerging, and commit that funding directly to those most impacted, including frontline and base‑building organizing groups, alliances and networks for the development of policy priorities and language;
Clearly outline who New Consensus is accountable to and who it works for; and why is there redundancy, going into communities where work is already being done when the country is vast and there are so many other places where there isn’t yet consensus;
Commit to New Consensus’ participation in a strategy meeting with CJA and allied frontline partners in order to move our collective conversation and possible relationship forward, we would ask that a MOA be entered into between New Consensus and CJA frontlines.”
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string(967) "Thousands of families and communities in North Carolina are reeling from the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Florence. As those hardest hit by the storm are dealing with threats to their immediate and long-term survival, the CJA member group North Carolina Climate Justice Collective partners with frontline communities across the state for a Just Recovery from Hurricane Florence, which requires systemic transformation that centers community well-being, environmental justice and long term resilience."
string(4254) "The Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance effectively change the conversation around carbon pricing, with the launch of the report Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance at COP23 in Bonn, Germany. Carbon market systems will not mitigate climate change, will not advance adaptation strategies, will not serve the most vulnerable communities facing climate change impacts and only protect the fossil fuel industry and corporations from taking real climate action.
IEN, GAIA, Rising Tide and other founding CJA members have historically framed EJ opposition to false, corporate climate solutions. Starting with our opposition to a range of pollution trading initiatives (e.g. UN Clean Development Mechanism [the Kyoto Protocol's carbon trading and offsets program], 2010 Waxman Markey Cap & Trade Bill and the California Global Warming Solutions Act) to fighting corporate climate technologies such as waste and biomass incinerator proposals, or CCS (Carbon Capture & Sequestration) projects on the ground, CJA members have played a leading role in raising global awarness around the risks and follies associated with such profiteering schemes, especially where these schemes have been generated by the same corporations causing climate change.
Some contributions worth noting include:
Hoodwinked in the Hothouse - one of the first popular education booklets covering the range of market-based mechanisms and corporate technologies being falsely promoted as climate solutions
In summary, no pollution trading initiatives around the world have been able to demonstrate measurable efficacy in reducing emissions, and in most cases have served to perversely increase them while creating further problems with increased pollution and poverty among communities on the frontlines. This is the most recent report, produced by IEN and CJA, looking at the the various risks and threats created by carbon pricing measures currently in play, or being considered.
string(529) "In the Fall of 2013, CJA penned an open letter from our members and allied EJ group to the leadership of the AFL-CIO, asking the labor movement to join hands with is in our struggle for climate justice, fighting corporate power, deepening democracy, organizing a Just Transition and building a new economy led by workers and communities.
CJA Letter to AFL-CIO Convention, 2013"
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On the two days following the People’s Climate March, CJA hosted the People’s Climate Summit & Tribunal across the street from the United Nations, where the “official” UN Climate Summit was taking place. Over 50 CJA members and allies, including local frontline community leaders, farmers, coal miners, and Indigenous representatives from around the world provided public testimony on the importance of place-based, frontline community leadership in tackling climate change. The event was livestreamed, with at least 150 viewers watching at all times. Hundreds of people passed through the People’s Climate Summit, which provided a respite for “official” delegates, to relax and learn from grassroots movement leaders.
Peoples’ Climate Summit presentations can be viewed here: http://goo.gl/XW4Zfl
string(766) "Thousands of people took to the street for the second ever People’s Climate March. The effort was organized by the coalition formed from the 2014 People’s Climate March, which brought over 400,000 people to the streets of New York City and many more around the world.
The April 29th march came in response to widespread outrage against President Trump’s disastrous anti-climate agenda – including his executive orders advancing the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines – as well as his attacks on healthcare, immigrants, and programs and policies that improve the lives of all U.S. residents. The event capped off 100 days of action to fight Trump’s proposals to reverse climate action, dismantle the government and hand over power to the 1%."
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To build a rooted foundation for our vision of a Just Transition, CJA identified seven pilot sites to strategize and grapple with what it means to make Just Transition real on the ground. The pilot sites were anchored by long-standing EJ organizations, including APEN & CBE (Richmond, CA), EMEAC (Detroit, MI), Cooperation Jackson (Jackson, MS), BMWC (Black Mesa, AZ), KFTC (Eastern Kentucky), SWU (San Antonio, TX), and PODER (San Francisco, CA). CJA held four convenings over two years where frontline organizers shared lessons, discussed strategies and challenges, and laid the foundation for a set of Just Transition Principles and curriculum tools.
string(1269) "On May 9-11, 2018, CJA held our second Just Transition Finance Training at the Voluntown Peace Trust near Providence, Rhode Island. 38 people representing 18 CJA member organizations and staff spent three days grappling with the question of how to concretely finance, support and build the local economies we need for our communities and for our planet.
Members shared stories about their work, unpacked our relationships to money finance and debt, and created space to imagine and plan for a world where communities collectively control and retain wealth, rather than the wealthy controlling and extracting from our communities. Most importantly, we continued to build meaningful relationships across communities that inspire us and feed us in our work to transform our economies and create a Just Transition.
From the training, we identified several groups interested in creating local loan funds and gathered information about specific just transition enterprises folks are building. We also identified potential leaders who we could invite to join the loan fund & incubator committee."
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The It Takes Roots Alliance, representing 150 organizations nationwide, joined together with the Ruckus Society at Wildseed Farm in Millerton, New York from June 1-5, 2018 to train nearly one hundred leaders, organizers and community members - many from disaster impacted areas such as Puerto Rico, Houston and Northern California - in direct action, climate disaster survival skills, and community resilience. Check out videos from the camp, camp photos and images from the climbing training.
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The member groups of the Climate Justice Alliance converged in March 2019 for the 3rd CJA Member Convening. The convening with the theme Living Our Power, was hosted by CJA member group SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), and intricately weaved together cultural organizing, transformative healing, deep relationship building, and honoring the leadership of communities of color and Indigenous Peoples in Environmental and Climate Justice, while simultaneously practicing self-governance and advancing strategy development of the alliance. Check out photos from the convening and the live stream video from the plenary: “Centering Indigenous Peoples & Frontline Communities in Local to Federal Climate Policy.”
As advocates of Just Transition, a group of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) members in the northeast concerned with the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) and its process decided to convene fellow CJA member organizations throughout the region. The Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) describes itself as a regional collaboration of 12 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia that seeks to improve transportation, develop the clean energy economy and reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector. The participating states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. The Georgetown Climate Center has been leading the TCI effort to coordinate these states on a regional approach to cleaner transportation since 2010. TCI has yet to land on a policy mechanism and investment model; however, the debate is quickly gaining traction and conversations are unfolding without input from environmental justice and frontline groups.
CJA member groups met on January 30th to discuss the policy agenda and decided to publish a set of equity principles that outline how TCI conveners, along with government supporters, should engage with environmental justice, low-income, and frontline communities of color in the northeast.
Our concerns are:
TCI seems to be guided by stakeholders with interests in a cap-and-invest model, which in truth is a cap-and-trade-and-invest scheme similar to RGGI.
Governors throughout the region –Democratic and Republican—have either demonstrated support or made positive statements about TCI.
The Georgetown Climate Center released a report summarizing the outcomes of the regional listening sessions that does not accurately reflect all of the input provided by stakeholders who attended. Many concerns and input brought forth by grassroots and community stakeholders were not included as part of the report.
Our Climate Justice Equity Principles for the Transportation and Climate Initiative follows.
Climate Justice Equity Principles for the Transportation & Climate InitiativePreamble: The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)is a growing member alliance of 68 urban & rural frontline communities, organizations and supporting networks in the climate justice movement. CJA formed in 2013 to create a new center of gravity in the climate movement by uniting frontline communities and organizations. Our translocal organizing strategy and mobilizing capacity builds Just Transitions away from extractive systems of production, consumption and political oppression, and towards resilient, regenerative and equitable economies. We believe the transition process must place race, gender and class at the center of solutions equations to make them true Just Transitions. We are locally, tribally, and regionally-based organizations of Indigenous Peoples, African American, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and poor white communities who share legacies of racial and economic oppression and social justice organizing.Principles: We, the undersigned member organizations of the Northeast contingent of the Climate Justice Alliance, propose the following principles for a just and equitable path that any regional transportation climate initiative (TCI) must reflect:
NE states with longstanding local transportation equity campaigns (such as New York City’s push for congestion pricing) – or other broader climate justice campaigns embedded with significant transportation policies (such as NY’s Climate & Community Protection Act) - must not be overridden, undermined, superseded, or otherwise evaded by a regional, multi-state pact. TCI should be used to support and expand – not supplant – visionary local transportation and equitable funding responsibilities, goals and initiatives intended to reduce emissions in just ways.
Any proposals for polluter penalty fees or climate-based taxes must be coupled with a 100% emissions reduction target – along with generated revenues committed to adequately funding “just transition” initiatives from low-income, environmental justice and frontline communities of color that seek to finance relief from the disproportionate burdens of transportation emissions while providing support to workers displaced by the shift to a renewable energy economy. Investment of new revenues must be prioritized to:
Low-income, frontline, environmental justice communities and communities of color that have been historically overburdened by the impact of the fossil fuel economy;
Electrification of public transportation infrastructure including school buses;
Public sector and public jobs keeping public dollars public.
Both TCI conveners and their governmental partners must meet with NE representatives of the Climate Justice Alliance before proceeding any further to ensure fair, authentic and transparent consultation with low-income, environmental justice and frontline communities of color that are disproportionately vulnerable and burdened by transportation emissions, severe weather events and climate change impacts writ large. Despite TCI conversations and funding dating back to 2010, it was only in 2018 that “listening sessions” were first initiated – mostly in state capitals or other locations that are inconvenient to frontline communities, with little to no cultural or linguistic outreach or engagement competence, and during the work day. Furthermore, specific recommendations from the few environmental justice and frontline communities able to mobilize were largely ignored and not included in the official “TCI Listening Session Summary Report” issued on November 14, 2018.
In addition to the equity principles outlined above, any policy measures outlined by TCI must:
Ensure no disproportionate impacts on vulnerable populations/protected classes;
Promote racial, gender, cultural and intergenerational equity and justice;
Advance opportunity by putting people at the center. There should be a public and transparent process that goes beyond engaging with CJA;
Implement meaningful accountability measures to the public.
Considering the lack of process and accountability to low-income, environmental justice and frontline communities in the Northeast, the undersigned do not support the TCI as it stands. As CJA members supporting a “Just Transition”, we stand for solutions to the climate crisis that address systemic racism and the needs and demands of the grassroots, environmental justice, indigenous, low-income and frontline communities across the nation.Signed by:Angela Adrar; Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance Cynthia Mellon; Climate Justice Policy Coordinator, Climate Justice AllianceElizabeth Yeampierre; Executive Director, UPROSEEddie Bautista; Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance (NYC-EJA)Lee Matsueda; Political Director, Alternatives for Community and Environment (ACE)María López-Nuñez; Director of Environmental Justice, Ironbound Community Corporation Basav Sen; Climate Justice Project Director, Institute for Policy Studies Sharon Lewis; Executive Director, Connecticut Coalition for Economic and Environmental Justice (CCEEJ)Sarah Levy; Transit & Environmental Justice Organizer, GreenRoots
string(4649) "The CJA In-District Advocacy Days are an opportunity to ensure members of Congress hear from and begin a conversation and consultation with frontline community leaders. Face-to-Face meetings and building relationships with Members of Congress are critical in shifting the narrative and ensuring frontline community solutions are seen as viable pathways forward to the climate crisis.
Photos and Video
Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube etc. to amplify the work that you are doing during the CJA Advocacy Days and spread the word to your organization’s base, to your friends, family, and co-workers, as well as to your elected oﬃcials and the local media.
Visuals are engaging. At the end of your meeting take a group photo with your Representative or their staff and share it on social media. You can also ask them to record a short video with you. You don’t have to be a professional videographer or even have a high end camera to record an effective social media video message with your Representative, a good cell phone camera recorded horizontally is all you need. Ask them to say a bit about the importance of frontline communities and local groups in your community leading the way to solutions to climate change and environmental racism and inequality.
Make sure to to use the hashtags #CJAOurPower, #GreenNewDeal and #JustTransition and tag your legislators on Facebook. Use their official Twitter handles when you tweet to make sure they see your posts; twitter is the platform influencers use most!
You can find a list of Twitter handles for members of the U.S. House of Representatives here.
Below are some social media examples that members used earlier this month when meeting with Members of Congress in Washington, D.C.:
Before You Leave
Ask for the contact information of the Communications aide in the Congressional office that you are visiting and follow up with a request to share or retweet your posts about your meeting. Members of Congress will appreciate being highlighted meeting with constituents over social media so ask them to amplify your posts!
Keep Us Posted! Tag @CJAOurPower and let us know of your Just Transition advocacy efforts by sharing your story, pictures, videos, and links with us, documenting your involvement for Climate Justice. Don’t forget in any posts use these hashtags: ##CJAOurPower, #GreenNewDeal and #JustTransition
Congress is Listening
Congressional oﬃces are integrating social media tools into their operations to better understand constituents’ opinions.
• Nearly two-thirds of Congressional staﬀ surveyed (64%) think Facebook is an important way to understand constituents’ views.
•Nearly three-quarters (74%) think it is important for communicating their Member’s views.
Source: Congressional Management Foundation
The Media is Listening Too
• 89% of reporters look to blogs and 65% are using social networks for stories.
• Reporters will often turn to social media and dive into “hash tags” to ﬁnd quotes and real-time information on an issue or event.
• Social media posts are a great way for them to ﬁnd leads and see emerging trends and topics develop.
• Social platforms help them look for new sources or people who are actually at an event - and sometimes use photos or videos submitted."
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string(19692) "By Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice AllianceFramed by corruption and crisis, 2018 was a year that felt like walking through a long dark tunnel. Fascism, white nationalism, and family separations are on the rise. Yet, 2018 was also a year where millions organized in visionary opposition to these urgent crises and shifted the story of what is possible. These powerful and local victories showed us the undeniable promise of community-rooted power and solidarity-in-action. This promise lights our collective pathway forward into 2019. Below, are some of CJA's brightest moments from 2018. They reflect our commitment to frontline community leadership. We are fighting for a world that is rooted in dignity and collective power. We could not have done this work without you! Your support, active participation, and personal advocacy continues to advance our collective agenda. Continue supporting CJA in the new year and be part of our bold and visionary solidarity-in-action!Expanding Our Power Communities & Just Transition Regional Hubs CJA Our Power Communities (OPCs) are organizing to transform extractive economic systems into local alternatives that serve the needs of communities and workers. CJA members UPROSE, Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Community to Community Development, Got Green, and the Indigenous Environmental Network are expanding and anchoring such possibilities with regional Just Transition organizing hubs. Meanwhile, OPCs like the Southwest Workers Union continue to write the story of what Just Transition look like today on the ground, creating space to dream even bigger for the future. Across 2018, CJA organized and supported seven national gatherings where leadership from frontline communities discussed Just Transition strategies for local, living, caring, and sharing economies led by communities and workers.The most recent of these convenings—the Black 2 Just Transition Training & Assembly in Detroit—was co-hosted by Our Power Community and regional hub East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) in November. The Assembly centered on Black liberation and leadership. Over 80 Black organizers from across the country gathered to train and build new pathways towards justice, equity, and freedom. Strategies for solidarity and alignment on Just Transition in the Midwest were lifted up. The Assembly ended with a discussion on next steps to grow Black leadership across our movements, guided by lessons and guidance from our Environmental Justice community roots. Learn more here!Black 2 Just Transition Training, DetroitGaining Ground and Scaling Out Energy DemocracyThe vision and principles of Energy Democracy are changing the discourse of climate action and solutions across the U.S. From coast to coast, CJA members are shifting the story from being dependent on corporate technologies and market-based policies that concentrate profits for a few, to frontline community-led solutions that benefit all. The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) program officially started this August! SOMAH was co-sponsored by CJA member California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) in 2015 and continues to be a bright spot demonstrating what Just Transition and Energy Democracy can look like. SOMAH will make solar energy accessible to more than 150,000 low-income families at over 2,000 affordable housing properties. Our members Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Communities for a Better Environment, and People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) have been working to ensure this program reaches communities for whom it was designed.On the east coast, CJA member UPROSE (Brooklyn’s oldest Latino community-based organization) is co-creating one of the first cooperatively-owned urban power supply stations in the nation. Sunset Park, a waterfront neighborhood in Brooklyn, will soon have an 80,000-square-foot rooftop solar garden that will be community owned. You can read more about this extraordinary project here.UPROSE’s Executive Director, Elizabeth Yeampierre, sums up their vision: “This is the whole idea of a Just Transition. We want to move toward local, livable communities where people actually own the infrastructure that will help them thrive economically, and not have to depend on fossil fuel.”Down South, CJA member Another Gulf is Possible shows us we can survive without fear of each other and we can live in balance with our natural resources, our land, and our water. This video proves liberation is love.A JUST TRANSITION COMES IN MANY FORMS Reinvesting in Our Communities and a Just TransitionThrough our Reinvest in Our Power efforts, CJA works toward both divestment from the extractive economy and reinvestment in community.We are thrilled to have officially launched the CJA Our Power Loan Fund this year! The loan fund’s purpose is to bring technical assistance and non-extractive financing to Just Transition projects, to support the creation of local loan funds, and to provide political and popular education that build community capacity to govern community wealth. The first round of prioritized Just Transition projects and potential loan recipients are supported by the following CJA members. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with these emerging and visionary enterprises:
A worker-owned cooperative led by black, formerly incarcerated and queer farmers and natural builders that offers green infrastructure and forestry using holistic and sustainable practices. They also promote small scale holistic agriculture among people of color.
A land-based center of cooperative living, working and movement-building based in self-sustainable farming, education, and healing of low-income immigrant/Indigenous communities of color and other oppressed people internationally who are working towards their emancipation.
Campesino Gardens are farmworker community gardens, led by female farmworkers who are mostly immigrants from latin america, and their families. Members and extended families of the coop have access to processed and unprocessed products for free. The surplus will be sold to sponsors who are bi-weekly buyers with annual or quarterly subscriptions of the garden.
CoCoSa’s mission is to develop a farmworker owned and governed community land trust. They plan to do this through local participatory democracy so that 25% of their local economy in Whatcom County comes from cooperatives.
Donate to CJA to support a shift in community-led Just Transition strategies.Loan Fund MeetingWorking toward Food Sovereignty Nearly a quarter of CJA’s membership are practicing Food Sovereignty as an essential part of a Just Transition vision. Through Agroecology—a science, practice, and movement centered on growing food in harmony with ecological systems—CJA members are reclaiming traditional and cultural farming knowledge, rebuilding local food systems, and asserting their rights to land and capital in order to farm sustainably and feed their communities. In contrast to healthy, sustainable food systems, CJA member Farmworker Association of Florida has raised public awareness on the the challenges that farmworkers face at the intersections of immigrant rights, rising temperatures, climate disasters, and health and safety conditions under industrial agriculture. Another highlight around Food Sovereignty and Agroecology practices came from our member Organización Boricuá in Puerto Rico. One year after Hurricane María made landfall, many families continue to face uphill battles in achieving a true and Just Recovery of their homes and livelihoods. Amidst this chaos, Boricuá has organized a network of Agroecology support brigades across the islands (as well as provided direct funds), which helped numerous communities recover from impacts of the storm much faster due to the resilient production of a diversity of crops.Demanding Just Recovery Approaches in the Face of Bigger and More Frequent Climate DisastersLate 2017 and all through 2018, we were witness to unprecedented climate disasters with little to no government assistance. Houston, Puerto Rico, North Carolina,and Florida are still recovering from these storms. In supporting our members in their recovery efforts, CJA was able leverage its power as an alliance. Action Solidarity has been a powerful strategy that builds both resilience and community capacity to bear the onslaught of disaster capital, predatory pricing, and shameful land grabs. CJA member Movement Generation shows us how Just Recovery resists disaster capitalism at every step.Through our Just Recovery work, and specifically the OurPowerPR campaign,we have witnessed and experienced the efficacy of people-to-people solutions—to rebuild and reconstruct communities guided by principles of Environmental Justice, while simultaneously calling for a break in rebuilding forms of extraction and challenging the various forms of systemic oppressions we face on a daily basis. Building the Bigger WeIn partnership with allied progressive movements, CJA builds bridges across sectors, issues, and geography to support an intersectional approach in forming a truly regenerative economy. We call it Building the Bigger We. In early September, as part of It Takes Roots, we organized Solidarity 2 Solutions Week in San Francisco where we successfully challenged the corporate climate scams being promoted at California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). We mobilized, marched, and took mass direct action to expose disaster capitalist schemes like pollution trading and forest carbon offsets. We shared place-based knowledge to further Just Transition strategies in energy democracy, Indigenous land rights, food sovereignty, zero waste, public transportation, universal healthcare, affordable housing, and ecosystem restoration. We drew a clear line in the sand—between the billions of dollars of public subsidies offered to multinational corporations to continue destroying the planet and the community-led frontline solutions capable of tackling the ecological crises. In doing so, we broke through the media in bigger and more exciting ways than ever before.We are shifting the global climate debate toward the arc of justice. The lines we drew are unveiling reputational risk for investors who are now questioning their previous interest in carbon markets and corporate technology schemes.What’s next?In late March, CJA will host its Member Convening in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 28-30, 2019. We’ll gather, celebrate, and collectively plan for 2020 and beyond. There are looming battles on geoengineering, multiple dirty energy infrastructure conflicts, as well as emergent opportunities to inform progressive initiatives like the Green New Deal, in which CJA members will have a voice. We will continue to be bold and visionary in 2019. We look forward to deepening and accelerating our work on making Just Transition real on the ground. Time is urgent. Become a monthly supporter to CJA and be part of the solution!The strength of CJA is measured by the interconnected strength of us all.
string(9525) "By Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance
Solidarity is not a passive act. It’s an intentional practice and a powerful strategy for our collective liberation. Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) Just Transition Regional Hubs (Regional Hubs) are the newest expression of CJA’s mission to lift up frontline community solutions in order to shift economic systems back to the people and the planet. The goals of the seven Regional Hubs, which are anchored by eight core CJA members, are to 1) popularize the Just Transition framework; 2) support local and regional Just Transition projects and policies; and 3) build out CJA membership regionally. They are building frontline power by connecting local struggles, strengthening community resilience through shared leadership, and embodying a collective vision of systemic change.Right now, you can directly support CJA members—Got Green and Community to Community Development (C2C)—who represent the Pacific Northwest Regional Hub (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho). Founded in 2003 and based in rural, northern Washington, Community to Community Development’s work is informed by the community organizing model of Cesar Chavez, the principles of the World Social Forum, and the values of ecofeminism. C2C is dedicated a Just Transition shifting justice for food sovereignty and immigrants’ rights. They were the first to negotiate a deal for minimum wage for immigrant farmworkers and continue to develop a powerful cooperative with Familias Unidas por la Justicia, the first farmworker union in Washington since 1986. Got Green was founded in 2008 as a program to provide home weatherization job training to workers of color in South Seattle, which linked labor, affordable housing, racial justice, and climate change. In 2016, Got Green co-chaired the City of Seattle’s Environment and Equity Initiative task force. This strategic organizing lead to a resolution to create Green Pathways for young workers of color. Just this year, they organized the "Just Transition Express" for It Takes Roots Solidarity to Solutions Summit in San Francisco to challenge the market-based approach of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) which ensured the voices of youth of color were heard.Both Got Green and C2C are founding members of Front and Centered, a statewide coalition that centers frontline communities of color in partnership with labor, mainstream environmentalists, and public health advocates on Climate Justice policies. Most recently, C2C and Got Green worked together on Initiative 1631, a statewide progressive carbon revenue fee (as in those that have more, pay more—or in this case those that pollute more, pay more). The language and outcomes of Initiative 1631 were drafted by Front and Centered. Although the measure didn’t pass, they strengthened strategic relationships to influence the narrative on equitable climate change solutions by organizing around Just Transition principles. For more on why carbon pricing schemes don't advance goals to reduce carbon emissions click here.Nothing beats personal relationships. The industry-backed strategy of No on 1631 relied on stoking economic fears and dominating the conversation through aggressive television commercials.Got Green and C2C countered with their own messaging: “Not Here, Not Anywhere,” which recognized that Washington didn’t want to contribute to unhealthy air anywhere. Click here to read more about why carbon pricing schemes don’t advance goals to reduce carbon emissions. Got Green and C2C, along with other Front and Centered partners, actively showed up in their neighborhoods to talk about Climate Justice in a way that centered long-term community health and well-being. The result of these personal and ongoing conversations expanded the dominant Climate Justice narrative in Washington. In Bellingham, this solidarity resulted in a mainstream environmental organization changing how they talked about Environmental Justice. C2C helped bring in a class and race analysis that shifted how they think about who gets to make decisions, and more importantly what are the right solutions for communities most impacted by environmental injustices. Now when this organization talks about water and land, they include farmworker and immigrant perspectives. Investments in relationship building will stick longer than any 30-second commercial. This is why scaling Just Transition popular education trainings and grassroots organizing is so important. Change comes from organizing and struggling, together.Your direct support and solidarity with Got Green and Community to Community Development ensures that these critical conversations continue to create substantive change. Movement building is a process...with impact.There’s still more work to do. As members of CJA, Got Green and C2C find valuable support within the alliance. Younger organizers appreciate the opportunities from CJA to grow together and learn from each other. CJA creates community for organizers of color to share how hard it is to be seen and heard in predominantly white environmental spaces. Intentional coordination around mutual solidarity allows Regional Hubs to see how others are doing similar work. This powerful translocal organizing not only benefits a regional vision for Just Transition, but it also signals to the rest of the country that there is hope in the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Midwest, in Indian Country and beyond. By moving us away from industrialized agriculture toward Food Sovereignty and away from capitalism to a Solidarity Economy, CJA’s members are creating possibility for equitable and new relationships of power. You can support Got Green and Community to Community Development's strategic rural to urban organizing today. You are not alone in wanting healthy food, safe neighborhoods, and affordable housing. Together, we have the ability to take care of our families while contributing to a more just world. Become a monthly supporter to CJA to generate hope and solidarity in your region.
