The announcement was made in Miami joined by local Puerto Rican organizations pushing for a Just Recovery for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
Marlene Peralta, firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-601-4267 (CJA)
Cassady Craighill, email@example.com, 828-817-3328 (Greenpeace)
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, Â 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.
For more Information about Our Power Puerto Rico visithttp://www.ourpowercampaign.org/puerto_rico Â