string(19095) "Click here for news coverage and updates about CJA and the Green New Deal
Updated: December 11, 2018
A Call for Special Attention to Highly Impacted Communities Leading a Just TransitionWhat is the Climate Justice Alliance?The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) is a growing alliance, currently linking 68 community organizations, movement networks, and support organizations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico to unite under Just Transition strategies. CJA’s inter-generational constituencies are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latinx, Asian Pacific Islander, and poor white communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. They share legacies of colonialism, racial and economic oppression, along with rich histories of environmental, economic and social justice organizing. CJA believes thatin order to effectively confront the climate crisis, we must transition our priorities from global systems of production and consumption that are energy intensive and fossil fuel dependent to more localized systems that are sustainable, resilient, and regenerative. The transition itself, however, must be just. What is the Green New Deal (GND)?The GND is a proposal recently put forth by Congressional Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and currently supported by 18 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. It comes on the heels of the midterm election where Democrats won the majority in the House as well as the election of a number of self-proclaimed Democratic Socialists. Building off of energy from the demonstrations in Nancy Pelosi’s office by the youth of the Sunrise Movement, the GND, at this stage, has been presented as a call for the establishment of a House Select Committee that would be charged with “developing a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan for the transition of the United States economy to become carbon neutral.” It also aims to “significantly draw down and capture greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and ... promote economic and environmental justice and equality.”(1)The GND is the first time in many years that a proposal of this type has been presented by a number of members of a major U.S. political party. It proposes to tackle climate change and inequality simultaneously, while revolutionizing conditions for workers. It is a much needed aggressive national pivot away from climate denialism to climate action with large scale federal legislative and budgetary implications.Support for the GND with Special Attention to Frontline CommunitiesThe Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) has been organizing a Just Transition toward a regenerative economy for years and therefore presently supports the call for a new economic plan for the U.S. which could come from a Green New Deal. This GND must be innovative, bold, audacious and still be just—for example, creating meaningful, family and community supporting work for the 6.4 million workers currently employed in the energy sector, alongside workers in related fields such as construction and housing, food and farming, waste management, transportation, water and ecosystem stewardship.(2) Simultaneously, this transition must be just for communities that live on the frontlines of extractive and toxic, polluting industries, and who have been putting forth local solutions that can be scaled for the benefit of a new economy for all. The GND Needs to Be, Above All Else, a Tool to Build Grassroots PowerSupport for the initiative is growing among members of the U.S. House of Representatives. However, signing on to the project will require elected representatives to think outside of the normally accepted economic, social, industrial, and commercial parameters. If the midterm election has demonstrated anything, it is that grassroots organizing is at the root of successful policy initiatives and there is still much to learn from local and municipal power-building strategies. For Indigenous-Native grassroots members of CJA, it is the strengthening of community-based and tribal leadership, and Indigenous, place-based strategies, that are critical for the foundations of such a large-scale initiative. CJA welcomes the GND as an opportunity to work creatively with many sectors and communities within CJA that have been transitioning to a regenerative economy using community-led strategies such as zero-waste, sustainable agriculture, energy democracy, land and water stewardship, affordable housing, and localized clean energy. All of which work to center the creation of local jobs and support for the families of workers and communities most impacted. Background and Process: A Word of CautionThe proposal for the GND was made public at the grasstops level. When we consulted with many of our own communities, they were neither aware of, nor had they been consulted about the launch of the GND. In 2009, the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) was rushed through Congress by U.S. House Representatives Waxman and Markey, in partnership with a number of Green groups. The bill included the problematic aspect of Cap and Trade and was done with very little frontline and community consultation. This led to both disengagement on the part of working class peoples and frontline communities, and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in support for the legislation, which never gained enough momentum to pass the Senate. (SeeOne Sky Letter response from the Grassroots).The process for achieving any new deal cannot be conducted in the same old way, in which power, privilege, and money trump communities’ needs, well-being, and democratic rights. Business cannot be first in line to be consulted and receive benefits from this Green New Deal. Strengths of the Current GND PlatformThere is much that is good in the draft text for beginning such a deal, and some areas are particularly strong. The proposal to finance the GND with public funds, including public banks, can be an innovative measure if we are able to use the lessons learned from municipal banks and credit unions to assure that financing for the GND does not become a corporate give-away. Linking a climate proposal with measures to end poverty and unemployment is provocative and forward thinking. In its emphasis on eliminating poverty, the GND proposal calls for a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one, basic income programs, and universal health care. It speaks of mitigating “deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth.” As part of this mitigation, prioritizing federal and other investments to be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low income, de-industrialized or marginalized communities, is essential. This includes tribes and their grassroots communities disproportionately impacted by U.S. government facilitated fossil fuel and mineral development. Making these goals explicit at the outset is a good start.A Green New Deal MUST:Center a Just TransitionA whole-society approach to climate change must be centered on a Just Transition for communities and workers as we move beyond the existing extractive and fossil fuel-driven economy. The GND states that the plan will create jobs in many sectors of a new economy which includes moving to 100% renewable energy, building an energy-efficient “smart” grid, updating residential and commercial buildings to make them energy efficient, and decarbonizing industry. A deep decarbonization approach that applies an environmental and social justice lens without carbon markets, offsets and emissions trading regimes or geoengineering technologies, needs to be embraced. A Just Transition coupled with a commitment to Just Recovery and Rebuilding, community-driven Climate Action plans through block grants earmarked for community-based organizations, and community development funds would go even further to repair historical harm and center community innovation for water, land, air, and energy resources, in both urban and rural areas, including Indian Country. Support the Rights of WorkersThe GND should restore the right to organize, collectively bargain, and engage in concerted action on the job. It should guarantee the Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly in the workplace, restore the right to strike and guarantee the right to a safe and healthy work environment. The GND should provide a fair and Just Transition for workers whose jobs may be threatened by economic change. It should also establish fair labor standards, building on the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which provided minimum wages, limited the hours of work, and instituted other protections for workers. It should establish strong state and local prevailing wage laws and encourage industry-wide bargaining. It should also establish a “buy fair” procurement policy. The GND should provide incentives for quality jobs that ensure family-sustaining wages and benefits, the right to form a union and engage in collective bargaining free of intimidation and reprisal, hiring opportunities for workers in disadvantaged communities, training and careers, and building up local economies which would also apply in Indian Country. Go Beyond Carbon Neutral to Include All Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Co-PollutantsThe GND focuses on becoming carbon neutral but does not address the supply side of economics. The climate crisis is a symptom of a deeper crisis, manifested in the prevailing “dig, burn, dump” economy. A Just Transition should be based on a regenerative economy that would advance ecological resilience, reduce resource consumption, restore biodiversity and shift us away from an economy based on extraction. This new economy would be based on living in balance with natural systems and bring them into line with ecological limits and the common sense science of planetary boundaries. It would put an end to the practices that have turned low-income communities, communities of color, and lands and territories of Indian Country into environmental sacrifice zones.Support Renewable Energy, Not Just “Clean Energy”We support the goal of achieving truly clean, renewable, and sustainable energy. Clean energy is energy that will not result in new net pollution or toxic materials, including co-pollutants emitted through extraction, production and distribution. Renewable energy is energy that comes from sources that are naturally regenerated over a short period of time (as opposed to the 300 million years required for fossil fuels). It is derived directly or indirectly from the sun or natural movements and mechanisms of the environment and is appropriate in scale to work symbiotically with its ecological surroundings. For this reason, we support renewable energy over energy that is merely characterized as “clean.” We do not support the use of large-scale biofuel, biomass, mega-hydro dams, nuclear energy, or energy derived from burning waste. Denounce Climate Geoengineering as a False Promise We reject all forms of geoengineering/climate manipulation as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS), carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS), bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), biochar, solar radiation management and similar false promises. These expensive strategies perpetuate harm to human and ecological health, extend our dependence on the extraction of fossil fuels, and divert resources that would be better deployed to transforming our energy system to clean, renewable, and community-owned solutions.Reinvest in Community Controlled and Cooperative EnterprisesIn order to support building local community wealth that is democratically governed rather than extracting wealth from communities for the benefit of a few, financing must be non-extractive. We strongly support the development of local non-extractive and regenerative loan funds that support the building of sustainable, community-benefitting, local economies. A Just Transition must redefine “returns” and “risks” to mean that risks are measured by the degradation of our communities and ecological systems, and returns on investment are measured by the stability and health of our communities and planet. Reinvestment projects must restore vital resources that are essential to the survival of human communities back to the common people.Ensure Free, Prior and Informed Consent by Indigenous Peoples Proposals in the GND may include changes to infrastructure that will most definitely traverse tribal lands and territories in Indian Country. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) must be upheld and implemented, along with treaties, instruments and decisions of international law that recognize that Indigenous Peoples have the right to give “free, prior and informed consent” to legislation and development of their lands, natural resources, energy development, climate change, cultural properties and heritage, and other interests, and to receive remedies of losses and damages of property taken without consent. The rights to self-determination of the original peoples of these lands of the United States cannot be sacrificed exclusively for new energy or economic policy.Develop a GND Process NOW That is Transparent, Inclusive, and DemocraticWe call on the GND to include frontline, climate affected communities at all stages, from the earliest planning stages through the delivery of programs. Jobs and resources generated for and from the GND should be directed first to frontline, climate impacted communities, including tribes and tribal communities in order to: provide job training and development, rebuild and improve infrastructure, restore ecologically damaged neighborhoods, communities, lands and waters, ensure climate adaptation, and redress historic environmental harms. This process should be guided by the communities themselves, since they are in the best position to assess local needs and priorities. Town Halls for developing the GND should include language access for multiple languages, especially considering the 61.8 million U.S. residents that speak a language other than English and contribute over $718 billion to the national economy.(3) (This figure does not include contributions by farm workers and domestic workers who are historically omitted from these calculations and who are part of both organized and unorganized labor.) In 2014, immigrant workers, both documented and not, paid $328 billion in state, local, and federal taxes.(4)Should the proposal gain the support it needs and the Select Committee be named, CJA looks forward to supporting the process for a GND which would lead to a Just Transition for communities and workers under conditions that are transparent, inclusive, and democratic. We hope this will happen quickly. There is no time to waste.*Special thanks to CJA members who contributed to the statement including: Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Communities for a Better Environment, Connecticut Economic and Environmental Justice Alliance, Cooperation Jackson, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indiana State Conference of the NAACP, Indigenous Environmental Network, Institute for Policy Studies, It Takes Roots, Just Transition Alliance, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Kheprw Institute, Labor Network for Sustainability, Movement Generation, New York Environmental Justice Alliance, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, and UPROSE.
2 2017 US Energy and Employment Report
4 “Immigrants as Economic Tax Contributors: Immigrant Tax Contributions and Spending Power,” Dan Kosten, Sept. 6, 2018. https://immigrationforum.org/article/immigrants-as-economic-contributors-immigrant-tax-contributions-and-spending-power/
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Heads of state and international leaders met in Poland in December 2018, for COP24, the UN climate-change talks. The Climate Justice Alliance was on the ground as well, together with the Indigenous Environmental Network, Grassroots Global Justice, the Just Transition Alliance, and Via Campesina, as part of the It Takes Roots North American Frontline delegation. We mobilized to bring the voices of community-driven solutions to the climate crisis, and to continue pressure against corporate greenwashing and carbon trading schemes. We threw down with the youth of SustainUS and organized an intervention during the US administration panel, which pushed for the continual use of fossil fuels and dirty energy. On the closing day, we joined a sit-in with our international allies.
string(9018) "By Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance
The first step towards any winning campaign is to define what victory looks like and to boldly dream of what does not exist—yet. The earliest days of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) held the seeds of our ancestors’ dreams and have grown into our collective hopes for a more just tomorrow. But to continue this critical work we must ONLY be beholden to frontline communities and our movements. Will you help us achieve this dream by becoming a monthly sustainer of our work? Our goal during our end-of-the-year giving campaign is to gain 1,000 new monthly sustainers! For as little at $10 a month, or any amount that is meaningful, you will be pushing us closer to achieving this. This strategic manifestation of dreaming big is evident in CJA’s Our Power Communities.The goal of CJA’s Our Power Communities (OPCs) is to transform extractive economic systems into thriving, regenerative communities and regions. OPCs in California, Arizona, Mississippi, Michigan, Kentucky, and Texas are writing the story of what Just Transition looks like today and creating space to dream even bigger for the future. By intentionally bringing together formerly siloed sectors of the Environmental Justice movement, OPCs are showing us what building sustainable power looks like in practice while centering communities of color leadership in both the problem analysis and strategic solutions. This expansion of what is possible is inspiring and critical movement building work. One member of CJA’s Our Power Campaign is Southwest Workers Union (SWU). SWU, located in San Antonio, Texas, is a founding member of CJA and an active Our Power Community since 2014. SWU’s success over the past thirty years is a direct result of practicing deep and authentic grassroots organizing. SWU strategically organizes at the intersections of multiple environmental justice issues. By recognizing how the over criminalization of communities of color, militarization, and immigrant worker fights for living wages connects to a broader environmental justice vision, SWU organizes victories through their civic engagement and voter registration focus, environmental justice, and worker rights campaigns. For more than three decades, SWU has been critical in organizing the new movement we are witnessing in Texas today! They are currently working on climate action and sustainability plans with the city and play a crucial role in fighting back against anti-immigrant sentiment. You can support the work of SWU now at this important moment in history for our people and movements!SWU also recognizes that making space for queer, trans, and women of color leadership is an opportunity to change the culture of organizing in south Texas. This intentional cultural transition has led to deeper organizing around women-led economies. By ensuring that young people and women have the support and space to be seen and to lead has impacted how SWU approaches organizing. It brings fresh perspectives to SWU’s evolving and strategic vision of change. Anchored by the wisdom of their 2,300 members, with majority being women, SWU is able to directly address the lived and historical disparities in health, wealth, education, and political power in South Texas. Your support to Southwest Workers Union empowers its members to build multi-generational power and win substantive change.SWU joined the OPC family sharing their victories of building the new (e.g. establishing a local utility ratepayers union) and learning from the collective struggle to defeat industrial projects that would further pollute low-income residential neighborhoods. SWU, along with other OPCs, knows that building a strong base takes time, trust, and an unwavering commitment to the long-term righteous work towards justice. This truth was illustrated at SWU’s recent Building Bridges: 30 Years of Change celebration. Hosted right after the midterm elections, SWU organized three days of skill sharing and a membership assembly to inform SWU’s priorities beyond 2020. Building Bridges was designed as a people’s movement assembly. They held 12 different spaces for people to learn new skills like accessing mobile integrated voter engagement strategies, power mapping, reconnecting to water, and rethinking the way work is structured beyond 9 to 5. SWU has been a critical force in a variety of struggles at the local level like upholding domestic workers’ rights, engaging the city to push forward sustainability plans and climate action, and community reinvestment strategies. The anniversary was a beautiful moment to acknowledge all that has been accomplished over SWU’s long history, while planning with community and allies next steps for the work ahead. They took time to reflect on recent victories such as the defeat of the "show me your papers" policy, the strengthening of workers’ rights in San Antonio through the Paid Sick Time Coalition, and stopping the outsourcing of school workers. Building Bridges ended with a joyous community-building party.SWU’s growing and active base is the result of spending time talking to working-class San Antonians and listening to the issues that are important to them. Another critical reason for SWU’s capacity to influence change is that they own—and generously share—their space with other justice movements who are connected to their membership leaders. Having a physical space for this kind of leadership development reinforces why coming together to learn, strategize, dream, heal, and celebrate is a requirement to sustain movement building for the long haul. When you donate to SWU you are part of this long-term and visionary movement building.It’s a process to shift the dominant extractive culture towards a culture that practices Just Transition principles. By doing the hard work of creating the new, SWU and other OPCs don’t have to contort themselves into existing structures that have historically excluded communities of color and low income people. With the coordinated support of the Climate Justice Alliance, OPCs are fusing belief with action, while taking time to celebrate all the victories—big and small. This is the work that sustains a future that looks like the aspirations of our ancestors. Our collective dream of healthy communities, a healed planet, and preservation of our cultures is our reality to make. Contribute to SWU today or become a monthly supporter to CJA to build a thriving and empowered climate justice movement."
string(18866) "By the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), CJA member
Last weekend, East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) and the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) gathered over 80 folks for a historic gathering to assemble and train fellow black organizers all over the country towards environmental justice and liberation! For decades, Detroit has been home to some of the worst environmental injustices in the U.S., while also being a historic hub for visionary, black liberation struggles and organized resistance. Based on these historic traditions, EMEAC has been cultivating a movement for a Just Transition and decided to invite black leaders and delegates from all over the nation to participate in an historic moment to train, assemble and build new pathways towards justice, equality and freedom.The Just Transition Tour We started the convening in pre-assembly, where we invited 40 national and regional organizers to participate in a local Just Transition Tour hosted by our EMEAC/ Cass Corridor Commons family. The tour included visits to oil refineries, ports, metal recycling facilities and other sources that are linked to asthma, birth defects and cancer. Our fellow comrades and movement leaders were able to hear personal stories of local residents, like Emma Lockridgestruggling to hold industry and government officials accountable for toxic pollution in their neighborhoods. Our first stop was in the community of Southwest Detroit. A single Detroit ZIP code—48217—is surrounded by coal-burning power plants, tar sands refineries, steel factories, a salt mine, and a major interstate highway. And just like in too many other highly-polluted parts of the country, most of the neighborhood’s 8,200 residents are Black and low-income. 48217 is an infuriating example of environmental injustice in action. But for years, the people who live there have been fighting back. At the Black 2 Just Transition Assembly & Training, folks from all over the country had the opportunity to hear stories from some of the people who have been organizing for years on behalf of justice in Michigan’s most toxic ZIP code.After the community toxic tour, we paid a visit to one of our communities Energy Democracy projects created by our comrades at Soulardarity.Energy Democracy is the idea that the people most impacted by energy decisions should have the greatest say in shaping them. The streetlight repossession in Highland Park is the result of an energy system that is impacting our planet, our health, our economic opportunities. The communities feeling most of the negative impacts - poor and working class people and people of color - have little means to shape the decisions in that system.That's why Soulardarity organizes all of their work around putting power in the hands of the people over the decisions that impact our lives. We envision a just energy future for all, one where energy is cooperatively owned and the wealth it generates is used to make communities stronger together, to create economic opportunities where they have been systematically diminished, and where our democratic institutions are serving the people to create a sustainable economy.Community activist and Soulardarity Co-director Shamayim Harris, known as Shu, established the Jakobi park to commemorate the loss of her son, who was killed after being hit by a car nearly seven years ago. She sees the streetlight's presence as transformative."For this particular neighborhood, it's practical because people feel more safety and security, and it shows anyone can have a light in their neighborhood," she says. "It shows we're self-sufficient, and we can solve our own problems."As Shu suggests, the project's vision extends beyond simple solar power. It points to community cooperatives as a method to manage utilities in financially-challenged cities, a third way beyond municipal control or privatization.Lastly, we briefly toured a Food Justice and Food Sovereignty project in Detroit. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen Earthworks Urban Farm is a 2.5 acre certified organic farm located in the City of Detroit. We seek to build a just, beautiful food system through education, inspiration, and community development. As a working study in both social justice and in knowing the origins of the food we eat, Earthworks strives to restore our connection to the environment and community.Detroit has been described as an urban healthy food desert for almost a decade now. A widely cited study of the Detroit found that poor black neighborhoods were on average 1.1 miles farther from supermarkets than poor neighborhoods with a low percentage of black residents. Detroit is also a city with vibrant food justice movements centered around issues of healthful food and social justice, which further enhances our utility as a model food system. The food justice movement is a combination of growing and consuming healthful food sustainably with an interest in achieving racial, economic and social justice. There are more than 1,500 farms in the city according to Keep Growing Detroit.Prayer & Local Grounding Before the Assembly & Training began, we held a local grounding and indigenous ceremony with Golden Eagle Woman (also known as Chantel Henry) to honor the land and the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes region, Detroit. We started our Assembly & Training acknowledging that we needed to honor our brothers, sisters and two-spirited folks who have paved the way and honor our ancestors we've also lost along the way. Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson, CouncilwomanEach day of our Assembly & Training started with spiritual grounding and prayers rooted in the Pan- African, Ancestral and/ or the Black Christian experience.Our first day Community Prayer & Local Grounding for Black Liberation Libations & Call to Ancestors was provided by the Honorable Dr. Rev. JoAnn Watson. Our Cass Corridor Community, Mama JoAnn is a native Detroiter, and has been honored as a “Distinguished Alumnus” of the University of Michigan. She served on Detroit City Council for 10 years and was recognized by The Nation Magazine in 2009 as “the most valuable local elected official in the USA.” She was formerly: Detroit City Council Member, Detroit NAACP Director, Detroit YWCA Director, YWCA of the USA Assistant Executive Director and Public Liaison for the former Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman John Conyers. Mama JoAnn also served as a delegate to the 2001 U. N. World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa & the 1989 Women for A Meaningful Summit in Russia.The Welcome to Detroit Panel(Mama Monica Lewis Patrick (Water), Ahmina Maxey (Air), Rashida Talib (Cass Corridor family, 1st Muslim elected to U.S. Congress), Mama Aneb (EMEAC Board Member), Shay Howell (Environmental Movement/ Grace Lee Boggs Center), Mama Aneb (EMEAC Board member), Baba Mailk (Food/ Land Security), Will See Poet (Arts & Culture), Baba Baxter (Disability Rights & Community Care) There are numerous struggles within Detroit’s Environmental Justice (EJ) landscape. Our communities face sickness by the dozens, hundreds, or thousands as we struggle to obtain even the most basic of human rights. Welcome to Detroit! Our panelists told the narrative of how Detroit held the “promise” of the good life for working class Black folks. Thousands of ancestors and elders fled terrorism in the South and in Detroit were able to make more money than ever before in and near the auto industry. The automobile industry in Detroit “promised” a life to Black people that no other industry or place had presented in that time. Our panelist gave an introduction to the history of Detroit and the various movements happening to make the just transition real on the ground. Sacrifice Zone refers to Detroiters who have been redlined into areas surrounded by industrial pollution, provided little to no medical care or access, denied access to healthy food options and quite often watch friends and neighbors suffer or die from preventable health issues as well.The same conditions that brought about the promised land-- massive opportunities in the industrial sectors-are now what make it a sacrifice zone- environmental domination by polluting industrial facilities. Check out our Environmental Justice Report here, written by William Copeland and Dorthea Thomas. The ‘91-93 People of Color Summit Panel - “Our History” (Mama Bahati - Harambee House, Tom Goldtooth - Indigenous Environmental Network, Miya Yoshitani - Asian Pacific Islander Environmental Network, Jose Bravo - Just Transition Islander) Our first day was centered around learning our history. We continued our program with another strong panel that grounded us in political education and multicultural community-building, where we learned how people of color came together to create a Just Transition from toxic-related industries and policies to sustainable, regenerative industries and policies that protect the health of environmental justice communities across racial-lines, sectors, demographics and regions. Growing Our Movement Panel - “The Present”(Terrance Muhammand - Hip Hop Caucus, Ronsha Dickerson - Journey for Justice, Angela Adrar - Climate Justice Alliance, Denise Abdul Rahman - NAACP, Seydi Starr - African Bureau of Immigration and Social Affairs, Kali Akuno - Coop Jackson/ Black Liberation, Ozzie Rivera - Bombarica) Our Black Liberation keynote speaker Kali Akuno joined the “Growing our Movement” panel discussion as we learned lessons on how to desilo our movement. Our speakers shared their backgrounds, the work they do with their organization and strategies used to desilo the work and create a bigger united front. This panel was an an overview from our current movement leaders in the region and across the nation that are all working in solidarity to desilo, create intergenerational spaces and practicing self-governance to make Just Transition real on the ground. Workshops & Trainings - “Our Future Vision Forward”With all of the healing, art, and culture, the most inspirational part of the Assembly was being able to see a historical movement carry on to the next generation of our Cass Commons family. Our EMEAC Energy Democracy Youth Squad created their own space to practice what a just transition looks like on the ground for their own futures. Our team of youth hosted, led and self-organized 2 amazing workshops and ended the Assembly & Training with their own intergenerational & cultural party.Also, we had workshops on Structural Racism and Community Organizing with Mama Lila from the Rosa Parks Institute. Lila Cabbil was raised in Detroit and was one of Rosa Parks best friends. She even had the honor of working personally with Rosa Parks as the program director in the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute. Mama Lila has worked in the tradition of Mrs. Parks for over 40 years, and is now President Emeritus of the Institute. Mama Lila has worked on racial justice, environmental justice and food justice for decades in Detroit, and reminded us that on that fateful day on the bus so long ago, Rosa Parks always corrected the story to say “that she wasn’t tired, she was tired of the way she was being treated.”In addition, our partners from Movement Generation, Deseree & Quentin also trained folks on Resilience Based Organizing & Translocal Organizing along with Just Transition from a Black Liberation lens. Also, we had other workshops in the space centered around: Just Transition Finance with Jacqui Patterson from NAACP, Just Transition for Water Justice & Equity with Sylvia from People’s Water Board, and Energy Democracy with Michelle Martinez from Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and Denise Abdul-Rahman from NAACP Indiana State Conference. Our keynote speaker Jose Bravo from the Just Transition Alliance introduced us to the analysis, framework and history of the just transition methodology. In his presentation, we learned how to build a regional/local economy model that is concerned with its population and an economy and that is guided by laws which will require industry and corporations to move towards cleaner methods of production. We touched on ideals on how we can achieve this by transitioning away from unsustainable methods that only exacerbate the disproportionate impact that dirty energy and toxic chemicals have on communities of color and low-income communities.The Healing Justice Assembly (Detroit Community Healers - Queen Lae, Numi Ori, Adela Nieves, William Copeland) We started our Healing Circle and Assembly with a panel discussion on "Defining Healing Justice and Decolonizing Health & Healing: A report from US Social Forum in Detroit, Atlanta and Beyond" This space provided an intergenerational framework of the healing justice movement and the work happening to make a just transition real on the ground locally. We talked about our backgrounds, our work and how we got into healing justice and movement building work. In this conversation, we identified ways we could create principles, develop reports and be intentional with creating healing space in all movement spaces that center black liberation and/or environmental justice to build a more sustainable, generative movement. (local community healers - Mindful B & Organizer/Facilitator/ Healer - Dorthea E. Thomas)Special thanks to the It Takes Roots Black Delegates that contributed to this space and worked tirelessly to use the local tour, groundings, trainings, workshops and assemblies as a foundation to build a stronger, bigger and greater alliance with black leadership representation. We appreciate and value your diligent hard work! We can’t wait to see what’s next. "
string(7871) "By Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance
Photo: North Carolina Climate Justice Summit, 2014The power of the Climate Justice Alliance has always been our members and our desire to consult, envision creative solutions, and take action together when it matters most. For one of our newest members, the North Carolina Climate Justice Collective (NCCJC), claiming the term “collective” was an intentional process that deeply embodies their movement building principles. The origin of NCCJC, which now includes a broad spectrum of over 1,000 volunteer youth and adults and about 50 organizations, parallels CJA’s formation process. By valuing relationships and the self-determination of communities, collectively CJA and NCCJC are building generative power. For NCCJC, their heart is cultural organizing and popular education. These two powerful strategies build capacity for collective imagination, which is manifested as collective action that moves us toward collective liberation. By engaging across and with a broad spectrum of folks in North Carolina, NCCJC centers frontline community leadership as they deepen and strengthen the roots of their diverse communities. “When we change how we are being, we transform the doing. That’s what cultural transformation is all about.” explains Jodi Lasseter, Founder & Co-Convener of the North Carolina Climate Justice Collective.But what does the commitment to profound cultural transformation actually look like in practice? A beautiful example of building generative power is through NCCJC’s popular education roadshow called The Good Fire.As an allegory, The Good Fire inspires embodied learning about energy democracy principles. The good fire is energy. It feeds us, inspires, and builds stronger community relationships in contrast to the bad fires of devastation and division from a nightmare legacy of toxic fossil fuel extraction. Conceptualizing Just Transition concepts through theatre, metaphor, song, food, art, and active participation supports communities to find their own agency, narratives, and solutions. NCCJC is currently using this powerful storytelling for North Carolinians impacted by Hurricane Florence. By making tangible meaning out of widespread collective trauma, folks can begin to heal. They are making powerful connections between their lived experiences and the ravages of the “bad fire.”NCCJC knows that telling these stories exposes the truth about who is responsible for harm to our people and planet. Such popular education fuels an ongoing campaign against utility monopoly Duke Energy, the main driver of the "bad fire" in North Carolina and the #1 greenhouse gas emitter in the United States. Power without accountability corrupts. It takes resilience to stay in this fight for the long haul. NCCJC is consciously developing a more resilient, healthy movement infrastructure. Through their Resilience Hubs, anchored by frontline community organizations, NCCJC is creating space to deepen inner and outer resiliency skills. This includes racial justice and anti-oppression trainings, mindfulness, and healing justice circles. NCCJC supports the growth and health of their communities by organizing opportunities that help people stay connected to their collective vision of liberation. There is also a focus on “outer resilience,” or active learning and teaching skills to thrive, like how to create your own water catchment systems, get your community-based solar system off the ground, or set up a new co-op enterprise in your neighborhood. The Resilience Hubs are all about the self-determination of a community’s food, water, and energy rights, and also transportation, housing, and sustainable jobs. These are the interdependent issues that make a climate justice framework so powerful.NCCJC’s annual summit takes all that generated good energy and intentionally weaves the work of the Resilience Hubs from around the state. Their annual summit, like CJA’s biennial national convening, is a space for participants to co-create joint projects, share translocal learning, and develop authentic relationships across differences of identity and strategy. The cumulation of these shared experiences is the antidote to divide and conquer politics. By continuing to practice trust through shared values, we can come into our whole selves as individuals, as members of an organization, and as a movement. That is what cultural transformation looks like—and your support to NCCJC and CJA is profoundly changing the culture that has been designed to alienate us from each other. As we approach the end of the year, we at CJA are committed to intensifying and strengthening our ability to stay true to our guiding principles and, in particular, continuing to support members like NCCJC during crises, such as Hurricane Florence, along with the bold and visionary solutions and actions necessary to fight the bad and build the new. This is why we are launching our end-of-the-year giving campaign with allies, friends, and supporters to ensure that we build a base of support that is sustainable and strengthens our ability to continue putting frontline communities first.
Won’t you lend your support and donate to the Climate Justice Alliance? Make a contribution or become a monthly supporter to CJA today?
In critical times such as these, when climate disasters are a regular occurrence and our ability to ensure fair elections is waning to say the least, we also ask that you support those on the frontlines directly. This month we ask you to do this by donating to NCCJC. In so doing, you are part of this bold and visionary cultural transformation. "
URGENT CALL - judge ordered the eviction of 450 families of Quilombo Campo Grande Camp and established a seven-day deadline to have his order executed
Dear comrades and Friends
First of all, on behalf of the MST and the 450 families of Quilombo Campo Grande Camp, we thank all solidarity letters received against the eviction of our camp.
Unfortunately, during a hearing held on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 7, Brazilian judge Walter Zwicker Esbaille Junior ordered the eviction of 450 families who live in the area of the old Ariadnópolis mill owned by a bankrupt debtor in the city of Campo do Meio, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
He established a seven-day deadline to have his order executed. The decision means destroying 1,200 hectares (nearly 3,000 acres) of corn, beans, manioc, and pumpkin crops, 40 hectares (roughly 100 acres) of agroecological gardens, and 520 hectares (more than 1,200 acres) of coffee crops. Not only that, hundreds of homes, corrals, and miles and miles of fences will be torn down. The court order will destroy everything people have built in two decades of hard work.
According to the lawyers representing the families, the judge’s ruling is arbitrary and hurts constitutional principles by not recognizing values of human dignity. The hearing was unusual. Representatives of the families who live in the camp and authorities who traveled to attend it were not allowed in. While holding the session, the judge called the riot police to the room. Representatives of big farms and the local government wanted the families to be taken to a gymnasium. The judge eventually quickly rendered his judgment.
The Landless Workers’ Movement (MST) is appealing this arbitrary, unfair decision. We reiterate our will to continue to struggle and resist yet another attack by the old mill.
The case is now in the State Justice Tribunal.
We are aware that the fascist inclinations of the project recently elected to run Brazil will lead to increasing use of State apparatus to criminalize us and segregate the landless people – as well as urban communities. But the Brazilian people is brave and strong. We have faced the military dictatorship since the birth of the movement. It’s with this story and this courage that the families living in Quilombo Campo Grande will resist and stay in the Ariadnópolis land. A preliminary injunction to remove them will not erase so many years of struggle.
Once more, we urge all organizations, supporters and friends to send the message below to the State Justice Tribunal Judge Nelson Missias de Morais, demanding that the repossession action to be dismissed:email@example.com@crdhsulmg.com.br
À atenção do Exmo. Sr. Juiz Nelson Missias de Morais
Venho me manifestar sobre a ação de restituição de posse n ° 0024.11.188.917-6 inscrita no dia 06/07/2011.
Peço que a ação de restituição da posse seja suspensa, já que existem 450 famílias, mais de 2.000 pessoas, que já estão na posse da área há mais de 20 anos. Essas pessoas têm casas construídas, vasta produção e reprodução da vida neste lugar.
A resolução do conflito só pode ocorrer com a permanência das familias, que já tem a posse da terra por direito.
Nós [insert your name or name of your organization], apelamos para que Voissa Excelencia resolva o conflito. Por justiça e em defesa dos princípios constitucionais, pela valorização da vida e da dignidade humana, apelamos!
Estamos diante da iminência de um massacre em Minas Gerais e você pode salvar essas vidas.
Dear Honorable Judge Nelson Missias de Morais,
The purpose of this e-mail is to express my concern about the action for repossession No. 0024.11.188.917-6 filed on June 17, 2011.
I strongly and respectfully ask you to suspend the action for repossession, because there are 450 families, more than 2,000 people, who have been in possession of the area for more than 20 years. They have built their homes and their production and reproduction of life in that place.
The resolution of this conflict can only be successful if they stay where they are, as it is their right.
We [insert your name or name of your organization] urge you to do this. For justice and in defense of constitutional principles, out of respect for human life and dignity, we urge you!
There can be a massacre in Minas Gerais and you can save those lives.
ABOUT THE CASE: Who is Justice serving?By ordering the removal of families who live in the Quilombo Campo Grande camp, the Brazilian state hurts long-standing human rights resolutions
From the MST Page
In 1998, 450 Landless families occupied an area of the Ariadnópolis mill, in the city of Campo do Meio, southern Minas Gerais, Brazil. Back then, the area was owned by Companhia Agropecuária Irmãos Azevedo (CAPIA), which owes R$300 million (roughly US$80 million), went bankrupt, and faced closure two years before the families occupied the land in 1996.
Time went by and the four thousand hectares (roughly ten thousand acres) where there used to be nothing but monoculture of sugar cane started to come to life and allow two thousand people to work and earn a living.
They called the camp Quilombo Campo Grande, where today one of the largest coffee cooperatives in the state is based: Guaií. The co-op produces 510 metric tons of coffee a year – an average 8,500 coffee sacks –, as well as 55,000 corn sacks and 8,000 bean sacks. Not only that, forty hectares (nearly one hundred acres) in the area are dedicated to a garden where they grow vegetables to feed the families who live in the camp and local communities.
The camp also has 60,000 fruit trees and more than 60,000 native trees.
Over the years, the families have worked hard to build their houses with no support from the government, organizing and working the land for decades, resisting in a territory the State considers bankruptcy estate.
Now all the social change brought about in Campo do Meio is under threat. Last Wednesday, Nov. 7, a court in the judicial district of Campos Gerais ordered the repossession of the land and the removal of all families who live there. Apparently all victories achieved during the years of democratic regime in Brazil have not actually become concrete: the State found on paper is not part of landless workers’ life.
The court decision was based on State Decree No. 365/2015, which established the expropriation of 3,195 hectares (7895 acres) of the debtor, Ariadnópolis Mill, paying R$66 million (approximately US$17.5 million) to the Companhia Agropecuária Irmãos Azevedo (CAPIA). Two months ago, the families who live in Quilombo Campo Grande negotiated an agreement in which the State made a commitment to pay the money in five installments.
However, the company’s shareholders, supported by local big landowners and rural caucus, did not take the deal and took the case to court against the Minas Gerais state government to overturn the decree, even though it had been upheld in two different trials.
In a judicial operation, the stakeholders brought back an injunction to remove occupants from 2012, regarding the mill’s bankruptcy proceedings. The injunction was not granted by the Supreme Court at the time, but was not dismissed.
This week, hearing it as an inconsistently urgent case, the assistant judge working as a substitute in a rural court in Minas Gerais, Walter Zwicker Esbaille Júnior, established that the landless workers have until November 14 to vacate the area and authorized the Minas Gerais State military police to enforce it.
The same decision recognizes the area is being used and farmed by the families, but disregards article 184 of Brazil’s Constitution, which establishes that expropriating, in the public interest, rural estate that is not fulfilling the social function of property for agrarian reform purposes is federal jurisdiction.
A lawyer and coordinator of the human rights organization Terra de Direitos, Darci Frigo argued that, by ordering the eviction, the court is disregarding Resolution No. 10, from October 17, 2018, of the National Human Rights Council, which establishes solutions to guarantee rights and provisional remedies in cases of collective rural and urban conflicts.
“The resolution aims to guide authorities and public institutions that handle cases of collective conflicts regarding possession [of land]. They are measures that must be adopted so that a group is not violated,” Frigo said. The lawyer argued that the judge, who has to abide by this resolution, has to adopt and consider a series of measures to reach agreements that fulfill the social function of the property, as established in the Constitution.
Frigo points out the nation-state developed over the last centuries is unable to enforce the law established in the Constitution, which, in Brazil’s case, is to guarantee fundamental rights like citizenship and human dignity – rights that are being denied to the families in this process.
Brazil is signatory to several international treaties, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights adopted by 21st Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 19th, 1966. This covenant establishes that its members must work to grant economic, social, and cultural rights to their citizens, including the right to work, health, education, and decent living.
“The question is: is this right being granted and respected in the case of the Quilombo Campo Grande occupation? The government must lead a peaceful, definitive resolution for the conflicts, giving precedence to maintaining vulnerable groups in the areas where they live and claim. The eviction is not inevitable. Actually the State found a legal solution for the case when it issued the decree for public interest purposes. What happened was that anti-agrarian reform political forces – whether big estate owners or ideological forces – found grounds in the court system to put the right to property before human rights,” the jurist warns.
What Brazil advocates as a State by signing human rights resolutions is that the rights of this group must come before the right to property. The social function of this territory will only be truly fulfilled when the families are settled in the area. The judges responsible for the case must be presented with that so their decision is based on higher interests to fulfill Brazil’s responsibility to human rights.
The MST is appealing the court’s decision and the families reiterate their eagerness to keep struggling and resisting against yet another attack by the project that has been elected in Brazil, which aims to increasingly use all State apparatus to criminalize and further segregate the landless people.
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The East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) and the Climate Justice Alliance teamed up for the Black 2 Just Transition Assembly & Training, that brought together 60+ organizers from November 8-12, 2018 in Detroit. For decades, Detroit has been home to some of the worst environmental injustices in the U.S., while also being a historic hub for visionary, black liberation struggles and organized resistance. Together, we examined systemic change pathways away from destructive industries towards models that center the health, well-being and self-determination of communities.
Our trainings centered the lessons, principles and practices of Black Liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, healing, environmental justice and other allied struggles for decolonization.
Visit the Black 2 Just Transition webpage.
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While it is generally accepted within environmental and social justice circles that those of us on the frontlines of the climate crisis are impacted first and worst because of racism and poverty, we often don’t consider how the whitewashing of the mainstream environmental movement has prevented the leadership development of talented and inspiring black and brown youth within our movement. Black communities continue to be disproportionately burdened by some of the worst environmental injustices across the US, yet it remains extremely hard to access funding and political support for the thought leadership of our communities leading the fight against climate change, toxic pollution and waste, and the “dig, burn, drive, dump” industries causing these existential crises. This has everything to do with racism and the way in which our bodies are seen as disposable by greedy corporations and governments, and similarly portrayed as voiceless victims by those professing to be our allies. Simply put, we remain invisible as protagonists in this struggle, even though we have always been there and will continue to lead the fight against the oppression of our communities. A space to discuss such challenges that continue to impede the growth of the environmental justice movement in honest and constructive ways is now needed more than ever. In part, that is why we are organizing the Black 2 Just Transition Assembly and Training in Detroit, Michigan from November 8-12.Grassroots organizers from African American and other low-income communities of color, on the frontlines of the ecological crises and the extractive economy causing these crises, will convene in a city that has been a historic hub for visionary, black liberation struggles and organized resistance. Together, we will examine systemic change pathways away from destructive industries toward models that center the health, well-being and self-determination of our communities, in short a Just Transition.Our trainings will center the lessons, principles & practices of Black Liberation, Indigenous sovereignty, healing, environmental justice and other allied struggles for decolonization. This historic assembly will be an intergenerational organizing space (check out this warm welcome from our youth!), where we will cultivate new narratives for organizing an economy that is purposed to restore our relations with the earth and each other. Grounding our work in Just Transition campaign strategies, organizing skill shares, political education, and practices for movement care and healing, we aim to foster ongoing collaboration amongst a number of community groups across the nation, sharing replicable strategies and tools for organizing at the intersection of race, poverty and the environment.As we find ourselves in a time of increasing racism, white nationalism and corporate control, with little time left to salvage the planet as we know it, centering the leadership of black communities in forging a Just Transition is paramount to our success. Fostering increased participation and leadership from our communities must be a priority for us all, especially from those within the environmental movement.-East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC)
string(5300) "Photo "Ato 'Mulheres contra Bolsonaro'" by Renato Gizzi, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Jair Bolsonaro's win of the presidential vote in Brazil on September 28, 2018 is devastating, given his previous comments supporting torture and calling for political opponents to be shot. As well as comments disparaging women, people of color, the Indigenous and LGBTQ people, and his pledge to open up the Amazon for agribusiness and mining.
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) stands with the popular movements of Brazil, who have been so critical, inspirational, and developmental to popular movements around the world. They will all need our solidarity in this period ahead.
Statement by the Frente Brasil Popular and Povo Sem Medo:
"We hold our heads up resisting for Brazil!"
We lived an entirely atypical electoral process. Since the end of the military period, we have not had the political imprisonment of a leader, such as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was unjustly convicted and whose candidacy was contested by the Superior Electoral Court. A process in which forces that had so far operated in the in the undergrounds, have emerged in the presidential dispute provoking a great wave of hatred and violence against the Brazilian people.
Our candidacy was a democratic response to arbitration that has contaminated the political scene since the parliamentary coup that overthrew President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. We faced abuses and scams practiced by networks committed to petty anti-popular, anti-democratic and anti-national interests.
The election of Bolsonaro represents a political rupture, whose signs are represented in the murder of Marielle, of Moa Katendê - black leader, capoeirista in Bahia, Charlione - a young man from Ceará who was taking part in an election parade in support to Haddad’s candidacy. They threaten our lives because we fight for an equal and just country.
[caption id="attachment_5341" align="alignleft" width="427"] Photo Mulheres Unidas Contra Bolsonaro by Esdras Beleza, licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0[/caption]
Even under bullets, we have resisted defending national sovereignty, raped in so many ways in the last two years. Protected by sectors of the judicial system and the monopoly media, the candidate Mr Bolsonaro was left free to finance his lying machine with clandestine money, incite violence against his opponents, escape public debates and circumvent electoral rules.
These forces, through deception and truculence, with maneuvers still subject to investigations, arrived at the Presidency of the Republic.
Despite so many obstacles, our alliance organized a powerful resistance throughout the country, which led to the realization of the second round and a formidable movement in defense of civilization against barbarism, democracy against dictatorship, love against hate.
In this second round, which ended yesterday, men and women from all quarters have expressed their support for the constitutional pillars of our country. This journey would never have been possible, however, without the dedication and courage of the social movements and democratic sectors of society.
We will continue to defend the Constitution, social diversity, the rights of all, a Brazil for all and fight the danger of dictatorship, the elimination of social achievements, the sale of public assets, the delivery of national wealth, racism and misogyny, homophobia and the threat of institutionalized violence.
At the moment, it is essential to remain together and cohesive around democracy, national sovereignty and rights.
We must not let ourselves be overwhelmed by fear, for we have each other. Different from what they think, the Brazilian people will know how to resist.
October 28, 2018
Brazil Popular Front
Fearless People’s Front
Much respect and love to Jihan Hafiz who is in Brazil covering the people's side of the terrible election outcomes. She did some incredible coverage of #Sol2Sol while in Bay Area. She is an incredible journalistic videographer that works with CJA and is deeply committed to freedom and liberation for all people. #elpueblounido #Brazillibre
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Crowd Gathers Days After President Trump’s Outrageous Comments Diminishing Loss of Puerto Rican Lives
For Immediate Release September 20, 2018
Contact: Michael O’Loughlin firstname.lastname@example.org / 917.957.9160New York, NY - #OurPowerPRnyc today commemorated the one-year mark of Hurricane Maria slamming into Puerto Rico by bringing together in Union Square a large, diverse gathering of grassroots leaders, artists, activists and others from across the Puerto Rican diaspora to stand in solidarity with the many Puerto Ricans still struggling for survival and fighting to remain, reclaim and rebuild.#OurPowerPRnyc is a grassroots initiative uniting the Puerto Rican diaspora around a shared platform to address the injustice in the US government response to the humanitarian crisis, demand self-determination and sovereignty, and ensure a just recovery to and transition to regenerative economy.Speakers and performers urged participants to reflect on the devastating events of the past year, but also to uplift the many acts of resistance and resilience carried out on the island. Participants included: Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera; New York City Council Member Carlina Rivera; Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE; writer and activist Naomi Klein; Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, President of the New York State Nurses Association; poet, performer and activist Caridad de la Luz (aka “La Bruja”); musical performers/activists BombaYo, Yerba Buena, Tato Torres Saez; Rosa Clemente, PR on the Map; Roberto Mukaro Borrero, United Confederation of Taino People; #PoetsforPuertoRico;and Reverend Sam Cruz, Trinity Lutheran Church.Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSEand co-founder of #OurPowerPRnyc, said, "Hurricane Maria landed on a legacy of austerity, neglect, and colonialism in Puerto Rico and opened the floodgates to those who prosper on the pain and loss of people of color — those responsible for climate change. Climate Justice is the resistance to a history of extraction of land and labor in the global south. We know this is a fight for our survival and we are ready."Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance, said, "As we approach the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria and the injection of disaster capitalist schemes to profit off the misery and destruction of millions, we are reminded that Just Recovery is about long term action, it's not a quick fix. No shiny new development plans carved up behind closed doors will ever do; community rebuilding and control by those most affected on the ground is what is needed. With hurricane season upon us, we can't wait another day. The people deserve the resources to rebuild in just and renewable ways; nothing short of this will do."Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and The Battle For Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists, said, "The disaster of Hurricane Maria is far from over. One year later the trauma and loss it left behind are still being exploited to close down public schools, sell off public utilities, shrink Puerto Rico’s population and siphon off desperately needed resources to service an unpayable debt. Today we are standing with dozens of Puerto Rican organizations who have said ‘no' to this form of predatory disaster capitalism and are demanding a people-driven just recovery instead.”Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice, said, "The devastation and neglect that we have seen in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria is a clear manifestation of American colonialism, racism, and corporate greed. Already, capitalist forces are exploiting this disaster to gentrify Puerto Rico and erode the self-determination of our Borinquen sisters and brothers. GGJ stands with them in saying NO to disaster capitalism and YES to a just recovery, led by communities on the ground, for Puerto Rico's economic and political liberation.”“A year after Hurricane Maria and as another hurricane season hammers parts of the southern United States and Asia, it is clear that the human-made effects of climate change are only going to get worse unless we implement a just transition off of fossil fuels,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. “We stand in solidarity with the frontline communities that bear the brunt of the destruction imposed by climate change and fossil fuels. We should support and follow the example of those most affected by these problems, who are already implementing just and sustainable solutions in communities across the globe, as they lead our collective way to a clean and safe energy future.”"A just recovery for Puerto Rico should be designed, led and will be best implemented by the good people of Puerto Rico," said Leslie Fields, Director of Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships at Sierra Club. "They are US citizens and have suffered for too long by inaction and deliberate discrimination. The Sierra Club stands with its chapter in Puerto Rico and the amazing people of Puerto Rico to demand justice!"Jovanna Garcia Soto, Grassroots International, said, “This hurricane further exposed the crime of U.S. colonialism and its imposition of a violent neoliberal agenda in Puerto Rico, and that is hard to take in. But there’s another side to the story, resistance! Movements and frontline communities are centering their work on self-determination, decolonization of minds, bodies and territories, and multiple sovereignties -- energy, territorial and food sovereignty. We have seen the radical self-managed movements across the island working at the grassroots, based on the capacity and potential of communities to identify their own needs, organize their own reconstruction and build long-term collective resilience/resistance. And we have seen the protagonist political role that grassroots feminism has to push this transformational vision. This brings me hope!"I'm going to the #OurPRPowerNYC Hurricane Maria Memorial Rally because on the one-year anniversary of the storm, now more than ever we need to be connecting with our elders and activists in the movement for environmental justice, and justice for Puerto Rico. And the only way we do that is by gathering in person to bear witness to the work that is being done, and listen and engage in discussion about the path forward," said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Congressional candidate (NY-14).New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera said, "It's been a year since Hurricane Maria ravaged my beloved Puerto Rico, and the devastation and pain are still palpable on the island and among the diaspora. During the two trips I have made to the island since Maria, I witnessed firsthand two of the main realities surrounding the aftermath to this tragedy. First, the towering resilience of the Puerto Rican people, which has produced a grassroots recovery movement that is consistently making slow but important progress in rebuilding the island. Second, the shameful, unaccountable and borderline criminal response of a federal and central government that left the 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island to fend for themselves. Today, I am honored to join many of our City's leaders to mourn the lives lost as a result of this unprecedented natural disaster, and to renew our commitment to continue directing all of our efforts to help rebuild Puerto Rico for Puerto Ricans, while providing the necessary resources and services to those who’ve been exiled in the mainland United States."“What has already been a year must surely feel like an eternity for Puerto Ricans affected by Hurricane Maria and that were since abandoned by our federal government,” said New York City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. “Those who remain on the island and the climate refugees who have sought relief and opportunity on the mainland U.S. deserve more from leadership in Washington who have not given them much thought in the last 12 months. It is inspiring to see people come to their aid with community leaders and organizations stepping up to help our brothers and sisters here and in Puerto Rico. All of us who have organized, rallied, and coordinated relief efforts have turned our anger and resentment into a movement that demands more resources for recovery while looking towards avenues of greater self-determination for the island. In addition to the thousands lost that we honor today, we recognize the resilient survivors who work every day to rebuild and resist.”Eddie Bautista, Executive Director, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, said, “From Superstorm Sandy to Hurricane Maria and all around the world, the most economically, socially vulnerable individuals and communities are on the frontlines of climate change and its cruel devastation, but we are also the ones showing the way to a Just Recovery that empowers our communities, instead of the economic interests that fueled the firestorm of climate change.”"Disasters aren't natural. They're social, political. It’s our job to prevent them," said Tania Rosario-Méndez, Executive Director of Taller Salud.Judy Sheridan-González, RN, participant in multiple disaster relief brigades in Puerto Rico and President of New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), said, "Our medical teams saw, with our own eyes, clear evidence of absolutely preventable death and disease -- in overwhelming numbers -- after the hurricane hit. The cruel austerity provisions imposed by the Wall Street-controlled Fiscal Junta rendered the entire infrastructure of the island incapable of managing any disaster, let alone this Climate Change-induced super-storm. The extraordinary neglect -- and denial -- exhibited by the US Government post-María was not only immoral, it was criminal.”Jesús Vázquez, National Coordinator, Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica de Puerto Rico, said, “It’s almost a year now since Hurricanes Irma and Maria impacted our landscape and our communities that to this day are still recuperating. On top of that local and federal US government have responded slowly with corporate driven false solutions. We were already in a crisis reflected on a debt provoked by bad and corrupt administration of governments. Event though our people demand the debt to be audited, our government refuses to do so, the same way they irresponsibly denied the more than 3,000 deaths related to the impacts of last year’s climate events. Nevertheless, while all of this keeps happening frontline communities and grassroots organizations led by Puerto Ricans are exercising their sovereignty on the ground working non-stop doing the just recovery Puerto Rico needs for this current times and for the long run that Puerto Rico deserves.”Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel, Latino Justice Project, said, “There is a lot more work to do in our community to get them to connect the dots between the growing voter suppression movement and emerging Latinx political power.”Rosa Clemente, Puerto Rico on the Map, said, “We must hold those in power accountable for their crimes against humanity against the people of Puerto Rico. We must support Puerto Rican organizations on the ground. We must fight for decolonization and the cancellation of the illegal debt.”Roberto Borrero, International Indian Treaty Council, said, “Caribbean political leaders would do well to join Indigenous peoples in advocating for systemic change that responds to both the environmental crisis and long-standing calls for social justice.”Matt Nelson, Executive Director of Presente.org, the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group, said, “The damage to homes, lives, and communities from Hurricane Maria continue to mount in Puerto Rico one year later; and it shouldn’t take thousands killed to compel us to tackle this crisis. Let’s honor all of Puerto Rico’s residents by doing everything in our power to bring a just and full recovery. We have opportunities to right these wrongs and to hold decision-makers accountable for their government negligence and corporate abuses.”#OurPowerPRnyc is a community-led initiative of the Puerto Rican diaspora guided by the Jemez Principles of Democratic Organizing. To find out more or join the campaign, please visit www.uprose.org or email email@example.com.###
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The goals were first- to challenge and expose Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) for being nothing more than a trade show, not a venue providing real solutions to address the intersecting crises, and second- to create space to strengthen our multi-racial, multi-issue, intergenerational movements through strategy exchange, relationship-building, and creative solutions. We ensured that climate profiteers knew that our future cannot be traded.
string(376) "From December of 2017 to the Summer of 2018, CJA members and staff worked to create the Our Power Loan Fund and Incubator. In August of 2018, the loan fund began working with a few CJA member’s just transition projects to support with technical assistance and possible non-extractive financing, with support from the national Financial Cooperative that CJA helped to form."
string(3309) "Climate change poses a serious threat to humanity’s survival and all living creatures that we share the planet with. While it may be that California achieved its self-imposed greenhouse gas emission goals ahead of 2020, this does not signify that we are on track to impeding climate change or the unrelenting impact it has on our communities. As an Indigenous woman from the Golden State’s refinery corridor, I see everyday how the policies held up as “solutions” to the crisis are actually devastating our people and environment. These market-based approaches like cap and trade, REDD and REDD+ (which California is a global leader in), carbon taxes and now geo-engineering -a risky new techno-fix due to be tested in and near Indigenous lands for the first time ever in the US- seriously harm our communities. From increasing health problems like miscarriages, autoimmune diseases and cancers, the poor, Indigenous and Black and Brown neighborhoods and lands are still being treated as sacrifice zones. Whether it be through inadequate resources and infrastructure to deal with extreme weather or toxic waste and pollution in our backyards that energy companies could easily clean up, we pay the price. And for what? To mitigate climate change, we must once and for all stop stealing from Mother Earth by refusing to extract, which in turn emits dangerous levels of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Companies, states and nations should no longer be able to pay to pollute as California Governor Jerry Brown’s upcoming Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) will promote. These subsidies and corporate schemes can no longer be substituted for what we already know needs to be done: transition away from extractive energy models to regenerative ones. That’s why I will be joining thousands of other Indigenous, community and climate justice organizers from around the US and the world at the It Takes Roots Solidarity to Solutions Week September 8-14th that will run parallel to the GCAS, to spotlight our local and environmentally sound place-based solutions. All over our lands, those most affected by climate disasters have created sustainable and scalable economic and social development models for their communities, which should be valued and invested in. If California wants to be an environmental and progressive leader, our elected leaders must align their words with their actions.Pennie Opal Plant, Idle No More SF Bay (member of the Indigenous Environmental Network) "
string(3949) "For Immediate Release
June 4, 2018
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and Our Power Puerto Rico (NYC) issued the following statement today demanding accountability to the Puerto Rican people from the White House and Puerto Rican officials, calling for an investigation into the intentional underestimation of lives lost and an urgent conversation on a just recovery plan, in light of revelations from a new Harvard University study:
“It is egregious that this administration is downplaying a catastrophe which resulted in a death toll that exceeds lives lost during 9/11 and twice those lost during Hurricane Katrina. Citing 4,645 “excess deaths,” the Harvard study on Puerto Rico now being reported on and first published by the New England Journal of Medicine only affirms this and paints a much more accurate picture of what people on the ground witnessed.
“The American public is now learning what the Climate Justice Alliance and Our Power Puerto Rico have known all along. The death toll announced by the Puerto Rican government and the White House in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was a lie and almost certainly publicized with the intent to deceive the general public, justify an inadequate government response and commitment of resources and to serve political agendas. We wholeheartedly condemn this misrepresentation of lives lost and the blatant disregard of the plight of the people of Puerto Rico for political expediency and call for an investigation into it.
“Based on the Our Power Puerto Rico Solidarity Brigades we led with Organización Boricuá and 25 partner organizations to the island following the devastation, we knew early on that the loss of life was much higher than the official reports of 1,000 deaths in the first few months and would require a timely and strong response with ample resources to rebuild and stabilize the island.
“This intentional misrepresentation of the reality on the ground is unconscionable and cannot be allowed to stand. The inadequate federal response to the devastation in Puerto Rico and the lack of accountability that continues to date is yet another manifestation of the permanent colonial status the island and its people continue to hold within Washington and regrettably, in the minds of many Americans. The impact of a storm the size of Hurricane Maria on an island already under austerity measures and neglect must not be overlooked or understated.
“With the 2018 hurricane season upon us already, the Climate Justice Alliance and Our Power Puerto Rico demand swift action from Washington in the form of:
A robust Just Recovery Federal Aid Package for the people of Puerto Rico, which to date has not happened in any meaningful form;
Justice over the Jones Act, which makes it more expensive for the island to import goods from the mainland;
The end of PROMESA, which has only plunged Puerto Rico into more economic misery; and
Support from the NGO community for grassroots groups on the ground who are rebuilding while prioritizing equity and environmental justice.
“A serious conversation on just recovery strategies for Puerto Rico is long overdue and is the first step in ensuring that the concerns of the people on the island are front and center.”
Join us on June 6th with representatives of the Puerto Rican people including the Teachers’ Union of Puerto Rico and Organización Boricuá who will discuss just recovery strategies with Naomi Klein, Senior Correspondent at the Intercept, Juan Gonzalez, co-host of Democracy Now! and Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE in New York, among others.
Join by livestreaming or reserve your tickets to attend in person from 7pm-10pm EST at Cooper Union Hall, 7 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003."
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Media Advisory for: June 1, 2018
On the 1 Year Anniversary of Trump Pulling Out of the Paris Climate Agreement Environmental Justice Groups Launch the It Takes Roots Action Camp: From Roots to Resilience to Forge Solutions
It Takes Roots and Ruckus Society hold intensive action camp to train frontline communities and those hardest hit by climate change on June 1st
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On the one year anniversary of Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, the It Takes Roots Alliance, representing 150 organizations nationwide, will join together with the Ruckus Society in Millerton, New York who will train nearly one hundred leaders, organizers and community members- many from disaster impacted areas such as Puerto Rico, Houston and Northern California- in direct action, climate disaster survival skills, and community resilience. The action camp is part of preparations for the It Takes Roots Solidarity and Solutions Summit (Sol to Sol) and week of action being held from September 8-14 in San Francisco as a counterpoint to California Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS). While GCAS promotes corporate and market-based approaches to climate change that have historically devastated communities of color and the poor, Sol to Sol prioritizes community-based and environmentally-sound solutions that take into account the interconnected nature of the economic, democratic and climate crises that our communities currently face.
What: Action Camp on Direct Action and Resilience
When: June 1-5, 2018
Where: Wildseed Farm, Millerton, New York (Wassaic stop on the Metro-North)
Who: Environmental Justice community leaders
Jaron Brown, Global Wellbeing Organizer, Grassroots Global Justice
Kandi Mossett, Lead Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network
Maya Bhardwaj, National Coordinator, It Takes Roots
Davin Cardenas, Co-Director, North Bay Organizing Project
Sharon Lungo, Executive Director, Ruckus Society
*Speakers are available for interviews at the action camp or by phone upon request. Photo opportunities and high resolution photos will be available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance centers the leadership and power of urban and rural communities on the frontlines of racial, gender, housing, environmental, energy and climate justice in the United States to advance regenerative economies and healthy communities. ITR is a multiracial, multicultural, multi-generational alliance of networks and alliances representing over 200 organizations and affiliates in over 50 states, provinces, territories and Native lands in the U.S. and Canada, and is led by women, gender nonconforming people, people of color, and Indigenous Peoples. The Ruckus Society is a multi-racial network of trainers dedicated to providing the necessary tools, preparation, and support to build direct action capacity for ecological justice and social change movements. We work with Indigenous communities and other communities of color working to preserve their homes and environments and for climate justice.
string(1015) "In April, over 30 organizers from 11 Our Power Communities gathering in San Antonio, TX, at the home of the Southwest Workers Union, to engage in a 4-day Training, Skill-share and Strategy discussion to advance the Building Out Our Power Communities strategy for organizing a Just Transition on the ground. New organizers with various OPCs and new Regional JT organizing hubs, were able to build relationships, deepen their understanding of the transformative and intersectional stories and strategies for systemic change, and share in practical skills for popular education and community organizing. We were able to meet and stand in solidarity with local anti-gentrification and housing rights activists in San Antonio, and learn of the rich history of movement building from our SWU family, who celebrated their 30 year anniversary in 2018.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT:Climate Justice Alliance
Liana Lopez, U.S. Communications Coordinator
(346) 266-9798 CST, email@example.com
Maricelis Rivera Santos, Puerto Rico Communications Coordinator
(787) 615-2876 AST, firstname.lastname@example.org
CJA #OurPowerPR SOLIDARITY BRIGADES REBUILD PUERTO RICO
Multiple "Just Recovery and Resilient Rebuild" Delegations Arrive in January
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] The #OurPowerPR Solidarity Brigade launched by the Climate Justice Alliance, Organización Boricuá, UPROSE, Black Dirt Farm Collective, Greenpeace, The Leap and 25 other partner organizations in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, arrive in Puerto Rico this month with three new delegations and 45 people to support Just Recovery and Rebuild projects focused on food, labor and energy sovereignty led by grassroots groups in Puerto Rico.
The campaign, which began October 11th in response to climate disasters of Hurricane Irma and Maria, provides a proactive vision, strong coordination and a regenerative economic and environmental approach to the crisis led by the Borinquen people. The Puerto Rican people and the Caribbean diaspora are leading political pressure on the Island and in the States to demand:
Justice over the Jones Act
The end of PROMESA
A robust Just Recovery Federal Aid Package for the people of Puerto Rico
Support for brigades and donations to grassroots groups on the ground
UPCOMING BRIGADESJanuary 17 - 24th: The Just Transition Alliance and local labor partners hold strategy meetings to assess the state of work in Puerto Rico.
January 22 - 28th: Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE, Naomi Klein author and journalist of The Shock Doctrine, and Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance assess the impacts of disaster capitalism post-Maria and document community-centered solutions to the issues of food sovereignty, energy democracy and the overall degradation from environmental injustice in Orocovis (Organización Boricuá), the South (IDEBAJO), Vieques (Finca Concienca), and Humacao (CAM).
January 22 - February 3rd: Food sovereignty delegates will work to rebuild agroecology youth farm schools and organic family farms in Orocovis, Naranjito, and Vieques.
* February 3 - 7th: Sister Island Solidarity brigade from Vieques to St Croix to rebuild the farm structures of founding member forSAAFON in St. Croix. This is an ally brigade lead by Black Dirt Farm Collective and Organización Boricuá.
PUBLIC FORUMS AND EVENTSJanuary 26th, 10am - 12pm AST:
Disaster Capitalism and Just Transition Narrative Forum with PAReS, CJA, IDEBAJO (Organized by PAReS and the Climate Justice Alliance)
Elizabeth Yeampierre (UPROSE, OurPowerPR-NYC, Climate Justice Alliance)Naomi Klein (author of Shock Doctrine and Intercept Journalist)Ruth "Tata" Santiago (IDEBAJO-Iniciativa de Eco Desarrollo de Bahía de Jobos)Eva Prado (El Frente Ciudadano por la Auditoría de la Deuda)Mariolga Reyes Cruz (Profesoras y Profesores Autoconvocados en Resistencia Solidaria, PAReS)FB EVENT:https://www.facebook.com/events/209287936294705LIVE STREAM BROADCAST: 10am - 12pm AST: www.facebook.com/OurPowerCampaignJanuary 27th, 8:30am - 5pm AST:
Community Forum and Arts for Resistance at Humacao with the Community Support Groups (CAM), energy, food sovereignty, and health groups, to combat disaster capitalism and put forth alternative systems for a Just Transition.
Where: Loma de la Niña Mariana, Barrio Mariana, Humacao
January 27th, 6pm - 9pm AST:
Art for Resistance Event with the CAM and local artists
LIVE STREAM BROADCAST6pm - 9pm AST: www.facebook.com/OurPowerCampaignFOLLOW THE BRIGADES ON SOCIAL MEDIAFacebook:OurPowerCampaignInstagram:@cjaourpowercampaignTwitter:@CJAOurPowerHashtags: #OurPowerPR #JustRecovery #CJA
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Continue to stand and support frontline climate leaders and advance this visionary future for 2018!Ujima: Collective Work and ResponsibilityTo build and maintain our community together and
make our siblings' problems - our problems and
to solve them together.
The third day of Kwanza reminds us just how important community contributions are to the movement for justice. Let's be honest, 2017 was a devastating and exhausting year. Yet, with your support, CJA united with Black, Indigenous, Asian, Latinx, Arabic, LGBTQ, and low-income frontline communities across the U.S. in a global struggle to provide visionary opposition to injustice. Trans-local Just Transition solutions to our current climate crisis resonate and intersect many movements. Together, we are building a united front to end extreme energy extraction and reinvest in strong local living economies that put power back in the hands of the people.
In September, Our next large national convening takes place September 2018 in conjunction with the It Takes Roots "Real Solutions" Forum, a global community alternative space to the Global Climate Summit planned by Governor Jerry Brown in California.
In 2018, CJA's groundbreaking report, Carbon Pricing: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance, which was released on an international stage at the COP23 in Bonn, Germany, will be the focus of a national campaign including popular-education trainings to deconstruct carbon markets, geo-engineering and false solutions.
Also in 2018, we will recruit communication and policy fellows, expand Our Power Communities across six different regions of the U.S., and hold a national energy democracy summit.
The Climate Justice Alliance is a collective movement of frontline groups working toward a shared vision of possibilities, that is developing concrete solutions for a Just Transition, lifting up the Jemez Principles and rising tides that lift all boats. Give to the Movement. - Denise Abdul-Rahman, Chair - Executive Committee Member, NAACP Indiana Environmental & Climate Justice
Having an alliance of U.S. frontline communities to strategically confront the existing tyranny of our country and present real solutions is needed right now. - Tom Goldtooth, Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
Created and moved by frontline leadership, Climate Justice Alliance is uniquely positioned to move frontline solutions that move us away from fossil fuel extraction while anchoring us in movement building and just transitions. This historical moment needs a CJA and CJA needs your support so that the frontline can continue to slow down climate change, stand against injustice and build the future that honors our ancestors. - Elizabeth Yeampierre, Director, UPROSE NY
CJA is on the frontlines: creating a visionary economy that democratizes, decentralizes, and diversifies; that challenges monoculture; that builds resilience; that is sparking imagination, hope, and resistance across the country. It is too late to be timid - bold vision and action is what these times call for. Stand with the frontlines - support CJA. - Mateo Nube, Co-Director, Movement Generation
The wildfires, hurricanes and floods of this past year show us that we don't have time to play games of climate denial or greenwashing of dirty energy. CJA is creating opportunity for solutions already coming from communities on the ground. We bring together leaders from North Dakota to Texas, Mississippi, and Puerto Rico who are advancing Just Transition and Just Recovery campaigns that will move us toward community controlled renewable energy. -Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator, Grassroots Global Justice
Continue to stand with the frontlines to advance this visionary future - Support CJA by donating now.
We thank YOU for doing your part in helping us resist destructive fossil fuel-based false solutions, work toward a just recovery from climate catastrophe, and create new pathways toward an economy that values meaningful work, community, and Mother Earth.
In gratitude and solidarity,
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#OurPowerPR was launched in New York to support Puerto Ricans with a Just Recovery for the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and will be shipping supplies
San Juan, Puerto Rico ”” (Monday, November 20, 2017) An environmental and economic justice brigade led by Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Greenpeace USA, Organización Boricuá (Puerto Rico), Just Transition Alliance and their allies in the Our Power Puerto Rico campaign arrived on the island to join just recovery efforts and assess the impact of the Jones Act.
The brigade arrived yesterday on board the historic Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise. A second vessel will arrive in Puerto Rico in the coming days with sustainable supplies collected across the United States, including solar panels, water filters, agricultural tools and bicycles. The cargo could not come on board the Arctic Sunrise because the Jones Act does not allow for foreign flagged vessels to transport supplies between US ports.
These efforts are part of a national campaign led by Climate Justice Alliance called #Our Power Puerto Rico, which pursues the objective of rebuilding Puerto Rico with a regenerative economy. The goal is that Puerto Rico can recover through a just transition, centered on renewable energy, a green economy, food sovereignty and Puerto Rico's self sufficiency.
The brigade will meet with agroecologists and members of the labor movement in Puerto Rico to assess the impact of the Jones Act in the recovery efforts led by local communities. Furthermore, they will assess the needs of farmers that work for a just recovery and a just transition towards a sustainable future for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane María.
The brigade of activists in favor of climate justice joined the crew of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise in Miami to come to San Juan. This ship will then continue with in its route to Antarctica for its next mission with the environmental organization. However, the campaign will send another two brigades and supplies to Puerto Rico using other means in the next six months.
Participants in press conference held at Club Náutico de San Juan included Angela Adrar from Climate Justice Alliance, Kiya Vega- Hutchens from UPROSE, Jesús Vázquez from Organización Boricua, Camille Collazo from Visit Rico Agroturismo, Tara Rodríguez from Fondo Resiliencia, Hannah Strange from Greenpeace USA, José Bravo from Just Transition Alliance and José "Lole" Rodríguez Báez from Federación de Trabajadores de Puerto Rico, among others.
Angela Adrar, Executive Director of Climate Justice Alliance, Our Power Puerto Rico said: "This effort was born with the objective not only of collecting aid and sustainable materials but also to support Puerto Ricans so they can take charge of their own recovery with long-term benefits. Without the participation of the people, equity or economic or economic justice will not be achieved and that is the need that we want to amplify at the level of the United States and on the island."
Hannah Strange, Greenpeace's Movement Support Hub Director said: “Greenpeace is proud to stand by the Climate Justice Alliance and contribute to just recovery efforts to make communities more resilient to climate change. The most recent season of superstorms has made clear that the impacts of climate change are real, affecting communities from Texas to Puerto Rico, and around the globe. Climate change makes hurricanes like Maria even more powerful and destructive. We cannot let climate deniers and disaster capitalism deprive our communities from their right to a just recovery.”
Jesús Vázquez, National Coordinator of Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecológica of Puerto Rico said: "Due to the Jones Act, we in Puerto Rico remain very vulnerable not only to climate change, but also to our agri-food system, since the United States regulates what enters and leaves from our archipelago. That is why the Boricuá Organization is given a great deal of effort to work to produce food from the people and for the people using agroecology that promotes sustainable practices, resilient and also allows us to organize and work to achieve food sovereignty.”
Our Power PR was launched last month in New York by Climate Justice Alliance, Greenpeace USA and UPROSE in coordination with It Takes Roots, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, LEAP and Grassroots International. To date, more than 25 organizations have joined the campaign representing communities in 30 States and 150 organizations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The long-term goal is to deliver reliciency tools for the people of Puerto Rico, so they recover without pollution, debt, dependency, or deteriorated infrastructure, and instead advance towards environmental justice, a democratic economy, self determination and climate resiliency.
A just recovery is a visionary frame promoted by labor and environmental justice groups for a just transition that guarantees regenerative economies that can create jobs, protect the environment and create resilient communities.
For more information about Our Power Puerto Rico visit: http://www.ourpowercampaign.org/puerto_rico
Follow our hashtag #OurPowerPR
Marlene Peralta, email@example.com, 646-601-4267 (CJA)
Contact in Puerto Rico:
Maricelis Rivera Santos, firstname.lastname@example.org, 787-615-2876
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My name is Kiya Kiya Vega-Hutchens and I work for Uprose in Brooklyn, New York. Today was the brigade's first full day on the boat as members of the crew. Yesterday we launched from Miami, and headed off into the big blue yonder, the ocean is crazy beautiful. I have been nervous about seasickness since there has been a lot of talk of horror stories mentioning 18 ft waves crossing the Atlantic. Although no complaints, so far we have been very lucky with the weather. For the most part the side effects have just been drowsiness, which have been amplified by the rocking of the ship which to me feels like a cradle!
Monica and I mopped the deck and alleyways today as part of participating in the morning chores. Everyone is normally up by 7 am latest and then we have breakfast mine was muesli and soy milk. The kitchen is such a treat because they have collected hippy food from all over the world, there are soy milks in every language, homemade hot sauces, and Scandinavian vegan cookies near the Indian pickles. It makes me smile. Most of the rooms have framed pictures from adventures that the ship has been on. This is the ship that the Russian Military boarded and arrested the Arctic 30.
After morning chores, I volunteered in the radio room - and will spend my downtime for the rest of the trip helping out there. My project today has been building a rechargeable battery for an emergency beacon in case the ship loses power. The technician, Mir, was breaking down tasks for me and I realized I was way over my head - but if not now then when? I am trying to just throw myself in as much things as possible during my short time here, and really grateful that he and the rest of the crew have been so inclusive of the brigade.
We spent the entire day coasting along the north side of Cuba. All day you could see it off in the distance - some times cityscapes and some times mountains. Since we were so close Mir was able to pick up radio stations from the island which made me feel connected to Cuba although we didn't have the opportunity to stop and visit.
At 10 am, our brigade work begins. We meet in the campaign room, a narrow space in the lower poop deck. Finally, living in tiny apartments in New York City has translated to a useful skill. It prepared me for navigating these tight corners with tons of busy people.
Every day we plan to start the morning in our work groups – mine is social media and communications. In the afternoons we meet as a full brigade and cover updates for each work group, and end each evening with a training focused on the work that each of us is contributing towards a Just Recovery. It has been so meaningful to be working with all these brilliant and brave women and gender non-conforming people from around the country. I feel so lucky to be learning from their experiences.
Tara, who has spent the last decade working in Puerto Rico's agro-ecology movement, lead a training for all of us about the work that she does and the agricultural systems in Puerto Rico, so that we will be able to confidently support Organizacion Boricua during our time on the island. Cuba is actually a model for a lot of the work that is being done on the ground. Agro-ecology is producing 50% of the food consumed in Cuba – as opposed to 2% in Puerto Rico. It is encouraging to keep in mind that the solutions to the climate crisis are here, and the models for a Just Recovery effort are right beside us.
Speaking of food -a quick note on lunch. It is so good! Willy, the chef is an exceptionally good cook. There are vegan options and vegetarian options galore, and you can taste the love and thoughtfulness that is put into the food that has been purchased and prepared by him.
During the evening, the crew goes on to the deck to watch the sunset. I joined some of the crew as they did pilates on the helipad, these folks are non-stop! In the middle of exercise, a pod of dolphins came to check out the commotion. I love how they like to surf on the waves that the boat makes which allows them to come really close. Since it was a young pod, they started to show off and jumping crazy high when we cheered for them !! They kept leaping higher and higher the more we cheered for them.
by: Kiya Vega-Hutchens
string(10908) "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Jade Begay, Communications Coordinator Indigenous Environmental Network
email@example.com, whatsapp +1 505 699 4791
Groundbreaking “Carbon Pricing Report” Released by Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance at COP 23
In-depth Analysis By Grassroots Exposes Carbon Trading Markets as False Solutions to the International Climate Crisis
Bonn, Germany -- While city, state, and national leaders gather at the UN Climate Talks to launch and implement platforms and agendas that promote carbon trading, carbon offsets, and REDD+, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance take a bold stance to reject and challenge these so-called innovative solutions by releasing the “Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance.”
This report provides in-depth context to why carbon market systems will not mitigate climate change, will not advance adaptation strategies, will not serve the most vulnerable communities facing climate change impacts and only protect the fossil fuel industry and corporations from taking real climate action.
Furthermore, the publication is the first of its kind to be released in the United States and will help frontline communities and grassroots organizations articulate crucial points to challenge carbon markets and climate change. It is a tool in building a carbon market grassroots resistance.
On Wednesday November 15, Tom Goldtooth, co-author of the report, and members from communities who are impacted first and worst by climate change spoke at the UN Climate Change Talks to challenge nations, cities, and businesses who are promoting carbon markets as they violate Indigenous Rights and make way for more fossil fuel extraction near Indigenous, Black, and Brown communities.
Key points of Carbon Pricing Report:
- Carbon trading, carbon offsets and REDD+ are fraudulent climate mitigation mechanisms that help corporations and governments to continue extracting and burning fossil fuels.
- Revenues distributed to communities from carbon trading or carbon pricing never compensate for the destruction wrought by the extraction and pollution process required to obtain that revenue.
- The injustices, racism and colonialism of carbon pricing schemes have worldwide effects that require international resistance.
This publication will help communities and organizations articulate crucial points to resist carbon pricing and climate change.
The following is a statement from the co-authors of the report:
"The linking of carbon markets across the United States and the World is a tool that fossil-fuel companies have shaped and built to continue to extract and dump on frontline communities. Carbon pricing is a slap on the wrist, a reward really. History shows that, it does not have the ability to move us away from oil addiction, or reach our targets for climate justice. The only true way to reach our goals of 1.5C is to stop the fossil fuel machine at source, to provide stricter regulations, and to hold polluters accountable for their legacy of pollution. We need this Just Transition to survive! This report demonstrates through a historical and international lens the mounting threats these markets have wreaked on frontline communities across the world. It is a call to action for community resistance and resilience." -- Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Climate Justice Alliance.
"Our Indigenous Peoples and people of color climate justice alliances saw a need to put together a publication that demystifies the carbon market regimes constantly being pushed upon our communities by environmental and climate organizations. Under the rubric of carbon pricing, these cap-and-trade, carbon offsets, carbon tax systems are false solutions that do not cut emissions at source, create toxic hot spots, and result in land grabs and violations of human rights and rights of Indigenous peoples in the forest regions of developing countries. People have a right to know the truth about these national and global initiatives that are nothing but the financialization of nature, the privatization of Mother Earth.” -- Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental NetworkQuotes from Press Conference Participants:
“What cap and trade has done is that it’s enabled the expansion of the oil industry and expansion of fossil fuel development because now they can offset emissions and pretend that their carbon is being stored somewhere in the Amazon. Carbon credits are permission to pollute.” -- Alberto Saldamando, Indigenous Environmental Network “I live in Richmond, California and there are 5 refineries in the east bay of San Francisco that includes shell, torsoro, valero, phillips 66 and chevron. Growing up my family had to live through explosions and flares from these refineries, which sometimes sent us to the hospital, only to be met with paperwork so that we couldn’t sue the oil company. These refineries and they toxins they release in our communities are causing major health issues; cancers, birth defects and respiratory problems, and the people being affected most are African Americans , Indigenous peoples, Hispanic folks and low income families. These places we live in are now called sacrifice zones because we are literally sacrificing our lives just to live where we’ve always lived. And for most of us, the idea of isn’t an option because we are low income. This is why we must stop fossil fuel emissions at the source and not let these companies buy their way out of contaminating towns and cities.” -- Isabella Zizi, Idle No More SF Bay Area“First of all if we are here it’s because we have a problem. I came here with a mission from my community to bring messages to the cop. These carbon trading mechanism are being implanted in the state of Acre Brazil and they are also implementing carbon offsets in Acre. The first thing that these carbon offset projects cause is division in our communities and when indigenous people and indigenous leaders are divided, there are very adverse social impacts. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve seen that carbon trading and carbon offsets are not a solution to climate change , it does not reduce pollution, it does not reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the Brazilian amazon we are seeing a lot of carbon offsets projects with very adverse impacts for our peoples. What’s happening is that Indigenous Peoples are being criminalized by these carbon offset projects. We’re not destroying the forest. We’re the ones who protecting the forest. Now they are offering our communities money in exchange so that the big polluting companies can use our forests for sponges for their pollution. I am saddened to be here at COP23 because this is just one big carbon trading convention. The government and industries are not defending life on earth, they are doing business, they are figuring out ways to make more money. They don’t care about what is happening in our communities, they don’t care about what we’re suffering. All they care about is their profits. Furthermore, climate change is not going to end or be reduced by their solutions, it’s just about a bunch of lies. People don’t know what’s happening with these false solutions in my community and that's why I’m here, so I really hope that my message is heated and heard, we must not forget that life itself is at stake and we must not believe the lies of industries and governments.” -- Ninawa Inu Huni kim, Cheif and President of the Federacao Huni Kui People of Acre
“I think this is a very significant event today launching this Carbon Pricing Report: A Critical Perspective for Community Resistance because the future of the planet will depend on communities standing strong against false solutions. COP is nothing but a carbon stock exchange because what is really being discussed on the negotiation floors are deals, who can buy what and sell what, who has the rights to keep polluting, whether it’s trees in Nigeria or Kenya or Cameron or Uganda...The polluters don’t want to change from the pattern that has brought us to where we are at today and this is the sickening and the sad thing about the COP. How can we pretend that fiction will solve reality. Carbon Pricing is fiction, selling the price of air, of carbon, and doing anything to stop the pollution but instead they keep pumping the toxic stuff into the atmosphere. I think this report is so vital because it shows that the time to stop green-washing is now.” - Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, No REDD in Africa Network, , Oil Watch, Nigeria, Africa
Miami, FL - The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) announced that they are sending two ships, including a charter boat with sustainable relief aid to Puerto Rico in partnership with Greenpeace. The announcement was made in a press conference today on board of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise vessel now docked at Museum Park Pier in Miami.
They were joined by leaders of the Miami Puerto Rican community supporting CJA's #Our Power Puerto Rico, an initiative help Puerto Ricans drive a Just Transition and Just Recovery for the island after Hurricane Maria. Some of the local organizations represented included, Florida Immigrant Coalition FLIC, The Puerto Rican Professional Association of South Florida (PROFESA) and No Planeta B, an organization educating college students and the private and public sector about the impact of climate change.
During the press conference, Our Power Puerto Rico campaign leaders denounced The Jones Act, the merchant lawposing an alarming obstacle in bringing help to Puerto Rico when the island is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis. After a month of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria, most Puerto Ricans still have no power, and limited or no access to clean water or adequate food.
Greenpeace offered its Arctic Sunrise to bring sustainable relief aid, but the Jones Act does not allow it, since it is an international vessel. The campaign charted a vessel equipped to carry sustainable rebuilding supplies including e water filters, bikes with carts for transportation, sustainable agriculture supplies, solar communications equipment, satellite phones, solar stoves, bike repair kits, and more.
Since its launch last month in New York, #Our Power Puerto Rico campaign has been bringing environmental, social and economic justice groups from across the US together to support Puerto Rican leadership in their effort to rebuild the island through a Just Transition. Rebuilding through a Just Transition means putting regenerative energy, local livable economies, food sovereignty, and community self-reliance at the core.
The campaign is now supported by Presente, Farmworkers Association of Florida, FLIC (Florida Immigrant Coalition), 350 South Florida, The LEAP, Miami Climate Alliance, UPROSE, WhyHunger, PROFESA, The New Florida Majority, Miami Workers Center, Movement Strategy Center, Wallace Global Fund, Greenpeace, OrganizaciÃ³n Boricua, It Takes Roots, USFSA, The Cleo Institute, The Ruckus Society, Cooperation Jackson, Just Transition Alliance, Movement Generation, the Solutions Project, We Do Better and many more.
Together they represent 30 states and 150 organizations across the US and Puerto Rico. The long-term goal is to help Puerto Ricans transform the political and economic system in the face of climate disasters toward resiliency. Provide Puerto Ricans with resilient tools so its people don't rebuild on pollution, debt, dependence, and crumbling infrastructure, but rather bounce forward to environmental justice, economic democracy, self-determination, and climate resilience.
What communities have had to endure in Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas, California and other areas is not natural. There is nothing natural about these successive and climate intensified storms and fires. They will happen again. In light of these disasters, people across the country and the Caribbean are uniting to provide real solutions for climate justice that address the root causes of climate change and demand a just recovery from climate catastrophe that rebuilds for resiliency, for food sovereignty, for jobs, energy democracy and local power," said Angela Adrar, Executive Director of the Our Power Campaign and Climate Justice Alliance.
"Our Power PR is a political and educational effort to talk about and show what #JustRecovery and #JustTransition can look like. Nearly 50 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall, more than half of Puerto Rico is still without electricity. They need our help now. We are sending 4 huge containers of relief aid material, most of it being solar lanterns, sustainable materials, seeds, bicycles, and other reconstruction materials Puerto Ricans have asked us for," said Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
"As we speak, the people of Puerto Rico are suffering the awful consequences of a system that has favored the fossil fuel industry over community power at any expense. This is what climate change and institutionalized racism look like," said Greenpeace USA Movement Support Director Hannah Strange. "In the absence of leadership from Washington DC, individuals and organizations around the world are preparing to stand with Puerto Rican communities as they begin the long process of rebuilding."
"Puerto Rico is the canary in the mine that was never heard. It's been calling for years and yet congress never heard them". "Similarly, this hurricane season is -once again- another canary in the mine alerting us that climate change is real. The question is, as we start seeing thousands of climate refugees coming to the mainland, will congress acknowledge now the urgency to act; will they keep playing deaf-mute in front of Mother nature' signals; or will they simply greet them with paper towels on their hands?" said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, Executive Director, No Planeta B.
"Industrial agriculture poisons the planet and our bodies. We must grow food and feed our communities in a healthy and sustainable way. We've partnered with our compañeros y compañeras at Organización Boricuá on agroecology for nearly five years, and we wholeheartedly support their farming wisdom to feed the island - especially during the recovery from this climate disaster," said Elvira Carvajal, Community Organizer, Homestead, Farmworker Association of Florida
"Communities of color have been historically overburdened by both the causes and consequences of climate change, including hazardous air pollution, water quality and accessibility to energy," says Metayer. "Now is the time to right the wrongs of history and ensure that these communities are not overlooked as we all try to make the earth a better place to live and grow," said Nancy Metayer, Climate Organizer, New Florida Majority.
***Just Recovery is a visionary framework promoted by the environmental justice and labor communities to transition and secure regenerative economies that can create jobs, protect the environment, and lead to resilient communities.
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Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise leaving NY Tuesday displaying banner in support of Puerto Rico. It reads: "We Stand with Puerto Rico #JustRecovery Now!"
New York, NY – Greenpeace USA joined Our Power Puerto Rico Campaignthis weekto announce a brigade traveling to Puerto Rico to deliver much needed resilient aid. The announcement was made at the historic Arctic Sunrise ship docked in Brooklyn with members of UPROSE, Climate Justice Alliance, Greenpeace USA, and other allies from across the US part of the #Justrecovery campaign #Our Power Puerto Rico launched last week.
The brigade plans to deliver resilient and sustainable resources onto the Island for a just recovery that can help protect Puerto Rico from the kind of destruction left by hurricane Maria. Items include bikes, solar panels, water filters and more.
Greenpeace's historic Arctic Sunrise ship arrived in New York City over the weekend, kicking off a month-long tour along the Atlantic Coast highlighting threats to the oceans and climate and impacts to our communities.
The tour will support #OurPowerPR campaign, an effort led by allies in the climate justice movement to deliver critical rebuilding supplies and expertise to rural communities in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria's devastating impacts to the region. The organizations involved in the effort include: Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), UPROSE, Organización Boricua, Greenpeace, It Takes Roots (Indigenous Environmental Network, Right To The City, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Climate Justice Alliance), WhyHunger, USFSA, Grassroots International, The Ruckus Society, Just Transition Alliance, Movement Generation, Solutions Project, The LEAP, with the support of Wallace Global Fund, The Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED), Solutions Project, Solidaire Just Fund Portal, Rose Foundation, Underdog Fund and others.
***On Tuesday Greenpeace Arctic Sunrise held a banner display in support of Puerto Rico before traveling to Norfolk, VA, Wilmington, NC, and Miami, FL, educating the public about the impacts of plastics and oil drilling on our coasts and to raise awareness of the limitations imposed by the shipping restrictions of the Jones Act to deliver relief aid. Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise is available to ship humanitarian help but can't because the Jones Act waiver expired, Greenpeace will have to pay for additional charter boats to transport the aid. The tour will conclude with the delivery of materials to Puerto Rico, including solar systems, sustainable agricultural goods, and tools.
“Greenpeace is honored to play a role in ensuring a just recovery for the victims of climate catastrophe in Puerto Rico,” said Annie Leonard Executive Director, Greenpeace. “People continue to suffer and the Trump administration has left them behind in favor of malicious tweets. If the U.S. government won’t step up to properly assist with recovery, the people will rebuild in a way that puts climate justice at the forefront.”
“I want to thank our partners, the Climate Justice Alliance and Greenpeace for making this vessel available. We had hoped to load this vessel provided by Greenpeace with what the people of Puerto Rico had asked us for: soil, seeds, solar lanterns and bicycles that would make it possible for them to navigate their way through the island. Sadly, we can’t use this vessel because the Jones Act has shackled our ability to help. The federal government does not want to help Puerto Rico and does not want to make it possible for others to do so either. This is why this campaign, #OurPowerPR is demanding a repeal of the Jones act, demanding the debt be lifted and a path to a just recovery and Regeneration be forged by Puerto Ricans for Puerto Ricans,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE and Steering Committee Co-Chair of Climate Justice Alliance (CJA).
“It is all hands on deck for Puerto Rico, Climate Change is real and it is being felt by climate justice communities like Organización Boricuá who have lost all their crops to the storms on the Island. They have yet to have clean water or food reach their rural areas. The state is of dire need and yet they are putting forth solutions for a regenerative economy, a new clean energy system, and a renewed commitment to food sovereignty on the Island. Congress should be pay heed to a recovery package that includes resilience for communities to prevent and better buffer the negative effects of climate on vulnerable people,” saidAngela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance.***Just Recovery is a visionary frameworkpromotedby the environmental justice and labor communities to transition and secure regenerative economies that can create jobs, protect the environment, and lead to resilient communities. For more Information about Our Power Puerto Rico, visit http://www.ourpowercampaign.org/puerto_rico
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###FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE###
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - Today environmental justice advocates launched a new translocal campaign to push for a resilient recovery for Puerto Rico.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ADVOCATES LAUNCH NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR A JUST RECOVERY IN PUERTO RICO
#OurPowerPR is a push to bring resilient resources so Puerto Ricans can create local livable communities, regenerative energy and food sovereignty
WASHINGTON, DC. - Today environmental justice advocates launched a new translocal campaign to push for a resilient recovery for Puerto Rico. The long-term goal is to provide Puerto Rico with resilient tools so its people don't rebuild on pollution, debt, dependence, and crumbling infrastructure, but rather bounce forward to environmental justice, economic democracy, self-determination, and climate resilience.
The new campaign is led by Climate Justice Alliance and UPROSE joined by It Takes Roots, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, LEAP and Grassroots International. Together they represent 30 states and 150 organizations across the US and Puerto Rico.
On Wednesday unified under the Our Power for Puerto Rico campaign, they demanded that Congress pass an immediate federal aid package designed for the Just Recovery and Resilient Rebuilding of Puerto Rico. A major kick off rally was held in New York where the largest number of Puerto Ricans reside outside the island.
Events throughout the nation also included the delivery of 5,000+ petitions to U.S. representatives in Washington DC. The petitions especifically demand a relief package that include debt relief, the repeal of the Jones Act, transparency in distribution of resources, an assessment of infrastructure.
The campaign has been collecting "resilient aid" to ship and distribute themselves on the island. Resilient Items include: Water filters, bikes with carts for transportation, work gloves, micro-green seeds and others that grow in this climate, solar-based radios, satellite phones, solar stoves, bike repair kits, solar flashlights, solar chargers, solar and wind energy.
"Standard responses to disasters leave behind more pollution, more debt, less democracy, and a weaker infrastructure. In contrast, a Just Recovery would reduce pollution, reduce debt, challenge systemic racism, deepen democracy, and leave behind a sturdier, more resilient public sphere," said Naomi Klein, international best-selling author and award-winning journalist.
"Wall Street's business-as-usual approach to relief and recovery has led to land-grabs and riches off the misfortune of vulnerable communities. If we act with a clear vision for a Just Recovery, Puerto Rico can serve as a model for areas suffering the same climate injustice. Our representatives need to hear from us directly while on the Hill and back in their districts; we will not stop calling our reps until they include a Just Recovery in the federal aid package," said Angela Adrar, Executive Director of CJA
"Puerto Rico today is a living, breathing, suffering symbol of climate injustice. The devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Maria is the culmination of centuries of colonialism, extraction, and repression. As Puerto Rico rebuilds, it must revolutionize the society's decaying systems of survival by confronting the dominant political and financial institutions that have profited from this decay," said Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director of UPROSE and Steering Committee Co-Chair of Climate Justice Alliance.
"In my community in Miami, I witnessed first-hand what happens when people show up for each other during a climate crisis. Frontline communities across the Caribbean, the Gulf Coast and the U.S. South are responding to each other's needs and bearing the brunt of the recovery with little to no resources. It's a crime against humanity how the government has chosen to respond. This government owes Puerto Ricans full debt relief and a long-term investment in their survival," said Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
"The lives and livelihoods lost as a result of Hurricane Maria exacerbate injustices borne for centuries by frontline communities. We have an opportunity to respond in this time of human crisis with immediate relief and intentions for a long-term regenerative economic transformation. It's imperative that frontline leadership determines the path for recovery that provides a just and sustainable future. We support the coordinated efforts of CJA as they center the needs of those most impacted and therefore with the greatest vision for what comes next," said Sarah Shanley Hope, Executive Director of Solutions Project.
"Climate exacerbated storms like Hurricane Maria further elucidate the cycle of colonization that is afflicting the island and people of Puerto Rico. Systemic racism, bigotry and economic injustice are only a sample of variables that contributed to this humanitarian crisis. The people cannot afford an anemic recovery effort superficial in nature. These efforts must be led by the people in a way that benefits those who were impacted first and worst by a crisis they had little to do with creating. The Leap is honored to stand with the Climate Justice Alliance, Uprose Brooklyn and other groups who are leading the efforts for a people-powered recovery in Puerto Rico," said Anthony Rogers-Wright, US Coordinator, The Leap.
"We as Puerto Ricans and people of color in the U.S.A. need to stand up in solidarity and work side-by-side with the people of Puerto Rico towards a Just Recovery and a sustainable, resilient rebuild that prioritizes autonomy, food sovereignty, climate and social justice, respect to the Mother Earth, and the human rights of all people in the Island. We need to take the lead of the courageous Boricuas organizing a regenerative people's project on the ground with the goal of decolonizing Puerto Rico," said Jovanna Garcia Soto, Solidarity Program Officer for Latin America at Grassroots International
"Thousands of families are still in desperate need of clothing, water, food, housing, and health care. Here from the U.S., communities are mobilizing to provide support and amplify the voices of our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico. The solutions will come from them and it is imperative that we stand with the people of Puerto Rico to the rebuild their livelihoods and sovereignty," said Saulo Araujo, WhyHunger
"The people of Puerto Rico require our full support: there can be no sacrifice zones. The time to step up is now. Our children and grandchildren will look back at this pivotal moment in history and judge us by the choices we made. Climate change is real. Transition has become inevitable. Justice however, is not. It is upon all of us to bring about a Just Recovery for the people of Puerto Rico; to make this a Just Transition for all," said Mateo Nube, Movement Generation.
"Citizens of the wealthiest nation in the world are living in squalor and lives are threatened and lost daily as the situation persists. Circumstances are deteriorating with untreated illnesses and simple infections become fatal. The US government is duty-bound to address this crisis but long-term redevelopment must be by the people of Puerto Rico with locally elected officials empowered to reject the interests of the mono-focused wealth building agenda the government and corporations that have caused the island to a pay the price of catastrophic climate change impacts," said Jacqui Patterson, DIrector, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP
"A just recovery has to start by taking responsibility for the double standard and colonial mentality of the United States towards Puerto Rico. Secondly, a just recovery must put those in harm's way and those that have disproportionate impact first. Lastly, a just recovery is possible only if the grassroots people of Puerto Rico are the ones leading and holding the efforts accountable. A just transition for the people, by the people, with local economies, and sustainable production is needed," said Jose Bravo - ED Just Transition Alliance
"There's no doubt that extreme-weather hurricanes are enhanced by human-caused climate change. We humans need to work together to address global warming and rebuild devastated communities right. Greenpeace is honored to work with climate justice allies to support a #JustRecovery for Puerto Rico that includes renewable energy, regenerative agriculture, and community-led planning," said Annie Leonard, ED Greenpeace USA
In the wake of Hurricane Maria and decades of environmental, structural and colonial racism, neoliberal austerity, and land-grabs by private equity funds and Wall Street banks, we must all stand with the people of Puerto Rico to support and fight for a long-term just recovery. A Just Recovery calls on us all defend the right and leadership of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination, and to democratic control and autonomy over the resources, land, water, and food in Puerto Rico. We must fight against the attempts by Wall Street and government to further privatize and colonize the island for profit and exploitation. We stand arm-in-arm with the people of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican Diaspora across the globe leading the efforts for just, sovereign and sustainable Puerto Rico," said Dawn Phillips, Executive Director Right To The City Alliance
The Just Recovery is a visionary framework promoted by the environmental justice and labor communities to transition and secure regenerative economies that can create jobs, protect the environment, and lead to resilient communities.
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Our Power Puerto Rico Brigades
#OurPowerPR is an ongoing translocal campaign pushing for a resilient recovery for Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The long-term goal is to provide Puerto Rico with resilient tools so its people don’t rebuild on pollution, debt, dependence, and crumbling infrastructure, but rather, bounce forward to environmental justice, economic democracy, self-determination, and climate resilience.
The campaign is led by Climate Justice Alliance and UPROSE, and joined by It Takes Roots, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, LEAP, and Grassroots International. Together, they represent 30 states and 150 organizations across the US and Puerto Rico. For updated information on the campaign, check out the #OurPowerPR page here.
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CJA EMERGENCY CALL WITH DIRECT UPDATES FROM ALLIES & MEMBERS AFFECTED BY HARVEY AND IRMA
Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated communities from the Caribbean to the southern United States. Climate Justice Alliance is hosting a call at 8:00pm EST Wednesday evening to hear directly from our members and allies in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Haiti.
Find out ways you can support a frontline response that is inclusive of all communities in the recovery effort. Now is the time for all of us to pull together to advance a Just Transition and rebuild for resilience. JOIN US WEDNESDAY!
This call is open to CJA allies, members, and those seeking to help in a Just Transition recovery. The call is limited to 500 members so REGISTER NOW!
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The Climate Justice Alliance is deeply disappointed in the President's decision to end DACA and the consistent scapegoating of immigrants to push his agenda targeting racially diverse communities. Migration to the United States is a direct consequence of the refusal to accept the reality that we must move toward a non-extractive energy industry to diminish the effects of climate change in the future. We stand with our people and encourage everyone to speak out now. We call on the U.S. Congress to pass legislation NOW to protect our immigrant youth and families.
"As an immigrant from Colombia dedicated to fighting environmental injustice and had all my formal schooling in the U.S., I find today's DACA announcement to be an immoral action and an abuse of power inflicted on the most vulnerable. CJA stands with the thousands of undocumented people who were brought to this country as young children and who will be contributing to the wealth of the U.S for generations to come," CJA Executive Director Angela Adrar.
Many of our CJA members are working in their own communities to help those that are now in danger of being targeted by this vile decision to end DACA. Please help support their work. You will find links to their organizations below:
In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, CJA mobilized to raise money in support of our member group t.e.j.a.s., the first EJ organization in Houston. After the hurricane, t.e.j.a.s. was on the frontlines, providing support to the most impacted communities in Houston. t.e.j.a.s. monitored air and water quality, coordinated responses with local coalitions, watchdoged local industry and government responses, and advocated for forward-looking policies to ensure regenerative industries replace the largest refining and petrochemical complex in the U.S.
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CJA is proud to announce two new steering committee co-chairs! We'd like to extend a huge amount of gratitude to out-going steering committee co-chairs, National Coordinator of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) Cindy Wiesner and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) Executive Director, Byron Gudiel, who have worked hard to build CJA into a stronger alliance that has increased capacity to support our member organizations and created a stronger network.
NEW STEERING COMMITTEE CO-CHAIRSUPROSE Executive Director Elizabeth C. Yeampierre is a nationally recognized Puerto Rican attorneyand environmental justice leader of African and Indigenous ancestry born and raised in NYC. Her award-winning vision for an inter-generational, multi-cultural and community led organization is the driving force behind UPROSE. She is a long-time advocate and trailblazer for community organizing around just, sustainable development, environmental justice and community-led climate adaptation and community resiliency in Sunset Park. Elizabeth is the first Latina Chair of the US EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
“The fight for climate justice is more than the recognition that the climate crisis most impacts those that are least responsible. It is the understanding that this crisis is the culmination of centuries of subjugation – of human labor, of natural resources, and of political power. The solution is not to solely address the challenge of carbon emissions while leaving a system of racism, patriarchy, classism and exploitation intact. CJA embodies the understanding that the path to climate justice is local, is grounded in the grassroots, is driven by solidarity, and demands systematic change.”
Mateo Nube is one of the co-founders of Movement Generation: Justice & Ecology Project. He was born and grew up in La Paz, Bolivia. Since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, he has worked in the labor, environmental justice and international solidarity movements. Popular education, union organizing & cultural work have been foundational pillars of his political formation.
"I am tremendously excited by the visionary and oppositional economies that CJA member organizations are strategically threading together across the country. Our task, as an alliance, is to build the alternatives that both starve and stop this suicidal banks and tanks economy while simultaneously birthing the local living, loving, linked economies that will carry us all into a healthier tomorrow. I am ready to roll up my sleeves, alongside freedom fighters across many frontline communities, to make this dream a reality! ¡Pa' adelante CJA!"
We are excited about the possibilities that our new co-chairs' extensive environmental and climate justice experience and leadership wisdom offer as they provide strategic guidance, fiscal oversight and organizational development & support to our alliance over the next two years.
Cindy and CBE will continue to be integral to CJA, will play advisory roles as our new co-chairs take on their new duties, and will stay on the steering committee.
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We call on all those who choose to stand on the side of justice, the side in opposition to white supremacy and state violence to take creative and courageous action where they live and challenge how white supremacy shows up in our communities. Join us, this Saturday, August 19th as we Confront White Supremacy from Charlottesville to the White House.
AUGUST 19 - National Day of Action Against White Supremacy
Join us this Saturday, August 19th as we Confront White Supremacy from Charlottesville to the White House.
The events in Charlottesville are not an anomaly; they are happening all over America. In cities like Durham, Tampa and New Orleans, people are organizing to take down racist monuments. Symbols of white supremacy take different forms; for some it is a monument, for others it's street name or campus building. For many it is an institution that continues to inflict harm on their people.
Join us in action action Saturday Aug. 19th. We will continue to focus our attention on the many institutions that maintain white supremacy.
Find an action near you today.
Challenge yourself to use your imagination and consider all the symbols and institutions of white supremacy:
A corporate headquarters
A local police union
A campus building
A local politician that has yet to cut ties with the Trump/White Supremacist project,
And for those close enough, the White House.
We're calling everyone to boldly and publicly choose a side in this fight . Thank you for joining us in opposition to white supremacy and state violence. Let's tear down systems of hate and build a world we believe in.
The MajorityPS: If you are planning an action against white supremacy beyond the 19th, please share the details of your action here.
Únete este Sábado 19 de agosto de 2017 para confrontar a la supremacía blanca desde Charlottesville hasta la Casa Blanca.
Los eventos en Charlottesville no son anomalías; están pasando por todo los Estados Unidos. En ciudades como Durham, Tampa y New Orleans, las personas están organizando para quitar los monumentos racistas. Los símbolos de la supremacía blanca toman diferentes formas; para algunos son monumentos, para otros es el nombre de una calle o un edificio en una universidad. Para muchos, es una institución que le causa daño a su gente.
Únete en acción el Sábado 19 de agosto. Vamos a enfocar nuestra atención en las muchas instituciones que mantienen la supremacía blanca.
Encuentra una manifestación cerca de ti hoy.
Usa tu imaginación y considere todos los símbolos e instituciones de la supremacía blanca:
La sede de una corporación
Un sindicato local de la policía
Un edificio de una universidad
Un político local que aún no ha cortado con Trump/ Proyectos de Supremacía Blanca
Y para esos que están cerca, la Casa Blanca
Estamos pidiéndole a tod@s que públicamente y con audacia escojan un lado en esta lucha. Gracias por unirse a nosotr@s en estar en contra de la supremacía de la raza blanca y la violencia del estado. Vamos a derrumbar los sistemas de odio y crear un mundo en que nosotr@s creemos.
La MayoríaPostdata: Si está planeando una acción en contra de la supremacía blanca más allá del 19 del agosto, por favor comparta los detalles de su acción aquí.
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CJA Alliance member Cooperation Jackson supports Nissan workers in Canton, MS, as they cast their votes to unionize. The Canton facility is one of only three Nissan plants worldwide that are not unionized. Two of those non-unionized plants are located in the U.S. South - Mississippi and Tennessee.
Monica Atkins of Cooperation Jackson, inspired by the death of Derrick Whiting who died on the factory assembly line in 2015, shares her support of the workers in spoken word:
Workers Peripheral video - Monica Atkins
“…his body laid there for at least 20 minutes…that’s a really long time to watch someone die. No one spoke, no one helped. We were told to just keep working. And we probably could have saved him..”
Their fight for the right to unionize has drawn attention from former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Bernie Sanders and actor Danny Glover (who spoke at a Pro-Union Nissan Workers rally this week). In March, the fight also got international support from Nissan workers in Brazil.
Nissan has come under heavy criticism for their anti-union tactics and for flooding Canton media with commercials and social media posts in an effort to discourage the unionization of the Canton plant.
"This could go down as one of the most vicious, and illegal, anti-union crusades in decades. Workers should never have to endure this type of threatening campaign or walk through a minefield just to vote for a union," Senator Bernie Sanders said in The Guardian.
Nissan workers have the opportunity to vote until 7:00 p.m. tonight in the Murano Conference Room. Get information about the vote here: Do Better Nissan
Follow the conversation at Do Better Together on social media and send your support to the Nissan workers, UAW and all labor workers at Do Better Together!!
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On August 3, 2017, more than 500 young people from around the country met in New York City to attend the 6th Climate Justice Youth Summit, hosted in Brooklyn by UPROSE. They shared their stories and built relationships with other young people from frontline impacted communities.
During the Summit, CJA hosted a youth panel: From the Frontlines of Defense to the Forefront of Transformation: Protecting Water, Land, Air, and Self Determination. The CJA Youth Collective Panel featured young people from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, who spoke about their resistance to the fossil fuel industry, their experiences with climate disasters, their commitment to agroecological food production, and the establishment of worker-owned cooperatives.
More than 45 CJA members from 17 different groups gathered in Detroit to discuss effective and sustainable ways of funding a Just Transition. During the gathering, members talked about how to build in this current political moment and how to decolonize the relationship between debt and money around topics including, for example, the value of intergenerational work in the building of new economies. We cooperate together for a regenerative economy, by envisioning and imagining a different way. Taking a look at generational money, history means people of color don’t have generational wealth. Owing money or being in debt is not an indicator of who you are as a person.
Are Just Transition and transformation the same thing? What does that mean? Everyone has some debt in some form. We need to educate ourselves on forms of money and use direct action organizing to create media strategy and campaigns. When your family is trying to find the cheapest item, how do you balance that with wanting to support living-wage jobs? We need campaigns to change the rules and make it possible.
There's been a lot of discussion and outrage over the past week about Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord. While the administration's decision demonstrates its willingness to do literally nothing about the climate crisis facing us, the Paris agreement was not, and has never been, the solution we've needed. Here's some reasons why we'll be alright without it:
1. We Can and Must Do Better
Officially, the Paris Accord's central goal is to limit global warming to "well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels." This already isn't enough for countries on the frontlines of climate change impacts, who asserted throughout COP21 that the goal would need to be below "1.5 to Stay Alive." And in fact it's even worse if you look at the actual content of the agreement, which would allow for closer to 3 or 4°C in rising temperatures. Temperatures rising this high would be catastrophic for everyone, and especially for countries in the Global South. Even with the Paris Accord still in play, we need to go above and beyond it to avert climate catastrophe and build climate resiliency in communities already being impacted. We have the tools and organizing power to do that, with or without Trump's decision.
Local and state elected officials, such as the Climate Mayors, have declared they will support the Paris Accord despite the administration's decision to leave. This is a step in the right direction, but local officials need to be consulting with frontline communities in order to make sure clean energy targets meet the needs of those most impacted which is necessary to help us truly address climate change. Transition plans from fossil fuels need to empower communities and do not have room for false options posing as clean energy, such as nuclear, large-scale hydro, fracking, natural gas and biofuels.
2. Indigenous People are Leaders in Climate Justice
Indigenous sovereignty is crucial to achieving climate justice. Indigenous peoples are among the first impacted by climate change and extractive fossil fuel projects. We've already seen through struggles such as those against the Dakota Access pipeline that Indigenous people are the ones leading important fights to protect our precious resources from the fossil fuel industry. They are also the ones protecting our planet's biodiversity.
Indigenous groups are leading fights internationally, nationally, regionally and locally against extractive practices, and allies can do our part to stand with them in a way the Paris Accord didn't. Follow groups such as the Indigenous Environmental Network, Indigenous Peoples Power Project, and more to support Indigenous-led work happening in your community.
3. We Have Real Solutions, Not Market Ones
This was one of the fundamental problems with COP21 from the get go. Corporations and their friendly government officials were major players in crafting the Paris Accord. The result was a lot of false solutions that don't address the root cause of the climate crisis, which is a crisis of the economy. Carbon offset programs such as REDD allow states and corporations to continue to emit carbon as long as they plant trees somewhere else, usually resulting in the displacement of Indigenous communities. Carbon trading schemes enable emitters to continue polluting wherever they want as long as they have the money to purchase permits. The Paris agreement is full of these market solutions that allow corporations to continue to extract resources and labor, while poisoning communities.
Real solutions need to put an end to the extractive economy while fostering a Just Transition to locally-based, regenerative economies. Economies that not only give communities access to clean energy, but also democratic decision-making power over how this energy is produced and used. Economies that create meaningful jobs that give people control of their labor and provide a good standard of living. Economies that ensure we are not extracting resources or exploiting labor of the many for the sake of the few.
4. We Are Standing in Solidarity with the Global South
Countries in the Global North, such as the United States, have profited for years off rampant emission of fossil fuels. Despite this, and despite the fact that countries in the Global South have been and will continue to be most impacted by climate change, the Paris Accord does not hold countries in the Global North accountable for the disproportionate responsibility they hold for the crisis. In fact, one reason Nicaragua refused to sign was because of this false claim around "universal responsibility." It's essential for people in countries such as the U.S. to stand in solidarity with communities of the Global South, who are paying the price for our country's fossil fuel production and consumption.
In the end, solutions need to come from those most impacted in order to achieve climate justice. People grounded in their own communities know what the communities need. That's also the only way we can know the economies we create are not extracting from communities and workers. National and international agreements can support and fund these community efforts. They can even stand with and protect the rights of communities that are organizing for climate justice. The Paris Accord was never about doing these things. It was primarily created by and for corporate interests in the Global North.
Communities on the frontlines of extraction are doing work all over the country to craft real solutions that will not only reduce emissions, but will facilitate a Just Transition away from this extractive, fossil fuel economy. It's not a good thing that Trump pulled out of the agreement, but I don't believe that the Paris Accord could have solved the climate crisis. I do believe our communities will.
Here are some ways you can support a Just Transition outside of the Paris Accord:
Get involved in the local or regional efforts in your community that are fighting for climate, racial and economic justice.
After 3 long years of organizing, our members and allies won caps on refinery pollution!
On the same day Trump pulls our country out of the Paris Climate agreement, our members and allies lead the world with our historic victory. Because of our organizing and the boldness of our members to raise their voices, Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) passed a motion that adopts Greenhouse Gas (GHG) caps–a historic cap historic cap on refinery pollution! Bay Area refineries will not be able to bring Tar Sands or other extreme and heavy crudes. We will all breathe easier with healthier and cleaner air. We will protect our bodies and our planet.
This cap puts us on a path to winning the strongest and most ambitious caps on refinery pollution in the world. The leadership of our Richmond members and partners, on the frontlines of poverty, racism, and refinery pollution, has made all the difference.
Our work is not done yet–in September, we'll make sure that BAAQMD approves rules capping Particulate Matter and Toxic Air Contaminants. Stay Tuned!
For more background on this victory and to hear from our members, check out this story on KALW: Historic vote could freeze Bay Area refinery emissions levels
Check out this show on KPFA from Andres Soto of CBE who interviewed Supervisor John Gioia: https://kpfa.org/?s=El+Show+de+Andres+Soto
About Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)--Uniting Asian and Pacific Islander communities for environmental and social justice. #apen4ej
Senowa Mize-Fox is joining the Climate Justice Alliance as an executive assistant and has a background in labor, racial, and climate justice organizing. She spent the last three years in Burlington, VT working with her labor union United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America helping to build strategies around just transition. Through this work she was connected with organizations such as the Vermont Workers’ Center, Migrant Justice, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, and Black Lives Matter VT.
She believes that systems of oppression connect all of our movements, and that through intersectional organizing we can begin to put together the puzzle pieces of solutions that are going to get all of us free. Racial justice is connected to environmental justice, which is connected to labor justice, healthcare justice, and gender justice. The list goes on.
Growing up in Providence, RI, she has also spent extensive time in Vermont, Brazil and England studying traditional environmentalism via ecology, natural resources planning, environmental policy, and international sustainable development. She once had a dream of working for a development bank in underserved communities, building houses, digging wells and planting trees, before being organized at a friend’s housewarming party nearly four years ago.
Her main organizing interests lie in using storytelling as a tool to connect with people, communities, and organizations. She wants to know what connects people to their homes and open spaces, and how she can work with them to make those spaces truly livable in all aspects of their lives.
Senowa enjoys teaching people competitive swimming techniques, talking to her roommate’s cat, and making up dance moves on the fly.
The Climate Justice Alliance is happy to welcome a staff member -- Holly Baker as their new Funder Relations Organizer. Holly, who brings more than two decades’ experience of fundraising, program and event coordination, and administration within grassroots organizations, jumped into her new responsibilities with CJA during the People’s Climate March activities, the last week of April.
She has spent the last 19 years at the Farmworker Association of Florida, where she has built relationships with many foundations that are strongly rooted in social, economic, and environmental justice. Under her leadership, the organization has secured millions of dollars over these years to advance equity and justice for farmworkers and immigrants.
Holly’s long experience at a complex grassroots organization with multiple locations; multiethnic and multilingual staff, board, and community members; and centered on a population vulnerable to environmental contamination, as well as exploitation and discrimination, has equipped her with the skills to listen compassionately to affected communities; consider broad and deleterious human and environmental health impacts of negligent practices by unscrupulous industries; and strategize potential solutions or actions to counter destructive practices and advance an eco-centric model of greater good. We welcome Holly’s experience in developing mutually beneficial relationships among frontline communities and the funders who believe in their vision, wisdom, and capacity to actualize real and strategic solutions to build vibrant and resilient local economies.
Based in Florida, she will bring to the position her passion for protecting earth’s natural systems, and for amplifying the voice of true grassroots leadership.
Read more about Holly through her bio here:
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The discourse on climate change is transforming out of political necessity in a historic way. Climate justice is being coined by many of those that until now focused solely on reducing carbon as our hope forward. It is being lifted up as the solution to this extractive economy and there is a desire to uplift equity and justice in conversations where they could not surface in the past. Our moment in history is here and with it, many challenges to assure that frontline communities continue to play a significant and central role in the solutions that are sprouting up at local, tribal, and municipal levels. We extend a deep gratitude to our members that have in spite of the oppression, and chaos of these last 100 days show up, mobilize, and continue to build the movement strong.
People's March on Climate, Jobs, and Justice
Last week, the Climate Justice Alliance as part of #ItTakesRoots held down the Protectors of Justice contingent that formed the frontline of the PCM and made history yet again by mobilizing over 200,000 people in DC and in over 370 cities turning out strong. Hundreds of delegates organized thousands of frontline community members across the nation and Washington D.C for the week of actions and the big day of the mobilization.
As you well know CJA did not do this alone, We were in deep partnership with Right to the City, Grassroots Global Justice, Indigenous Environmental Network and the many members that supported their own large delegations. In deep appreciation we shared some of the images captured from both PCM and May day and ask that if you have some great images that you share them with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be posted to the shared It Takes Roots flickr page.
Here's a glimpse at some of the news coverage of #ItTakesRoots in D.C.:
Two days later, on May 1, #ItTakesRoots members organized actions in more than 25 cities in solidarity with workers and immigrants and against anti-Blackness as part of Beyond The Moment. These translocal actions demonstrated the power our people have on the ground, that we will continue to build beyond May Day!
The BayBostonBurlingtonChicagoDenverLong BeachMinneapolisNew YorkPortlandRhode IslandSeattle
Check out media coverage from May Day featuring #BeyondTheMoment:
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While organizing for PCM events, ITR also worked concurrently as part of Beyond the Moment to support translocal actions for May Day. May Day marches in Detroit, Rhode Island, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, and San Francisco rocked the It Takes Roots banner.
After 18 months of discussions and feedback from the pilot site organizations, steering committee, and full membership body, while building from the deep history and experiences from the Just Transition Alliance, CJA released a shared set of Just Transition Principles. Understanding that Just Transition will look different in different places, we believe a core set of shared principles will strengthen our collective work.
Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and dozens of others to support massive labor, immigrant rights demonstrations around the country on May 1stMEDIA ADVISORY
April 26th 2017
Brooke Anderson, Climate Workers
On a press conference call this Friday, April 28th at 9am PST, directors of major national environmental and climate justice organizations from around the country will:
discuss their support for protests planned for International Workers Day ("May Day") on May 1st, 2017
call on employers NOT to retaliate against workers who choose to go on strike
pledge to defend workers who face retaliation
They will be joined on the call by leaders and members of SEIU United Services Workers West, which represents 45,000 service workers throughout California, many of whom are participating in May Day by not working.
The letter - signed by 80+ environmental and climate justice organizations - reads, in part:
"As environmental and climate justice organizations, we support workers who choose to walk off their jobs on May 1st because we know that the fight to protect land, water, air and soil is inseparable from the fight to protect the life and dignity of workers, migrants, and communities of color. To workers participating in protests on May 1st, we say: "Thank you. You deserve better. And we've got your back."
Read the full letter and see the list of signatories at http://www.climateworkers.org/?p=214WHAT: Press conference call with environmental and climate justice leaders on May Day statement.
WHEN: Friday, April 28th, at 9am PST
Miya Yoshitani, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (Executive Director)
Denise Solis, SEIU United Service Workers West (Vice President)
Inmar Liborio, SEIU United Service Workers West (worker honoring May 1 general strike)
Brooke Anderson, Climate Workers
CALL: Register for the call at http://bit.ly/2oMqhmu to receive the dial in information.
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Leading up to the People’s Climate March on April 29, It Takes Roots alliances organized translocal actions and another large, multiracial delegation to go to DC. The DC delegation hosted a variety of events to engage members, including congressional visits, a People’s Congress, trainings, a Red Line action, and participation in the frontlines of the People’s Climate March.
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This week, Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) that will gut the Clean Power Plan, an action that will increase U.S. emissions, push for coal leasing on federal land, and accelerate the climate catastrophe for those fighting for their lives in the most vulnerable communities of our country. Trump, Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry, Ryan Zinke and the rest of Trump's reckless cabinet are stripping frontline communities of basic safety guards in order to shamelessly redirect money into a fossil fueled, militarized economy that will lead to our collective destruction on Mother Earth. This was clear from his cabinet picks, the Executive Order on the Dakota Access Pipeline, the budget proposal, and his approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline. This week's Executive Order on the Clean Power Plan further confirms that he will stop at nothing short of our ruin in exchange for profits and corporate interests that have no place influencing decisions at the highest level of OUR government.
To be frank, CJA hasn't always avidly applauded the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement because of their limitations when it comes to Indigenous Rights, Human Rights, equity, mandatory reductions in environmental justice and frontline communities, amongst others. These tools favor techno-fixes and market-based solutions that often serve as deterrents to renewables and furthermore, reduce our climate crisis to a crisis of carbon rather than include the multiple cumulative effects of co-pollutants that harm community, worker health, and furthermore destroy our air and planet.
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) actively organized and put forth comments and recommendations to improve the CPP. Last year, we presented our own People-led Our Power Plan at every EPA regional office in the country. As part of the legal process, our communities would be better served if the feedback our members provided over the years was implemented to improve the Clean Power Plan and we will work very hard to ensure that the safeguards we have will not disappear. Trump's proposed killing of the CPP leaves us exposed to profit-led manipulations that do not and will never protect and serve the people and is yet another significant and direct attack on low income folks, communities of color, women and children that are already fighting off the Muslim ban, ICE assaults, and violations to their human rights.
This year, major floods and droughts are once again predicted to hit down in the South, West and Coastal areas. To survive these attacks and build resiliency in light of mounting threats to our livelihoods; grassroots and frontline communities around the country are developing resistance hubs and working toward community regenerative solutions to the climate crisis. CJA is building broadly with communities who are building frontline leadership and influencing local, municipal, and state elected officials to take our power and energy back.
Our power is with the people and we will rise up to these challenges like our elders in the movement have done before us. As the administration continues to attack our communities, we will continue to fight for energy democracy and an economy that works for us. All of our survival depends on it.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2017CONTACT: Isobel White, 510-828-3554
Bernice Shaw, 310-880-1389
Women of Color Lead: A Call to Grow the Resistance against Trump, to Converge in Washington D.C. Jan 18-21
Interviews available upon request with women of color, undocumented & immigrant women, Spanish speakers, Indigenous Peoples, youth and rentersWashington D.C. | January 18, 2017 ”This week, women of color and grassroots leaders from around the U.S. will join forces for the "It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance" delegation to Washington D.C. to take action against the incoming Trump administration. The delegation, organized by the Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Right to the City Alliance, will bring together over 100 grassroots leaders from communities most impacted by a wide range of the incoming administration's proposed policies.
These leaders “from African American, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Indigenous, and poor white communities across the country“ are joining together to resist the threat posed by the incoming administration and to build a vision beyond hate and walls.
"We are in a moment in which racial hatred against our communities of color is stronger than ever, in which we have to organize, unite and defend our rights that we have as immigrants, workers and families. We cannot allow fear to paralyze us. The respect and dignity of and in our communities is our shield to be able to maintain that strength and resistance in our communities." Sylvia Lopez, Domestic Workers organizer, Mujeres Unidas y Activas.
These grassroots leaders will join together in workshops to learn from each other's local struggles and victories and to be trained in community resilience and nonviolent resistance. They will also take part in the direct actions listed below.
"It Takes Roots to Grow The Resistance means that grassroots communities hold the power to pushback against the injustice that a Trump presidency will bring. Grassroots, local, low-income and communities of color are leading the way with solutions right now, such as United Workers shutting down incinerators in Baltimore and the Boston Recycling Coalition pushing their city toward zero waste.“ Ahmina Maxey, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)
"When people in power have tried to divide our communities, told us to hate and fear each other, it is the women who have brought us together. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that the roots of the resistance are strong, so we are coming together to grow and deepen the resistance together." Angela Adrar, Climate Justice Alliance
#ItTakesRoots Actions & Events In Washington D.C. January 18th – 21st
Friday January 20th at 9:30 AM (1000 Independence Ave SW, Washington D.C);
#ItTakesRoots direct action at the U.S. Department of Energy and the office of Housing & Urban Development to oppose Rick Perry's direct ties to the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the threat to housing security posed by Ben Carson, Steven Mnuchin, and Donald Trump.
Friday January 20th at 12:00 PM at Columbus Circle in Union Station:
#ItTakesRoots will spearhead a women of color, gender non-conforming folks and allies contingent at the Disrupt J20 March called for by local D.C. communities aiming to disrupt the inauguration.
Saturday January 21st at 9:00AM, meeting at Garfield Park (Corner of 3rd and G Street SE, Washington D.C.)
#ItTakesRoots will join in with the Women of Color & Allies Contingent for the historic Women's March on Washington. Thousands are expected to join the contingent including members of the four alliances, the National Domestic Workers Center, 350.org and more. The contingent will feature frontline Women of Color spokespeople as well as bold and large art & banners.
Local Actions Throughout the Nation:
On January 20th, in solidarity with the delegation in D.C., member organizations are spearheading actions in nine cities across the country including: Chicago, Oakland, San Francisco, Nashville, Los Angeles, Boston, San Antonio, Long Beach and Denver. The #ItTakesRoots coalition also plans to escalate a series of translocal actions throughout the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency to build community power.
It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistancewww.growtheresistance.orgGrassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ)Grassroots Global Justice is a national alliance of grassroots organizations building a popular movement for peace, democracy and a sustainable world. GGJ weaves and bridges together US-based grassroots organizing groups and global social movements working for climate justice, an end to war, and to advance a just transition to a new economy that is better for people and the planet.
Climate Justice Alliance (CJA)
The Climate Justice Alliance is a collaborative of over 35 community-based and movement support organizations uniting frontline communities to forge a scalable, and socio-economically just transition away from unsustainable energy towards local living economies to address the root causes of climate change. We are rooted in Indigenous, African American, Latino, Asian Pacific Islander, and working-class white communities throughout the U.S. We are applying the power of deep grassroots organizing to win local, regional, statewide, and national shifts.
Right to the City Alliance (RTTC)Right to the City (RTTC) emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, people of color, marginalized LGBTQ communities, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. We are a national alliance of racial, economic and environmental justice organizations.
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
Established in 1990 within the United States, IEN was formed by grassroots Indigenous peoples and individuals to address environmental and economic justice issues (EJ). IEN's activities include building the capacity of Indigenous communities and tribal governments to develop mechanisms to protect our sacred sites, land, water, air, natural resources, health of both our people and all living things, and to build economically sustainable communities.
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Angela Adrar, executive director of the Climate Justice Alliance, will be a speaker at this briefing next week, January 12. Read here for more information.
January 12: Visionary Opposition in the Era of Trumpism
Click here to RSVPJanuary 12, 201712-1pm Eastern / 11am-12pm Central / 10-11am Mountain / 9-10amPacificA funder briefing with Angela Adrar of Climate Justice Alliance, Cindy Wiesner of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Kandi Mossett of Indigenous Environmental Network and Dawn Phillips of Right to the City AllianceHosted by Surdna Foundation: 330 Madison Avenue, 29th Floor, between 42nd & 43rd St, New York.
Click here to register:Join in person (Space is limited so please RSVP), via online webinar or by phone.
Get in high gear this new year to partner with the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) in forming and supporting grassroots opposition to the incoming administration and building resilient community-led solutions. Join a funder briefing to learn about the main pivots and priorities in strategy from members of the grassroots organizing sector, such as: grassroots-led local, municipal and regional strategies; cross-sector alignment and intersectional movement solutions; policy implementation plans that center the leadership of impacted communities and influence policy at a greater level.
It is within our power to make this a historical turning point, where movements get stronger and more unified and begin to both cohere more defensive fights, and pivot to the offensive together.
Register now to receive information for how to participate via webinar or phone
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In January, Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Right to the City Alliance came together under the banner of It Takes Roots (ITR) to hold strategic meetings and trainings and to mobilize against the new Trump administration.
Through the month of January, ITR supported members in preparing for multiple translocal actions and a delegation to Washington, DC during the week of inauguration. There were more than eight local actions and 100+ grassroots leaders in DC under the ITR banner. ITR staff also organized training labs and strategy sessions among the members. More info about post-inauguration ITR events can be found here.
This winter, our member organizations gathered to finalize a visionary Four-Year Strategy for their frontline communities to lead us through a Just Transition to an Our Power economy that is based on sustainable, resilient, and regenerative, not extractive, systems.
While the political terrain and some strategies have pivoted, CJA and our members are committed to the overarching goals of this Four Year Strategy explained here - New Year's resolutions of a sort.
FIGHT THE BAD: Our members are on the frontlines of an extractive economy that continues to harm our communities, exploit our labor, and deny us basic rights and sovereignty. We must organize to shut down extractive facilities and extractive economic structures in our communities.
BUILD THE NEW: We must use our grassroots organizing power to build the next economy now; construct real models of that transition that can be shared, replicated, and innovated; and create economic institutions that build the political power of our members and organizations. These new economic institutions will be regenerative rather than extractive and rooted in ecological resilience and equity. In 2017, CJA is deepening relationships with workers and labor to envision an Infrastructure plan that really WORKS.
CHANGE THE RULES: Alternatives and models are not enough. We must change the rules to create new paths of least resistance that privilege the Our Power economy over the Old Power economy. This happens at all levels of governance beginning with the local. It is strengthened by demonstrating that we can create the new economy by flexing both economic and political power. We must identify the legal and structural barriers to the Our Power economy. We must break the rules that don't work and write new rules to facilitate construction of the Just Transition economy.
MOVE THE MONEY: We will not resource a Just Transition from charity alone. We must organize to move money out of the Old Power economy using both public and private vehicles. We must weaken the power of the speculative markets, extreme energy, worker exploitation, extraction, and militarism while strengthening economic and political democracy to place power in the hands of the people.
BUILD THE BIGGER WE: As CJA models multiracial alliance-building and successfully uplifts the work of communities of color, it can point a new direction for the grassroots climate movement as a broad, multi-sector, transformative front. Some of these goals are already rooted in strong, fertile soil and will flourish in 2017. For example, we held a "Build the Bigger We" in Washington DC after the election to ground a multi-sector and local, state, and regional approach to climatejustice in the new year.
CHANGE THE STORY:We refuse to live in fear and allow the new administration to hide or undermine the environmental and climatejustice struggle. We need to change the stories that normalize unjust power structures, make fundamental change imaginable, and build the expertise to narrate the changes already underway in order to shift the dominant culture and change structural power relationships. There is an opportunity to help allies in other movements see the climate crisis as a key driver of structural change in the 21st century and therefore a critical opening toward building a new economic system.
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Twenty-four U.S. states called on Trump to "kill the Clean Power Plan" and issue an Executive Order to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from proposing similar legislation in the future. While the Clean Power Plan and EPA are far from perfect, they provide important avenues to environmental and climatejustice accountability.
Determined to strip Americans from hard-earned environmental safeguards, Trump's constant climate lies and long list of private sector and fossil fuel industry political appointments are a clear assault on the many gains won by people of color, women, immigrants, LGBTQ communities, Indigenous peoples, low-income tenants, and workers for which we continue to struggle.
While grassroots solutions have largely been ignored at the national level, CJA has always deepened grassroots movement-building and leadership on climate and environmental justice and beyond. Together, we uplift the communities and grassroots leaders most impacted for they hold the solutions to Trump's blatant falsehoods.
Donate nowto CJA to support our trainings, organizing, and coalition building to confront Trump's climate lies on Day 1 of his administration.
Join us in the Streets of DC on January 20 and 21 to support direct actions on Inauguration Day (January 20) and to march with our grassroots feminist contingent of mainly women and gender non-conforming people of color in the Women's March on Washington (January 21).
Join Trans-local actions in the Streets in 5+ key cities coordinated with our DC action and anchored by CJA members locally. You will help us build momentum for future actions and mass mobilizations in the first 100 Days and beyond in coordination with People's Climate March, World March of Women, and many others.
We have already started to build a bold, unified plan with GGJ, RTTC, and the Homes for All campaign, consulting our collective membership, which is both oppositional and visionary, that uplifts regenerative, long-term solutions derived from frontline communities. Our collective membership represents nearly 150 organizations in 30+ states with thousands of members active inclimate, racial, economic, environmental and gender justice work, housing and land rights, and Just Transition.
Together, within the first 100 hours after the election, we already began to coordinate, plan, and act.
We held an Environmental Justice and ClimateJustice Grassroots Meeting in DC to strategize post-election with over 40 groups from across the Nation to inform CJA pivots in strategy for "building the bigger we" with allies and multiple sectors across the movement.
This COP22 nicknamed the "Action COP" was meant to focus on the implementation needed to get the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Close to 200 countries and 25,000 people came out strong and unified against Climate Deniers to respond to Trump's threats to rip up the Agreement that took the International Heads of State and negotiators decades to land, opening up the COP to private sector Climate Profiteers that are bottom lining the Paris Agreement with market-based solutions that will make it impossible to reach our collective goals on climate in any real way that addresses those most affected by the threat of climate here at home and around the world. So, how far have we come really?
These are some areas that we need to keep our eye on moving into Bonn:
Common and Differentiated Responsibilities (CDRs) and National Determined Contributions (NDCs): all of this jargon stands for no mandatory standards or enforcement on commitments. Under the Paris Agreement, countries make their own plans and set their own targets on limits and contributions, only a handful of countries have submitted long-term "road maps" including the US who committed to reducing 80% in emissions by 2050, which seemed to be more of a wish list with the current political climate question. That said, there is room for us to provide a concerted effort to pressure for human rights, more transparency, and a Just Transition framework where workers rights are part of adaptation plans be adopted in reaching long term goals. The Women's Contingent has made Just Transition a priority and we will continue to work on integrating worker rights and a Just Transition in these plans where women can lead.
Where's the Finance for adaptation (planned 100 billion dollars by 2020) that will help developing countries create "clean energy" infrastructure and technology needed to the develop away from fossil fuels in a sustainable way. So far money committed is for counting carbon ($50 million) and it is very likely that contributions and plans will rely on techno-fixes and carbon cutting strategies that yet again, offer financial returns to business versus communities. More clarity on targets for the status of Green Climate Fund (GCF), Least Developed Countries Fund, and the Adaptation Fund is critical and will be a point to put pressure on moving forward. no more false promises!
"Clean Energy" and the Private Sector; John Kerry addressed COP22 in Marrakesh, stating the private sector as the savior of the climate crisis, he mentioned market based solutions, clean energy, entrepreneurs, technology, infrastructure, private sector, and business over 25 times in his short speech, estimating the "Clean Energy" market to be ..."a multi-trillion dollars market, the largest the world has ever known" this is concerning because nuclear, biomass, incinerators, and natural gas among other damaging energy sources fall into the murky definition of "clean energy" that does nothing to address the supply side of energy for real mitigation.
Fiji will serve as the President for COP23 proposed in Bonn, Fiji is very much on the frontline of climate disasters and has already had to relocate communities due to rising ocean levels, While we will find allies in Fiji at COP23, it has been agreed that the next major COP meeting will not take place until 2018 and will probably take place in Hungary or Poland after a shorter meeting in Germany, making it more challenging for social movements to organize outside resistance and solid pressure to "inside" negotiations given visa, and costs related for the Global South to make it there. For Bonn, we must be committed to bringing our folks both nationally and internationally in to hold that space for resistance and frontline voices since that is also the headquarters of the UNFCC.
State Carbon Pricing Strategies: With the CPP on the chopping block it is very likely that private sector businesses that want to get into the "clean energy" game will work with States and rely on carbon pricing tools to do so. Applying a broader energy democracy platform to CJA's climate justice work and understanding how Our Power communities can navigate carbon pricing in their States will be fundamental regardless of Trump's position on the CPP.
Civil society continued to pressure for stronger Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Women leadership and participation in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The It Takes Roots delegation included Jaron Browne from Grassroots Global Justice, Diana Lopez from Southwest Workers Union, who arrived early to participate in La Via Campesina Climate Justice trainings and Alberto Saldomando from IEN, who got in early to anchor negotiations at the Indigenous Peoples Platform. Jose Bravo, from the Just Transition Alliance, Kali Akuno, from Coop Jackson, and me from the Climate Justice Alliance joined them the 2nd week to reinforce the Direct Climate Justice space, the Women's Contingent, and prepare for a large scale Standing Rock Mobilization. Watch videos for some of the folks on the delegation to learn more about COP22.
We are reaching out to you, CJA member and allies, to respond to the many messages we have received expressing feelings of disbelief, anger, mourning, and real fear as a result of the elections and Trump's 100 day plan. In this difficult moment, let us remember that we have been on a trajectory to build the Our Power Campaign for years; amplifying the success of local grassroots communities by providing real solutions that we can invest in and that respect Mother Earth. Our communities remain on the frontlines of environmental and climate crisis, and are determined now more than ever to lead a systemic change that will end the rise of deep-seated bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and life-threatening climate change denial.
Our communities have survived genocide, colonialism, slavery, patriarchy, white supremacy, segregation, and stolen culture & land. We too will collectively overcome this moment if we stand together. We are inspired by the #Our100 actions, the student walk-outs, and the #NotMyPresident mobilizations. Negotiating with climate deniers and placating right-wing populists like some have begun to do is a dead-end that undermines the progress our movements have made and could make. Instead of being complicit at this time, we need to build a broader movement of resistance, hit the streets and organize power.
We Will Hold the Line
We are committed to doubling-down our efforts to expand Our Power communities across the nation, and waging a strong Reinvest in Our Power campaign to support them. The grassroots needs to lead our movements. While the terrain has shifted, our overall 4 Year Strategy still stands. Additionally, CJA will: (1) Hold the line on environmental and climate justice: (2) Consult with our communities to provide a collective response to this moment; (3) Prepare our communities for a intensified direct and prolonged fight with the fossil fuel industry and special interest groups; (4) Have difficult conversations about privilege, class, and race with our allies for greater alignment; (5) Put forth a strong call to philanthropy and responsible investors to join our efforts; (6) Engage in dialogue with workers for a common future based on a Just Transition; and (7) Build with broader social movements at a national and international level. Specifically, we will organize a caucus with our grassroots environmental and climate justice leaders to put forth a collective strategy of resistance.
Implications and Victories
The Trump Administration has laid out plans to redevelop the Keystone XL Pipeline, will likely push the Dakota Access Pipeline, and rip up the Clean Power Plan. Our communities have been organizing and building resistance to these efforts and will continue to do so. We have an opportunity during this lame duck session to advance our agenda, for example, help Kentuckians For The Commonwealth put pressure on Congress to pass the RECLAIM Act, and help the Indigenous Environmental Network to push the Obama Administration to reject DAPL once and for all.
This is a time to come out strong on our values and support one another in this fight. We cannot afford to retreat back into our silos. We need to build a strong, cross-sector, cross-community movement of movements. Here are some immediate actions we can take in solidarity with each other:
Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline - On November 15th join the national day of action to Pressure Army Corps of Engineers to deny DAPL their permits.
Come Together - Participate on our emergency CJA full membership call on Wednesday 16th, at 3pm EST/12pm PST to discuss our strategy and give input on our collective actions.
Mobilize to Standing Rock - Organize POC, LGBTQ, Women, and Immigrant communities to join the CJA/GGJ Thanks-taking "500 Years of Resistance" delegation to Standing Rock on November 22nd-27th, 2016. For more information, join our call on November 14 at 3pm EST/12pm PST.
Defend the MST - Host an action in solidarity with the Landless Peasant Movement (MST) in Brazil, who are under attack by the repressive coup regime. There is much to learn and share with their struggle.
The Climate Justice Alliance stands in solidarity with the Landless Workers Movement (MST) and calls for an end to the state violence being wielded against them. On November 4, police raided the Escola Nacional Florestan Fernandes (ENFF) in Guararema, Sao Paulo. The raid was carried out without a warrant. Several MST members were detained and police fired live ammunition at the school. CJA members and U.S. based social movement allies have participated over the years at the ENFF, some of which were present during this most recent and unjust raid.
We believe the MST's work for land rights agricultural reform, and peasant rights is critical in achieving a Just Transition that links local to global communities in building a better future. We call for an end of state repression and criminalization of the MST and other grassroots movements in Brazil. We will be collaborating with Friends of MST to share a collective statement demanding an end to militarization against social movements. We encourage our CJA members to contact the State Department, the U.S. Ambassador in Brazil and the Brazilian Consulates in the U.S. to express concern over the recent abuse of power and demand the U.S. put pressure on the Brazilian government to stop criminalizing social movements and protect the students at ENFF.
For more information and ways to support, visit these links:
Dear AFL-CIO President Trumka and Our Sisters & Brothers in the Labor Movement:
In 2013, on the eve of the AFL-CIO convention we wrote a letter to you calling for a dialogue between environmental justice organizations and the AFL-CIO. Although our communications never resulted in a meeting, in light of the current situation regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) the reasons for our request are just as urgent and relevant as ever.
The Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) represents 40 organizations with thousands of members throughout the U.S. led by Indigenous communities, communities of color and low-income white communities living on the frontlines of the impacts of extractive industries. We see ourselves as part of a growing global movement to fight climate change and build a sustainable future for the planet and its people. We believe that Labor must play a key role in this movement if it is to continue to represent the aspirations of working people, both on the job and beyond. At the same time, the environmental justice movement cannot halt climate change without organized labor. We need each other to win. Right now, none of us are winning
CJA is asking the AFL-CIO to reconsider your position on DAPL. According to CJA member Indigenous Environmental Network's website: This pipeline will carry over a half a million barrels of oil per day from the Bakken Oil Shale Fields. The route the pipeline will take, if approved, will be laid under multiple bodies of water, to include the Missouri River located a half mile upstream from the Standing Rock reservation. This river not only supplies drinking water to the tribe but is a major tributary to the Mississippi River where more than 10 million people depend on it for both human consumption and irrigation for the nation's "bread basket."
The AFL-CIO statement says that:
We believe that community involvement in decisions about constructing and locating pipelines is important and necessary, particularly in sensitive situations like those involving places of significance to Native Americans. However, once these processes have been completed, it is fundamentally unfair to hold union members' livelihoods and their families' financial security hostage to endless delay.
In fact public processes have not been completed. This is evidenced by the order of a Washington federal appeals court to stop construction while the court considers whether to order a longer delay. The Army Corps of Engineers has also said that it will not allow construction on federal lands while it considers permits for sections of the project. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is using strategies and tactics that workers and unions have historically used effectively - exercising every legal and administrative right available to them and utilizing direct action and civil disobedience as tactics to protect their sacred sites, health and environment.
There are many reasons why the Dakota Access pipeline is a bad project, not just for the Standing Rock Sioux nation and the people who live on the land around it, but for everyone. It takes away the right for people to govern our own energy. It poisons precious resources and perpetuates the biggest crisis of our existence -- climate change. Temperatures are continuing to rise and are causing more and more global warming-related disasters everywhere, from the flooding in Louisiana to the fires in California and to the heat waves in the northeast. We all have a stake in supporting communities who are standing up to projects like Dakota Access. We don't need more pipelines, we need a just transition to clean, sustainable, and democratically-controlled energy.
We understand the concerns of the hundreds of workers who are in need of work to sustain their families and livelihoods and are now employed constructing the pipeline. We are also aware of the history of failures of previous Just Transition efforts that have left workers hanging. The communities we represent are plagued with above average rates of long-term unemployment and low-paying jobs. We are often the last hired and the first fired in development projects. We have also experienced our share of false promises by government and industry.
But this is a moment that requires us to not be guided by past failures or betrayals. It requires us to be bold in our demands and strategies and to build a broad-based movement that will not accept that jobs vs. the environment is an inevitable conflict.
We believe that there are many projects and policies that we can mutually support that will create millions of good paying jobs and that will contribute to the well-being of our communities and the planet. The crisis in Flint, MI demonstrated the urgent need for new water infrastructure, particularly in low-income communities of color. There are similar needs in housing and an opportunity to construct energy efficient homes and commercial buildings. There is work in developing Zero Waste programs - and the City of San Francisco has demonstrated that waste reduction programs can create good-paying union jobs. We can support demands that renewable energy projects require good paying, union jobs as well. We can demand that government provide a "Superfund for Workers" that provides unemployment insurance, health care, pensions, job training and living expenses for workers transitioning out of fossil fuel industries.
As the climate and economic crises continue to impact the communities we come from and really care about, this issue/wedge is not going to go away, only intensify. Therefore we are renewing our request to engage in a proactive dialogue. We request a meeting with you to discuss our concerns and potential opportunities to work together for a clean energy future that addresses the needs of current workers and the many in our communities who are under and unemployed. We also urge you to meet with the Standing Rock tribe and other communities that are being impacted by the pipeline.
It is a difficult to find ourselves in disagreement with the AFL-CIO on this issue. We believe that organizing for the rights of workers is a fundamental, inalienable right and an absolute necessity in an era where corporate power is at its zenith. And we ask you to understand that many people stand to suffer direct impacts from DAPL and millions more will experience the repercussions if the project and many others like it are allowed to go online. The Standing Rock tribe is fighting to protect their health, sovereignty and sacred sites. CJA, 200 indigenous nations, 1200 archeologists and museum directors and many other organizations are standing with them. We are also heartened that four AFL-CIO affiliated unions and the constituency organizations within the AFL-CIO have expressed their support for Standing Rock. We urge you to do the same.
Angela Adrar, Executive Director, Climate Justice Alliance, Washington, DC
CJA Steering Committee Members
Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Oakland, CA
Jihan Gearon, Executive Director, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Flagstaff, AZ
Byron Gudiel, Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment, Los Angeles, CA
Cindy Wiesner, Executive Director, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Miami, FL
Eric Harrison, Sustainable Living Projects Manager, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, Slidell, LA
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network, Bemidji, MN
Sara Pennington, New Energy and Transition Campaign Organizer, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Whitesburg, KY
Mateo Nube, Co-Director, Movement Generation, Berkeley, CA
Denise Abdul Rahman, NAACP IN State Environmental Climate Justice Chair, Indianapolis, IN
Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE, Brooklyn, NY
I recently had the opportunity to travel to North Dakota and visit Sacred Stone camp as part of The Climate Justice Alliance's delegation to support our partners at the Indigenous Environmental Network. My experience affirmed my belief in how critical this fight is, and how important the communities directly impacted by projects like Dakota Access are in leading us towards a Just Transition.
Standing with Standing Rock
There are many reasons why the Dakota Access pipeline is a bad project, not just for the Indigenous people who live on the land around it, but for everyone. It takes away the right for people to govern their own energy, it poisons precious resources and perpetuates the biggest crisis of our existence -- climate change.
Few people today have control over the energy we consume. Large corporations and government officials make decisions about our energy that deeply impact communities they have no grounding in. The Dakota Access pipeline is a key example of this - it was approved with no consent from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and even runs through sacred burial sites and precious sources of drinking water.
Not only does the pipeline take away rights to self-determination of energy, land and water, it will further contribute to our current climate crisis. Temperatures are continuing to rise and are causing more and more global warming-related disasters everywhere, from the flooding in Louisiana to the fires in California and to the heat waves in the northeast. I, like everyone else, have a stake in supporting communities who are standing up to projects like Dakota Access. We don't need more pipelines, we need a just transition to clean, sustainable, and democratically-controlled energy.
This is also a clear battle against environmental racism. The Dakota Access pipeline was deliberately rerouted from the whiter, wealthier community of Bismarck to instead pass through tribal land. It is a statement that people who aren't white and wealthy are somehow worth less, and that our public officials are happy to turn the other way for the sake of corporate profit.
Another reason I wanted to go to the camp was because of the narrative I'd heard from mainstream media and public officials. The people who live off the land and water ranging from the Bakken oil fields to Illinois and beyond are protecting their resources from being poisoned by Dakota Access. Pipelines leak - it's not a matter of if, but when. Everyone who depends on water to live should be invested in this fight.
Despite the obvious threat from this pipeline, I'd watched the media deem the people protecting their resources as violent. There was no consideration that building a toxic and undemocratic project that threatens the livelihoods of countless people is the real act of violence. Those who will be impacted by this pipeline have a right to their culture, resources and ways of life, and also have a right to protect them. After feeling frustrated by the ongoing coverage, I wanted to see for myself what was going on in North Dakota.
Peaceful Co-existence and Resistance
My visit to Standing Rock affirmed my belief in all of the reasons why Dakota Access needs to be stopped. What I had not heard about before getting to the camp was how it embraced the practices we should be pursuing. Not only are the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and other Indigenous people fighting for the well-being of the environment and those that live in it, they are demonstrating what it could mean to live in a world that is sustainable, regenerative, and that values the people and cultures in it.
I hadn't thought about it that way until I sat beside the river and watched Carla Perez from Movement Generation reflect on what we had seen at the camp. People living there contribute to its daily operations, such as cooking and cleaning, in a fairly decentralized and cooperative way. There have been great efforts to make the camp as clean and sustainable as possible. Campers use minimum amounts of energy and are composting and recycling to reduce waste..
Campers emphasized over and over again the importance of their water, and talked about the desecration of sacred and cultural sites by Dakota Access. I didn't see any acts of violence at the action in Bismarck or at the camp, though we did have to pass through a barricade with armed guards to get to and from the camp.
Just as important and impressive are the people working to repair the less material harm that has been inflicted by years of colonialism. We had the opportunity to speak with a teacher named Lee who talked about how they have created a school for youth that uses alternative educational techniques to teach students about Indigenous knowledge. They employ circle (or regenerative) reconciliation when there is conflict. Educators are teaching students about ways of life beyond the capitalist, unsustainable norm that we are frequently taught, while attempting to heal the generational trauma that has been inflicted on the students and their families.
Despite oppression, limited resources, and a tremendous amount of growth in a short period of time, Indigenous people have managed to create an organized, efficient, and functional community at Sacred Stone.
Struggle Ahead, Struggle Together
Of course the camp isn't completely sustainable. It can't be in a dominant economy that does nothing but extract labor, culture, and resources. That would take investment in the people of Sacred Stone camp and other frontline communities. It would take reparations that would go towards healing the violence and loss caused by white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism, representing a true Energy Democracy. It would take stopping not just this pipeline, but all extractive energy projects. It would take people willing to not only listen, but also follow the lead of frontline communities in a very difficult social, economic and political transition. But it's what needs to happen if we are going to defeat the crises that face us today.
CJA stands with Our Power, Standing Rock Sioux tribe, Indigenous Rights, and a Just Transition. Here are some of the next steps we are taking to support the fight against Dakota Access:
CJA staff participate in weekly solidarity calls with our partners at Grassroots Global Justice Alliance.
We are exploring options for how to best support CJA members in traveling out to Sacred Stone camp.
We will be working with the Indigenous Environmental Network to create a national solidarity strategy for CJA.
Please contact Chloe Henson at email@example.com if you are interested in participating in any of these next steps, or wish to subscribe to our mailing list for additional updates. Here are more ways for you to get involved:
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CJA worked with the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) to send support to Standing Rock in resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. In September, a small delegation, including staff and members of PODER and Movement Generation, went to the camp to help and scout out the scene for bigger delegations. During the week of Thankstaking, a larger delegation of more than 100 people from 20 organizations affiliated with CJA and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance traveled to Standing Rock to participate in multiple actions, build with organizers on the ground, and help out with the day-to-day functioning of the camp. For more info, check out these reflections on the CJA delegation to Standing Rock.
Many of you have likely heard about the two struggles going on in North Dakota and Louisiana.
In North Dakota, Indigenous leaders from the Standing Rock Stone Tribe are fighting a pipeline that will jeopardize their land, water, and future generations. If completed, the pipeline will carry up to 570,000 barrels of oil everyday from North Dakota to Illinois, directly threatening the Missouri river and countless acres of sacred land. Protesters have continued to resist construction peacefully, despite surveillance and intimidation from the state.
In Louisiana, trillions of gallons of rain have resulted in floods that have killed at least 13 people and damaged tens of thousands of homes. Leaders on the ground are mobilizing to get resources to those impacted on the frontlines. CJA member organization Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy is supporting the cleaning and rebuilding of homes that have been affected by this disaster, as well as getting crucial resources, such as water and organizing training, to communities that have been impacted.
While both of these events are happening hundreds of miles away from each other, they both have the same root causes. As an alliance of organizations on the frontlines of climate change and injustice, we know that our communities will be hit first and worst by disasters and extractive industries. We also know white supremacy, capitalism, and other systems of oppression will challenge our ability to react and resist.
CJA will be granting $10,000 each to two member organizations leading work on the ground. The Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy and the Indigenous Environmental Network have both been critical anchors of resistance in these two struggles. We urge our members to also respond with political and material support
What We Can Do
We have asked members on the ground in Louisiana how CJA can best support relief efforts. Based off these conversations, staff has come up with several recommendations as to how the alliance can support those in Louisiana.
Donate Funds - We encourage members if they are able to donate to these sites:
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe filed an injunction to halt construction of the Dakota Access pipeline. Last week, the judge in charge of the case decided to postpone his decision until September 9. Indigenous leaders will continue to fight the pipeline. Here are a couple suggestions for how we can support:
The staff and steering committee of the Climate Justice Alliance are excited to announce that Angela Adrar, will be joining CJA as Executive Director, pivotal in the Alliance's commitment to expanding and amplifying the voice of Climate Justice communities across the Nation. Based out of Washington DC, Angela has worked at the intersection of agriculture, energy, and climate and will bring her collective leadership experience to compliment CJA's already leader-full movement of over 40+ grassroots organizations.
Angela will be transitioning leadership from Michael Leon Guerrero, who will be moving into his role as Executive Director at the Labor Network For Sustainability, which is a member of CJA. Leon Guerrero has played a crucial role in fostering the development of CJA and the Our Power Campaign during the last two years, serving on the coordinating body of the People's Climate March amongst other powerful campaigns during his time with CJA.
"Angela will bring a wide range of organizational skills and experience to her new position with CJA," said Michael. "She is familiar with many of the existing CJA members, and will bring a leadership perspective to the alliance that will move it in an exciting direction. I am looking forward to see CJA and the Our Power Campaign strengthen and grow under her leadership."
Angela, a Latina immigrant from Colombia who grew up in the United States, has been a leader and outspoken advocate for powerful and grounded social movements for decades - from legacy organizations such as the Rural Coalition, La Via Campesina North America, the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, and most recently as the Co-Chair of the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact (BEAI) Initiative. She looks forward to offering that expertise to the Our Power Campaign during an exciting time of strategic amplification and implementation.
At a National Convening in St. Louis this June, members of the Climate Justice Alliance ratified a 4-Year Strategy that will guide the alliance in moving towards a Just Transition for communities on the frontline of climate change which addresses issues of Energy Democracy and Food Sovereignty amongst others as critical pillars of our collective movement. As someone who has worked extensively with grassroots leadership, women, and with different sectors of the climate movement, Angela is well-suited to move CJA in a powerful direction that will center communities of color and poor white communities in the fight for climate justice while impacting national to international climate policy.
Angela has begun working with CJA staff and will transition into her role full-time starting September 1st. "Continued droughts, historical heat-waves, catastrophic flooding, and the acceleration of climate-related disasters demonstrate the importance of a proactive and unified climate justice movement that embraces a diversity of contributions." she said. "Ultimately the leadership and solutions must come from the communities most impacted by the climate crisis for they will provide grounded solutions that will sustain us through a Just Transition forward for all. I am honored to take on this role."
"This transition in leadership is happening during a critical point in time for the alliance," Miya Yoshitani, executive director at Asian Pacific Environmental Network and co-chair of the Climate Justice Alliance steering committee, said. Now more than ever we need a powerful alliance of frontline communities fighting for climate justice and we welcome innovative leadership to help move our strategic objectives over the next four years. We are thrilled to bring Angela in to move our work forward."
Washington DC | 24 August 2016
Contact: Michael Leon Guerrero, firstname.lastname@example.org, m (505) 314-1112 MST
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Angela is the new Executive Director of the Our Power Campaign and Climate Justice Alliance. She has committed her life to advancing the role of the grassroots sector and provides agile leadership and structure to address and adapt to the changing and complex priorities of local communities while influencing national and international agendas. She has served as a leading member of local to international organizations that include; La Via Campesina North America, US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA), the Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative (BEAI), US Friends of Movement of Dam Affected Peoples (MAB) and others. She has introduced and advocated for internal frameworks that enable feedback loops for both national/International decision-making and local representation as well as, gender, and racial equity that embraces a diversity of contributions, while fostering trust and reciprocity for collective work. For the past 3 years, she has served as the Weaver Co-Chair of the steering committee body of the BEAI, where she coordinated the work of extraordinary leaders from the grassroots,and develop authentic relationships with Green groups as well as, Philanthropy successfully working on a strategy to eliminate barriers and shift 10 million to the grassroots.
Through her work on the Collective Leadership with La Via Campesina North America (LVC-NA) region as a representative of the Rural Coalition, she has collectively developed strategies that advocate for a stronger civil society voice on food sovereignty and in negotiations that represented the Global south in the North. Working with LVC-NA members such as the Farmworkers Associaiton of Florida (FWAF), she helped to launched a campaign on People’s Agroecology in the US, as a Just Transition method of farming for farmworkers locked into the toxic industrial agricultural labor market. This work initiated in 2013, has sparked t the development of regional agroecology encounters and formation processes around the Nation that include grassroots farmworker organizations as well as international partners, overlapping work with critical national coalitions and organizations in the food, agriculture and climate movement.She is growing the movement with her two young kids and partner, has a deep respect for Mother Earth and is an avid seedkeeper. She holds a Masters Degree of Organizational Management, a BA in International Relations from San Francisco State University, as well as, strong communications and social media expertise, she has consulted for 13 years with non-profit and government agencies providing strategy planning, financial forecasting and communications. While serving as the Programs and Communications Director of the Rural Coalitions for 3 years, she managed relations with a diverse board, staff and membership in remote locations bringing the power of the grassroots to Capitol Hill. She has produced and authored a number of publications and spoken on panels in reference to the power the grassroots and international solidarity and has a passion for cultivating authentic and transparent connections that elevate the grassroots.
One year ago, on July 12, Black Lives Matter organized Black Lives Matter Sunday in response to the massacre of nine people at the Emanual African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, and the burning of at least 7 Black churches across the South. Despite unprecedented media attention to police killings of Black people and growing public outrage, anti-Black violence is just as prevalent today.
Now we grieve the murder of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and are sending our thoughts and prayers to their families, friends and loved ones. Our hearts go out to them and all Black and brown people who have lost their lives to state-sanctioned violence.
The Climate Justice Alliance stands with Black Lives Matter and recognizes the urgency of fighting against anti-Blackness in our communities. Our statement from last year remains relevant today:
"As an alliance of community-led, frontline organizations we understand that white supremacist violence demonstrated in the brutal massacre of the victims of the AME church in South Carolina, the burning of Black churches and the police killings of young Black people across this country represents a pillar of an unjust, unequal and unsustainable ideology. It is an ideology reflected in the poisoning of the bodies and the environment of our communities - that views us as expendable labor, inconvenient collateral damage in the quest for profits and obstacles to ravaging the riches of Mother Earth.
Economy simply means management of home. Economy is how we organize relationships in place. This "management of home" can be good or bad, depending on how you do it and to what ends. The purpose of our economy could be turning land, life and labor into property for a few, or returning land, life and labor into a balanced web of stable relationships. Through the Our Power Campaign, we are organizing for a Just Transition to local, living economies that celebrate diversity, equity and the rights of all people and nature.
White supremacy lives everywhere in the U.S., not just the south. To be in solidarity with the people in the south we must challenge white supremacy wherever we are. We must educate our communities and challenge anti-Black sentiment in our homes, our workplaces and all our community institutions."
We are calling on our members to support the movement for Black lives by signing this pledge, sharing and attending #BlackLivesMatter events that are happening in your region, and support groups such as Black Lives Matter and the Black Youth Project in their fights against state-sanctioned violence.
On June 21, 2015 the Our Power Campaign launched the Summer of Our Power, a two-month long event that highlighted the work of members of the Climate Justice Alliance on the ground. During the Summer of Our Power, CJA hosted a Just Transition fellowship program that supported 10 fellows and their organizations at different sites throughout the summer. Here are some profiles on the fellows, where they talk a little bit about themselves and what a just transition looks like in their communities.
To see the fellows talk about what a just transition looks like in their communities, visit the Our Power Youtube channel.
Laiseng Saechao, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Laiseng Saechao was born and raised in Richmond, California and recently returned to her community after graduating from Scripps College, working with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). Her impetus for becoming an organizer with APEN came from realizing during her time away that there was a gap in her own knowledge.
"I think a lot of what brought me to the work that I'm doing now is kind of a connection back to my community, back to my roots, back to what I want to be doing in the future. And having a history that doesn't just include the one I'm learning in school, but the one that I get to learn from my parents, from the people that I live around, my neighbors. It's a joint history," she said.
For Lai, working for environmental justice was a way to connect different issues she was interested in, particularly ones affecting Richmond, which has a huge oil refinery and is impacted by industrialization. It has allowed her to organize around things she cares about, such as gentrification, jobs, access and health.
"I'd always thought about social justice, but I'd never thought of it in terms of the environment, or what environmental justice means, until I realized that you can't really separate the environment from the people who are living in it," she said.
Lai is a Climate Justice Alliance Just Transition fellow this summer with APEN.
To Lai, a just transition is not only about fighting the bad. It's about creating a new world and giving people the chance to create a vision for themselves.
For the full interview of what a just transition in Richmond looks like to Lai, view here:
Darrell Marks, Black Mesa Water Coalition
Otheree Christian, Communities for a Better Environment
Otheree Christian is from Richmond, California. While he was recently introduced to Communities for a Better Environment through the fellowship program, he has been organizing as a community leader for a long time.
"I've always been doing organizing in the community as a community leader, rallying behind the injustice and things, making our community a better community. So I've always been fighting for our community, for our young people, and actually help making things better," he said.
To Otheree, a just transition looks like changes in his community that create a better environment.
"A just transition is where change is being implemented and bringing about a better community. Making sure that we have good quality of air and making sure that ... we have a good community environment," he said.
Otheree is a CJA fellow who will be working with CBE this summer.
Andrew Campbell, Cooperation Jackson
Andrew Campbell was born in Albany, New York and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Nowadays, he attends Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi and works with Cooperation Jackson on their urban farming co-op.
Andrew was able to learn and use some of his farming skills during an agriculture internship in South Dakota. Much of his inspiration for organizing came from Chokwe Lumumba, former mayor of Jackson.
"I was inspired by Chokwe Lumumba's obtaining the mayor position here in Jackson, Mississippi, and also the work that he was trying to do on the grassroots level as far as just trying to change the economy," he said.
For Andrew, much of the work being done with his organization is a "step forward for humanity."
"I feel like a lot of things are done in redundancy and I think we're kind of moving out of that," he said.
In Jackson, Andrew says a just transition looks like revitalizing the city's infrastructure in a sustainable and rejuvenating way.
For the full interview of what a just transition in Jackson looks like to Andrew, view here:
Shabrin Salam, East Michigan Environmental Action Council
Shabrin Salam says getting involved in organizing "just kind of happened." Her sister, who was an intern for East Michigan Environmental Action Council, suggested she go to a youth program at her organization. Shabrin went to a few meetings and decided to stay.
"I learned a lot, that's one reason why I stayed the most was because I learned so much, things that I never learned in class, so I thought that was really cool, I thought that was really beneficial to me because I see my community and the world through a different lens," she said.
Shabrin has been with EMEAC for about four years now, and still tries to stay involved, despite being a student at the University of Michigan, an hour away.
In her community, Shabrin says a just transition looks like getting more of the community involved to combat big issues such as gentrification.
"Not that they don't (get involved), but more so, taking more action together. Working together and trying to overcome gentrification and trying to take back our own homes, take back our own businesses and take back our communities," she said.
Shabrin says right now, one of EMEAC's goals is to try to get more youth members involved in organizing.
"That's one of the biggest objectives of EMEAC and trying to have them (the youth) do a lot of the working as well. So have them facilitate, have them lead, and basically train them to become the leaders they already are and to become better leaders," she said.
Shabrin is a CJA fellow who will be working with EMEAC this summer.
Eric Harrison, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy
Eric Harrison was born in Louisiana and started organizing after being recruited by the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy in high school. While he hasn't been organizing that long in his current capacity, interning with GCCLP taught him about a lot of the issues facing his community.
"That led to me being aware of the problems and eventually wanting to do something about it so that's how I became an organizer," he said.
Eric says in his community a just transition looks like "democracy turning into what democracy is supposed to be." The community would be led by and for the people, which would allow for a transition away from dirty energy and unemployment.
"A just transition in my community looks like everyone having a job that's willing and wants to work. It looks like stopping the fracking that just got approved. It's turning that money into opportunities for the frontline communities to have what they need instead of getting a couple people rich and keeping the money in the hands of a few," he said.
Eric is a CJA fellow working this summer with the GCCLP. For the full interview of what a just transition in Louisiana looks like to Eric, view here:
When Jessie Skaggs left to go to school in Louisville, she didn't feel like there was much for her at home in eastern Kentucky. But after being away for about a decade, Jessie is happy to be back and organizing in the community where she grew up.
I ended up coming back home, and felt a real connection and appreciation for the area after being gone for so long. I'm really glad to be back home," she said.
Jessie got into organizing after seeing a job listing with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. After doing some research on KFTC, she realized the organization did work on all the issues she was passionate about in Kentucky.
"I got into organizing through my interest in sustainability. I was really interested in local food systems, sustainable agriculture, those kinds of issues and how it's all interconnected," she said.
For Jessie, a just transition looks like people in Kentucky getting rewarding jobs that are good for themselves and the community.
"The workers in an extractive industry, they're not the problem. They also want to be able to feed their families and take care of their communities, they're just trying to do that. And so a just transition to me means working together to create a brighter future while investing in the communities and workers that are affected by this transition," she said.
Marilyn Duran, People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights
Marilyn Duran has been working with People Organizing to Demand Environmental and Economic Rights (PODER) in San Francisco for almost half her life. From the Mission District, in her early teens Marilyn and her siblings started door knocking in her community to raise awareness about environmental issues that were disproportionately affecting people of color, such as toxins in the air from nearby freeways and facilities. She has pursued a deep passion ever since for pushing back on challenges facing her community, such as gentrification, housing and displacement.
"The range of issues has now shifted, but we're still always disproportionately impacted. Especially in San Francisco, people of color are being displaced at rapid rates and that's really a lot of what I focus on. I am proud to be able to stay in my community and that's really one of the things that I focus on the most, because everyone has the right to stay in their community," she said.
Marilyn comes from a framework of meeting folks where they're at when reaching out to community members. Many are monolingual, Spanish-speaking immigrants, some of whom haven't graduated college or high school. She believes in meeting them at the heart.
"That's the way I like to live my life, the way I like to talk to people. The way I feel like our community comes together the most is through shared stories, shared relationships, communication at a level in which people don't feel intimidated or condescended to," she said.
Marilyn is a Climate Justice Alliance Just Transition fellow this summer with PODER.
Marilyn says PODER has several projects to help enable a just transition in the community. One is an urban farm that members created in the city. Another is a program called Bicis del Pueblo, in which people build their own bikes for transportation. The third is a business coop that allows the community to take back control of its resources.
"We're just transitioning in those three ways and we're really excited to get the process going," she said.
For the full interview on what a just transition looks like to Marilyn, view here:
Arty Trejo, Southwest Workers Union
Arturo "Arty" Trejo is a first generation Xicanx--Mexican American--from El Paso, Texas. He has been living in San Antonio, Texas for the past four years and works with Southwest Worker's Union on their environmental justice and climate change framework.
Arty was inspired to get into social justice by his mother, who he said faced injustices from being a mother, and mujer in a the economic crises. He said his father is also influential in much of what he does. He also chose to get into organizing to raise stories that wouldn't necessarily be heard.
"As far as organizing, mostly being able to speak and help those narratives that are heavily invisible become visible through insecurities, vulnerabilities, motivation, encouragement, and envisionment," he said.
When CJA asked Arty how a just transition is shaped, Arty responds, "it is the inclusion and validation of alternative economies. These economies include communities that are usually marginalized and most at risk for economic and social violence, such as people of color, womyn, LGBTQIA, and youth."
"The alternative economies speak and reflect and validate our communities into not only regeneration, not only self-determination, but also self-validation. And that is a manifestation for justice and a demand for liberation," he said.
Arty is a CJA fellow this summer with the Southwest Workers' Union in San Antonio, Texas.
CJAStatement on the Burning of BlackChurches and Call to Action
Dear CJA Family,
As we grieve the horrifying and racist massacre of nine Black people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, at least 7 Blackchurches in North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia have been destroyed or damaged by fires. All are under investigation for arson. The first attack happened at College Hills Seventh Day Adventist Church, in Knoxville, TN just hours after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state's capitol.
Historically, the Black church has been not just a spiritual center, but also a center of family, political leadership, culture and community organizing. For this reason they have been targets for racist terrorist attacks for more than a century.
But these are not the only systematic attacks on Black community institutions and people taking place since slavery. The burnings of churches, along with the killing of young Black people by highly-militarized police forces are among the most dramatic and violent acts we see today. But many of the public institutions and the rights that benefit all oppressed people in the United States have been won through social movements led or inspired by the civil rights, BlackPower and anti-slavery movements. They have won policies for civil, worker, environmental justice, economic and human rights. Institutions, programs and spaces serving largely Black constituencies achieved through generations of struggle are now being systematically dismantled through austerity programs, corporate greed, gentrification, or explicit acts of violence.
Grounded in the principles of environmental and climate justice, the Climate Justice Alliance is putting out a call to our members and allies to take action and be in solidarity with the Black community in the South and to support the #ThisIsWORR (Week of Righteous Resistance) Call to Action. It begins with Black Lives Matter Sunday this July 12 and ends on July 18 with counter-rallies to the KKK action at the South Carolina state capitol. More information is at this website: http://thisisworr.org
As an alliance of community-led, frontline organizations we understand that white supremacist violence demonstrated in the brutal massacre of the victims of the AME church in South Carolina, the burning of Blackchurches and the police killings of young Black people across this country represents a pillar of an unjust, unequal and unsustainable ideology. It is an ideology reflected in the poisoning of the bodies and the environment of our communities - that views us as expendable labor, inconvenient collateral damage in the quest for profits and obstacles to ravaging the abundance of Mother Earth.
Economy means management of home. It is how we organize relationships in place. This "management of home" can be good or bad, depending on how we do it and to what ends. The purpose of our economy could be turning land, life and labor into property for a few, or returning land, life and labor into a balanced web of stable relationships. Through the Our Power Campaign, we are organizing for a Just Transition to local, living economies that celebrate diversity, equity and the rights of all people and nature. This means that confronting racism, sexism and all other forms of oppression must be central to our work.
CJA believes white supremacy lives everywhere in the U.S, not just the south. In this moment of attack, to be in solidarity with the people in the South we must challenge white supremacy wherever we are. We must educate our communities and challenge anti-Black sentiment in our homes, our workplaces and all our community institutions.
We are following the lead of allies in the South in urging everyone to join in this upcoming week of action. Here is a list of ways your organization can engage. We encourage members to share other ways that we can provide support and solidarity as well:
Sunday, July 12 - Preach, Pray and Act - is an emphasis on acts of faith and contributing to a rebuilding fund for churches that have been burned: https://cccathedralstl.dntly.com/campaign/2571#/Monday, July 13 - is a day of marches in solidarity with Moral Mondays
Tuesday, July 14 and Wednesday, July 15 are teach-in and training days on history, organizing and other topics.
Thursday, July 16 there are screenings of the Jordan Davis documentary 3.5 Minutes, 10 Bullets.Friday, July 17 there are peace walks against inter-communal violence
Saturday, July 17 there are counter-rallies at state capitols to the KKK rally in South Carolina on the same day.
Active organizations in #ThisIsWORR include PICO's Live Free campaign; One Liturgy; the Samuel DeWitt and Proctor Conference; HandsUp United; Transform Network; Christian Community Development Association (CCDA);Voices Project; Sojourners; FergusonAction; Auburn Theological Seminary and Groundswell; Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ); Evangelicals for Justice (E4J); and the Beatitudes Society.
On behalf of the CJA Staff and Steering Committee,
Michael Leon Guerrero
Climate Justice Alliance Our Power Campaign
ST. LOUIS, MO, June 24, 2016 — Coal-harmed workers, families and allies from 50 groups across the country "knocked at the doors of power" in Peabody Energy's headquarters city on Friday, June 24th. This will be the second national action in St. Louis led by residents demanding a "Just Transition Fund" instead of "business as usual" from the coal giant's chapter 11 bankruptcy. Activists confronted Peabody's Law Firm, Armstrong Teasdale, headquartered in Clayton, MO, which represents Peabody in its bankruptcy to escape accountability to workers and their polluted and economically devastated communities.
Led by Marshall Johnson and Sheldon Natoni, on horseback from To'Nizhoni Ani and Black Mesa Water Coalition respectively, 150 marchers left from Shaw Park and immediately took the westbound lanes on Forsyth, marching East to the Armstrong Teasdale Headquarters. At Armstrong Teasdale, the law firm representing Peabody, speakers made their issues known with the bankruptcy.
"This Peabody bankruptcy has national impact, but the political and legal infrastructure making it happen is right here in the St Louis area," pointed out city resident and MORE member, Nay'Chelle Harris. "It's people like Attorneys Ehlers and Cousins of Armstrong Teasdale who are acting to ensure payouts go to hedge funds and Peabody executives instead of communities. They're part of the machinery stranding workers and families harmed by Peabody's dig-burn-dump business practices." Community leaders have mapped out the St. Louis “infrastructure of injustice” this interactive web site.
Jihan Gearon of Black Mesa Water Coalition and the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) / Our Power Campaign added, "There's a better solution. Let this be the first corporate bankruptcy to fund both obligations to workers and communities, and a visionary "Just Transition" away from this harmful extraction economy."
A Peabody Energy bankruptcy settlement directed towards a "Just Transition Fund" instead of big investor and executive payouts will:
Fully fund promised Peabody and Patriot coal worker pensions and health care plans.
Put an immediate stop to the forcible relocation and harassment of Diné (Navajo) people in northern Arizona and provide full reparations for cultural genocide caused by Peabody.
Guarantee full funding for clean-up and full reclamation of all mined lands and polluted and depleted aquifers used by Peabody.
Prioritize payouts to stakeholders for communities negatively impacted by Peabody's practices in areas left stranded in the bankruptcy – rather than big investors and executives.
Support communities as they transition from coal-based economies toward jobs and infrastructure based on community-owned renewable energy and local self-sufficiency.
Support health care funds for pollution-fouled communities in and adjacent to mining and coal-processing areas.
"We're through with that dirty, old game," asserts St. Louis resident Basmin Nadra from MORE, "where a big coal company uses powerful local institutions and people to prop itself up. We won't sit quiet while the legal system protects the interests of a wealthy few over the well-being of our families. We call on everyone who thinks that's wrong to join us in demanding a better outcome. It's time for us to recognize we are all connected in these concerns. This is an opportunity to set new precedents."
To that end, St. Louis resident Connie Wess talked about courtwatching, where community members have entering the bankruptcy proceedings and bearing witness to trickery such as the Judge Schermer approving bonuses to 42 of Peabody's top executives while not guaranteeing that healthcare and pension for workers would continue to be paid out. Residents have also been giving out hardcopies of Peabody's bankruptcy map.
Climate Justice Alliance: Michael Leon Guerrero, (505) 263 4982 MST, email@example.com
Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment: Kennard Williams, 314-825-1334, firstname.lastname@example.org OR Jeff Ordower, 314-267-4664, email@example.com
When: 12:00 pm gather, 12:30 start march (approx 1 hr), Friday, June 24, 2016
Where: Gather at Shaw Park (corner of Bonhomme and Brentwood) in Clayton, Missouri
ST. LOUIS, MO, June 21, 2016 — Coal-harmed workers, families and allies from 50 groups across the countrywill "knock at the doors of power" in Peabody Energy's headquarters city on Friday, June 24th. This will be the second national action in St. Louis led by residents demanding a "Just Transition Fund" instead of "business as usual" from the coal giant's chapter 11 bankruptcy. Activists plan to confront the St Louis area people and institutions shielding Peabody as it uses its bankruptcy to escape accountability to workers and their polluted and economically devastated communities.
Missourians Organizing for Reform & Empowerment (MORE) invites people concerned for workers, families, and coal-devastated communities to gather at 12 pm in historic Shaw Park in Clayton, Missouri. MORE will lead a national Climate Justice Alliance / Our Power Campaign delegation — comprising 150+ people from 50+ organizations — through St. Louis County on Friday, June 24th. They will march through Clayton to point out the complicit institutions associated with the bankruptcy's recent rulings, among other stops.
"This Peabody bankruptcy has national impact, but the political and legal infrastructure making it happen is right here in the St Louis area," pointed out city resident and MORE member, Napoleon Robertson. "It's people like Judge Barry Schermer and Attorneys Ehlers and Cousins of Armstrong Teasdale who are acting to ensure payouts go to hedge funds and Peabody executives instead of communities. They're part of the machinery stranding workers and families harmed by Peabody's dig-burn-dump business practices." Community leaders have mapped out the St. Louis "infrastructure of injustice" in this interactive web site.
Jihan Gearon of Black Mesa Water Coalition and the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) / Our Power Campaign added, "There's a better solution. Let this be the first corporate bankruptcy to fund both obligations to workers and communities, and a visionary "Just Transition" away from this harmful extraction economy."
A Peabody Energy bankruptcy settlement directed towards a "Just Transition Fund" instead of big investor and executive payouts will:
Fully fund promised Peabody and Patriot coal worker pensions and health care plans.
Put an immediate stop to the forcible relocation and harassment of Diné (Navajo) people in northern Arizona and provide full reparations for cultural genocide caused by Peabody.
Guarantee full funding for clean-up and full reclamation of all mined lands and polluted and depleted aquifers used by Peabody.
Prioritize payouts to stakeholders for communities negatively impacted by Peabody's practices in areas left stranded in the bankruptcy – rather than big investors and executives.
Support communities as they transition from coal-based economies toward jobs and infrastructure based on community-owned renewable energy and local self-sufficiency.
Support health care funds for pollution-fouled communities in and adjacent to mining and coal-processing areas.
"We're through with that dirty, old game," asserts St. Louis resident Basmin Nadra from MORE, "where a big coal company uses powerful local institutions and people to prop itself up. We won't sit quiet while the legal system protects the interests of a wealthy few over the well-being of our families. We call on everyone who thinks that's wrong to join us in demanding a better outcome. It's time for us to recognize we are all connected in these concerns. This is an opportunity to set new precedents."
Michael Leon Guerrero, National Coordinator of Climate Justice Alliance agreed: "Come on by Shaw Park this June 24th and you'll hear more than opposition to a bad bankruptcy deal. Just imagine what we could do by directing resources from a dig-burn-dump industry directly toward a new, clean energy economy."
GAIA: Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
Grassroots Global Justice
Green For All
Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
Indigenous Environmental Network
Institute for Policy Studies
Ironbound Community Corporation
Haitian Platform for an Alternative Development (PADDA)
Just Transition Alliance
Kentuckians For The Commonwealth
Labor Network for Sustainability
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment
Native Women's Care Circle
Movement Strategy Center
National Family Farm Coalition (member, US Food Sovereignty Alliance)
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson/Right to the City Alliance
NYC Environmental Justice Alliance
Right to the City
Solidarity Economy St. Louis
Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE)
Southwest Workers Union
The Ruckus Society
US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA)
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130+ representatives from more than 50 CJA member and ally organizations attended the CJA National Convening in St. Louis, MO, hosted by Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment. The convening focused on four tracks of work: Building the Bigger We, Reinvest in Our Power, Resourcing a Just Transition, and Making Just Transition Real on the Ground. Members approved the implementation of CJA’s 4-Year Strategy and held a powerful action at the doors of Peabody Energy. 150+ people demanded a Just Transition Fund from the corporation which had declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving behind environmentally devastated communities with no accountability.
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The Climate Justice Alliance’s It Takes Roots quilt was created during the 2015 Summer of Our Power, which was launched on the Summer Solstice—June 21, 2015—in recognition of our interrelated, interdependent, and complementary relationship with Mother Earth.
The Climate Justice Alliance’s It Takes Roots quilt was created during the 2015 Summer of Our Power, which was launched on the Summer Solstice—June 21, 2015—in recognition of our interrelated, interdependent, and complementary relationship with Mother Earth.
Over the course of two months during the summer of 2015, frontline communities undertook creative movement building projects to build interconnected local strategies and broader public awareness for a just transition away from an economy based on extraction and exploitation.
The centerpiece of the Summer of Our Power was a “quilt relay” in August, 2015, through which CJA members created a collective quilt that symbolizes the breadth and depth of frontline community solutions offering real hope in the face of climate devastation. The quilt relay concluded in solidarity with gulf coast communities at the 10th Anniversary Commemoration of Hurricane Katrina.
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Yesterday was the first full day with our entire #ItTakesRoots delegation! It was full of education and empowerment. There were workshops on Just Transition, gender, race and more. Check out some of the highlights... @agiancatarino11, @Zebra425, and @dsmatth for so many tweets of the day! https://storify.com/OurPower/ittakesrootsdec5
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MEDIA ADVISORY: IT TAKES ROOTS STATEMENT ON THE PROTEST BAN IN PARIS PRESS RELEASES BY GRASSROOTS GLOBAL JUSTICE NOVEMBER 23, 2015 876 0 SHARE: MEDIA ADVISORY November 23, 2015... War, No Warming – Build an Economy for People and Planet Despite the ban on Protest in Paris, we will be there to raise our voices against war, racism and pollution profiteering. We stand in solidarity with the countless victims of recent violence in Paris, Beirut, and Mali, as well as their families and loved ones.
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MEDIA ADVISORY Contact: Preeti Shekar at 510-219-4193, firstname.lastname@example.org Release Date: Friday, November 13, 2015 Ahead of Paris, Grassroots Activists Demand Real Change: “President Obama: ... To The People, Not Polluters!” The Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) is excited to announce a delegation of 100 leaders and organizers from US and Canadian grassroots and indigenous communities headed to the upcoming UNCOP21 in Paris later this month.
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On November 29th millions of people across the planet will take to the streets on the eve of the UN Climate Talks in Paris to demand bold, urgent action on the climate crisis. Whether you’re able to join in the streets, or if you... just want to support from home, we need your voice. Send your photo and message today and join the virtual march! The Climate Justice Alliance will be a part of the It Takes Roots delegation to Paris to demand bold action on climate change. The climate crisis is already having severe impacts on some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet, and it threatens the very existence of the human species. To support this massive mobilization the People’s Climate Movement is hosting a virtual climate march where thousands will send in photos or messages about why they want action on climate to make sure world leaders hear us.
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Here’s a wrap up of what some of our members and other EJ orgs were up to last week. Family of Akai Gurley and activists demand justice in New York after one year, the #ItTakesRoots delegation continues to prep for ... the#COP21, members of CJA gather to discuss the #CleanPowerPlan, and more. https://storify.com/OurPower/cja-wrap-up-november-16-november-23
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Here is an incredible report on the People's Climate March from last year. It includes information about the broader movement, the process and the challenges of organizing the massive march, from the perspective of members of... the Climate Justice Alliance. Please read it, and spread the word! http://bit.ly/2014PCMreport
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On Martin Luther King Day, CJA organized the first environmental justice action targeting all 10 regional Environmental Protection Agency offices in one day. CJA members and allies drafted the Our Power Plan in order to challenge and improve the Clean Power Plan (CPP) launched by the Obama administration. On the day of action, frontline leaders converged on the offices to present the Our Power Plan to their regional representatives and demand that it be used to improve provisions and implementation of the CPP. For photos of the members and allies in action, click here.
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Primarily organized by The Working World and supported by CJA and others, the first peer network training was held to establish a cooperative of local non-extractive loan funds. This was the birth of The Financial Cooperative to share learnings, share services, and share capital towards economic democracy.
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CJA organized a series of programs building the relationships and capacity of the frontline pilot sites. We initiated multiple Just Transition Fellowships, placing 10 fellows in each of the anchor organizations, as well as an Indigenous and a Gulf South fellow.
Just Transition fellows included Laiseng Saechao (APEN), Darrell Marks (BMWC), Otheree Christian (CBE), Andrew Campbell (Coop Jxn), Shabrin Salam (EMEAC), Jessie Skaggs (KFTC), Marilyn Duran (PODER), Arturo Trejo (SWU), Dallas Goldtooth (IEN) and Eric Harrison (GCCLP).
CJA also coordinated a Collective Quilt Community Relay Beginning Three Tributaries beginning from Bellingham, WA; Fort Berthold, ND; and New York City, NY. Members created their own quilt square and delivered it to the next community along their tributary, all culminating in New Orleans for the 10-year commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. This was an opportunity for members to exchange stories and strengthen relationships. Their powerful stories of resistance and resilience were relationally and physically woven together represented by a beautiful collective quilt.
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Our Power Pilot Site Organizations Begin Convening
To build a rooted foundation for our vision of a Just Transition, CJA identified seven pilot sites to strategize and grapple with what it means to make Just Transition real on the ground. The pilot sites were anchored by long-standing EJ organizations including APEN & CBE (Richmond, CA), EMEAC (Detroit, MI), Cooperation Jackson (Jackson, MS), BMWC (Black Mesa, AZ), KFTC (Eastern Kentucky), SWU (San Antonio, TX), and PODER (San Francisco, CA). CJA held four convenings over two years where frontline organizers shared lessons, discussed strategies and challenges, and laid the foundation for a set of Just Transition principles and curriculum tools.
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In developing strategy to move resources from the extractive economy toward regenerative local economies, CJA members convened a series of conversations in 2014 fostering relationships between student divestment campaigners with grassroots organizing groups and folks building non-extractive financing/economic democracy infrastructure. In 2015, CJA members and allies convened a broader set of folks to strategize the work in the form of a financial cooperative and campaigns to reinvest in non-extractive financing. This was the beginning CJA’s Reinvest in Our Power (RiOP) work. Find out more about RiOP here.
string(1076) "CJA supports a mass direct action coordinated by our members in Rising Tide, Ruckus and a number of allied collectives. The aim is to pivot attention from the PCM march to the root cause culprits of the climate crises - the financial empires whose profits drive both global warming and the colonial extractive economy. Targeting the Wall Street, the strategic goal of the action was to flood “Wall Street” with human bodies and directly impact the frontlines of financialization of life, while expressing solidarity with the frontline communities impacted by real floods, storms, fires and droughts around the world, as well as the frontlines of the struggle against the colonial extractive economy."
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New York City - CJA mobilized our members and grassroots allies across the U.S. to lead the frontlines of the 400,000-strong Peoples’ Climate March in New York City. This historic event was originally proposed by CJA members to coincide with the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples and the Ban Ki Moon International Climate Summit, and was co-organized with UPROSE, NYC EJ Alliance, Ironbound Community Corporation, IEN, GAIA and GGJ as well as a number of allied national green groups and labor unions. The PCM marked a shift in the national U.S. climate movement, in centering the leadership of Indigenous communities, communities of color, and working-class white communities who are both at the “Frontlines of the Crises and the Forefront of Change”.
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[caption id="attachment_4686" align="alignnone" width="937"] Richmond Our Power National Convening[/caption]
Richmond Our Power National Convening
The Richmond Environmental Justice Coalition and CJA national leadership hosted the Richmond Our Power National Convening, where more than 450 frontline community members from across the country joined together to “build the bigger we” for a Just Transition toward local, living economies. Kicking off with a public vigil commemorating the 2012 Chevron refinery explosion that sent 15,000 Contra Costa county residents to the hospital, we spent three beautiful days together to educate, inspire and strategize with one another.. We closed the event with a vibrant day of action and art on the Richmond Greenway.
Our Power Detroit 2014 Video
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[caption id="attachment_4666" align="aligncenter" width="974"] Our Power Youth Gathering in Detroit[/caption]
East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) hosted 130+ people, the majority under 25-years in age, at the Our Power Youth Gathering in Detroit. Participants got a taste of Detroit’s Just Transition work fighting extreme energy, advocating against privatization, protecting the commons, and building community resilience. CJA worked with EMEAC’s partners - People’s Water Board, We The People, and Detroit 2014, to build a national network with local change agents bringing the city’s first Relief Station to life and culminating in a Water Is Life Community Action. (The action was inspired and spirited by Charity Hicks, who transitioned after the gathering on July 8, 2014. May her spirit live on through OUR POWER).
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[caption id="attachment_4663" align="alignnone" width="1024"] First Our Power Camp[/caption]
Black Mesa Water Coalition (BMWC) hosted the first national CJA gathering on Navajo Nation lands – bringing together 100 CJA members to stand in solidarity with communities on the frontlines of resistance against King Coal - from Mesa to Mountaintop, and from Holler to Hood. Leading with a Just Transition vision from Indigenous and allied frontline communities fighting coal mining and power generation, the gathering highlighted and supported the work of BMWC - Navajo, and Hopi peoples seeking to protect their sacred waters and lands by rebuilding local economic pathways, from strengthening the traditional Navajo wool economy to building community-controlled solar projects. This four-day gathering of skillbuilding, strategizing, storytelling, and direct action marked the public launch of the Our Power Campaign.
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After over three years of meetings as a climate justice “alignment process”, our growing grassroots movement family formally agreed to adopting the name Climate Justice Alliance. CJA membership consisted primarily of frontline communities confronting the direct consequences of extractive, polluting industries. Supported by networks, alliances, and movement support groups, the Our Power Campaign was established to serve as a way to engage a broad base of frontline community leadership, and align our efforts in organizing a Just Transition away from the global “dig, burn, drive, dump economy”, towards a vision of many local, living, caring and sharing economies.
Recognizing the need to strengthen democratic representation of frontline community leadership at national climate movement tables, U.S. federal climate policy arenas and UN climate conferences, we drew on the groundwork of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), the Environmental Justice Climate Change Initiative (EJCC), the Just Transition Alliance (JTA), Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) and the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change (EJLF) to conduct a deep climate justice power analysis and organizing strategy prior to founding CJA.
[caption id="attachment_6132" align="alignleft" width="300"] Ecojustice People’s Movement Assembly, Detroit, 2010[/caption]
Several meetings were held, leading up to a national Mobilization for Climate Justice in 2009, and a grassroots community delegation and allies to the UN climate conference in Copenhagen (COP15). CJA Co-Founders IEN, EJCC, GAIA, Ruckus Society, Movement Generation, and Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) also worked with the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Rising Tide and the Zero Waste Detroit Coalition to initiate a 400-person Ecojustice People’s Movement Assembly and the March for "Clean Air, Good Jobs & Justice for All" at the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit.
[caption id="attachment_6133" align="alignright" width="300"] March for "Clean Air, Good Jobs & Justice for All"[/caption]
Through these assemblies, it became clear that we needed to strengthen alignment among environmental organizations, social justice organizations, and frontline communities and develop a unified vision, shared principles, and the transformative strategies necessary to address the need for real economic and social remedies to the ecological and climate crises. The founders of CJA recognized that only by weaving our efforts together would we be able to create a force powerful enough to counter the ‘‘jobs vs. environment’’ and “climate deniers” frame while providing a visionary pathway forward for our communities, for Mother Earth, and for future generations.